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Re: Making marriage last
Old 07-19-2006, 09:31 AM   #41
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Re: Making marriage last

I guess everyone’s views will vary; I like his approach as I favor a more right wing faith based approach to marriage, while this works for me and my wife, others will not like it and want a more left/balanced approach.

For this I recommend:

Settle For More by Tom Merrill, Bobbie Sandoz-Merrill
And
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by Gottman

My wife and I did Gottman’s seminar when we lived in Seattle in 2002, he and his wife were nice people and it really helped communication issues.

I believe marriage is like people, everyone has its uniqueness and differences. You cannot generalize or clump them into groups.
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Re: Making marriage last
Old 07-19-2006, 09:38 AM   #42
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Re: Making marriage last

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnlw
After being married for about 8 years, I came home one day from work and my wife says to me: "I've decided to become Catholic"...*

There are classes that adults can take (RCIA) to become Catholic. I attended the classes with her just because I was curious about it. At the end, she became a Catholic and I didn't (I had no intention, I'm not religious).

Our daughters have attended Catholic Schools their entire lives (The older one decided to not confirm and does not consider herself Catholic. The younger one does consider herself Catholic and will confirm next year.) Occasionally, I will attend Mass when my youngest daughter is singing, she's the Cantor and lead chorister for the children's Choir.

There have been some pretty funny moments caused from the mixtures in faith (or lack thereof). About* a year ago,my younger daughter was scheduled to sing at a special song and bible reading at the church. The director of the choir asked my wife if she would do a reading. My wife, who has no desire to speak in front of a crowd, asked her if it was OK for our oldest daughter to do the reading, she said sure, that was fine. So, when my oldest daughter finds out about this she says: "I'm not doing it... I don't want so speak in front of a crowd either". So, non-religious Dad stepped into the breach and did the reading. Afterward, one of the regular "Old church ladies" came up to me and said: "You did a wonderful job, you speak with a lot of authority".

Married 24 years and still going strong.
I was raised Lutheran, went to a Catholic school and now speak Arabic and work with Muslims. I beleive in faith, not relegion.

I feel that if someone looks at the Bible/Torah/Qu'ran and focuses on the aspects to make yourself a better person, be kind and help others, don't lie, cheat, and steal, etc. It will make you a better person.

Misinterpretation of these values by relegions is the problem.

You can look at any book, fatih or ideology and find flaws and negative points. I focus on enhancing/living the good and disregarding/avoiding the bad.

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Re: Making marriage last
Old 07-19-2006, 09:56 AM   #43
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Re: Making marriage last

I cannot fathom how anyone with more than a room temperature IQ doesn't see that Dobson is a gasbag piece of **** spewing hatred and filth everywhere he goes.

"Some people bring happiness wherever they go. Others when they go..."

- Oscar Wilde

As for the religion thing in marriage, I think people of different faiths can stay happily married so long as they respect each other and come to an understanding. I'm Catholic, DW is not religious. She understands that my faith is important to me and I regard it as part of my legacy to my kids. I understand that she is not much interested in organized religion. The kids will be raised Catholic and go to Catholic schools, but they will be encouraged to learn about, underrstand and respect other religions. Seems to work.
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Re: Making marriage last
Old 07-19-2006, 10:22 AM   #44
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Re: Making marriage last

I turned from Christain to Atheist about 2-3 years ago, but we both married as christains. Its a bit of a stuggle (e.g. naturally, i don't want to go to church and she does), and we have concern over our son getting mixed signals, but we make it. I'm not so sure i can go as far as saying she respects my beliefs (by definition, that's pretty difficult for a christain to do), but we manage. Mostly, just not talking about it works.
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Re: Making marriage last
Old 07-19-2006, 10:46 AM   #45
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Re: Making marriage last

Quote:
Originally Posted by PsyopRanger
I guess everyone’s views will vary; I like his approach as I favor a more right wing faith based approach to marriage, while this works for me and my wife, others will not like it and want a more left/balanced approach.

