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Define "working" at a relationship/marriage

(11 Posts)
Jenice Fri 18-Sep-09 19:21:13

I keep reading threads about people not being with Mr Perfect and unfortunately its left me wondering whether there is something better out there.... that sounds awful but just recently I feel like me and DP are in a rut too and things that didn't annoy me before really push my buttons. To add to that we are supposed to be getting married next year. DS is 13 months and sometimes I feel like he is our only common ground. I have only started feeling like this since a week after we set the date.... cold feet??

What constitutes a relationship worth working at??? I know the many relationship types which should be ended (knowledge mainly gleaned from reading thread after thread) but just wanted to know what does working at a relationship mean these days??? Also from people who have come through the other side of being in a rut, how did you do it?

Spidermama Fri 18-Sep-09 19:26:12

How long have you been together?
I've been out the other end of many ruts and the relationship reinvents itself, but I think you both have to really want it to work.

Having a 13 month old can be tough on a relationship and you may find things improve.

There are as many ways of working at a relationship as there are couples. It really depends on what the problems are.

I wonder if it might be an idea to call off the wedding and just be together for a bit to see if that makes any difference.

Does he know how you feel?

Spidermama Fri 18-Sep-09 19:26:52

Why are you getting married btw?

Tortington Fri 18-Sep-09 19:27:59

if you love someone - you try

it comes down to the basics

Jenice Fri 18-Sep-09 19:45:03

No he doesn't know I'm feeling like this and I suppose that is half the problem.. we seem to have stopped communicating not that I was ever that great at it ever anyway. I suppose I'm non-confrontational by nature which means I try to ignore the difficult conversations that may hurt or upset me or someone else.

I'm starting to question the reasons we are getting married but when we decided I did love him but I guess there was also outside pressure on us.

Spidermama Fri 18-Sep-09 21:33:21

I think you need to talk to him Jenice, hard though it is. Otherwise you'll risk walking down the aisle in a state of inertia, which would do neither of you any favours.

He may be having similar feelings and may be grateful for the chance to talk things through and sort them out one way or another.

ginnny Fri 18-Sep-09 22:55:08

Imagine life without him? Does it fill you with dread or not seem too bad?
All relationships go through ruts and I think everyone at some time or another wonders "is this it?", but its a bit worrying to feel like this before you are married.
Is it the idea of marriage that has made you feel like this? Are you a bit overwhelmed or scared by the lifelong committment?
Talk to him. Maybe you should postpone the wedding till you feel differently.

BitOfFundango Fri 18-Sep-09 23:05:09

I would say working means stuff like communicating and having those conversations that might be difficult actually. The fact you are reluctant seems a bit ominous tbh. Can you tell us any more? Do you enjoy spending time with just him? If you had a sitter and could go out, would you feel excited or wonder what you've got to talk about?

pushmepullyou Fri 18-Sep-09 23:05:43

For me 'working at' our relationship means that we both know that we are not going to split up and therefore when we disagree or go through a boring patch then we have to either resolve the situation so we're both happy or accept we're always going to be miserable! Needless to say we tend to go for the resolving option! Can be hard work, but preferable to any of the alternatives.

sayithowitis Sat 19-Sep-09 01:06:48

I suppose working at a relationship means that you have to be prepared that at some point compromises will have to be made and not always by the same person. It means recognising that sometimes things can go a bit staleand that you are both responsible for recognising it when it happens and for changing things in order to improve and move forward.

I think most relationships experience times when you feel as though you are in a rut. Sometimes it happens because one or both of you are just plain tired ( especially when you have young children), sometimes health issues play a part and yes, sometimes it is down to a certain type of boredom that can set in just because you sort of feel almost too comfortable with each other and sto making an effore to keep things exciting and 'new'.

It is harder to say what constitutes a marriage or relationship worth working at. When we were in a similar situation, for both of us it was a case of imagine life as it is for the next 20 years? Now imagine life without each other for the next 20 years. We each felt that we didn't want our life in 20 years time to be like it was at that time, but equally, neither of us wanted to even begin to imagine life without the other one. It was that that convinced us we really did want to make things better and dig our way out of the rut we had created for ourselves. We loved each other and despite the boredom that had set in, we never stopped loving each other. And I suppose ultimately, it is love that made it worth working at our marriage.

As for what we did, well, we began to rebuild our sex life, which had become non-existant sad. We now make plenty of time for that, easier for us maybe because our kids are teenagers so are often out. We began to make a conscious effort to do things together, maybe going out for a walk. We hold hands. We make each other cups of tea, we share a joke together,we make sure there is lots of physical contact, cuddles, a snatched kiss when I am cooking dinner. He helps with lots of housework ( I am talking about a 40% share)because I also work. we remember to say @ I love you' instead of assuming the other one knows it! It's just lots and lots of little things that over the course of a day, or a week, show that we love and appreciate each other. It is not the grand gestures, we can't afford those!

We are not perfect. But then, nobody is. And no relationship is perfect. But I would say ours is good and very strong, as are many , many relationships of folk on here. It is just that by the very nature of this board in particular, you will read about more of the other kind of relationship.

Sorry, I don't think I have been much help, but maybe there is something here that might be of use to you.

Good Luck grin

skihorse Sat 19-Sep-09 08:59:59

I'm with pushmepullyou. We don't go in for grand gestures such as screaming in the street or throwing clothes out of the window, but we do know that we need to find common ground or at least some form of compromise [1][2]. So communication has to be the key.

As for "working at it", well every single day I make sure that I am "nice" to my partner - it really is basic but why would you want to do anything else?

[1] Margaret Thatcher - no compromise reached
[2] Broccoli - jury still out

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