Post # 1
I am starting to feel very sad and worried about the fact that neither my FI or I have seen a successful marriage firsthand. My parents are divorced and his may as well be, they really don’t get on and should split up!, and so the kind of advice I would like to get from an older relative about marriage and what works just isn’t going to happen. I know it’s probably just on tv anyway, but I’m never going to have my mom be ‘thrilled’ that I’m getting married and give me cute tips on how to be a good wife, because her marriage was so unhappy. She’s said in the past she’d love it if I never got married! Kind of in a joking way, but kind of not. She loves my FI and she IS happy we’re getting married, and I also get on well with my FI’s parents, but it seems depressing that there is no ‘happy marriage’ example for us to follow….
how do you other bees deal with this? does it get you down? i make a big thing out of not making the same mistakes as my parents and his parents, and always keep talking about how we need to be open and communicate but sometimes i’ll have little moments of panic where i think ‘OMG, he’s turning into his father/my father’ or whatever. sigh!
not to mention – awkwardness at wedding when my dad and stepmother are there – but that’s a whole other post!!
Post # 3
My FH and I both come from families whose parents are still married, but this is my FH second marriage (1st one ended in divorce). I would definitely go to some pre marriage counseling. It seems like you have anxiety issues and you do not want to get in the trap of having to be the “perfect” wife. Honey, that isn’t going to happen. I LOVE my pre marital counseling. I thought I had it al together and it was exciting to see the suggestions help my relationship. Sometimes we marry men like our father and men like their mother. I married someone like my mom! Weird.
Post # 4
Hubs parents are divorced, waited til he was 18, which was way too long. my parents have been married for almost 33 years, and are more in love now then they ever were. We learned a lot from his parents marriage, and a lot from my parents. It wasn’t always easy growing up, they have been through a lot, but always got through it together. That’s what I wanted, someone I could fight with and make up with . Someone who wouldn’t run away when times got tough. Someone who could always love me, even if they didn’t like me at that moment. And I was lucky enough to find that. I love having my parents imperfect marriage as a foundation, because it shows you that love really can get you through just about anything.
I think that you can learn a lot from the divorces in your life, sometimes more than from the good marriages, because its more real and raw. Make sure you always keep communication, never take each other for granted, remember please and thank you (seriously, this is sooo important, and took me a while to realize), don’t assume with him – men are not mind readers!!, and have real comversations.
My husband and I talked about everything before marriage, because divorce is not an option for me. I gave him every out in the world to not marry me, but he never ever backed down. We have been through a lot (death, loss, birth, tragedy, the man saved my life a few years ago) and always got through it together. I think this is probably the most important thing to remember – there is no I in team. You guys are a family now, able to set your own traditions and milestones. You CAN have a happy and healthy marriage, but its sooo important to lay the groundwork before the marriage. I made sure hubs and I were on the same level in regards to life goals, having a family, where we would live, everything.
Post # 5
@MrsCypresstobe: Wow, that is weird. I am just like my mom, so I think I would have killed my husband by now if he was just like me!
My husband is so much like my dad, its scary. But it works, because they get along really really well, and I am a true daddy’s girl.
Post # 6
Communicate, communicate, communicate. My fiance calls it “relationship hygeine.” It’s like flossing: awkward and nobody really wants to do it and kind of uncomfortable, but necessary. So communicate. Do it respectfully, use “I feel” statements, but do it.
If you can afford couples’ therapy or individual therapy, I’d strongly suggest it. I’m biased toward therapy, but it definitely helped me with my OCD symptoms and my relationship issues.
Post # 7
Both FI and I come from “broken homes”. Actually, just about every member of both of our families was divorced and remarried atleast once. To be honest, their failed marriages have never even crossed my mind as somehow negatively impacting our relationship. Just because we don’t have a set of parents to model ourselves after doesn’t mean that our relationship is doomed. We’ve been together long enough to know what works and what doesn’t work. If you ask me, as long as you love and respect your other half, you don’t have anything to worry about.
