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Tell me what makes your marriage work


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In my humble opinion, the biggest thing it takes to make a marriage work is to just constantly think about the other person and their needs. I think this is how my parents' marriage has survived major illness, unemployment, infidelity, etc.. as for conflict resolution, the best way to overcome issues is to communicate when you're not angry instead of when you are.

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First of all, going into the marriage without divorce as an option is very important. Act like it doesn't even exist. Ironing out all potential kinks BEFORE marrying, instead of expecting your spouse to change something after you marry, is absolutely essential. Divorce is simply not on the table, and will never happen. Knowing that you will literally go into this marriage and be with this person every day for the rest of your life is a big motivation to make sure it works from the get-go.

 

My husband and I are best friends. We were best friends before we started dating, and we are best friends now. Think about it, how do you treat your best friend? Treat your spouse just as well, but better. We laugh together, always, and we can stay up all night talking and laughing.

 

You can't depend on your spouse (or anyone else) to make you happy. You make your own happiness.

 

Absolute trust is necessary. No jealousy at all - jealousy means a lack of trust. My husband and I are still friends with both of our exes, and neither of us mind a bit. I've invited my ex and his family to Thanksgiving several times, knowing that my husband has no insecurities about it.

 

Whenever we do fight, we generally get a little mad, and little miss temper (me) walks away for a little while, then we apologize to each other and say exactly why we were mad, and how to pre-emptively resolve whatever it was we were arguing about in the future. Also, going back to humor - if you can keep it light while resolving an issue, that's very important. Once, hubby got on my nerves for some reason, and we had a little snippy fight, and I said "You know what else?" and he barked back "WHAT?" "Go get me a Diet Mountain Dew!" We had resolved the issue, we just needed a laugh.

 

Also, everyone says that you have to have a life outside of your marriage - that's just silly talk. When you marry, you become a part of someone else, and they become a part of you. Your marriage is your number one priority. Your friends may not be there in 20 years, your career may not be there - but you have to live with your spouse for the rest of your life. If you have interests, include your spouse. Never, ever exclude your spouse from something. If he really wants to go to your girls' night out, let him... he'll wonder what the hell he was thinking.

 

Don't ever talk badly about your spouse to someone else. If you get into a fight, don't go to your mom's house or get on the phone to your friend. Never include anyone else in your marriage, unless that person is a professional counselor.

 

Keep dating! My husband and I have a 3-month-old, and most Fridays lately, my mom takes him and my husband and I go out to eat. Unfortunately, she's usually here, so it's not like the date has a "happy ending," but it's still fun to hold hands with my husband and giggle and talk and hug.

 

Let the small stuff go, and don't turn it into something big. So what if he's 2 minutes late to everything. It doesn't mean he's inconsiderate or lazy or rude... it means he's 2 minutes late to everything.

 

Man oh man, I know people are going to disagree with me on this, but hey, you asked what makes MY marriage work. We were virgins until we got married, and knowing that he saved the one thing for me that he couldn't give anyone else created a very special bond between us. Knowing that he hasn't given the most intimate part of himself to anyone else makes me respect him and love him all that much more. Also, we didn't have to worry at all about STDs or being better than somebody else or being sexually compatible - we had no frame of reference, so for all we know we could be horrible lovers... But we're happy.

 

Okay then. We've been married 5 and a half years, and our friends all say that we make them sick. We're just as close as we were when we were married. Of course that novelty has worn off, the spark, whatever you want to call it, but I'm still deliriously happy. My marriage is the most important thing in my life - I don't make any decision without asking myself "how is this going to affect my marriage and my family?"

 

Oh, and having the most wonderful husband in the world doesn't hurt. Sorry ladies, there's only one of him

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realizing that my spouse can't make me happy

realizing that his needs come before my own (and likewise he puts my needs above him)

realizing that the relationship is king, other things may be important but at the end of the day they don't matter

 

 

conflict is a chance to grow, it's never personal around here, making things personal is not good for the relationship. If I am angry, I am not angry at him, I am angry at the situation (and vice versa) it's good to keep that in mind, it helps to keep me from going on the attack or feeling attacked.

 

communication, my husband needs to know how I feel, and why I feel that way, and I need to know the same from him, it helps me to figure out what is best, what to compromise on, what to let go, what to fight for, what he needs, what I want, what we should do.

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I think when you get married you should remember that divorce is a very real prospect. I know when I got married and hit hard times you expect to be able to solve everything and can get away with murder because you are hitched, BIG MISTAKE.

 

I think you need to strike a balance between being there for the other person and wrapping your whole life around them and smothering them.

 

Other than that, try to be happy and enjoy it!

