Note: Apparently these postings are getting closer to bi-weekly rather than weekly. Haven't given up on that weekly goal, though!
I like to watch long-married couples interact with each other. Couples who've spent decades riding the same roller coaster of life develop
It takes perseverance to keep at anything for a long haul. I admire those whose achievements demonstrate such dedication - successful athletes, business entrepreneurs, missionaries, artists - even if I don't particularly like the individuals or their methods. And "like" is really a key word. An athlete may not always like having to practice, entrepreneurs and missionaries may not like the rejections that come with the territory, and artists may not like that not everyone values their talents. They endure because the results matter to them. Surely it's a similar drive that keeps an until-death-do-us-part relationship intact through times when the pair just doesn't like each other - because ultimately they matter to each other.
My parents are good role models for enduring relationships. They grew up during the Great Depression, and raised their children with a mix of old-fashioned (kids in playpens!) and ahead-of-their-time (no such thing as "boy chores" and "girl chores") parenting. They don't always agree with each other. They've had their share of disappointments; they have some regrets about missed opportunities, and they appreciate how they've benefited from some decisions made without researching potential outcomes. They've shared some incredible adventures. They look out for each other, accommodate each other's quirks, listen to stories they've repeated to each other dozens of times. They can still make each other laugh, or hit the other's hot buttons.
If perfect means never having issues with each other, then their relationship isn't perfect. But it is real. At the end of the day, even a day when they may not like each other, they understand each other as no one else ever will. There's no quick ride to rewards like that.