This article reports on a recent study which drew the conclusion that unrealistically idealization of one's partner is correlated to higher marital satisfaction over the first three years of a first marriage.
They suggested that people may either distort their actual perception of their partner to more closely fit the concept of their ideal partner or they have adjust their concept of an ideal partner to match the qualities of their current partner.
Either of these possibilities are interesting.
But what is important here, as it always is, is that these data are correlations....so there is no determining the causation. The authors state that one alternate possibility is that people who are simply in more stable and satisfying relationships tend to have an idealized perception of their partner; thus, the causation flips from the headline which suggest that, as long as you force yourself to idealize your partner you'll have a happier marriage.
As always, my critical thinking and curious mind asks: how does this differ, if at all, when taking into account length of courtship and/or whether or not the couple was living together prior to marriage. I expect that the trajectory of Chris' and my was different when we first started living together versus what it will be following the wedding.