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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Those of you who made it through some really rought spots in your marriage (commited relationship) and came out ok or even better off on the other other side,<br><br>
- what helped get you both through?<br><br>
- did you 'learn' anything?<br><br>
What would you tell a newly engaged couple with your old married person wisdom? What would you tell your old, in-the-thick-of-it-with-dp self with your 20/20 hindsight?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>journeymom</strong></div>
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What would you tell your old, in-the-thick-of-it-with-dp self with your 20/20 hindsight?</div>
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REEAAALLY good question <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nod.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nod"><br><br><br>
I'll have to think about this.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lurk.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lurk">:
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>journeymom</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Those of you who made it through some really rought spots in your marriage (commited relationship) and came out ok or even better off on the other other side,<br><br>
- what helped get you both through?<br><br>
- did you 'learn' anything?<br><br>
What would you tell a newly engaged couple with your old married person wisdom? What would you tell your old, in-the-thick-of-it-with-dp self with your 20/20 hindsight?</div>
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We went to counseling for nearly a year. He went to anger management classes. This was before we had kids. It was something I never regretted doing and really recommend. He agrees.<br><br>
The next bad time we had was after we had a child. Financially and emotionally strained, I had PPD -- I am not sure what changed but he had told me that he wanted a divorce. I was so shocked and hurt. We were both crying. This time he went to counseling by himself, to the same guy. Just a few sessions. Our marriage survived because of our commitment to one another, and the fact we wanted to be together and have a family.<br><br>
We had a good 4-5 years with no problems, smooth sailing even though we had some things outside of our marriage that were not good (deaths mainly). After we had our third child though things got rocky again. We were stressed with a special needs child and were not spending enough time together, not sleeping well, not being intimate as much as we would have liked. I felt ignored, he felt unappreciated. Things got better, we made an effort to spend more time together, go out on dates, have lots of sex, etc.<br><br>
I have to say that for us we know that marriage is not always going to be good. It has its ups and downs, it changes, we change, but for us its about commitment and building a strong foundation for us to live the next 40-50-60 years on. Last summer and fall I would have to say our marriage was at an all time high (see siggy...lol) but during this pregnancy there has been stresses and emotions so it seems to have waned a bit. Something both of us expected.<br><br>
There is something to those vows you take when you get married. I don't think people take them seriously enoug, nor do I think people are committed enough in relationships. Even though my own parents divorced, and my mother and step father had a rocky relationship I did get to see some good marriages growing up or relationships. I had a great aunt and uncle that had a very solid marriage and relationship and I had an aunt who was in a relationship with her partner for over 30 years that was very committed and loving. (her partner was a woman) I really look to those two relationships to model my own after.
 

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hmm..my first marriage ended disastrously. But, I still learned things that help every day in this marriage. The biggest? Try to focus on the positives. There are times dh does something that really irritates me:<br><br>
For example, he's the messiest cook in the universe. When I start getting bent out of shape about the mess, I remind myself that he cooked me a <i>wonderful</i> supper the night before. So...maybe I have to do more cleanup than I would have if I'd cooked...but I didn't have to cook...<br><br>
Another example - he leaves diapers piled on the change table, and doesn't take them to the pail. (Maybe because the pail hasn't come back upstairs from doing laundry?) I'll see four diapers sitting there - one of them poopy - and think "can't you put them in the damned pail?". Then, I remind myself that that means he changed the last four diapers! I didn't have to.<br><br>
Aside from that, I've learned to recognize emotional abuse, which is very subtle and manipulative, and I doubt I'll ever fall prey to a slime like my ex again. That makes me appreciate the fact that dh is as solid as a rock, and totally straightforward with me.<br><br>
Oh...and I sometimes remind myself of all the things I fell in love with in the first place. Sometimes I start to take his reliability, his sex drive (my ex had none), his zany sense of humour, etc for granted - or even see them as negatives. So, I remind myself that these are all part of why I fell for him originally. Dh and I have only been married a little over 2.5 years (we've lived together for 4, and considered ourselves married then, but my divorce wasn't final), so maybe my advice doesn't count. But, in that time, we've been through legal issues with my ex (a crackhead living on Skid Row) - an unexpected c-section, legal problems with immigration, severe financial difficulties, and an emotionally traumatic pregnancy. So...we've definitely had to make the effort a lot of the time...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes, absolutely Lisa, your advice counts! I've been re-reading what I origionally wrote and trying to figure out how to word it so folks who's marriages ended because of rough times can contribute.<br><br>
So there it is. If your marriage ended what advice would you give the old you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Me, I've learned so much. Dh is not infallible. He's just a human. I must not treat him the same way my mother treats my father. I'm not better than him. How's that for ironic or oxymoronic or whatever? I used to insist he be perfect but I still felt I was superior to him.<br><br>
I need to take a good look at the mirror before I start blaming. He's right sometimes! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yikes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="EEK!">
 

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If I could give advice to a young engaged couple, it would be "DON'T DO IT!"<br><br>
:LOL<br><br>
But since they're not gonna listen, I'd tell them to brush their teeth before they go to bed. On several levels, this act demonstrates respect for the other partner, willingness to get some lovin', and responsible dental hygiene.<br><br>
IOW, small acts add up.
 

