michael andrew (06.12.08, 12:57 AM): hey heather...I dont think anyone took it that way. I deleted a comment from someone else....its all good, we are all cool. Thank you for contributing!

Heather Odom (06.11.08, 10:48 PM): I just wanted to apologize if I was disrespectful. I promise you that was not my intent. Now that I've gone back and read my comment I can see where some of my wording could have been taken that way. The "use your brain" was not directed to anyone in particular, I promise! I was just making a general statement about anyone who strays. I physically have a lump in my throat and a sick feeling in my stomach thinking that I may have stirred up something. That is not my nature at all. I was just giving my opinion and it came out wrong. I'm very sorry!

Laura (06.11.08, 2:58 PM): I completely believe that you have to be completely committed with every inch of your being because you want it to work. There are so many moments not only in my relationship, but others' relationships when the easy way out is to quit. You can't marry the one you can live with but the one you cannot live with out. The one that you can't imagine one day without. There are days when your significant other or spouse will look absolutely awful, be completely awful and your relationship will feel completely awful, but just like life, all things must pass. By this I mean all difficult times will pass and the good times will come again in a relationship so you need to fight your way through the tough times and truly swim and relish in the wonderful times. Life is too short to worry about the petty things... believe me, I know.... I am a 2 time cancer survivor and if having cancer at the ages of 16 and 22 years old, it has taught me that I shouldn't take 1 day for granted, that I shouldn't take my life, my husband, my 7 month old son, and every fleeting happy moment in life for granted. I consider having cancer twice as a blessing because it taught me how to truly love and to truly live. Besides, the tough times make you truly cherish and appreciate the wonderful times. I wish I could answer the question as to why people fall in love, but I can't... I am a fighter by nature and I will fight to the end for my marriage and the amazingly wonderful life my husaband and I have together.

michael andrew (06.11.08, 4:25 AM): Great comments everyone...thank you for taking the time to write- such awesome insight, especially for someone who isnt married. Just trying to make a conscious effort to have these core values at the foundation of the relationship Id like to have one day, because I know I see it in different vision as a single guy. PS-Please be respectful when leaving comments, I have an open post system and would prefer to leave it that way, but can shut it down instantly if I need to. I want my blog to be positive and open, without anyone feeling the threat of being made uncomfortable for taking a chance and speaking their minds respectfully. Thanks again!

Tracy (06.10.08, 11:14 PM): Heather, I love you comment and I totally agree. One thing that I feel to add is that when you make a commitment to each other, its just that a commitment. I have only been married 4 years but in those 4 years a lot has happened to make me think long and hard what I want and if I have it. Only when I stopped thinking about myself and realized what my husband does for me that no other man I dated could do and I worked hard to let him know I appreciated him did I realize how great my marriage is. Mike I think you are on the right track with needing a deep respect and trust for your partner but we also have to quit being so selfish. Once I put my husband before myself, did I realize that everyday he does the same. That realization adds an amazing spark to a relationship.

Heather Odom (06.10.08, 7:57 PM): I can't tell you why couples fall out of love. I'd be lying if I tried to come up with an answer. I do think I can give some insight on how to have a successful lasting relationship. Granted, my husband and I have only been married for 12 years not 50 or 60 but there isn't a doubt in mind that we won't get there. We have something that a lot of married couples these days don't rely on. We put our faith in the Lord and we've dedicated our marriage, lives, children and family to him. I'm not saying that every day is easy but we made a commiment to each other that we'd trust the Lord with every aspect of our lives and we know it's his will that we are together. Scott, I've got to disagree with you that every man is wired to stray. God did not wire men or women that way. Yes, he designed our bodies and we all have certain needs but I think he made it pretty clear that "straying" was not an option. Our bodies are designed in way that once it's going in a certain direction, it's suppose to finish. So.....use your brain and some wisdom and if your not with your married partner, don't allow yourself to even start. My grandparents were married for 64 years before my granddad passed away this past Feb. They were not apart a single day except for the 2 years he served in WWII. How did they make it? They made their marriage a priority up until the end and they prayed together EVERY single night! Noone can tell me that marriage with love can't last a lifetime......I've seen it with my own eyes!

Gary (06.10.08, 4:23 PM): In my humble opinion, I think this has alot to do with our present day society. We like the new, contentment is a thing of the past, we need constantly to be entertained and get bored quickly. Why stick it out and try to find the deeper underlying issues, no, we prefer to trade up or cash out. No longer is the word LOVE mean that you and your mate have to bust your humps through this crazy roller coaster ride of life. In my view you only know what love is after you have gone through enough together and still come through at the end of the day, a much stronger individual and couple. Happiness is only real when shared.

