Post # 1
At what point do your realistic expectations of marriage become doubt in a marriage’s potential success?
I come from divorced parents who were in an awful marriage. FI’s parents are still together. They don’t have what I would consider to be an ideal marriage, but it’s healthy and they seem to do well together. I just don’t think they’re madly in love with one another, but I don’t know many 50-60 year olds who are.
I’m blissfully happy with my Fiance. We basically grew up together (met when we were 12 – dated other people through high school and college and got together for good after college) and I would consider us best friends. We love and respect each other and have so many common goals that we’ve really enjoyed working towards together. Personally, I think we have what it takes to have a successful marriage and I know he does, too.
I don’t know if I’m just jaded or if I’m trying to make sense of why some marriages fail, but I keep feeling like it would be naiive to just think we have everything all figured out. I mean, I know marriage isn’t always a picnic and things might not always go our way, but I truly feel like we have the tools we need to work through anything together.
I think I’m scared to be so confident in us, which is weird. I’m so afraid of things that are beyond my control happening to us and it not working out. I so badly, do not want to ever go through a divorce and I know Fiance feels the same way and I literally have no reason whatsoever to think that we would end up that way, except for the unknown. What types of unforeseen things can happen to us that could end our marriage?
Does anyone ever have these feelings? Or am I just so wrapped up in how important a successful marriage is to me that I’m working myself up for no reason? Thinking too hard?
Post # 3
When I was younger I thought my then H and I had everything it took to make it right. Afterall we had two sets of parents that were still married, we had friendship, common interests and fun (more than what the parents had), so we were golden!
I failed to see how both sets of marriaes were riddled with emotional abuse (ex went on to be an emotional abuser as well like his father). I went through a HUGE journey of what it means to be an Adult Child of an Alcoholic (ACOA) and how I inadvertently chose my ex. Everything made sense. I don’t know if I would have gone on that journey without taking ths particular path. I’m glad I took the path because I learned so much about marraige and relationships.
We divorced (my doing), I had lots of therapy, read lots of books on love, marriage, etc.
Turns out I was very clueless back when I married at age 25. I feel it’s much different this time at age 35. So yes, I can understand your worries. Nothing is 100% certain. All relationships do end – either by death or someone leaving.
It all really hignes on what partner you choose to marry really. I used think it was mostly luck. Good marriages were just kind of rare! Silly me, luck is not a factor.
Post # 4
@sienna76: This is sort of what I’m thinking… that all of the unforeseen things that can happen almost conclude that happy, forever marriages are soemtimes just luck.
I happen to think that Fiance and I were lucky to find each other and I feel like we both really are willing to put in the work that’s required for us to have a successful marriage.
There’s no abuse, substance dependency or anything of the like, and it would be totally out of character for that to change for either of us.
I guess what I’m concluding is that there are no guarantees? Getting and staying married are a choice, but they have to be made by both people every day, not just until things get hard.
Post # 5
@csteen85: FH and I have both struggled with this. Both of our fathers are currently married to their third wives, and both our mothers have been divorced twice- my mom actually just got engaged. Neither of us has a lot to believe in as far as marriage is concerned, for lack of proper examples, and it took both of us a lot of thinking to get on board with the idea! We talk a lot about how we don’t want what our parents have done, so we are getting married for real. Of course, there are no guarantees, but we got this far (4 years, a house, a kid) because we really believe on our relationship.
Post # 6
I think it was lucky that I found my Fiance at the age I was in a town that is 75% Mormon and the non-Mormon dating pool was slim. That was lucky.
But how good we have it and our happiness won’t be luck.
This was a good book. Good if you don’t have any of the fatal flags in the relationship.
5 Simple Steps to Take Your Marriage from Good to Great
Post # 7
I have been married for 29 years and I can tell you it not about luck it’s about hard work. Friendship is key because everything else changes over time. It sounds like you have a good foundation you just have to keep working at it.
Post # 9
This is a really good, and honest post, because I think it is something many people feel, and certainly something that should be discussed before entering into a marriage. I think it means you are grounded in your relationship, and reality, whereas believing that everything is perfect, life will be perfect, and a marriage will be perfect can be setting one up for a lot of heartache.
