In an article in the March issue of the Review of General Psychology (, researchers say what some already knew: romance and sex can stay strong as a marriage ages. According to the study “romantic love – defined as having intensity, engagement and sexual interest – does exist in long-term relationships.”
For me, married 24 years, this is old news. It really does get better for us every year, both romantically and sexually. I know some don’t believe me when I say that (I guess they figure I have to say it), but now I can point to this study which says 13% of couples feel much the same way.
So, having shown it can happen, can I tell you how to make it a reality in your marriage? First and foremost both you and your bride have to want it. Want it enough to work at it, and to keep working at it. You both have to want it enough to give up things that get in the way of the goal. You also have to want it more than you want to be right or to get your way. Those conditions eliminate many couples – but the exclusion is based on choices you can change.
Learn to see the marriage as more important than either of you as an individual, and be willing to sacrifice what you want for the sake of the marriage. If you both work at it, and both keep at it, I think you can join the ecstatically happy 13%. I also think any couple who makes it will say what it took to get there was effort well spent.