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If you've been married 10+ years, and you consider your marriage a "success," you have valuable experience that many people, myself included, are looking for.


What is a "successful" marriage? We can use responses to this thread to help define that term. The definition will probably vary greatly amongst different people. For me, here are some of the qualities I consider successful in marriage:
  • Being "in love" with my partner still
  • Treating my partner with dignity and respect
  • Encountering difficulties and challenges, and getting through them
  • Being a compliment to each other
  • Accepting my partner's shortcomings or qualities that I don't like
  • Being a positive force in my partner's life
  • Having a very high level of trust
  • Maintaining a good sex life
  • Parenting success
  • Good communication
If you know yours is a success, start a new thread and tell us your story.
  • Why do you define your marriage a success?
  • What difficulties have you had, and how have you gotten through them?
  • What are some of the key concepts that have helped your marriage work over time?
  • How do you and your partner treat each other?
  • How much "in love" are you and your partner compared to when you first met?
  • How is your sex life with your partner?
  • If you have children, how did having and raising children affect your marriage?
My hope is that over time, this section of the forums will turn into a library of successful stories that we can all use to make our relationships more successful.
 

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Chrsis,

Great thread.

My wife is literally a gift from god, he handed me one of his angels in my darkest hours. My wife so much younger than me actually taught me over the years. When I wanted to lean back and sit, she would state "come on grandpa" this alway made me jump to occasion. I respect my wife in this, she is the one that keeps my life vibrant and ever changing.

There was strife and troubled times, when we first got married, the kids as teenagers then rediscovering ourselves as kids again.

Well, sex was super hot at our beginning, then average thru child raising. Now its a complete blast furnace, we were in bar 6 months ago wife sitting on my lap. There and then she wanted sex (honey nobody will see) and our tanning salon, ever had sex under UV.

There has been no issues with trust, as my wife was a teen when we married and a literal beauty, so there were plenty of men seeking her love from 15-25 years old. I was 33 going to her prom, so no or low trust would have manufested itself prior to marriage.

We share a common love victorian era antiques, this is our physical and mental sharing time, we joke lived and died together in this era. There is no reason why we love it so.


Yes, we had issues with our kids especially during the teen years, it was stressful but in the end raised 2 fine adults.

Still going strong all these years later.
 

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You could define success as one who tries and doesn't quit. Success in my marriage means to continuously grow together in life and in love. As a 12 year military veteran, my wife and I have had our share of turbulance in marriage.

The love we have made in our marriage has allowed my deployments seem more bearable just knowing that I don't have to worry about what is going on back home. Unfortunately, unlike some of the other guys I have known.

We have only been married for a little over 5 years but that is success defined in my marriage.:smthumbup:
 

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I like the points given by Chris for a successful wedding. But i want to add on point in it. I think trust is more important for a successful wedding. If there is trust between two couples only than the wedding become successful.
 

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we have been together bout 20 years and we are still learning we have so many ups and downs we always download for hours about anything and nothing no topic is taboo parents kids tv movies friends jobs celbes clothes coworkers after life death we can have a heated disscu on the history of the pop can and laugh about that new wack a.. rapper in the same sentence talk is very important
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After 20 years of marriage (30 of being together) through all adversity we still miss each other when we are apart, say I love you several times a day, and fall asleep in each others arms each night.
Above all, I have learned when to keep my mouth shut when and as required!
 

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Although my husband and I have only been together 12 years (a miniscule amount of time compared to some of these others) I believe success has to come from a real respect of the other person and a sense that you're both committed to making the marriage work. Too many people often say, "oh well, if it doesn't work out, we'll just get divorced." And it's true you can do that, but it's much tougher to say, "if this doesn't work out, let's figure out together how to we can make it work."
If there's love, there's still a marriage.
 

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My wife and I have been married for 7 years and have faced some of the hardest things together. I look back at those hard times and thank God for the hard times. We are learning how to take tough times (without discounting how tough they are) and learn how to be there for each other more during those times.

