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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.

SirSugar Thu 27-Dec-12 16:21:03


insancerre Thu 27-Dec-12 16:22:13

Sense of humour
art of compromise
being able to talk and listen
things in common

pleasestopcarolling Thu 27-Dec-12 16:22:45

I agree , anything else?

CrispyHedgeHogmanay Thu 27-Dec-12 16:23:11

open honest communication with no bullshitting or passive aggressive crap

mckenzie Thu 27-Dec-12 16:24:16

communication, communication, communication

insancerre Thu 27-Dec-12 16:24:43

and physical attraction grin

GinandChocolate Thu 27-Dec-12 16:27:51


Asinine Thu 27-Dec-12 16:28:35

Basic hygiene

pleasestopcarolling Thu 27-Dec-12 16:29:07

Would you include a reasonably regular sex life?

BlameItOnTheBogey Thu 27-Dec-12 16:29:34

Respect, kindness and communication.

Compatability - so yes, sex comes under that.

strumpetpumpkin Thu 27-Dec-12 16:30:15

communication, realism, respect, love, connection and feeling sexually satisfied.

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Thu 27-Dec-12 16:31:15

yes a reasonably regular sex life that both parties are happy with (the regularity) is important for me.

pleasestopcarolling Thu 27-Dec-12 16:31:30

and selfishness? (not sure that' s a proper word)

pleasestopcarolling Thu 27-Dec-12 16:32:38

I me a by UN selfishness!

pleasestopcarolling Thu 27-Dec-12 16:33:27

sorry stupid spell correct

The ability to admit you are wrong and apologise.

Sex is important yes. But similar sex drives is crucial. If neither want it or both love it then ok. If one does and the other doesnt then there could be problems.

Mutual respect.

Lueji Thu 27-Dec-12 16:35:48

I'd say

good communication
similar values

physical attraction, of course

SummerDad Thu 27-Dec-12 16:36:23

Respect for the person and his/her needs
Intimacy (just not sex)
Common values

Can go on further but I guess these are the most important ones for me

SummerDad Thu 27-Dec-12 16:39:23

Sex is important yes. But similar sex drives is crucial. If neither want it or both love it then ok. If one does and the other doesnt then there could be problems.

sex drive does change over the time but if there is an element of respect of the needs of each other, a difference in the sex drive can be overcome IMHO, I like to think so.

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Thu 27-Dec-12 16:43:02

i agree summerdad and that is where communication will come in aswell.

SummerDad Thu 27-Dec-12 16:48:46

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock sorry, I just meant to add to your comment and not to contradict it. Compatible sex drives with physical attraction is a fatal combination no doubt.

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Thu 27-Dec-12 16:56:31

oh i didn't even realise you were commenting in reference to my comment! grin

lemontruffles Thu 27-Dec-12 16:57:00

mutual respect
deep honesty and trust between you
physical intimacy
time for each other
wisdom to see beyond immediate problems
love and desire, good times and bad

I found these qualities in my second marriage; I speak from experience of both a very poor marriage, and now, a very happy marriage.

dondon33 Thu 27-Dec-12 17:26:26

In no particular order:


3mum Thu 27-Dec-12 17:36:49


OverWintered Thu 27-Dec-12 19:28:11

I'm just looking over at DH thinking, ok what's made this work for so many, many years? Respect, Communication, Physical Attraction, similar values but you know I think I agree with a couple of previous posters that kindness is a biggie.... be kind and look for someone who is kind to you and others

AlienRefucksLooksLikeSnow Thu 27-Dec-12 19:31:14

Trust, honesty, kindness, respect, similar values and interests, nice big dick will always help grin

OverWintered Thu 27-Dec-12 19:32:09

I have been sat here drinking bubbly all afternoon, so I am feeling quite gushy and full of love for my "kind" DH..... grin...burp....

Good communication. The ability to talk things through even if you may not agree. <DH currently sulking rather than admitting I'm right to finally ban him from smoking indoors>

SummerDad Thu 27-Dec-12 23:04:40

Interestingly, I don't find a mention of faithfulness while this seems to be one of the main deal breakers in most of the break up threads here.

jessjessjess Thu 27-Dec-12 23:10:08

In no particular order I think a good relationship requires:
Treating each other with respect
Both trying to understand the other's POV even if you don't agree
Both trying to listen even if you don't understand
Generosity, goodwill and kindness towards each other
Laughing together
Same feelings about whether to have kids or not
Mutual physical attraction
Ability to respect and appreciate your differences
Both feeling lucky and like you hit the jackpot by pulling the other

jessjessjess Thu 27-Dec-12 23:10:49

SummerDad I dunno about anyone else but I took the thread to mean what is required in a faithful relationship... As relationship and fidelity are synonymous to me I guess.

noisytoys Thu 27-Dec-12 23:12:18

To me, getting on with the partners family and partner getting on with yours and their family. Family are so important, especially if they don't get on with their own family that is a red flag for me

SorryMyCandyCaneLollipop Thu 27-Dec-12 23:12:21

SummerDad I think "honesty" has come up a lot. The main deal breaker in most of the break up threads is the dishonesty that accompanies the unfaithfulness. If someone shagged someone else and admitted it straight away, no lying, and wanted to focus and repair their primary relationship, those threads may be very different.

