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Is there such a thing as "happily ever after" or is it that just too precious?

(22 Posts)
humptydidit Sat 12-Jan-13 23:03:41

After a mammoth heart to hearts with 2 of my closest friends, who are both having "man trouble", Im actually wondering if I have got it all wrong? I know everybody has ups and downs and good times and bad, but both these ladies, have been in long term relationships with their dp's and both have had a pretty crap time for as long as I can remember.

The saddest part is that both these ladies are actually considering just putting up with it, because they don't want to
a) be single
b) upset the kids
c) screw themselves financially
and so on?

I'm not talking about abusive relationships or violence or anything like that. Just the feeling that they just can't be bothered to put in the effort any more as it's a serious case of "same shit different day".

I really don't know what to say to them, as we have been over and over this many times before, but I feel in my heart, that they deserve better. Not a perfet fairytale life, but a partner who loves and respects them and basically not to feel frustrated so much of the time for whatever reason.

But then I think, that I have been the one in trouble, and they told me to walk away, and I didn't, so I guess I'm just as bad...

SummerDad Sat 12-Jan-13 23:19:32

Reading through a lot of stories here, I don't think there is anything such as "happily ever after" specially in your first marriage, second marriage/relationship there may be perhaps.

SummerDad Sat 12-Jan-13 23:20:20

may be a wrong time to answer this as I am on my lowest at the moment, so just ignore my first post please.

gymboywalton Sat 12-Jan-13 23:22:53

what is your definition of 'happily ever after?' because if it's eternal bliss every single day forever then that is never going to happen because it is impossible.
but if you mean still loving each other after years have gone by then yes it is possible.

i have been with my dh for 20 years now. he is is my best friend in the whole world-he makes everything better just by being there.

CointreauVersial Sat 12-Jan-13 23:22:58

Well, only been together 18 years, but it's looking good so far......

deleted203 Sat 12-Jan-13 23:31:08

I'm with gymboy. I wouldn't say eternal bliss was ever possible, but like her my DH is the rock I know I can lean on whenever times are hard. We rarely have cross words (although I did post another thread the other night complaining he had told me I was a 'nasty old woman' for making him shift a bookcase for me grin). He is kind, thoughtful and always there for me and I would never want to be without him. Being with someone you love, and knowing they love you more than anything is 'happily ever after' enough for me. It gets us through when we've got no money, work is crap, kids are hard work, etc, etc.

humptydidit Sat 12-Jan-13 23:32:26

aww, thanks, I'm not living in a fantasy where it's all hearts and flowers, but I think that years and years of basially being frustrated and biting your tongue is too much.
Life is too short!

GiveMeSomeSpace Sat 12-Jan-13 23:38:37

I've given this a lot of thought over recent years and think that you can have the "happy ever after" but it takes the following:

i) It takes two to make a relationship work. If both are committed, then you're "off to the races". If one or both parties aren't bought into the relationship, then it's unlikely to work
ii) relationships should be based on equality and respect. If either of those are missing, then it's a deal breaker IMO
iii) we should all decide what we want from a relationship and be honest with ourselves and partners what those wants and needs are
iv) relationships need nurturing
v) if we're not getting what we want from the relationship, we should decide what our tolerances are and not be afraid to express our feelings and should not be afraid to make difficult choices

Frankly, I think that anyone who is prepared to stay in a relationship because they don't want to be single will, almost by definition, never get to the "happily ever after" state.

I personally believe that staying together in a misfiring relationship will often upset the children more (or at least teach them some poor life skills) than those that split amicably.

The financial question is a difficult one and will differ from case to case, but I suspect that for most, a workable solution can be found when a split is unavoidable.

badinage Sat 12-Jan-13 23:42:33

There's a lot of pressure on women especially to stay in relationships and 'keep the family together' and to be responsible for everyone's happiness. Plus it's still mostly women who step off the career ladder to look after children and then can't afford to go it alone, so they feel trapped by circumstances.

That said, no relationship is hearts and flowers all the time and without nurturing, it's easy to let the love die. We still love the bones of eachother after donkeys years of marriage but the 3 things that have kept us going are kindness, mutual respect and sexual compatibility.

steppemum Sat 12-Jan-13 23:44:42

I don't think it is 'happy ever after' in the cinderella way, but there is happy ever after in the normal human way.

