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What is a 'normal' marriage?

(50 Posts)
Mumtoahostofdingbats Tue 03-Jan-17 06:48:21

I'm interested to hear as don't think mine is. Can you let me know some typical things your husband does to support you/ show he loves you/ put someone other than himself first other than go to work. Thanks in advance. Need to know if I'm too demanding or am justified in feeling so sad and let down a lot of the time.

travellinglighter Tue 03-Jan-17 06:52:11

All marriages are different but I suspect if you're feeling unloved and unsupported then you may have problems with yours. It may be better to say what you expect and ask if that's reasonable. Whichever way it goes, good luck.

Scooby20 Tue 03-Jan-17 07:04:20

There is no definitive answer.

Honestly one of my favourite things dh does, that makes me feel loved, is that he make me a cup of tea while i am getting changed after work and checking the kids. Some people probay dont think thats a big deal but it makes me feel thought about.

I get in at about 8pm. Take over bedtime and as he has been at home with them all evening i know he is dying to just sit down. But he knows that I would love a cuppa.

But for some people that wouldn't mean anything.

nigelforgotthepassword Tue 03-Jan-17 07:27:59

I was just coming on to say about being made a cup of tea in the morning.exh never ever did this, despite waking me up in the course of him getting up, and making himself one before leaving.Dp makes me a cup of tea every morning even when I am half asleep and unlikely to drink it.
It's little things like that that make all the difference.

HandyWoman Tue 03-Jan-17 07:37:59

Feeling sad and let down isn't how a marriage is meant to be. Feelings aren't 'right' or 'wrong' - they just are.

What does he do that makes you feel like that?

LuchiMangsho Tue 03-Jan-17 07:38:32

Well depends. But I have been in hospital these last 2 weeks. DH has run the house, cooked and cleaned and looked after DS. He has visited me in hospital whenever he could. While holding a full time job. Otherwise, we don't argue a lot. He gets up and makes breakfast and gets the kids ready. He does chores albeit with a little nagging (his idea of tidiness and mine don't always coincide). He is hugely supportive of my career. He is affectionate and tells me he loves me a lot. We have our differences but we can talk about most things.

screweduppotatoe Tue 03-Jan-17 07:54:05

I have been married twice. First H demanded a lot from me. Never looked after the kids, thought I was his servant and was very critical and controlling.

DH of four years (together for 6.5) is a doting dad to his 3 step daughters and a fab dad with our son. There are never big gestures in our relationship, such as valentines gifts or even wedding anniversary celebrations, but he cooks all of our meals, cleans, makes me a brew every morning, is always available for cuddles and kisses, holds my hand in public, tells me he loves me at least once a day.

He's no saint by any means and we have spats at times - these have become less over the years, and he can a stubborn twat, but I think our marriage is 100% better than my last.

jules179 Tue 03-Jan-17 07:57:51

If you feel sad and let down then it isn't good enough for you. It doesn't matter how it looks from the outside, or what you think other peoples opinion of it might be.
Are there specific things that you could discuss with your husband, or speak with him about ways that it could feel better?

LiveLifeWithPassion Tue 03-Jan-17 08:06:46

We have our ups and downs but I always feel supported and loved.

There's little things, like pp said, like making a cup of tea, defrosting my car, buying stuff and bigger things like being there for you when through childbirth, illness and when things are bad.

We do argue and clash but We also genuinely care about each other and want each other to be happy.

LuchiMangsho Tue 03-Jan-17 08:25:45

And yes as someone said upthread we don't do big dramatic gestures or surprises or anything. Christmas gifts are small and normally we just take the other person out for a birthday meal nothing more. Neither of us are bothered by that. We also don't text or call constantly but we have a general sense of what the other person is doing. We both like our space.

Frankelly66 Tue 03-Jan-17 08:40:01

How about you list stuff that you love about him, then the stuff that you dislike? That may help us to give you advice.

