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Making it work.

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

  1. Crown Royal

    Crown Royal
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    Just call me Topher

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    Tolerance. Despite the fact you're a couple, you are still going to have different interests. You don't HAVE to like anything you don't to, but the minute you start telling someone else what to like, well, you have issues. Don't do that.

    Asshole.
     
  2. Stealth

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    So, where does the husband's happiness fit into this picture?
     
  3. Juice

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    Relax, it's just an idiom.
     
  4. Tuesday

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    Disturbed

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    Her mouth.

    Focus:
     
    #24 Tuesday, Oct 6, 2011
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  5. The Village Idiot

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    It depends on how you define 'a relationship that works.'

    Most relationships work on some level for some amount of time. Things like being in a common place, with common interests, or a common attraction makes a relationship work.

    Making a relationship 'work' - IF you define 'working' as a couple in a relationship who remain happy for the long haul - requires one basic ingredient:

    Luck.

    That's all there is to it, plain and simple. I do love these examples of people's grandparents and 'how things used to be.' News flash: the world is a very different place than it was even forty years ago (back when most grandparents had already been married for 20 or 30 years and had grandkids of their own). Things like a more mobile society, the women's rights movement, and how we view successful parenting have all changed relationships and how we relate to one another. I would posit that right now, at this moment, most of us have no idea on what makes a long term relationship successful (which is why I said 'luck') So much in our lives changes that didn't change for our grandparents.

    Think about it, when your grandparents got married, more than likely, mom stayed home to raise kids, and dad went to work at the same job that he was going to have for the next 40 years until he retired. The goal of raising kids was to produce healthy self sufficient children who went out on their own, got married, and had kids of their own. The goals were well defined and success/failure easily measured.

    It's not like that anymore. Take marriage for instance. When the idea and institution of marriage came around, women got married at 14 (when they could produce children) and men in their later teens. A lot of women died in childbirth. Men would often remarry due to this. Life expectancies were barely into the 30's for most people (I'm referring to Roman times through much of the dark ages). The fact of the matter is human development is a very different thing now. Kids stay home longer, and most importantly, people's happiness matters. It is a worthy goal unto itself. That's not an easy thing to measure, and is solely defined by the holder of the happiness or unhappiness.

    Given how much we, both in gender roles and in our relationship to each other, have changed in the last 40 years, luck is the thing you need to stay together for a lifetime. Especially when a lifetime together could entail 60 years.
     
  6. Noland

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    It's always struck me as remarkable how hard all those lucky people work.
     
  7. Binary

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    I think the demonizing of divorce is ridiculous anyway, mostly because of many of the the above points. Life has changed. Our life expectancy is longer, both genders have changing and slowly equalizing roles, travel is cheaper resulting in broader experiences, we all have more free time... all of this is resulting in couples who grow more and meet more people.

    So why is it so bad to be divorced? Okay, so the vows say until death. You could point at that but it seems a pretty minor point to me - I also sign rental car agreements that say I'll obey the speed limit. Any relationship takes work and compromise, married or not - many multi-year relationships are just as committed and serious as any marriage. Sometimes it doesn't work out, or sometimes people grow apart, and I don't see why that should be condemned.

    I guess you could say that people can more easily walk away from a relationship than a marriage without having to try to work things out but it's not all that hard to get divorced, and multi-year relationships end up pretty intertwined anyway - houses, leases, bills, accounts, jointly purchased items, etc. And who am I to say the person who walks away at the first sign of trouble is wrong? That's their choice, it doesn't matter if I agree.
     
  8. The Village Idiot

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    And it's always struck me as remarkable how some people (apparently such as yourself) live in a happy hobby hominy world where nothing bad happens to good people.

    For instance, I'll let my friend know who lost his son in an accident, that if he had just worked a little harder, he and his wife wouldn't have gotten divorced because neither could get past the immense grief of losing their child. I'm sure he'll be heartened by that. But being a slacker isn't all it's cracked up to be, I guess.

    I'll let my other friend know, who has been on the verge of divorce, if he and his wife had just worked a little harder, their daughter wouldn't have been born with a congenital heart defect requiring two major surgeries before the time she was 1, and that she wouldn't have a prognosis of not living past 24, long before either parent will probably pass. I'm sure he'll be heartened by that. Clearly, if he hadn't been a slacker, he would have reached in and made his daughter's heart whole before birth. What a slacker!

