April 25, 2023

Introduction to The Marriage Project: How does love and commitment evolve over time?

About 7 years into my own marriage, I started realizing, “hey, this isn’t all roses and romance”. We had a young child, we were both working full time, and we were tired. I wondered, ‘is this the 7 year itch?’ I wasn’t eyeing other people, but the gloss of our early relationship had worn off and we were in the trenches of married life. 

I remember meeting couples who had been married for 20, 30 or 50 years and wanting to ask, “what’s the secret?”. The leap from where we were to where they were seemed VERY large. Did they know something I didn’t? I started envisioning this project then, a collection of advice and insight from couples who had weathered the storm and had something to share. 

Fast forward 7 more years. I’m a bit older and wiser, still tired, and I have some insights to share of my own. I’m working on accepting the ways in which my partner and I are different, but I’ve also come to believe that these differences are stretching me in ways that are important for my own growth. 

The other night, I was talking with my in-laws who have been married 51 years. They shared that they had recently been eating dinner with a handful of other couples, all of whom had been married longer than they had. WHAAAAAT? Immediately my “marriage” project idea came roaring back, as I imagined the collective wisdom, insight, and stories that were present at that table. However, now I’m not just interested in learning “the secret”, but I want to hear the ways in which love and commitment mature with time. Hollywood would have us believe that the secret to a long and happy marriage is finding your “soulmate” and having lots of romance and sex until you die (woo hoo!).  Is that it? (if so, we were failing miserably). In our youth, many of us get married during the honeymoon phase of our relationship. With time, as our relationships change, we’re left wondering, “wait, is this ok? Does this mean we’re not a good match? Should we go our separate ways?”. 

If any of this resonates, join me on this journey! I’m interviewing couples who have been married 5, 10, 25, 50 years or more to hear their stories. How their love has changed, how they’ve weathered storms, what tools they’ve collected, so that I (and hopefully you) can learn something about what healthy long-term relationships look like over time. I’ll be posting stories here so stay in touch!