Can Love Really Last a Lifetime? Plus More Love Questions, Answered!
Groovy kind of love.1. Can love really last a lifetime?
Absolutely — but only if you chuck the fairy tale of living happily ever after. A team of scientists recently found that romantic love involves chemical changes in the brain that last 12 to 18 months. After that, you and your partner are on your own. Relationships require maintenance. Pay a visit to a nursing home if you want to see proof of lasting love. Recently I spoke to a man whose wife of 60 years was suffering from advanced Alzheimer’s disease. He came to sit with her every day and hold her hand. “She’s been my best friend since high school,” he told me. “We made a promise to stick together.” Now, that’s a love story.
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2. Why do married folks begin to look like one another?
Watch any two people who like each other talking, and you’ll see a lot of mirroring. One smiles, and so does the other. One nods or raises her eyebrows, and so does the other. Faces are like melodies with a natural urge to stay in sync. Multiply those movements by several decades of marriage, all those years of simultaneous sagging and drooping, and it’s no wonder!
3. Can a marriage survive betrayal?
Yes. It takes time and work, but experts are pretty unanimous on this one. In her book The Monogamy Myth, Peggy Vaughan estimates that 60 percent of husbands and 40 percent of wives will have an affair at some point in their marriages. That’s no advertisement for straying — but the news is good for couples hoping to recover from devastating breaches of trust. The offended partner needs to make the choice to forgive — and learn to live with a memory that can’t simply be erased. Infidelity is never forgotten, but it can gradually fade into the murky background of a strong, mature marriage.
-Jeanne Marie Laskas