For this I recommend:...
Sounds like your marriage has benefitted from a number of outside guidance, books, seminars, etc. I hope all this reflects a desire to deepen the union. I applaud the effort and time you have devoted to it and wish you many years of continued bliss.

We've made it 35 years (and going strong) based on our personal package of compromise, honesty, luck, and love. We just quietly row our boat.

Not every couple needs or wants outside direction. *Personally, I stay away from making marriage recommendations to anyone -- sometimes even when asked (which is not infrequent given our blessed track record).

From what I see on the web, Dobson would not be on our list if we did want a marriage book.
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Re: Making marriage last
Old 07-19-2006, 10:51 AM   #46
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Re: Making marriage last

Quote:
Originally Posted by unclemick2
Where does a 29 year one night stand fit in this discussion?
Had a ten year one of those...screwed it up by moving in with her and attempting this thing they call a "relationship"...
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Re: Making marriage last
Old 07-19-2006, 11:38 AM   #47
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Re: Making marriage last

Rich, I like your "rowing the boat" image..

Sometimes I have thought of it more as a three-legged race (NO JOKES.. you know what I mean!) but rowing is right on because you can't verbally analyse (or over-analyse) it. More constant and peaceful where you can feel when you are in synch and when you might need to adjust. Sometimes someone has to take over the oars for a time.

It helps when you start out deciding to go in the same direction, too!
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Re: Making marriage last
Old 07-19-2006, 11:40 AM   #48
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Re: Making marriage last

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina


More constant and peaceful where you can feel when you are in synch and when you might need to adjust. Sometimes someone has to take over the oars for a time.
I know you said no jokes, but if you keep tossing gimmes over the plate, someone is going to hit them out of the park.
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Re: Making marriage last
Old 07-19-2006, 01:13 PM   #49
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Re: Making marriage last

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina
Rich, I like your "rowing the boat" image..
I like that image too. We are through our whitewater kyaking stage and into the row boating stage! Less drama, more relaxing.

As far as the religion/Dobson thing... I'm all for people having their religious faiths, I'm just not for religious hypocrites/authoritarians politicizing religion and condeming others.
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Re: Making marriage last
Old 07-19-2006, 09:14 PM   #50
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Re: Making marriage last

We haven't found it necessary to consciously "work" on our marriage. Are we in a minority here? 15 very happy years.....

We chose not to have any children. Does that put stress on a marriage or help it?

We both had the LBYM point of view. We never endured financial struggles although the early years were a bit lean (little savings). Financial stress must be terribly hard on a marriage.

We think our biggest strength is that we have a great deal in common - interests and life philosophy. We tremendously enjoy doing things together. FIRE has been awesome because we've been able to do so much together. We're a great team.

Of course we have the deepest respect for each other. I'm sure that must be the foundation. Without a deep respect and trust for your partner - no marriage can last very long.

And at this point there are so many good years of good feelings towards each other - like a huge bank account. Hard to deplete that kind of investment and trust.

Audrey
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Re: Making marriage last
Old 07-19-2006, 09:45 PM   #51
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Re: Making marriage last

Quote:
Originally Posted by audreyh1
We haven't found it necessary to consciously "work" on our marriage. Are we in a minority here?
We may be a minority, but the thread seemed to veer toward lots of worldly recommendations about self-help books, seminars, rules to follow, charismatic experts and the like .

I'm with you. The kind of "w*rk" required for a lasting marriage is more about compromising, commiserating, being fair, respect and all the other cliches. At this stage, I am not even aware of doing any of that stuff -- it is just part of our molecules after 35 years.

Quote:
And at this point there are so many good years of good feelings towards each other - like a huge bank account. Hard to deplete that kind of investment and trust.
GREAT analogy!
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Re: Making marriage last
Old 07-19-2006, 09:56 PM   #52
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Re: Making marriage last

audrey & doc,

Thanks for steering this thread a different direction. For a while there I was beginning to think our marriage was in deep trouble and might not make it past the first 38 years.

