Recently Dr. Robin received a call from a 24-year-old man named Will, who said he was ready to get married. He had a crucial question for Dr. Robin: How important is love in a marriage?
"The bottom line is, at the end of the day, true and genuine love is all that counts," Dr. Robin says. In the context of marriage, being loved means that someone knows you, she says. "They see the things that are magnificent and great about you, and they also see your shortcomings. They invite you to come to the table with all of who you are and all of who you are not, and they embrace your journey."
Dr. Robin says if love is not at the foundation of your relationship, don't get married. "If you stand at the alter and you take vows saying you are going to love someone with all of your heart, body and mind, but you don't want to be there, then not only are you going to hurt that person but you are going to hurt them a lot more after you say 'I do,' when you start pulling away from them."
The exhilaration of being in love is necessary, but you need a foundation built on true love in order to sustain your relationship over time, Dr. Robin says. "It requires that you really know what your own needs are, what your own interests are," Dr. Robin says. "Love is essential in a marriage if it is to be worth your love, your time and your energy."