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S/O LL's divorce thread - what do you, as a couple, do to make your marriage secure?


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So much talk about divorce; friends IRL, here on the board...

 

I'm curious about the responses from those that believe it could never happen for them - what steps do you take (if any) to ensure this doesn't happen? No one (I'd guess) goes into a marriage planning to get out. So, aside from "We agree we won't divorce", what do you do to protect the commitment, especially if something bad has or did happen?

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My dh and I pretty much DID get a divorce several years ago. All was done except our final court date for the judges stamp of approval.

 

That said, divorce is now not an option for us. We learned, the hard way, that talking is the key. Before we didn't communicate, and we lived our own separate little lives. Now we make it a POINT to connect with each other somehow several times throughout the day. We also take time to get out without the kids. It's not always regular, but we try to make it frequent :) And, we've turned love into a verb, not an emotion. I've found the more I show my love towards him, the more I actually do love him.

 

But above all, I think it's the total commitment to a life long marriage, not an "until it's no good" marriage.

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I don't expect dh to be someone he's not. I know people irl who do expect their spouse to be someone else.

 

We have mutual respect and we both strive not to do anything that would ruin that respect.

 

I've made it an interest to learn how dh thinks and feels.

 

Plus, I'm still crazy about him. :D

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On the light side, we've often mentioned to each other that we don't dare divorce - each of us does best with a "keeper" and neither of us ever want to go through another period of singleness, much less another wedding!

 

On the serious side, we focus hard on communication and vulnerability with each other. We settled pretty early on in our relationship that we can each trust the other to guard our backs. That allows for the vulnerability.

 

We're presently in yet another situation that is known to be hard on marriages - his PhD. We'll fight (for our marriage) through it yet, though, with God's help.

 

Mama Anna

Edited by Mama Anna
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I love my dh, and think he' a great guy and good human being, just in general. I think he is sexy and funny, a wonderful Dad and a thoughtful dh. We laugh together and currently share many interests.

 

If my dh wanted a divorce, I know I wouldn't think it was my fault.

 

I believe that if a person is an unhappy, it's almost always about what is inside of them.

 

Onecan be all fancy in the sack, too, but if a person always wants a 22 year body, or whatnot, nothing, and no silk ties, whips, chains, or steaming lotions will change that. ;)

Edited by LibraryLover
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I'm not going to say it could never happen, but I honestly can't imagine it. Dh is my best friend and I know that I am his. It was that way long before we married. We talk about everything and anything. There isn't anything I couldn't tell him and I know that goes both ways. We talk a LOT, too -- not just about stuff, but about how we feel. Dh is pretty open about his feelings and opinions.

 

We both come from pretty down-to-earth families. Neither of us ever had the idea that marriage was supposed to be romance every day. We're both quite pragmatic about what a marriage is really like -- and we're more than just okay with that. We're actually happy. I think we both make time to be together. That often includes our son, but we're good with that. We just like being together even if it's sitting there watching tv. That means something to both of us, so we make the time to have that. It works for us, but it might not be everybody's cuppa.

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Here is what we have learned after 19 yrs of marriage (still going strong):

 

1) communicate communicate communicate

 

2) respect each other 100% without keeping score (mutual respect here)

 

3) Honor each other 100% without keeping score

 

4) Lots of TEA!! :D

 

5) 100% devotion to each other without keeping score

 

6) above all DO NOT KEEP SCORE on household stuff....whose turn is it to take the trash out?? doesn't matter....just do it.

 

7) We back each other up in regards to the kids, money and whatever else.

 

8) We argue ....via communication. :D

 

9) we attend church together as a family. We pray together.

 

10) Did I say communicate? :D:D

 

11) We do not talk bad about each other to the kids, our folks or anybody else. We say it to each other. If we have an issue about the other, we tell them. It really does wonders for us.

 

That is about all I can think of...

 

Holly

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Well, we went into this marriage with the argreement that if one party leaves, they have to take the kids with them (the pets were add later). In other words, you don't get to leave with no responsibilities and get a fresh start. This is a lighthearted but semi-serious pact on our part but it has worked for 20 years so far. ;)

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Well, we went into this marriage with the argreement that if one party leaves, they have to take the kids with them (the pets were add later). In other words, you don't get to leave with no responsibilities and get a fresh start. This is a lighthearted but semi-serious pact on our part but it has worked for 20 years so far. ;)

 

 

I think being able to laugh together is the most important thing. I've joked to dh that I would not fight him for full custody, and he's joked back that me he wouldn't fight for full custody. ;)

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We've been together for almost 23 years and my joke to dh is:

 

"I love you. If I ever leave you it is because the kids are driving me crazy! Remember it's not you. It's the kids I'm leaving but someone has to stay and take care of them and you're the best one to do that!" Other than that, we both believe divorce is not an option and God hates divorce for good reason!