Stuff/views in common
Sense of humour
Similar values

jessjessjess Thu 27-Dec-12 23:20:04

"To me, getting on with the partners family and partner getting on with yours and their family. Family are so important, especially if they don't get on with their own family that is a red flag for me"

What if they don't get on with their family for perfectly legit reasons? I am estranged from many of my relatives and have a complex and strained relationship with my parents. I would be pretty hacked off if someone judged ME unfavourably because I don't just play happy families with people whose behaviour I cannot control.

I guess you have hit a personal nerve but I think it's a bit narrow minded to judge people on this. Not everyone has a perfect family.

SummerDad Thu 27-Dec-12 23:20:07

Point taken about honesty/faithfulness, sorry I overlooked it smile

Very interesting thread really.

Offred Thu 27-Dec-12 23:22:19

Hmm... I suspect different people prioritise different things but, Mutually;



Emotional awareness

Offred Thu 27-Dec-12 23:23:39

And communication and happiness!

Piemother Thu 27-Dec-12 23:34:51

Real support - as in willingly putting yourself out to care for/listen to/help your partner - not the same as token sporadic support.
Never making the other person feel they are too needy.

Knowing when to let an argument go. Both caring about they others feelings more than winning the argument.

Not getting jealous.
Having normal friends (both parties) who are open minded about new partners and equally supporting of the relationship.

AlwaysWantingMore Thu 27-Dec-12 23:40:15

I think if I was entering a new relationship I would look for someone that made me feel valuable, precious, sexually attractive and like the most important thing in their life. That is sorely missing in my current relationship, and even though it has many other qualities, and many listed here, without the above I don't think it is going to survive.

Offred Thu 27-Dec-12 23:40:35

Oo yes real support, yes, v. Important and also actual love.

SummerDad Thu 27-Dec-12 23:47:08

Sounds a lot of hard work for someone who is not gifted with it all grin

1978andallthat Thu 27-Dec-12 23:56:25


Being on the same side (different to always agreeing)

Similar approach to moral values eg belief in welfare state

Small kindnesses to each other

Wanting the same from life eg both wanting kids

Make each other laugh

Support each other's successes rather than be jealous.

Anything else a bonus.. Helps if attracted to each other but you know, I think that follows from all of the above.

jessjessjess Fri 28-Dec-12 00:00:44

SummerDad I think this is all very basic and shouldn't be hard work!

SummerDad Fri 28-Dec-12 00:09:40


real support
actual love
feel valuable, precious, sexually attractive and like the most important thing in their life.

I am not sure how objectively the above could be defined. To be honest, I have always struggled and failed miserably in the these in my current relationship despite doing all the usual stuff flowers, gifts, house chores etc. I really feel I am not good enough when I come on these points.

Offred Fri 28-Dec-12 00:16:07

Summerdad - usual stuff? :/

That isn't the usual stuff to me!!!

In fact if you do gestures without substance your relationship feels heart achingly empty.

You should not have to work on supporting or loving your partner. If you do you are possibly in the wrong relationship with the wrong person. Or if you feel incapable of giving or feeling love and support for others then you probably need some therapy to work through why that is.

Lueji Fri 28-Dec-12 00:24:24


It's mostly about listening properly, remembering little things, like quirks and preferences. Remember and ask about worries. To be truly interested in how the other person's day went. To pick up on subtle signs. To leave enough space. Respect decisions, but also indecisions.
Just some examples.

It also depends on what the other person values.
For example, I'm not one for gifts, big gestures or big declarations of love.
A loving touch means a lot to me, instead.

Offred Fri 28-Dec-12 00:29:22

But lueji, if you aren't actually interested in the person you claim to love I doubt you love them, you can imitate it by trying hard to make yourself do those things if you don't feel them but it is hard, hard work and likely not to work out long term I think.

SummerDad Fri 28-Dec-12 00:34:35

I agree with you Offred and Leuji. As you say it really depends on the person values too,wonderful examples you have given here. I must admit, I am not very adept at picking up the subtle signs. That's why I find it hard work smile

Lueji Fri 28-Dec-12 00:34:39

Yes, of course.

If doing those things is not easy then it's probably not love.

And selfish self absorbed people are not likely to be good at relationships.

lemontruffles Fri 28-Dec-12 00:41:47

Oo, 3mum, kindness grin

This was almost entirely lacking in my childhood and my first marriage and I can't say how important I believe day to day kindness is. I now have a wonderful abundance of kindness, and feel like I'm surrounded with warmth and love.

OverlyYappyAlways Fri 28-Dec-12 00:49:07

Faithfulness if at all possible would be good...essential tbh or no reltionship would start...must be pre checked or something confused
and someone you can laugh with, if on same wavelength as me that is.
and some nice sex there too X 3 times per week-ish! sometimes...
No abuse.. I think that comes under respect though confused

<wanders off to knight man on horse again>


pylonic Fri 28-Dec-12 01:00:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pleasestopcarolling Fri 28-Dec-12 10:18:07

Thanks for all the replies I started this thread to evaluate my own relationship I feel there' s so much wrong I wanted to check the basics to count how many if any I have left in mine.
Faithfulness seems to be all we have left, I agree with the points made that it shouldn't be an effort to ask about the other or think about the other' s needs if a relationship is working then caring and thinking about the other' s needs or feelings should just be there.
There' s more lacking but I think that fundamental kindness and thoughtfulness towards each other is essential in any relationship between anyone I agree with the poster who said self obsessed selfish people don' t make for good relationships, especially if they don' t agree that they are and consider every minor gesture to be a huge concession .

