Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
ZOMBIE THREAD ALERT: This thread hasn't been posted on for a while.
Please describe your decent, 'normal' relationship with DH/DP - what's it like?(52 Posts)
I've only posted once, and my situation and all the answers I got really enlightened me to the fact that my own relationship is terrible.
However, I have no real idea what a good, decent and 'normal' one is like as DH was my first serious boyfriend, my parents had a rubbish marriage, just staying together out of habit.
So please can people try and explain what their relationship is like, how does your DH/DP treat you, how do you spend your time together, how do you talk to each other, show your appreciation etc etc.
Bit strange I know, but I'd really, really appreciate an insight in to how my own marriage should be.
We speak to each other pleasantly, try very hard not to be snappy (which is hard with a non sleeping baby) but call each other on it and apologise if we do.
We're lucky that we enjoy the same TV, films etc so not much compromise needed. However, I'll often suggest he watches his gardeners world while I faff etc. He appreciates it rather than just thinking it's his right.
I guess we try to put each other first but don't always accept the offer iyswim.
My DH works long shifts in a hard job so when we do have time together we try to spend it doing something we both enjoy, more baby centred now our DD is here We always split the housework etc half half while to other looks after the baby. He never expects housework etc to be done while he's working as he seeings looking after my DD as my 'job' while he's working. The housework gets done when he's off.
It's hard to put into words. I've been in a few abusive relationships in my past, its just different, more thoughtful, treat each other like we care I guess.
DH and I have been together 15 years, and I love our relationship. No, it's not perfect, it takes some work and tilts slightly off-track sometimes. But when it does, we talk, we listen, we fix it, and we're stronger as a result.
Here are the main things that define our relationship for me:
We are absolutely a partnership. We share all responsibilities; financial, childcare, domestic. We back each other up with regards disciplining the DC, even if we don't agree - that is something to discuss later in private.
Both of us pick up the slack for each other if one of us is having to deal with extra pressure at work. Likewise, we both agree that we can use the other to blame as an excuse to get out of doing things we don't want to, ie "sorry boss, I can't house-sit your chickens this weekend, the wife needs me to file down her sister's hamster's toenails".
Most importantly, I can be utterly relaxed and absolutely myself around my DH. His company is my sanctuary, he is my rock and my comfort. If I need to talk, he listens. If I need to be alone, he understands and doesn't take it personally. If I had to change any part of who I am to be with him, then he wouldn't be the one for me. Of course there are things about me that he doesn't 100% like, and vice versa. But neither of us would dream to trying to change those few tiny things, because a) they're such small things in the overall awesome package and b) any changes would mean that person wouldn't be the person we love any more.
So it boils down to this. We love each other exactly for who we are. Not only under certain circumstances, in certain moods, only when sober or when work isn't stressful. Always and absolutely.
I trust him with my life, my soul, my children and my future. As he does me.
We've been together for 21 years, my husband makes me belly laugh almost every day. We look after each other. The things that we do that get on each other's nerves don't seem to matter any more, they are so predictable that we laugh about it, and take the piss out of each other. We have the odd row, about 4 or 5 times a year, but mostly just have little shouty sessions to clear the air.
I've been in crap relationships but my OH is amazing, kind, interesting, pulls his weight, just brilliant - and we 'get' each other.
Main thing I really notice is there just isn't that nagging bad feeling in the back of my mind with OH as there was in every other relationship I've been in.
We are a team. If he has a bad day at work, I make his favourite dinner or get a glass of vino. He does the same for me. No sulking or silent treatment; if we have a problem with each other we get it out in the open and sort it right then. No 'I am more tired than you' competitions. We recognise that a child makes us both tired at times! Giving each other the time to indulge in a hobby or exercise once a week while the other stays in with DD. Having a date night 1-2 times a month where we get a babysitter. Make time for sex!
I love him and accept him just as he is. Sure he has annoying parts but I love and accept those parts too.
I miss him when he isn't around. He is the person I trust to be fully open with. He has seen me at my best and worst and still loves me.. vice versa
No drama or point scoring. We want to make each other happy.
I was married at the age of 18 the first time. This time I choose wisely.
Me and my boyfriend have been together for 4 years, living together practically straight away. We can be very similar, which causes a lot of bickering, and normally it's me apologising regardless who's at fault. (Not good, but I don't how to stop myself, it's just how I work)
He doesn't help out much with the housework, which is a source for a lot of frustration, but I know he wants to be the best dad in the world, and hope that this will mean helping out more. We don't always spend alot of quality time together, but we are always saying 'I love you', kissing, hugging and giving each other compliments. We laugh alot throughout the day, and joke around too. We can both handle each other at our worst, and still have love, and to me that is massively important. We fully trust each other also on the big stuff, which is an amazing feeling.
It's easier to make a contrast when you've experienced both, I think.
