Six areas that need special attention if a marriage is to last a lifetime.
In her debut book, Time editor at large Luscombe has identified six different subjects she feels couples must master: “familiarity, fighting, finances, family, fooling around, and finding help.” Taking each topic in turn, the author interweaves stories of her own relationship with her husband with research and tales from other couples. This provides readers with an in-depth analysis of what works and doesn’t work in each scenario. Luscombe also sprinkles in some droll humor, which helps break up the seriousness inherent in the topic. As the author demonstrates, familiarity and fighting appear to go hand in hand. Often, we get so used to our partner that we forget what made us attracted to them in the first place. Eventually, we create a negative image and stick with it. Money is an issue regardless of whether both partners work or one works and the other stays home with the children. Luscombe notes that it’s important to address wage discrepancies and the fact that more women feel less dependent on a spouse when they earn their own income. To prevent infidelity, couples need to talk about sex, make time for it, and understand that men and women usually have different levels of desire. For those couples who need it, Luscombe recommends couples therapy; having an unbiased outsider look at a relationship’s pressure points can help move partners back onto a better path together. “People who are happily paired with another live longer and are healthier, richer, and more satisfied with their life, in the main, than people who are singles or whose relationships don’t last,” writes the author. “Their kids are more likely to thrive. They have more sex.” Using her suggestions, many couples will be able to weather the ebb and flow of their relationship and stick with it.
Though Luscombe doesn’t break much new ground in the genre, she provides informative, helpful advice on how to maintain a marriage for the long haul.