Marriage is NOT about Love

I spend a lot of time thinking about marriage—my own marriage, other people’s marriages, and cultural attitudes about marriage. I’ve learned many things on this journey. But, I’ve reached one conclusion that may sound odd possibly even startling. Marriage is NOT about love. 

As it pertains to marriage, maybe Tina Turner’s song title “ What’s Love Got to Do With It?” captures the point best. The answer as it pertains to marriage is mostly “very little”. 

Many centuries ago, Virgil, the greatest Roman poet wrote “Love conquers all things, so we too shall yield to love.” Was Virgil ever married? Nope.

My wife and I speak around the country on growing a successful marriage using my Marriage ROCKS model. I’ve read countless books on the topic of marriage. I’ve counseled many couples on how to move their marriages to a better level. My wife and I lead the marriage enrichment ministry at the local church that we attend. I’ve lead national marriage initiatives. I speak to community marriage initiatives—as I’ll be doing later this month in Atlanta. So, for me, there is no question that helping married couples discover one another and God in their relationship is part of my DNA.

Here’s how the process unfolds…

Two people fall in love. The romantic fervor is intoxicating. They feel awesome—on top of the world. Their bond is inseparable, at least that’s how they feel. They want to experience that forever. At some point, many of these couples decide that they should marry and spend the rest of their lives together to have nonstop access to this fountain of bliss. 

It all sounds so good until…

Five Ways the Road Warrior Can Protect the Family

I travel a lot. Some may say “too much”. Much of my travel is for my day job doing pharmaceutical market research. I fly around the country interviewing healthcare professionals and patients on behalf of my clients. I also travel for what I call my “passion portfolio”. This entails speaking for Marriage ROCKS workshops or other leadership and family seminars  and conferences.

While both my wife, Dalia and I conduct many of our relationship workshops together, for most of my travel I am on the road alone.

In some ways I like to travel. I like visiting new cities, meeting new people, and eating at different restaurants. And, what traveler doesn’t like to see those frequent flier miles and free hotel nights accrue as your Elite Status is secured.

But, in other ways travel, particularly the work-related travel, can be quite mundane as you frequent the same cities repeatedly, become annoyed with flight delays and cancellations, hotel gaffes, and just generally losing track of important details happening with your family—especially if you have school-age children or grandchildren.

The road is also filled with a number of distractions and even temptations that spell danger for the unsuspecting traveler. USA Today published a a very insightful article on the perils of work-related travel on marital fidelity, “Infidelity is in the air for road warriors”. The message is clear that many feel a sense of entitlement or maybe lowered inhibitions regarding extra-marital romance when on the road. In fact, salespeople call it the the 1,000-mile rule. This “rule” noted in the USA Today article suggests that you “play by the rules and don’t fool around when you’re within 1,00 miles of your home. But, beyond this radius, do what you want.”

Amazingly, there are even websites devoted to providing clandestine accommodations for those seeking secrecy. For example, ABC News reveals the top hotels  for having an affair. Really?