SummerDad Fri 28-Dec-12 10:48:48

I also found this thread quite interesting, a wealth of real information you won't get in all those relationship articles and books. I have bookmarked this thread.

I have been thinking if I am a selfish self absorbed person or is it just lack of communication which leave me exhausted and keep guessing all the time.

Well, it could be the first one, no self centered person would like to think that s/he is self centered though.

SnowProbs Fri 28-Dec-12 14:14:05

In no particular order:

Honesty and open communication are absolutely key for me
Allowing each other privacy and time to pursue outside interests and friendships
Sexual attraction - this is more important than I gave it credit for initially in my life
Supporting one another through tough times / nurturing each other

mintyminty Fri 28-Dec-12 14:31:26

I'd agree with most of the items above. A wonderful list, most would also apply to friendships in general.

re: Sex is important yes. But similar sex drives is crucial.

That indeed is critical for a "partner" relationship in the long term. For some couples with no/low sex drive than can be OK for them. But if they are not matched then it result in problems over time, it can start to impact things like spending time for each other, openness, good communication, and so on.

I'd like to add one more item, that is "effort". Nothing is easy. Even when tired/stressed partners need to make a deliberate effort to have time for each other, communicate, etc.

Bonsoir Fri 28-Dec-12 14:34:21

Respect for each other as equals. Constant communication. A desire to find shared goals as well as a joint desire to let one another pursue personal goals. Complementary skills. Understanding that you are on the same team.

christmaspudisnogood Fri 28-Dec-12 15:07:18

I'd like to think/always imagined that marriage was based on
compassion, respect, admiration, loving regard, attraction & shared values.

Oh how my imaginings have been shattered.

Faux compassion, builds-up to knock down again, self-centred, poor at taking repsonsbility, v low sex drive.

I have tried everything, Counselling, Seduction, making his favourite meals, buying him gifts. (most of these in more distant past)

Have told him my fears over the years and he has just buried his head in the sand.

Feel its probably too late now but so scared for our kids.

GiveMeSomeSpace Fri 28-Dec-12 15:15:51

Bingo Bonsoir - three pages of posts and yours is the first that mentions equality.

Equality in as many areas as possible and, again, in no particular order:

Shared values
Love for yourself
Awareness of other perspectives
Willing compromise

GiveMeSomeSpace Fri 28-Dec-12 15:17:07

.... did I forget COMMUNICATION

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 28-Dec-12 17:06:40

Communication. Making each other laugh. Sex. Compromise. Tolerance. Standing your ground on important issues. Accepting there will be times when you find DP wildly irritating.

Oh and:

Never finding each other wildly irritating or disliking each other at the same time (advice given to me by a relative to has been married 60 years)

pleasestopcarolling Fri 28-Dec-12 18:31:41

Christmas Pud it sounds like you are where I am I' m just trying to see whether I can reinstate some essentials into my relationship.
Summer dad your POV is really interesting because from my POV my DH is selfish not just failing to second guess me although I' m sure he feels like you. I suppose from a woman' s POV if you tried to put yourself in our shoes, thought about what needed to be done with the DC or the house or took the initiative based on what goes on around you day in day out and didn't always wait for us to do it by default or always take the easiest option or ask for detailed instructions when "helping" out. I know my DH doesn't' t notice most of what goes on around him so is little aware of things that are blindingly obvious to me, I suppose if he was more involved as an equal (I liked that point) in the day to day mundane life that is most of the time family he wouldn't' feel it was so hard to figure out what is to be done and I suppose that goes to paying attention and listening to our likes and dislikes then you won' t be surprised to find out we hate something you have so carefully picked out for us. It is really a listening properly thing we woman aren' t born with an extra gene which makes us just know you' d like a cup of tea or need a bit of time to yourself or a massage we pay enough attention to you enough on a regular basis enough to figure it out.
Not personal to you Summer dad just a few hints I don' t think you can be selfish if you're hanging out on MN hoping to find advice with your relationship. Wish you were my DH wink

fluffyraggies Fri 28-Dec-12 18:44:53

Just asked my DH what would be no.1 on his list and he said "shagging" hmm

Asked what no.2 would be, and he said ... "er shagging!"


pleasestopcarolling Fri 28-Dec-12 19:06:51

grin at fluffy' s DH

OhEmGee25 Fri 28-Dec-12 19:10:29

Showing and telling feelings for each other
Date nights/ time just to be a couple without the kids.

SummerDad Fri 28-Dec-12 20:27:09

christmaspudisnogood I can relate to your post, I have tried all these sweet things in the distant past but none seemed to work. I ended up feeling more and more incapable.

pleasestopcarolling My problem is that I can't multi-task in real terms. Even at work, before starting my day's work, I have to write down all the stuff for the day and I just follow it as an instruction manual for myself. I see other people getting on with their work while responding to emails on the fly but I can't do this. I must admit when I am doing one thing, I am cut off from my environment.

Though I try to follow some basic rules to keep the order at home like I always try to leave a room in a better state as compared to when I entered, never put it down when I can put it away. I genuinely try to be helpful but it is never enough. I would never demand from my partner to be a football freak or to indulge in political discussions with me because I know it will be against her nature. I expect similar courtesy for my efforts too. I have shared this with you perhaps you could relate some of it to your husband. This is just a description of how things are with me, without going into if it is wrong or right, not a justification at all.

