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What would you tell your younger self about marriage?


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Old 7th February 2018, 11:05 AM   #1
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What would you tell your younger self about marriage?

This is for the experienced marriage veterans and wounded warriors out there. Travel back in time to the days when you were madly in love and your mind, body and soul were fixated on your partner.

What one piece of advice would you give that younger you to help him or her make the right choices or be mindful of whatís happening around them or to them?

I know some may have the temptation to say ďdonít do itĒ or something similar, which may be the case for you, but Iím looking for straightforward, constructive advice for those about to embark on the marriage journey ... maybe advice I wish someone would have given me.
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Old 7th February 2018, 11:12 AM   #2
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Great post!
First of all I would have said to myself...listen to your gut. I fell for someone whom I needed in so many ways but I never really felt a huge spark for.
I would have told myself, stop, be patient, trust yourself. Wait.

I would have said, know yourself better and be alone for a longer period of time.

I would have said there needs to be a strong physical attraction, so when down the line things taper off, there is a spark to be ignited.

I would have said it will be hard and it will be work no matter how much you get along.

My situation is different than your own so for you, what would you have now told yourself Still ?
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Old 7th February 2018, 11:15 AM   #3
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I’ll start.

People change. Be prepared for the day when your spouse does. He or she will like completely different things, have new goals or may seem like he or she is pulling away from you to find his or her true self or independence. Be ready for it. Discuss it together ahead of time. How will you deal with it when the time comes?

If you’re not ready for it, there’s a pretty good chance you will panic and your marriage will experience some turbulent times, possibly fail.

Marriage is hard work, but most don’t realize how hard.
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Old 7th February 2018, 11:20 AM   #4
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Protect it. Go to counseling twice a year even if things are good, just as a check-up and to make sure you're communicating your needs and receiving and giving respect to one another.
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Old 7th February 2018, 11:21 AM   #5
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pay more attention to the "red flags"
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Old 7th February 2018, 11:24 AM   #6
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Also, be prepare to be committed to commitment.
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Old 7th February 2018, 11:39 AM   #7
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Alot of good here...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MidlifeMama View Post
Great post!
First of all I would have said to myself...listen to your gut. I fell for someone whom I needed in so many ways but I never really felt a huge spark for.
I would have told myself, stop, be patient, trust yourself. Wait.

I would have said, know yourself better and be alone for a longer period of time.

I would have said there needs to be a strong physical attraction, so when down the line things taper off, there is a spark to be ignited.

I would have said it will be hard and it will be work no matter how much you get along.

My situation is different than your own so for you, what would you have now told yourself Still ?
Alot of good thoughts here...

While none of my marriages or relationships have been sexless, I wish they would have in some ways. At least at my young stupid age, I could have understood that is sex was not happening it is time to get out.

On the other hand, I would also say that just because sex is happening and good for the most part, that is also not a good reason to stay married.

So I would explain to my young self what being happy actually is. I would tell him that all of the religious and societal axioms about staying marriage no matter what are complete and total crap.

I know a lot will tell me that it is not that way, but that is not my experience.

I would tell my young self that he and his happiness is as important as anyone else's happiness.

I would tell him how to recognize what it looks like when someone actually loves you. How that feels.

I would have told him to ditch his current wife ASAP, and don't waste your life taking care of someone that is a drug addict, and cheater.

I would have laid out everything that I have learned in order to save him some of the heartache that I have endured.

Oh, if it was only possible...

On the other hand, I would give him the name of my current GF, and tell him to steal her away from whatever situation she was in an be with her for the rest of his life.

Oh, if it was only possible...
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Old 7th February 2018, 11:43 AM   #8
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I agree with protect it. Itís the one thing in the world that uniquely belongs to your little corner of the world. Keep it safe. Own your mistakes. Be prepared to do the hard work when you have to. Give 51%. Thatís our family rule - we each commit to 51%. Simply put, it means that we are both willing to give a little more than our share.

Finally, I would say to make sure Home is that soft spot to land. Home should always be safe. The world is going to hate you sometimes. You are going to fail. Your worst traits will get exposed and you will feel vulnerable and shamed.

But home? Thatís the safe place where you are loved. Be there for your spouse and make sure he/she is there for you.

Thatís it.
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Old 7th February 2018, 12:03 PM   #9
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Getting married, and especially having kids doesnít make things easier, it makes them harder. So if there are any problems, donít expect marriage to solve them.
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Old 7th February 2018, 12:20 PM   #10
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I've thought about this countless times not to mention the advice I give my children and nieces and nephews about marriage.

