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For those of you who have been married a long time (25 years minimum)....question for you


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If you have been married a long time, how would you describe your marriage now? It is still sizzling with romance? Friendly and comfortable? Distant or aloof? Do you still think of yourself as spouses or more like close friends/roommates? If it has changed over the years, is there any particular reason that it has changed other than the passage of time or the aging process? Just curious. Have recently discussed this with a close friend. 

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I don't know that we ever were "sizzling with romance".  At least by Hollywood definitions.  But we love each other very much.  We are friendly and comfortable just as we were almost 30 years ago.  I purposefully married someone that I would count as a close/best friend. 

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Friendly and comfortable, and also sizzling with romance. 

If you communicate well, you both get out of it what you both put into it.

We did go through a distant/roommate period, but that was because one or both of us emotionally checked out and we stopped communicating.  It is possible to pull it back from the brink of disaster, and takes a lot of work - probably the same amount of work all at once that would have been invested over the time when it wasn't.

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Friendly and comfortable. We've always been much more the best friends type than the sizzling type. That's served us well in the past few years when serious health issues have made the sizzling part much more challenging. But our commitment to each other is probably stronger than ever.

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We are still best friends and very comfortable with each other. The sizzling romance part has had its ups and downs with life circumstances, health, kids, etc, but all that’s in a good place right now, so the sizzling romance is back as well:) 

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We are getting ready to celebrate 38 years. We are committed, best friends, and probably just as romantic as we were at the beginning. I will say there have been ups and downs, but that is to be expected as life throws you curves.

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30 years married, with close to 10 together before marriage.

There've been intervals that have been quite challenging; and others that have been easy and comfortable; the ebbs and flows sometimes due to circumstances but mostly, I would say, framed by the effort we both put into it, particularly effort into communication.  He and I have vastly different communication styles, and so even after all these years, getting through a hard conversation is still... hard.

 

 

(( Ditto. ))  Holding you in the light.

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9 minutes ago, Ditto said:

Sadly...

I didn’t quote you in case you ever want to delete, but I just wanted to let you know that if you reach a point where you want to develop a long term plan geared toward eventual divorce, you will get a lot of help and ideas here on this forum. There are so many things you can do to start saving little bits of money here and there, and actively working toward refreshing or developing skills you would need for a future solo career (all done without ever letting your dh have the slightest clue about it,) and it might help you feel less discouraged to know that you are planning for your future and taking action right now to keep you headed in that direction.

And remember, even if things turn around and you end up deciding your dh is the perfect husband for you, any actions you take in the meantime to advance your own personal situation will still have been worthwhile.

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We've been married for 29 years and lived together for four before that. Darned inconstant atheists. 

We love each other very much and are very much spouses as well as good friends. We still fancy each other lots.

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I was just thinking of this today.  We’ve been married almost 27 years.  We’ve always been best friends, yet very different and get on each other’s nerves plenty.  There’s no one we’d rather spend time doing nothing with than each other, though.  We are sorta homebodies, I am a convert-homebody due to living so far out away from civilization.  DH is a quiet workaholic (home/outdoor work), but is always willing to just hang out, too, so it works.

What I was reflecting on is that we are also sizzling with romance a little, too.  Our 25th anniversary trip reset something for us that has been very good and was perfect timing for our ‘almost empty nest’ stage.

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22 years, in love for 34 years. Does that count?  Not sure we fit the criteria. Still twitterpated.  Best friends.  Definitely sizzling.  We like hanging out together.  We’ve been through a lot together, and it’s not always been easy, sometimes it takes work, but always worth it!
 

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Married since the 80’s, and we’re best friends and soulmates and have recently (last two years) increased sizzle.  We’re so very close because we’ve stood by each other as we took care of our parents and held their hands as they passed away. We’ve raised kids and gone through those hard years together. We’ve had the lean years and grown closer as we’ve gotten through them side by side.  DH’s health issues have been challenging for more than 15 years, and will not improve, but we’re in it together. 
Dh retired 2 years ago and we moved a thousand miles away and started fresh.  It was hard for almost the first year. Leaving our jobs and friends behind and starting fresh. but we’ve hit our groove and it feels like we’ve finally crossed the finish line. We’ve been through so much and we’ve made it.   But there were definitely periods that were hard. And times where we didn’t really click. That has ebbed and flowed mostly based on how we handle stress. 