SoleSource Fri 28-Dec-12 20:55:21

Hige bank balance and a great big, huge..

Offred Fri 28-Dec-12 20:59:47

Ha! Dh says "trying not to breathe on your partner"

Offred Fri 28-Dec-12 21:00:38

"Making entertaining yawning sounds, bringing wine on demand and getting the curry."

Offred Fri 28-Dec-12 21:01:00

He is quite literal as this describes our evening!!!

MiniLovesMinxPies Fri 28-Dec-12 21:18:37

Tolerance, DP has had to have buckets of it.
Space.....I like lots of it
Share ideas and be prepared to discuss things, have in common beliefs that are compatible on the really big issues, like politics & religion
Not be clingy and needy
Stop pawing at me if I look like I am busy
and be prepared to muck in with the domestic work and share the childcare.

A1980 Fri 28-Dec-12 21:25:25

Emotional availability

FuriousRox Fri 28-Dec-12 21:32:05

Allowing the other person to be who they are, not who you want them to be.
A good GPS system in the car to prevent arguments over navigation
A cleaner

Softywife Fri 28-Dec-12 23:25:45

This is a really interesting thread. How long have you each been with yr partners and do you think any of this changes over time?

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 28-Dec-12 23:27:45

I've been with my DP for 4 years. We've lived together for 2.

It's my only serious long term relationship and I've had some steep learning curves. But then so has he! grin

pleasestopcarolling Sat 29-Dec-12 09:28:41

Interesting about whether it changes over time I don' t think that the essentials of love respect compassion and equality should change but I think many of us are guilty of complacency.
If you are used to someone you do make less effort but that doesn't' t mean you should lose sight of the essentials. A partnership should be equal and mutual and the problems come when this balance shifts , actually or from the POV of one or other . That' s where communication and listening and respect for each other comes in, another essential. If these are lost then the relationship suffers.
summerdad it' s interesting what you say because to me it sounds like you include your family as a task to be completed I can see that your DW might feel that you are not as emotionally connected with your family as you might be I feel like this with my DH it' s like he has to finish his ' job' with us before he can relax for the day, once the list is finished. If it' s all viewed as a task list there' s the emotional side gone it' s not about what you do around the house , although that needs to be done too, it' s a lot to do with the attitude to it. I hate housework and the day to day drudgery but mostly I get on with it but I don' t focus completely on it so I can't give DC or DH a hug or smile or the help they need when I' m in the middle of something. That' s the important thing is the people in the relationship but it' s easy to let the other stuff get in the way.

insancerre Sat 29-Dec-12 11:31:46

I've been with dh 27 years and our relationship does change and evolve and different aspects are important at different times, but our friendship and mutual respect are the backbone of our relationship.

MiniLovesMinxPies Sat 29-Dec-12 12:01:13

16 years and counting, I think it may have changed over the years, 16 years ago I would have agreed with solesource and said Hige bank balance and a great big, huge.. DP has one of those but I am not saying which wink

but I think the basic thing is respect, without it you have nothing else, I think trust would be impossible without respect as an example.

After 14 years together I can safely say that the single most important thing has to be the same life goals. If you don't agree on the fundamentals e.g. children, where to live, work life balance, no matter how compatible you are in other areas of your life, your relationship will not last.

SummerDad Sat 29-Dec-12 14:23:44

pleasestopcarolling I read your post again and again. Every time I read it, it makes more sense to me. Our couples seem so much similar to me though I wish my wife could be as expressive as you are but still it is good to have a female POV smile

I want to add there has been some positive changes in our relationship, most likely because of the insight I have got here. Strange enough, I don't feel like an odd one out any more.

marriedandwreathedinholly Sat 29-Dec-12 14:34:52

After 25 years:

enough commonality to keep things flowing
mutual comfort

Someone once said that it's hard enough when everything's right; impossible if just one or two things are out of kilter and I think they were referring to the fundamentals like: race, class, religion and politics. The message being that it's fine to have differences but there needs to be enough in common to keep things afloat.

pleasestopcarolling Sat 29-Dec-12 16:10:45

summerdad I' m perhaps not so expressive at home because DH isn't the listening type but I' m pleased it has been of help to you. It has been helpful to hear your POV especially about the whole single task aspect very like my DH . I agree it's good to feel like you' 're not the only one MN is great for that. Talking to others helps put a lot into perspective I wish I could have the same conversation with DH. I want things to change but I' m not sure where to start communication has been an issue and that' s an essential.

BTW we' 've been together 18 years 13 of those married . 11 with DC . Things have changed over the years and I think the essentials have been getting lost one by one over the years . Time to work on getting them back if possible , the problem I have is knowing if DH is prepared to help me find them or is going to sit there like always waiting for me to do it. Neither of us know what to do the easy option is to wait for someone else to make the ' to do' list to follow , that will be me I suppose hmm I don't want it always to be me.

Offred Sat 29-Dec-12 16:53:43

I think undoubtedly yes relationships change and evolve over time but you do need a backbone of love, respect and compatibility for it to remain a good relationship through thick and thin and individual growth/difficulties etc.

Been together with dh 5 years in feb (married 4) but have been through a lot together; abusive ex, confronting my abusive childhood, him moving hundreds of miles to live together, his issues from his childhood, having twins etc. things have changed massively for us all in the time we have been together, it is love for each other and sanctuary with each other and some humour and also communication that has kept us together.