I have to say that when things are good our marriage is fantastic. However, last year we were living a very privileged life together and then in a matter of a couple of days EVERYTHING changed. We found out that she was pregnant, and then two days later I lost my job.

We have lost all of our material position in life and are now (as a 6 person family) living with her parents while I start an internet business. Times are tough, but we are there for each other. It is the hard times and how you truly love, help and encourage each other that will make your marriage strong and mature.
 

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Hi Chris, I just left a message on the "What's Good about your marriage" asking for permission to join it since my wife and I have only been married for 7 years. I simply forgot that I had already posted a reply here stating that I had only been married for 7 years. Sorry if that request on the "What's Good about your marriage" thread could be a little confusing, since I had already posted here.

I guess this might fall in the catagory of "Go for it and then ask for permission later" but that was not my intent. I just forgot.

Thanks.
 

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My wife and I were married in 1953. She had just graduated from high school and I had just returned from fighting in the Korean War. Her mother had just passed away and she was taking care of her three younger brothers as her father was away most of the time working on the railroad.

We met as performers in an operetta directed by my brother-in-law, The Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert and Sullivan. This was organized by our church to put those returning home from military service with young women with the object of getting us off the street and married. There were 11 marriages and all but one was successful as far as I know.

I was a pirate and also a keystone cop. She was an orphan girl, a damsel. My brother-in-law also played the Modern Major General. I took my wife to a presentation of that operetta here in Idaho a few years ago.

My wife now has dementia and we have a full-time caregiver. But we raised five (5) children, Mark a neurosurgeon, Barry an anesthesiologist, Alice an RN and professional portrait artist, Patrick a vet here in Idaho, and Jim an attorney.

We taught our children to do things that are difficult to do, things beyond what they thought they were capable of if for no reason just to cut down the competition.

All of our kids have musical talent and skills. So do most of their 35 children, not sure about our many great grandchildren but they do seem to like music.

I took up writing, art, poetry and such just to see if my kids had talent in those areas so that we could support them.

Our relationship was based on that of my parents, not arguing, supporting each other, and displaying affection for each other at times in front of the children.

My wife is like a little child now but she is my little child and I love to take care of her as she can not take care of her self. It is a privilege. John T. Jones, Ph.D. Buhl, ID
 

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Well, let's see. I have been married for 3 years, but we've been living together for 15 years. We met in college and even though we started out as friends with benefits, over time we realized we had many things in common and soon, we became best friends. Which we still are today.

I like to think of my marriage as a success, at least so far. But 15 years at my age is a considerable success, I think (I'm 34). I think one of the things that has helped us over the years is the fact that we've never tried to change anything about each other. I fell in love with him because of the man he is, and I think trying to change something, anything about him, would be a contradiction. So we accept each other the way we are, we've done that from the very beginning, back in 1998. And we've continued to do so until now.

This doesn't mean we haven't had our problems, but even then, we've tried to solve our problems as quickly as possible. Our goals in life are perfectly aligned, we do not want any children, we want to keep traveling all over the world and we both need a creative outlet, so we both have jobs that require us to be creative and we often help each other. It's a partnership and we're also best friends. We love each other more and more every year, and it helps that the relationship is a lot of fun. Nobody makes me laugh like Daniel does.

Sexual monogamy doesn't apply on our relationship either. We do not find that desirable, really. The sex is fantastic, and it's better now after 15 years, so I can assume it will get even better in time. But I guess it all comes down to be completely honest with each other and not trying to change each other. We love each other the way we are. I mean, otherwise, we wouldn't be together, right?

Thanks for letting me share this :)
 

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Nice thread, I am new in this forum , my name is John I have been married by the last seven years, I hope I can learn something here. Your list is really useful.
 

