A family member once asked me if marriage gets better or worse with time. I immediately said, “Better.” Then I thought about my answer.
According to National Center for Health Statistics 2010 report, about 35 percent of all marriages end in divorce before the10-year mark.
In her May 2010 New York Times blog post, “The Science of a Happy Marriage,” Tara Parker-Pope explored commitment and fidelity in long-term relationships. She wrote, “…It may not be feelings of love or loyalty that keep couples together. Instead, scientists speculate that your level of commitment may depend on how much a partner enhances your life and broadens your horizons…”
A simple “secret”
In other words, if you want to feel connected to your partner, try new things together. A strong connection will ultimately keep the spark alive. This simple concept made total sense to me.
For the most part, my husband and I have different interests. He loves golf, while I prefer biking or shopping. Like many couples we work fulltime; and one of us has been taking graduate classes during the entire length of our marriage. In short, we didn’t always make spending time together a priority. About three years ago, my husband and I made a decision that would change our relationship for the better. We set a goal to get into shape and live a healthier lifestyle.
Thankfully, our new goal led us to take up hiking, an activity that is mostly free and doesn’t require much natural athletic ability.
We climbed Mount Monadnock in New Hampshire a few weeks ago. Hiking forces us to spend several hours together without the distraction of cell phones, internet or television. Because we have to pay close attention to our surroundings, as some places and paths can be dangerous, we are forced to live in the moment. Since we really talk and listen to each other while hiking, we’ve grown closer. The physical challenge is also rewarding to us both.
read the entire article in the Aug., 2011 edition of South Coast Insider at http://issuu.com/coastalmags/docs/sci_aug11