Author Topic: Are you all happily married?  (Read 3943 times)

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Offline freespirit

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Are you all happily married?
« on: April 04, 2013, 09:14:42 AM »
Are you all happily married?  ??? Just wondering,…because I am having some problems. Always had them with my husband, (married 37 years), but they are getting more intense and have become more frequent. He so fits the cliché of the “grumpy old man.” I know, ..I need to be above it all. I think I just gave that advice, in another post, to another member… hahaha,….but it is hard, it really is. I think it’s easier to disengage from an adult child than from a partner. No?  Maybe I’m wrong. :(
The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.
            -- Michel de Montaigne

Offline FAFE

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Re: Are you all happily married?
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2013, 04:52:27 PM »
Most of the time, I'm very happily married.  Once in a while I can into a snit and just want to hurt someone!  We have decided after raising 3 teenagers, building a house, living together 24 hours a day in retirement, we can make it.  We don't have to contribute to any of our AC's unless we just want to do something.  I generally do a lot more for the GC than for their parents.  We really have no bills to struggle over, have good retirements, which could change on a dime I suppose.  We fairly healthy, take care of his 95 yr old mother who is in an assisted living facility.  He does not complain if I set around all day reading in my pj's.  I hate it when he says he's giving up golf, oh no you're not!  That's "me" time.  He was fussing at me today because I want him to redo our patio (to make it all level) and he wanted to jerry rig it and I said no.  Then I looked at him and said, I'm such a witch.  His reply was that at least I knew it. 

We talk a lot, laugh a good bit.  Moan and groan a little, but we've been together almost 42 years!  Freespirit, this is probably not the dialog you wanted to hear, but I really am happy where I am and who I'm with. 

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Are you all happily married?
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2013, 06:02:01 PM »
My husband just died on February 21st at age 101. We were married almost 24 years. I was 62 and a divorcee and he was 78 and a new widower when we got together. We were happily married because he was capable of unconditional love. I'm serious. He had a strong character but was the kindest person I have even know. I wasn't capable of unconditional love but he thought I was the greatest thing since sliced bread. Whenever I fell from grace, he just hugged me and said, "Oh, honey, you're entitled." (Whew!) We had ten good years…the first six RVing with our two little pups. Then he started down hill and the rest was Care Giving for me and just kind of sitting it out for him. I was married before…twice…18 years each time. The first was not a nurturing environment for me, so I finally gave up. The second was not nurturing enough for him so he found someone else. My first husband, my son's dad, is deceased. My second is still a good friend and is still kicking himself. LOL!
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it's a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I'll try again tomorrow." -- Mary Ann Radmacher

Offline freespirit

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Re: Are you all happily married?
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2013, 11:32:35 PM »
Thanks for your fast and honest replies. I guess I always thought old couples never fought. I thought that was all behind them and they just felt comfortable with all their pros and cons.

I need to take off my pink glasses, and not expect too much, I suppose. I also have to work on my own patience. I find myself getting exasperated with repeating my sentences all the time, either because he just doesn’t listen or won’t concentrate on what I say. He’s so negative, focuses on all the bad news on TV,  which he watches almost three times a day. I just can’t hear that stuff anymore. I’m afraid he’s getting slow in his thinking. I just hope and pray I have the patience that you had, Luise. I think it’s easier if a strong love is there, but if it isn’t, and in my case it’s not,…then getting older,  with all its quirks, can be quite a challenge.

To be fair, it’s of course not all bad, otherwise I would pick up my heals and run. And of course the financial aspect of it all plays a big part. I had to laugh, Fafe, when you told your husband not to give up golf because that is your  “me” time. I can sooo relate. We too are blessed because we have prepared well for our retirement days. We have so much to be thankful for. But just for that very reason, having an unhappy atmosphere at home, seems so horrible,..for we have every reason to actually swing from  the chandeliers and  sing with joy. Ach…while writing this, my stomach is knotting up. It’s such a waste of time to be unhappy.

