Sorry romantics, but love alone is not enough. Nor is a steadfast commitment to staying together when love is absent or one-sided—that’s just a recipe for a lifetime of misery.

Ultimately, marriage is about relating, and the key to forging a successful, lasting bond is knowing before you tie the knot how you and your partner relate when you’re not in courtship mode, and that means getting a handle on how you handle challenges together. If you’ve gone through some rough spots while dating and come out stronger, that’s a good indication your marriage will survive.

But no one likes to be tested, and how do you check someone’s challenge response without intentionally introducing trouble?


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