If Romeo and Juliet hadn't died young, even those obsessed lovers would have coasted into what Details dubs a "zombie marriage"—that inevitable phase when jobs and kids take precedence over romance, and couples just go through the motions. It ends, as often as not, in divorce, but Karl Taro Greenfeld has a better idea. Instead of driving a stake through its heart, or frantic attempts at CPR, try just leaving it alone.
Think of it as not dead but comatose—in "an unconscious, protective state." Accept it for what it is, he writes, and a couple can "settle into a less anxious, more peaceful coexistence." "If I thought I had to work on my marriage, constantly take its pulse, and make sure everything was OK, I would have given up a long time ago," said one husband of 12 years. Lots of terrific marriages come out stronger on the other side, and they've spared themselves (not to speak of the kids) the agony of destroying their own union.