At some point in a marriage, when infatuation evaporates, reality kicks in and the person who was supposed to be perfect for you turns out to be a huge disappointment, divorce or the possibility of it is a very real thing that many couples have seriously considered. The pain of staying together may appear to be greater than walking away. Some couples cross the breaking point and become stronger than ever, while others can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel and call it quits.

Statistics show that in the U.S., 50 percent of first marriages, 67 percent of second, and 73 percent of third marriages end in divorce. In other words, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Hard work, open communication and most importantly commitment are key to a loving and healthy long term relationship. Most marriages are savable if people are truly committed when they say ‘I do.” High profile celebrity breakups and subsequent new romances with younger and more attractive partners have glamorized a very painful life experience such as divorce. I used to watch the show “Say Yes to the Dress’ and kept on thinking that it’d be really sad if people were willing to spend more time and energy searching for the right dress than fixing marital issues after the ceremony.

A marriage commitment is similar to a pledge or promise between two married persons. When you are committing to the other person through marriage, it means that you are willing to give up or sacrifice everything for the sake of the marriage. Sounds pretty old fashioned, right? Commitment is old-fashioned and yet it is a critical ingredient to a lasting union.

My grand parents married very young in an arranged marriage. They had eight children together but three didn’t survive. Grandpa didn’t drink and smoke. He gave most of his pay to Grandma to run the household. A good man by the standard of his day or even today. Grandma and Grandpa dealt with conflicts by yelling or throwing things. Grandpa had an explosive temper. Grandma often times ignored him when he lost his temper. Whenever Grandma got really mad, Grandpa would stop uttering a word and quietly leave the scene. Grandma took the traditional role of taking care of the children and her husband, making his favorite dishes and daily nutritious herbal drinks. Divorce was never an option to them even though the emotional connection was almost nonexistent.

Being committed isn’t merely the willpower to stay together no matter how tough things get, it also means being honest with regards to your feelings and emotions to your spouse. True and full commitment entails love, compassion, understanding, honesty and acceptance.

Some people justify a breakup by declaring, “I still love him, but I’m no longer in love.” Falling in love invokes such powerful feelings that it can be additive. My advice is if you are addicted to the infatuation of love, try to fall in love with the same man over and over again. It’s possible if you believe nobody stays the same over time. So you’ll be falling in love with a slightly different version of the same person. When I wrote my love story in LET GO and recalled how hard Joe and I tried to build a life and home together, I realized that we were meant to be together for as long as we live.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post that used physics laws as an analogy. Being a physicist, Joe disapproved and advised me to pull the post off because the analogy was ‘embarrassingly incorrect.” I followed him and asked him to explain to me the differences between Newton’s laws and Quantum physics. Joe reclined on the bed and started a lengthy explanation enthusiastically. I climbed onto the bed and sat with my back towards the edge. Every few seconds, Joe would wrap his hand around my waist with a gentle warning “Don’t lean back, you are going to fall off the bed.” As I listened, memories of the days when Joe tutored me on physics flooded my mind. I was reminded once again why and how I fell in love with this strangely interesting man whom I’ve been married to for 25 years.