Is Love alone sufficient to run a married life?
All You Need Is Love....Yuh, RIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT!
I used to have this romantic vision of life that married life would be so easy, because I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the person I would marry would love me and I would love her. This bond would be all we needed to have a long and happy life. Yuh. RIIIIIIIIght! After six years of marriage I have a revised hypothesis. I now believe that love is a necessary prerequisite for a happy marriage, but if all we've got is love, the marriage is doomed to fail. Love is, first and foremost, an emotion. It is no greater or lesser a power than any of the other emotions. In fact, I've found that once you fall in love with another person, it only intensifies the more negatively associated emotions. When I get angry with my wife, for example, the pain I feel is proportionately larger than if I were not in love with this woman.
My mother used to tell me that the key to a happy marriage is to never go to sleep angry. Marriages can disintegrate rather rapidly when a couple starts keeping score. But if you can decide, at the end of the day, that whatever happened that day is done and to move forward in a positive light, you've got a fighting chance (no pun intended).
Early in my relationship with my wife, when I was still very much in the thralls of love, I found out the hard way that my wife has zero skills when it comes to managing money. It created a fiscal crisis in our marriage that very nearly ended it practically as soon as it began. If I hadn't loved my wife, it would have been over, but just having that love did not presume that we would have a happy marriage.
A marriage is a microcosm of life. Life is not a simple thing, and neither is a marriage. In time, children added many variables to the equation, so that it no longer mattered so much whether we felt we were good for each other, but we also had to consider the impact our decisions would have on the children. How would our daughter, who is definitely a daddy's girl, react if mom and dad were not living together? How would our one year old boy grow up if he didn't have a good male role model around. On the other hand, what kind of emotional damage may be done to him if he had to leave his mother's side (he's definitely a momma's boy.) Then there's the subject of our oldest child. Biologically, he's not mine, but in every other way he is my son. When there is turmoil in the family, he's the first one to be affected, and sometimes the effect of that can be something akin to an 8.0 earthquake.
There are, of course, other variables to consider, and I'm sure I could go on and on. But I've got a one year-old who needs a bottle to take his nap.