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  • Marriage happiness and longevity... what's your advice?

  • Marriage happiness and longevity... what's your advice?

    Old 12-24-2009, 05:21 AM
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    What a challenging subject, and I have been thinking about some of the things that I have learned in this, my second marriage ... why the first one was so miserable and this one is so different ...

    The FIRST big argument we had, I was stunned to hear this wonderful man saying almost word for word what my first husband had said when he would get pushed too far.
    It was a slap in the face, and I cried, wondering just what I had gotten myself into .... I mean ... I don't cry, so you KNOW! I had just got smacked up alongside the head hard, by words ....
    When I finally got myself calmed down (with the help of a friend, who knew me better than I knew myself) ... I came to understand something about human beings, of which I am more human than most have a right to be:

    I had spent eleven years thinking that I would be a different person if the person I was married to would do something differently .... not anything specific, just .... you handled yourself poorly, so that is why I can't be the person I really think I am ... I WAS fighting a losing battle because that guy really did NOT like me .... but the battle was being lost because I didn't understand that a lot of my problems were ME!
    Thank God, I figured out that if I didn't start changing some of my attitudes and mindsets, I was going to hear those words ALOT ... because there are some people who really care, and they WILL tell you what you are doing that is bugging them or not fair to them or ungracious of you or how you are taking advantage of them .... they have to because you have pushed them to be blunt, you haven't taken the hints others have given about yourself - - people do have a way of being mirrors to who we are ....
    I cannot (nor can any human) control anything another person does, says, thinks, or feels .... even God chooses to let each of us be who we are .... but I CAN choose how I will control myself ... if each of us practiced as much control of ourselves as we try to control others ... it would almost be peace on earth!
    I remember a country song where the lady is singing that she doesn't want a man who is her twin ... DITTOES!
    I want a man (or any friend) to be who they are - - not a duplicate of me ... and, I want them to be honest .... the trick is: to be that way to others without hurting them ... and, I want them to help me be the best I can be ... I want to be able to be honest (even if I am bumbling with the truth) and not have to walk on eggshells over every little disagreement ... and I don't want people to have to tiptoe around me, either.
    And, when I ask advice? I want the TRUTH! If I am wrong, I want someone strong enough to tell me I am wrong, and where, and if I need it - - please, honey! tell me how to correct myself ... don't bail me out, don't cover it up, don't look the other way ... let's help each other be the best we can be!

    That's what it is like at our house, with our relationship ... we are not both as open, but that means I have to learn to be a little more sensitive and watchful and hubby has had to learn how to be more assertive in stating his opinion. The commitment to keep trying ... and never waivering on that commitment ... takes a lot of guts and prayer and soul searching and willingness to change some of my own personality "quirks" ... but, without it ... luck is a four letter word that really doesn't mean much in a marriage, in a family, or in relationships of any kind.
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    Old 12-24-2009, 06:00 AM
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    There are three words we have referred to most of our marriage:

    We learned the hard way, coming from two very different ways of life, to talk about everything. I have learned a great deal about the strict upbringing of DH, and he about mine - but so different! We had to talk a lot to come to an agreement on how to raise our precious girls.
    And how true that you need to drop your troubles at the bedroom door, and let the day's troubles go. The day is over, and all that is important is that your relationship be strengthened by your time together.
    As for commitment, we learned early on that sticking together is better than allowing the world to come between us. For several years, I worked in an office, coming in constant contact with men - some of whom seemed (to me) harmlessly friendly. In discussion with my DH, I listened to his advice, and was very careful about what I did and said on the job. I'm sure that saved a lot of grief in our lives.

    Oh! One other thing we learned that applies...
    Be careful if you find yourself living with parents. We at one point lost everything but our relationship. In the process of locating a new job, apartment, and getting into school for retraining, we lived with my parents for a while. It nearly tore us apart. To my shame, I slipped into the 'child' role too easily. (We were still young in our marriage.) And my DH nearly walked out. Then again, communication worked its wonders, and as we talked through the situation, we realized what was happening, I was able to make changes, and we were back on track.

    He has also made changes in his attitude... One example is his agreement to have animals in the house, even though he was raised thinking animals belong outside only - it may not seem like a concession to many of you, but for him, it has been a great hurdle!

    I have always felt he is my 'better half', and am very grateful for his love. He indulges my quilting habit, and I his fishing habit. And after nearly 30 years, we are still sweethearts.
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    Old 12-24-2009, 06:13 AM
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    Originally Posted by Maribeth
    My advice would be to laugh with your spouse every day.
    Haven't read all the posts, but my first thought about the question was one word . . . LAUGH!
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    Old 12-24-2009, 06:40 AM
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    See next post
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    Old 12-24-2009, 06:42 AM
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    Remember that your spouse is the best friend you will ever have. I agree that a good sense of humour is huge, and to be able to laugh at yourself. We all have faults, so if we can accept each others' faults, rather than be upset by them, day to day life goes by so much smoother.

    Be as patient with your spouse as you would wish them to be with you.

    Best wishes to your son and his finace for a long and happy life together!!!!

    This reply says it all. If you follow this you will be very very happy.
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    Old 12-24-2009, 07:25 AM
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    It is funny, we are both so very different, he is a homebody, an Engineer by profession, I am a adventurer and some say I should have been a gypsy, he recognizes that. We take vacations together, but I do a lot of traveling with my girlfriends, because 1st of all he is not yet able to just pick up and go anytime, because he still works full time, but he supports me 100% and never complains, when I want to go somewhere for a week or two. I use to volunteer with Red Cross and would be gone alot, usually 3 weeks at a time. Also if he had the time off from work and wanted to go, I would love for him to come along, but most of the time he is very happy at home. We don't have children and this is my second marriage and his first, but we were married in our mid 30's. I was on my own for many years before I decided to marry again, because I did not want to lose my independence and he has allowed me to keep that. Even though he is the bread winner, he never says anything about what I spend money on, and fusses when I ask if it is ok to buy something, because he trusts that I will never take advantage. We laugh a lot. We have now been married 27 years.
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    Old 12-24-2009, 07:37 AM
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    There are times when spouses tick each other off, and harsh words once uttered are nearly impossible to take back. At times when my patience is wearing thin, and I feel like snapping back, I stop and think twice before saying anything.

    We wouldn't cut loose on a stranger, why do we sometimes think it's okay to do it with someone we love and share our lives with?

    And a really big one..I mean really BIG... I learned that it really is true that you never know what tomorrow will bring...

    So don't let a day go by without saying "I Love You". :)
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    Old 12-24-2009, 08:02 AM
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    This simple advice was given to me by an older lady shortly after my marriage (34 years ago): " NEVER go to sleep or say goodbye while angry/upset with your spouse. No one knows what tomorrow will bring."
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    Old 12-24-2009, 08:02 AM
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    I recommend lots of hugs.
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    Old 12-24-2009, 08:34 AM
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    Great advice everyone! I would add "avoid financial problems." Relationships don't need that type of stress, and it's one of the easier things a couple can do together.
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