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How Do You Balance Life with Kids?


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12 minutes ago, bluecastle said:

to highlight the potential shortcomings of making broad assumptions about people.

Indeed. When one consider how very different each person is, each couple. 

12 minutes ago, bluecastle said:

What's more rigid, after all, than jumping to conclusions that quickly? 

Nor was I a nun, BC. L. 

IMO our years out there on the plains of life and on life's battlefields make us excellent marriage/LTR material 

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Avoided? I don't think of it like that! I mean, I've "avoided" a lot in life. I've avoided living in Africa, I've avoided becoming an accountant, I've avoided bungee jumping from a hot air balloon. Bu

You and I are fortunate regarding help from husbands.  My husband helps me with everything so I've been very lucky.  Even though he helps me immensely, I was extremely busy especially when my son

I agree and disagree. I think that as people get older, our personalities, characters, habits, etc., become "calcified," and less influenced by outside forces. But I credit my years and year

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56 minutes ago, LaHermes said:

People who divorce should perhaps not have been married to each other in the first instance. There seems to be a mental block against getting assessment and marital counselling/advice BEFORE getting married. 

I do agree with that, they often find out too late because they didn't talk about (or maybe even know themselves) what their non-negotiables should be.

I was very lucky my parents were always talking about things like that.  We are already doing that for our kids, too, in hopes that they'll be ready when they do find the right person.

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46 minutes ago, bluecastle said:

Something like that. I just did the math: 

Since I was 18 I've spent 15 years in committed relationships. During the 7 fully "single" years I was not, ahem, a monk. Guess that's just to say that I was hardly "calcifying" in a cave and getting "set in my ways," but quite the opposite: exploring, experimenting, learning, growing, with much of it done alongside someone(s) else. 

So, per the general chat here:

It's not quite as if my "single" years have been fully "independent," rendering me immune to compromise or the nuances of partnership. One could argue the opposite, in ways. And while I'm speaking about myself here, I'm kind of just using myself as a straw person to highlight the potential shortcomings of making broad assumptions about people.

When I was dating? I met people who made those very assumptions about me, kind of chalking me up to some rigid, forever bachelor because of my age, my motorcycle, the scraps of my life story they heard over a glass or two of wine. Always cracked me up. What's more rigid, after all, than jumping to conclusions that quickly? 

BC, you sound like a good man and I'm sure you are not calcifying... just clarifying the aspects you'd desire in a LT partner.  

I think there are great benefits to being able to make a relationship last decades though, especially if you go through the, "perils or youth and immaturity," and actually make it out alive!

You learn different things about yourself I'm sure, compared to hopping from person to person (which yes, I'm sure can teach you a ton, but there are downsides to that, too). 

The positives are that I'm sure you learn a lot that way.  But you can also learn a lot with just one person (believe it or not).  

Generally, there are positives and negatives to both situations.

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1 hour ago, maritalbliss86 said:

Divorce seems to embolden women to go after what they think they deserve (and they risk taking this too far in my opinion), whereas it tends to humble men and make them reflect on where they went wrong so that they self correct the next time.

So this quote.  I've seen this play out in real life.

I've seen quite a few wives throw away a perfectly good marriage ... a perfectly good man... and then wonder aloud, "Where did all the good men go????"

And I've seen men get totally humbled by a divorce (often blindsided), and then rebuild and do better the next time (they tend to pick a better, more mature woman the next time, even though she's often younger).

A few years later, that same man gets a massive increase in pay, has a better schedule, and is flaunting a new wife half his first wife's age and with cute kids in tow LOL.  We see this dynamic play out a lot. 

But we also know many of the men (divorced mind you) who aren't keen on getting married again... it's too risky for them and they lost almost everything the first time.

But many of them do.  But I think it's probably terrifying for them letting go of that control again, that freedom and knowing they could get blindsided with another divorce.

 

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M brother is one of those men who NEVER wants to marry again. His ex hag literally tore his life apart. 
 

So while he’s had a new girlfriend for seven years he said he’s never marrying again and no woman will ever have anything of his ever again

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3 hours ago, maritalbliss86 said:

I think it can be good depending on what people want out of life.  If you want 4+ kids, that may not work as well long-term.  