I don't believe in this idea of not being able to express things or not being able to multi-task either because you currently cant/dont or because you are a man. There is a sexist view that women are good at these things and men not naturally. I think more women than men might be trained to learn these skills and think they need them whereas men are often of the opinion that they should not learn them because they are female things.

Some people are better than others at all things naturally but I doubt there would be a natural difference between men and women on these counts. I also think they are not gifts but skills which have to be learned, practiced and refined. I am not naturally expressive and I find it really difficult to be because I was conditioned to not be expressive in childhood but it is a necessary skill in maintaining successful relationships so I have learned it for the sake of my relationship and dh, although my past conditioning makes it difficult still I think it will get easier with time and practice.

My dh struggles with multi-tasking e.g. Working while he is at home and the children are there, things have been easier since he accepted that I was not good at this through natural ability but practice and that it would make his life better and happier if he accepted that he could learn to be better at this and in fact needed to learn to be better at this because he was a working parent and he couldn't afford to choose only to do one thing at a time.

pleasestopcarolling Sat 29-Dec-12 17:18:43

It seems to me that many people feel they have got more of the essentials in a second relationship than they had in their first. Perhaps first time we married for infatuation rather than the more important things maybe second time round one is more aware of what is important. I have always said I wouldn't want to have another partner if my relationship broke down but it's good to see there are plenty of people out there getting it right.
It' s that equality thing isn't it both wanting the same things. If you are both second timers there's probably a lot you agree on about what you don't want as well.

pleasestopcarolling Sat 29-Dec-12 17:22:31

It seems to me that many people feel they have got more of the essentials in a second relationship than they had in their first. Perhaps first time we married for infatuation rather than the more important things maybe second time round one is more aware of what is important. I have always said I wouldn't want to have another partner if my relationship broke down but it's good to see there are plenty of people out there getting it right.
It' s that equality thing isn't it both wanting the same things. If you are both second timers there's probably a lot you agree on about what you don't want as well.

pleasestopcarolling Sat 29-Dec-12 17:23:30

Sorry site went funny double posted.

marriedandwreathedinholly Sat 29-Dec-12 19:02:34

By the time I was 21 my moother was on her third husband - my father was going through a vitriolic divorce with his second wife. I married at 3l having bided my time and learnt hard lessons from my parents. I have worked hard at finding and keeping the love of my life. I learnt as a child how misable being with the wrong person could make not two but three people

pleasestopcarolling Sat 29-Dec-12 19:38:58

married It seems you learnt well from their mistakes perhaps I didn't pay enough attention to my own parents relationship my mum is a martyr to their relationship my dad doesn't lift a finger but I can' t be like her I resent DH and unlike her I can' t hide my feelings nor see any reason why I should.

marriedandwreathedinholly Sat 29-Dec-12 19:48:54

You sound like my Sils OP - bitter and blaming others rather than having suffered any real heartbreak. My DH doesn't do much at home but he funds helP and I'm fine with that. What do you want? What have you done to get it? You cannot blame your parents. I woulkd have loved mine to have stayed together - martyrdom or not. Eventually they ended up happy though.

MiniLovesMinxPies Sat 29-Dec-12 20:26:08

marriedandwreathedinholly are you normally marriedinwhite ?

SummerDad Sun 30-Dec-12 15:41:14

My DH doesn't do much at home but he funds helP and I'm fine with that.

marriedandwreathedinholly This is what I expected from my wife when I got married but seems like different women want different things smile I also fund help at home like cleaning and ironing and for the rest I do at least half if not more. I know what matters in my case is what my wife wants and I am glad I knew a bit about it thanks to OP but still would like to know what others think here about this smile

foreverondiet Sun 30-Dec-12 16:14:54

Ability to compromise
Selflessness - ie opposite of being selfish - able to put anothers needs before one's own
Consideration / Empathy
Honesty / Openess
Best friend

Think different interests can be overcome if both sides reasonable....

Offred Sun 30-Dec-12 17:42:29

Summerdad- are you serious?!?! Of course different women like different things!!! Wow, just wow! I don't know how on earth you have managed any relationships with your "standard things" and deciding what women want for them... It makes me think you are one of those men who feels entitled not to give to the relationship/change to accommodate your role as a father because you are man and that is women's work...

pleasestopcarolling Sun 30-Dec-12 20:11:44

married I' m not really going on about housework I'm talking about the thoughtfulness and consideration for each other. The being aware of how the other one is feeling and caring enough to do something about it e.g. asking how the day has gone because the other might need to talk not only if you are genuinely interested, then listening not just wandering off after a minute or two because it's really not that interesting, replying when your DP speaks to you instead of being too caught up in the computer game to notice her walking into the room, not sighing when she's trying to talk about what the DC did today which was worrying nor making it clear that you' 're more interested in what' s on the TV when it's just an advert you haven't seen before.I' m not looking to blame other people I' m trying to establish what is left of my marriage and to work out how I can revive it if possible.
It's not actually about how much housework gets done it's about feeling like there's a team working together who are bothered about each other.
summerdad I need DH to show me he loves me by paying attention to me and noticing I'm there and listening like I listen to him , making me a cup of tea because he can see I've had a bad day like I do for him any amount of ironing or hoovering won' t make up for lack of attention and buying flowers isn't the same as really listening.Actions speak volumes and if you pay more attention to the football or whatever than to us that's when we get upset.Yes we are all different but I' d say most of us like a little focused attention.

