Next week is mine and my husband’s 10th wedding anniversary. Today, I had a great discussion with a group of wonderful friends on the topic of long term marriage and the difference between societal fantasy and daily reality!

“How do you actually make it 10+ years? Tips?” was the question someone tentatively asked. 

One observation that we all had a great laugh over was how the assumption to “always feel in love” is there in the beginning. 

Research shows that the intense dopamine head rush of attraction and feeling “in love” wears off after 18 months to 3.5 years of daily interaction. Now that’s something they never teach to the kids! And it’s why the 4 year mark is the most common time for relationships to break. It surprises people who buy into the fairy tales fed down our throat by whitewashed Grimms and Disney. 

“Mostly, you just hope that you don’t wake up wanting to kill them!” someone else joked. 

One of the most poignant moments of the discussion was summed up by another friend who said, 

“Marriage is hard. You have to just want it. And you have to both wake up each day wanting it. Choosing each other. Choosing to be together.”My own input was that you have to be best friends. Willing to bare open your soul. Work hard. Spend lots of quality time together. 

And never stop holding hands. 

Perhaps next time I can have the discussion on how my friends who’ve been together 20+ years now have made it!

Published by Lisa Cole

Lisa Cole is a freelance writer and social media specialist skilled in non-profit marketing and grass roots advertising. This mother of four weaves humor, emotion and depth into stories about parenthood and life in the American South.

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