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MNers who are in a truly happy marriage - please tell me what it's like?

(105 Posts)
DreamingOfMicronesia Wed 30-Apr-14 22:27:06

What's it like to be loved and respected so much?

What is your marriage like - for instance, does your DH kiss you goodbye every morning? Do you have little in-jokes? Do you cuddle and have a regular healthy sex life? Does he respect your opinions and not talk down to you?

I don't think I have ever had a non-dysfunctional relationship in my life (I'm 24) and I really want to know what it's like to be in the ultimate commitment.

(incredibly nosey question and absolutely none of my business, so feel free not to answer blush )

BaconAndAvocado Tue 26-Aug-14 22:54:46

Been married to DH for 9 years, together 10.

We met in our mid-thirties, I was a single Mum of 1.

2 DCs later we are still very happy. We sometimes disagree on parenting, often on politics but, generally, we share the same values.

He is one of the good guys and I count myself lucky that we found each other.

At 24 I was a very different person and probably would have been oblivious to the charms of such a caring, dependable, lovely man.

karigan Tue 26-Aug-14 22:53:07

I think what makes mine and my husband's marriage a good one is that once you dig past all the couple stuff fundementally we are very close friends. He was someone who I would choose to spend time with before we ever 'got together' and so spending time together on our numerous shared interests comes very naturally. However we both also have separate activities/interests that we do and this gives us chance to exist individually and not live in each other's pockets the whole week.

I also agree with whoever it was earlier in the thread that what I most respect and like about him is that he is a good person and I see him treat people well every day.

Yes we do argue but the arguments serve a purpose- they're about communicating why one/both person/people are annoyed and attempting to resolve that and I can only think of a two examples in 10 years where we have failed to reach conclusion and agreed to differ. Also the arguments are constructive- it's not name calling and door slamming.

Laska42 Tue 26-Aug-14 21:43:33

this is very insipring.. I know i'm in a happy and good marriage.. sometimes though like now i need reminding.. (its not him i dont like, but me, sothis kind of thread is good for reminding me why he likes me )

Any more stories?

Laska42 Tue 26-Aug-14 21:41:09

.

lechers Sun 04-May-14 09:22:35

I've been happily married to DH for 12 years now (we've been together for 17 years).

Sure, we row and fight, and sometimes even tell each other to F off, but that's our personalities. We're both strong willed and pig headed.

What makes our marriage strong, is the fact that at the bottom line DH and I love and respect each other. I know DH loves me. I know I can go to him about anything, and if I screw up, no matter what I've done, he'll be there for me. The same goes for him. I moan and whinge and complain, but of he ever needs me, I'm there for him. Ultimately we both know we're batting on the same team, and we're there to back each other up!

But yes, the morning cup of coffee, the kiss goodbye, or cuddle before sleep is nice, and helps to reaffirm everything. I think the most important bottom line, is that we both know we love and respect each other, and will do anything for the other person (although they may get nagged about it grin).

Lizzylou Sun 04-May-14 08:17:08

Op, I completely agree with Pagwatch on this, you are very young and have the power to only accept what is right for you, not put up with shit just because you want a relationship.
Dh and I have been together for 18yrs, married for 12, when I first met him I just felt so comfortable around him, like I could be myself totally with him.
He is a very good and decent person, we just work.

jasminemai Sun 04-May-14 08:05:05

We dont really do big arguing. I have only fell out with him overnight once in our very early 20s and I was very drunk! Other than that we have bickered but never been annoyed with each other longer than an hour or so.

LaQueenOfTheMay Sat 03-May-14 19:54:31

Agree WF - basically we want each other to be happy, and are really pleased if the other one gets to do something they enjoy.

LaQueenOfTheMay Sat 03-May-14 19:53:09

Most definitely, and ideally he also should tug his forelock too wink

TheWordFactory Sat 03-May-14 18:57:12

I'm a very loooooooong relationship and am very happy indeed.

I think the most binding thing is that we're a team. We don't have competing interests. He wants me to have what I want and I want him to have what he wants, so we try to facilitate one another where we can.

That said, we're not remotely romantic in a traditional sense. We don't go in for grand gestures, or endless protestations of devotion. We just quiety and methodically support one another day after day, month after month, year after year.

