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Anyone else feel their marriage is not a 'meeting of minds' and does it matter?

(36 Posts)
33goingon64 Wed 20-Feb-13 19:46:05

I have always known DH and I are not 'soul mates' and we didn't fall in love over long conversations about shared interests. There was a very strong physical attraction and a mutual fascination as we are a bit ying and yang, although we share important values like thinking it's important to be a good person, valuing intelligence and not having any religious beliefs, for example. And we are approaching parenting in very similar ways. In many other ways we differ wildly: career, cultural interests, political views to some extent, etc. I have never developed any interests in the things that excite him and although he has tried over the years to sample some of my interests (with some success) he still defaults to his own preferences (why shouldn't he, after all?).

I knew even on our wedding day, that it could be a problem, but I also knew from previous relationships that you can have too much in common and get bored, and what's more the common interest can mask problems as you still have so much to talk about. As I value so highly the more important attributes e.g. He's hard working, loving, a great dad, a caring son, a loyal friend, and he loves me so much, I thought it would be ok. I still think it can be ok, but I am increasingly irritated by the fact that we struggle to have free flowing, stimulating conversations more than about once every few months.

I don't believe that your DH should necessarily be your best friend, but can it last when (apart from a common love of your DC) you get excited by different things?

LaQueen Sat 23-Feb-13 17:05:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Badvoc Sat 23-Feb-13 09:39:51

Similar to dh and I have been together for 18 years this year.
Chalk and cheese really...
But we do share the same values..what we think is important.
He is a graduate, I am a working class girl who left school at 18. He is very technical and I am more creative.
He is quite conservative and I am not smile
I like to think we bring out the best in each other and I do feel our 2 dc get the best of both worlds iyswim?

StephaniePowers Sat 23-Feb-13 09:29:15

LaQueen I felt like such a mean person for writing that...
We adore our children and love their personalities.
I suppose it's like any group dynamic. It can be quite draining when we are all together and there's less time for just us (it's work and house and food and activities and homework and friends and repairs and maintenance and so on).
I do find it quite nice to look forward to being an empty-nester, is that terrible? blush We can eat when we want and actually get stuff done and shag a lot. Oh god is that the foundation of our relationship? Erk blush

littlecrystal Fri 22-Feb-13 21:04:58

With my ex, we believed we were soulmates and dearly loved each other. We divorced after 6 years of marriage because we couldn't worked out how to live together (rows, arguments etc)

I am definitely not a soulmate with DH but it is very easy to live with him (6 years now), however unfortunately I now realise that while surface is smooth, our values do not match and we do not have common vision about the future, so really not sure how long we are going to last. A bit sad.

LaQueen Fri 22-Feb-13 17:01:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StephaniePowers Fri 22-Feb-13 15:40:22

I find DH and I get on better when we have time to focus on ourselves/each other. Having children around has altered the way we are together and tbh it's not always satisfying, we don't talk and connect as often as we used to, but when we have child-free time it's great. I feel confident we are just fine.
We do have different interests but we share so much more than we don't share iykwim.

HappyAsEyeAm Fri 22-Feb-13 15:37:17

To many people, DH and I are very different. We have different politics, like different films and come at things from completely different angles. It is not usual for us to be with friends discussing anything and everything, and for us to have completely opposite views on everything being discussed.

But there are loads of things that we do agree on. Education, nearly everything to do with the children (discipline, diet, prioritising them, spending time with them), how we spend the time when we're not in work, make time for each other and our famiily, invest in our home, holidays and family life etc.

We spend a lot of time together. And we like each other. We are educated to the same level, and work in the same sector, so we understand what ecah other faces at work. I'm not sure that it is a meeting of minds for us, but more that we value each other and our family and what each of us does to create that and make it a happy one. But he will never make me vote Conservative like him

33goingon64 Thu 21-Feb-13 19:07:44

Thanks all, this is very encouraging.