B (06.10.08, 2:06 PM): Amen Kathy!

Kathy (06.10.08, 12:36 PM): It's not complicated. Ephesians 5:22-33 gives the perfect explanation of what it takes to have the healthy and happy marriage that God created us for. :)

B (06.10.08, 12:23 PM): My opinion is you also need a common goal (short and long term) -- if you have your sites set on only today then what kind of security does that offer. Knowing that you are both working on getting to the same place (end goal) can bring some 'trust" or security. If you have the same short/long terms goals in common then individually as well as as a couple you have something to continue to work on.

Melissa (06.10.08, 12:12 PM): Sorry, Scott...I must've been replying as you were...

Melissa (06.10.08, 12:10 PM): Nope...real, reciprocal conversations...for which I am thankful. And really, my reply was only using my own relationship as an example (albeit rambling) for the point I was attempting to make.

Scott Roeben (06.10.08, 12:04 PM): Oh, and did you get her number?

Scott Roeben (06.10.08, 12:04 PM): Relationships are interesting. I guess I'd say that until people are mature (especially challenging in the case of guys), in other words in their forties, I think the question is how do people NOT fall out of love? I think longterm, monogamous relationships are actually unnatural, so it takes maturity (and the accompanying decline in hormones) for them to have any chance of success. I think the key to relationships is that it's a mutual agreement to have a relationship and make it work. Once one of the parties decides that's not the mutual goal, there's no saving it. No license or ring or societal pressure is going to make a relationship work. The ugly truth that nobody really talks about is that men and woman are so different, it's all kind of a pretense. Men aren't made to be monogamous, or married, but they try, and then everyone's shocked when a man strays (does that he's born and evolved to do), especially if it's a religious leader or politician. Longterm, monogamous relationships are, by their nature, designed to fail, which makes the ones that last all the more remarkable. My two (rambling) cents. And, yes, my significant other often just says, "Huh, aha, interesting."

Melissa (06.10.08, 8:12 AM): I would say that one of the most important concepts for a long lasting relationship is valuing, communicating about, and meeting needs (and having those needs met). For instance, I have a need to be able to talk about things (the good, bad, and ugly)...and at the same time, I need feedback. If my husband is everything (else) I'd ever dreamed of in a husband, but doesn't talk to me & give me feedback (actual "having listened" feedback), then the relationship would eventually fall apart. (FTR, I'm quite fortunate in that I'm able to communicate a need & my husband is attuned & sensitive enough to meet it). He also has needs that I should meet. Ideally, it's a two-way street. And KNOWING that is a good-sized chunk of the battle. Doing something about it is the other big chunk. Anyway, that's a long, ramble. But I wonder if your new friend's fiancee somehow quit meeting her needs (because of distance or for whatever reason) and though she couldn't put her finger on it, this is the reason the relationship ended. The other thing is that relationships get comfortable and no work is put into keeping a spark. People often think that relationships just "happen" and are able to stay afloat without any maintenance. Maybe that's true for some...but for most, I would say that a good relationship is like a machine...to keep running efficiently and smoothly, it requires frequent maintenance. Okay, now, ramble off. :)

kjersti (06.10.08, 4:08 AM): There are also times when people do not fall out of love and things still end. I spent thirteen years in a relationship that brought so much joy into my life. I believe our relationship worked during those years, because I was right brain dominant and he was left brain dominant. It kept a nice balance and it kept things interesting. I grew, because I learned to see and solve things differently. He learned to let go and take chances. There was equal give and take. There has never been anything better than having had a true partner and one that could still catch my eye even after 13 yrs. We never stopped dating each other during those years. There was one belief we differed on. We were always aware of it, but hoped it wouldn't matter. One day it is all that mattered and things came to a close. When I ask people who have been married for 30+ years how they do it, the woman always gives a long beautiful answer and then the man leans over and typically states that they just make sure the woman always thinks she is right :-)

Jason (06.10.08, 3:16 AM): Those who remain more sensitive to their partners needs than there own can enjoy long lasting relationships. But that can last only so long if it is one-sided. A key component also would be value. You need to value the relationship AND value your partner. It is possible to value the relationship but not your partner, (and vice-versa), and then all hell breaks loose!!