    I'll let one of the couples I know whom I count as among the nicest people I've ever known, that if he had worked just a little harder, his sperm count wouldn't be low and they could have the natural children that they both wanted very badly (and would have been wonderful parents to).

    I'll let the other couple I know, whom have gone through 2 IVF treatments (to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars), that this wouldn't have been necessary if they had worked just a little bit harder.

    Or how about those lazy ass couples where one ends up with a debilitating disease and requires constant care, round the clock? Clearly, if they just worked a little harder, it wouldn't have happened.

    Ah, but no doubt you'll respond 'well, they could work hard at staying together.' True, but 'staying together' doesn't require any work at all, you just do it. You don't get divorced, you live together, despite how unhappy you may be. There's no magic there.

    But if you're looking for a happy relationship, well, sometimes all the hard work in the world won't get you there, despite that fact that both people really want to make it work, but life, that unsympathetic bastard, just decides to throw something horrible at that couple through no fault of their own.

    But I'll be sure to pass along your sage advice, because statements like yours clearly are the guaranteed key to continued health and happiness. Despite whatever life throws at you. Yup, luck (good or bad, because I've never seen lazy people get lucky) is the sole purview of the hard workers in life.
     
  9. Rumble

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    Making it work takes a little longer. Making it work takes a little time.

     
    #29 Rumble, Oct 6, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2015
  10. lust4life

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

    The willingness of both people to do whatever it takes to make the relationship work.
     
  11. bewildered

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    I think you're missing the point. Don't you see that getting through these misfortunes would take a ton of work?

    Some people are lucky, like you say, in that they never have to deal with difficult things. And some people get really unlucky and have problem after problem.

    Luck and the things that life throws at us are the leveling factor. It's like rolling the dice. Heightened divorce rates can be attributed to a lot of social reasons, but I don't think "difficult life" is one of them. If this were the case, then why are those divorce rates often higher in countries with a higher standard of living and better access to healthcare?

    I know your anecdotal evidence suggests that divorce is caused by x,y and z, but that isn't the rule, AND your friends probably aren't telling you the whole story. It's easy to blame something as big as a failed marriage on things outside of our control to simplify the story and to save face, because that is easier than explaining that years of selfishness, passive aggressive behavior, limited communication, a lack of compromise, and selfish/bad/unsatisfying sex was the real cause of the failure.

    I don't care how close you are to your friends, there are ALWAYS private things that they won't tell you.

    Don't be so defensive. I don't think that anyone even suggested that all people who get divorced are bad people.

    Are you divorced? It seems as though you want to remove yourself from the term and sterilize it. Divorce doesn't "happen" to people. It is simply the paperwork that results from a marriage in which both parties admit that it's over.
     
  12. The Village Idiot

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    Well, one of us, but I'm not sure it's me.

    And here's where the rubber meets the road. My point (which you seemed to have missed) is that NO amount of work sometimes will get you through, as a couple. Sometimes shit that happens is so bad, that it's just not realistic, or healthy, to continue on as a couple. My point is that it isn't always within the control of the couple. Luck plays a pretty big part. A lot has to go right (that neither person has any control over) to put a couple in a position to work at staying together.

    Everyone, and every couple, has problems. Again, the point is that some problems (yet again, through no fault or lack of work by the couple) are just too big. Most problems that your typical couple have can probably be worked through to an extent. And there are those problems that just can't.

    I have no idea. Maybe because being happy is something people that don't worry about food, shelter, and staying alive have the luxury of? Not sure what your point is.

    I stand corrected. I will bring up the lengths my friends go through to complete a lie (like faking a funeral and several hospital stays) the next time I see them.

    No kidding. And sometimes people tell you the truth too, and perhaps, just maybe, the death of child or dealing with issues relating to reproduction were just the last straw because he wasn't getting enough blow jobs.

    Uh, I'm not, merely using a certain style to illustrate the fallacy of the statement I was replying to.

    Really? Ok, then what can we infer from the statement (paraphrasing) 'it is remarkable how many lucky people work hard.' If it's remarkable, then it is worthy of remark, denoting a correlation between the two. Hence, one could further infer, that it is 'unremarkable how many people who are unlucky don't work hard.'

    I certainly don't think people who are divorced are necessarily bad people. I also don't think people who don't stay together forever are necessarily lazy. Which was my whole point. Hard work, while helpful, is not dispositive.

    Why? Looking for a date? Feel free to pm a recent picture and I'll let you know.

