Gra Nomad Wanderings

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

QUESTION NUMBER 1

OK, the year has started. You've had a chance to have a rest, have a break, go skiing or swimming depending on whether you live in northern or southern hemisphere. You've maybe been travelling or else you've been "involved" with the grandkids (don't worry, we haven't got any either.)

Here's the question: WHAT HELPS COUPLES HANG IN THERE?

So, all you folks that think you know a secret, nows the time to share it. If there are no comments I'll pack up and go home! Come on Bruce, Jimmy, Rodney, Brian, Bernie & Janice, Erica, Army and the rest of you. Just a point or two or 3... whatever you think.... hey, maybe some singles will have some ideas too! I'd like to do one a month. So, come on, give it a go... you don't have to be a blogger Cookie! (Hope my wife Fay doesn't read what I'm up to!) You might also share how many years you've got up so far...only if you want to. We have just notched up 38 (consecutive!) years.

17 Comments:

At 12:51 AM, Blogger bbsgirl said...

Oh my goodness...I have NEVER had a busier start to a New Year like I have this year...and time to rest!!...who are you trying to kid here...hehehe...you seriously have been away...you'll need to scroll a little further in my blog to see what I mean. I have no tell all secrets as to how to stay together as I seem to not have much luck in the couples department until recently. My only thing has been patience and trust and LOTS of communication. Remembering that two people can disagree and still get something accomplished. The key to that is realizing it's agreeable to disagree. That in itself can be a hard concept for some. Value someone's opinion rather than knocking it down if you don't agree with it. After all, it's their opinion and they are entitled to think that way. Know when you are being taken advantage of and do not put up with any form of abuse. The hardest one to recognize is mental abuse. Constant communication is vital in any relationship. As my Bob and I are currently 6 hours apart it's what keeps us sane. We are working on getting together and I believe it will happen this year. Working together on goals is also a key important factor. Knowing and caring about what both need and want helps out so much when you work together to acomplish anything.

Congratulations on 38 years!!

 
At 1:08 AM, Blogger kathi said...

Compared to Jan (I am a faithful reader), my life has been boring. But, I'm here to answer your question. We've been married a little over 21 years. Things I've learned: When to shut up. Not everything is worth making a point over, especially if it's gonna cause an argument. If you're right, it'll become apparent soon enough.
Learn how to say you're sorry. It's amazing how many people just refuse to say it, even though they know they should. It means the world to the person you're saying it to.
Enjoy what you have. Always wanting more leads to stress, on everyone. Enjoy what you have with those you love, them 'more' will come...and you'll have those you love still around to share it with.
Enough for now...look for my book soon, LOL. Just kidding.
Hugs, glad you're back. Very sorry about your friends passing, but we'll see him again.

 
At 3:23 AM, Blogger Darlene said...

We reached 17 years so far. I think that humor has helped us stick in there. Some days when we're in the midst of a fight, I'll stop and say, "I'm sorry." Which is a private joke because he want's to apologize first. Then I raz him and say, "Oh no, I was first, you lost." (It's funnier when you're there, trust me.)

I have also stopped and said, don't come running to me with an apology later! Which totally cracks him up.

Now if I can just figure out how to keep from getting in the midst of a fight in the first place, we'd be doing much better!

 
At 7:22 AM, Blogger Insanity Infusion said...

All lovely points made thus far and points I'd have hit on as well...

Seems as though I'm the "marriage baby" of the bunch as we've been together just 8 years.

I'll add to the list by saying don't try to lose sight of what made you fall in love in the first place. Remember that there are always two sides to things and perception isn't always about your own. And lastly, don't let the hustle and bustle of life interfere with the magic that exists between you...when it's all said and done it will be your loved one by your side - not your job, your hobbies, your materials, etc.

Great question!

Truly,
Insanity Infusion

 
At 1:38 PM, Blogger Jennifer said...

Wow, 38 years! That's very impressive Keasty. You need to be giving me pointers, not the other way around.

 
At 3:08 PM, Anonymous Smokes said...

I have always been single but for what i can make out in my own mind. To make couples stick together i think has alot to getting to know the person heaps before you get married, no rushed weddings etc.. Also every morning when you wake up next to your wife or husband you have choose to love that person and show them how you do.
I know i still have alot to learn i am onyl 21 but that is some of my view so far.

 
At 8:51 PM, Blogger Live, Love, Laugh said...

I would say a relationship or marriage is like a checking account. If you continally make deposits you will have a full acct, if you are always withdrawing you will go bankrupt. So it is all about Serving the one you love, not about them serving you. When we make deposits we are putting gasoline on the fire and the blaze burns brightly, when we make withdrawals it is throwing water on the flame. Love motivates love. What you sow is what you reap.

 
At 1:30 AM, Blogger the mad scientist said...

Well, I would have to say that during my 23 years of marriage... hehe no not really, I'm only 20 and very single! But I think that like Smokes said, the final decision of who you are going to marry should be made pretty soberly and with great consideration. It's also quite important to know the differences between males and females and why they act like they do, and also the love language of the other person. The culture they grew up in and the mindset going into the marriage that 'this is forever' both are important too.

 
At 8:52 AM, Blogger Sarah Leon said...

I think my husband would stay married to me no matter what. He's a creature of habit and comfort, and he loves me, and I think that's enough for him. I think he'd only leave me if I told him to get out. I'm very fortunate to have someone as patient and loving as him, and I'm sure that's part of why we are able to hang in.