 

Lisaj, still finds marriage incredibly hard work...

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We realized we couldn't divorce pretty early on, when we combined our Legos. There is no way we'd know whose is whose now!:D But that aside, he's my best friend and has been from day one. We talk constantly, laugh, joke. We figure there's no one else who would put up with us too, so what would be the point.

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Yeah, I think talking about everything is the key, and treating each other like we want to be treated, and apologizing when we don't.

 

And I, too, have told him that if the unthinkable happens, he is taking every one of the kids, full-time.:D (Well, I guess I would keep dd15, lol).

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I'm curious about the responses from those that believe it could never happen for them - what steps do you take (if any) to ensure this doesn't happen? No one (I'd guess) goes into a marriage planning to get out. So, aside from "We agree we won't divorce", what do you do to protect the commitment, especially if something bad has or did happen?

 

well, i don't believe it could "never" happen for us. i've seen far too many examples of people ending in divorce never expecting too. we do several things to protect our marriage. nothing is fool-proof of course, but we truly acknowledge that marriage is something that you must tend to & invest in. it is after all a relationship, and all relationships require maintenance. for starters, we try and remove temptation. by this, i simply mean we look at what seemingly tears marriages apart frequently. infidelity is one thing, so we do our best to not have friendships of the opposite sex or do other things that could compromise us in this area. also, people fall "out of love", so we do our best to keep our relationship first. we communicate. we laugh. we make time to enjoy each other still, and make sure that life is more than discussing bills and children. we fight fair, so that we don't lose respect for one another. when we screw up, we apologize. we forgive. we do NOT speak badly about one another. we have hot sex still:tongue_smilie: we support each other. we appreciate each other. we believe in God & believe marriage is really sacred.

Edited by susankenny
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Well, we went into this marriage with the argreement that if one party leaves, they have to take the kids with them (the pets were add later). In other words, you don't get to leave with no responsibilities and get a fresh start. This is a lighthearted but semi-serious pact on our part but it has worked for 20 years so far. ;)

:lol:

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We realized we couldn't divorce pretty early on, when we combined our Legos. There is no way we'd know whose is whose now!:D But that aside, he's my best friend and has been from day one. We talk constantly, laugh, joke. We figure there's no one else who would put up with us too, so what would be the point.

Wow! The lego thing sounds like the clincher for sure. I love it! :D

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My dh and I agree that divorce is never an option. That being said, I think our relationship is strong because we share many hobbies (mainly skydiving which we do just about every weekend). We are not gift giving people so there is never any expectations at holidays or birthdays. And, we respect each others strengths.

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Well, I think the fact of threat with serious bodily injury and mental torture if he ever does anything seriously stupid does the most. LOL!! Just kidding.

 

I think as much talking as possible, as much 'tea' as possible and that several times a week we date. Lately we seldom get the opportunity to actually go out alone so several times a week everyone goes to bed at 8:30 (even the older guys even though they don't have to go to sleep, of course). Then we watch whatever thing we are watching lately or a movie or even read and snack together. The act of deciding and making our snack together is something I really cherish. I don't know why. I just always enjoy it. :) I really thing specific, regular, set aside time is the key. You have to stay truly in touch.

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Well - I'm not one who has ever believed it couldn't or wouldn't happen to me. I don't speak in absolutes about anything, ever. <-- except maybe for right there LOL.

 

I've been married for 12 years. We've maintained separate households for the past five, and the kids stay with me. He comes over, and sleeps over, on his days off from work. Ours is a non-traditional marriage in many senses of the word. We have no current plans to divorce, and we both still work on making our marriage successful - in and on our terms.

 

One important thing we do is to remain transparent. We don't lie to one another, and we don't omit information. We've had lots of difficult conversations and uncomfortable spells, and we've had to confront things about ourselves that we'd normally rather bury our head in the sand about. We use truth and honesty to challenge each other to be better people, and not just to hurt each other. If anything, I think that's the key - we genuinely care and love each other and want the best for each other. That guides our communication, and keeps channels open. It helps us to not take things personally when the other takes issue with how we're doing (or not doing) something, etc. We still hurt, but we know the other is coming from a place of love and concern.

 

We're different from other couples in that adultery wouldn't be an automatic divorce. It hasn't happened to us, but we both know it's not an automatic dealbreaker. We also know that if we were leaning that direction, we'd be honest with the other about those feelings before they were acted upon. We've been through that already; we worked through it together, with our eyes on working THROUGH IT - TOGETHER rather than letting ourselves wallow in the hurt and betrayal, and trying to go it alone. He's Christian; I'm not. I come from a perspective where serial monogamy is the norm for humans; his is that you're married until death, regardless of legal status. For both of us, that means we'd at least attempt to work through an adultery. The only absolute dealreaker would be abuse, in any shape or form - not just physical.

