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Nooch
04-11-2011, 12:04 PM
Gents (and the few Ladies who frequent the board),

In a few short days I'll be off to Las Vegas for my nuptials. While I was expecting to be more nervous than I am, I'm actually quite collected. I'm making out like a bandit, with a beautiful wife, who has an equally wonderful, large, welcoming family.

But somewhere in the back of my mind is a constant lingering. Both of our parents are divorced, mine particularly messy, with an unknown number of affairs of both fronts leading to a lack of desire to try to make it work. I like to think that we both, thanks to getting thru the experience of that fairly unscathed, have a pretty good understanding of what it takes, how to resolve the little things before they become big things, etc.. But I still wonder.

So I ask you, since for the most part you all of the benefit of age and wisdom on me, for your advice as I start this next ride. I've got one shoe clipped in on the starting line, getting ready to sit in and enjoy the ride..

rugbysecondrow
04-11-2011, 12:14 PM
Clip the second shoe in as quickly as possible and pedal hard. I have been married for 10 years (longer than some but less than many others) and I find that when folks are committed and work towards something, they are more successful. When people get married with an out, with a lack of full commitment, then quitting or self destruction is an viable option. Also, know that things will be hard sometimes, you will fall and it will hurt. Life is not always perfect and expecting it to be so will set you up for failure. Trust and commitment will overcome a lot, because love alone will not always be enough.

It is a wonderful institution for those willing to commit and commit fully. For those that aren't, they might as well not go through the trouble.

Enjoy and best of luck for a long married life.

Paul

dave thompson
04-11-2011, 12:15 PM
Lots of thought, perseverance, understanding, listening and of course love.

You take a vow; to cherish, to hold, to love, for better or worse, 'til death do you part. Listen to the words and understand them. It will help you in your journey.

Your wife should also be a best friend. Your wife being a riding partner would help too!

The very best to you both.

AngryScientist
04-11-2011, 12:32 PM
i think cyclist are probably above average as marriage partners - who else knows more about the joys of pain and suffering than us eh? :banana:

seriously though, i think you just have to take it day by day, and have fun as often as you can. labor through the hard times as a team and enjoy the good ones, they'll both come, undoubtedly.

it's such a cliche response, but IMO communication is absolutely key. the minute one of you starts holding feelings back, withholding information or bottling up anti-trust, anger, emotions, etc - thats where the problems start. if you love each other, there isnt much you cant talk through if you start talking early.

good luck buddy, have fun out there!!

goonster
04-11-2011, 12:35 PM
Studies have shown: It takes "we-ness". You have to come to think of yourselves as a team first and foremost. Couples that fight, and even display negative emotions toward each other, stay together as long as the commitment is unassailable. The only emotion that is truly poisonous to a relationship is contempt.

Hey, you asked what it takes to stay together. Advice on how to be happy costs extra. ;)

Seriously, all the best to you*!

(* = plural, of course)

veloduffer
04-11-2011, 12:42 PM
I'm only a 15-year veteran whose wife was a friend for 15 years before we started dating. In our 15 years, I can count on one hand the number of arguments (more like disagreements). Here's what I think makes it work for us:

1- Respect: despite a disparity in providing income to the house and education levels, we respect each other's opinions and feelings. I can't tell how many folks that I see where it is a one-way kind of relationship that generally fails in the long run (right after the kids are gone).

2- Values: most folks date on common interests (eg biking) but the key is sharing common values because that's ultimately what you are working towards and want to instill in your kids.

3- Communication: we all know it but sometimes you need to step back before you open your mouth, especially when angry or irritated. Think about whether what bothers you is trivial in the scheme of things; if it is, talk about it when you're calm and can talk politely. Never use personal insults - talk about the issue and don't be accusatory. My big recommendation - never go to bed angry. Settle it then and there because festering makes the issue worse.

4 - Compromise: unless it is extremely high priority, compromise on minor issues (there's always a middle ground).

5- Division of labor: there is none! Laundry, dishwashing, gardening etc is a team effort. Always ask how can you help.

6- Laugh whenever you can.

slowandsteady
04-11-2011, 12:49 PM
The Art of a Good Marriage by Wilferd Arlan Peterson


The little things are the big things. It is never being too old to hold hands, It is remembering to say "I love you" at least once a day. It is never going to bed angry. It is never taking the other for granted; the courtship should not end with the honeymoon, it should continue through all years. It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.