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5 hours ago, tampamommy said:

If you have been married a long time, how would you describe your marriage now? It is still sizzling with romance? Friendly and comfortable? Distant or aloof? Do you still think of yourself as spouses or more like close friends/roommates? If it has changed over the years, is there any particular reason that it has changed other than the passage of time or the aging process? Just curious. Have recently discussed this with a close friend. 

Sizzling and romance are separate words in my relationship. We were never too much the romantic types, so that aspect remains in the occasional bursts as usual, lol. We don't sizzle as long, hot, or often as we did in our 20s, but yes, the sizzling is still there. Definitely friendly and comfortable as well, but that was true from vert early on. 

We definitely still think of ourselves as spouses. I do not like people enough to have a roommate; if I no longer felt like I had a spouse, I'd be living alone.  ime, married people who say they are more like close friends or roommates are on a slow slide to divorce (unless they started out that way from the beginning, that might be different). I have never seen a case where both people were actually content to be, and stay, roommates. Please note that I am not speaking strictly in the sexual sense. 

Edited to add: 30+ years 

Edited by katilac
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26 years married, 31 years together here. Close friends, with benefits. Partners working together on some common goals. Probably not sizzling; I have low interest in firing up the grill these days post-cancer. I mean it happens, but if I’m reading a really good book, don’t bother me. 
 

It is hard to imagine my life without dh in it, though. There is a comfortable companionship there that I can’t imagine not having. 

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We just celebrated our 30th anniversary. I'd say we're friendly and comfortable but still spouses not roommates. Our relationship is a little different than most people our age because we're still actively parenting and will be for the foreseeable future. We'll never get to empty nest. We're still in the shared project stage with goals to get our sons as launched as they can be in the next 5 to 10 years. 

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PLEASE DO NOT QUOTE THIS STORY:


 

PLEASE DO NOT QUOTE THIS STORY; I will delete it. 

Edited by Quill
Removed personal story
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Married 36 years...

We have been through a lot- and are going through a lot right now-- the stress is exhausting so not too much sizzle-- we consciously work at making time.  Mostly we are friendly.  Honestly the stress has been so much that being 'friendly' is hard to keep up!

We have 2 dd's with medical issues (one doing OK and one not).  We are also primary care givers to our 19 month old grandson-- never thought that we would be married 36 years and changing diapers (potty training starts soon!).

Every other week or so we get a night or two break when baby goes to his dad's...other than that we can only go out if we take the baby-he is in bed by 8:30 but by then we are exhausted or are trying to get caught up.  I just finished cleaning the kitchen and DH just ran to the store for some milk...when he gets back he will go to his room and watch endless TV and I will go upstairs to my room (by baby's room) and read as this has been a very very stressful week.

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Married30 years in August- mostly friendly and comfortable. We don’t spend that much time together in our daily lives due to work schedules and differing interests. It isn’t what a lot of people would thing of as a typical “good” relationship, but it works for us. We enjoy traveling together including long road trips, and we make plans for the future when we are both retired and have more time to spend together.

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Married 30 years now, mostly friendly and comfortable, more so as the years have gone by. Neither of us are particularly romantic and the frisky times ebb and flow but the strong deep core attachment is still there. Neither of us would do well without the other.

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26 years today, lots of ups and downs, mostly due to our vastly different communication styles. Neither of us is romantic and reading does seem to take priority these days. I have occasional fantasies about living alone but I'd miss him, and I'd need to find new tech support and who wants to deal with that? I would not say we are best friends. I just never relate "spouse" to "best friend;" to me it's a completely different type of relationship. If something happened to separate us I don't see myself in another similar relationship ever. 

 

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I'll jump in even though we're a few months short of 25. It feels like we've hit a sweet spot in the last couple of years. We've always had sizzle- it may have been the only thing that kept us together for a few rough years. What we have now, in addition to sizzle, is a way more relaxed nature to our relationship. We've mellowed. He's definitely my best friend. We're in the middle of a huge transitional stretch. It'll probably be another year or 2 until we're out of it. I think we're functioning better as a team than we ever have.