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I can understand the part where it hasn't been in the past, but what is stopping it from changing in the future?

 

He's just not that kind of person. No matter what, he will never open up. Never has and don't think he ever will. He hates to talk about anything much less something about our relationship.

 

have you ever met someone who acts like the less they talk about private matters the better it will be in the long run? Yeah...nothing...ever!

but, he is a very quiet person unless he is away from home and out with his buddies. It's always the same thing....'how was your day? Whats for dinner? This is all I hear out of him in a whole day!

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It really is sad isn't it...to settle? We are both pretty young, neither of us will leave the other, yet nothing will change! This relationship is headed no where yet it doesn't seem to go backwards either ( in the last two years anyway).

 

The past and what he put me through made our marriage come to a stand still. It didn't heal nor did it break....it just exists!

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It really is sad isn't it...to settle? We are both pretty young, neither of us will leave the other, yet nothing will change! This relationship is headed no where yet it doesn't seem to go backwards either ( in the last two years anyway).

 

The past and what he put me through made our marriage come to a stand still. It didn't heal nor did it break....it just exists!

 

have you thought of marriage counseling? I used to be a counselor and I can tell you even if he won't go, if you do, it will help some, it won't "fix" everything, but it could help you.

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Can I just say "ditto" to what Paisley said? I would say that my marriage really follows most of her/his? statements, other than neither of us were virgins, in fact we had both been through quite a few relationships, and I think for both of us that was necessary as we both are EXTREMELY independent and were wild children/teens/young adults. I've told my husband before, I am so glad I did not meet you before exactly when I did, b/c I would not have been ready.

 

I have to share a mushy mush with you.... =)

 

My hubby's Bday is 2/28, mine is 11/28 of the same year... so we say the day he was born he put in an "order" for his wife and god started cooking me up. lol

 

I love my most wonderful man! =)

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have you thought of marriage counseling? I used to be a counselor and I can tell you even if he won't go, if you do, it will help some, it won't "fix" everything, but it could help you.

 

If I thought it would help, I would maybe consider it, however.....after this many years and nothing ever changes, I don't know that counseling would do anything. He isn't willing to make a difference!(or don't care) that this marriage is miserable! He would rather live like this than to change it or leave......He doesn't want to leave! Why? somedays I can't bare it but he wants to stay married because he says he loves me!

 

I just bury myself into my kids and animals! Counseling would be a waste I think, if he isn't willing to talk to me he wont talk to a therapist. Most likely it would end in a fight between us!

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Doyathink - yes I do think that some marriages may be able to continue with limited communication as long as both partners are satisfied with having that type of relationship. For example, if you were non communicative as well and saw no need for it, then maybe you and your happy could happily trod along silently. The problem here is that it is not acceptable for you, you want to build a relationship and you (understandably) use communication to do that. Unfortunately, even if you pried your husband into opening up he very may likely end up resenting you, and probably already thinks you're a bit "yappy". You have to both be willing work together to find a way to adapt to each others needs, without communication, thats a very tough seed to sow.

 

Good luck!

 

Edited to add after reading last post:

How does he define LOVE? If I love someone I want them to be happy.... sounds more codenpendent to me than loving.

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LOL, you may have something here. He only wants...food...sleep...tv and sex (in that order too) He defined love to me as 'enjoying the same things' but we have nothing in common, we don't enjoy the same things! He does his things outside the home and they don't include me and I ...well...I do nothing! Hang out here a lot.

 

I don't try to talk to him any more, he gets mad and I don't like to fight so we just avoid each other. This has been going on for ..oh, 5, 6 years or more. Come to think of it, it started on the second day of our honeymoon!

 

And yeah, I know it takes two! You can't make someone open up tho so I just leave him be and ignore him and I DO feel it's more of a security blanket or co-dependency thing for him.

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LOL, you may have something here. He only wants...food...sleep...tv and sex (in that order too) He defined love to me as 'enjoying the same things' but we have nothing in common, we don't enjoy the same things! He does his things outside the home and they don't include me and I ...well...I do nothing! Hang out here a lot.

 

I don't try to talk to him any more, he gets mad and I don't like to fight so we just avoid each other. This has been going on for ..oh, 5, 6 years or more. Come to think of it, it started on the second day of our honeymoon!

 

And yeah, I know it takes two! You can't make someone open up tho so I just leave him be and ignore him and I DO feel it's more of a security blanket or co-dependency thing for him.

 

Doyathink - do ya think you might have a bit of a codenpendent investment as well? You admit that you want to communicate more and you know your husband is not a communicator, yet you sit at home and wait for him, just hoping he will start to open up.

