The gist of this latest research, according to this article, is that successful lifelong marriages occur where each partner finds happiness and personal fulfillment in the relationship. This seems kind of obvious to me, but it’s nice that research bears it out.
I made the same point in my recent sermon series on love and marriage: Marriage should make us happy—happier and more fulfilled than we would otherwise be. And our marriages should grow stronger, more intimate, and more fulfilling over time.
I go one step further, however: If we’re not growing closer together, and we’re not happy for an extended period of time, this is not a sign that we need to call it quits; it’s a sign that we need to get help!
Marriage is at times a struggle—just like being a disciple of Jesus Christ. In both cases, however, the end result should be happiness, fulfillment, and joy, even if the path to getting there is narrow and difficult. Anything worth having is worth a struggle.