The Long Haul - Page 2 - Talk About Marriage
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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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-22-2016, 03:35 PM
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Re: The Long Haul

We do our darnedest to avoid a disagreement. We divvy up the duties that could cause friction, for example, we are both financial professionals, I handle the taxes, she does the banking, does the payments, and we both do the investing, (she has more of a stomach for risk than I do) which can be fun. I don't think that a marriage can just naturally be something living without the participants actually breathing life into it. Without that, it can easily wither and die.

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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-22-2016, 06:58 PM
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Re: The Long Haul

Anyone in a long-term marriage will have a few scars. They come from growth and change. If people didn't grow and change, both partners would be bored out of their minds. Negotiating the changes can be hard and people need to be willing to accommodate the changes for the marriage to continue and be successful.

If it is worth having, it is worth working for.
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-23-2016, 06:51 PM
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Re: The Long Haul

My wife and I work well together. Yes, there are disagreements but very rarely is there an "argument" between us. It does take work to make a long term marriage successful, but it's well worth it.

"You are talking about the nonsensical ravings of a lunatic mind!" Victor Von Frankenstein
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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-26-2016, 08:56 PM
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Re: The Long Haul

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grapes View Post
As my marriage breaks down and i reflect on the years past I'm finding myself pondering a successful Long Term Relationship/marriage not fraught with drama, fighting, and all the hard work we read about here. This message bored and all the pain that lives within is a stark reminder that marriage and LTR's take alot of work.

When I look at my parents relationship over the years (from youth to now), married many years now, I dont remember seeing a loving couple. I do remember seeing a team. I remember fighting, coldness etc but they always seemed to work as a team. They figured it out but it couldn't have been easy from what I recall.

Im wondering if there is such a thing where 2 people just get along? The relationship is just natural. The hard work takes place naturally without it being considered hardwork. Anyone have a relationship that just works? What is it like?
I will take a stab at this as I feel we would fit this description... we met in our teens, dated for over 6 yrs before we married.. we grew as best friends before we kissed/ was intimate...we've always been that couple that just enjoys doing everything together...we had the same dreams/ values, wanted a family, to live in the country, both savers, both homebodies, both very affectionate, we've never had secrets, what I have described as a "willing transparency" with each other - there was a great foundation of trust between us early on...

After being married 20 + yrs, landing here reading so much on marriage/ sex ....when I came across Dr Harley's "Marriage Builders" website from links given here on TAM...it was eye opening as so much of what he speaks, we've always lived, for the most part..

WE missed it in 1 area particularly ...when going through years of infertility (this our biggest hardship)...it took a toll on MY attitude ...throwing a monkey wrench into our lives... he wanted more sex.. I was oblivious and too focused on conceiving at the time ... looking back.. he was very patient and loving with me... I married a wonderful man..

It's like you said in the beginning of your post...you mentioned DRAMA / fighting.. too much of this is when a couple starts feeling like it's "work" being married... this wears a couple down...zaps their energy, enthusiasm.....a couple becomes disconnected...often resentment seeps in, or APATHY ...someone is not pulling their weight, feeling rejected intimately (my husband felt some of this too ...I wasn't "getting it", he was too passive also)...so we had our mistakes, like any other couple along the way... never anything near a sexless marriage...I always loved sex, wanted my "O"... he felt this..I guess it kept him satisfied enough..but those were the "dry" years...

Ironically...I landed on this forum due to my sex drive suddenly going through the roof (mid life hormones)...He was struggling to keep up...but due to how he's always been... He did everything in his power to be there for me...we went through my 1st threads here together...he never shut me out, pushed me away, he was loving it too, just wanted to keep up.... that's all I've really known..

If anything.. I am the more difficult partner, harder to please, not as patient... but he would say I am "easy" to live with...

I have often felt had I been with someone else...it probably wouldn't be this way at all.. but more of a struggle, striving...a lot more compromising...as I can be awfully particular in some areas that I could see raging conflict if I was with a man I wasn't compatible with.... I feel this is the key ....also self awareness, a forgiving spirit after a tiff / words spoken in haste, wanting to please each other- DO for each other...

It's so important feeling as a Team ...sensitive to each others emotional needs as well as physical... what "His Needs , Her Needs" is all about..

This doesn't mean we don't fight on occasion.. we DO! It can even become volatile, thanks to a little PMS ....I've had my moments.. but then it always ends in Make up sex... our fights are short, we never let the sun go down on our anger...

