Couples often assume that love is self-sustaining. The truth is you have to invest in it, or it will die.
When Jean and I first started dating, I lived in San Diego, and she lived in Orange County. At the time, she was working evenings at a veterinary clinic, so I occasionally drove 90 miles to bring her dinner. I was willing to inconvenience myself to show my interest.
Fast forward to the early years of our marriage, and my attitude changed. I couldn’t be bothered to run an errand down the street.
That change in behavior is common to most relationships, and it illustrates my point: love isn’t self-sustaining. One study showed that the average married couple spent an hour a week in connecting moments. Men and women involved in an affair, on the other hand, spent an average of 15 hours a week engaging one another.
The idea that love naturally stays alive on its own is one of the greatest myths about relationships. Couples think their love will naturally take care of itself while they focus their attention toward other areas of life, like work, the kids, time with friends, and church activities.
If you really want a healthy and vibrant marriage, invest in it. Like so many other areas in life, it’s the little things that make a marriage relationship successful.