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Say "I'm sorry." and mean it.<br><br>
Say "Please" and "Thank you".<br><br>
Say "I love you" everytime you think about it.<br><br>
Don't ever leave the house without saying "I love you" and giving your partner a hung and kiss, no matter how much of a hurry you are in, or how mad you are them. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
Don't just talk, actually listen.<br><br>
Have sex even when you don't really want to, and make yourself enjoy it. - with this one, I don't mean you have to have sex everyday. But don't let yourself go long periods because you just don't feel like it's worth the effort. This is a wonderful way for my DH and I to reconnect. If I am feeling distant from him, I initiate sex, I make sure I enjoy it. (This may not work for everyone, but it has done wonders for us.)<br><br>
Don't hold things in until you exploded. If you have an issue address it right when it happens in a calm non confrontational manor.<br><br><b>Don't sweat the small stuff!</b> My stepmom use to say this all the time and I would roll my eyes behind her back. But you know what? She was right. When I quit getting upset about the socks on the floor, or the dish that was filled with water instead of being washed out and put in the dish washer, things got so much easier.<br><br>
Anyways, just a few things that have helped save our marriage.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>journeymom</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">So there it is. If your marriage ended what advice would you give the old you?</div>
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hmm...in my case, I waver between "don't marry him" (except that then I wouldn't have ds, who is just an amazing kid) and "leave now" - as in about four or five years before I did.<br><br>
I guess I'd advise someone who was having a <i>really</i> rocky time to try to objectively (yeah - right!) assess the situation. Is this just a case of "I've realized he's an ordinary human being, not my white knight" or is it more of "we've got some incompatibilities I'd overlooked" or is it "he's really not interested in making this work"? I think many people give up because marriage turns out to be something different than a 50-year honeymoon, and I think they lose out on a lot. But, there are also some (like the old me) who are so set on the commitment they made that they don't realize they're trying to do something solo that absolutely takes two.<br><br><br>
A friend of mine (married...35 year now, I think) once told me that marriage doesn't have to be 50/50 - it can be 60/40, 70/30 - even 90/10 <i>sometimes</i>. He figured that as long as it averaged somewhere near the 50/50 mark, it didn't matter which way it wobbled at various times.<br><br>
When I had my c-section, I was nursing dd...but dh was doing pretty well everything else for a while. Our marriage wasn't anywhere near 50/50 at that point...but overall, it is. My first marriage was more like 110/-10 (I wish I were kidding). My ex didn't only fail to pull his weight - he sabotaged our finances, and made everything more work for me than it had to be. (I'm the only woman I know who was in a <i>better</i> financial position as a single mom, even though my ex had a job and supposedly contributed.)<br><br>
I guess overall, I'd agree with hunnybumm: "don't sweat the small stuff". It's so true that things like dirty socks and caps not on toothpaste can cause so much strife - and in the overall pictures, does it <i>really</i> matter?? The other big one - I see it a lot with some of the women I know - don't get angry at him because you had/have expectations. If you thought marriage would make him come straight home after work and it didn't - deal with it. It's more your problem than his. If you thought that with a wife, he become a spiffy dresser and he didn't - deal with it. It's more your problem than his. I'm not sure I'm expressing this one very clearly, though...I just know a lot of women who married a guy they "loved", and have been angry/disappointed ever since because he's just who he is.
 