I saw my parents being older as a deficit in some ways (pluses in other ways though!), but ultimately I did not want to wait until my 30's to start having kids.  So that pushed me into the younger crowd, but I still thought it would have been mid-to late 20's as opposed to 20.

 

I didn't want to wait either but finding the right person to marry is different from finding the right job or the right graduate program - unless the person is up for settling which I wasn't.  Many men asked me why I hadn't been "snapped up" yet when I was single at age 30 -assuming I hadn't been asked - and I had, more than once - but I didn't want to settle.  Another of those assumptions that a woman who is of a certain age and single is just waiting for a proposal from Mr. Right on Paper. 

I felt less free being single -because I wanted to be married so I spent as much of my free time as possible in activities that were directly related or at least somewhat related to finding a husband.  I think I probably have given up more "freedom" as a parent than a wife.  You know like not being able to leave the house whenever I want to, or eat peacefully whenever I want to, etc.  And yes certain of my friends who were single AND had little experience with kids didn't get it (I had a great deal of experience with children before I had a child so I was really good meeting up with friends with their kids). 

But yes I felt less free when certain friends who didn't know from being around children didn't get why being a half hour late for lunch when I had my toddler with me just wasn't gonna fly because my toddler had an expiration time in a restaurant.  Or why I couldn't just pop downstairs in a highrise building to meet her boyfriend because you know it's just like five minutes of leaving my sleeping baby alone in the apartment.  But the choice of being "free" vs. being a mom? I mean no choice.  Doesn't mean it's always easy not to be free but totally worth it.  

I come down to treat each people as an individual as far as why they have the marital or single status they do -it makes life so much more interesting.  

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2 minutes ago, maritalbliss86 said:

Generally, there are positives and negatives to both situations.

Totally. I wouldn't even quite use words like positives and negatives, just differences. 

As I see this business of living? After the perils of youth and immaturity come the perils of less youth and a touch more maturity, followed by the perils of realizing you're still kinda young and immature, which gives way to the perils of...well, you get the point. Life is pretty dang perilous, as this pandemic is reminding us, so getting through any or all of the phases alongside someone is bound to bring about a unique bond.

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15 minutes ago, maritalbliss86 said:

So this quote.  I've seen this play out in real life.

I've seen quite a few wives throw away a perfectly good marriage ... a perfectly good man... and then wonder aloud, "Where did all the good men go????"

And I've seen men get totally humbled by a divorce (often blindsided), and then rebuild and do better the next time (they tend to pick a better, more mature woman the next time, even though she's often younger).

A few years later, that same man gets a massive increase in pay, has a better schedule, and is flaunting a new wife half his first wife's age and with cute kids in tow LOL.  We see this dynamic play out a lot. 

But we also know many of the men (divorced mind you) who aren't keen on getting married again... it's too risky for them and they lost almost everything the first time.

But many of them do.  But I think it's probably terrifying for them letting go of that control again, that freedom and knowing they could get blindsided with another divorce.

 

I cannot relate to why anyone would be regretful or jealous just because an ex makes more money and is with someone younger.  If that person was then that would suggest to me why that person might not have been in the best head space to have a healthy marriage.  You're assuming also that the woman doesn't already have/make a lot of money.  I also hesitate to judge a woman who wants a divorce just because the man seems "perfectly good" or the marriage is "perfectly good" - you really might not know. You might not know about the gambling addiction (my friend's handsome, successful spouse) or that right after marriage the man all of a sudden was not up for having a child after agreeing to up to the point of marriage (another friend, she froze her eggs - but she is still with the guy).  It's not like throwing away a perfectly good coffee maker because you have to have the nespresso machine or nothing.  It's a marriage, it's nuanced.

It's like when Carrie runs into Aidan -a perfectly good man who loved her and wanted to marry her -and she discovers he is now married with an adorable baby in the baby bjorn (Sex and The City) - she's "still single" but she never was that into him - so she let a perfectly good man go.  She feels a twinge yes but she knows deep down he wasn't her person.  

Many years ago I had one date -a first meet -with a guy who had struck it filthy rich in a popular MLM and was related to a celebrity.  And handsome.  Wow what a catch right?  But I knew even though his business was technically legal I just couldn't stomach the shady ethics.  A male friend of mine who was also involved in the MLM or a similar one asked me one thing -did I know, actually, how much money he made??? He did -he knew - he would have been thrilled to tell me because of course I mean why the heck would I forego this opportunity? Why? Because again it's not about finding a "perfectly good man"  It's about finding a man and a relationship perfect for you.  

