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Making it work.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by vex, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. vex

    vex
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    Focus: What does it take to make a relationship work?

    Is it a question of two very similar people coming together and just "clicking"? Is it a result of compromise and sacrifice for another person? Similar life outlooks? Sex drive? Goals? Lifestyle?

    As if that wasn't complicated enough, we need to remember that people change. Can you even look ahead and say "this is going to work?" Is it enough to want to make it work?

    So have at it TiB. What does it take?
     
  2. hooker

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    I think it comes down to just being able to grow separately without growing apart.

    One of my best friends is leaving her husband for exactly this reason. It took 11 years for them to realize that they are no longer the people they were when they met, and ultimately they've grown so far apart that they can't salvage their marriage.
     
  3. lhprop1

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    Just because you're married or committed to someone doesn't mean you have to spend every minute with them. Your "me time" is just as important as your "us time".

    Communicate with one another. I know it's become almost cliched, but if you don't air your grievances every so often things build up and someone ends up falling down the stairs.
     
  4. ghettoastronaut

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    She has to be willing to move with you.

    Now if you'll pardon me, I have a date with a pint of ice cream.
     
  5. Revengeofthenerds

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    Two words:

    Yes ma'am
     
  6. hooker

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    Happy wife, happy life.
     
  7. CharlesJohnson

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    Each set of grandparents were married over 50+ years. Happy for most of those years. We're not like them. We don't have to stay in unhappy unions because that's just how it is. We don't even have to stay if we get bored, hurt, or our wil feelings hurt. I'll get down to it. I don't think people have the first fucking clue what love and devotion are because they either don't know themselves, or don't care to. I don't think they have any fucking idea what consequence is.

    People are getting married, but do they have any real intention of staying together until their teeth stain and their hair turns stark white? Can anyone imagine what it's like to watch age overcome another? Imagine watching someone put on weight in weird places, get achy knees, find extra skin under their neck, making their first urologist appointment, watch them go white and get shitty vision. Imagine raising together a child into adulthood who then has their own kids. Then imagine waking up to the same person for 50 years. Imagine they lose memories of the ones you loved, of the life you shared. Imagine propping up an old, broken body because that moldy S.O.B. has your heart, holding a withered hand with brittle skin stretched over those lovely bones you traced with your fingers every night for the past 3000 days. Now imagine never having their scent or their voice again. Imagine that empty dent on the bed. The finality of that is more than a person can bear. I want to throttle people when they talk about their S.O.s and the shit that just doesn't fucking matter.

    My grandmother died when I was about one. Before grandpop followed her when I was 11, I have never seen a more devoted man madly in love with someone. It was probably my first experience with a broken man. He never told me about normal grandmother stuff, how she dealt with kids or funny shit she may have done. It was how gorgeous she was on her wedding day, her voice, etc. Like he was a smitten 88 year old teenager. He had their wedding pictures up on the wall in his room. He told me about them constantly. I don't know if his infatuation was guilt, because he was far from a perfect man, or in the winter of his life he just couldn't bear being without her. When he died, we found in his dresser a drawer of some of her old clothes and perfume. Either way, I can't imagine allowing myself to feel like that over another person. But I'm getting there.

    Most of us are fools. You have someone there and they are bursting. Pick them up, engage them like you give a damn. Because it can't wait. Everything else can wait, but this might not. Don't lose sight of what made you a passionate person, of why they fell in love with you. Find the vocabulary, the fucking heart, to open them up or yourself. Basically, pull your head out of your ass. It's not easy. Not easy by any means, but it doesn't have to be that hard. You just have to give a damn about someone more than yourself, without compromising yourself. Everything else is just noise. So we don't get bored.

    The real bitch is figuring out what to do when someone doesn't want you anymore.
     
  8. ghettoastronaut

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    My grandparents were poor peasants and farmers from Europe. Two of them came from a particularly backwards part of Italy, itself a particularly backwards country around WWII (also, now). In retrospect, I think my grandmother may not have been entirely literate. My other grandmother was, along with her children, beaten and abused regularly by my grandfather.

    They sure as hell didn't know themselves, consequences, love, or devotion better than any of us do. If they were in a situation that demanded they leave, they were too stifled by a religion and society that suppressed even the the desire to get a divorce, let alone its legitimacy; they were too poor, and held down by too many children (fucking Catholics) to do anything about it if they even wanted to leave.

