While I have been with my wife for 23 years, and married 20 of those, I have serious concerns about our long-term compatibility. One thing that keeps coming up is that she wants to stay in the town where we are currently (northern, cold climate) and I want to move to a warmer city sooner rather than later. We are both 44. We lived in a hot climate for eight years, but have been back in the cold country for 13, and after this winter, I really can't take it any longer.
The other items include our general philosophies about life. She seems ready to retire and has told me she has no aspiration to do anything in her life. She said that, other than me, she "wants to be left alone." I still consider myself to be young and have the opposite approach - I try to keep in shape and feel like I'm still learning things and want to meet new people.
There are other differences - she hates sports, and I love them, for example. She hates technology (the web), and I work for a technology company. She hates the newspaper and I once worked for a newspaper. She doesn't exercise, and I'm at the gym 4-5 times per week.
We have two sons, 15 and 11. While I have thought of separation, I'm afraid I'll ruin their lives, especially if I leave town and move to another city where it's not cold 7 months of the year.
I just picked it up after hearing about it on this site and wish I would of gotton it when I was where you were. Granted my marriage is/was shorter then yours but we were communicating on different levels.
Thanks for the suggestion on the 5 Languages of Love book. I checked out the website and may buy the book. This is exactly the issue - we love each other fundamentally, but we have very different ways of showing it. I'm much more verbal about it- she is much more action-oriented.
For example, she refuses to say "I miss you" when I'm away on a business trip. She gets angry when I say this, saying it's obvious that we will miss each other.
You don't have to have all the same things in common, in fact I think the greatest lie ever told about love and marriage is that it's two becoming a "whole". And independence is a great thing! However the re-location predicament is a big one. If it's really important to you and she's not even willing to consider it that could be a major problem. But what's keeping her there? Is it family? Is it something you were well aware of when you married her, like that she always wanted to live in the North, period?
Thanks for your comment. I know I don't need a clone of my interests, but I think we have so many things opposite it's going to be tough after our kids leave home. This makes me think I should start over now rather than waiting until I'm 51.
I think I could survive here for another seven years. Maybe.
What do you think about the compatibility issue? About the only thing we have in common right now is the kids.
I do love my wife. She is a good person and we generally get along. But I've often thought that we aren't really meant to be married - we are good friends from college that got together and had two kids. I'd like to stay friends with her if we broke up, but I'm afraid she would completely trash me to all of our friends and relatives.
If this is for the rest of my life, I'd like to be with someone who shares at least some of my interests. I don't want to wreck my home, but which is better - staying together for the kids, or being able to live our own lives and find someone we are more compatible with?
Maybe try to find new things together. Like Chapman said its about one person wanting to do something and the other person just wanting to share in the expierence. Get a baby sitter and take a weekly night cooking course at the local CC or something. Find something new you two can share together.
I think its to late for the love language book to save my marriage especialy as the wife probaly won't read it. I bought it on her nook intentionaly. I didn't say I bought it or that I am reading it but I am hoping she discovers it and decides to read it herself.
I don't think you should stay together just for the kids. If you feel D is the only option that is your choice. I do think though that you two could find waysto bridge the gap that is forming though.
Regarding the book I have discovered I am bi-lingual Physical touch Quality time with an understanding of Words of affirmation but am unable to speak them. Similar to I can understand a lot of Japanese spoken to me but can speak very very little of it and very poorly at that.
If you this serious about considering D, have you even told her HOW unhappy you are or asked to go to MC together?
I think the answer is probably no.
A lot of people come to that point and say "why even try". It really breaks my heart. My wife and I could have vastly improved our past if I had any idea how she was feeling, why, and what I can do about it. Yes people talk back and forth about different wants, but sometimes its not clear how unhappy they are.
If you told her that warmer climate is make or break, I think she would take it more seriously. I don't really get WHY you view something like that as a reason to end a marriage.
Also, you might want to pick up "his needs/her needs"
I'm in the same boat as you are. Me and my husband are really good friends but now that we're married the personality differences are astonishing, it's a whole other dynamic. I agree with anx that you should ask her about seeing an MC. However I would point out that it's not so much about the climate as knowing you have an option to not have to be stuck in one town for the rest of your life. We all have wings that need to fly every once in a while
I'm not suggesting that either OP or Ava are in relationships where infidelity is an issue, but in my relationship there is. I started to read Surviving An Affair and I really liked particularly Chapter 7 to the end because it lays out some guidelines that are designed to create intimacy and cohesiveness in a relationship, any relationship. One point I thought was excellent was the fact that incompatibility is a poor excuse to end a relationship. It just means that that couple has not properly learned to deal with the differences in a way to create enough commonalities to make them both happy.
Dr. Harley, the author and reknowned relationship specialist, describes these 4 rules as: Rules of Protection, Care, Time, And Honesty. These 4, I believe, will help any relationship. The hard thing is to understand them and commit to them. In my opinion, whether or not my current relationship survives the mess it is in, it was worth reading that book simply for those 4 chapters. My next relationship will be a lot different. Who knows. Maybe my new relationship with my current wife will be, too.
I think compatability is a non-issue if you cherish each other when you are together--take an interest in the other's life and pleasures, celebrate their victories and console them in defeat, treat each other like desirable individuals (sexually, emotionally, intellectually), and fill the time you do spend together with love. I'd be fine with a guy who I only saw a couple hours a night as we did chores and relaxed and slept together; I'm very independent and happy to fill my own life.
One good way to connect: share news stories with her--say, "hey, read this; I want to know what you think." Even if it seems odd to her at first, she will probably cooperate, and you will start building something in common--discussing the news. This can create new opportunities to learn about each other. Model good listening--really listen and ask questions about why she reacts as she does, what is she thinking, what are the underlying principles or assumptions that direct her opinion? At bottom, most of us have beliefs about whether people are inherently evil or not, and whether people are "lazy" or just "defeated," etc. Getting to the roots of these through discussion with others can help us clarify our own beliefs and make greater sense of the world around us, and sharing that exploration together may be a terrific bond in the absence of others.