20 years this August - married 18 years
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Long Term Success in Marriage If you've been married 10+ years and consider your marriage a success, post your success story here. Help others by talking about what works for you.

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Old 11-21-2008, 01:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 20 years this coming August - married 18 years

We had our ups and down in the early years, but something always kept us going, and now the rewards are being reaped.

We used to row a lot, but we were committed to staying together for life, so divorce was not an option. When the rows got worse, then it was the kids that kept us together.

One of the interesting things about us was that we would always make up after an argument, and everything would be pleasant until the next time. I used to think this was a bit strange until I read a study done by a couple of psychologists at a university, that found that couples who argued a lot - even shouting at the top of their voices, were more likely to have a successful long term relationship than those who kept quiet. On that basis, we were destined to succeed

A few years ago, I discovered by reading this article:
"Ask Dr. Tracy" Love Library
that my wife and I had totally different inner languages. I am audio-tactile, she is visual-audio. I used to dress scruffy, and think it was funny. I had no idea it was turning her off. Of course she told me, but I did not get it. After reading the above link, the penny finally dropped. I made efforts to make the most of my looks, and also started complementing her on hers more. Things really started to look up from that moment.

If you read my other posts, you will know that being a touchy-feely person, sex is at the top of my list. I always felt we were not on the same page over this. Don't get me wrong, we were at it maybe 3-4 times per week, but I just felt that she was doing it either to keep me quiet, or to sooth her nervous system from time to time, like a taking a vitamin pill. One day I realised, anyone could fulfil that function for her, there was nothing special about me. One day, I found something someone else had written, that explained my frustration perfectly, without the emotion that it had whenever I tried to explain it. I gave it to her to read. She suddenly became a lot more interested in sex - it was like an explosion. It turned out that her libido was perhaps even as high as mine, but she had been keeping it under wraps.

We had always got on well and had lots to talk about, even though we are completely different types. But when the sex kicked in, it was like all my birthdays came at once

The fire has gone out of our rows now, but we still argue from time to time. Sometimes I think we will be together forever, but just when I get that thought, something will happen, and I wonder if we will last the week! This has always been our thing. It shows me that you can only live for the day, and let the 'morrow take care of itself.

One thing I am crystal clear on is that if you are going to be married, you have to make the most beautiful music you can together. I would never want to be in a lukewarm marriage - what a sham.

My belief is that if each spouse does their best to make the other happy, success is almost guaranteed. I mentioned this to my wife today, and she said "I think I disagree" ! So I asked her what her recipe was for a good marriage. She said each person must have the others well-being at heart.

I felt we were more or less saying the same thing, but as you can see, we bicker like cat and dog!

I drive her mad sometimes, I am never content to stand still. When the sex got better, I wanted to take it even higher. I wear her out with my demands, but she has occasionally admitted that the frantic pace keeps her feeling alive.

One more thing... draconis often says that communication is key. I think it is. After the inner languages discovery (linked to above), I eventually realised that we were repeatedly doing something silly: She would buy me presents, which I could not care less about - and I was not buying her enough presents/flowers. So I started going out of my way to buy her little tokens of my love, but I insisted she stopped buying me stuff. The way to make me happy is with touch or sex - it's free. She used to ask me every year what I wanted for my birthday. Nothing I would say. Now I get exotic sex. MMMmmm.

I was going down the town Christmas 2006 and I saw some beautiful earrings, and I just knew they were hers. Not only that, but I found another equally good pair inside the shop. I bought both. She was thrilled. And it was the first time I had ever got her something really nice. So it only took 17 years, but finally I got there.

Well that's enough for now...

Last edited by MarkTwain; 12-24-2008 at 05:24 AM.
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Old 11-21-2008, 02:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: 20 years this August - married 18 years

dude, bravo! tip o' the cap to you wife, too!
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Old 11-23-2008, 09:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: 20 years this August - married 18 years

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Originally Posted by MarkTwain View Post
One day I realised, anyone could fulfil that function for her, there was nothing special about me.
that is very interesting to me and i had never thought of it that way. but it makes sense. it is something to think about.

Congratulations on 20 years together!
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Old 11-24-2008, 03:55 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: 20 years this August - married 18 years

Congrats Mark, Hope you ahve 80 more together
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Old 11-24-2008, 05:28 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: 20 years this August - married 18 years

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Originally Posted by ljtseng View Post
that is very interesting to me and i had never thought of it that way. but it makes sense. it is something to think about.
When I told her my realization, it had a devastating effect. I experienced a moment (or two!) of bitterness. Mostly toward myself for being such a chump, and not realizing what had been going on for so long.

She actually admitted that I was correct, which I am very grateful for. If she had lied, I would not have believed her anyway, but I had reached the point where only the truth would do.

A lot of the problem was brought on by me over the years, mostly due to my ignorance of how to get the best out of her - how to make her feel at her best. I still don't understand her really, but I seem to have got better at intuitively doing the right thing. But she changes the rules if I get too clever, so I have to stay flexible.
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Old 11-24-2008, 12:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: 20 years this August - married 18 years

Thanks for sharing this, Mark, you make some great points...it's not often I get the opportunity to congratulate a couple together for 20 years...and even less often that the couple is happy to reach that milestone together!!

Congrats on that!
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Old 11-24-2008, 12:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: 20 years this August - married 18 years

swedish-

Is it really that rare? Jeeeez.

By the way, my wife is fluent in Swedish - perhaps that has something to do with it
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Old 12-10-2008, 06:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: 20 years this August - married 18 years

Good for you Mark ... soon you will be up there with me and my husband ... 30 years for us !! I never thought that I would be able to say that but we are happy !!!
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