For me this article sums it up perfectly - being in a "co-piloting" relationship is so important. Relationships in a Nutshell
I also made a realisation thanks to mumsnet, feminism and, well, meeting some men who aren't total dicks, that men aren't some totally different species which are impossible to understand and who act differently, have different values etc - there are as many variations between individual men as there are women, so if you want a man who wants to spend more/less time with you, or who smokes/doesn't smoke, or who likes/doesn't like football, musicals, geek TV programmes, who has a high/low/medium sex drive, or all of those things then it's not at all impossible to find and you don't have to put up with any attribute that you don't like just because he is good in other ways especially if those are "rare" things for a man to be. None of that is true, so stop worrying about it! You won't have to change any part of yourself for a man who is a good match for you. Even if it is a "good" change, like giving up smoking - nope, if he's right for you, he'll be right for you just as you are. Give up smoking if you want to for yourself or your DC or to save money or whatever, but don't feel like you should do things like that or anything else for the sake of getting a relationship.
As for specifics in my relationship, we are kind to each other - if one of us is struggling then the other will support them, do nice things etc instead of putting them down and reinforcing the bad feeling the person is struggling with, DP will either do something practical to support me (without being asked, he just seems to see which is lovely, but if he doesn't I can ask and he will do whatever it is as long as it's reasonable!) or help me come up with a plan to help me cope with a situation better or we'll come up with a plan together to improve it long term.
He makes me feel supported and encourages/pushes me to do new things in a way I've never really had from anybody, my mum was supportive but never really pushed me out of my comfort zone and DP is great at doing that in a way that makes me feel I can succeed. He does it with DS too and I think it's fantastic because I don't have that skill at all - we definitely complement each other in parenting as well as in other parts of life.
He gets totally mushy when drunk - with XP I used to find it really stressful if he drank because I'd be on edge wondering if he was going to do something stupid, and those weren't even the times he was being a drunken arsehole. DP isn't like that at all. He just gets cuddly. In fact I suppose that translates to a general ability to trust him in virtually any situation - barring my job, he'd be useless at that - but at home, with DS, etc, because I know that he has similar values to me, I know that he would deal with a situation in a way that perhaps I wouldn't, but I would agree with (if that makes any sense at all) - couple of examples, he is currently living abroad and has just found us an apartment to live in, he found it too late in the end, but he was going to also find a kindergarten for DS to attend and again I trust him with both of those, and he's done a fantastic job with the apartment. Second example was one time he was looking after DS when I was at work and at the moment I came in I could hear DS screaming as though someone had really hurt him. I came rushing into the room to see what was wrong, but only realised later that at the time the possibility had not crossed my mind that DP had hurt DS because I knew that he wouldn't do that (I think he had attempted to wash his hair!) - sadly enough, I would have assumed the opposite with DS' own father.
We just have a good time. He enhances my life. He props me up (and I'm not particularly stable ) We've just survived 15 LONG months living 600 miles apart, only seeing each other once every 2-4 months and I literally cannot wait to get him back (for good!) on Monday. Love him.
Together for 20 years, married for 13 years.
I chose him as my partner very carefully.
Had he done anything that I wasn't entirely happy with at the beginning then he would of course be gone. No question.
I have never suffered fools to be honest.
He is a good one.
He makes me laugh, he makes me cry (he can be totally sweet and mushy sometimes), he drives me nuts but he's the first person I think about when I wake and the last person I think about before I sleep (home or away). If I need advice, a sounding board, a supportive ear or a reminder that I don't have to do everything alone anymore he's always there, as parents we are a team...if we don't agree we support the decision made at the time and discuss it when the dc are in bed.
We don't hold grudges, we work through problems together and I know I am safe - safe to disagree, safe to make decisions and always safe in his arms.
Shared goals as a family, shared principles, shared morals, trust and mutual respect formed and still form the basis of our love and our lives.
We talk a lot... Never get into moods with each other.
Lots of hugs, he tucks me in when he leaves for work before my alarm goes off.
He is a gentleman. I am good to him, he is good to me.
He cares, asks me about things he knows I worry about.
It is easy. Never hard work.
We compromise on things.. He gets to do all his hobbies and then we will do something nice together.
I never have to lift anything heavy or change bins etc. he comes home to a cooked dinner. It is old fashioned but it works.
I was the same as you op. in ashamed to admit it took a while for me to stop punishing dp for exp mistakes.
We have been together 7 and a half years. One daughter 11 months.
There are no dramas, no mind games, no control, no jealously.
- respect. We respect each a lot. We so swear and tease each other but never in anger.
- kindness - we show each other kindness. Little things. He will make a cuppa, ill iron a shirt I know he needs.
- fun. We haven't any money but he makes me laugh everyday I like to think I do the same.
He has never raised his voice at me and if he has an issue he says so as do I. I tend to get a bit ranty so if I do he leaves me alone to calm down then we talk about it.
We never go to bed cross, tell each other we love each other each day.
We don't have money to do things but a treat for us is a takeaway and a film and one of us having a lie in.
I'm much happier and a better person for getting rid of exp and meeting dp.
DH is the only relationship I've ever been in and we've been together for 12yrs, married for 6, have (almost) three kids.