My first piece of advice is...WAIT. No need to rush into marriage or marry 'young'. I met my ex-hubby when I was 19 and married him at 24. Spend time figuring out who you are before you ever settle down with someone else. Live your life, build memories, have experiences and learn about yourself so you know what you want and what you don't want then go out and find your man/woman.

Second, marriage is work. That means it takes effort to keep it alive and fresh and relevant. Complacency is the death of any relationship, particularly marriage so if you're not BOTH in it with both feet 24/7 then don't bother getting married. Don't ever stop dating one another no matter how many years you've been together. Make each other a priority.

Third, it takes two people to make a relationship work. One person cannot do it alone unless you're gunning for martyrdom.

Fourth, sexual compatibility IS important. Although sex isn't the only thing in a relationship it IS a vital component that needs to be addressed with brutal honesty. The only way to know if you're sexually compatible is to know yourself and not be afraid to share that with your partner.

Fifth, COMMUNICATION! This is far away the BIGGEST piece of advice I have to anyone in any kind of relationship. You have a snow ball's chance in hell of making it out alive if you don't learn how to articulate your feelings and how to effectively communicate with someone you vowed to love and be faithful to until death.

Sixth, it's okay to fight for something you believe in and for someone you love but I think you also need to give yourself a deadline. Don't spend countless years of your precious life trying to change someone or fix things all on your own. Don't be afraid to seek help but again, remember that it takes two people working at it all the time. If your partner isn't on board, and you've done the time, know when to walk away. Life is too short to live out your best years miserable and unfulfilled.

Seventh, pick your battles. It's too easy to turn every disagreement into a full blown fight if you're not careful. If you're always picking fight over the tiniest things you will have a hard time being taken serious regarding the really big stuff. Besides, who wants to be in a marriage where you're constantly bickering and fighting over the small stuff. Learn to let things go and choose your battles wisely. This goes for your children as well.

I have more but these are my core beliefs and advice regarding marriage.
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Old 7th February 2018, 12:31 PM   #11
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I'd probably say nothing. My marriage was very dysfunctional and my exH is a manipulator and an abuser, but I got to know myself so well through the process, and I have the 2 best kids out of it. Lesson learnt, no regrets.
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Old 7th February 2018, 12:33 PM   #12
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I would tell myself that, while marriage can be hard work it is work you will be happy to do. It's about being part of something larger than yourself, and that it's a partnership. It's no longer just about "me', it's about "we".

I would also tell myself that, when times are tough, to push aside all the crap and remind myself that this is the person I will choose, each day, to be with. He is the person who is my biggest support right now when I'm sick, my best friend when I'm feeling down and who, in spite of a terrible point in our lives awhile back, we are still together and happy.

I would also give myself a glimpse of the many wonderful things we have been able to experience together. When our children were, born, traveling together, getting to know him all over again each time he came home from being away, buying our first home, working in our garden together, almost losing our oldest and then being able to watch her walk across the stage when she graduated and started moving forward to a wonderful life. Taking our younger daughter to the airport for her first big trip away from home on her own, seeing her face when she got a really great scholarship, watching our little guy's face light up when he works with his Raspberry Pi and his gentle spirit when he's helping with our recuse birds and rabbit and the students in his class who need help.

I would also point out to us that the best our our lives is still to come, and if we get bogged down in the bad stuff, it can make it damned hard to see the good.
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Old 7th February 2018, 1:19 PM   #13
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COMMUNICATE COMMUNICATE COMMUNICATE

if you can't tell someone your awkward secrets and your needs you shouldn't be sleeping with them, much less marrying them

don't hide things trying to make your relationship look perfect like in the movies. You are not perfect AND THAT'S OKAY. but be honest.
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Old 7th February 2018, 1:30 PM   #14
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I would tell myself one thing only.... to accept my wife the way she is. Once, I started doing that, our marriage went from 2 to 9 overnight.

Last edited by standtall; 7th February 2018 at 1:32 PM..
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Old 7th February 2018, 2:24 PM   #15
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Married almost 24 years here, to a wonderful woman.

5 Love Languages - identifying each other's love language and work on keeping each others love tank full.

Most everything else has been said above. What sticks out to me is communication. Next a reminder that marriage takes constant work and nurturing - there is nothing easy about it. Sex and sexual attraction and working at that aspect is important also.

Work as a team - yes you are individuals and will change over time and want and focus on different things - but stay focused on the idea that once you have married you are one unit - anything that hurts my spouse actually is the same as hurting a part of myself. Always find the commonality - the long term goals that you share.

It can (and should) be the most rewarding relationship in your life - one that you choose to keep and maintain and work on.
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