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Is there still such a thing as long marriage?

(53 Posts)
Stormfromeast Mon 05-Sep-11 09:39:09

I'm coming up to the 23rd year of marriage. Each year it seems to be getting harder to keep the marriage going. I don't know if it is to do with getting older or what. We have two lovely children aged 20 and 17. DH has a 85 year old mum who still thinks no woman is ever good enough for her son. And there's a SIL who is goody-goody two shoes and I feel DH benchmarks me against her. I don't have my family here - they live 10,000 mile away. It does feel lonely sometimes. Anyone who's still in a long marriage has any tips for me?

deste Mon 05-Sep-11 10:15:42

Forty years last week. We watch tv in separate rooms. He watches sport I cant stand it.

mumblechum1 Mon 05-Sep-11 10:18:44

20 years for us. Most of my friends are in (apparently happy) marriages of similar duration.

We still have to work at it though, it's very easy to take each other for granted and we had a big barney yesterday which took all day to work through, but I think it's worth it.

Maiavan Mon 05-Sep-11 10:21:18

Well I have just passed my 16th anniversary and been living together for 18 years and I feel your pain. We are still together by some small miracle!

I often wonder (I may take a beating for this) if marriages stayed together for life in previous generations out of necessity (on the womans part). Damned if you do and damned if you dont. The lesser of two evils really.

Pakdooik Mon 05-Sep-11 10:23:36

30 years earlier this year - so far, so good.

scrambedeggs Mon 05-Sep-11 10:24:24

30 years next week

i am enjoying planning for our emigration when my OH retires shortly (early retirement) and cant wait. Will be a whole new chapter in our lives.

No its not always milk and honey, anything worth having never is is it? But I would rather be with him than without him

GooseyLoosey Mon 05-Sep-11 10:25:27

17 years. Its damned hard work at the moment and tbh, there are days when I think how lovely it would be to be on my own.

Cleverything Mon 05-Sep-11 10:26:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

chickydoo Mon 05-Sep-11 10:26:38

20 years married 24 together.
It is tricky sometimes, but found that if we give each other space to do what we want it's fine, actually both of us have got much easier going over the years. always have a glass of wine/cup of tea in the evening & a giggle watching Eastenders together.

noddyholder Mon 05-Sep-11 10:28:27

We have been together 20+ but not married All our married friends divorced years ago grin

welliesandpyjamas Mon 05-Sep-11 10:29:37

I'd really like to think there is such a thing. In the early-ish years myself, 6 yrs married, 15 yrs together, but genuinely feel it gets better as time goes by. We both had grandparents with loooooooooooong happy marriages and admire that kinda thing.

Thirty nine and a half years and I still lust after his body. His mind is good too.

Stormfromeast Mon 05-Sep-11 10:50:18

It's very comforting to hear from all of you; that it is possible to have a long marriage. Sometimes things happen but there's no one I can talk to. Can't talk to children because I don't want to put them in a awkward position, can't talk to mother because she's so far away. Most of my friends are DH's friends so that wont be ok. But worst of all, DH doesn't do "talk". Sometimes I wonder how we managed to stay married for 23 years.

LaurieFairyCake Mon 05-Sep-11 10:51:07

Did you read India Knight in the Times yesterday? her article was all about how 'falling out of love' has overtaken 'adultery' as the number one reason to divorce.

She says that long marriages are boring/comfortable/lack excitement and that it's not a bad thing.

I agree with her - I don't think being boring is bad - dh and I are pretty boring, we like our jobs, we don't want to fuck anyone else, we don't expect each other to make life exciting for us as we think we need to do it ourselves.

Helltotheno Mon 05-Sep-11 10:51:32

Stormfromeast personally I think if the kids are 'off the payroll' as such, you don't have to put up with a deal that overall makes you feel bad about yourself. I've not been married that long myself so I can't speak from experience exactly but some of the things I do to keep myself on an even keel in what imo, is a pretty difficult arrangement sometimes (ie the whole long-term, monogamy thing) are:
- have my own social life, friends and hobbies
- have my own room/bed for times when I want space, want to be on my own, want to keep my own stuff in etc
- have a fair deal in terms of time with kids/time to myself/housework etc
- have a relationship of equals, ie what each of us puts into the setup is
valued equally

Obviously people who consider themselves soulmates will have an easier time with the long-term thing but in reality, I don't know how many couples are like that. You don't sound totally happy with things and it sounds like you could make some changes to your life, by talking to your dh about what's bothering you, and if that doesn't work, maybe considering doing your own thing. Don't feel you have to settle for a relationship that has more negative than positive.

Mollymax Mon 05-Sep-11 11:25:13

We have been married for 16 years and have had our ups and downs, like everyone does. I must admit there have been times when single life seems appealing, but on the whole we have a very happy marriage.

I went to an evening wedding reception on saturday with a few divorced friends, who all seemed desperate to find a man. I went home to dh and said I really do appreciate what we have got.

RubyPink Mon 05-Sep-11 11:39:01

26 years for me... we sometimes watch Eastenders together but he ruins it for me by making stupid comments all the way through, I tell him not to watch it if he doesn't like it but he doesn't listen. I think that's the worst thing now is I still think he just doesn't listen to me
Often wish I had the courage to just be on my own for a bit.
Having my own room and bed sounds like a good idea though...

Stormfromeast Mon 05-Sep-11 11:57:11

Ruby - not listening is true but I think it's more about selective listening. He'll listen to his sister for example. And it could be on the same subject like ideas for our daughter's birthday. I felt like shouting to them that she is MY daughter and that my SIL should butt off. It's things like these that get me annoyed. Perhaps I am just too petty : (

RubyPink Mon 05-Sep-11 12:14:33

No it's not petty Storm, it's all part of the same thing... selective listening and selective memory I find, he never remembers the times he's behaved badly, lost his temper, sworn at the kids, ruined days out/holidays etc

LadyLapsang Mon 05-Sep-11 12:20:57

24 years here, parents about 55 years to date.

Definitely think you need your own work, space, life; don't expect your partner to give your life meaning, happiness, 'permission' to do things etc.

If your SIL or MIL bug you, don't see them so much. Surely he can talk to his sister about his daughter (I'm presuming she is his child too).

Stormfromeast Mon 05-Sep-11 12:39:29

Lady - i quite agree that he can talk to his sister about our daughter. The problem is he will go on about how great my SIL idea is, and will go ahead with it. It's the benchmarking of me against SIL that bugs me

tallulah Mon 05-Sep-11 12:56:37

I've been married 28 years and the last few have been dire. In our case I "woke up" a few years ago to a lot of DH's faults and now I'm not prepared to just put up with them. Everything he does ATM gets on my nerves.

My parents were married for 35 years before my dad died. Actually they'd been getting really snippy with each other in the last few years.

My grandparents were married for over 50 years and were very close up to the end.

RubyPink Mon 05-Sep-11 13:01:41

Tallulah will you leave him then? I feel like you do a lot of the time but don't have the courage to break out on my own at the moment

tallulah Mon 05-Sep-11 13:06:24

I doubt it sad

We live next door to my work. I got so fed up with him I asked him to leave. He said no. Well I'm not leaving this house, so we are stuck.

tallulah Mon 05-Sep-11 13:10:02

Just read your earlier post again. The selective listening/ memory is very familiar. He shouted at me the other week that I didn't do the washing, the machine does.. He didn't remember the argument at all when I tackled him about it later. He drops his dirty jeans on top of other people's clean clothes every night. Every day I tell him not to and he just keeps on. He's clearly trying to make a point.

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