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At the request of SimplyAmorous, I will start a journal that chronicles things that we (my lovely bride and myself) find helps us in working towards a longterm successful marriage.

Let me first say that "successful" does not mean perfect. I don't think perfect could ever describe a healthy marriage. We are talking about two individuals that bring all their faults and idiosyncratic ways into a relationship. Add children and you often get complications that can either sever or build upon what is already there.

Married December 24, 1994 at the time I was 34 and my wife was 32. So, yes I am Santa Claus married to Mrs. Claus ;). First marriage for both of us. At the time we were married I was finishing up graduate school and my wife had just started into graduate school.

We waited five years to have our first child, a son... he is now 13 and soon to be 14. He was diagnosed with Autism at age 3.5

Two years later we had a second child, another son... he is 11 and soon to be 12. He is very energetic and often operates on two speeds, "go" and "sleep".

We both work full time, juggle finances with owning a home along with living in a very expensive part of the world.

More to come. I hope you will join us. Next up, I will chronicle some of the early years then move toward recent and finally what is currently going on in our lives. Don't expect me to write something everyday... real life is rarely that exciting :D
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Admittedly, when I first got married to my lovely wife, I probably was not ready as I should have been. In the beginning, I liked the idea of being married but felt at a loss for not being able to live life on my own terms.

I think there were times when tension built over my just doing things (going out with friends, etc) without saying anything to my wife. She would get furious and rightfully so. I never had any itchy desire to cheat, it was just that I liked hanging out with my friends and I was not used to this idea of letting someone know where I was or who I was hanging out with at the time.

There were also issues in my past (childhood), that would cause me to be angry over issues that really should not have mattered to anyone. So, yes in the beginning I had some anger issues. If you had seen us in our early years, you would have said "I give that five years and it is over".

Add to all this we were dirt poor. I was just out of graduate school and my first job barely paid for rent. We lived on beans and rice. My wife, was in graduate school and the stress there just added a lot to the whole situation. We couldn't even get away from each other living in a studio apartment (the size of our current bedroom).

So in our first three years... it was rough. Really rough. Somehow, deep down, along with my love for her, I knew that I needed to be better. I was resolute in being a better husband not just an occupant within the household. Years latter, my wife admitted that she made somewhat of the same decision on her own. Rough as it was, the word or thought of divorce never ever crept into our thought or conversation.

The one thing we never ever stopped doing was communicate. Sure, the communications got loud at times, but we never stopped talking with each other. Never talking past each other. In the early years, I believe this is what was our salvation.
 

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Don't expect me to write something everyday... real life is rarely that exciting :D
Hey d,as I've gotten older I've started to appreciate much more how all the little things really constitute the majority of my life."Stop and smell the roses" is my mantra now.

Going to enjoy following your journey.Thanks for being willing to share.:)
 

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Thanks for sharing your story, d.
 

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I'm so glad you're posting this, Drerio! I love a good story with a happy ending ---- well, actually in this case ---- journey. :)
 

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So nice to see your taking the time to share your Marital Journey Drerio ...the hardships, blemishes, the trials of parenting an autistic son....both working full time, juggling finances in a high cost area ....in these things...this is where & what others can relate to...which can offer hope for their own journeys....

And here you are...still together, still kicking...on the verge of your 20th Anniversary.

TBT said: Hey d,as I've gotten older I've started to appreciate much more how all the little things really constitute the majority of my life."Stop and smell the roses" is my mantra now.
I think we all miss it in our early years...somewhere .... Mid Life brought on that wake up call for me too....realizing... where did all the TIME go!!

I read this in a children's book a long time ago......"Time slips through our fingers like sand.. .yesterday is gone, tomorrow may never come... but we have this moment TODAY"....

