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And secondly-what advice can you give on having a happy marriage that lasts?
I've been married almost 5 years, and the advice I would offer to those contemplating marriage has changed so many times over those years that I hesitate to offer any.
Except this: Serve your spouse.
I would suggest doing things independently. It's not good for anyone if you do *everything* together.
That said, I do work with my wife.. but do things on our own as well.
Only been married four years.
<edit>Length of marriage changed. Another tip: remember how long you have actually been married.</edit>
Find things in common with people. etc.. all the things that aren't in my marriage.
My daughter married someone who was her best friend. Of course there are troubles, as all marriages do have.
My oldest son is about to get married. I feel for the wrong reasons, which is why this marriage did not go the right ways it should have.
Being a marine and dating a superior is not permited, and his girlfriend is being promoted shortly. So they feel they should get married.
I have been honest and upfront with him that I disagree with him, and why. But in the end I support his decision, and will be here for him.
My husband and I totally have nothing in common, and other then the great sex all these years, and 5 beautiful children. I really don't think we ever did have that much in common. Not that tries were not made.
I knew he drank before we got married, but did not know what alcholisim was really about as my family did not drink at all. You really never know the person till you marry them.
1. Apologize. Even if it isn't your fault. It's better to be happy than to be "right."
2. Every so often, for no apparent reason, buy your spouse a present, or give 'em a hug and tell 'em you love 'em. If necessary, set up a Perl script that runs out of cron to email you a reminder to do this at random intervals.
3. If your spouse is the kind of person to whom birthdays and holidays and anniversaries are important, and you're not, for GOD'S SAKE set up some kind of way to remind yourself of said occasions. There are a bazillion free email and SMS reminder services on the web. Pick one and put all your birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine's day, etc in there so you are not caught off guard.
[[[3a. But a better idea is not to marry someone to whom those things are really, really important in the first place. Heh.]]]
4. Listen. Just ... listen sometimes. Every so often, even if it sounds stupid, just shut the heck up and listen for at least a half hour to an hour. Oh, and try not to keep looking at your watch during this time: ruins the whole thing.
5. Be patient, courteous, and forgiving, and give your spouse the benefit of the doubt. Too many arguments are due to simple misunderstandings: don't be afraid to ask for clarification.
6. Show your spouse at LEAST the same amount of respect you would show to a business colleague, preferably more.
7. No matter what. NO MATTER WHAT. Those pants do NOT make her look fat. EVER. The correct answer to the question, "Do these pants make me look fat" is always "No, of course not." However, "No," can be followed up with "but not sure I really like that style of pants," or "but I liked those other ones better," or "but are they all that comfortable?"
There's a lot more, but most of it is based on love, kindness, respect, and affection, not necessarily in that order.
Never stop making your wife feel special.
Tell your wife you love her... when you get up in the morning, when you get home from work, before you go to bed, and any time in between.
Keep telling your wife that she is the most beautiful woman in the world. If you keep telling her this, it will be true.
My advice is summed up by a quote from someone else's grandmother. "Marriage is not 50/50, but a series of 80/20's."
With respect and honesty you can workout almost anything
in a marriage. It makes the unbearable bearable.
Lies and deceit chip away at the foundations of a marriage.
I've been married for 15 years and got very little respect or honesty.
It's always been a marriage of "1" not "2" people.
...........man, I can write a book with everything I've been through.
..........had enough so now it's time for a divorce.
(by the way don't feel bad, even though I feel disappointed in many ways
that my marriage has failed, I also understand that
divorce can also be a "good thing".
I will never ever do this (get married) again. I've raised 3 sons and now
it's time to put a period at the end of this marriage and move on.
this is soooo true. The best part of my marriage is my 5 wonderful terrific children. They make my life.
And that unexpected hug that they come up and give you, can't beat it.
The changes that they can bring to your life is just something that can't be explained. They teach you so much about life. They are life. ;)
Sad but true.
A friend of mine couldn't figure out why his wife left him because he'd DONE EVERYTHING to make things work.
Trouble was, she hadn't done anything, and wasn't really willing to.
Both sexes make the mistake of thinking that if THEY just work hard enough, the marriage will work. Make sure you both want it to work and are willing to work at it.
Communicate - tell each other how you feel and why.
Respect - Don't ever treat your partner with any less respect than you would like to be treated with yourself.
Love - kiss before you go to sleep at night and every morning when you wake up (after mouthwash of course ;-))
Remember that your partner is your best friend
The one thing that I have taught my children before I let them date, is to learn how to become "friends" with the opposite sex.
Hmmm. I'm not convinced about this. >;-> I usually find that once I've made friends with a member of the opposite sex the chances of getting it on with them are comprehensively dashed.
The correct answer to the question, "Do these pants make me look fat" is...
... is surely: "It's not the pants that make you look fat. It's all the cake you eat that makes you look fat."