(I cannot imagine the reaction I would get from DW if I suggested a Dobson book or better yet, a seminar.)


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Re: Making marriage last
Old 07-20-2006, 05:03 AM   #53
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Re: Making marriage last

audrey, Rich, and REWahoo, you are NOT alone.

I can't imagine where a marriage would have to be w*rk.

Yes, it takes the same minimal level of respect and mutual cultivation as any other relationship, but if you feel like this is not happening naturally with your partner, I'm not sure how w*rking on it will change things dramatically. There's no magic bullet, and I wonder if all the seminars and therapy might not just stir up just as many 'issues' as they resolve. [I just can't imagine telling DH "you're not responsive to my needs..."!]

I am not super-religious, but when I married my Catholic husband, I made a promise that was for forever. Not just until something better came along. When you both understand this and take marriage seriously, then the rest is cake.

I was fortunate to get married later in life (we just celebrated our 6th anniversary). I think "kids today" who get married often do it for the wrong reasons and overlook the warning signs. Our niece, now 32, got married a couple years back. She's a beautiful girl, and he was a handsome guy; they met at some beach resort. Soon, her mother was planning the wedding dress, etc. while Niece was busily compiling her massive and costly gift registry. When it came time to have the pre-wedding meetings with the priest, hubby-to-be was a continual no-show, so Niece went alone.

Boooo-Weeep! Booo-Weeeep! Danger! Danger! Will Robinson!

Divorced almost inside of a year. He was already seeing another woman.* *:P
And damn, we are out 400 bucks' worth of crystal glasses!

---
I had a big e-mail xchange with my sister (the Republican) about the religiousity factor and marriage/divorce.

Statistics tell an interesting story, which I read as.. the more "Bible-thumpy" you are on the Protestant Christian scale, the more likely you are to get divorced!:

21% of atheists and agnostics have divorced
21% of Catholics and Lutherans have divorced
24% of Mormons
25% of the population as a whole
25% "mainline" Protestant
27% of "born-again" Christians have divorced (I think this group is self-described and could overlap into the others)
29% of Baptists have divorced
34% of "Evangelicals" have divorced

And these figures are from a Born-Again group...
http://www.thegoodsteward.com/articl...?articleID=115

In discussing these figures, rationales are offered up, such as lower income and the tendency to get married earlier, but I haven't seen the figures broken down by age, income, education.. which would be interesting. Of course, the percentage could be misleading since fewer marriages => fewer divorces.

Using a more valuable yardstick, we see that places in the "Bible Belt" have a much higher divorce RATE than the overall population. It runs (roughly) something like 6-7/1000 (divorces/marriages yearly) for places like TX, OK and 2-3/1000 for CT and MA, compared to 4-5/1000 for the whole US.

Even if nothing is really proven about the holy rollers' having a worse record when it comes to marriage and divorce, the best-case scenario we could charitably infer is that they are NO DIFFERENT FROM ANYONE ELSE.. and that all the "Promise Keeping" and "Focus on the Family" over the last 20 years hasn't made any impact whatsoever.* But that's still the best case, IMO. I mean, you are talking a rate in Oklahoma that is TRIPLE that of Massachusetts.

Quote:
Marriage itself is less popular in Texas than in Massachusetts. In Texas, the percent of people unmarried is 32.4 percent; in Massachusetts, it's 26.8 percent. So even with a higher marriage rate, Massachusetts manages a divorce rate almost half of its "conservative" rival.
http://www.andrewsullivan.com/main_a...rtnum=20041128


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Re: Making marriage last
Old 07-20-2006, 06:43 AM   #54
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Re: Making marriage last

This Methodist was married at 19 years old (which was way too young) and we were very poor, so the financial stress was huge. I was also very immature. Marriage was very hard work back in the day. We also believe that marriage is forever, so we are going on 34 years in Oct. Children can definitely add to the stress of a marriage, but they are also a blessing and add to a marriage. My DH and I have basically grown up together, shared our life together and are best friends. We know each other better than anyone else knows us and have our history together. Our children, 26 and 17, are almost grown and we no longer have the financial stress. My son is not married and I hope that my DD waits to get married also. I consider myself very fortunate not to be divorced. I wonder if we had had the money to get a divorce early in our marriage, if we would still be married. I would hope so, but we had a very stormy time for a few years. Thank goodness we were poor!