For me, my favourite things is a coffee everyday, and will pick up any food I want on his way home or suprise me. I love how he sends me random texts in the day with emojis saying he loves me etc

In terms of support he helps with cleaning and house work etc, helps take our dog for walks, he runs a lot of our errands as he is self employed. He is very supportive of me achieving, in fitness, study or work or wealth whether it be excited for me or actually doing things that help me with it. Yeah he's a good guy, most of the time ;-):-)

Frankelly66 Tue 03-Jan-17 08:40:42

Although I should add we have no kids of our own! He has one child and takes responsibility there

Joysmum Tue 03-Jan-17 08:44:18

A "normal" marriage tends to end in divorce so you are asking the wrong question!

What should a happy marriage look like?

A happy marriage is one based on an equal partnership, a partnership is which is person is equally invested in the happiness of their partner as much as their own.

A partnership where they show each other empathy and kindness and treat each other as they would wish to be treated themselves.

One is which they can always be honest and communicate thoughts and feelings openly and both can admit they were wrong, take ownship and apologise.

ScruffyTheJanitor Tue 03-Jan-17 08:46:01

I'm a SAHD so it might be different for us but.
My GF works long shifts on her feet all day, 8am-8pm quite often.
The only thing I ask her to do is tonput DD to bed when she's here at DDs bed time. I don't expect her to cook, clean, sort bills, sort dentists, drs, school stuff etc etc.

I'm here to back her up whilst she works, in return she has the stress and pressure of bringing the money in to pay for the house that I keep.

Its not for everyone, but it works for us.

(I'm also the house Dr, Vic's rubbing, pill getting, soup making, pillow fluffing, duvet shaking etc)

Joysmum Tue 03-Jan-17 08:52:21

Same as Scruffy for me too. DH works long unpredictable hours and is often away. I'm quite organised and we are lucky DD was easy. This changed if I became overwhelmed or DH was on holiday when I'd tell him what needed doing and he'd do it. I resented that for a while but on all honesty it's easier so I like it that way!

The aim has always been to have equal family time, individual time and couple time.

KarmaNoMore Tue 03-Jan-17 08:55:18

There is no such a thing as a "normal" marriage, but this may help you out if trying to find out if you are in a good relationship:

Please note however than even good relationships can cool down and die, so in those cases may be a good idea to let them go before you resent each other so much everything turns nasty.

My ex helped out with childcare, cooking, cleaning and doing stuff around the house but that didn't make him a good husband. He was far to engrossed with himself, work and hobbies to put DS or my needs ever over his.

stumblymonkey Tue 03-Jan-17 08:55:31

Like PP have said it's the little things that make me feel appreciated, he doesn't tend to do big showy gestures but...

- He drives me to the train station in the morning during winter (I've never asked) because he doesn't want me to walk in the dark and cold

- He often makes me a cup of tea even though he doesn't drink hot drinks

- He makes my breakfast even though it's totally different to what he's having

- He often asks what he can do for me that day

- If I'm having a stressful day he'll run me a bath

MsAwesomeDragon Tue 03-Jan-17 08:56:00

Me and dh just sort of bumble along, running the family between us. We both work, me ft during term time (teacher) and him pt all year. He gets up with dd in the morning, I put her to bed. I drop off and pick up from the cm, he does the cooking. Washing up, laundry, etc all get done by whoever notices they need to be done.

We've supported each other through various things, like miscarriage, my brother's cancer a few years ago, his step-dad dying, etc. If either of us needs support then the other gives it (he's not really great with emotional support but is brilliant with doing all the practical things), that's why we work well together.

I'm sorry you feel sad and unsupported. What do you want him to do that he doesn't? What does he expect you to do?

Ohyesiam Tue 03-Jan-17 08:57:37

A normal happy marriage consists of respect and love and appreciation. Lots of irritation ( but then I'm really irritable).With the occasional wander into pig headedness, or thoughtlessness, followed by an apology.

GoodyGoodyGumdrops Tue 03-Jan-17 09:35:32

I don't get any of these little gestures, the cups of tea, the compliments, etc.