 It is standing together facing the world. It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family. It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy. It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways. It is not expecting the husband to wear a halo or the wife to have wings of an angel.

It is not looking for perfection in each other. It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor. It is having the capacity to forgive and forget. It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow. It is finding rooms for the things of spirit. It is a common search for the good and the beautiful. It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal. It is not marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.


Kevan
04-11-2011, 12:51 PM
Lots of thought, perseverance, understanding, listening and of course love.

You take a vow; to cherish, to hold, to love, for better or worse, 'til death do you part. Listen to the words and understand them. It will help you in your journey.

Your wife should also be a best friend. Your wife being a riding partner would help too!

The very best to you both.

+1

And know this...you both will evolve and change over time from what you are today. Living life has that effect. Some of it will be very good, then some of it... you both will have to accommodate. Personally, even during the most difficult times, there was no way I wanted to mess up what I already had, a family.

Aaron O
04-11-2011, 12:57 PM
I don't know if i have answers for you, but I'm a newlywed and we were fighting like cats and dogs immediately before and after the wedding. I thought we were splitting up.

Anyway...my trite answer is communication and don't be afraid to ask for help. We had some big issues that were happening around us (her brother's drug use, my work schedule...lots of things...prenup...family problems...finances..etc.) and were really not coping well. While the things causing problems were serious outside of us, the real key was learning we had to deal with things as a couple, not as individuals. We were used to acting for our selves and had to learn how to adjust to the other person's needs, weaknesses...etc. For us, a counselor was absolutely critical.

I felt really intimidated about seeing a counselor. I thought if we're having problems this early, we're in deep poo. I was scared and felt overwhelmed. I had some machismo stuff as well. The truth is that no matter what people tell you, no matter what you see in movies...the first year is the hardest. It's not a non-stop blissed out honeymoon. It's TOTALLY normal to not be in honeymoon land and have issues right away. Don't beat yourself up about it...talk and get help.

We've only been married for 7 months now, so I'm hardly an expert...but from my short time, I've learned it takes work and commitment. If things aren;t going well, you have to MAKE them work. I guess what I'm really trying to say is...I wish someone had told me it was normal to have problems early on. If you think about it, it makes sense...but I wasn't thinking (at least not with my brain). If you do have issues...it's OK. It doesn't mean you're going to split up. It just means you have work to do...and I'm really glad we got help early on.

brians647
04-11-2011, 12:58 PM
You'll be fine. You've got the right attitude and appreciate others.

When things get uncomfortable, just burn the ships of doubt (aka, divorce), and finding a solution will be much easier. You can't escape your past, but remember that you are capable of molding your future.

I've seen some bad bike crashes, but I'm not going to stop riding - would you?

Rugby put it well...

Clip the second shoe in as quickly as possible and pedal hard. I have been married for 10 years (longer than some but less than many others) and I find that when folks are committed and work towards something, they are more successful. When people get married with an out, with a lack of full commitment, then quitting or self destruction is an viable option. Also, know that things will be hard sometimes, you will fall and it will hurt. Life is not always perfect and expecting it to be so will set you up for failure. Trust and commitment will overcome a lot, because love alone will not always be enough.

It is a wonderful institution for those willing to commit and commit fully. For those that aren't, they might as well not go through the trouble.

Enjoy and best of luck for a long married life.

Paul


Go get married, have fun, and if you choose to be parents, show your kids how it's done.

buck-50
04-11-2011, 01:12 PM
1 Flexibility of expectations for you and her.
You will change. She will change. If you expect everything to be as it was before you got married, if you expect everything to be as it was even 10 minutes ago, you will fail. Expect everything to change. But understand that everything changes NOT because you got married but because change is the only constant.

2 Ability to function separately and together.
There will be times when she is hammered at work and cannot give you any attention besides a quick peck on the cheek. You need to be able to understand that it's not about you. and vice-versa. There will be times when you are stuck together at you absolute worst, say, you are both swamped at work and you've both managed to catch the same stomach flu. You need to be able to get through that.

3 Understanding that the grass is not greener.
You will get fat. She will get out of shape. You will have a kid and you won't have sex for a year. You need to be able to tell yourself that it's just a phase, you are in it for the long haul no matter how unpleasant it is right now it's more pleasant than getting a divorce.