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I definitly agree with what the pp's friend said about marriage not always being 50/50. It totally moves back and forth constantly. About 3 years ago, I was really depressed, I wasn't doing any house work, I was just laying around watching tv. I wasn't paying any attention to my DH, no cooking, no laundry, no sex. At that point our relationship was 90(him)/10(me). The first few weeks after DS was born, I couldn't sit without pain, much less do any house work. At that point it was 60(him)/40(me) because I was devoting all my efforts into DS. Then there was times when I was going to school full time, commuting a total of 3 hours a day, and taking care of ALL the house chores. At that time it was 30(him)/70(me). But it eventually evens out again. That is just a great statement.<br><br>
I also agree that a lot of couples get married way too soon, or they should never be married, they are just better as partners. I put myself in the "got married too soon" category, times two. My first marriaged ended after 5 months. My second marriage started 2 weeks after the first ended (it takes 6 months for a divorce to be fianl in CA). Talk about making mistakes!<br><br>
If you had asked me this question the week before I found out I was pregnant with DS I would have told you "Never get married! Never! Ever! Biggest Mistake of my life!" I spent a good 9 months wishing I hadn't gotten married. Not because my DH was horrible, but because I had expectations way too high for this man I had only lived with for 2 months, had only met (in person) for one month before that (we met over the net). For a good year after that I fanticised about leaving him, being a single mother. But now I am so glad I didn't give in to that urge. At this point I am extremely happy with were I am, we went through some hard times, but we have worked most of it out thanks to the things I mentioned above.<br><br>
Sadly if there are other things, like abuse, neglect, illegal activites, etc. then that is a whole nother story.
 

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Love that percentage/ratio concept <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> . . . . That's a great metaphor to define healthy marriage from a big-picture perspective.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>
OT: Hunnybumm, your pix linx aren't working.
 

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Yeah, our website went down and I forgot to remove the links. I will do that now. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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After 16 years together and 11 years of marriage I would tell others to remember that your partner is on your team. It's not an adverserial (sp?) relationship, it's a partnership.<br><br>
I put him 100% first and he does the same for me. I trust him with all my heart and I know he is my biggest fan. I know that he is in my corner and will back me up.<br><br>
DH always says it's the golden rule. He treats me the way he wants to be treated.<br><br>
I never keep score. I don't pay negative attention to how much he does or how much I do around the house or with ds. I agree on the percentage thing. It's never 50/50 but over time it all evens out. He picks up the slack for me and I for him whenever the other needs to slack off. And, it helps that he is very involved with ds and sees it as our job to raise him and not a mom's responsiblity to do the "mommy" things and his to do the "daddy" things. I'm also thankful that my mil taught him how to do laundry and he loves to cook.<br><br>
Whenever I do feel like I'm keeping score I know it's time for us to talk and to get his point of view. I try to be upfront with him on what I'm feeling and I expect the same from him.<br><br>
I guess I wrote all this to say to keep in in perspective. A good recent example -- DH and I were talking the other day about pp sex. We waited all of 12 weeks because I tore badly and am a super slow healer. He said that waiting three months over the life of our relationship is such a small amount of time. He knew I still wanted him and loved him and he didn't mind waiting because he wanted me to be well and not be in pain.<br><br>
I also pray -- a lot. I know that I can't do it all and I ask for guidance and blessings on our marriage.<br><br>
Oh, therapy can be a great thing and don't be afraid to go and just talk. When DH's father was terminally ill for three years we went for grief therapy and what a huge difference it made. Helped us see the forest for the trees and helped us move through the grief. The tools we learned in therapy we still use today.
 

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We were going through a rough time this year (6 yrs of marriage) and decided to see a counselor. He taught us to communicate more effectively, to not get defensive and to see the other as an ally not an enemy. Given that we are religious and see marriage as a vital commitment in our faith, we had a strong stake in making it work--and in doing the work to make that happen. Oh, and though we saw the counselor maybe 4 times, it helped tremendously to talk to a 3rd party about our relationship. No one felt attacked or picked on.<br><br>
Like some of the pps, at that time, I was feeling neglected and dh felt unappreciated. However, dh was working long hours and I was stressed from being virtually a single parent. When we changed our situation and made more time for family and more couple time (we have a weekly date, we spend time together after the kids are in bed, we call throughout the day, make time for intimacy, we pray together and discuss the spiritual aspects of having a family), things changed dramatically. Our disagreements are very rare and when they do occur, we work hard to really listen and understand instead of proving to the other we are "right". (We are both strong-headed, first-children! I don't recommend that combination <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">)<br><br>
Anyway, that's my 2 cents <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>WriterMama</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">(We are both strong-headed, first-children! I don't recommend that combination <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">)<br><br>
Anyway, that's my 2 cents <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"></div>
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Wow, I know that. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nod.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nod"><br><br><br>
Dh and I are both first-born too. Stubborn and fierce as can be! Neither wants to back down, it's-all-about-me ism, control issues. But that's during the hard times. During the fun times there's a lot of strength and tradition, and powerful unity.<br>
Indeed, it's a good example of:<br><br>
Those qualities you're attracted to in the first place turn out to be your greatest challengers later.<br><br>
~~~~<br>
Anyone read <i>The Shared Heart</i>, or any of Barry and Joyce Vissell's work?
 
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