It's a good spot. I'm looking forward to life around us being a little less chaotic so that maybe we can enjoy each other a bit more.

Edited by sassenach
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13 minutes ago, marbel said:

26 years today, lots of ups and downs, mostly due to our vastly different communication styles. Neither of us is romantic and reading does seem to take priority these days. I have occasional fantasies about living alone but I'd miss him, and I'd need to find new tech support and who wants to deal with that? I would not say we are best friends. I just never relate "spouse" to "best friend;" to me it's a completely different type of relationship. If something happened to separate us I don't see myself in another similar relationship ever. 

 

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, MARGARET!!!!!  🎊🎉🎈🍾 

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We've been married since the 80's!   We were always very close and very much attracted to each other, and have only gotten closer over the years.  I still am absolutely thrilled to see him again if we've been apart for awhile, and his friendly smile still makes my day.  We're very different in sooo many ways, yet together, it has become something very beautiful I'd say.    We’ve been through some really crazy, painful and complicated stuff, but instead of tearing us apart it has caused us to be very united.  I think I'm pretty lucky!  

Edited by J-rap
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25 married, 31 together.  The sizzle is in the past though we sometimes make sizzly comments to each other, just no follow-through.  Our lives are completely woven together in that we've been business partners for all but about 1 year of our relationship.  We call each other if one isn't at the business but otherwise we are together more or less 24/7.  This may seem odd to people who don't experience it but I can't imagine not working with my spouse every day. We are total opposites on nearly everything other than politics and we think that has helped keep it interesting!

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19 hours ago, Catwoman said:

I didn’t quote you in case you ever want to delete, but I just wanted to let you know that if you reach a point where you want to develop a long term plan geared toward eventual divorce, you will get a lot of help and ideas here on this forum. There are so many things you can do to start saving little bits of money here and there, and actively working toward refreshing or developing skills you would need for a future solo career (all done without ever letting your dh have the slightest clue about it,) and it might help you feel less discouraged to know that you are planning for your future and taking action right now to keep you headed in that direction.

And remember, even if things turn around and you end up deciding your dh is the perfect husband for you, any actions you take in the meantime to advance your own personal situation will still have been worthwhile.

This is great advice, thank you.  

Thank you also for the support. 

Edited by Ditto
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I was married for 26 years but divorced my husband a few months ago. We are good friends now, and I hope it stays this way! I wrote more that you are asking to offer support for those who don't have the marriage they wanted. 

We had been only roommates for many, many years. I waited until my middle daughter graduated high school and until I could support myself in our HCO area to start the official process. I was unhappy most of my marriage and stayed with him due to the kids. There wasn't any reason to divorce before that because we got along fine and he was gone most of the time. But due to this, our relationship wasn't anything deeper than a casual friendship. I tried for years to fix it, but he didn't see what was wrong and pretty much blew off my feelings. He is not a bad guy and I will never say he is. He was just wanting something very different from our marriage than I was. I truly believe this came from him being neglected; he didn't realize our relationship should be more than roommate level.  We get along fine, and due to 2/3 of our lives together, he probably was my best friend in most ways. He was just never someone I would confide in.  I can honestly say that I have had (absolutely plutonic) coworkers who knew me better. He was neglected as a child and while I saw those ramifications when we started dating as teens, I didn't realize that those issues we so ingrained in him, that they would strongly affect our marriage and his relationships with his children. I thought that his emotional disconnect, was specific to his relationship with his parents/siblings. Once I moved from friend to wife...is when I moved to his emotional back burner.  In our marriage, I was part of the problem, because I carried our marriage emotionally for probably 20 years. I was the one who raised/homeschooled the kids, took care of the home, and worked to help pay bills. He was a workaholic and prioritized his friends over myself and the kids. He would be gone for 5+ days at a time, and I wouldn't hear from him.  I should have stopped that sooner, but I was so busy doing everything, I didn't see the whole picture until it was too late. Due to his childhood neglect, he didn't like to be touched, so you can imagine how that affected a marriage. I didn't figure out for about 15 years, that he only tolerated that part of our marriage. So, absolutely no sizzle. LOL I will always love him and hope that we will always be friends....just like it probably should have been from the start (instead of marriage). 