But what I do get is a dh who sees a job to do and does it, whether that's emptying the dishwasher or changing a nappy or redecorating a room. And does it quietly and effectively, with no drama.
- Who says to me "Are you going to <hobby> this evening?" And when I reply that the dc are poorly, or he's tired etc, pushes me to go "You know you'll enjoy it."
- Who has never raised his voice to me. Who has never raised a finger to me or to the dc.
- Who listens when I talk.
- Who reads to me (for me that's instead of all those tiny gestures smile).
- Who apologises when I explain that something he did upset me. (Occasionally even sees that without me having to explain.)
- Who parents 100% - it's never just my job.
- With whom I feel safe, cherished and valued.

Fernanie Tue 03-Jan-17 09:43:50

I think it's a really personal thing - one person might feel really loved when their partner buys them little gifts; another might think it's more meaningful to give a heartfelt compliment; another mostly wants their partner to take the bins out and put the kids to bed.
I found the "5 love languages" book helpful (I think there's a website too if you google it). The premise is that everyone speaks a different "language" in terms of how they express / understand love - if you and your husband speak different "languages" then it's more likely that you'll each be oblivious to the little things each other is doing / you'll be putting effort into things that are a bit wasted on each other. It's a case of learning each other's "love language" so that each of you can show love in a way that the other is receptive to.

Mumtoahostofdingbats Tue 03-Jan-17 11:45:38

Ok so we've been married ten years and had three children. At the beginning, He was very unsupportive through 1 st pregnancy when I was sick as a dog and really unpleasant when I had post natal depression afterwards. He's been pretty unsupportive through each pregnancy and post pregnancy / new born period. He's frequently said 'I'm so sick of you always being ill and tired' throughout our marriage. He likes things his own way and can be controlling and critical. He always questions what I've bought and how much I've spent on everything from bread to fruit. He says he's worried about money (I'm not currently working, first time in our marriage as we moved for his new job new job and haven't found work for me) He made my life a misery last year saying I had to work and I was ruining our families life and not trying hard enough to find work. I did all I could to find work. I parent our three children almost entirely on my own. He does work long hours but even when off he will just let them vegetate in front of the tv whilst he mends his bike or listens to the radio. Occasionally he will take them swimming. He baths 1/3 children at best and has said he is no longer doing bed time stories as they are too old. All under 7. Our oldest child has ASD and I find it very emotional and upsetting a lot of the time. He never comes to any parent meetings, never does homework or hears them read. Most of all he is frequently in a bad mood and just seems unhappy. Our sex life has been pretty non existent since I had the kids. Mostly, I just don't feel loved at all and can never rely on him. Not to help me with the kids, not to comfort me when I'm sad. Not to make me feel loved when I'm lonely. I have tried to tell him so many times and he simply doesn't change or realize what he's like. I just think I don't like him very much anymore. I wonder if I'm just 'holding a grudge' or expecting too much. He really believes that as an adult I shouldn't 'need' him and says he doesn't understand what that means. On the lus point, he is loyal, he does love me in his own way, he tells me he does anyway, he works hard for us, he says he doesn't want to be without me and the kids.

fusspot66 Tue 03-Jan-17 11:54:11

MumDingbathe doesn't sound like a husband at all. He thinks he's your boss and doesn't like it when you can't function properly. He's an emotional abuser.
Your life would be easier alone, even with 3 young kids and SEN in the mix. I bet this move away for his job has moved you away from supportive friends and family too.
Look.up a Lund Bancroft "Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men". You'll find your husband in that book.

fusspot66 Tue 03-Jan-17 11:55:03

Hugs, flowers, chocolate the lot for you

Mumtoahostofdingbats Tue 03-Jan-17 12:09:38

Thank you. Almost crying so don't be nice to me. I must stay strong and make my mind up. It's just so hard as he hasn't really DONE anything. It's more what he hasn't done I suppose. Yes, I'm very far from friends and family but I half wanted the move. He is now suggesting I move back with the kids and he will join us at a later date as it makes more financial sense. Ps we live abroad currently.

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