4 You need to remove the rose tinted glasses when looking at how things were before you got married.
Remember how boring and uncomfortable being single was. Remember the "joy" of dating. Remember that being single basically sucked 24-7 except that you could ride more and leave the toilet seat up.

Talk, be honest, when you are scared let her know.

That's been good so far for me. Not perfect, but not bad.

gone
04-11-2011, 01:27 PM
My wife and I have been married for 38 years. I'm not sure there's an "answer" as to what makes one marriage work and so many others fall apart but a good number of the things that I think describe our marriage have already been mentioned:

Respect each other. She obviously has qualities that appealed to you enough to make you want to marry her and probably a lot of qualities you haven't seen yet (good and bad) - that's what makes marriage interesting (and challenging).
Be friends first and foremost.
Communicate.
Support each others interests, not just lip service, do it.
When you're angry, wait until you're not and talk about it.
Don't go to bed angry with each other.
Manage your finances and make your decisions as a team. That doesn't mean you have to get "permission" to do everything but it also doesn't mean you can run roughshod over your partner. Work out what sorts of things you can each decide on your own and what you need to talk over.
Divide up the crap jobs (cooking, lawn care, laundry, housekeeping, etc). You're not getting a maid, you're getting a wife.
Be faithful, it's "until death do us part" not "until something better comes along". That trite saying about trust taking a lifetime to build and a second to destroy is absolutely true.
Tell her you love her, every day. In my case, I've not missed a day in all the time we've been married and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't tell her how lucky I am to have her - not one.
Don't just tell her you care, show her. Hold her hand when you take a walk, give her the occasional hug. The little gestures mean a lot.

Probably a lot more.

Aaron O
04-11-2011, 01:37 PM
Post was too personal...deleted.

Just don't be afraid to not have answers.

chuckred
04-11-2011, 01:42 PM
"Yes, dear."

We're only 28 years in so far, so what do I know?

dave thompson
04-11-2011, 01:44 PM
"Yes, dear."

We're only 28 years in so far, so what do I know?
Yup, happy wife, happy life! :D 27 here.

firerescuefin
04-11-2011, 01:49 PM
"Yes, dear."

We're only 28 years in so far, so what do I know?


Made me laugh.....Been married 10 years, and I remember asking my wife within the first month of marriage (after a disagreement) what she wanted me to say. Her reply.

"Your right, I'm wrong, I'll try harder next time" I still say it on occasion.

Good luck brother. Don't let other peoples past drag you guys down. :beer:

Nooch
04-11-2011, 01:53 PM
lots of great advice here, guys.. thank you, and keep it coming, I'm reading each and every one carefully.

I cannot express how much I'm looking forward to this new part of our life.. and not to kill it all with bicycling analogies, but the last 5 years was the prologue -- went by so quickly, and at the end of the day it doesn't matter who's wearing the jersey. We've built the foundation together, we've set up the team. Next up are the big stages, where the only way we'll get thru to the end of the day is to work together, to understand what it takes -- if it's not working out then we lock ourselves in the pain closet until it's resolved.

We wrote our own vow's, so no "to have and to hold, etc..."

Here are mine:

Our story started with "Once Upon a Time," and since then we've had our share of ups and downs. I promise to always do right by you, to be faithful and abundant with understanding, understanding too that sometimes we will have our differences, but doing my best not to dwell and move forward. I promise to be there when you hurt, and to stop at nothing to make you smile again. I promise to be your best friend, to always be by your side, to never go to sleep angry, and to always kiss you goodnight. But mostly I promise to make "once upon a time" become "happily ever after."

(yeah, we're corny like that....)

firerescuefin
04-11-2011, 01:55 PM
Be careful what comes out your mouth, because once it is out, you can never take it back.

When there is an issue, address it and move on. Even if it is like pulling teeth. Not doing so will haunt you when it comes back up again....bigger and better (well not really better) than ever.

One other thing. For better or worse is for real. You will experience tragedy and hard times together, count on it....but who else would your rather have on your side...hopefully, no one.

Aaron O
04-11-2011, 01:58 PM
You know...I think the common thread running through every post is humility. Recognizing that you aren't "right" and that you need to really consider your spouse and what she's thinking. It's not about you, it's about US.

Elefantino
04-11-2011, 02:00 PM
My folks were married 60 years before my dad died.

