Q: Some people say love fades after marriage, others say it grows. What do you think?

That’s a great question. The answer is, it does neither, it transforms.

The love we feel at the beginning of a relationship is hot and passionate. It’s an adventure. You’re learning about each other. Marriage is the point where we ride off into the sunset.

Then the sun comes up. Passion seems to fade as the realities of children, taxes, and mundane life in general gets in the way. After a while, it can be hard to reconcile yourself with the lack of the same excitements you had when you first got together.

You, as an individual, will change as you age. And when you age with someone you love, your feelings for each other will mature as well.

It’s love that makes your spouse try to do dishes, even if they do it “wrong.” It’s love that turns you on even if you and your spouse aren’t the “sexy beasts” you used to be. You realize it in the little things your spouse does just for you, without you asking. You see it as the two of you steal a quiet moment after the kids are asleep, or in the knowing glance two of you share when you think the same thing.

The transformed love may appear to be less because it’s not as flashy as a new one, but it’s strong and rich and worth every minute.

Kristine Overbrook, author of Creatures of the Moon