I ponder many aspects of life, including romantic love. We often think that romantic love can lead to marriage. But in reality, the relationship must be much more than emotional if the union is to be stable and truly a loving marriage that last until parted by death. I believe that strong marriages require respect and admiration; it is also important to have similar values and spiritual beliefs (though respecting different believes can also yield a strong bond). Finally, a couple should be compatible and loving, showing kindness toward one another at all times. The formula may seem complicated in a way; yet I think it comes naturally when you have met someone with whom you are truly compatible.
It is important, however, to not just be guided by that feeling of “being in love.” Love is certainly important, but admiration and respect are essential for a lasting marriage. So many of my married friends who have been married for decades tell me, “You have to work at it.” To make marriage work, respect, admiration, and love have to engender practical day-by-day actions in marriage. That often means articulating and showing your partner these feelings. Do not take one another for granted, but rather, give freely of your respect, admiration, and love!
You, your loved ones, and the rest of humanity are in this together. We should strive on a daily basis to live life with joy—for ourselves and others.
I believe that there are three very important elements which must be present in order for a marriage to work: mutual admiration, respect and romantic love. Shared values can support mutual admiration and respect. I also believe married couples ought to be best friends. In addition to their romantic, physical love for each other, they should also genuinely like each other.
I’ve spoken with many long-time married couples—some married fifty-plus years—who are still happy with their union. A lot of them say, “You have to work at it.” So, perhaps, relationships can progress even when mutual admiration, respect and romantic love do not occur at the same time, if both partners are committed and very willing to work at it, in order to firmly develop all of these elements.
The road to a joyful, fruitful, meaningful, purposeful, enduring and everlasting loving marriage is not without bumps along the way. Both partners should keep fit in mind, body and their “little piece of God” in order to maintain their mutual respect, admiration and romantic love. That often requires self-discipline and delayed gratification.
The wisdom-associated values about which I have often written can deepen each individual’s character and help a marriage to flourish. However, the negative values of selfishness, hate, revenge, greed and envy can negatively impact a person’s relationships. Therefore, working on eliminating these from your life will benefit yourself and your loved ones, particularly your spouse (or future spouse).