His advice to me when I got married: "Always say yes."

I've pretty much held to that advice for the last four-months-shy-of-30 years. It's served me well. For example, yesterday I pulled her for the better part of 40 miles. It got me a viewing companion for P-R last night.

<bliss>

RPS
04-11-2011, 02:03 PM
So I ask you, since for the most part you all of the benefit of age and wisdom on me, for your advice as I start this next ride. I've got one shoe clipped in on the starting line, getting ready to sit in and enjoy the ride..
Congratulations Nooch.

Iíd gladly share if I knew the secret, but even though Iíve been married longer than Iíd want to admit, I honestly canít say why itís worked out other than it was meant to be. Just enjoy the ride as long and as far as it takes the two of you and donít over think it.


For what itís worth, the happiest marriage Iíve ever seen was my godparents. Their secret seemed to be that both of them cared more about what the other wanted than what they themselves wanted. They always put the other person first; and it wasnít just talk either Ė their every public action and decision always made it crystal clear.

woolly
04-11-2011, 02:35 PM
Common goals & separate checking accounts.

William
04-11-2011, 02:35 PM
Lots of thought, perseverance, understanding, listening and of course love.

You take a vow; to cherish, to hold, to love, for better or worse, 'til death do you part. Listen to the words and understand them. It will help you in your journey.

Your wife should also be a best friend. Your wife being a riding partner would help too!

The very best to you both.

Very well said. We have been married for twenty years and we both come from a somewhat similar situation as yours. One way we look at is that we learned a lot of what "not" to do from our parents original marriages.

Wishing you both the very best together.


William

SamIAm
04-11-2011, 02:47 PM
Treat marriage as though it's permanent, because it is designed to be.

dave thompson
04-11-2011, 03:01 PM
Treat marriage as though it's permanent, because it is designed to be.
Sorta seems like the minority view nowadays. Unfortunately.

rugbysecondrow
04-11-2011, 03:01 PM
Treat marriage as though it's permanent, because it is designed to be.


100% agree.

Nooch
04-11-2011, 03:15 PM
100% agree.

Oh, we do as well. We're not going into it as an "as long as our love endures" type thing, we agree with the 'til death' part of it all. Having dealt with it as kids, it's the last thing we'd ever want to put our [future] children through. And if it wasn't there, we wouldn't be doing this, so. :beer:

buck-50
04-11-2011, 03:19 PM
Oh, we do as well. We're not going into it as an "as long as our love endures" type thing, we agree with the 'til death' part of it all. Having dealt with it as kids, it's the last thing we'd ever want to put our [future] children through. And if it wasn't there, we wouldn't be doing this, so. :beer:
An important one to remember is that you can still love someone even though you don't particularly like them at the moment.

biker72
04-11-2011, 03:30 PM
I've been married 50+ years.....to the same woman. :)

You're going to have arguments over kids, money, something. Both of you need to learn to compromise. No winners no losers.

Len J
04-11-2011, 03:44 PM
I've been married 27.5 years....unfortunatly, it took 2 wives. :rolleyes:

Seriously, my current marriage is 20 years young, and I'd like to think I've learned a few things from both my first failed marriage and my second marriage......in addition to all the advice here I would add:

- know yourself. Your actions and reactions come from inside you...if you don't understand them, you will never be able to understand your wife's response to them. Make your actions with her conscious.

- Love and marriage is about choice. Every interaction, involves a choice of how you behave. Are your actions coming from a loving place or not? Only you can make the choice.

- She and you will change. See the first item above.

- Capture the things about your wife that are unique and that underpin your love for her..........remind yourself every day what they are.........add to them as you discover more about her.........there will be some days they are harder to see than others/

- Activly Recommit periodicially....especially when there is a hugh change in your relationshipo.....move, job change, illness, kids, more kids, etc. Show her you are making the choice again.

- Be human....and allow heer to be human. Human = less than perfect.

- Listen...even when it's hard to hear.

- Recognize your own defensivness....see the first point above.

Good luck and many blessings to the 2 of you.

Len

Ken Robb
04-11-2011, 03:53 PM
A man thinks his bride is wonderful and will never change.

A women thinks her man is almost perfect and with a little help from her they can be made perfect.