Post # 8
There are lots of older and wiser couples out there to give you advice. Aunts, uncles, neighbors, church members, coworkers, lady at the salon, guy at the golf course, etc. The world is at your disposal!
Post # 9
My entire family has a history of divorce. It’s awful and my parents are still to this day very selfish. So with that said, I know what not to do. I will not emulate them at all. Love, to me, is an active choice.
Post # 10
@kristophine: I adore your explanataion I.E. relationship hygiene and flossing. I lol’d.
@londongal: Both FI and I come from “broken homes” and I think it made us a bit more skeptical up to this point. When we first started dating neither of us trusted that relationships necessarily “lasted.” We had never seen it in our parents (though all of our grandparents remain married). But after so many years, I’ll say we both consider ourselves converted.
Over the past several years we have gone through a LOT together and are confident that our relationship, while not “perfect,” is one that can stand up to things. We have been through many difficulties and both appreciate this fact. We did date for longer, and this I attribute to our initial relationship skepticism, but at this point we know we are in it for the long haul.
Maybe just think of your experiences as what they are – experiences. You’ve experienced a divorced home. Now, create your OWN experience! Make it whatever is right for the two of you. Patterns are for math, not relationships. Go into this positively but realistically and you guys will be fine. 🙂
Post # 11
This was kind of an issue for us before we got engaged. DH’s parents are divorced adn remarried to other people and my parents should have gotten divorced a long time ago although now they are doing better. Luckily at least we are both the youngest in our families and all of our siblings are in happy marriages setting good examples and providing good advice. It’s still tough though because we were both raised with parents whose marriages were falling apart.
There’s no perfect solution, but we both intentionally try to learn from their mistakes and not repeat them. Like I know my Mom’s major downfall was being a SAHM and my Dad did not pitch in AT ALL with raising my sister and I. His job was to go to work and make money, other than that he never so much as ran an errand or watched us so my Mom could go shopping or anything. It was very old school, but was extremely hard on my Mom since she always had to be the disciplinarian and had no alone time without children around.
And DH’s parents got married very young and extremely fast after meeting each other. They weren’t right for each other even though they’re both very good people and reality came crashing down a few years after they were married. It’s something they weren’t able to ignore, but probably could have been avoided if they had watied a little and dated longer.
Post # 12
FI ‘s parents went through a very bitter seperation and finally divorced 13 years later. My parents were never married (thank goodness!) and my mother is currently on her 3rd marriage and my dad on his second, but has been with my stepmom for 23 years. Both of our parents have made a lot of mistakes and FI and I have learned from them, we make sure to communicate well and feel like we are a team, stronger together.
When we first got together FI was totally against marriage, after all the crap he went through I can understand why. But as our relationship grew he realized we are not his parents and he wanted to build a marriage together.
Post # 13
thanks guys, that is helpful and there’s so many people in the same boat! and so good that we have let it put us off giving it a go anyway!! we definitely know what to avoid, I think we do just need to talk more about what we should be doing, not just what we shouldn’t be doing. We talked about it last night and even though i felt a bit uncomfortable doing the ‘hygiene’ thing – love that term! – (i felt like i was using psychotherapy language!) it has helped. I think he thinks i’m thinking too much about it, but i suggested reading books or going to see someone objective to make sure we’re both ready and have the same thoughts about what marriage means to us, and how things will change/not change and stuff. and he was totally agreeable to that so i think because we’re both older than our parents and in totally different circumstances we’ll do things better. we’ll still make mistakes i’m sure but not huge messy ones i hope!!
Post # 14
My parents were divorced, so was my FIs, so was both of us too, this is our second time around……but we go into this with open minds and open hearts…….
with luck…..and lots of it……we will survive, we’ve lived together for 15 years so i think we passed some kind of milestone, and hopefully things wont change, and we can continue to be as we are now….very happy and still very much in love……
if we didnt try….we would never know would we?