financialwizard Sun 30-Dec-12 20:15:24

Sense of humour

marriedandwreathedinholly Sun 30-Dec-12 20:46:40

As someone upthread said it's about being equals. I do more at home (although I work fulltime) DH does more at work and has a more stressful and demanding job. He isn'ta "touchy feely man" and certainly not one for romantic gestures. He expects most of the day to day stuff to tick over and knowws when I refer it's serious. He probably does about one in four parents' evenings and I like to think it's beccause he trusts my judgement. I usually sit with him when he has supper and all weekend evening meals are family meals. I have to chose my moments for important stuff. He never goes to sleep without a cuddleand his last words tend to be I love you - and his first when we wake up - usually followed by "switch that blasted alarm off"

You sound unhappy OP. I'm sorry and hope it gets better soon.

marriedandwreathedinholly Sun 30-Dec-12 20:49:12

As someone upthread said it's about being equals. I do more at home (although I work fulltime) DH does more at work and has a more stressful and demanding job. He isn'ta "touchy feely man" and certainly not one for romantic gestures. He expects most of the day to day stuff to tick over and knowws when I refer it's serious. He probably does about one in four parents' evenings and I like to think it's beccause he trusts my judgement. I usually sit with him when he has supper and all weekend evening meals are family meals. I have to chose my moments for important stuff. He never goes to sleep without a cuddleand his last words tend to be I love you - and his first when we wake up - usually followed by "switch that blasted alarm off"

You sound unhappy OP. I'm sorry and hope it gets better soon.

Offred Sun 30-Dec-12 20:58:44

Sounds a bit like your husband takes the piss married... Doesn't sound very equal to me and actually sounds like you are so desperate to stay married and not be like your parents you make excuses for him. If you work full time why is having a cleaner him buying you help? I have a friend with a high-flying barrister for a husband, he absolutely pulls his weight as a husband and father and doesn't make excuses that he is too important to do housework/be a father.

SHoHoHodan Sun 30-Dec-12 21:27:04

Showing and telling feelings for each other
Date nights/ time just to be a couple without the kids. "


DH is my second husband. I married the first time when I was 21, having a somewhat warped idea of what marriage was like/should be like (acrimoniously divorced parents and a mother with peculiar ideas about men and marriage in general) and determinedly closed my eyes to the many failings in my marriage.

Second time around I spent more time being single and worked out what was acceptable to me, what was desirable and what could be compromised on. That sounds a bit calculated, I suppose, but I found it necessary and helpful. DH and I have been together for 10 years, married for seven.

GiveMeSomeSpace Sun 30-Dec-12 21:36:52

Met Mrs GMSS 15 years ago - Lived together 12 yrs - Married 10

marriedandwreathedinholly Sun 30-Dec-12 22:36:15

I think you read that wrong Ofred and picked out only the bits you wanted to. After 25 years together we love each other more. I have never felt my DH takes the piss but I do feel we work together as a partnership. Not here do the children tteenagers now) live with harsh words or rows. DS knows he can rely on his dad to be at cricket and sports matches and playing an active part and dd knows he will be at every concert where she plays or sings. Marriage is about compromise, sharing, nurture and love. I knew my DH's lack of interest in cooking, shopping, cleaning, laundry before I married him. If I'd wanted a husband who did half of those things I would have married someone else. I didn't want to marry anyone else - then or now.

Offred Sun 30-Dec-12 22:45:33

No, I think you are judgemental, mean and defensive. Great, your kids don't live with arguing because you just compromise your life away, lovely! I don't really know anyone who particularly likes doing those things which you list which are things that are simply just required for running a household, I don't see how it benefits anyone to say "oh well I knew he wasn't that kind of man when I married him"... So? He's not a baby is he and you are not his slave...

MiniLovesMinxPies Sun 30-Dec-12 23:04:25

I'm not that kind of woman, I loathe domestic work but I wouldn't dream of shackling DP to the kitchen.

SummerDad Sun 30-Dec-12 23:27:27

Offred marriedandwreathedinholly is happy with her life, what's wrong with that and calling her judgmental, mean and defensive outright, what do we call that ???

You may call it sexist, old fashioned or defensive but I have seen happy couples with similar disparate but equal sharing of responsibilities within their marriage. Don't bully her please if her way of life does not fit in your POV.

Offred Sun 30-Dec-12 23:48:20

It isn't her way of life not fitting in with my POV it is her nasty smug attack on another poster. Someone not wanting to do any housework is not an acceptable reason for not doing any whether people are happy with that arrangement or not matters little. It isn't equality because abdicating yourself from things you dislike burdens your partner with what are your responsibilities. Plenty of people are "happy with" being put upon by lazy or entitled partners.

It was YOU I called sexist summerdad, I don't know how anyone could stand being married to someone with such offensive views about women: they are all the same and there are rules and who feels justified in excusing themselves from family life/their relationship because they are not expressive/good at multi tasking...

SummerDad Mon 31-Dec-12 00:16:36

Offred two wrong don't make a right. You retaliated with similar "nasty smug attack" on her.

I deliberately did not address your comment about me earlier because I would prefer to keep this thread positive and informative.

When I say I also fund help at home like cleaning and ironing and for the rest I do at least half if not more, it means that we both have very demanding careers and this delegation enables us to spend some quality time with our son.