I have been married for 13 years. I love my dh. we do have ups and downs, and some patches where it feels like 'more of the same' but overall I am happy and (I think) so is he

We have a good relationship, are best friends and he is still the love of my life. We are both serious about our relationship though, take time to talk and time ot be romantic.

Respect is at the heart of it. But I knew that before we got married. I married late and would never have married someone who didn't respect me, and I them.

GiveMeSomeSpace Sat 12-Jan-13 23:50:10

Also completely agee about the ups and downs. It's simply naive to expect a smooth and unblemished journey.

Understanding, patience, compromise and putting one's pride on hold are all vital to dealing with the "downs"

MmeLindor Sat 12-Jan-13 23:52:08

I think that films and romantic books raise our teenage expectations of love and relationships and that a RL relationship is never going to hold up to that.

A happy marriage (or a long term relationship) doesn't just happen. It requires work. You need the basics - mutual affection and admiration, combined with tolerance, acceptance of differences, respect, and a willingness to compromise.

JustAFewRory Sat 12-Jan-13 23:58:24

The cliche is correct, you have to work at it long term.

Caveat: you shouldn't have to be working at it in the initial stages too much, unless it's an arranged match!

Avuncular Sun 13-Jan-13 00:17:50

Met at 17; married at Uni at 21 ( far, far too young). 41 years ago.

But we knew it was for life; a covenant not just a contract. Been through some very rough patches. However as I said on another thread - at first: I am in love (Eros), but later: I will love (Agape). It takes an effort, but hopefully it becomes mutual. Now that the nest is virtually empty, we seem, by an enjoyable effort, to be recovering much of the early stages.

C S Lewis didn't just write The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe; he also wrote The Four Loves - on Kindle too

Avuncular Sun 13-Jan-13 00:20:11

sowornout haven't we met somewhere before? Glad you got over it!

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 13-Jan-13 09:17:45

I think it entirely depends on your personal definition of 'happy'. Some people like the PP or the friends you mentioned in your OP put up with rough patches, expect marriage to be hard work, compromise their feelings, make sacrifices and possibly even believe themselves to be happy in the process. Other people don't define happiness that way, prefer to admit they've made a mistake and have the courage to get out, be independent or try again.

deleted203 Sun 13-Jan-13 12:19:18

(Waves at Avuncular). Oh yes, I was always going to get over it! I love him to bits and couldn't be without him. Even if he is a 'horrid old man'....grin.

Astelia Sun 13-Jan-13 15:09:15

Thirty years together, twenty three married. Going well so far. However there have been some big pressures which we have worked through and come out the other side of.

My parents and parents-in-law have all been married for over 50 years and have survived deaths of children and having children with mental handicaps. Compared to them we have had an easy ride so far, for which we are very grateful.

My recipe for rubbing along is communication, respect and treat others as you would like to be treated.

MadBusLady Sun 13-Jan-13 15:19:45

I don't think there is a happily ever after, no. I think life is unpredictable, people are changeable, monogamy is fundamentally a little bit odd, and you can always find reasons why something isn't perfect. So I try to focus on the moment and enjoy what I've got.

That sounds a bit different from what your friends are doing though, if they're basically just with not very nice partners.

<proffers brew to SummerDad>

SummerDad Sun 13-Jan-13 15:30:18

"I don't think there is a happily ever after, no. I think life is unpredictable, people are changeable, monogamy is fundamentally a little bit odd, and you can always find reasons why something isn't perfect. So I try to focus on the moment and enjoy what I've got.

That sounds a bit different from what your friends are doing though, if they're basically just with not very nice partners.

<proffers to SummerDad>"

Just logged in with a cuppa and your post cheered me up smile, spent the day thinking what I have got myself into by marrying.

SummerDad Sun 13-Jan-13 15:37:57

Sorry just forgot to say thanks for your proffers MadBusLady smile

shotofexpresso Sun 13-Jan-13 15:38:13

I think people focus too much on the word 'happy' I don't think it is actually possible to be happy all of the time, and people strive too.
I think being content is a better word, content in your life.

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