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What would you say is essential in a good relationship?

(160 Posts)
pleasestopcarolling Thu 27-Dec-12 16:19:30

I' m not looking for perfect just basic essentiais without which you think a relationship wouldn't work.

Kione Tue 01-Jan-13 21:22:54

Things in common
Respect
Physical attraction
Shared sense of humour

Dottiespots Tue 01-Jan-13 21:18:52

Someone said that Marrieds relationship was not equal . Married believes that her relationship is equal. No one else can tell her that her relationship is not equal cause we do not live in her shoes. If Married believes her relationship is equal then it is. What others think is just that....what they think.....their opinion. Not trying to take sides or anything just dont think its fair to tell someone that their life is something other than what they say.

Offred Tue 01-Jan-13 21:01:02

I said what she has described here doesn't sound like equality, but of course people can point out when a relationship is not equal, half of this board is taken up with really unhappy, unequal relationships women thought were happy and equal, and posters do precisely that; point out things are not so equal as they thought. The only reason married's relationship even came into it is because she was using it to harm someone else by making out her way of compromising and her choice to conflate long with good was the way to conduct a relationship.

Dottiespots Tue 01-Jan-13 20:38:13

Im sorry but no one has the right to tell another person that their relationship is not equal. Each couple defines their own relationship and it is not for another to judge.

Offred Tue 01-Jan-13 16:46:52

I read your posts, you said she sounded unhappy and you were sorry which is --not an apology at all--an extremely backhanded apology. You continued on after it with more smugness about your marriage and compromise as though it is objectively rather than subjectively required. However you haven't once asked her why it is she feels unhappy. I am happy because i have compromised ergo she must be unhappy because is not compromising enough how irresponsible that she won't keep her family together is how it comes across.

"One" is not required to compromise, nor is "one" required to remain in a relationship or a marriage which makes "one" unhappy or even in a relationship at all. Staying married does not mean a relationship is of good quality, a good quality relationship can occur without compromise if the partners involved have the same values, equally compromise is something that is involved in most people's relationships because people differ from each other, all of that stuff about compromise being necessary can also be really damaging to relationships.

Compromise, however, is not the same as priorities changing when something unexpected happens; a husband or wife cancelling a hobby to look after a sick partner/child is therefore not a compromise unless it is negotiated unwillingly, it is simply a change in priorities based on an unexpected event. If it has to be a compromise that's not really a great relationship because one is a need and one is a hobby.

A compromise over holidays might be going somewhere that ticks boxes for both but suits neither fully or taking turns, going to the other's or the children's favourite place because democracy rules is a sacrifice not a compromise. I'd think it weird if a parent felt a child-oriented holiday was a significant sacrifice.

That is why it is really unhelpful and mean to just announce to someone that "marriage is about compromise" and you are irresponsible if you don't do it, because that is simply your own choice about how you conduct your relationship and because you haven't asked anything about the op to know that's the problem. I think it is highly unlikely that anyone would be unhappy because they weren't compromising enough, people dont have to compromise or be made to compromise if they don't want to and people either want to compromise or they don't, they want to sacrifice or they don't and more often than not people are stressed and unhappy by too much compromise/sacrifice because that just indicates benignly; incompatibility or malignantly; some abuse.

It therefore comes across as staying together is the most important thing to you and based on your descriptions of your relationship on this thread - women have to suck it up for the sake of keeping their man and that this is the objective truth of good relationships rather than simply your personal view.

Your relationship may well be more equal than how you have described on this thread but I find it interesting that the compromises you mention you making are about taking on entire responsibilities because your dh doesn't fancy them and reciprocally your dh looking after his own dc when you were studying/cancelling a hobby when you were sick/him being ok about helping with the house when it is an emergency.... Not particularly equal examples because they convey that in order to be let off a shared responsibility, even one that he has passed completely to you, you need to have an important reason, whereas he just doesn't fancy stuff.... And this is ok because he told you what you could expect before you married and you were happy with it. It is more about attitude than anything, it sounds as though although he considers himself superior you also consider him superior and therefore you are both happy with an arrangement where he is in practice superior. That's the impression I have got from the way you describe your relationship.