Looking forward to hearing your continued Journey Drerio....
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Years 3 - 10 we both settled in but a lot happened that could have really brought a lot to question:

1997
My wife finished her Masters in Speech and Language Pathology and got a job right away in the public school system

That same year I received my faculty appointment (same one I have now)

Both of these events brought a lot of stress. Starting a new job for both of us made adjusting to the idea of finally being grown up all that much harder. I know, in our 30s and finally we figure we have grown up. :rolleyes:

That same year we moved into an ohana house built by my FIL. My in-laws allowed us to stay there so that we could save enough money for a down payment on a house. Less than a year later my FIL was diagnosed with cancer and was given six months to live. We become part time caretakers while working full time (my MIL of course carried the largest burden of care). I did not mind it one bit. I felt honored to care for this man that took me into his family.

A few months before he would die, my wife was pregnant with our first son. I still recall one early morning (about 3am) when I was changing my FIL's IV fluids he looked at me and said he liked the name "Kenji". What that meant is that he wanted our son's middle name to be Kenji. I still remember going back to bed in the Ohana unit and telling my wife... she cringed. I knew she did not like that name. But, I was not going to deny him that right to give our son his middle name. :)

My FIL died Jan 1999. Almost six-months to that day, my oldest son was born. I was on cloud nine... I was sooooo happy. I was elated with the idea of holding this life in my arms. Ok, screeech... changing diapers, not so happy. But, I got used to it. I would say the two years that followed my sons birth were at that time the best years of our marriage. We were clicking along... I pulled my weight. My wife went to working half time and she loved being a mom. And, I loved her more at that moment than I had all the years prior.

More to come... buying a home, second son and the news about our first son.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
When my FIL was bed bound during the later months of his cancer and he was still able to converse freely, he told my wife one day "you made the right decision". You have to realize, he was a man of few words, but what he did say he gave meaning to it. He was the kind of man that when he talked he got everybody's attention. In the world of some male TAM members he would be an alpha alpha (not that he had time to pay much attention to trying to be someone he wasn't). Anyway what he told my wife is that she made the right choice in marrying me.

I can't tell you how much this meant to me. All my years growing up my own father pretty much dismissed me as a 'loser' and "good for nothing" (his words not mine). Here was a man I looked up to and I received affirmation. It made no difference he, my FIL, had barely graduated from HS, he was someone I could only wish to emulate. He worked hard all his life as a farmer and as a carpenter, helped (along with MIL) to raise five children to be wonderful adults and when he retired built the house my MIL is currently living in. I loved and respected the man. I know he was not perfect, but he was a good and decent person, a true patriarch of the family. A man with rough hands and a hard exterior, but a very loving man with a soft heart toward his family.

I saw time and time again how his own grown children would come to him when they were having difficulties in their life. He was the wise sage, the calming spirit and one who would speak the truth (love and tough love alike).

So what does this have to do with my marriage. I learned a lot from spending time with him. He did not have to say much, I just watched and learned. And, I had much to learn and that is what I did... I was a sponge. I am forever grateful for my FIL and know that he gave me the gift of his daughter.

I can say without doubt, willing to learn from my FIL has contributed a significant part to the success in this journey of marriage.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
summarize two points that has worked for us thus far:

1. communication is important... but also the type of communication is what is even more important. We don't talk past each other (if this makes sense).

2. Family is important... not just our immediate family but your extended families. Feeling part of the tribe, I felt has made my marriage stronger :)
 

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summarize two points that has worked for us thus far:

1. communication is important... but also the type of communication is what is even more important. We don't talk past each other (if this makes sense).

Me and stbx made an art of talking past each other. Makes perfect sense.

Something i've been saying to my brother in his marital strife (using my learnt loo late lessons heh), communication is only effective if your spouse hears the message being delivered in the way you intend. If they don't get it, you haven't communicated effectively.

For all the many problems my marriage had, I think many of them could have been headed off with effective communication from both of us.
 

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When my FIL was bed bound during the later months of his cancer and he was still able to converse freely, he told my wife one day "you made the right decision". You have to realize, he was a man of few words, but what he did say he gave meaning to it. ....

