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Fall In Love Like A Romance WriterBy Amelia Grey
I'm a 'wouldn't it be wonderful if and a happily-ever-after' kind of girl, a true believer in lasting love and keeping romance alive through courtship, careers, children, and retirement. And I'm living that American Dream right now. My husband and I married when he was nineteen and I was a mere eighteen years old. Right from the start, our youth put three strikes against us staying together for any length of time. But over thirty-five years and counting, we're still happily married.
I never thought much about this until recently when we were approaching another anniversary. Friends and family members kept asking me, "How have you made your marriage work for so long and still be so happily married?"
My answer has never changed. "We grew together rather than apart."
The question was so frequently asked that I found myself pondering what my answer really meant. How had we managed to live together so long and with relatively few bumps in the road?
Immediately words like respect, compromise, patience, understanding, love, and encouragement came to mind. All of these reflected our devotion to each other. But those were followed just as quickly by words like anger, despair, ambivalence, confusion and grief. Through the years my husband and I have experienced all these good and bad emotions and many more. Most of them more than once, but we've never allowed them to weight us down or tear us apart. Even when our differences of opinions seemed impossible to overcome, we never gave up and called it quits. We talked and found a way to reconcile them and move on.
In my book Fall In Love Like A Romance Writer I asked sixty-seven of America's bestselling romance authors who write about fictional love every day, to write for me their secrets to a long and lasting love. Let me share some of the highlights from that book with you. I'm sure you'll recognize all these names of these wonderful authors
1) Susan Anderson writes: Luck plays a part in any marriage but I think a sense of humor and a willingness to communicate assume more important roles. If you recognize the absurdity of a situation and refuse to take yourself too seriously or to think that yours is the only opinion that counts, chances are that more disagreements than not will stay out of that no-win territory where you find yourself defending a position not particularly worthy of a defense.
2) Galen Foley writes: People usually associate romance novels first and foremost with passion, but in truth, passion is worthless, even destructive if it's for someone you don't respect or can't trust. Trust and respect can't be given blindly in life or in romance fiction... Whenever I start to get aggravated by little things, I just stop for a second and imagine how I'd feel if I lost him. That puts everything into perspective within about two seconds.
3) Jean Brasher writes: We refused to give up: we didn't run when things got dicey. Life is hard; marriage is a challenge. A long love affair needs a special, private, safe place to grow and blossom. Creating that space is, I believe with my heart, both the joy and the most sacred duty of a marriage.
4) Cathy Maxwell writes: Lasting love. The love we all profess to desire. How does one measure it or define it? I may not understand how love is mastered, but I do know it's worth the risk.
5) Robyn Carr writes: Looking back over the decades while we've clung fearfully and a little helplessly to the commitment, the compromise, et cetera--at the end of the day, one of us will always crack wise. It lightens the load. Because there is always a load. Life is hard; relationships are complex. Love is a mystery. Family life can be a minefield. And maybe laughter is the best medicine of all.
6) Kasey Michaels writes: You need to remember the love. Always remember the love even when real life gives it to you on the chin. It's still the love that comes first, the love that endures, the love that gets you through.
7) Laura Lee Guhrke writes: When you write romance, you have to put in the grand, sweeping gestures and the passionate declarations, but in real life, true love sneaks up on you, catches you when you're not looking and teaches you things you didn't even know you needed to learn.
8) Linda Lael Miller writes: The essential element of romance is trust. Anything less is dysfunctional, to put it in the kindest possible way. In real life, the best marriages are between two strong people who are in the relationship by choice. They are willing to trust each other and ride out the rough water.
9) Joan Johnston: I think the key to a good, long-lasting, happy marriage is thoughtfulness. With a thoughtful person sleeping on the other side of the bed, you know your partner is carry9ing his share of the load and more whenever he can, because he cares enough about you to want to lighten the load.
10) Ciji Ware writes: We try to pay attention to the important stuff, release the trivial, strive to share common interest, and revel in the fact that there is always something to talk about that matters to both of us. And that's because we still matter. We never lost sight of the essential qualities that drew us together in the first place.
As you can see there are many reasons love and marriage can last through the years and not every reason works for every couple, but I do think that both have to want to make the love last and then work at making it happen.
Please visit my website at ameliagrey.com to see a complete list of the fabulous sixty-seven authors featured in Fall In Love Like A Romance Writer. The book is on sale in the Relationship Section of your favorite local or online bookstore. I'm giving away two free copies! Please email me ameliagrey.com and let me know if you want to be entered in a contest to win one of two copies of Fall In Love Like A Romance Writer.
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