MiniTheMinx Tue 01-Jan-13 16:40:18

There is a fundamental inequality btw men and women, it is historical and it can be found in all spheres of public and private life MarriedIn

One of the ways in which women are subjugated and disempowered by men/by society/the social totality in which we all live......is through the division of labour. Women as carer, mother, enabler, facilitator and support to man as socially/economically/politically empowered person. This is not equal as you can see. From what little info you have given about your relationship......it is easy to conclude (I'm a feminist) that your relationship is not equal, what it is.......is a happy life for you. I'm glad of that. We are all different. sometimes the political and the personal collide wink

Offred and married.......wish you all the best for the new year.

marriedandwreathedinholly Tue 01-Jan-13 15:48:49

Go back and reread my posts. One put down for which I apologised once I realised I had misread what the OP was inferring and about which the OP was gracious. You, on the other hand have fired back ever ruder and ever more disagreeably.

I am now disengaging from this thread and shall let you have the last word as you have very ungraciously turned it into something very personal against me.

I wishe you a happy new year and a very perfect future.

Offred Tue 01-Jan-13 14:19:55

Someone else who is already feeling unhappy... For what reason exactly? You can't actually be bothered about her because you haven't asked her anything about herself, her feelings or her relationship, you've simply used it as an opportunity to parade the longevity of your relationship which is actually completely irrelevant to a post asking about what makes a relationship good.

Offred Tue 01-Jan-13 14:15:48

It isn't your relationship, it is you using your beliefs about relationships based on what you have chosen in your relationship to very nastily put down someone else.

marriedandwreathedinholly Tue 01-Jan-13 13:16:54

No relationship is ever perfect *ofred*. If you think that is possible you will never be happy. There are always degrees of compromise in everything that every functional person does.

My relationship may not seem equal to you because it would not be your idea of perfection - but I assure you my role in it is equal and my DH regards me as his equal.

I would never have been happy with a man who clocked off at 5.30 so he could come home and help me wipe down the paintwork and dust the dado rails.

Perhaps you should focus on what upsets you personally and deal with that rather than presuming to fight someone else's corner for them because you have decided that someone else's good, kind, loving relationship that has harmed absolutely nobody in this world is abhorrent to you.

Anyway - happy new year and much happiness in the future - I hope you find perfection in a world where nothing can be compromised. If your DH wants to go to the cinema and you have been invited out to supper and you want to do that - are you saying that you should stay in and do nothing because neither of you can compromise? Doesn't seem a recipe for happiness to me. Have you never said to your DH "you look worn out - you have a cuppa while I put the kids to bed"? Has your dH never said "I won't go to football on Saturday - you've been up with baby for two nights, now she's on the mend I'll takem out for a few hours and you have a rest". All compromises - all part of living together happily.

Offred Tue 01-Jan-13 12:52:11

Dug up personal stuff? You mean remembered that your husband was a barrister?

Anyway, I'm sure I wouldn't have been terribly damaged by whatever you said about my parents, quite honestly it is completely irrelevant because I am not berating someone for being irresponsible and parading around giving the secrets of a long marriage as though this is the same as a good relationship.

My point is not that you aren't happy, it is that your relationship doesn't sound particularly equal or perfect and that I object to you banging on about someone's unhappiness in a relationship being down to them not compromising enough and being irresponsible. It is nasty and you haven't asked enough to know what the consequences of saying she should compromise more will be.

Sugarbeach Mon 31-Dec-12 23:22:23

Only just read he OP an none of the responses, but...

RESPECT

But isn't there a saying that goes familiarity breeds contempt....

Alisvolatpropiis Mon 31-Dec-12 23:19:58

I didn't "fess up" married,I was quite happy for you to know it was me.

I'm not looking to argue either,but I do think there is a limit. If what you said about Offred is true then it is deeply unkind to use it against her,it would have been something over which she had no control.

marriedandwreathedinholly Mon 31-Dec-12 22:43:03

Sorry - same principle applies. Ofred dug up personal stuff about me from another thread and she got it served back. There are no ircumstances where I would allow anyone to infer that either I or my children were existing in a demeaning or an abusove environment.

Anyway I'm not out for an argument and at least you have fessed up and ofred is not as dishonourable as I thought.

Alisvolatpropiis Mon 31-Dec-12 22:20:23

It was unpleasant and irrelevant. Most people don't consider throwing someone's abusive childhood in their face well reasoned discourse. Rather,clutching at straws.