Preparing our son in the morning and dropping him at the nursery, picking up in the evening, feeding and bathing him before my wife gets home, reading him and putting him to bed are just only a few things I do every day. Now kindly review what you said earlier and decide for yourself how justified your comments are about a stranger you know very little about.

It makes me think you are one of those men who feels entitled not to give to the relationship/change to accommodate your role as a father because you are man and that is women's work...

I am on MN because I consider myself an imperfect man and to understand things which my wife don't generally express and I am unable to comprehend may be because I am "selfish and self absorbed". I have a thread about my own relationship problems where I have found quite positive and constructive advice, thanks to the lovely posters.

Offred Mon 31-Dec-12 00:50:38

It isn't about what you do, it is about you attitude that you fund a home help for her which you are now back pedalling on slightly, that you think buying women with gifts is standard, that you don't think you need to be expressive or attentive or multi-task, that you were not aware that women were people and not all the same...

Offred Mon 31-Dec-12 00:52:23

I did not retaliate with a nasty smug attack btw. I'm simply pointing out I don't think her smugness is particularly justified.

SummerDad Mon 31-Dec-12 00:59:01

It isn't about what you do, it is about you attitude that you fund a home help for her which you are now back pedalling on slightly, that you think buying women with gifts is standard, that you don't think you need to be expressive or attentive or multi-task, that you were not aware that women were people and not all the same...

I know now what my problem is exactly. I don't know how to calm down an upset woman and I keep digging my grave deeper and deeper with every attempt smile

Offred Mon 31-Dec-12 01:07:54

No, your problem is that by repeatedly defining me (and others) by my biology you are being sexist and disrespectful.

Offred Mon 31-Dec-12 01:09:30

Just why do you think other women particularly are going to let you know what's wrong with your relationship, why wouldn't it simply be people? Why are you seeking the advice of women? I find it sexist that this is a reason specifically to come to mumsnet tbh... Like we are all robots programmed the same, have a hive mind or are simple beings with common needs/thoughts... Just why on earth would you think it is acceptable to believe that women are all the same? Why isn't it ridiculous for you to be actually surprised that different women might have different opinions? Just why do you want brownie points for looking after your own son and house? You can do as many things as you like but if your attitude towards women stinks it still stinks, keeping a tally doesn't make you look good. I'm sure you reckon you are a lovely guy for putting your son to bed and your wife should be so grateful you do this work for her and nevermind that you never notice anything about her, that's ok because you're a man and you don't have to treat her with love, you just have to buy her flowers and she'll like that because women like gifts(!)

Alisvolatpropiis Mon 31-Dec-12 01:20:39

Offred...are you seeking an argument?

Every thread I see on, you are trying to be controversial.

Offred Mon 31-Dec-12 01:29:32

No, I'm not trying to seek an argument. If you disagree with my opinion why not give yours instead of trying to make out I'm deliberately winding people up. I don't see why it is unreasonable to be offended by such overt sexism.

Dottiespots Mon 31-Dec-12 01:33:28

Sex.....without it your just room mates.

Alisvolatpropiis Mon 31-Dec-12 01:38:08

I have already offered my opinion.

Offred Mon 31-Dec-12 02:14:57

Nope, you haven't. You've accused me of deliberately being controversial without justifying it in anyway i.e. by explaining why you disagree that summerdad has a sexist attitude...

marriedandwreathedinholly Mon 31-Dec-12 09:06:18

ofred I agree I was rude to the OP a number of posts back and I came back to apologise, she hadn't taken offence, had posted again and I tried to post something more relevant to how she was feeling in a way that suggested one does have to compromise. And one does and often it isn't at the expense of others but for the benefit of others. DH has had to compromise - he is tidy; I am not. He would happily holiday in England in the summer; the rest of us would not.

He works 60 hours a week - even now because he is a workaholic; I work about 40 and therefore I am at home to do more domestic stuff than he is Also, I actually do like food shopping, I adore cooking, I like having a well presented - if not tidy house, and I like doing the school stuff including over the years the dreaded gate and the PTA. I went back to work when my DC were 5 and 8, part-time at first, and when the opportunity arose it was DH who encouraged me and supported me to take professional quals and then a part-time MBA. It as DH who took the DC out or away for weekends when I had assignments to focus on. I call that pretty equal.

You, however, have been unspeakably rude. Perhaps it is your nature. I suspect, however, there is far more wrong with your own life than there is with mine and perhaps you should focus on that rather than resorting to offensive argument and downright nastiness.

Just off to take DH a cup of tea in bed and might jump in with him for a cuddle and a read - as us contented oldies sometimes do.

GiveMeSomeSpace Mon 31-Dec-12 09:47:47

Offred you come across as an argumentative bully and suspect you probably are

MiniLovesMinxPies Mon 31-Dec-12 10:40:16

No Offred is making very valid points. SummerDad seems to think that women should come with an operating manual and marriedin...... was rather chippy towards OP.

SummerDad there is as much variation between women as their are differences between men and women. Do you think something underlies your difficulties.....something that has always been there. You seem to be a bit rigid in your thinking.

I wrote in my original post "stop pawing at me when I look like I am busy" and " not be clingy or needy" this is because DP believed at the start that ALL women require lots of affection, lots of empathy, lots of "lets talk about us" , they require romance, roses, compliments etc,. Of course I confounded this, it's just an example of the way in which men make huge assumptions about what women need. Of course we are all different. Op would like some care and attention I would like the sink emptied and the accounts done. The only way forward is communication and a willingness to really hear what is said to you, do not hold rigid ideas that prevent you from understanding what is being said.

