This article talks about the small percentage of married people still madly in love after decades together. What’s interesting about the article is the researchers found a way to test the claims of couples who said they are still very, very in love. Brain scans confirmed they were like couples newly in love. These couples are “outliers” points on a graph way off the normal curve.
I’ve not had my brain scanned (there’s a joke in there, isn’t there?) but I have no doubt my bride and I are in the group who is way off the curve. The question is, why? Why do a very few couples not have the “normal” loss of love most folks experience: a rapid loss over the first ten years, followed by a more gradual decline for the rest of the marriage? Why do some feel as in love, often more in love, than when they first married, many years ago?
My best guess would be it’s a choice; a mutual choice to stay in love by actively working at it, by putting the marriage and one’s spouse very high up on the list of priorities. I think it’s like most things – what we get out is determined by what we put in.
Are you thinking “so what, nice for you, but I don’t have that”? I think you can have it, if you and your bride are both willing to work at it. I base this claim on couples I’ve seen who are growing more love since a choice to make their marriage better. Some of these couples had years, or decades, of normal to bad marriage in their past. I’ve watched a few of these changed relationships over years, and it’s not a short term change – I’ve seen couples go from little love to a great deal of love, and continue to grow over time.