As far as our lives are now, I think we work because we compliment each other. We are quite different people in terms of interests and personality but we share the same core values to do with our children, our marriage and how we view the world. We are also quite independent of each other and we make sure that we have time together and also time apart doing what interests us.
It's not always perfect though. Having children was a big adjustment and has been the cause of great happiness and screaming rows when we've both been sleep-deprived and fed up! But we know that the foundations are strong, which means we can weather the storm and come out the other side.
We work as a team, or at least we try to.
We understand each others' oddities, and don't try to change them - he's never going to be the flower buying type, but he will bring a book home because he thinks I'll like it.
We're interested in each other's worlds without needing to be a constant part of them - we don't live in each other's pockets.
He's kind, gentle and honest, and he seems to make me a nicer person too. We've been together for five years, and I feel more content and calm than I ever have previously - it's just not hard work.
I feel very fortunate. My parents have a marriage that I don't want, and I guess I use them as a template of how not to run a relationship.
We have 'in jokes' going back years.
We talk about trivial stuff like what we're watching on TV but also have debates/arguments about things we believe in.
We take the piss out of each other.
We bicker a lot but forget about it quickly - don't sweat the small stuff (him more than me!)
We loved our pre DD lazy weekends together - and reminisce about having them.
We have the same interests but also like to do our own thing and aren't in each others pockets.
We have lots of mutual friends who we see as much as we can.
We have similar backgrounds.
We both make the effort to put the other first, look after them and treat them well because this way both of us feel cherished and noone gets priority or comes second- and both of us put our child first before either of us.
I'm another one who has been in some pretty awful relationships, which I'm now very grateful for as it makes me appreciate what I've got now.
We've got the same values and the same ideas on the big things, like kids, family, money etc. We're completely open with each other, we don't have secrets and we trust each other implicitly. If we argue, it's only about the issue at hand; there's never any name calling or insults traded. We make our decisions together. He's my best friend and he puts me before him every single time. We're very affectionate with each other, we regularly compliment each other he tells me he thinks I'm beautiful, even when I know I'm looking pretty ropey. He makes me feel happy every day.
Looking at these answers, it seems to me that a lot of good relationships are based on the same sort of things.
He's my best friend. He makes me laugh, he is a great dad although I wish he could be here more.
He is the most decent human being I know - always fair and straight with everyone. I admire his morals, his brains and his work ethic.
He drives me nuts sometimes and we do row, but always from a place of security - we always move on and never look back.
I need to remind myself more often how lucky I am.
Oh and he does the difficult bits of computer games for me (I'm rubbish at racing or flying missions!)
Simply, he's my best friend. We make each other laugh every day and we have a lot of shared values. We agree on the important things and we agree on which are the important things. We share housework and childcare pretty equally (I do more housework, he does more childcare). We support each other's careers and have a lot of give and take around this (so he'll do nursery pick up if I need to work late and I'll do drop off if he needs to travel to a meeting)
We do swear at each other but that's because we're sweary people in general and the tone is non-agressive. We try and make time to spend together and we talk a lot. We tell each other we love each other every day and have a very similar sense of humour.
Together 15 years, married 9. I luffs him a lot.
Another one who's been in previous abusive relationship. My parents also didn't give the best example of a good relationship which is why it was so important to me to find the right one to be with and have children with.
Echo what others have said, mutual respect, and love. He knows what's important to me and me to him and we both go out of our way to support each other. It's not one sided at all, and we both truly appreciate each others support. Dh passed some exams yesterday and came home with flowers and a card to thank me for all my support with revision etc. completely unexpected but he knows the little things matter to me. I in turn have done similar things for him.
Everyone deserves a relationship like this and from experience if you're not in one and don't know what it's like, it is very much worth waiting for.
I'd rather be alone than be back in a relationship similar to my previous one.
21 years together and we have had a rocky ride. We have worked so hard to make our marriage a good one and its been worth it. We agreed 10 years ago on a list of non negotiables:
Always be honest
Try to be kind just because you can (cup of tea in bed, odd bunch of flowers)
Try to walk away if a situation becomes inflamed
Always remember that we have devoted our entire adult lives to one another - that is a blessing not a burden.
I am so happy we stuck it out. My DH is the most important person in my life
Oh, and there's no drama. No game-playing, no tricks or traps.
I hope it's not too late to add mine:
Kindness. We speak kindly to each other - have never sworn or shouted at each other even during the bad times. We accept differences.
Our sense of humour overlaps quite a bit and we are always making each other laugh.
We talk a lot. We talk about the big things, small things and daft things. I've realised that quite often we'll be doing different things together. Right now we're on our laptops, he's watching netflix and I'm on here, but we're still talking quite a bit.
Some similarities - e.g. both early birds, neither of us drink any more, same attitude to money etc.
We are a couple and put our new family before our 'old' families. I think the reverse is a major source of discontent in others' relationships.
We're physically affectionate - cuddling on the settee, holding hands when we walk, pecks on the cheek... even at times when there's been less sex.
He's my best friend who makes me feel safe in so many ways.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.