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Hello all, I've been married for over 36 years and yes, marriage is work. Problem is, even after all this time, there are some things I haven't yet figured out
 

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lots of people here with lots of experience, both good and bad. I've been married 28 years this year.

How can we help?
 

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"Marriage is work" should not be seen as a bad thing

Hello all, I've been married for over 36 years and yes, marriage is work. Problem is, even after all this time, there are some things I haven't yet figured out
The biggest problem is when you start thinking that marriage shouldn't be work. There are some who have things figured out and can breeze along, but if that's not you, if that's not me, then "work" is a given, if you desire to keep your marriage intact and honorable.

My wife has a problem with the concept of "work" in marriage. It's a real issue right now. She doesn't understand that there's not some point where it's "done" and you can move on with your life. But here's the thing. You have to accept the idea that, just because you have to do some really hard & painful "work" to keep things together, that does NOT mean it's not a good marriage. It's a sign of a good marriage that BOTH are willing to put in the work to try and understand each other better and desire a future with each other.
 

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Re: "Marriage is work" should not be seen as a bad thing

The biggest problem is when you start thinking that marriage shouldn't be work. There are some who have things figured out and can breeze along, but if that's not you, if that's not me, then "work" is a given, if you desire to keep your marriage intact and honorable.

My wife has a problem with the concept of "work" in marriage. It's a real issue right now. She doesn't understand that there's not some point where it's "done" and you can move on with your life. But here's the thing. You have to accept the idea that, just because you have to do some really hard & painful "work" to keep things together, that does NOT mean it's not a good marriage. It's a sign of a good marriage that BOTH are willing to put in the work to try and understand each other better and desire a future with each other.
I like this!!! :)
You are completely right!
 

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Re: "Marriage is work" should not be seen as a bad thing

The biggest problem is when you start thinking that marriage shouldn't be work. There are some who have things figured out and can breeze along, but if that's not you, if that's not me, then "work" is a given, if you desire to keep your marriage intact and honorable.

My wife has a problem with the concept of "work" in marriage. It's a real issue right now. She doesn't understand that there's not some point where it's "done" and you can move on with your life. But here's the thing. You have to accept the idea that, just because you have to do some really hard & painful "work" to keep things together, that does NOT mean it's not a good marriage. It's a sign of a good marriage that BOTH are willing to put in the work to try and understand each other better and desire a future with each other.
Took MANY years of MC to convince my husband of this. That, and the fact that disagreeing and/or fighting in a marriage is NORMAL.
He honestly thought that people who love each other never fight. 0:)
 

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There are SO MANY men I talk to that think that the moment you feel you have to put in "work" on a marriage, the marriage is done. It's ridiculous of course. Lots of different ingredients have to be in the pot to make a longterm relationship successful.

1. Limited personal baggage for both partners. If there is baggage, have the maturity and self-awareness to deal with it effectively (this is beyond rare).
2. Coping skills. This goes with number one. Lots of baggage ruins a person's coping skills. Life throws you a lot of poop. Deal with it.
3. The willingness to work on the relationship. Don't be lazy and comfortable.

Each is rare on its own. All three together is extremely rare. Not everyone is cut out for a longterm monogamous relationship. Not by a long shot.
 

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Re: "Marriage is work" should not be seen as a bad thing

The biggest problem is when you start thinking that marriage shouldn't be work. There are some who have things figured out and can breeze along, but if that's not you, if that's not me, then "work" is a given, if you desire to keep your marriage intact and honorable.

My wife has a problem with the concept of "work" in marriage. It's a real issue right now. She doesn't understand that there's not some point where it's "done" and you can move on with your life. But here's the thing. You have to accept the idea that, just because you have to do some really hard & painful "work" to keep things together, that does NOT mean it's not a good marriage. It's a sign of a good marriage that BOTH are willing to put in the work to try and understand each other better and desire a future with each other.

Nailed it there... Wish my wife would understand this. I may not be perfect and have/had my moments but im ready to put in work for her.
 

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Re: "Marriage is work" should not be seen as a bad thing

Took MANY years of MC to convince my husband of this. That, and the fact that disagreeing and/or fighting in a marriage is NORMAL.
He honestly thought that people who love each other never fight. 0:)
So things are working out well now? You had long-term success in this area? That would be very encouraging to hear. How did you keep it from seeming like a personal attack though? Because part of it is convincing the other person that they need to "work" harder if they want to save the marriage. Which is essentially devaluing their contribution so far. That's tough for some egos.
 

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Re: "Marriage is work" should not be seen as a bad thing

So things are working out well now? You had long-term success in this area? That would be very encouraging to hear. How did you keep it from seeming like a personal attack though? Because part of it is convincing the other person that they need to "work" harder if they want to save the marriage. Which is essentially devaluing their contribution so far. That's tough for some egos.
I think that getting older helped. We both had less ego. Less expectations. It's a difficult path to navigate. One step forward etc.
I've gone online watched lots of YouTube counselors and read SO many books and articles.

One thing I've learned is I now come at things with a genuine curiosity, not defense or judgement.
Instead of saying "you need to work at this" i ask: what do you feel that we need to work on? What do you feel that I need to work on? What do you need to work on? What's a deal breaker for you?
How does that make you feel? what's your opinion on that?

And the good one "help me to understand why you think that way? Help me to understand how that impacts you? How does it impact us?"

But I've also forced more accountability on his part. After some great advice here I confronted my husband on his last bout of long term sulking. He's always done this and its so damaging. So I gave him overnight to cool down (which was almost impossible for me to tolerate). and the next morning I simply told him that his behaviour was not acceptable to me and that it was not helping our marriage. Taking overnight to cool off is ok, but anything longer is not. End of story. THen I walked away.
He came inside and we talked.
Its not perfect, but as another thread said. Marriage is work.

We tell so many people here that they need to do the 180, have accountability etc when they are divorcing or a partner that is cheating.
But its more important to hold people accountable (me and him) when married. ANd a little modified 180 (refusing to be dragged into repeat issues) helps. I just don't have the stamina for it and I'll be damned if I'm going to live miserable for whatever number of years I have left.
 
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