A woman I know once explained why she's been happily married for 25 years.
"A relationship has its ups and downs," she told me.
On another occasion I read something she'd written and offered feedback and praise. Because deep, intimate love emanates from knowledge and giving, it comes not overnight but over time ― which nearly always means after marriage.
The intensity many couples feel before marrying is usually great affection boosted by commonality, chemistry, and anticipation.
You can care for, respond to, and respect another only as deeply as you know him or her.
The effect of genuine, other-oriented giving is profound.
Jill Murray (author of writes that if someone mistreats you while professing to love you, remember: "Love is a behavior." A relationship thrives when partners are committed to behaving lovingly through continual, unconditional giving ― not only saying, "I love you," but showing it.
True giving, as Erich Fromm points out, is other-oriented, and requires four elements.
The first is care, demonstrating active concern for the recipient's life and growth.
These may be the seeds of love, but they have yet to sprout.
On the wedding day, emotions run high, but true love should be at its lowest, because it will hopefully always be growing, as husband and wife give more and more to each other.