"If the old fairy-tale ending "They lived happily
ever after" is taken to mean "They felt for the next fifty years exactly as they
felt the day before they were married," then it says what probably never was nor
ever would be true, and would be highly undesirable if it were.
Who could bear
to live in that excitement for even five years? What would become of your work,
your appetite, your sleep, your friendships? But, of course, ceasing to be "in
love" need not mean ceasing to love.
Love in this second sense-love as distinct
from "being in love"is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by
the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by (in Christian
marriages) the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God.
have this love for each other even at those moments when they do not like each
other; as you love yourself even when you do not like yourself.
They can retain
this love even when each would easily, if they allowed themselves, be "in love"
with someone else. "Being in love" first moved them to promise fidelity: this
quieter love enables them to keep the promise. It is on this love that the
engine of marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it."