 

Do you have friends? Do you have hobbies? Are you trying to grow/learn? Is there anything you want to do outside the home? Why aren't you doing anything?

 

Please don't take those question as an insult, but look at the real answers and then ask yourself if that is who you want to be. If you are satisfied with living a reclusive lifestyle, then you have done a good job creating the type of environment you desire. But, your posts don't sound like you are satisfied with your life and I think you are expecting your husband to entertain you, which he doesn't want to do and you are disappointed.

 

I know I can fall into codependent ruts, and typically I end up feeling like the least important thing on my hubbys mind. I know thats not true, I know how much my husband loves me, but he's also just living his life, keeping himself interested and frankly if Im doing nothing then I don't have a whole lot to add to the conversation, than boring normalcies about the home. That's is why when I notice that I'm feeling "neglected" (which I really now know means I'm bored) lI look for something to get involved in . For example, I just got a PT (10hrs/wk) seasonal job at a local Xmas store, totally my kind of thing, I am also doing some volunteer work for the local film festival committee and trying to run so that I can complete a 6K on Thanksgiving. There are things I enjoy doing around the house as well like decorating, coming up with extravagant meals, sewing, practicing music, drawing, singing (very badly), playing video games, I would garden if I had a yard.

 

Really when it comes down to it, most communication is about the day to day stuff, I mean, who sits around discussing the meaning of the world on a Tuesday night? You talk about your day, work, kids, things you want to do, current events (can you believe Steve Irwin died!), plans you're making, you talk about your life and sometimes that leads to deeper conversations. If you don't have a life to talk about though, there is no opportunity for those deeper talks, b/c it's the same thing day in day out.

 

Also, I'm sure that alot of other women have experienced what happens when you do get involved in things, your man suddenly sees you for the vibrant, interesting woman you are. He's the one every now and then sitting at home, wondering when you will get home and wanting to hear about how it went, instead of always being you sitting at home. Who knows, he might even be tempted to join in on the fun. The best way I've found to get someone interested in you is by being interesting and having fun.

 

I don't know where you live or what your lifestyle is like, but there are activities available for everybody. PTA, golfing, mother's day out, church groups (choir?), ladies clubs, animal care, community classes, exercise, arts, gardening/farming, these are all things that are there for people to enjoy and there are so many more, furthermore, it doesn't have to be expensive.

 

If you stop looking for happiness in your husband and start looking for ways that you can create it within yourself, I would bet you a piece of Godiva that he will either want to be more communicative with you, or you will get the confidence to find somebody who can satisfy your needs.

 

stay cool.

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Doyathink - do ya think you might have a bit of a codenpendent investment as well? You admit that you want to communicate more and you know your husband is not a communicator, yet you sit at home and wait for him, just hoping he will start to open up.

 

Not in a million years...I don't sit at home hoping for anything! It's quite past that! I don't think anyone who knows me would ever call me codependent LOL, I'm far from that, I am more the rock who everyone else seems to fall on.

 

Do you have friends? Do you have hobbies? Are you trying to grow/learn? Is there anything you want to do outside the home? Why aren't you doing anything?

 

 

Yes, actually I do, I have many things to do, I would just like to share some of my time and hobbies with him....I guess that is unreasonable to ask such a thing tho! shees, who would want such a thing,included your partner in any part of your life, who would stand for that!

 

I think you are expecting your husband to entertain you, which he doesn't want to do and you are disappointed.

 

I really don't know what gave you that idea? Just because I want to spend time with him and be included in something he may be involved with? To you that comes accross as 'expecting him to entertain me'? uummm...ok,LOL!

 

If you stop looking for happiness in your husband and start looking for ways that you can create it within yourself, I would bet you a piece of Godiva that he will either want to be more communicative with you,

 

This is hilarious! I find happiness in sooo many things including myself, I would like to find happiness WITH him! And you mean to tell me that no one finds happiness in their spouse? ummmm, I dont know about that!

 

There is way more history here than I have posted so you really can't get a good picture because you don't have the whole story, not even the tip of the situation. But I do thank you for your reply,though it is way off in left field, you are very nice to have tried to help.

 

I just want to add, I have been on my own for a very, very long time and was a teenage mother. Been married before him, he is my second!I have raised my two children on my own.

 

He moved from his mothers house to mine, never had a serious relationship before me and is several years younger than me!

This may help you understand things better and the whole 'codependency' thing you keep bring up.

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Ok everyone back to what WORKS in your marriage.

Not what doesn't work. Not communicating DOESN'T work, got it.

Commincation is key. I can't imagine a relationship without communication. Although I am the one that brings things up, we communicate.

A big things to consider is , if you believe you deserve the best relationship you can have, you will pursue it.

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