Minion100 Sat 03-May-14 18:54:42

grin the foundation of any good marriage!

LaQueenOfTheMay Sat 03-May-14 18:54:01

But of course...he also genuflects when I walk into the room wink

Minion100 Sat 03-May-14 18:51:12

I only hope your DH doesn't call you LaQueen smile Although maybe you should demand he does!

LaQueenOfTheMay Sat 03-May-14 18:17:16

I think you're probably right minion.

I think both DH and I had fairly healthy self esteem before we even met each other? I remember overhearing DH once tell a friend 'LaQueen was already very much her own woman, before she became mine' if that makes sense?

Minion100 Sat 03-May-14 17:59:58

I think that sense of knowing you can "say anything and still be loved" is not something you magically get from the other person though. It's something inside you. Self esteem?

Without it, no matter how much you are loved, you cannot let go and feel that trust that you can be yourself.

My husband thought my love for him was conditional on him being manly, strong, loving, wonderful and happy. He thought if he was depressed and unable to be those things that he would not be loved. So he ran away.

Those thoughts had no bearing on reality. It was something he'd decided on his own based on his dysfunctional childhood and hideous first marriage.

The point being - a relationship is only as strong as it's participants. If either one is carrying baggage from their past that they have not dealt with, or if either one has a dysfunctional way of managing problems then the marriage might hit a big problem.

A lot of it is about your strength and "health" as individuals before you enter the marriage.

LaQueenOfTheMay Sat 03-May-14 17:53:37

Meant to add - I also think that when you have been together for a very long time, and been through Hell & High Water together you have earned the right to be completely honest and open, and say what you truly feel. Even if that means you get angry, and are sometimes rude and unfair toward each other.

Because for every moment of anger/rudeness/unfairness - you can temper that with a million moments where your partner was incredibly kind and loving and supportive.

I couldn't expect DH to always, always, always be 100% kind, loving and supportive. Because he's only human...and Hell, I don't expect that of myself.

LaQueenOfTheMay Sat 03-May-14 17:48:45

I think it was a Samurai saying that went 'A true friend is one you can share insults with' or something like that?

Basically I think it means that when your friendship/relationship is very, very strong you can be very over familiar with each other, take the piss out of each, even get angry with each other...yet stay safe in the knowledge that you will still be loved.

Minion100 Sat 03-May-14 17:42:24

But, you do need to be able to be completely open and honest with each other, without fear of the consequences. If necessary you should be able to feel safe enough to contradict your partner, and openly disagree with them, with out fearing your relationship can't stand the strain.

I think this is said perfectly. No matter how much in love you are, no matter how happy you are, no matter how compatible and how great everything is - if you come to a major life crisis and you cannot both do this it puts you in very worrying territory.

A lot of the time though, this inability to be honest, to openly disagree might be in the person's deeply ingrained nature. They might have lived a lifetime finding confrontation difficult.

Often people who seem extremely emotionally healthy can shock the hell out of you when they are hit by a crisis and are completely unable to cope.

LaQueenOfTheMay Sat 03-May-14 17:07:32

No, I'm not saying there has to be raging arguments in order to qualify as having a very happy marriage. Not at all.

But, you do need to be able to be completely open and honest with each other, without fear of the consequences. If necessary you should be able to feel safe enough to contradict your partner, and openly disagree with them, with out fearing your relationship can't stand the strain.

I'm quite lazy as a person, who wants an easy life - so I chose a DH who was generally singing from the same hymn sheet as me. Makes life so much easier. But if something has annoyed us, or we disagree with, then we get it out in the open quickly until it's sorted and resolved.

Neither of us harbour grudges, or play passive aggressive games, or sulks.

Have known too many couples who are all smiles on the surface, and politely attentive to each other...but inside they're grinding their teeth every day, and festering with resentment...but never actually dare get round to airing their emotions, and resolving the issue.

I think that sort of relationship is toxic. As is the relationship where one half generally calls all the shots - and the other just gives in for the sake of an easy life. Because to stand their ground causes too much bad feeling and stress.

beccajoh Sat 03-May-14 13:31:04

Yeah agree re:not arguing. I don't argue with my husband. We do disagree about things and there's plenty of times we get annoyed with each other, but I view arguing as a shouty disagreement with no actual outcome other than pissing each other off. It just seems like a complete waste of time to me.