    What? What post are you replying to? I'm not sure it's even mine. I'm not 'removing myself' from anything. Or sterilizing anything. I'm merely pointing out (yet again) that sometimes hard work doesn't equate with a successful (or unsuccessful) relationship. Luck plays a big part.

    I'd suggest you go back and read the part of my post where I state that staying together doesn't take work, you just do it and don't get divorced.

    Yes, I'm aware of what a divorce is or isn't. Yet, my point remains that luck has a lot to do with a relationship being successful, and 'hard work' while laudable, has less to do with it.
     
  13. bewildered

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    I'm not going to take the time to respond to every line that you've posted because it is obvious that we simply have different opinions. But I will show you this:

    [​IMG]

    See this baby? She's my niece. Born at 26 weeks, she was in the hospital for over 11 months.

    Please don't act like you are the only person whose family and friends who have gone through anything.
     
  14. Noland

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    My point was simply that it takes more than luck to stay together for a lifetime. Your post indicates that there is nothing other than luck involved in the equation and that is wrong.

    I'l give you that no amount of work would have made all of the examples you posted not happen, but is it really your contention that nothing to keep a relationship together other than luck?
     
  15. The Village Idiot

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    Please learn to read my posts before you respond. Nowhere did I post only my family and friends are the only ones with problems. In fact, my posts (which I'm becoming increasingly convinced you didn't bother to read before you hit the 'submit reply' button') say quite the opposite: luck affects everyone. Everyone has problems. And while I'm saddened to hear that your family is having heartbreaking issues, it only further bolsters my initial point: luck plays a big factor.

    Noland, of course it takes more than just luck. I was assuming that you weren't beating your wife and she wasn't fucking your boss. I still stand by my original contention, however, and that is: luck is the biggest contributing factor to staying together for a lifetime. Does hard work help? Sure. Does attractiveness help? Yup. Does money help? Sure. Does clean food and water help? I'd say so.

    But if you ask me what the biggest factor is in 'making it work' for a lifetime? Luck. A lot of shit has to happen just right so the rest of the things that matter can even come in to play. That was my point.
     
  16. Angel_1756

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    I'm sorry, but "luck" is a bullshit answer. Life throws shit at you, like it does at everyone, but your success or failure in life isn't because of that shit - it's because of how you deal with that shit. That has nothing to do with luck, that's choice.

    Saying that "luck" is what holds a relationship together is putting it in the hands of some obscure non-entity where, when things fall apart, you can say "well, it wasn't my fault, I just wasn't lucky". Be accountable for your decisions - good or bad - because they're what put you where you are. Giving "luck" all the credit, or all the condemnation, implies that you don't think your actions have any bearing on what happens in your life, and that's just absolute crap.
     
  17. PIMPTRESS

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    As I am experienced in terrible relationships, I find myself learning so much from my relationship with Mr. P. It's hard not to drag old patterns into the mix, for both of us, but I know in my heart that we can make it.

    Old relationship- damn it was so horrid. I didn't trust my ex, didn't trust anyone, really. I didn't share myself. He didn't deserve me, and we never had a chance. He wasn't my best friend. He didn't get me and I never got him. I still don't know how it lasted at all.... well, I got pregnant, that's how.

    Now, Mr. P is different. We have similar priorities. We have a similar perception of the world and that is truly special for me. The overdose incident really clarified to me that my heart is fucking sold. Looking at the aftermath was rough, I was angry and self righteous. The key was everyone's favorite c-word, Communication.

    Everytime our course gets a bit bumpy, we take time to talk. At the park, in the car, in bed, always a kidfree zone. We express how we are feeling or interpreting each other and go from there. It consistantly brings us closer, this is what aligns us. I have MAJOR trust issues. He has trust issues and substance abuse issues. We continually address our issues (yeah, therapy!) but we get stronger all the time.

    He has his hobbies and goals,which differ from mine. We both love that the other gains happiness from our individual lives, and that is a sort of selflessness I am unfamiliar with.

    Looking at others' relationships, it seems the weak ones are the ones who are too concerned with their own needs and wants, making their partner's secondary. These relationships seem doomed, as a rule.
     
  18. The Village Idiot

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    Interesting response. Ok, here's a situation I found quite interesting. My wife, back when she practiced law, had a secretary. This secretary was married. From what I understand, they didn't have a bad marriage, they had been married for 20-some-odd years, had a child. About six or seven years ago, things got rocky. The husband started to get pissed off at the wife, for seemingly no reason. Fortunately, there was no hitting, etc, but he would have these temper tantrums. He would be unreasonable, and after a while, the secretary had enough and divorced him. She couldn't deal with the tantrums anymore.