    Know what we are? We're educated and rich. We have the luxury of going to school, moving out on our own, and having our own careers, seeing the world, and spending discretionary income, rather than working the farm or milking the cows or having children to do the same or listening to the neighbours gossip that you must be a filthy whore and you've disgraced your family for not being married and bearing children by the age of 20. If you're in a poisonous, abuse relationship, not only can you easily get out, you can have the law and society on your side.

    By the way, 3000 days is eight years. Find a better number to wax romantic with.
     
  9. shimmered

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    I think you have to be committed to seeing the other person happy, without making a concession for what will make you happy. Both of you have to be willing to work on the US part without sacrificing the core elements of the individual.


    But then again, I'm a morbid failure at relationships, so what the flying fuck do I know anyway.
     
  10. CharlesJohnson

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    It was 8 years between my grandmother's first and last heart attacks.

    You really are a bitter little troll.

    One set of grandparents were highly educated and anything but farmers. 1923-1973. The other set, that I described, were first generation from Italy. They beat the snot out of each other and still adored each other when it came down to it. Which is exactly why I put in the caveat that people don't have to stay together because now times have changed, they don't have to deal with abuses. But instead I should have shit out yet another paragraph, all for little you, concerning the difference of contemporary people staying together/leaving over tangible mental and physical abuse or over hiccups on the road to maturity. You're right, I should interrupt myself thinking aloud of the consequences and finality of sharing a life.

    I hope your next girlfriend comes with an acceptable dowry. Don't accept anything less than a 50 pound bag of sorghum, 20 goats, and an antique birthing stool.

    (Mods, if this is derailing as much as I think, I won't complain if you remove it.)
     
  11. jordan_paul

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    That is incorrect. It's supposed to be "ugly wife is a happy life."
     
  12. bewildered

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    Or:

    If momma ain't happy, nobody happy.
    If daddy ain't happy, nobody cares.

    I sort of taught my niece to say that when she was a couple years old. My brother in law wasn't too happy.
     
  13. Binary

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    Big titties.
     
  14. tweetybird

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    The way I see it, being in a committed relationship is a choice. You're not there due to stars crossing, fate, God, whatever. No matter how tingly that person made you in the genital region when you first met, butterflies and lust alone are not going to keep you together. You have to make that choice, and live up to that choice every day. This means stuff like communicating well and often, planning together for the future and also this weekend, thinking about the other person on the same priority level as yourself, keeping yourself in good health, reminding your partner that you care with silly little gestures and some big things too. None of that comes from on high, you gotta set aside the time and choose to do that shit.

    (As an aside, when I was 16, I thought this idea of a choice was terribly unromantic and depressing. You mean there is no soulmate? No Great Love Story? Now, I find it quite romantic. Every day of my life, my husband is actively choosing me over everyone else else, despite everything he knows about me, and I am doing the same for him. Seems like that's a lot more romantic than just thinking Cupid forced you together.)

    On the flip side, I do NOT think a relationship should be arduous. When I hear people (mostly women, to be honest) say that relationships are hard work, I get suspicious about exactly how much shit they are putting up with and/or how much shit they are giving someone else when really both parties would be better off cutting their losses and moving on. Yes, you will have issues. Most likely related to money and sex. However, if it doesn't feel easy, comfortable, happy, and just plain right at least 80% of the time, honey, you're putting in too much work.
     
  15. bewildered

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    You know, I don't think I ever dated someone who at first meet/sight I was enamored with. I tend to be a cynical bitch when it comes to personal relationships. It takes a long time for people to grow on me, like cancer. Anyway, even with El Fiance I wasn't all starry eyed when I met him. I kind of held back and reserved judgement and took time to get to know him.

    So yes, love, dating, relationships, all of those things are a choice. Once we started working out the logistics of our relationship and spent a lot of time together, that's when I started romanticizing him more. I love him more all the time, which I think is opposite of most people who go through a honey moon type phase and then get into a rut when reality sets in.

    The relationships that I've held with my family have never been easy. There has always been this sense of having to deal with shit and people being unreasonable. It's gotten better over the years now that all my sisters are adults with families and now that they are taking the lead on family affairs. Going from a family who, when I was a child, made shit just unbearable and ridiculous all the time, to looking forward to a life with El Fiance, who makes things easier and better...it just makes my future seem so bright.

