Last Sunday I wrote about romance and love, and maybe it’s time for a little humor.
Have you heard this: “I love being married. It’s so great finding that one special person you can annoy for the rest of your life.” Or this one: “My wife and I lived happily for twenty years. Then we met each other.”
We tend to joke about those parts of our lives we have the most difficulty understanding. But it’s not a joke that so many marriages end up in divorce, and many others are unhappy or even agonizing. That’s a shame because love is one of the most important parts of our lives, isn’t it? We crave intimacy from the moment we’re born. Sadly many of us find that it’s much more difficult and painful to make love stay than we had ever imagined.
The UCLA Family Studies Center (I received my master’s degree from a similar program in Virginia) researched 1500 couples who had been together successfully for more than five years. Here were the common characteristics they found:
- There was a physical attraction between them.
- They were in the relationship out of clear choice rather than out of obligation or fear of being alone.
- They shared fundamental values, beliefs, interests, and goals.
- They were able to express anger clearly and directly and they resolved differences through communication and compromise.
- They experienced laughter, fun, pleasure, and play with each other.
- They were able to express support for each other and support each other’s activities, interests, and careers.
Does this sound familiar? Are these challenges you’re working on or need to?
The poet, May Sarton, writes that, “Love opens the doors into everything.” Now we need to look for and find the key that opens our heart to love.
Is this important in your life? Is the key within reach?