Edited by Tap
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We're not quite at 25 yet, but pretty close. We're still besties, still love and support each other in every way, occasionally snip at each other but are usually pretty good, very functional, are in each other's corner. We've never been traditionally romantic, but tea is still good, if that's the sizzle question. We just had a massive household crisis where he lost his job unexpectedly. Things are better now - he got a new job. I'm curious to see what things are like for us now - he's had versions of the same job for nearly twenty years now. This means a very different schedule and is going to be him out of the house more. And the kids are graduating and leaving before too long. Things are definitely changing. But I don't anticipate us changing too much.

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We celebrated our 25th anniversary in April.  I can't imagine my life without DH.  He is my best friend, lover, supporter, confidant, etc.  Our marriage has had ups and downs and conflict areas, but overall we have grown together in our years of being married.  We have had a number of things that were very hard on our marriage - infertility, job loss, health crises, DH's job travels, but we have stuck it out and worked together.  The last few years has been a lot of focus on the kids and now as the kids are getting older and looking at spreading their wings we are working on finding ways to reconnect as a couple.

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28 years here. To sorta quote Dickens. It’s been the best of times and the worst of times.  We’ve been hot and we’ve been ice cold. We’ve been best friends. We’ve nearly divorced.  We have never been nor expect to ever be roommates.  It may be hard for some to understand, but it’s possible for a couple to love each other through all that.  And if they are really lucky and work their hearts out, they can even end up loving each other more after all that.  And I doubt we will ever take our marriage lasting for granted again. 

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27 years

We are very different people but the things we have similar bond us together very closely. Namely our children and our lifestyle. 

 Before we were married DH told me that the reason he wanted to marry me was because I was from a very fertile bloodstock and he wanted children. It sounds funny but it is the truth. I married him because I knew that I could get along with him forever. 

Just the other week he gave a funny speech (at Dd wedding) and said that being married is hard work. The hardest work ever, but you keep going because of love. 

I have always wanted to end up as that old couple you see walking along holding hands. 

It hasn't been all lavender and roses. We have had lots of very stressful times and some really bad years. But we are committed to each other. 

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On 7/9/2021 at 11:44 AM, tampamommy said:

If you have been married a long time, how would you describe your marriage now? It is still sizzling with romance? Friendly and comfortable? Distant or aloof? Do you still think of yourself as spouses or more like close friends/roommates? If it has changed over the years, is there any particular reason that it has changed other than the passage of time or the aging process? Just curious. Have recently discussed this with a close friend. 

Married 39 years.

marriage goes through phases, just as parenting a child goes through phases.  Life goes through phases.   Much depends what else is going on in your life.  There were times, I felt like we were roommates - but he was building a business, and I had other things and I didn't have as much time either.

Sizzling with romance tends to be pretty superficial.  It's the frosting - it tastes good, but it lacks substance and won't hold a relationship together.  However . . .  We're playful, we can be silly together.  It's relaxed, comfortable. We don't take ourselves seriously.  with older kids, we now have more time to be just us, not mom or dad.  (and we can take off for a couple days - important for dh to get away from the house - without as much planning.) when kids are younger, it's more of an effort.

above all, we trust each other to value the relationship, we can talk.  We also know each other so well, we can read each other.

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On 7/9/2021 at 11:47 AM, Jean in Newcastle said:

I don't know that we ever were "sizzling with romance".  At least by Hollywood definitions.  But we love each other very much.  We are friendly and comfortable just as we were almost 30 years ago.  I purposefully married someone that I would count as a close/best friend. 

I admit, when I see tabloid covers with stories about a celebrity couple implying they are "sizzling with romance" - I wonder 1) who are they trying to convince?, and 2) when's the divorce.

