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They all lived happily ever after

(41 Posts)
ElderDruid Sun 12-Feb-17 16:28:42

Not sure how old the oldest MN's are but looking for some wisdom out of curiosity.

Many (not all I admit) who got married in a certain era, especially my Grandparents, took their wedding vows really seriously, it has been till death do us part. Wouldn't say either or many from that era were religious or overly religious, but even when at times it looked like they could barely abide each other, they were together, whether it crossed their minds to separate I don't know.

What was it that kept them together long after the honeymoon phase? When life with several children had its ups and downs. You hear rumours of other old couples that are together, in their day one may have been notorious for being unfaithful, or unpleasant. But through it all they stayed put.

Now divorce and separation is just one of them things. You don't get on, one party does something wrong, you separate and divorce. Or even when a couple was good together like my BF there were differences that meant separation and divorce.

When you've been together a while dynamics change, your 'love' life isn't the same, you're pretty much friends, you fall out, you make up. Life goes on day in, day out.

My DH talks about women the same way he always has, I often wonder does he think is the grass greener. He jokes about getting a man pad to escape to. I wouldn't be overly fussed whatever he does, I just want continuity for the DC's.

I wonder if people should strive for the till death us do part, it's really quite romanticised. But in reality I rarely see a happy old couple. Although they smile for the milestone anniversaries.

Do you believe in till death us do part? What are your beliefs about marriage?

Astro55 Sun 12-Feb-17 16:32:48

Woman didn't stay because of those things - they stayed because they couldn't work and support the home and children - if they left they'd end up in the work house - their kids into care homes - there wasn't a social safety net -

They put up with domestic violence and abuse - as did the kids

Thank god woman now have a choice -

Romance didn't feature did it?

FlaviaAlbia Sun 12-Feb-17 16:33:42

Not older but surely you're missing the impact separating would have when a woman probably didn't work outside the home once they were married and had no income? And that's before the social stigma that they and their children would be faced with...

whoneedswings Sun 12-Feb-17 16:33:53

I take my marriage vows very seriously, but then I'm a Christian so that might be why. My grandparents (not Christian) have been married for nearly 60 years and although they bicker, they still hold hands, tell each other 'I love you,' do little romantic things for each other, and my grandpa deff still fancies my granny! So I know despite everything life throws at you, it is possible to be together forever and be happy!

Screwinthetuna Sun 12-Feb-17 16:42:29

I'm not old and wise but IMO, older generations tended to worry a lot more about what others thought. My grandmother said she would have been the talk of the town if people had known she was pregnant before she got married, etc.
Women were also more likely to stay at home and 'accept their lot,' rather than striving for a career and life outside her husband/ kids. A lot of women never drove, etc.
Without working and internet and going to bars etc, women wouldn't have been around other men much so I'm guessing that's another reason why they were more likely to stay with the man they married.

I do think it's sad how unimportant vows seem now. Even on mumsent, people are advised to leave their husbands constantly.
"He doesn't help much around the house", "leave him"
"He watched porn", "leave him"
"He called me boring" "leave him"
"His farts stink all the time" "leave him" grin

harderandharder2breathe Sun 12-Feb-17 16:46:02

My grandparents divorced in their seventies after over fifty years of (often unhappy) marriage. Both were happier afterwards.

My own parents divorced after over 20 years of (again often unhappy) marriage, both have found new partners and are much happier.

Whereas my mother and her brother had to suffer through decades of their parents rowing and not speaking, my parents split up and saved us from that.

Decades ago women didn't have the freedom women do now, especially after marriage and children. That's a huge reason why marriages lasted longer.

LiviaDrusillaAugusta Sun 12-Feb-17 16:47:53

My mum left my bio dad and got a lot of shit for it in the 1970s - he was violent but she was expected to stay with him.

Silly her, she opted for escape with a baby instead of clinging to her marriage vows.

People should be able to leave their partner for whatever reason they want.

SparkleTwinkleGoldGlitter Sun 12-Feb-17 16:50:02

I am 40 and me and dh married when I was 20. I took my marriage vows incredibly seriously and it would take something really awful to make me walk away
Over the years our marriage has had a few bumps in the road but we are a couple, we are married and we work them out.