For me, though...I'm much more restless and unsatisfied and hard to please. So what works best for me is working on my marriage. I'm alright with it not being that great right this moment, or not being perfect in any moment, if I have a general plan and I'm moving forward with it and noticing progress. Plans include things like having a regular habit of spending quality time together, or trying new things together in bed, or launching a fun project like "watch all the Oscar Best Picture winning movies since the 1920s."

I also read a ton of marriage books and websites and keep myself informed and thinking about the subject. That way my marriage is at the top of my mind and I don't forget about working on it. (I'm almost an absent-professor type, so trust me, I need tools to keep me in touch with what's important.)

My husband and I have been married 7.5 years. We have three kids. Also I was married once before, for 5 years, and learned a lot of sad lessons about how not to be married well.

 
At 9:37 AM, Blogger Rodney Olsen said...

We've been married just over 13 years.

I think it's important to understand the nature of love. Common culture tells us that love is that 'in love' feeling. I believe that while that feeling is absolutely glorious, love is really a commitment to wanting the best for the other person, putting their needs first. That is certainly counter cultural because we're always being told to look after our own needs.

Of course putting someone else first isn't always easy and I can't say I get it right a lot of the time but it is something I strive towards.

I find that when I seek the best for Pauline those wonderful 'in love' feelings grow. When I'm more interested in myself I'm more likely to believe that not all of my needs are being met.

I keep coming back to a passage from the good book that says, "Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn't want what it doesn't have. Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head, Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first," Doesn't fly off the handle, Doesn't keep score of the sins of others, Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end."

 
At 7:00 AM, Blogger McMom said...

We have been married almost 17 yrs.
We make a point to not "let the sun go down upon our wrath". We also try to treat each other the way we would like to be treated. We have a date night each week, even if it is just coffee. This helps communication, especially with four kids in the house!
Loving my husband is my ministry!

 
At 3:48 PM, Blogger Keasty said...

Hey, I'm gonna come back to this. There;s some good stuff here. Thanks folks...that's the most comments on anything I've posted! Some great ideas.

 
At 12:07 PM, Anonymous Bernie & Janice said...

Good on you, Grahame, for promoting long-term marriage. Everyone needs a little encouragement from time to time and someone who is needing that encouragement today might read these comments.
We have been married for 39 years and have 7 children, and through all the fast lane and stresses, etc., still love each other.
Stress came when we first had teenagers, but with a few changes to our parenting techniques we gradually managed to settle down to a most hectic 25 years of parenting teenagers and adolescents. Through all this full-on living, broken nights and challenging parenting issues we were conscious of keeping an eye on our relationship, and frequently telling and showing each other that we were still in love. Marriage is not always a bed of roses, but can be very rewarding if effort is put into making it work.
Janice's hints:
Be prepared to accommodate the changes in your spouse over the years;
Be prepared to accept constructive criticism;
Have some basic fun together, e.g., go for a bike ride together, or watch a movie together.
Bernie's hints:
Keep your sights on what made you fall in love with her in the first place, and do whatever is required to renew that attraction;
Distant pastures are never greener - the closer you get to them the more brown patches you see amongst the clumps of grass.

 
At 3:43 PM, Anonymous LA_STRANGE said...

hi, im 19, female and i live on the westcoast of australia. i came by your page completely by accident and found it very interesting to read about all this wonderful advice about marrige.
i was wondering Gra Nomad if you could as much as enlighten me with advice about going into marriage and what made you decide that your wife was the one? and what was it like to be newly married

 
At 6:21 PM, Anonymous Bruce Anstie said...

HI Keasty, and congratulations on 38 years!
Kathy and I haven't been married quite as long as yourself and Fay (actually would be a bit tricky as I would need to have been married at 2 years old, and Kathy wouldn't have been born, but I digress), we have been married for 6 years.
We have found that marriage isn't always easy, and that it's quite true that marriage does need work to make it work. Behind all this however I have found that my commitment to our marriage is the central point I keep coming back to. My belief is that marriage is for life, I made this commitment when we married and I intend to keep to this commitment. Without this commitment I believe that it would be all too easy to throw in the towel when the going gets tough. With this commitment I give myself no other choice but to work through whatever problems come our way. This attitude has helped Kathy and I grow closer during our marriage and made our marriage stronger.

 
At 9:25 AM, Blogger R. Stewart said...

38 years, wow, and congratulations! Well done. Very well done.

Actually, well doing since I assume you're not really finished yet:)

My wife and I've been married a dozen years now. What keeps us together is actually a "who" - God is at the center, or at least we try to keep Him there. Always a struggle and that, but that's the intent.

In less "religious" terms, for those who don't care for God, we have had very good role models in our marriage, and have learned much from both sets of parents. My folks have been married 37 years, and my wife's folks I think have topped 40. We learned how to deal with problems by watching them.

God bless!
Ron

 
At 1:30 AM, Blogger Cheryl said...

communication, love, laughter, honesty, candlelight dinners, spontaneous roadtrips, walks around the neighborhood, conversations about what you're reading, dances in the kitchen while dinner is cooking, hand-holding, tender kisses, ruthless trust, complete abandonment, lots of grace, surprises, love notes in lunchboxes, inside jokes, authenticity, being able to laugh at yourself, long walks on the beach, afternoon movies, crossword puzzles over coffee, cuddling on the couch, honest conversations about the tough stuff.... and love, love, love....

 

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