Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Marriage in the Later Years
posted by Michele Olson
Are you a younger married person wondering if love can last?
Take heart says author Maggie Scarf, age 77, who has spent more than 30 years studying relationships. Married for 55 years to her husband Herb Scarf, a Yale professor, she has done the research and is living it out.
Her new book, September Songs, contains a U shaped curve. It illustrates how studies over the past 40 years show that contentment is at its highest in the earliest phase of marriage. Then you get to know each others faults and idiosyncrasies. Kids come along, you lose sleep, you want the other person to do more, and life ceases to be as shiny. While raising adolescents your sense of well-being can plummet further.
Next it's the empty nest ...and when embraced... it is possible for your sense of well-being, contentment and time for intimacy to go up. You can rediscover the person you once knew.
Her book is based on interviews with 75 couples, all older than 50 and married 20 years or more. She addresses contentment, sex lives and how people get better with age.
So if you're in those early years and wondering...is it worth it...there are many couples out there who would like you to know, yes, it is.
What stage of marriage are you in?
Tell us your story.