LaQueen Thu 21-Feb-13 18:34:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jayho Thu 21-Feb-13 15:43:31

Do you get validation from work and could not working be a problem for you? I'm thinking along the lines of projection. If you don't feel positive and valued about yourself it will affect how you are in your relationship and you could be projecting this dissatisfaction onto your partner.

venusandmars Thu 21-Feb-13 15:35:35

Well I suppose that overall dp is probably more passive than I am wrt sex - but then that's partly because I was in an abusive relationship many years ago and so dp is very mindful about not pushing things if I'm clearly not up for it.

But in all of my own ups and downs, yes, when I feel fulfilled, then part of that is also wanting to feel like a sexual, kissable woman. And dp is there to fill the space (as it were!). But I also think there are times (not related to self-fulfillment / happiness) when our libido dips, or rises. Doesn't mean dp isn't the right partner.

33goingon64 Thu 21-Feb-13 13:44:57

Thanks Venus. I can definitely identify with what you say. I plan to take more responsibility for doing what interests me and not worry that DH doesn't get as excited by it as I do. I have been doing this but could do it with more vigour. Hopefully this will help. Did you find it helped your sex life too?

venusandmars Thu 21-Feb-13 12:51:26

33 I suppose that fundamentally I see it as my responsibility to make myself feel happy and fulfilled (and dp enhances that - rather than causes it, iyswim) So there have been times when I've found our times together a bit flat and dull, and I've been bored with his apparent lack of stimulating conversation. So I wonder what I'm bored with in myself, and I've studied for something new, or followed a passion for cooking to do some voluntary work. And then because I'm feeling more fulfilled I think I have more interesting things to talk about (and even if they're not interesting to dp I'm going to talk about them anyway blush). And then mid-conversation he comes out with something helpful or supportive or insightful or controversial, and we're back on track with communicating.

And I have been know to give him a big kick up the arse too. A couple of years ago we were in a bit of a rut and one weekend I told him that I was planning to go and see a film and a concert (ones that we'd been talking about for ages but hadn't done anything about), and that he could either come with me or he could sit at home and mess about on his pc. But I also told him that I was expecting him to take responsibility for arranging something the next weekend. And that if he chose to do neither, and spend both weekends disengaged from me, then we would have to sit down and have a long 'relationship' talk. Tbh his fear of having to have a long discussion about our relationship is always enough to get him motivated into doing something grin.

33goingon64 Thu 21-Feb-13 11:46:35

Sarahseashell, no there isn't anyone else and yes I do have friends with common interests - I probably don't see enough of them though, and I don't work currently, which might mean I'm missing out on some intellectual stimulation.

Seriouslysleepdeprived, that sounds very familiar! Sometimes I think 'was that a joke or do you actually believe what you just said?. Because it wasn't funny and you sound like an idiot'.

33goingon64 Thu 21-Feb-13 11:39:41

Venus, that's such a positive response, thank you. It sounds very similar to us - the fundamental values are there. And what you say about seeing the differences in a positive light is really helpful - some of the examples you give are actually very similar in our situation and until recently I have been thinking about it in the same way as you.

It's just that the last few months we have become markedly less relaxed around each other and I suspect that me not feeling close to him in my mind is affecting my desire to be close to him physically. If we could only talk more and feel more free flowing and on the same wavelength, I feel that there's a chance we could recover some of the old physical intimacy.

venusandmars Thu 21-Feb-13 10:55:01

What do you imagine to be 'a meeting of minds' or 'soul mates'? Is it something real, or something mythical and unobtainable and unrealistic?

I think most relationships are a balance of many differing needs and preferences. Personally I think that no ONE person is likely to exactly meet my many different interests, values, preferences (and my own ideas and interests have changed over the past 20 years so someone who was an exact match 20 years ago may not be an exact match now). For me it's about working out what is a good match, and what is a deal breaker.

For example, before dp, I was with a man who was 'soul-mate' material, free-flowing stimulating conversation, shared approach, made each other happy, and he made my legs go weak with desire. But we had one fundamental difference - our approach to money. It became a deal-breaker.

I also have a fabulous (male) friend. We share a particular interest, go on trips together, and could talk about this interest (and other related things) for days. But there is no physical chemistry / spark between us, there is no way that we could co-exist in a shared space (he is massively untidy), and he has a remarkable difficulty in committing to relationships with women.