 

At the end of each day, we just know we want to be together. To be our little family. To be the best parents we can be to our kids. We keep our eyes looking forward, in the here and now; not looking in the rearview mirror and bringing up or focusing on things from the past. We take the time - even if that means years of living separately - to improve ourselves for the better of our family. We don't give up on each other. Honestly, that wouldn't change even if we were to divorce. We both know there's a love there that transcends that.

 

And that's our guiding light to a secure, if somewhat non-traditional, marriage!

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We just talk...A LOT. We make a point of talking about things. We've worked hard on talking through issues and addressing them immediately, rather than seething about them. When we argue, we give ourselves a little bit of time cool off and initiate reconciliation, rather than try to demand apologies.

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Honestly? Not much. I'm the difficult one in this marriage - moody, quick to criticize (believe me I'm not bragging, just being honest.) I'm fortunate that my dh is easy-going and loves me enough to put up with me. I chose wisely. :001_smile:

 

Oh, my. Are we sisters that married brothers?!:lol: This is us. I'm not critical so much as quick tempered. My husband just allows me to go off and doesn't add fuel to the fire. When we first married, I tried to goad him into fights. He simply asked me, "when will you realize I'm not going to fight with you?". Every now and then, my husband will indicate I've gone too far and I feel just HORRIBLE because he's so easy-going, I know I must have really crossed a line.

 

We are very much in love and best friends with one another. We enjoy each others company above all others. TEA is extremely important and we're compatible as far as cups of TEA required :D. I think equally important to TEA is simply touching each other. My husband and I rarely pass each other in the kitchen without some kind of a connecting touch for each other. We hug and kiss all the time. Our kids are used to it, but it may wig their friends out :001_smile:.

 

Overall, our marriage is total teamwork and nobody keeps score. It has worked for 16 years.

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I don't know how to answer this one. I make sure he has food to eat, clean clothes, and lots of TEA. He makes sure he shows me plenty of grace because I am not easy to live with. We are still learning so much about each other even after 12 years of marriage (17 together). I know I need to show him more respect, so I am working hard on that. He knows I need him to communicate with me more, so he is working on that. It's a constant process. It's important for us to remember we are "in it to win it" and we won't let our marriage fall apart. I don't think we really operate with the mindset of making our marriage secure. That sounds bad, but I just know that it is secure. I know he loves me more than anything, and I love him more than anything, and that's enough.

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I haven't read any responses so far. I'll go back later. I'm just going to answer your question.

 

Our mutual LIFE'S goals are these:

1. To grow in the knowledge of the Lord and do His will.

2. To love, nurture and protect each other and our marriage relationship.

3. To love, nurture and teach our children.

4. To love others as God would have us love them.

 

We don't let wordly goals and ideas get in the way of these things. We don't care about material things, our hobbies, our jobs, nothing, compared to these goals. Everything else is secondary. This perspective virtually eliminates most conflicts and makes decision making pretty easy. We always have the same end goals in mind and therefore are almost always on the same page.

 

We consider the "Us" more important then either individual. If it isn't good for the "Us", it isn't going to happen, no matter how good it is for one. There's no resentment involved what so ever. We both love the "Us" more then we love ourselves. We look at our relationship as something higher, bigger, better and more wonderful then anything else there is. So we protect it, nurture it, prioritize it. It's a joy to sacrifice the me for the "Us." Truly it is. And when you are in an "Us" like this, the me is as happy as he/she can possibly be anyway!

 

For example, my DH never finished his degree. The reason? He felt our time together was too important. He was not willing to give it up. Future income etc. never factored into it for us. We were married with 2 kids by age 25. He had the chance to go back to school with his job but would have had to work days (50-60 hours/ week) and go to school at night for several years. We talked about it and he decided he couldn't do it. He couldn't give up his time with me and the kids and risk letting our relationships suffer. We trusted the rest to the Lord and He has been faithful. Twenty-eight years later, we are still madly in love.

 

(I am NOT saying that anyone else making a different choice was wrong. This is just my story and what we did and why.)

 

We treat each other with respect. No name calling, no lying, no deception. We talk about everything. We are honest with our feelings and don't play games. We're not spiteful. In other words, Love. We love each other in our hearts and with our words and actions. We help each other out when ever possible. We DO for the other before we do for ourselves. We hold each other accountable for our actions but then forgive and offer grace. We apologize -ALWAYS.

 

The two most important character qualities needed for a happy marriage IMHO: SELFLESSNESS and HUMILITY. If you are selfish and think you're all that, forget about it.

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