I can't tell you how much this meant to me. All my years growing up my own father pretty much dismissed me as a 'loser' and "good for nothing" (his words not mine). Here was a man I looked up to and I received affirmation. It made no difference he, my FIL, had barely graduated from HS, he was someone I could only wish to emulate. He worked hard all his life as a farmer and as a carpenter, helped (along with MIL) to raise five children to be wonderful adults and when he retired built the house my MIL is currently living in. I loved and respected the man. I know he was not perfect, but he was a good and decent person, a true patriarch of the family. A man with rough hands and a hard exterior, but a very loving man with a soft heart toward his family.

I saw time and time again how his own grown children would come to him when they were having difficulties in their life. He was the wise sage, the calming spirit and one who would speak the truth (love and tough love alike).


So what does this have to do with my marriage. I learned a lot from spending time with him. He did not have to say much, I just watched and learned. And, I had much to learn and that is what I did... I was a sponge. I am forever grateful for my FIL and know that he gave me the gift of his daughter.

I can say without doubt, willing to learn from my FIL has contributed a significant part to the success in this journey of marriage.
I dearly love what you spoke about your Father in Law....what a wonderful man...I can see ..how his words...probably carried you in your darker hours over the years...so often we come back to things like that ....Just very touched by this relationship...and his influence over you ....to be a "sponge" to a man of wisdom... is very wise.
 

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s

1. Communication is important... but also the type of communication is what is even more important. We don't talk past each other (if this makes sense).

2. Family is important... not just our immediate family but your extended families. Feeling part of the tribe, I felt has made my marriage stronger :)
Greatly like you, the family part is what God has truly blessed me with. I absolutely woudn't trade my love and my steadfast relationship with my boys for all of the tea in China!

But Drerio, I would fastly trade that China tea for just 10% of those marital communication skills that you two have so lovingly honed together. And with absolutely no questions asked!
 

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Before I continue with post #11:

So before I met my wife, I was an avid health "nut". I tried to eat as well as I could afford and I exercised as often as time would allow. I am primarily a swimmer and runner although more the former than the latter. I was part of the local Masters Swim Club and participated in a number of biathlons (swim and run events).

I carried some of this lifestyle into our marriage, however as the years went on I waned from both my healthier eating habits and exercising. My wife followed suit and we both fell into bad habits. Life events happened (some I will discuss later), stress of children and work piled up and I started to drink a lot. I was not at the level of needing to join AA, but it was not good either. It was not only affecting my health (my weight was almost 190, my HR, BP and other parameters were bad) but my relationship with my children and my wife was deteriorating. I will admit there were days, weeks and possibly even months straight that I was so inebriated in the evenings I would pass out on the couch or in bed... neglecting my wife. It is not that I was angry at her or had no desire for sex, it was simply a bad habit that lead to these bad circumstances.

As I continued to abuse my body with overindulgences, I also started to pay the price with health signals, kidney stones, a bout of jaundice, etc. I remember waking up one day and saying to myself this has to stop. If not I will not see my sons grow up. I got up, saw a half-full wine bottle and 9 beers in the fridge. I opened every bottle of beer and poured them all down the sink. Did the same with the wine bottle. That afternoon, I bought some running shoes. My wife's reaction :rolleyes: "and you are going to do what?" Since that day, I have continued to work toward getting back my mojo. And, although a number of other medical issues cropped up since then, I have been able to deal with everything now that I have made this lifestyle change once again. My health parameters are now close to what they were when I was 20... not only that my sexual mojo is close to that of a 20 year old as well :smthumbup: Now, I only drink if I go out to dinner and even then, I try to limit that amount. So far successful. Again, my wife followed suit and she too is on track with keeping up with exercise and eating right. Do we ever eat bad? Sure but these are truly considered treats now and not something that happens daily or even weekly. And, our sex life has improved from what was probably 5x/month to 3 - 4x/week. All spontaneous and wonderful...
 

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So you are human? ;)
 

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So you are human? ;)
I am... but not sure this story is very interesting. I think most people that come to TAM and stay here would rather get juicy gossip rather than my boring dribble. After all if reality TV were real, no one would watch.

I have more to say, just not sure anyone really cares.
 
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