My parents have been married for 35 years this year. When I asked them what their secret was, they both just laughed and then continued on bickering. Typical!
As a young woman with a great SO (albeit stubborn and moody), please impart some of your wisdom on me! SO and I fight a few times a month, mostly about the same BS. How have you been able to withstand life's challenges with your SO for decades?
Lol to the moody comment, i understand that! I just don't give anything permission to bother me for more than a few minutes... and if it does, you can bet ill mention it straightforward and calmly and specifically (ie, "it bothers me that you sound really irritable when I was only trying to help" instead of what I may be thinking, which is usually sarcastic and bitchy!!) I also say something positive almost immediately after he says something grumpy. Or just shrug it off and laugh. We have one dog who is notoriously grumbly and grinchy and have created a voice to go with grumpy dog. Speaking in that tone (and we do it to each other) kinda brings to light how ridiculous the other person sounds lol!
Other things... hold hands, remain affectionate, and don't confuse stress of your own with frustration towards the other person. Laugh together, do special things (date nights, random kind things like picking up errands or a favorite dessert/movie...). Be respectful towards each other, even- especially!- when arguing.
There was an article i read online about this thing, some of what I mentioned were on there. I'll try to find it.
MrB's attempt at talking like a horse person, "We'll be entering in the amateur hunter-gatherer division...."
I've been with my husband for only 7 years but I can't remember the last time we had a real fight. We've "had words" occasionally but sorted it out quickly.
Along with the other things I think it's important to be honest. Not just in not lying but in not lying by omission. Don't say it's okay if it's not. Ask for a few minutes or a hug if you need it. That sort of thing.
Honesty respect and humor. When /if you quarrel,do not personally attack or call each other names. Make sure you are only addressing the action or event that y.ou are a ngry about. Agree to disagree when necessary. Do not say something in anger that you can't take back. Laugh OFTEN!
I don't think there is any one secret but to me, just being compassionate and having empathy is so huge. Don't expect the other person to read your mind. Understand where they are coming from and put yourself in their shoes. I've found myself doing this a lot as I learn to cohabitate and it puts things into perspective. Most of the time I am the one who ends up apologizing lol for being grumpy lol. Admit when you are wrong.
We also have a way of "arguing" or blowing off steam at each other where we are kind of joking but kind of not. It allows us to say what we are feeling and make a point without coming off so angry and making the other person feel defensive.
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Mr. Hasahorse and I were at his company holiday party before Christmas, and the wife of one of his coworkers asked me how we were able to keep our marriage going after 17 years (we have been together for 21 years total) when she had other friends who couldn't even stay married 2 years. I don't know that there is a secret to it. I think more than anything, we like each other. It's not just about loving each other and caring for the other person. At the end of the day, I would rather spend it with him than with anyone else. I think you have to go into marriage with the mindset that this really is for better or worse. Things have not always been great, but we are both in the relationship for the long haul.
My new mantra - \"Life is too short not to eat ice cream.\"
The first 15 minutes set the tone for the rest of the evening/whatever. When you see eachother after work or any other time apart take 15 to talk/laugh/touch. If you spend the first 15 minutes complaining/ignoring/whatever that's how it will stay. 19 years and counting...
It helps to both want,the same kind of life and to have a similar value system. Anyone can get along when things are great and they feel great, if you still want to be around them on the bad days that is a plus. Probably the most important is you both want to stay married,not quit or give up.
2. Do stuff together. The couple that shares activities and interests is stronger than those who don't.
3. Talk all the time. Communication is essential.
4. Be willing to compromise. If you aren't willing, you aren't winning in the end.
5. Figure out what is important early on. If you don't know what is important to you to have in your relationship or you are not talking about it, you need to figure things out. Only when you're on the same page are you going to move forward together.
6. Establish rituals like date night or movie night or make a dinner together night or whatever.
7. Make your rules for living together early-on. If you're on the same page with stuff, it's a lot easier to live together.
8. Don't get a pet until you've been together for a while. If just one person wants a pet, don't get a pet at all. Pets deserve better than that and they can also cause your relationship to fracture.
9. Do stuff for one another. Being in a relationship means caring for one another and helping each other to get through the days.
10. Set aside some time for yourself. If you can't have your alone time, you're gonna go crazy.
I was thinking, there is no secret.
I have seen just as many marriages that seem dysfunctional from the outside, people fighting and demeaning each other, in public even.
You wonder how they ever live under the same roof.