Laregina Sat 03-May-14 10:35:17

Have to disagree with those basically saying that you have to have raging arguments or there's something wrong with your relationship...

DH and I hardly ever argue. We disagree, yes, we do piss each other off and fall out about it. But then we talk about it and move on. I honestly don't think we've ever had an argument that's lead to slamming doors and shouting at each other. That's partly because we 'get' each other and tend to agree on all the big things in life, partly because we're both quite laid back people anyway, but also because I don't want to spend my life shouting at somebody I love - and neither does DH. Maybe it's also because we were both brought up in families where our parents loved and respected each other 100% and would still be together had old age and death not got in the way sad

To me, shouting and arguing does not equal passion - love, chemistry and good sex does IMO - and we have that without having to shout at each other.

Horses for courses and all that, but I know people in RL who have made sweeping statements about couples who don't argue having problems, etc. From what I've seen they're trying to make themselves feel better about their dysfunctional relationships in the face of others who are clearly happy in theirs.

AMillionNameChangesLater Fri 02-May-14 21:43:51

I'm happily married, very happily.

I dated (using the word very loosely) some off men. There was the one who had a bet with a group of mutual "friends" that he would be the one to have sex with me first.

The one who repeatedly made me feel crap, just so i would be grateful for a nugget of attention. "Million, if you stopped eating as much, you'd look so much prettier" etc. Looking back,I was a fool to put up with it all.

The one who snorted Pro-Plus off the uni table. He was arrested recently for drug dealing apparently.

Then I met DH. He makes me feel beautiful, and sexy, even when I look crap.

He can wind me right up, so I'm laughing but not in a good way, the way which screams "I'm going to kill you". He doesn't think about what needs to be done without being reminded.

He is so laid back, it makes me (a control freak) stabby.

we've been through a lot, more than most people my age (27) have. I trust him with my life. I can tell him anything. He doesn't understand my crazy, but he tries to. He's wonderful.

We do have in jokes, and he kisses me every day.

Thurlow Fri 02-May-14 21:38:22

YY. You don't have to row and slam doors. DP and I are both naturally sulkers as opposed to rowers, so our arguments are really rather quiet grin

Which would probably piss off almost anyone else in the world, but we both understand it. And the key point is that the emotion comes out somehow. I do quite agree that if the deep emotions don't come out some way, in your version of an argument, that might not be the healthiest.

Minion100 Fri 02-May-14 21:31:43

Not suggesting for a minute that every couple will face mental illness, certainly not to the severity that we did, but we do all face very trying times and at those times you either pull closer together than ever or you pull apart. Problem solving skills and communication are so important. My DH was as close to me as two people could ever be and he hid what was going on from me. A marriage can never work if both partners cannot share openly.

Minion100 Fri 02-May-14 21:26:30

Myself and my DH had a sunshine and rainbows marriage which was very enjoyable and satisfying. This was party because we were both easygoing, but also partly because we just agreed about most things. I got annoyed at him sometimes, pouted, sometimes even had a good shout but it was quite rare. If I did get upset or angry, he was always very docile and didn't argue back much so as a result I never stayed angry for more than 3 or 4 minutes and we'd both end up in a pile of kisses and apologies. We never wanted to stay angry or fight.

As wonderful as our marriage was, his inability to let anger or annoyance out eventually translated to mental health problems when he came under enormous stress and because he was not able to let out negative emotions he could not talk to me about what was happening to him and it pulled him away from me rather than towards me when he needed me the most.

I am not saying couples need to argue a lot to have a healthy marriage, but if they can argue if required and then can communicate about absolutely anything then the foundations are more likely to withstand troubled times.

I loved my husband with all my heart (still do) and it was a truly happy marriage but we were lacking in this area and this is how he became disconnected from me during his dark times.

I don't think this was something I could have changed. He always found talking about his worries very difficult right from childhood.

The point being both parties have to have solid relationship skills for a marriage to be "bombproof". Happiness is all well and good, but the most loving and devoted couples can come under strain if their foundations are shaky and unfortunately you sometimes do not realise that they are until it is far too late.

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