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48 minutes ago, bluecastle said:

Totally. I wouldn't even quite use words like positives and negatives, just differences.

Sorry to argue so much.  Immaturity, generally, is a negative 😞 it just is.  Not in all ways, but in the way I was talking about, it's dangerous because it causes negative effects on a relationship.  (Edited to add: examples of immaturity causing pain would be immaturity to fight fairly... immaturity to handle money correctly, and a myriad of other things).

A positive of youthful marriage is that both are still unjaded to a large degree (depending of course).  That's not a difference in my book, it's a real positive.

Edited by maritalbliss86
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Here was what Gamon was replying to, 

Rose said (emphasis mine), 

"I think the funny thing about dating again is reading profiles and getting ideas about what I want out of life and realizing I might do it better on my own.

I was reading about someone dreaming of building a cabin with someone special and I started thinking I'd build my own cabin anyway.

Why would I need to build it with someone in the first place...

I'd get to decide where I want it and what goes in it."

 

Then Gamon replied,

 

"It's a lot easier to build a cabin when you've got someone else to hold the other end of a long board.

Apply that to a zillion other things in life. Having a partner who's got your back is priceless."

________________________________________________________________________________

 

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Posted (edited)

So... full disclosure... I've been working on a book for our kids, especially one for our daughter, just a collection of life quotes and things to ponder on as she grows up and is older (especially if I go early or something).

Things like this are fascinating to me because I want her to really see the value in her choices she'll make.  I want her to be able to see all sides of the coin, not just the ones people want her to see.

Both of these quotes above will be in her book, because I think they both have profound value in expressing the different views of marriage or being single.

Edited by maritalbliss86
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12 hours ago, maritalbliss86 said:

But you can also learn a lot with just one person (believe it or not).  

I don't think anyone is arguing against that MB. That was your path in life. But we are not all the same. (Horses for courses). Being singly independent for a long time (I include myself) does by no means make me "jaded" or indeed make anyone jaded for that matter. 

 

As BC pointed out, there are "differences" neither positives nor negatives. Demonising those of us who didn't rush into marriage in our teens is most unhelpful IMO. 

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12 hours ago, maritalbliss86 said:

"It's a lot easier to build a cabin when you've got someone else to hold the other end of a long board.

Apply that to a zillion other things in life. Having a partner who's got your back is priceless."

I agree with both of these quotes. But I don't want to go back and change the course of my life.

When I was younger, I didn't want someone at the end of the long board. I liked being on my own.

But as I got into my 30s, I didn't want to do everything by myself. I wanted a partner. 

I was open to change, and I changed. 

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2 hours ago, LaHermes said:

Being singly independent for a long time (I include myself) does by no means make me "jaded" or indeed make anyone jaded for that matter. 

LH, I'm not trying to demonize anyone.  It's more like trying to figure out the truths in life so that I can help her (and our sons, but it's different for men in some ways).  I want them to be able to see all the things (the positive and negative differences) so that they can make a wise choice for themselves.

I want her to know that there is a very real danger of becoming jaded if she gathers a lot of negative experiences from choosing bad relationships.  That can definitely happen, and if it's prolonged for decades, that can make someone jaded.  

If she stays single for decades, I want her to understand it may be harder to give up that freedom and independence.  She may start looking out at a cabin and think she doesn't want another partner, and that she'll be closing off a portion of life that way. 

But I want that to be her choice!  I don't want her to make decisions without any guidance.

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43 minutes ago, Jibralta said:

I was open to change, and I changed. 

This is a loaded question, but do you think most people are actually capable of changing like that?

I don't even know the answer myself, but I know I tend to go with that the majority of people don't understand their own decisions and lives ... much less take responsibility for their decisions in a mature way.  So it's hard for a person to make those drastic life changes (like a 180) if they aren't perceptive enough to even see what they are doing wrong or right.

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I had the benefit of a man warning me that young marriage was h-a-r-d. 

