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The Secret of Lasting Love

October 1, 2017 by Armin A. Zadeh

My parents-in-law had been married for fifty-two years when my father-in-law died. My wife, Denise, once asked her dad about the secret of her parents’ happy marriage. My father-in-law said: “It’s really simple. There is nothing in the world important enough to me to be worth upsetting your mother. If you find somebody who shares this attitude, you won’t have any trouble with your marriage.”

This simple but immensely profound statement expresses the key element of the art of loving: prioritizing the happiness of somebody else over other impulses we may have. It acknowledges that there are other things in life that are of interest and importance to us but makes clear that love must take priority over these matters, whatever they may be.

Unfortunately, we often let ourselves be distracted by our desire for these other things, be it success in our careers, business, hobbies, or other personal activities. While we don’t have to cease these doings altogether, we must keep them in perspective if we indeed value our relationship more than anything else. In the end, lasting love is the result of two people making the ongoing choice to prioritize their relationship over other matters. Endless love may seem elusive but it is essentially ours to have—if we really want it.

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