My friend (of 30+ years) talked about how her friends wouldn't date any of her brothers because they were "boring".  her friends wanted "sizzle".   after a few years, boring was really attractive to them.  Especially those that ended up divorced from the sizzler.

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1 minute ago, gardenmom5 said:

I admit, when I see tabloid covers with stories about a celebrity couple implying they are "sizzling with romance" - I wonder 1) who are they trying to convince?, and 2) when's the divorce.

My friend (of 30+ years) talked about how her friends wouldn't date any of her brothers because they were "boring".  her friends wanted "sizzle".   after a few years, boring was really attractive to them.  Especially those that ended up divorced from the sizzler.

Well, it's not like intimate moments (if that's really what is being meant by "sizzle") are boring.  But a marriage is a lot more than those moments.  And there are seasons in life like you and others alluded to where one or both are tired and frazzled etc.  I think that there is a place for trying to still connect on that level but it doesn't always work out that way, you know? 

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16 hours ago, Tap said:

I was married for 26 years but divorced my husband a few months ago. We are good friends now, and I hope it stays this way! I wrote more that you are asking to offer support for those who don't have the marriage they wanted. 

We had been only roommates for many, many years. I waited until my middle daughter graduated high school and until I could support myself in our HCO area to start the official process. I was unhappy most of my marriage and stayed with him due to the kids. There wasn't any reason to divorce before that because we got along fine and he was gone most of the time. But due to this, our relationship wasn't anything deeper than a casual friendship. I tried for years to fix it, but he didn't see what was wrong and pretty much blew off my feelings. He is not a bad guy and I will never say he is. He was just wanting something very different from our marriage than I was. I truly believe this came from him being neglected; he didn't realize our relationship should be more than roommate level.  We get along fine, and due to 2/3 of our lives together, he probably was my best friend in most ways. He was just never someone I would confide in.  I can honestly say that I have had (absolutely plutonic) coworkers who knew me better. He was neglected as a child and while I saw those ramifications when we started dating as teens, I didn't realize that those issues we so ingrained in him, that they would strongly affect our marriage and his relationships with his children. I thought that his emotional disconnect, was specific to his relationship with his parents/siblings. Once I moved from friend to wife...is when I moved to his emotional back burner.  In our marriage, I was part of the problem, because I carried our marriage emotionally for probably 20 years. I was the one who raised/homeschooled the kids, took care of the home, and worked to help pay bills. He was a workaholic and prioritized his friends over myself and the kids. He would be gone for 5+ days at a time, and I wouldn't hear from him.  I should have stopped that sooner, but I was so busy doing everything, I didn't see the whole picture until it was too late. Due to his childhood neglect, he didn't like to be touched, so you can imagine how that affected a marriage. I didn't figure out for about 15 years, that he only tolerated that part of our marriage. So, absolutely no sizzle. LOL I will always love him and hope that we will always be friends....just like it probably should have been from the start (instead of marriage). 

This is nearly to a T my parent’s relationship. Just add in that my dad is also terrible with money. They split just as I was marrying and moving out. My dad is profoundly unable to maintain emotional intimacy but remains a really nice guy. He and my mom are still friends. She remarried (nearly 20 years ago!) and her husband is completely different than my dad and very precious to us. 
 

I have cultivated a lot of forgiveness for my dad as I’ve recognized just how much his childhood neglect formed his shortcomings in relationships. 

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7 hours ago, gardenmom5 said:

Married 39 years.

marriage goes through phases, just as parenting a child goes through phases.  Life goes through phases.   Much depends what else is going on in your life.  There were times, I felt like we were roommates - but he was building a business, and I had other things and I didn't have as much time either.

Sizzling with romance tends to be pretty superficial.  It's the frosting - it tastes good, but it lacks substance and won't hold a relationship together.  However . . .  We're playful, we can be silly together.  It's relaxed, comfortable. We don't take ourselves seriously.  with older kids, we now have more time to be just us, not mom or dad.  (and we can take off for a couple days - important for dh to get away from the house - without as much planning.) when kids are younger, it's more of an effort.

above all, we trust each other to value the relationship, we can talk.  We also know each other so well, we can read each other.