I do think some people these days to take marriage vows lightly and people don't always try andwork this out. Even on here I read many things every day and posters just say oh he won't clean the toilet, he's a bastard leave him. He said you were borning, oh for goodness sake leave him and it really does baffle me.

Of course nobody should stay in a truly unhappy/abusive marriage but I do think some people have forgotten the meaning of marriage and don't try anymore

brasty Sun 12-Feb-17 16:52:28

In the early 70s I remember one girl in my class whose parents had divorced. They were poorer than any of us, in a poor working class area, and even at a young age I knew that being divorced was a bad thing.

I have been very happily married for 25 years. But I think even now many women put up with too much in their relationships. A relationship is only worth having if it is good.

FlaviaAlbia Sun 12-Feb-17 16:53:01

Screwinthetuna see, I think it's wonderful that people have a choice not to put up with an unhappy marriage.

I also think it's horrific what some women put up with thinking it's normal. I guess your list is supposed to be light hearted but I would walk for the first two... I didn't marry a man to become an unpaid drudge and I wouldn't stay with a man who would support the abuse that women in the open industry face.

BlondeBecky1983 Sun 12-Feb-17 16:53:24

Women were not able to leave like they are now. It meant financial ruin for most. Thank goodness things have changed. I know plenty of older couples who do not like each other, two of my great aunts despised their husbands but they were married for over 50 years.

OwlinaTree Sun 12-Feb-17 16:58:01

Agree with pp. There were less options for women. Many would have been afraid of leaving their children and not getting access to them. That would be enough to make me put up with quite a lot tbh. I wouldn't have to now.

BeachyKeen Sun 12-Feb-17 16:59:08

Dh and I got together at 18, had dd at19, got married at 20, had ds at 21 and we are rock solid still (21 years on).
We don't bring up past mistakes, we look out for each other in all manners. We like each other, and even if we had never been a couple I know he would have been a friend.
We have both changed over the years, every does, but we changed and still likedo each other. We find each other interesting and engaging still, and I can't see that changing.
We actively work together on shared goals and long term investments, besides our kids of course!
We take our vows seriously; we need to believe the other will be there supporting us, to be able to invest fully in us, if that makes sense?
Obviously if either of us were abusive, the other would walk away, but we aren't.
The power of the vow comes from reinforcing it with daily actions.

Pinkheart5915 Sun 12-Feb-17 17:00:23

I've been with DH 10 years married 16 months.
Yes I believe in the death do us part bit, and I took my marriage vows very seriously it would take something truly bad to make me walk away from dh. If I didn't honestly believe I was goin go be with dh for the rest of my life I would never of married him.

I do think that for some people these days marriage doesn't mean a great deal and they don't try when things get tough. Even reading posts on here the way people are so quick to say Leave amazes me, yes sometimes Maybe that is good advice but certainly Not always

My parents are still going strong 45 years later, they've had a lot of heart break over the years but I love how they have always stayed strong together. When I am there age I hope me and dh are as happy as they have been

My in laws were togther 50 years the day fil died and you could still see the love in there relationship and you can see how mil has changed now his gone, she is sad like she has something missing.

user1484226561 Sun 12-Feb-17 17:08:58

If you want my honest opinion, from working in nursing homes and retirement homes, talking to the old ladies of that era, they persisted with all but the most dangerous of marriages in the hope and belief they had long and happy widowhoods to look forward to.

ImperialBlether Sun 12-Feb-17 17:13:13

I have to say it's very rare that I think it's recommended that someone leaves when it's unnecessary.

The level of disrespect I've seen from the husbands/partners of posters has been absolutely astonishing to me. I've never known anything like it amongst my friends. Some women are being treated so badly - almost as though they're not human. Certainly the men wouldn't treat anyone like that at work.

The "LTB" thing has become a joke on lighthearted threads, but I would challenge anyone to come up with occasions where someone is told to leave in the Relationships section where it's unwarranted.

