… as opposed to “happily ever after”.
Hollywood, fairy tales, and romance (erotic) novels have created an unrealistic expectation in peoples’ minds. Such expectations are a set up for constant disappointment and discouragement, this is what kills relationships.
You know why “happily ever after” is impossible? Because happiness is a fleeting emotion, and emotions come and go. Secondly, it is an impossibly heavy burden to ask your partner to keep you happy every single second for the rest of your life.
The concept of maintaining satisfaction in a relationship is more practical. “I am not satisfied” is much easier to fix than “I am not happy” because satisfaction can be evaluated and achieved in concrete terms while happiness is abstract and subjective. Thinking in terms of satisfaction, the two people would examine their needs and create reasonable expectations of what is “satisfactory”. Once needs and expectations are clearly communicated, it is much easier to reach and maintain the sense of satisfaction.
Similar to the way companies conduct customer satisfaction research, couples should routinely check in with their spouse/partner to make sure needs are being satisfied.