He was a coworker and I knew him when I was engaged (he was maybe 25, so not that old, but older than me at 20), and he told me that his parents married extremely young, and that they really wished they had waited because it caused all kinds of problems.  Financial strain being the main one and the hardest to overcome long-term.

I really love gaining insights like that.  I appreciated so much that he felt the need to warn me before we tied the knot.  I wasn't offended at all (plus he was very kind, no need to be offended), and I do think it helped to talk with him before we made it official so young.

Then he actually saw us a couple of years later, and we were able to tell him how it was working out, we were poor as mice, but so very rich in love!  It was nice!

Anyway, there's really no need to be offended by any of this, it's just ramblings of a sleep-deprived woman trying to figure out what to tell our kids (the good and bad they need to know).

 

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I agree that guidance is vital, although when all is said and done people do tend to make their own choices.

However, this is a different matter:

10 minutes ago, maritalbliss86 said:

I want her to know that there is a very real danger of becoming jaded if she gathers a lot of negative experiences from choosing bad relationships. 

Certainly one can become negative, perhaps, due to bad relationships. Of course why people choose bad relationships is another matter and another conversation. In general, certain types of personalities (nature/nurture again) will go for bad relationships.  Naturally bad abusive relationships would affect anyone negatively.

the whys are well stated here:

https://voicelessness.com/why-do-some-people-choose-one-bad-relationship-after-another-2/

At the outset you did not say this. You said that remaining single and independent too long would make one bad marriage material. That one would get too fond of the independent life and be unable to have a compatible marriage. Being a single and independent person for whatever number of years does not mean one inevitably is going to have "bad relationships". 

You remark:

"know I tend to go with that the majority of people don't understand their own decisions and lives ..."

Where do you get these notions, MB.  Who says?

The majority of people are perfectly well able to understand their decisions and lives.   Again you generalise. 

Edited by LaHermes
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1 minute ago, LaHermes said:

. You said that remaining single and independent too long would make one bad marriage material. That one would get too fond of the independent life and be unable to have a compatible marriage.

No, I  didn't say it in such a definite way.  It can make it harder, and probably does for a lot of people, but it doesn't have to (and I did add that caveat).  

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Ok, I cut out the portion that I said that phrase.  I added the word, "may." to not be so definite.  

 

"I do think that the longer a person is single, the harder it is for them to be able to find true compatibility. 

I know that sounds so negative 😞 , but the truth is that people get very used to being independent, they start to really enjoy not having to consider a partner all the time and make constant decisions together... some they would seem to prefer to make alone.  [read Rose's quote again]

In general, the longer someone is used to being independent, the more resistant they may be to having to make compromises in a long-term relationship that will eventually require compromise.  I know some people can buck that natural tendency, but it IS rare for a reason.

The older one gets, the harder it is for them to create the kind of relationship that would require compatibility and mutual bending together to create room for each other to grow together. 

If someone grows for years and years on their own, that's years missed they could have been growing together with another person, entwining their lives and decisions to mesh together, forging a path that's together their own created. 

You cannot make up those years of your youth.  That kind of thing is VERY hard to do when you're used to doing things on your own for decades.  It just is.  It CAN be done, but it will probably be a lot harder than when you're younger and not used to decades of independence.  

I think that's the entire root of the problem for people dating when older... the problem that has no name.  

I've noticed the people who remain open to the compromises the more independent ones aren't, are the ones who actually find true compatibility."

 
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18 minutes ago, maritalbliss86 said:

This is a loaded question, but do you think most people are actually capable of changing like that?

I really don't know. I don't really think it was a big change, to be honest. It certainly wasn't something fundamental, like my character. I just made room for someone. 

18 minutes ago, maritalbliss86 said:

I tend to go with that the majority of people don't understand their own decisions and lives

Speaking for myself, I never really questioned the institution of marriage and children. I assumed that I wanted to get married and have children. I just kept putting it off.

It wasn't until I was in my mid-thirties that I realized that I never wanted those things. I thought it was so interesting that for 30+ years, I didn't even realize what I wanted. But that's social pressure for you. 

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6 minutes ago, maritalbliss86 said:

In general, the longer someone is used to being independent, the more resistant they may be to having to make compromises in a long-term relationship that will eventually require compromise.  I know some people can buck that natural tendency, but it IS rare for a reason.