    A couple of years go by, and during a routine check up, it was discovered that he had inoperable brain tumors, and had them for a while. The pressure on his brain (or certain parts of it) would cause 'odd behavior' including him flying off the handle. He ended up passing away about a year later.

    Or I'll pose this hypothetical. You go to the convenience store to pick up soup. Unbeknownst to you, a robbery is in progress. You get shot. In the head. You no longer function as an adult, emotionally or intellectually. Your spouse divorces you, let's say after trying for some time, but realistically, the relationship no longer works.

    Now I ask you, in either of those cases, is it REALLY a choice? Sure, there's choice involved in dealing with a catastrophe, in case one a brain tumor, in case two a brain injury due to a crime, but would you go so far as to say the break up of those relationships was REALLY a choice? Or dealing with a really bad hand that was dealt to two people who had no choice in the creation of that situation?
     
  19. Binary

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    So... given the examples you've laid out and the contention that you're making here, a majority of couples are splitting up because their kids died, or they contracted horrible diseases or they experienced terrible medical problems like infertility.

    Sorry, but I think that's bullshit.

    Yes, luck can enter into it. Yes, some couples are unlucky enough to experience these terrible events and it splits them up. But the reality is that a majority of people never have this kind of thing directly affect them - sheesh, if it did, we wouldn't be having this discussion because our population would have plummeted. Even your most widespread example - infertility - affects less than 10% of the population (fertility goes down in women as they age but that's really not the topic).

    Families experience difficulties all the time, of course. "Difficulties" doesn't express what you seem to be talking about, and I don't know how you can correlate divorce rates with these kinds of family-shredding tragedies. They're terrible things, of course, but they are not responsible for a majority of divorces (which, let me just add, is what is being argued: the single biggest contributing factor).
     
  20. The Village Idiot

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    Do they still teach reading comprehension in school? They really should.

    I never said that a majority of couples break up because of infertility, etc. I was refuting the contention that luck is solely the purview of hard work. But moving on.

    The thing about cheap apologies is they cheapen the utterer. Not the recipient.

    Ok, you want to know how 'luck' plays a factor in breakups? Besides 'family shredding ones?'

    Likes and dislikes.

    I am a vastly different person at 39 than I was at 22. My tastes have changed. My likes/dislikes have changed. My goals have changed. My circumstances have changed. 17 years is a long time and a lot of change. Now let's take two average people who get married at 22. Do they change over time? I'm going to guess for the vast majority of people, they in fact change like most of us do.

    So what does this have to do with staying together? The circumstances that were present when these people got married at 22 probably aren't in existence anymore. Maybe they have kids (and like a lot of couples I know who have children, the children tie the parents together). Most people are so busy (and with good cause) raising children, getting them to the doctor, working, school, homework, family functions, etc. that there isn't necessarily a whole lot of time for much else. Then what happens?

    The kids don't require as much care. They go to college. They get their own lives, and the biggest thing that tied the parents together is now not there in the same capacity.

    Now, they couple is left to themselves, but that couple, or the parts that make up that couple, are very different from what they were 17 years before. She wants to go out, he wants to stay in. She likes old movies, he likes action flicks. She likes family functions, he's bored to tears. She wants to live in the city, he wants to live in the suburbs. She wants a different sex life, he's happy with what they got. And on and on.

    People and circumstances change. Maybe not as dramatically as the illustrations I used to refute the 'hard work' proposition. In fact, in most cases (if you're lucky) the circumstances aren't, on their face, THAT different. But the people are. They've 'grown apart.' Now, where does luck come into it? And why would I say it is the most important factor?

    Because you hope you get lucky enough that the person you've married is compatible with the person you'll change into in 30 years. Think about that.

    I don't like the Simpsons. I've tried like hell to like them, I just don't. I haven't made a conscious choice to like or not like it. And most things in life are like that, over time. People are like that too. So my contention is that you hope that you luck out and the person staring across the dinner table from you in 30 years, whom I guarantee will be very different from the person they are right now, is compatible with the person that you will be in 30 years.

    That, in my opinion, is a VERY tall order. And that is why my contention is that luck plays the biggest factor. The person you marry is not going to be the same person (even if they have the same name) 30 years from now. Or even ten. They will change, despite their own choice to not do so. So will you. So in essence, at some point, all couples start all over again. And hopefully lightning strikes twice and those people find they're still compatible after all that change.

    And that lightning striking twice is what I call luck.