And then there's dp. On the face of it we are very different - different interests, different career motivations, different approaches to life. But fundamentally we have the same values about love, family, commitment, responsibility, respect, honesty, money. And that makes it all work and hold together. At times if I'm feeling dissatisfied or bored (and I guess most of get a little bored at times in long-term relationships) then it would be easy to focus on the differences between us and see them as a problem. Or I can choose to see them in a different way: it is dp's stability and logical approach that enables me to take risks and follow my flights of fancy (rather than finding him a stick-in-the-mud holding me back); it is dp's passion for a particular hobby that gives me time/space on my own to do what I what (rather than moaning about him spending time away from me); it is dp's interest for physical adventure that encourages me to be to try some new things too; it is my career driven approach that helped get him out of a depressing rut at work etc.

And over the years we have both put an effort into finding area where we overlap most, and making the best of those. That includes finding a new shared interest (which will never be the greatest hobby for either of us, but definitely a way in which we do connect). I don't think it is about accepting something a mediocre life, it's about loving and accepting him for who he is, and loving and accepting myself for who I am.

Moanranger Thu 21-Feb-13 09:31:00

I think the sharing of values is most critical. You can be happy with not sharing a lot of the same interests, as long as one partner is not threatened by it.
I found out several years into my marriage that STBXH & I did not share values re honesty, and this caused me to lose respect for him. His lack of honesty & duplicitousness eventually caused too many problems & we are now ending it. Lack of shared interests (& we did share some) was not a factor.
Looking back, my "grand passions" were usually with highly unsuitable men. I had no GP for STBXH, and I envy couples that I know ( not many!) who have this.

NoisesOff Wed 20-Feb-13 22:33:00

33, about six years. Yes, it's bothered me more as time has gone on, because now we have children, we really ought to function more as a combined unit.

sarahseashell Wed 20-Feb-13 22:22:40

OP I hope you don't mind me asking but is there someone else on the horizon who has sparked off this discontent?
you sound like you have a lot of the fundamentals in place here and have had a good relationship. Do you/can you get intellectual stimulation from other sources?

Kione Wed 20-Feb-13 22:14:39

marking my place as I have to go to bed but I feel exactly like OP although we are trying to improve

DiscretionAdvised Wed 20-Feb-13 22:14:01

I married someone and could have written much of your post. We drifted into each new phase of our relationship and have three kids. I always thought companionship was enough. I decided to end my marriage, am in a painful affair (described on other threads). Dh moved out two weeks ago.

We were/are good companions and made good parents but the spark was long gone. In fact seeing the comparison in how I feel about the om has made me realise it was never there

Seriouslysleepdeprived Wed 20-Feb-13 22:09:52

DH & I are definitely not a meeting of minds. In fact I'm not sure we are on the same planet a lot of the time. Sometimes he talks to me and I have absolutely no idea what he's on about. Not because of the topic but his interpretation of it. Left field.

He's a loving, kind man, which is why I married him. I do have to remind myself io this though when he's driving me nuts Sometimes i wish we were more alike, other times our differences make me laugh.

superstarheartbreaker Wed 20-Feb-13 22:04:00

TBH If there is enough chemistry I don't think it matters what kind of art you like etc. It just sounds that the fundamental spark has govne. I was once lucky enough to meet the one with whom we had a complete meeting of mind, body and soul. We likes the same things, the same books, art and the sex was electric. Sadly we split as we live in different countries and we couldn't be together. I don't think that there has to be a complete meeting of minds; just a meeting of chemistry.

33goingon64 Wed 20-Feb-13 21:55:13

NoisesOff, how long have you been together? How much did it bother you when you married (or committed in some way) and is it worse as time goes on?

RememberTheGoodTimes Wed 20-Feb-13 21:03:23

33 but your issue isn't that you have different tastes. This wasn't an issue before and didn't stop you from talking.
So something else has changed. And it can be just that neither of you are making an effort for the other.

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