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Hi, My wife and I will celebrate our 31st anniversary this September, 2016. The past 31 years hasn't been all a bed of roses. There were peaks and valleys on an ongoing basis w/c I saw as growing pains.
There came different roles we had to play w/c we were all new to and had to learn first hand. These were from just being lovers to becoming married couples. Then all of a sudden, as we were still in our honeymoon stage, we became parents, not really knowing what to do. With hands on learning from our first born, we bravely added 3 more. Four boys who turned our lives upside down, but, loved every minute of it and would have not wanted anything less.
Now all are on their own and we find ourselves becoming the best of friends and exploring areas that we now have time for like travelling.
There were lots of challenges growing through these changes. We had our own battles to fight and win. Even in this time just very recently, a major battle started, fought and won. In hindsight, there is really no single winner. We both won.
There are so many things to share, but, for us, the secret to this 31
years and we are still together and growing still, is we never give up and we MAKE IT WORK.
I forgot about becoming grandparents w/c is another stage I am eager to face. You know why?
As parents, we had to discipline our children even when it hurts.
As grandparents, I will now have the privilege to just love on them and spoil them because its not my job to discipline them. Its their parents job to do that.
Anyway, great to be part of this forum.
 

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Chris: Thank you for this, and thank you to the moderators of this site. I have been lurking for a while and am finally going to post. I am a former SI member, and found that the philosophy or philosophies expressed do not always mesh with my own. From my perspective, and hopefully my ever loving wife's perspective, we have overcome a literal ton of S**T to get to where we are today. We have endured parents that disapproved of our marriage, and sought to break us up. We have endured a business failure. We have endured infidelity (my own). We have endured a separation. We have endured bad marriage counselling. We have endured a revenge affair. We have endured gigantic medical issues. We have endured! We have also been together for 42 years and married for 39. We are in a good place now, after having watched friends and family turn away from their spouses when they become empty nesters, we made a conscious decision to NOT fall into the myriad of traps. We committed to each other and have used all of the things that we have learned along the way. If anyone wants to ask, I am happy to post. To those of you who wonder if marriages survive and flourish under horrible circumstances, the answer is, they do. Thanks
 

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My husband and i been together for 18yrs we are now 36 and 38. Gosh we had really hard bad times but our sex life was always great. We have 3 children now wasnt easy, he vetrayed me many times and everytime i wanted to be done or even leave he cried and begged me to stay. I suffered alot but i did love him. I tried but a part of me wished i knew better and wished i was stronger and wiser. Our kids saw me cry alot. We are good now but i still catch myself dwelling on the past and wondering if he really truly loves me. Every morning he wakes and touches me and give ne kisses and whispers how much he loves me and he wishes he could lay in bed with me like this and not go to work. We made it thru the hardtimes, im happy we are happy. Hes my bestfriend and i know him better then he knows himself. I couldnt see myself with anyone else. We laugh alot, we always nomatter what held eachother down. The hard times made us realize if we really loved one another and i can say without a doubt we do.
 

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Years ago I was visiting my widowed mother when her sister and her husband stopped by. Upon their leaving my mother turned to me and said: “I don’t know what she sees in him.”

Now the rest of the story. This happened when my mother was 95 years old, living in a nursing home. Her sister was 93 also living in the same nursing home with her 96-year-old husband. They had been married for 75 years! Mom didn’t understand why I nearly rolled on the floor laughing at her comment!

So what is a successful marriage? Longevity? Not killing each other? Or, having the knowledge and accepting the fact that it is just you and your spouse against the world!!

After 54 years of marriage, I’m sure my wife’ sister says the same about us. But, thank god I didn’t marry her sister, or I would be serving a long-term prison sentence.
 

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My wife and I have been married more than five decades. We met in HS, fell in love, married a few years later, and have loved one another ( and no other ) since. We have had many troubles over those years. Health, financial, wayward children, very ill children, but through rough times and good we have moved through them together. Neither of us have ever mentioned of considered divorce, though my wife may have considered murder a few times lol. We both believe we are more in love now than when we met as kids, and the trials have strengthened our bond like hammering metal strengthens it and makes it tougher. We are blessed to have one another and our health at this stage of our lives.

We have always treated one another with respect and admiration. Intimacy has always been intense and actually more intense now than when we were youngsters. We believe this is a major pillar to maintain bonding.
 
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