SummerDad Mon 31-Dec-12 11:12:06

MiniLovesMinxPies I agree with you, human beings don't come with the manuals and I don't mean to seek one sorry if I sounded so.

I am glad that pleasestopcarolling's comments made me more aware of the subtleties which may be obvious to others but as I said earlier I am less than perfect and I am facing relationship issues for a reason.

MiniLovesMinxPies Mon 31-Dec-12 11:29:25

Do you have a thread about your problems? Summer.

SummerDad Mon 31-Dec-12 11:33:28

Do you have a thread about your problems? Summer.
Yes, I do have. link

MiniLovesMinxPies Mon 31-Dec-12 12:28:20

I will have a look late, I hope things are improving for you.

MiniLovesMinxPies Mon 31-Dec-12 12:28:42


Offred Mon 31-Dec-12 12:37:19

I haven't been rude married. i'm just not passive aggressive. The whole point is not that you aren't happy with your life. The point is that you seem to think your life is the way life should be organised and you were pretty nasty and smug about your life which actually I think sends some pretty unequal messages to children. What my life is like is immaterial, I am not the one trying to press my life choices onto others as though they are superior. If you are interested though there's no serious problem in my life!

marriedandwreathedinholly Mon 31-Dec-12 12:44:15

My life is one way ofred. It is a way that has worked for us. All I was trying to say is that no-one stays together for 25 years without working at it and without making compromises on both sides. I don't believe I was nasty about my life and I certainly was not as rude as you have been.

I am pleased there is nothing wrong with your life.

Offred Mon 31-Dec-12 13:10:42

Yes, well I'm telling you that I felt your post was one of the nastiest posts I've seen for a long time. Nasty and unhelpful. Not everyone believes that keeping a marriage together is an ultimate goal and it is extremely inappropriate to tell people who are unhappy to compromise more and then blame them for being influenced by their parents despite the very obvious fact that that is your motivation too. My mum has been married for almost 30 years, she sees this as the ultimate achievement too, she also believes she is happy but here health and her actual behaviour strongly indicate otherwise. She also "likes" cleaning up after her baby of a husband, it gives her a feeling of power and control in a situation where every aspect is ruled by my dad and what he feels like/wants. Fundamentally he just thinks he is more important than her, she would have said exactly that "I'd like to think its because he trusts my opinion" about not coming to parents evening also exactly the same thing about knowing what he was like when she married him.

Offred Mon 31-Dec-12 13:17:28

I'd like to think he trusts my opinion is what someone says when they've been sent to an event by their boss. A parent's evening is about building home-school links for me and showing your child you are interested. If he's in court fair enough but sending you because he trusts your opinion as though you are his secretary doesn't sound very equal.

marriedandwreathedinholly Mon 31-Dec-12 15:34:49

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

MiniLovesMinxPies Mon 31-Dec-12 16:18:46

marriedandwreathedinholly, there you go again. Did I miss the bit where Offred said her childhood was abusive? You seem to read inferences where there are non and then respond aggressively.

Are you normally MarriedInWhite?

I would add, I don't think your marriage seems equal but not for the reasons Offred states. Your husband is a barrister? is that right, he has a more stressful job than you, is that right? it seems to me that a better paid, more high status job allows one partner to offload the personal and the private social labour onto the less "successful" less "valued" underling. I don't think that sounds equal. You may contribute in different ways but the fact that you say you knew what he was like when you married him seems to imply that he dictated that social pecking order from the very start of your relationship. If you are happy...good for you but equal? really?

pleasestopcarolling Mon 31-Dec-12 18:14:01

Oh dear I'm sorry this thread has turned out like this.
It's clear that different people regard different things as essential in their relationships. I think equality is a subjective term and if both partners feel a relationship is equal then no one outside that relationship can judge. Equally my DH May feel ours go be equal whereas I don' t so it doesn't work. Compromise is an answer many have suggested and how much of that one is prepared to do is a personal choice. Neither DH or I are particularly good at compromise and there again is an issue.
I was a little upset by what married said but she did apologise so no one need take offence on my behalf.

Offred Mon 31-Dec-12 18:49:17

I don't feel like she did say sorry though, she posted she was sorry you were unhappy immediately after spouting a load of hateful stuff assassinating your character. She's never apologised and I think her advice is unhelpful precisely because it promotes compromise which seems to be from the wife/dc for the dh and longevity of the relationship as the prize rather than the relationship actually being a good relationship.

I agree with minx about equality, it is what I was trying to say too. I don't think equality is about what you do so much as what your approach is. "I don't enjoy housework so that will be your responsibility I hope you are up to that" "I wouldn't have married him if I was unhappy with that" is not equality. Plenty of households with equality have unequal division of certain types of labour through circumstances including my own, it isn't roles being dictated by one partner.

Happiness is not the same as equality and a long marriage is not the same as a good relationship.

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?

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 19:36:28

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 19:44:43

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.

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.

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.

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 20:31:50

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.

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 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 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 22:43:03

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 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.

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

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


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

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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 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 is easy to conclude (I'm a feminist) that your relationship is not equal, what it 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.

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.

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 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 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.

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

Things in common
Physical attraction
Shared sense of humour

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