They are both wrong. :)

William
04-11-2011, 04:02 PM
All you need to know.....

http://forums.thepaceline.net/showthread.php?t=54134&page=1&pp=15


;) :D

William

1centaur
04-11-2011, 07:03 PM
Plenty of sage advice but I like Len's advice the best although, ironically, I'm also at 27.5 years but did it with just one.

I disagree with the "always say yes" sentiment that some have shared. It's not a partnership if you always say yes, and she won't respect you. This technique technically will make it easier to keep her from dumping you, but it won't do much for your life.

I think maybe 80% of whether it will work out or not is already written. The core people you are will determine most of your relationship. Technique just helps around the edges. So, I hope at least one of you is kinda mellow enough to absorb the annoyances with relative good humor (my advice to my child will be, marry somebody who is naturally happy). I hope at least one of you is tough enough to drag the other through difficult actions. I hope at least one of you has the fortitude and vision to manage children and a spouse simultaneously. I hope both of you really dig characteristics other than physical about the other.

Now the techniques. One good one I like better than not going to bed angry (which can lead to some pretty addled midnight conversations) is to think if a fight is so worth having it would be worth having a year later. Most aren't.

Second, anger comes from fear. Figure out what the fear is and work on that to diffuse the anger. Not being loved, not having enough money, not being respected enough at home or at work, not achieving enough at work, not being loved by a child, not being healthy, never having fun again...these can all be fears that manifest as anger. Be a psychologist for yourself at least as much as your spouse.

Know yourself enough to know what you really can't stand doing/being for her sake and let her know that. Being henpecked would be one for me (I'm a million miles from that). Being treated like some cliche man and women know best would be another. Repulsive.

Now here's a tough one. I once read a magazine article called, "Can a Woman Ever Really Love a Man?" and the answer was complex. Broadly speaking, women and men love differently. For many men, the emotional truth that matters to them is the commitment they made when they married that they are upholding. For many women, the emotional truth is what they feel now. Men spend a lot of effort trying to make women feel good about them now. You can see some of that in this thread. There is no way around this other than marrying a woman who thinks more like a man on that issue, and they are very rare. Accept this fact and commit to the process, which does not mean just saying yes, it means being the best man you can be and hoping she picked you for reasons that will stay with her. That can be scary, and fear leads to anger. Be brave in the face of your fear, give when you are not getting. If the 80% is in the right place, she'll come back around.

Don't bother even noticing other attractive women in the real world. They don't matter. This is learned behavior. Anybody can do it.

Finally, studies show most marital fights are about money or family. Work those out before they occur. Create a system around money that stops you from negotiating/pleading for stuff you want if at all possible. Dedicate spare money to personal savings and to family savings that are not retirement money - spend your savings on whatever you want with no complaints and vice versa. Negotiate money issues before they exist. Figure out who'll move and why if a job offer occurs across the country, and why somebody would seek that offer in the first place. Planning for mutual retirement helps flesh out this topic.

Family - I hope nobody is more important to either of you than your spouse, period (until you have kids - good luck being #1 after that). Challenge the instinct to feel guilty about not having Mom over or not going to the aunt's for Thanksgiving. Guilt is for children. As grownups, make your own traditions by yourselves. Less family; fewer fights. Unless the 'rents are awesome.

Lifelover
04-11-2011, 07:17 PM
Shut The F- Up!

I'm considering writing a book on the subject and the advice works well in the professional world as well as your marriage.

It took me years to learn this very simple lesson and it really has saved my marriage.

As hard as it is to believe, what you think and feel compelled to say isn't always right. Even if it is, it doesn't mean it will be well received.

Countless times through the years of my marriage (20 years) a fairly minor matter was blown out of proportion because we both felt that we should say what we feel in an attempt to "communicate".

You are young and have no clue what I'm talking about but it is something you will have to learn to make any relationship last.

Beyond that just realize that living with ANYBODY is hard and some other woman isn't going to make it easier.

The rest of my advise is not suitable for an open forum and would be best conveyed after a few drinks.

rugbysecondrow
04-11-2011, 07:28 PM
Don't bother even noticing other attractive women in the real world. They don't matter. This is learned behavior. Anybody can do it.




I haven't learned this one yet. You can take the dog out of the fight, but not the fight out of the dog.
:banana: :banana: :banana:

jlyon
04-11-2011, 07:28 PM
You make up your mind now that it will work.

