22nd October 1945

With someone so young and vulnerable we are naturally afraid of being too interfering or dominant. (I more so than Ralph, I think.) Or should I for once say what I really believe, that love is far the most important thing in life, a stronger, potentially more permanent and all-pervading force than the wildest of girlhood dreams suggests. People talk, out of a sort of prudery, as if it vanished entirely after five or six years of marriage, and only an affable, humdrum relation was left, enabling couples to jog along pretty well if they allowed each other plenty of freedom. But it needn’t be like that at all. It’s a hopeless failure if it is. After twenty years together one can be in a sense just as deeply in love as ever one was. Love doesn’t simply fade away like ‘old soldiers’; it changes its character, naturally, and matures, but its depth and richness can be as great as ever.

—Frances Partridge

Sarah Gristwood, Recording Angels: The Secret World of Women’s Diaries (1988)

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