I agree and yet at the same time, I was serious above when I said that the sizzle (and just to be clear, I mean really good sex) was the only thing that held us together at certain points. When we were in conflict in nearly every other way, that physical bond was a life line. We’re also both profoundly stubborn (this both helps and hurts our relationship 😂). 
 

So while it can be superficial, sex is also a gift that can serve a real function in sustaining a marriage. 

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3 hours ago, sassenach said:

I agree and yet at the same time, I was serious above when I said that the sizzle (and just to be clear, I mean really good sex) was the only thing that held us together at certain points. When we were in conflict in nearly every other way, that physical bond was a life line. We’re also both profoundly stubborn (this both helps and hurts our relationship 😂). 
 

So while it can be superficial, sex is also a gift that can serve a real function in sustaining a marriage. 

I agree with this.  There are biological reasons why this works as well to bond people. 

I also agree with others who have talked about how some very difficult situations which came close to breaking us, ultimately brought us together even closer.

I have to say that in my case, there were times when our commitment to our vows were what kept us together until we could get past some of those tough times.  (It wasn't the only thing but it was an aspect.) 

Edited by Jean in Newcastle
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3 hours ago, sassenach said:

I agree and yet at the same time, I was serious above when I said that the sizzle (and just to be clear, I mean really good sex) was the only thing that held us together at certain points. When we were in conflict in nearly every other way, that physical bond was a life line. We’re also both profoundly stubborn (this both helps and hurts our relationship 😂). 
 

So while it can be superficial, sex is also a gift that can serve a real function in sustaining a marriage. 

There is a big difference between keeping that "sizzle" between the couple - and loudly proclaiming how "invigorating" (or whatever term) a relationship is to the tabloids (or other audience) as "proof the relationship is great"  - I was referring to the latter.

 

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Married 28 years at ages 20 and 26.  First marriage for both of us. For the record, I do think there are a few good, valid reasons for divorce.

I'm an INTJ and my husband is an ISTJ, so we're not people wired for romance like the typical people in Western culture has been conditioned to believe in the last 2-3 centuries.  I also read a lot of history, so I'm not prone to thinking romance is a requirement for marriage.  I'm of the very unpopular opinion that Shakespeare's plays (the ones involve romance) have been bad for society and women all along, and so are modern day romance novels/Rom-Coms.

Did we have romantic feelings and sexual chemistry for each other that come with young love in the beginning?  Yes.  Do we still? Yes. Has the intensity of those changed? Of course, we're more mature now and have a better understanding about life. We know there's much more to life and marriage than those things. We've been through serious, major issues that destroy many marriages. We were basically roommates with privileges for about 5-7 years in the midst of it when he walked away from our shared faith and we had to rebuild an entirely new mixed marriage from the wreckage when we almost divorced. Now we have old love. Old love is deeper and quieter  because it's been tried in the fires of life and survived.

Marriage is bigger than me anyway. Religiously, as a conservative Protestant Christian, marriage is meant to be a parallel of the future marriage of Jesus Christ and The Church Universal (His followers.)  Sociologically, it's about the rearing of children in stable environments with their parents, again in parallel of God the Father to His children. The idea of marriage exclusively for personal gratification and fulfillment is a very low of marriage in my eyes.

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28 years. I’ve read through the entire thread, and now I can’t remember what the choices were! 

We had lots of sizzle up until a few years ago when I went through the change. And it really was a dramatic CHANGE. I’ve really struggled with this. Especially because he’s freakin HOT. 😭

We are much more than roommates or friends. He is the ONLY person in the world I feel safe with. 

We are also partners and a team. We complement each other really well as in my strengths balance out his weaknesses and vice versa. 

We have had some really really rough years, but divorce was never an option. I will say that just due to my personality, there have been times when I longed to live alone. He understands ((finally)) my need for solitude, so I have a bedroom in the basement. 80% of the time we sleep together, but sometimes i’ll Retreat after dinner each night to the basement—for a few nights at a time. 

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Chiming back in on the friendship issue. I married a good friend and think that’s an important part of our marriage. But my dh is not my only good friend. And he doesn’t always get me. There are some things that my girl friends understand much better than he does, for example. 

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