I just wonder if there is any secret remedy to jump over ones own shadow and not allow another person to drag you down. I just wonder.
The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.
            -- Michel de Montaigne

Offline FAFE

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Re: Are you all happily married?
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2013, 05:38:21 AM »
Freespirit, our marriage is a second for the both of us.  My first husband was a very, very jealous person due to the fact (I think) that two of his sisters were "rounders" and he saw another side of women.  We married very young, and I was dumbfounded that talking to another man had him suspicious of everything I did.  I was working at a army base, duh, I had to talk to others, but as I'm pretty outgoing I loved talking to anybody about anything.  This did not go over so well with him.  He checked the mileage on the car, hid in closets to hear (in his mind) me talking to others.  The straw that broke the camels back was when I had picked up one of my cousins and he had left his cigarettes in the car.  So, after 3 years I had had enough! 

My current husband and his wife had to get married due to her being pregnant.  When I met him he was a single father of a 4 year old son.  She became a hippy, among other things.  After we had been married a couple of years I adopted the son and went on to have another son and a daughter.  I tell people that one of my children is adopted and at times I do not remember which one it is.  His ex wife has re-entered the picture as she wants their marriage annulled so she can join a community of catholic women, as she sees God as her retirement plan.  She does have a relationship with our son and we have no problem with that.

We have definitely had some rocky times, but have over come most of them.  We both worked and DH was pretty frugal, which has paid off in the long run, but there were many problems through out the years due to money problems.  Now that we are retired, we travel together.  I travel with friends and my sisters and all is pretty good.  I still talk to anyone who will listen and he knows I'm harmless and would never do anything to betray his trust, although I'm not perfect, nor is he.  Our running joke used to be that he had a line of women waiting for me to pass away because we had good insurance.  Now that we all qualify for Medicare, the line has diminished.

I think that one of our strengths in our marriage is the two bad ones we had before we met.   Probably too much information.

Offline Stilllearning

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Re: Are you all happily married?
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2013, 12:46:29 PM »
I have been married for 34 years and it is my only marriage as yet.  We kid each other all the time about trading each other in for a newer model or a cuter model or a whatever model.  When he gets on my nerves by doing something I usually say something snippy and we laugh.  At least we do now. 

A few years back we almost divorced.  We even decided to.  We were incredibly miserable!  Who cares how it started, I will tell you how it stopped.  I stopped expecting him to make me happy.  I found other ways to be happy.  The kids were young and he would leave town once or twice a year to go on a 'guys' week or week end and I would be miserable the entire time he was gone.  When I started taking the kids camping during his 'guy time' and enjoying myself and quit letting him control my happiness everything evened out and things have been improving ever since.

So my advice would be to stop trying to change 'things' and change yourself.  The only true change comes from within and you are the only one who can make you happy.

I am starting to use this strategy with my DS and DIL.  I am going to be happy, regardless of whether they are or not.
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
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Offline luise.volta

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Re: Are you all happily married?
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2013, 12:54:41 PM »
J - Oh, that makes me think of the wonderful little trips my youngest DS, our Webmaster, and I went on when his dad went hunting! He was about 8 when we started. He is 58 and we still talk about them and the fun we had!  :)
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it's a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I'll try again tomorrow." -- Mary Ann Radmacher

Offline freespirit

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Re: Are you all happily married?
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2013, 01:23:01 AM »
Fafe, since this is my first marriage, I have nothing to compare my marriage to. I can remember the losers I dated, though,..and I know  why I said yes to my husband`s proposal. I can still say he was the best of the bunch…so I suppose not all is lost.  :)

Wonderful wonderful advice JoAnna!  Next time when things get edgy, I will think of your wise words about not trying to change things, but instead, change myself. Maybe to the point that I leave the house, and treat my self to something nice.
The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.
            -- Michel de Montaigne

Offline Grieving

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Re: Are you all happily married?
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2013, 11:57:12 AM »
I have to say YES! DH and I met in hs, have been married 46 yrs. + dated 4 yrs. before marriage. I have been sorting through old pictures, and realize we were children compared to today's standards. We grew up with our children, always enjoyed doing things with them. We did go through a very rough patch about the time they were in hs. May have divorced if I had been working instead of staying home with kids. In fact, I went back to work briefly thinking that I could support myself once the kids were out of house. However, we worked through it along with some external problems, and came out stronger, better, more in love than ever. DH is truly the best thing to ever happen to me. It is corny, and a cliche, but we complete each other. Where I am pessimistic, he is optimistic, where he is too conservative, I bring some adventure, he is outgoing, I am introverted, yada yada. We realized we had given too much of ourselves to raising our children, had 'lost' ourselves. We developed several new hobbies that we enjoy doing together.  We both enjoy some 'me' time, but we truly enjoy spending most of our time together. Are there some new activities that you could learn together?

