Member Rara Avis
Red, one of the questions you asked in your initial post was "Is it possible to be happy with ONE person for the rest of your life??" And, interestingly, I think you answered that question yourself in another thread, in another forum.
Yes, it's possible to be happy with one person for the rest of your life. But only, I think, if that one person is yourself!
There are a lot of reasons, I think, why a relationship fails - so anything I say is just generalities. But I also think a very large part of the reason many relationships fail is because people become disillusioned. They think the relationship - the other person - should be responsible for making them happy. I know so many people that go from one relationship to another, one bed to another, with never a moment in between. I know almost as many that won't even think of leaving a relationship until they have someone else to replace the one they're leaving. They can't seem to even imagine the concept of actually being alone, of not being part of a relationship. I'll bet you know a lot of those people, too.
I think there are a lot of prerequisites for a good marriage. You have to sincerely like the other person as a friend, and respect them as a person. You have to be willing to work at the relationship. And all the other things already touched upon in this thread. But I think the very first prerequisite for a relationship is that you have to like yourself first! If you aren't happy alone, you won't be happy with another person - because you are still there.
One of the points you made in your post was about infidelity, and I think it relates directly to what I'm trying to say. People don't play around because it's a biological need - either for men or women. They play around because, for some, it's a psychological need. They need that continued sense of conquest, that feeling that someone would actually "want" them, to bolster their own ego. They need the reassurance. "I must be an okay person," they say subconsciously, "Because this other person wants to be with me." The new relationship, the conquest, makes them feel good about themselves. For a little while. But the sad part is, if they need an external confirmation of their self-worth then they're going to need it again and again and again.
I know Faye well enough through her poetry and correspondence to say she's a strong woman, confident in her own self-worth, which is bolstered even more through her strong faith. I strongly suspect her husband is the same, and I'm sure Poet deVine's parents were equally strong. I know my own parents, together for 45 years, were like that.
I personally don't think another person can ever make you happy. Happy comes from you. One of the biggest problems in our society is the result of expecting marriage to make us happy. When it doesn't, we blame the marriage. And we leave, usually only to find another marriage that still doesn't make us happy. As long as a person insists on finding happiness through a relationship they are doomed to disappointments. Only when they discover happiness within themselves can they be happy with another.
And the best part is - that kind of happiness really can last forever!