Laska5772 Sun 12-Feb-17 17:13:40

In the 1960s and even up to the 70s , if a wife left a marriage (even if it was the husband to 'blame' , she didnt have automatic rights to her children , or to half of the house.. these things have since then changed

Screwinthetuna Sun 12-Feb-17 17:15:56

Flavia Oh I agree that it's great that people DO have the right to walk away from an unhappy marriage without being stoned, don't get wrong. I'm just saying why older generations were less likely to do so.

I also think a lot of people don't try to fix their problems (both men and women) before ending their marriage. You said you'd walk away if your husband didn't do much around the house, how about speaking about it with him and designating chores etc and in regards to the porn, seeing if he will stop and spice things up in the bedroom a little.
I'm not talking about abuse, adultey and other serious things, obviously, but people tend to not want to compromise and work on fixing the marriage they have.

VivienneWestwoodsKnickers Sun 12-Feb-17 17:16:54

My grandfather was an alcoholic who beat his wife and all 8 kids. They were Catholic, and there was no way she could leave him and survive. However, my uncles and aunts all have a rosy view of their parent's love for each other, which I simply cannot share. He died about 10 years ago, and my Gran broke her heart over the loss. She died last year.

It's more publicly acknowledged these days that such relationships are a result of conditioning. By the church, society and family. I can never think theirs was a wholly positive relationship.

seesensepeople Sun 12-Feb-17 17:19:13

Hmm, lots of stereotype about women in the "old days". My maternal grandmother was born in 1917, got married at the beginning of WW2 and Shock!Horror! left her husband in 1949, divorced him when she could (quite some time later) and brought up two children on her own.
My paternal grandparents were married at 18 until my grandmother died in her eighties, grandad only lasted 3 months without her. They were besotted with each other until the end.
MY own mum and dad have been married over over 50 years and love each other (and also love to moan about each other).
I was married to my husband for twenty five years til death did us part - we had some tough times but we loved each other and were committed to our fairytale adventure.

MrsPussinBoots Sun 12-Feb-17 17:19:40

When I found out my husband was planning an affair, the advice from my mum was to put up and shut up. Her mum told her the same thing 25 years before when my dad had an affair. My parents stayed together (as did my grandparents) and they seem to be happily married now, even if my parents row constantly. I couldn't wait to get away and restart my life with DD. Thank goodness for the benefits system.

LiviaDrusillaAugusta Sun 12-Feb-17 17:19:46

Any behaviour which you find unacceptable is justification for walking away - you can't change people (nor should you) so you either accept someone else's behaviour or you walk. Luckily women now have the opportunity to do this

NewPuppyMum Sun 12-Feb-17 17:20:48

One set of grandparents married when my nana was three months pregnant. She told me if she hadn't have been pregnant she wouldn't have married him. They stayed together until he died around 50 sad.

Parents never married each other but are both in very long term marriage/not married. Father is married. Mother is with the bloke she abandoned me for.

Dh and I are married. I took my vows very seriously. Would feel like I'd broken the law if I broke my vows. Dh has had an affair. I accidentally had an emotional one but didn't realise it was wrong as I did tell dh. Both now behaving sad[idiot]. I'd only divorce dh if he hurt my children.

MrDacresEUSubsidy Sun 12-Feb-17 17:21:37

Women didn't have the option to leave in many cases. Where would they go? Who would look after the kids so that they could work and bring money in? There were far fewer rights - marital rape was only recognised as a criminal offence in 1991!

I have seen a great deal of unhappy relationships - and so many cases where one partner or the other has said they don't love their spouse any more but are staying together out of duty, or for financial reasons.

I take my marriage vows seriously, but in the sense that I have entered a contract. So if one of us breaks the terms of that contract - e.g. such as infidelity - then it's open to negotiation as to whether we continue. I do think that some people enter in to marriage too easily, but I'd far rather see 'easy' divorce laws which mean that people are free to leave unhealthy or abusive marriages, than the alternative.

seaweedhead Sun 12-Feb-17 17:23:18

Standards, and expectations have changed.
My gd was by my mum's account a terrible flirt and rumoured to be unfaithful. These rumours did get back to my gm but she apparently said something along the lines of "ah, but I'm the one he comes home to." She just accepted it and knew he wouldn't leave.

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