You know (or maybe you don't), I'm a cynic when it comes to love. Most of the time, I think it's just raging hormones, or some kind of delusional hysteria that seizes people and makes them crazy for a while. Sooner or later, my cynical self thinks, it's going to wear off, and then there will be hell to pay.
But, when it works, it's great. My mom and dad have been married for 60 years. I don't know if that's because they love each other, or because they're stubborn. My dad won't divorce my mom because he doesn't want to split the assets; my mom won't divorce my dad because she wouldn't have anyone to torment. I don't know...They might really love each other. I hope they do. Otherwise, why live under the same roof?
I have many friends who have been married for a coon's age (a little southernism there!), but I also know people who have been divorced just as long. Take me, for example. I've been divorced longer than I was married. I liked being married, but I like being single, too.
My observations about other peoples' relationships put me off. I listen to my friends talk about their relationships--he doesn't put the toilet lid down; she won't let me go out with my buds; he's a tacky dresser; she's too flirtatious. I throw my hands up. Who am I to give relationship advice? But I will say this--anyone who goes into a relationship thinking he/she can change the other person is delusional. Any behaviorist will tell you that a person has to want to change; we can't make that person change. "If you loved me, you'd..." No. It doesn't work that way.
For example, people in the throes of an addiction will not give up that addiction until they are ready. Love has nothing to do with it. Your partner might love you more than you know, but s/he won't give up alcohol for you and that love because s/he can't--until s/he's ready. Likewise, a person who likes to spend more money than his/her significant other makes won't stop, even if the other cuts up the credit cards. A compulsive spender will find a way--until s/he decides to stop.
It's taken me my entire adult life to figure this out. I'm not sure I could apply it within the confines of a relationship. Knowing something intellectually and applying it practically are two different things. I can sit in my nice little house feeling smug, but, to tell the truth, I'm positive I'm no different from anyone else.
Probably the reason I have cats...
For my dear friends who married today, long life and long love to you. I have faith that you'll be two of the lucky ones.