"When Ulysses was traveling to the island of the Sirens, he knew that he would go mad when he heard the voices of the women on the rocks. He also learned that the insanity would be temporary, lasting until he could get out of earshot. he didn't want to do something while temporarily insane that would have permanent bad consequences. So he put wax in the ears of his sailors, tied himself to the mast, and told his men to keep him on course no matter what he yelled.
What can keep marriages together during the rough patches? The vows. A public oath, made to the world keeps you 'tied to the mast' until your mind clears and you begin to understand things better. It keeps you in the relationship when your feelings flag, and flag they will."
Timothy Keller, The Meaning of Marriage
You can read another good quote from this same book on my other blog.