Marriage Isn't About Your Happiness

Page 2 of I read a blog recently entitled "Marriage Isn't About Your Happiness". At first the title took me back a little. Then I read it and found mys... 44 comments | 1491 Views | Go to page 1 →

  1. #16
    Getslow's Avatar
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    Selfishness in marriage has always been a problem. We're kidding ourselves to think otherwise.

    To be sure, certain cultural changes have occurred, leaving people always looking for something bigger or better or thinking that the world owes them an amazing life.

    But changes in the law itself had as much as anything to do with divorce rates climbing in the 20th century. Once no-fault divorce became a nationwide trend, the floodgates were open.

    Before the 1950s, you had to make a not insignificant demonstration before a judge of the fault of one party in breaking a marriage apart. How many people were stuck in marriages they'd have gotten out of because they couldn't meet that threshold?

    The women's temperance movement grew to massive proportions in the late 19th century in part because a large amount of women discovered that a campaign to ban alcoholic beverages was about the only redress available for getting beaten by your drunk husband. There were no domestic violence laws and no mechanism for divorces.

    The attitudes have changed significantly, but laws freeing people to make decisions based on those attitudes have moved right along with them.
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  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigVMan23 View Post
    I think a point the blogger is trying to make though, is that many today are miserable/not in love any longer because they don't/haven't gone about marriage with the right mindset.

    I'll use a very simple, yet on point analogy; I have young kids quite often show up for the first time at basketball workouts/practice, and we start out with specific drills. We might start with 3-4 different dribble drills. After 3-4 minutes, I may have 2-3 kids come up to me..."coach I can't do this...coach I can't do this". Happens all the time. They want to give up at the first sign of adversity, instead of buckling down, fighting thru and overcoming, and in the process getting better. Marriage, in essence, is no different. Some want to bail the first time they "dribble one off their foot" and things get a little tough. It takes commitment, time and willingness to work to overcome with the end result of not just making yourself better, but the team. That's my specific take anyway.
    I agree 100% with this thought. So many are unwilling to fight through when the going get's tough.

  3. #18
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    I think no one should be allowed to marry before the age of 30.

    I also believe that if you truly love someone, you will want to take care of them and it won't be a chore or a bad thing.

  4. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wireman View Post
    I think no one should be allowed to marry before the age of 30.

    I also believe that if you truly love someone, you will want to take care of them and it won't be a chore or a bad thing.
    I think it's clear that those who marry very young (teens and very early 20's) certainly have higher divorce rates. Once you get past the mid to late 20's, I'm not sure that the chances of staying together get any better, and I've seen some studies that if you wait too long (say past age 32 or so), the chances of divorce increase again. I'm just not a fan of applying random numbers to everyone. My wife and I got married at 24...still together 23 years later. I've got friends who married much later, who only stayed married a few years. Age doesn't necessarily bring relationship competence with it.

  5. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Getslow View Post
    Selfishness in marriage has always been a problem. We're kidding ourselves to think otherwise.

    To be sure, certain cultural changes have occurred, leaving people always looking for something bigger or better or thinking that the world owes them an amazing life.

    But changes in the law itself had as much as anything to do with divorce rates climbing in the 20th century. Once no-fault divorce became a nationwide trend, the floodgates were open.

    Before the 1950s, you had to make a not insignificant demonstration before a judge of the fault of one party in breaking a marriage apart. How many people were stuck in marriages they'd have gotten out of because they couldn't meet that threshold?

    The women's temperance movement grew to massive proportions in the late 19th century in part because a large amount of women discovered that a campaign to ban alcoholic beverages was about the only redress available for getting beaten by your drunk husband. There were no domestic violence laws and no mechanism for divorces.

    The attitudes have changed significantly, but laws freeing people to make decisions based on those attitudes have moved right along with them.
    To get a divorce nowadays, all that is required is for one of the parties to state under oath that the marriage is "irretrievably broken." Not a big hurdle.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcjkbt View Post
    To get a divorce nowadays, all that is required is for one of the parties to state under oath that the marriage is "irretrievably broken." Not a big hurdle.
    Yep, nothing more than contract law at that point.

  7. #22

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    While the article is excellent I do think the title is off somewhat. As some have pointed out above - being 'happy' in a marriage can, and usually is, a very key component in a committed relationship. I would refine the point to say that the expectation of the other partner 'making you happy' is what one should not expect. If one or both partners expect the other to simply 'make them happy' all the time things are going to be rough eventually and usually sooner rather than later.