    I guess deciding things early on as the rule has made things so much easier and uncomplicated. We are upfront, honest, we both can compromise when necessary, and we mean things that we say. We dealt with things that could have been issues down the line very early on, because there came a point where either we compromised and continued staying together, or didn't, which would mean our life paths diverged. Working out kinks early on has saved us a lot of heartache.

    I'm sure there will be things to work out later on, but given the way that we communicate and deal with each other, I don't see them being major stumbling blocks in our marriage.

    Now, all you people who have been married for a long time or even divorced can now point and me and laugh for being so naive...
     
  16. Kubla Kahn

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    Four blowjobs a day. No exceptions.
     
  17. Disgustipated

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    Before everything: honest communication. It's not going to make your relationship work if it wouldn't otherwise, but if it's missing then no relationship will ultimately work. It might bumble along for a long time, but that doesn't mean it works.

    And if honest communication means that your relationship ends, I'd argue that that is it working anyway. It obviously wasn't meant to be.
     
  18. Dcc001

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    I'm going to expose one of the major reasons (probably) why I've never had a relationship. I think everything comes down to how people understand the meaning of the word "love," as cliched as that sounds.

    I actually think about this stuff quite a bit. My mind wanders as I design things at work. I'm sure that gives everybody comfort to know that their structural designer is thinking of other things. I've come to believe that my personal definition of the word "love" is, "I will, to the best of my ability, see to it that the object of my love has his/her/its needs met." Needs. Not wants.

    To use an extreme example, look at reality television where parents spend $50,000 on a wedding dress or a bar mitzvah for their kid. An intimate example is my drug addict cousin: my aunt pays for her insurance, her house, her kid, etc. I use these two examples to illustrate that acting as they are is selfish love. Selfish love is the gushy feeling you get when you have a crush on someone, or the relief you feel when you know your daughter has a roof over her head, or whatever. It entails some sort of personal reward (be it emotional or stress-related or whatever) on the part of the giver.

    True love is a decision, I think. It can be brutal. It can break your heart. It means acting in someone's best interest, even when it hurts you personally. It means telling your kids "no," or pushing the addict out of the house and no longer subsidizing their addiction. I think it's hard, and few people have the balls to act it out.

    If the relationship is based on the definition of love I just described, I think it has a chance. If you "love" someone like that you put aside your pride or your anger and you try to meet their needs; presumably, they do the same.

    Clearly I'm not a romantic, and this philosophy has served only to make me avoid relationships because I'm not willing to put that level of commitment towards someone I'm not sure of, so feel free to ignore. I just wish that culturally - painting with broad brush strokes here - people would stop claiming that they are acting out of love without realizing that they are acting selfishly, and thus doing harm.
     
  19. Devils Advocate

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    I am going to agree with communication trend. Communicate about everything: sex, finances, feelings, day to day shit, etc. Don't just communicate while you are fighting.

    Secondly, don't try to change the other person. You cannot go into a relationship thinking/expecting that eventually that person will change, or try to change them into something that you want them to become. A person will only change if they want to change. You have to either accept them for who they are and deal with it, move on from it, or compromise.
     
  20. Nick

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    I think you are spot on with this, and to say it even more broadly, we (meaning everybody on this board for the most part) were born into an age of entitlement. For most of us, it was assumed that we could [would] go to college and jobs would be waiting for us when we graduated. We get on airplanes to go on vacations. We move from house to house, and town to town. We get a new cell phone every couple of years because the one from last year becomes "obsolete". Credit cards and debt are a way of life. We expose ourselves to other people and other ideas on a constant basis, and because of that, nothing ever seems quite good enough - including our relationships. We change, not just because it's accepted, but because it's embraced.

    Now I think about my parents. They lived in the same house for 25 years. They lived in the same town they were born in until they were 50. They drove across country for family vacations, even thought they could afford to fly. They are in their mid-60s, and until this year, had never left the country. They could afford to live in a much bigger, nicer house, but they choose to remain planted. They feel lucky to have the things that they have, and don't aspire to have more. They view marriage as a privalege, not a right, and because of that, their relationship has flourished.

    Unfortunately, as we become more and more entitled, we will continue to feel less and less obligated to uphold the things that are actually really, really important in life.

    So, in conclusion, the key to a successful marriage is to never leave home, don't go to college, buy a modest home, and drive a tractor.