So the great majority of the time.. we get along like we're still that young couple, it's like the dopamine is stirred within getting off alone with him & leaving the kids behind...we like to banter, I flirt a lot, probably more than him....he's got a sense of humor I love.. he's my "home", my best friend, my lover.... he's the only person in the world I could spend 24 hrs with a day and not want to throw him off a cliff...
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-26-2016, 09:44 PM
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Re: The Long Haul

On the subject of Conflict... there are different styles of it...just as people have different temperament types... one style is not better over another (unless we are talking "hostile" -below) ...they are just different.. I guess this could be another area of compatibility.....it's so much more about resolving and moving on together ...how vital it is to marital happiness & harmony....

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Dealing with Conflict in Marriage: Four Types of Couples..



Couples perceptions, thoughts, values, and feelings influence how they interpret conflict situations, and can strongly shape the outcomes of conflicts. However, the three elements of conflict, issue, relationship, and emotion, must be dealt with if the conflict is to be resolved. The way that couples respond to interpersonal conflicts could either be constructive or destructive to their relationships.

*** The 5 to 1 Ratio in Marriage Conflicts

According to John Gottman, marriage relationship researcher, negative interactions are balanced by positive ones in stable marriages. The dynamics of the balance between negativity and positivity are what separate contented couples from discontented ones.....

In stable marriages, there is a very specific ratio, 5 to 1, between the amount of positive feelings and interactions and negative interactions. In contrast, couples who are likely to divorce, have too little positive interactions to compensate for the for the rising negativity in their marriages.

According to Gottman , positivity must outweigh negativity 5 to 1, whether couples have intense fights or avoid conflicts completely. There are successful adjustments in these marriages that keep the couples together. Low level of conflicts between couples does not necessarily indicate marital happiness. On the other hand, it seems the intensity of the argument between some couples brings out the true color in their marriages.

The Four Types of Couples

According to Gottman, there are three types of problem-solving approaches in healthy marriages, volatile, validating, and conflict-avoiding. These three approaches can lead to stable and enduring marriages. However, a fourth approach to conflict resolution, hostile, is likely to end in divorce.

Gottman explains how certain important qualities of each approach predict whether or not a marriage will end in divorce.


1. Volatile Couples

For volatile couples, conflicts erupt easily, and are fought on grand scale, but of course, making up is even greater! These couples have passionate disputes, and frequent and passionate arguments.

According to Gottman, while volatile fight openly, they argue with a lot of wit, display fondness for each other, and have a great time making up. It seems that their volcanic arguments are just a small part of their warm and loving relationship.

It appears that passion and fighting lead to better relationships which include making up, laughing, and affection. So despite the level of their argument, they still resolve their differences.

Volatile couples see themselves as equals, and exhibit individuality and independence in their marriage. They are open with each other about their positive and negative feelings, and their marriages tend to be passionate and exciting.

Gottmanís research indicates that their frequent arguments are balanced out by their positive interactions such as touching, smiling, paying complements, and laughing, and so on. So these couples stick together for the long haul.

2. Validating Couples

Couples who are validators, fight more politely. They are calmer during conflicts, and behave like collaborators as they work through their problems. These couples often compromise, and seek to work out their problems steadily for mutually satisfying results. The mutual respect that they have for each other, limits the amount and level of their arguments.

The emphasis is on communication and compromise, so even if they have heated discussion, they validate each other. They do this by expressing empathy for, and understanding each otherís point of view. Very evident, is their display of care, calm, and self-control even when they discussing hot topics.

Validating couples try to persuade their partners, and find a common ground in the end. During conflict, they let each other know they value their opinions, and see their emotions as legitimate. In disagreement, validating couples, let their partners know they still consider their feelings, even though they donít necessarily agree with their position.

3. Conflict-Avoiding Couples

Conflict-avoiding couples rarely argue, and it seems that they avoid confrontation at all cost. When they discuss their conflicts they do so mildly and carefully, as they donít feel that there is much to be gained from getting openly angry with each other.

These couples agree to disagree, and rarely confront their differences, that could end up in deadlocked discussions. According to Gottman, conflict-avoiding couples believe that their common ground and values are much greater than their differences, and this makes their differences insignificant or easy to accept.

These couples have an avoidant style of marriage, so rather than discussing a conflict with their partners, some spouse often try to fix the situation on their own, or hope that with the passage of time the problems will work themselves out.

4. Hostile Couples...

Hostile couples argue often and hotly, and their arguments are caustic and harmful. Insults, putdowns, and sarcasms prevail when they argue. These couples fail to maintain the 5 to 1 ratio of positivity to negativity in their conflicts, and there is clearly more negative than positive in the relationships.

Hostile couplesí discussions are characterized by too much criticisms, contempt, defensiveness, and withdrawal. Their communication is unhealthy, they donít listen to what each other is saying, and conflicts are dangerous to their relationships.

Some hostile couples try to actively address their disagreements, but this is usually ineffective. Others remain more detached, uninvolved, and critical of each other, with brief spurts of attack and defensiveness. These couples are meaner to each other than the other three types of couples..
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