    What is that can people 'happy' in a marriage may be found in the basic structure of the institution and maybe what couples should look at if or when they go down this journey. I hope I did go off the track here but here it goes using the sports analogy....

    A marriage is a team. A two person team. Teams exist to set and then meet goals. Goals will vary in a marriage. But being team that is looking for reaching goals together seems to be a key, if not the key, to successful marriages. Look at the opening paragraph of the article. He is eating bologna sandwiches. Because he is 'happy' eating bologna every day? No. Because he is reaching for, and sacrificing for a.....goal. The goal being the engagement ring that will set the new goal - the wedding. From there, a new goal may be the house that they can call their own and decorate or build the way THEY want (with appropriate negotiation and the noted give-and-take). From there - children, annual family vacations and so it goes. Common shared goals in which each partner will suspend their own wants if needed and focus on the objective has always seemed to me to be a key to a solid marriage. Being able to navigate those changing goals and be in synch as a couple to achieve them seems to make couples - 'happy'.

    Sometimes the goals become short term and do require the things noted in the article - a spouse who is sick or worse creates a less than happy goal but successful couples work through it - as a team. Kids who need extra attention and focus at various stages of life, etc. are common challenges. That is where the sacrifice and selflessness comes in - both as individuals and as couple or even a family.

    If you are striving together as a team on shared goals - you are usually happy a couple. If one or both partners gives up or can not cope with the challenges - then bad things happen.

    I think of when most divorces happen - either early on - before kids or with only one kid and then when kids are close to or out of college. If children and family are not part of the plan then it seems it may be hard to define new goals, new challenges as a couple. And hence the number of early divorces.

    Children are major goal changers, some partner do not make the transition. If there is lack of teamwork early on with the first child - things can go bad.

    At the other end of the cycle it seems when the kids have a path to independence the goal is, or appears to be, done. And without new goals a couple maybe lost and hence the later in life divorces. They just do not know 'what's next'.

    So marriage to me seems to be about goals. Always changing. Having someone you can love, trust and count on through the maze of reaching those goals is what makes one 'happy' in a marriage, IMHO.

    (Another sorry for the long post.)

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by nkypete View Post
    I'd love to comment but I wonder if my comments would force this thread to move to the Religion forum.
    I was thinking the same thing.

    Is Marriage a Religious Institution?

    Are human beings hard-wired to be Monogamous?

    In short, I think Marriage is an option for some people but not a fit for the majority of people.

    Finally, anytime you put yourself second I believe you have a definite recipe for failure.

    On a personal note, I hang around a lot of guys between 45 and 55 and I don't know a 'Single' one of them that is interested in getting married again. As a matter of fact, they are fighting words.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by theguru View Post
    I was thinking the same thing.

    Is Marriage a Religious Institution?

    Are human beings hard-wired to be Monogamous?

    In short, I think Marriage is an option for some people but not a fit for the majority of people.

    Finally, anytime you put yourself second I believe you have a definite recipe for failure.

    On a personal note, I hang around a lot of guys between 45 and 55 and I don't know a 'Single' one of them that is interested in getting married again. As a matter of fact, they are fighting words.

    Absolutely disagree. Self sacrifice (which what putting others in front of you is) shows true devotion, love and commitment. And if someone can't see that, then I will agree with one of your other points, marriage probably isn't an option, at least not a good one, for them.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigVMan23 View Post
    Absolutely disagree. Self sacrifice (which what putting others in front of you is) shows true devotion, love and commitment. And if someone can't see that, then I will agree with one of your other points, marriage probably isn't an option, at least not a good one, for them.
    We absolutely disagree 100%

  11. #26

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    Marriage ain't always a bowl of cherries but it is worth the effort to make it succeed.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by theguru View Post
    Finally, anytime you put yourself second I believe you have a definite recipe for failure.
    Not surprisingly, I couldn't disagree with you more, but I really appreciate your honest reply.

  13. #28
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    Lots of thought provoking responses in this thread. Thanks and keep them coming.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bengal Maniac View Post
    I want my wife to be happy , as well as me. I do all I can to have her independence and do the things she wishes, if they are different than my likes. She does the same. I ain't running half marathons and she ain't golfing.

    With that being said, if one partner is miserable and not in love any longer, I believe that person must move on from the relationship.
    The bolded would make a great book title !!!

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Watusi View Post
    Not surprisingly, I couldn't disagree with you more, but I really appreciate your honest reply.
    I don't want my reply to be taken out of context. Of course there are times we all have to put others first and help/take care of them but if your default position is your partner first that is a recipe for failure.

    Maybe that is one of the issues @Watusi - Marriage expectations slowly erode human beings.

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