You give your time and effort to be supportive of her needs, which is way harder than it sounds when you have your own agenda and hobbies and of course shut the F up. I have learned this and many times I beg my wife to just stop talking when things are going south.

She is italian so it is harder for her to keep quite than me.

93legendti
04-11-2011, 07:45 PM
I'd say that there is no formula you can be told, only the formula you both learn.

If I had a tip, it would be live far away from your in-laws. Unless they are my brother's in-laws, who are some of the nicest, easiest going people I have ever met.

echelon_john
04-11-2011, 08:20 PM
i'm no expert--11 years in, our share of struggles, and lots of wonderful times as well.

one thing i would change, if i could, would be to enjoy more time as a couple before having a child. my daughter is the light of my life in countless ways, and has made me a vastly better person and husband. But she was born about a year after we were married, and i think it's fair to say that my wife and i both wish we had a little longer to settle in to married life (and enjoy two incomes, unencumbered travel, etc.) before her arrival.

that said, and this brings me to my second main point, yes, your life will change, but you can still do what you want and be yourself as long as you're willing to let your partner do the same. two years ago my wife, daughter and i camped out in the wind on Mont Ventoux, hiked up and saw the stage, then hiked down together. It wasn't easy, it wasn't convenient, but it was a huge experience for me and they helped make it happen. I try to do my best to support my wife's goals and share them, even if they aren't intuitive to me, because i trust her judgment and respect her needs.

to sum it up:
- take care of yourself. if you're not happy, the relationship will suffer, so zealously maintain your own mental & physical health, and career.
- be generous in supporting her in reaching her goals, just as you're selfish (but welcoming and inclusive!) about reaching your own
- look at where you want to go. just like cycling, if you focus on the distractions (divorce, affairs, disengagement) that's where you'll steer. if you stay focused on the road ahead, it will make it easier to go in a straight line
- apologize when you're wrong. give credit when she's right. don't stop surprising her--flowers, a nice email, a meal out...IT DOESN'T TAKE MUCH TO BE A PRINCE.

do everything--and then a little more--so that, dog forbid, it doesn't work out, you can look yourself, your parents, HER parents in the eye and say you did everything you possibly could.

best of luck--it seems like your head is in the game, and i wish you great happiness.

John

MattTuck
04-11-2011, 08:23 PM
I haven't been around the forum much for the past 6 months. But 1centaur seems to have some good ideas about marriage, as he seems to have some good ideas about investing.

I'll say just 2 things.

1. Always be open/transparent, even if it is going to be painful admitting something.

2. Make sure you are being yourself.

PS. 1centaur's bike collection suggests that money wasn't that much of an issue ;)






Plenty of sage advice but I like Len's advice the best although, ironically, I'm also at 27.5 years but did it with just one.

I disagree with the "always say yes" sentiment that some have shared. It's not a partnership if you always say yes, and she won't respect you. This technique technically will make it easier to keep her from dumping you, but it won't do much for your life.

I think maybe 80% of whether it will work out or not is already written. The core people you are will determine most of your relationship. Technique just helps around the edges. So, I hope at least one of you is kinda mellow enough to absorb the annoyances with relative good humor (my advice to my child will be, marry somebody who is naturally happy). I hope at least one of you is tough enough to drag the other through difficult actions. I hope at least one of you has the fortitude and vision to manage children and a spouse simultaneously. I hope both of you really dig characteristics other than physical about the other.

Now the techniques. One good one I like better than not going to bed angry (which can lead to some pretty addled midnight conversations) is to think if a fight is so worth having it would be worth having a year later. Most aren't.

Second, anger comes from fear. Figure out what the fear is and work on that to diffuse the anger. Not being loved, not having enough money, not being respected enough at home or at work, not achieving enough at work, not being loved by a child, not being healthy, never having fun again...these can all be fears that manifest as anger. Be a psychologist for yourself at least as much as your spouse.

Know yourself enough to know what you really can't stand doing/being for her sake and let her know that. Being henpecked would be one for me (I'm a million miles from that). Being treated like some cliche man and women know best would be another. Repulsive.

