Marriage is great. But the increasing number of divorces and separations are not healthy for children. My experience is that most of these separations and divorced are avoidable. Let me explain.
The most common source of problems in relationships is that the couple misinterpreted their mutual feelings of attraction as love. This normally results in the couple trying to keep up appearances after the attraction fades, and wondering where the love went.
It is important to know that attraction is an emotional feeling that fades over time, while love is a promise that has nothing to do with attraction. Love is a promise to do 4 things. For the man:
1. To accept everything that he knows and does not know about her now.
2. To accept her regardless of what happens in the unknown future as they both age - for better or worse, richer or poorer, sickness or health for as long as they shall live. Even if she is later disfigured by an accident or crippled by illness, he promises now to accept her.
3. To forgive her later. Since neither of them is perfect, they depend on each others’ forgiveness.
4. To encourage her to improve. This 4th one gives purpose to their relationship - otherwise it will get boring.
If they are both ready to make and keep these promises to each-other, then they are ready to love. When they keep them, they demonstrate their love for each-other. After they formally make their promises at their wedding, they complete or consummate their promises with sexual intercourse. Every time that they subsequently have sexual intercourse, they reinforce their promises – it is truly a wonderful and mutually satisfying experience.
The problem is that if they have sexual intercourse before making their promises, then he shows her that he is capable of justifying forsaking her for a younger and shapelier rival when she get older. If he is able to restrain himself when his attraction for her is at its highest, then he shows her that he is capable of resisting the rival that will inevitably come.
Source: Attraction is a feeling. Love is a Promise. by Grenville Phillips, president of Walbrent College (Loveisapromise.wordpress.com)