The truth is marriage does not gurantee a blissful life, or stop ‘life’ from happening. What it does establish is a partnership, of which ideally you work HARD to keep it healthy, even when things get in the way. I cannot sit here and honestly type that would NEVER get divorced. That is not the same as saying that I will not fight my hardest at all times, and that I will not try my hardest every day. And with that said, I would require my partner in marriage to have the same convictions!! I would require my partner in marriage to share my beliefs that marriage is entered into with the goal that we will work together – and work thru (as hard as we possible can) anything that comes our way. We will do this using tools, such as, open communication, honesty, trust, dedication, loyalty, unselfishness, etc. Knowing that looks will/may fade, intimacy may lapse, temptations may arise, kids may change our priorities, jobs may be lost, deaths will occur of those close to us, etc.
I *think* that if I promise myself these things, and my partner does as well, we have laid the ground work for our marriage. We have prepared ourselves as best we can for what is to come, knowing that we cannot predict what may come. That is my realistic expectation, and certainly, it can scare the hell out of me from time to time!!
Post # 10
@OUgal0004: Thank you!!! You (so much more eloquently than I could) wrote exactly what I feel.
I feel like I’m always trying to broach these “what ifs” with Fiance about how we could work to handle them together should they arise, trying to let him know that I will try my hardest to get through any of those unexpected things with him. We’ve talked about the things that could happen that would be dealbreakers for us (cheating, abuse, etc.), but I feel like he thinks I’m doubting our potential success by bringing these things up – and I’m not… I’m just trying to keep the lines of communication open and make sure we’re on the same page about things (which we are).
I’m just trying my hardest to prepare us for what could come up. He hasn’t seen what I’ve seen. How a marriage can go so wrong and end so badly and I have NO DOUBT in my mind that we’re not destined for that, but I try to keep my expectations of us reasonable. I feel so strongly that we are destined for success… I knew from an early age he would always be an important part of my life, but I had no idea (until about three years ago) that he’d be my husband – but as soon as I figured that out, it felt so right. And it’s been wonderful to go through life together so far. I can’t imagine that would change… but I’m afraid of being too naiive and overly confident, I guess and setting myself up for being disappointed. It’s such a conflicting emotion.
All of our friends and family are so supportive of and confident in us, which also gives me confidence in us. We put our relationship first in our lives and we are so communicative that I just feel like it’s going to work. But why is it so scary for me to be so confident that it will work?
Post # 11
@csteen85: Because media, statistics, ‘others’ stories will tell you that there is higher liklihood it WILL NOT work, but you know what?! Everyone’s stories are different!! There is no ‘set’ guideline for a marriage, except the guidelines that two people entering into it make for one another. If you are confident in your love, and your desire to get thru ANYTHING, and your Fiance is confident of the same things, and you have established your equations for working thru potential issues, then that is all the matters!! Whereas you have established unacceptable boundaries, such as abuse and cheating, other couples may have a different idea of how they would work thru such things.
My parents were divorced, after years of hardships. The main reason…MONEY! That opened my eyes to something that I know I need to have set boundaries for when I enter into marriage. Finances – how we save, how we spend, the things that we find important to spend on, etc. After watching my mom struggle to get back on her feet, and watching the people that my parents are today, I can say – without a doubt – that their divorce was better for them in the end, and for us as their children! Sad, but true. However, it was thru their divorce that an example was given to me to learn from as well!!
Having support of those around is huge!! It will help when things *maybe* get tough, and should give you a sigh of relief. I really, truly think you are doing all you can to prepare yourself. Good luck!
Post # 12
You know, you always hear the “marriage takes hard work, marriage is hard” but somoeone really needs to explain that to young people when they are dating what exactly is hard work and what is hard work you need to walk away from (verbal abuse, physical abuse, addiction, the kind of guy that makes you want to pull all your hair out). I – who had such poor role models – had a different sort of “hard work” set in my brain and it really set me up for picking a poor partner for me, all beacuse I thought that was the normal hard work that everyone talked about. It wasn’t!