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My wife is the love of my life. She's the most beautiful person I have ever met. This June will make 32 years and if you'd have known us during the first 10 years you'd probably be amazed at that.

We used to fight so much it seemed we couldn't even have a conversation without it turning into an argument. During that time we saw 3 different marriage counselors. The last one recommended we get a divorce, so we quit going to marriage counselors.

It finally got so bad I looked into getting a legal separation. That's not too much different than a divorce so I said no thanks. I did do my own separation though. I took a sales job that took me on the road for the next 6 months.

So how did we make it?

We finally reached the point where we stopped trying to change each other. That meant we had to give each other space and just accept there were things about each of us that would probably never change. So we each quit expecting the other to conform to our wishes about everything.

Then we learned how to communicate. Once you both realize you're committed to the marriage and you want to work out ways to understand and get along with each other, you're suddenly able to allow the real person to emerge. That's such a freeing experience.

We also had to learn how to compromise with each other. Somethings have got to be the way you want and need them. But you'd be amazed how much you're able to let go of for the sake of each others sanity. For example ... my wife loves to get together with our friends and play board games, which I detest. It used to drive her crazy that I didn't want to, that I was no fun, etc., etc. She finally dropped it and goes and has her fun with our friends and I stay home and enjoy a good football game (or evening at the computer, or whatever).

We let each other have our space. But you know what? The things that attracted us to each other still work. We see eye to eye on the big things. Like God, church, politics, choice of friends, etc., and they've been a major influence on our marriage and parenting. And we love to talk to each other about stuff that's going on in the world.

I've always loved my wife - even when we were at our worst. We just didn't know how to resolve our conflicts. That's all I ever wanted was to be understood. She just wanted to feel connected and appreciated.

Wow, I sure rambled didn't I? I hope someone is able to identify and that maybe it can be a help to someone still struggling and trying to figure it all out.

So, to sum it all up? Commitment. Communication. and Compromise. Master those 3 and you've got it made.
 

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So, to sum it all up? Commitment. Communication. and Compromise. Master those 3 and you've got it made.
Can I add one more C?

CONNECTION

You can enhance connection by doing the following:

1 Have a child or children together
(Not absolutely necessary but if you do it is a biggie!)

2 Make time to have fun together

3 Make time to make memories

4 Be sure to back your spouse in times of pain and troubles

5 Do something nice for them just because they are who they are

6 Be willing to suffer for their benefit

7 Acknowledge and appreciate when your spouse shows love.

I am sure there is more but this is all I can think of for now.
 

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This July will make 41 for us and we have much the same story. Of course, getting carried at 16 & 17 and having kids right away didn't help. I remember a time when someone said, "You two don't like each other very much do you?" And that ws true.

Our counseling experience was different than yours. Ours helped us tremendously. We took the Myers Briggs test and it helped us to understand each other. I will never forget him telling us that the vast majority of differences in marriage are not matters of right or wrong but differences of opinion or a difference in the way we see it according to ours personatilities. The problem comes when we make it "I am right and you are wrong" turning it into a win-lose. We learned how to "fight fairly" and turned these situations into a win-win.

Today she is my best friend and passionate lover...and she looks so HOT!
 
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Thanks for sharing your story. It is very encouraging to hear success stories like this. Through the struggles--you all grew because you were willing to compromise, and work on yourself and the relationship.
 

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OP My wife and I are new to this (compaired to you) only 18 years for us so far.

Your post struck some cordes with me, the first 5 years were the hardest for us, money was tight with two daughters in the first three years and my wife giving up work to care for them, I worked long hour (70 - 80 hour weeks) but what ever I earned only ever seemed to cover the basics with little or nothing left over for treats. In those ealry years we had many arrguements about big things, money, about time spent apart, about how to bring up the children, finding the time / energy for a sex life together.

As time went by and the mortgage became more managable we where able to give each other the time and attension our marrage deserved. We still argue from time to time but the shared memories of how hard things were for us in the past help us see how much better they are now and also give us hope for even better in te years to come.

Thank You for shareing your storey let us hope that it gives hope to any others who are finding things hard.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
This July will make 41 for us and we have much the same story. Of course, getting carried at 16 & 17 and having kids right away didn't help. I remember a time when someone said, "You two don't like each other very much do you?" And that ws true.

Our counseling experience was different than yours. Ours helped us tremendously. We took the Myers Briggs test and it helped us to understand each other. I will never forget him telling us that the vast majority of differences in marriage are not matters of right or wrong but differences of opinion or a difference in the way we see it according to ours personatilities. The problem comes when we make it "I am right and you are wrong" turning it into a win-lose. We learned how to "fight fairly" and turned these situations into a win-win.

OP My wife and I are new to this (compaired to you) only 18 years for us so far.

Your post struck some cordes with me, the first 5 years were the hardest for us, money was tight with two daughters in the first three years and my wife giving up work to care for them, I worked long hour (70 - 80 hour weeks) but what ever I earned only ever seemed to cover the basics with little or nothing left over for treats. In those ealry years we had many arrguements about big things, money, about time spent apart, about how to bring up the children, finding the time / energy for a sex life together.

As time went by and the mortgage became more managable we where able to give each other the time and attension our marrage deserved. We still argue from time to time but the shared memories of how hard things were for us in the past help us see how much better they are now and also give us hope for even better in te years to come.

Thank You for shareing your storey let us hope that it gives hope to any others who are finding things hard.
Thanks for sharing! For those going through tuff times hang in there - if the love is there - there's hope. You just need to learn how to resolve your conflicts, which usually means unlearning a few things at the same time you develop new skills.

The things to unlearn are, at least in part, any negative modeling you grew up with, plus ... the negative messages from any entertainment media that bashes marriage and family.

If you will persevere and learn how to handle it the rewards will far outweigh the struggles. Plus, you'll become a more mature person in the process.

Thanks again romanticguy; nicky2323; Mr Blunt and Wiltshireman

Any other stories about persevering?
 
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