I am asking again, MB.  How do you know it is RARE.  What large section of a given population have you sampled? Are you simply basing these views on some people you know, or what they tell you?  If perhaps one or two married people you know might one day have sighed in nostalgia for their single state, that means very little. 

I am finding this amazing. It sure wasn't "hard" as you put it, to enter into the married state after my long independent singledom, and I am no where unusual in that aspect. As I may have mentioned the younger set in our families, none of them married before 30 and they are quite contentedly married. In some cases these couples had lived together a year or so before marriage. 

Single, independent and half-way intelligent people are quite capable of putting their thoughts and ideas coherently, and of discussing these with their future spouse.  They do not live in an abstraction.

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13 hours ago, maritalbliss86 said:

"It's a lot easier to build a cabin when you've got someone else to hold the other end of a long board.

Apply that to a zillion other things in life. Having a partner who's got your back is priceless."

So, when I read this in the other post, here were my thoughts: 

Sure, this all makes sense, and is awfully romantic sounding. But in this day and age very few of us are building cabins by hand, but by credit and debit card. I have two cabins of sorts, in that I own two homes that I love, and loved making them mine—renovating, decorating, all that. I did this between the ages of 31 and 35, when I was single. It was pretty easy. I made enough money to be able to do it, and went and did it. Have to say that doing all that on my own was pretty thrilling—scratched some restless inner itch of the sort I'm prone to experience. 

Now I'm a year into making a third home, this one with a partner. Yes, it's "easier" in so many ways, but that's more a reflection of who I'm with than just having someone who can "hold the other end of the long board." She makes good money doing something she loves, has a wonderful aesthetic sensibility that compliments my own, so the "weight" is distributed on two capable shoulders. It's a lovely thing to snuggle together on the big sectional we purchased together—very thrilling, in different ways. 

I'm glad to have had both these experiences. Neither feels superior. They feed off each other, inform each other, and most importantly? They're just about embracing the cards I've been dealt, and the hands I've played, in the present, rather than beating myself up about what I don't or didn't have, or trying to live up to some set of expectations and judging myself when I missed the mark.

Per some of the themes here, I'm a believer that it's very hard to be jaded, regardless of your age, if you can learn to live your life primarily in the present, and learn to harness your own agency, to cherish it and nourish it. Whether you are single or married, young or old, that's a pretty essential component of ensuring a smooth journey, I think.  

 

 

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20 minutes ago, maritalbliss86 said:

In general, the longer someone is used to being independent, the more resistant they may be to having to make compromises in a long-term relationship that will eventually require compromise.

I don't see how, though. I didn't lose my independence when I got together with my boyfriend. 

Another thing... holding a job requires compromise and negotiation in our relationships with other people. Single people don't seem to be disadvantaged by their independence in this respect. Why should they be disadvantaged in any other kind of relationship?

5 minutes ago, LaHermes said:

How do you know it is RARE. 

I don't see that it's rare from my experience. Most people I know were not able to be in a successful marriage until they were older. The majority of young marriages ended in divorce. What is rare are those few who stayed together from a very young age.

Edited by Jibralta
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7 minutes ago, bluecastle said:

Per some of the themes here, I'm a believer that it's very hard to be jaded, regardless of your age, if you can learn to live your life primarily in the present, and learn to harness your own agency, to cherish it and nourish it. Whether you are single or married, young or old, that's a pretty essential component of ensuring a smooth journey, I think.  

 

Absolutely agree, Blue. I can safely say I have never been jaded, and I live my life in the present. After all, all we've got is today. 

Just recalling once seeing on TV a couple being interviewed who had been married 50 years.  They were around 80 years old I think. The interviewer asked them for the secret of their long and happy marriage. The husband responded on the instant. "Long experience, and a short memory".  Great stuff. 

 

And I agree with you Jib.

"Most people I know were not able to be in a successful marriage until they were older. The majority of young marriages ended in divorce."

And I hold my hand up. And I said it before. No way was I fit to become married until I had those years of singledom and independence under my belt. 

Edited by LaHermes
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22 minutes ago, Jibralta said:

It wasn't until I was in my mid-thirties that I realized that I never wanted those things. I thought it was so interesting that for 30+ years, I didn't even realize what I wanted. But that's social pressure for you. 

To me that makes total sense.  

And you didn't marry him, which is the point.

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