Beliefnet
Doing Life Together

Shappy coupleIt’s exciting watching young couples in love. Their desire and love for one another is infectious. But those of us who have been married for quite awhile have some advice when it comes to keeping love alive and making it through what has been termed, “gray divorce.” Yes, more people are divorcing later in life than ever before, but this doesn’t have to be.

When the romantic spark is over, we all know relationships take work. But work doesn’t have to be some arduous thing. In fact, “the work”  has to do with your likes and interests.

I came to marriage with a love of the theatre. I married someone who had never been exposed to theatre. But once he was, he too developed a love for it and we share that love and interest today.

At the time, we didn’t know that we were doing something simple to make our love last: Sharing each others’ interests.  But this is one of the secrets to make love last.

Even when you aren’t particularly interested in something your spouse likes, get interested. The willingness to share and engage goes a long way to keeping marital friendship alive and well. And friendship is one of the building blocks of intimacy. I did this with soccer. Never liked it much, but I married a college soccer player who grew up loving to play and watch soccer. So, I developed an interest in the game. And while it is not my favorite sport, we have gone to professional games and share the interest.

Right now, take a brief inventory. Has your husband wanted you to learn to play golf because he loves it and you don’t? I suggest that you get golf lessons and give it a try. Or maybe your love for art isn’t sitting well with your husband. Take him to a gallery and ask him to open his mind to something new. Try things together and find areas of common interest that you can develop together. It will go a long way to keeping love alive.

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