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Are you all happily married?
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2013, 12:25:22 PM »
I read a book many years ago about a couples study to determine how many were happily married. I was amazed and so were the researchers regarding the myriad definitions that were held by those interviewed. Some felt that complete agreement was happiness, some the variety was the spice of life, some saw marriage only as a legal state and expected nothing…and there were those that replied that they lived in different parts of the house and were very happily married. It was probably my first direct experience of multiple perceptions and the erroneous assumption that we all hold the same concepts.
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it's a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I'll try again tomorrow." -- Mary Ann Radmacher

Offline Pen

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Re: Are you all happily married?
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2013, 11:41:27 AM »
DH & I are mainly 'comfortably' married, I'd say. Happily married sometimes. We've settled in & I don't think either of us is going anywhere soon. Raising a disabled child puts many marriages in jeopardy (guilt, blame, stress, financial worries, & so on) so we feel lucky to still be married. It's been interesting getting to know each other again as independent adults after the kids moved out & DS married.

One of the biggest strains on our marriage is my sadness (and sometimes hurt & anger) over our DS/DIL situation. DH tries to make up for it and I need to remember that he hurts too when I'm in pain over DS.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline freespirit

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Re: Are you all happily married?
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2013, 12:11:47 PM »
Grieving, wow you sure have been married for a long time. And you are more in love now than ever?! That made me smile, I loved how you described your marriage. You asked if my husband and I do new things together. Yes we do. And all our common interests, and there are lots, do bind us. Infact it’s one of the major reasons we have stayed together.

Luise, good thought; what IS a happy marriage? Now if I could mould a happy marriage, what would it be like?
  • I suppose one of the big factors would be mutual respect.
    Then laughing a lot together would be just wonderful.
    Of course trust plays a major part too.
 
I suppose if you have those 3 factors,…then love is the prize. And if some people live happily in opposite sides of their homes…well I guess happiness is all that matters, although… I can’t really believe that.

Pen, you have my deepest respect for raising a disabled child, and surviving that stress in your marriage. I hear you about sadness can strain. I also believe that men cope with family problems differently. In my case, my husband can distance himself and simply  won’t allow the “kids” to get him down. I have learned from him.

You know, I just read once again the list I had written to Louise, and thought that applies to our adult children as well. If we have a mutual respect and laugh a lot with them…then love just has to fill everybody’s’ hearts.
The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.
            -- Michel de Montaigne

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Are you all happily married?
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2013, 12:23:07 PM »
FS - What a beautiful combination…laughter and respect. Val and I had both. He was more respectful than I was but I laughed more than he did. We learned from each other and I think it balanced out.  :)
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it's a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I'll try again tomorrow." -- Mary Ann Radmacher

Offline Pooh

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Re: Are you all happily married?
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2013, 08:32:36 AM »
I am extremely, humongously, ginormously happy in my marriage. The others here will tell you to NOT get me started about my wonderful DH :)  This is also my second marriage.

I was married the first time for 21 years and for 15 of those, I was miserable in my marriage.  I did figure out the last five years of it that it wasn't ever going to get any better and I needed to concentrate on things that made me happy, so I wasn't miserable in general, just the marriage part.  And there was nothing in my marriage either that was "walkable".  He didn't beat me, or curse me.  He wasn't an alcoholic, drug addict, etc.  He just ignored me and used me to make his life easy and he did what he wanted.  Once I quit doing that and found my own life, I guess it wasn't a good marriage for him any longer.  Boo hissssss....poor baby! :)
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline jdtm

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Re: Are you all happily married?
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2013, 09:31:50 AM »
I've felt sorry for myself because some of my husband's family did not accept me (actually everyone did except three people) and one DIL was a person "beyond my realm of understanding" - she left our son and abandoned her two children almost four years ago.  However, in over four decades of marriage, my husband and I have always been on the same wavelength and path in life (can't even remember a memorable discussion let alone an argument).  Wow - thanks ladies - I had forgotten how lucky and blessed my life has been.