Now here's a tough one. I once read a magazine article called, "Can a Woman Ever Really Love a Man?" and the answer was complex. Broadly speaking, women and men love differently. For many men, the emotional truth that matters to them is the commitment they made when they married that they are upholding. For many women, the emotional truth is what they feel now. Men spend a lot of effort trying to make women feel good about them now. You can see some of that in this thread. There is no way around this other than marrying a woman who thinks more like a man on that issue, and they are very rare. Accept this fact and commit to the process, which does not mean just saying yes, it means being the best man you can be and hoping she picked you for reasons that will stay with her. That can be scary, and fear leads to anger. Be brave in the face of your fear, give when you are not getting. If the 80% is in the right place, she'll come back around.

Don't bother even noticing other attractive women in the real world. They don't matter. This is learned behavior. Anybody can do it.

Finally, studies show most marital fights are about money or family. Work those out before they occur. Create a system around money that stops you from negotiating/pleading for stuff you want if at all possible. Dedicate spare money to personal savings and to family savings that are not retirement money - spend your savings on whatever you want with no complaints and vice versa. Negotiate money issues before they exist. Figure out who'll move and why if a job offer occurs across the country, and why somebody would seek that offer in the first place. Planning for mutual retirement helps flesh out this topic.

Family - I hope nobody is more important to either of you than your spouse, period (until you have kids - good luck being #1 after that). Challenge the instinct to feel guilty about not having Mom over or not going to the aunt's for Thanksgiving. Guilt is for children. As grownups, make your own traditions by yourselves. Less family; fewer fights. Unless the 'rents are awesome.

wc1934
04-11-2011, 08:28 PM
Leon Russell
"If you treat your woman like you treat yourself everything is gonna be alright"

1centaur
04-12-2011, 05:24 AM
PS. 1centaur's bike collection suggests that money wasn't that much of an issue ;)

It was not always thus!!! In my wife's early adult years she was digging through the sofa for nickels to buy food. In our early marriage we never did anything fun, I went to grad school and she waitressed. One key is that she always respected my sense of what needed to be saved for the future - some spouses are fixed on the present. My bikes reflect getting to a point well along in my career AND not spending a lot on lots of stuff that most people buy (I had a PB&J for lunch for over a decade of work). One thing I implemented years ago was a $ limit on Xmas and birthday presents to each other - $250. It seemed a lot then and it seems a little less now, but it reflects a mentality of planning for the long term. But regardless of income level, nothing has been more freeing than splitting the spendable money 50/50 and not worrying about what I'm buying with my part or she's buying with hers. We are mutually happy for each other.

RPS
04-12-2011, 06:57 AM
But regardless of income level, nothing has been more freeing than splitting the spendable money 50/50 and not worrying about what I'm buying with my part or she's buying with hers. We are mutually happy for each other.
A 50/50 split sounds like a great plan for retirement too when income will likely be reduced for most couples Ö.. provided you can first agree on what are necessities in order to define ďspendableĒ money. ;)

In my experience marriage involves a lot of civil negotiations, and it helps when both parties play fair.

rugbysecondrow
04-12-2011, 07:05 AM
It was not always thus!!! In my wife's early adult years she was digging through the sofa for nickels to buy food. In our early marriage we never did anything fun, I went to grad school and she waitressed. One key is that she always respected my sense of what needed to be saved for the future - some spouses are fixed on the present. My bikes reflect getting to a point well along in my career AND not spending a lot on lots of stuff that most people buy (I had a PB&J for lunch for over a decade of work). One thing I implemented years ago was a $ limit on Xmas and birthday presents to each other - $250. It seemed a lot then and it seems a little less now, but it reflects a mentality of planning for the long term. But regardless of income level, nothing has been more freeing than splitting the spendable money 50/50 and not worrying about what I'm buying with my part or she's buying with hers. We are mutually happy for each other.

You articulate something very important, being on the same page. The quicker a couple can do that, it will solve quite a few headaches.

Climb01742
04-12-2011, 07:27 AM
the wise-@ss in me (and the once-divorced in me) would suggest a good pre-nup. :rolleyes:

where i will buck the prevailing sentiment is, marriage is not meant to be permanent. love is. sometimes ending a marriage is the wisest and kindest act.

personally, i wouldn't focus on "the marriage". i'd focus on "the love". on the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. and experience has taught me, love isn't something you get. it's something you give. love is an outward act. if you genuinely feel like giving her all that's in your soul, you're 90% home. the other 10% is talking, communicating, saying, not holding in.

if there's love, everything else will come.