I don't necessarily agree with what Offred has said to you but I thought your statement was beyond the pale. MNHQ agreed.

marriedandwreathedinholly Mon 31-Dec-12 22:09:26

Really. I recall it as being truthful. It isn't there now so I can't review it. However, as far as I'm concerned it was truthful and delivered what was required when I was under attack.

Alisvolatpropiis Mon 31-Dec-12 21:39:09

It was me who reported your post married. Because I thought it was disgusting.

marriedandwreathedinholly Mon 31-Dec-12 20:31:50

No it isn't my second marriage.

No one should ever compromise their health, their safety or their happiness. I have never compromised any of those things and never would. Neither would I ever compromise the health, happiness, safety or security of our children.

This thread derailed and I am sorry the OP is unhappy. But if the things that can't be compromised are absent I hope she will work through it. The OP also said they had had children for 11 years and personally that is a huge turning point for a family - ime. The eldest ready to move to the next stage; the younger ones growing in independence and character. That brings an ease re the burdens of caring for small children - not to say it is less hard with teenagers - but the extra worries bring with them more freedom for the parents and more chance to get back in touch with each other as a couple.

MiniTheMinx Mon 31-Dec-12 20:11:19

Is this your second marriage? or am I confusing you with someone else?

Anyhow I am glad you are happy. I am happy but what of OP???

How far should anyone be prepared to compromise?

marriedandwreathedinholly Mon 31-Dec-12 20:02:39

I don't feel the need to refer to my DH as diddums and I don't use a hoover either. I am, however closer to your mother's age than you. My dH and I are equals - he is clearing up after supper as we speak.

I am truly sorry if your parents are unhappy and if they made you unhappy. Mine were incompatible. Neither was ever unkind or cruel or nasty to the other or to me. A party girl married a quiet man and they couldn't make it work.

DH and I have been happy since day one. We remain happy. I'm sorry if you disagree but every relationship requires a degree of compromise.

I do not have to go into the precise circunmstances of our lives but I am certainly not subserviant but am part of a happy and successful partnership that together we have lived and built on for 25 years. Had it not made me happy I would have left and could have left.

You don't appear able to hear or take on board anyone else's point of view without being offensive and that is rather sad I think.

Offred Mon 31-Dec-12 19:46:07

I'm sure you are happy, my mum says that too. You may well be screamingly happy, that has nothing to do with equality.

Offred Mon 31-Dec-12 19:44:43

I'm assuming it was something about my childhood? Whatever was said about my childhood frankly strikes me as a bit irrelevant anyway... The issue we are examining is why married thinks her relationship is what everyone should aspire to despite it seeming to me to be not quite as great as she thinks and despite her seeming to be doing exactly what she criticised the op for; being influenced by her parents.

I think it's quite normal to be influenced by your parents. I think it's nasty to tell someone they need to compromise more when they are in an unhappy relationship and proceed to make out their unhappiness is down to their lack of responsibility.

Fact is parents influence children, nowhere greater than in how they conduct their relationships and it can be really hard to break patterns created in childhood. My mum's majorly influenced by her mum still now at 58. Married's influence from her parents seems to be this idea that people should stay married at all costs even the expense of happiness, as evidenced by her wanting her parents to stay together even though they were miserable. To pretend that is not influencing this idea of compromising for your dh so diddums doesn't have to use a Hoover and can instead completely focus on being important is a bit weird IMO.

marriedandwreathedinholly Mon 31-Dec-12 19:36:28

Actually Ofred - don't diss my relationship by twisting words. I am happy; always have been - with a very good man and a very loving home. I hope you can be as happy as I have been. I resent no-one their happiness.

Offred Mon 31-Dec-12 19:33:50

? Paranoid in the extreme. I didn't delete you, I didn't even read the post you wrote, by the time I came back it was gone...

Frankly if you weren't out of order it likely wouldn't have been deleted however I don't know what was said or why whoever reported it reported it.

marriedandwreathedinholly Mon 31-Dec-12 19:31:57

So you can sput nastiness but others can't then Ofred. You can give it but can't take it and run to tell tales to get those who tell a few hoome truths.

Mini - she made it personal so I made it personal back and repeated what she has been spouting on other threads.

Where do you get your ideas that being a supportive partner makes one the underling?

And yes I am usually Marriedinwhite - no doubt you have a problem with that.

Ooh how long will it take you to delete me because I answered back?

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