Re: What's a good marriage like? How do you know if it's the kind that lasts.
Your part of the baby boomers. You guys (and gals) set the standard for EVERYTHING. BUT I'm part of the Millennial Generation (aka Generation Y, I'm 28 years old). All these ideas and sold foundations are gone. I myself have been married for 7 years. Honestly the "happiness" left on January 20,2007 when I didn't get any "birthday booty" because the wife was to tired (We didn't have sex for that entire month). Ever since then it's been a hunt for this "happiness".
Truth be told my cousin called me up a week ago, because I was the only "happily married guy he knew" I admitted to him I'm not happily married. I'm borderline a single father. He called because he couldn't think of THREE HAPPILY MARRIED MEN (neither can I), he can ask for advice before he seperated from his wife of Three years. Guess what? They're seperated now.
Though everything you mentioned is wonderful sound advice. Things are so different now. There's so many distractions in the world that can take you (or your spouses) attention. Being married now is almost a "bad thing". When people start talking about it, all your friends do is talk about the horror stores they've heard/experienced. It's sad but true. I personally talk people out of marriage. I'm being dead serious. They are shocked that I have been married for 7 years and yet I try to talk them out of it. I tell them I know people that have been married for 30 years, but happily married for the first four years.
I am going to push back on that. I know many couples in their twenties, thirties, and forties that have sound marriages (before you say that we really don't know about them, we both can spot a troubled marriage a mile away). Maybe it is who we hang with. Although we are in our fifties, we think and look young so we have many friends that are in the first decade of marriage. I work with a woman who just turned thirty and we have many conversations about relationships...and they have a great marriage. The principles that I stated work for any age and these same principles are being espoused in books on marriage and relationships written today. One such book that I recently read (and we will read together) is "The Couple Checkup: Discovering Your Relationship Strengths."
By the way, my mom was divorced twice, my dad twice, my wife's mom 4 times and her dad 5 times. Crappy relationships can happen at any age.