But the more that you can anticipate friction beforehand, the more proactively you can work to resolve it and have a plan for how to keep it from wrecking your relationship.

But eventually, our own habits may remain what we're most comfortable with — and if our partner's style continues to be quite different, what used to be enticing may turn downright annoying. How do we individually and collectively handle stress?

What's your partner like when they're stuck in traffic? When they haven't had enough sleep, when their parent has a health scare, when they get an exorbitant parking ticket, or when they have to call customer service for a defective product?

But in other cases, the early warnings of potential friction were there all along, in the form of personality conflicts or day-to-day incompatibility.

If you are thinking of committing for life — or even just living together — it may be very helpful to contemplate some of the issues that can frequently drive a wedge in long-term relationships.

Even the deepest love can't prevent certain conflicts over decades of living together: It's how you anticipate those conflicts and how you're willing to work on them that will determine whether your marriage can go the distance. What differences do I love now but may find grating in five years?

The irony of passionate romantic love is sometimes the qualities that are most different from us are the very things that can draw us most intensely to a partner.

Will you consider it a betrayal if your wife spills everything about your sexual intimacy problems to her best friend?

Are you okay with a husband who asks his mother for marital advice?

Maybe his spontaneity is exciting, since you tend to live by an itinerary.

Maybe her willingness to ditch responsibilities for a mental health day is refreshing, when you've typically worked even when you have the flu.

Sure, problems with substance abuse and gambling can crop up unexpectedly in a marriage, as we sometimes see when new casinos come to town.