MattTuck
04-12-2011, 07:35 AM
It was not always thus!!!

I was just foolin' around. I know that shared goals and understanding of finances are important. If you're good with money, come up with a vision of what you want in the future and come up with a plan to get you there (with actual dollar figure mile stones and hurdles you meet each month/year). If you are not good with money, either get good with money or spend the money on a financial planner to help you.

Max out your 401k and other tax deferred savings vehicles.

1happygirl
04-12-2011, 07:37 AM
Very Much congratulations and I am impressed with all the people on this forum who have made it work so long. Your spouses are lucky people. Thanks Nooch for sharing your experiences and excitement with us.

A caveat: I'm not married, but my grandparents were a long time (& I stayed at a holiday inn once). Asked Grandpa why and how. He said that the reason for not moving on to someone new is because you would receive the same level of discontent after a while with somebody new. You take yourself with you wherever you go. That's it's about contentment not happiness. Happiness is when you get a new item, bike, car, etc but content is being satisfied every day. The new person would make you happy for a while but sometimes the same issues would come up. Stay and make it work. Burn the boats (when someone I knew got married they said they pretended they went to a new land and burned their boats where they couldn't escape-so they stayed and made it work. No way out)

bking
04-13-2011, 10:10 AM
I'm 31 years married, six kids, four grandkids. A lot of good advice here, some not so good...in a marriage thinking anything should be "seperate" can be dangerous.
While I come from divorced parents, my paternal father had more wives then i probably know about, my wife and i agreed right away that the "D" word would never be spoken, in anger or otherwise. I went into this thinking my only way out was in a box. This IS my one shot. She was the same.
There are a lot of good points in this thread, I have broken most every good rule mentioned by others. What works for some just wasn't enough for others. I do believe in some of the litte things mentioned above, little to us--Martians, big to them--Venutians (sp). Holding my wifes hand when we walk anywhere is HUGE to her. I hated it at first, felt like I was dragging something behind me everywhere. I got over it. "I love you" is said often. I never leave the house w/o a kiss. We date, every Friday night. We've done this from the beginning, and through six kids. By Friday afternoon if I haven't called or said something earlier she'll call, "you going to date me?!" Silly things, took me a few years to learn, but they cost me nothing, and they add up big to her.
Kids today are looking for "the one". There's more than one, lots in fact. Then, when you find one, this above all, it takes work. Movies and TV portray couples going from one exciting thing to another, always having fun...it's not about fun. It's a whole lot deeper than that, and it has taken me decades and a good rear view mirror to see this.
There was an old quote in a New York paper that went something like this: marriage is like a ride on an old fashion coal fired train, mostly bumps and jerks and smoke with soot in your eye, interspersed occasionally with brief moments of exhilerating speed.
Get on board, punch your ticket. It's worth everything you can put into it.

old_fat_and_slow
04-13-2011, 11:55 AM
Don't bother even noticing other attractive women in the real world. They don't matter. This is learned behavior. Anybody can do it.



Are you kidding me? Is this physically possible? Even in my old and decrepit state, even with the reduced levels of testosterone I am producing at this stage of my life, I am not able to resist staring at hotties. If you're out with a woman, learn to wear dark sunglasses. It'll keep you out of a lottah hot water.

1happygirl
04-13-2011, 06:02 PM
I'm 31 years married, six kids, four grandkids. A lot of good advice here, some not so good...in a marriage thinking anything should be "seperate" can be dangerous.

Get on board, punch your ticket. It's worth everything you can put into it.
I once was handed some money as a young child from my grandpa. I said who do I thank, (him or grandma) he said its all the same, in the same pot. Great advice (only 69 yrs on and they got married late-so it must be good advice)

jmeloy
04-13-2011, 09:54 PM
Hey E-man, I got much the same advice from my brother in law, "smile and nod" he told me. Over the years its become a running joke between us when I fail to do something she asked me to do.

We'll book 30 in September so you've got us by a month. I tel others that marriage is not a 50-50 deal. It's a 100-100 deal and if you are not both committed to giving 100% it is gonna be tough!

My folks were married 60 years before my dad died.

His advice to me when I got married: "Always say yes."

I've pretty much held to that advice for the last four-months-shy-of-30 years. It's served me well. For example, yesterday I pulled her for the better part of 40 miles. It got me a viewing companion for P-R last night.

<bliss>