They are together a life time and happy about it.
I have seen those that are lovely toward's each other a whole lifetime and anything in-between.
Find whatever works for both of you, whatever that may be.
Making the conscious decision to stay together and work towards each other, not away from each other.
We always say "love is not enough to keep a marriage together" it's the beginning, it's mandatory, but it's not enough to fix everything. Keeping it together and more importantly, improving it each year takes commitment and a desire to be together.
There's no such thing as "winning" an argument or a discussion with your spouse/SO. If you are trying to win, you aren't listening to the other person, and if you "win" in that way, you've probably done so at the expense of your partners hurt feelings (at the very least) and that isn't worth it.
Be kind to each other.
Be honest, no matter what...I know many other horse women who hide expenses and horse activities from their husbands...I can't even fathom doing that, even though sometimes he isn't thrilled with the expense. I see it as accountability to myself as well, if I can't justify (explain reasonably) the expense to him, can I really justify it to myself?
We both tell each other if we are going to spend over about $200 on anything. We have a solid monthly budget and stick to it, talk about money management and planning openly. We don't ask permission to buy things per se, but more discuss it ahead of time.
Divide up chores and responsibilities based on each others strengths and desires as much as possible. Do the rest of them together or on a rotating basis.
Have the same destination in life, even if your routes are different As in, if your dream is to live on a big farm and have horses and dogs and cats and chickens and his dream is to live in a gorgeous apartment in Manhattan...that will eventually cause conflicts that will be difficult to overcome! If you believe in raising your children with discipline and boundaries and he believes in indulging their every whim, that will become a huge problem...
When things become so frustrating or difficult that you are constantly irritated or worse with each other, really analyze what is making you so mad and decide if it's a deal breaker...if it isn't, then LET IT GO! For example, my husband is a TERRIBLE communicator, he made a huge effort when we were dating long distance for 2 years to talk on the phone because it was all we had. We got married and moved in together and the talking flipped off like a switch. I was not happy, but when we're together it's not an issue. But we both travel a LOT for work, so I spent the first 4 years of our marriage being annoyed/pissed off about his poor phone skills. Then I read a book that talked about some of this stuff and realized that I wasn't with him for his ability to talk on the phone and he was unlikely to change his behavior, and I WASN'T going to leave him over it! So I quit being upset by it (which decreased my stress levels a lot!) He still can't talk on the phone...but I no longer care
Truly wanting the other person to be happy and them wanting that for you as well. Often people try to control their partner either overtly or through kindness, both ways can be manipulative, you have to get to a point where you don't care what they do as long as it's making them happy and not destructive to themselves or others. Worrying about so many little things will pick a relationship apart. Trying to get your partner to do what you want will create resentment on both sides. Only draw a line on something that is literally a deal breaker, ignore the stuff you can and calmly express your issues with the stuff in between. But, if it isn't really a deal breaker (he chews with his mouth open or something!) then express your displeasure and LET IT GO!
None of it is rocket science, but it isn't easy to do every day. We've been married for 7 years, together a total of 11, plus an additional 3 in the middle where we didn't speak to each other at all I often say he is my best and my worst relationship It has been getting steadily better every year, but not always a walk in the park. We are both SUPER Type A personalities, used to being in charge, highly competent at our jobs, etc. Sometimes that mix can cause a lot of conflict because neither of us is used to being #2 in any situation. So we kind of trade of situations that we are in charge of He does finances, I do house planning/organization, etc.
1) Love does not keep score (number one most important rule)
2) Do not banish anyone to the couch.
3) Pick your battles
4) If it is important t o him, it is important to me. If it is important to me, it is important to him
5) If you can't talk about it how the heck do you expect to deal with it?
6) Value each other
7) Bickering and squabbling can be fun. Actual fighting is not.
8) You don't have to be together every second of the day. You can be in seperate rooms and still feel the other person's presence
9) Respect the other person's intelligence and opinions
10) Never ask your partner to give up something (or deny them something) that is very important to them just because you think it's stupid/dangerous/don't like it/keeps them out all night/whatever. You should never take anything from your partner that they truly love.
11) Don't be lazy. Love is work.
12) Good love is like a beautiful aged wine. It's not as sparkling and exciting as redbull and vodka. It is beautiful, full, wonderful, subtle, sophisticated and must be savored slowly to appreciate.
"The nice thing about memories is the good ones are stronger and linger longer than the bad and we sure have some incredibly good memories." - EverythingButWings