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Re: Making marriage last
Old 07-20-2006, 07:00 AM   #55
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Re: Making marriage last

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!

(I cannot imagine the reaction I would get from DW if I suggested a Dobson book or better yet, a seminar.)


I can imagine the reaction of my DW, at least once I explained who and what that creature spews: she'd tell me to go by myself! After all, she knows I will often listen to Fundamentalist nutballs on the radio for the pleasure of laughing at them. Its also good to listen to them in the car to stay awake ("irritainment").
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Re: Making marriage last
Old 07-20-2006, 07:16 AM   #56
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Re: Making marriage last

Remember "marriage encounter" from the 70s? It was essentially group therapy for couples who had "good" marriages and just wanted to "take it to the next level."

Every couple we knew who partook (maybe 3 or 4) later divorced. The seeds were sown. No judgment intended - sometimes two good people just shouldn't stay together, but I think the prognosis seems to vary indirectly with the amount of w*rk needed to keep it alive. It does take some, to be sure, but you just don't notice it in the good ones.

BTW, I am not alluding to any of the posts or posters in this thread -- these were offered in a totally different context and in an informal and helpful spirit. I'm just referring to folks I have known over the years.
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Re: Making marriage last
Old 07-20-2006, 07:24 AM   #57
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Re: Making marriage last

Hmmm

I look at marriage, golf and voting Republican as maybe ok for some people - but just not my cup of tea.

heh heh heh
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Re: Making marriage last
Old 07-20-2006, 07:56 AM   #58
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Re: Making marriage last

I would also add your age as a factor; it seems older couples stay together longer than us young ones.* Current stats are up to 55-65% of marriages end in divorce.* I wonder if it is a generational thing?*

It seems my generation wants everything yesterday and has little patience to wait.*
Many of my friends who have divorced say that they had this expectation of what a marriage should be and when it did not meet that expectation, they blamed their spouse and decided they married the wrong person.

I also wonder how many people stay together but are not truly happy and do not divorce because of vlaues they grew up with?

I also agree on someone’s point on sacrifice, one thing marriage has taught me is to not be so selfish.*

As far as Dobson, I guess I only read his books; I don’t look into his personal crusades or political background?

As far a debating relgion, it is a futile effort.





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Re: Making marriage last
Old 07-20-2006, 09:02 AM   #59
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Re: Making marriage last

Quote:
As far as Dobson, I guess I only read his books; I don’t look into his personal crusades or political background?* As far a debating relgion, it is a futile effort.
Fair enough, PsyOp.. I didn't mean to impugn anyone on the board, and, until lately, I never worried much about politics and religion. It's only that Dobson (among others) have pushed their fairly extreme religious views into the supposed political 'mainstream'. The current admin. hardly makes a move without hearing from Dobson personally. So I just thought it was fair game to point out some of the hypocrisy...

I don't mean to attack anyone's religious beliefs in a personal context. I will take issue with them in a political context (where they themselves have placed them, not I). An American Taliban we don't need.

"Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's..", etc.

You are right that many people have crazy expectations about marriage. Maybe they are looking for somone else to "complete" them and help resolve their 'issues'? Then when they discover that this person has their own 'issues', the two things together overload their circuits.

One of Martha's original five main points was financial problems.. of the two couples I know in choppy waters, finances are a biggie. Not so much the lack of money as 180°-opposite views of how to handle it responsibly.

Quote:
Poor communication
Financial problems
A lack of commitment to the marriage
A dramatic change in priorities
Infidelity
Of the remaining ones, I would say ALL of them boil down to "a lack of commitment to the marriage." I would even argue that allowing financial problems to break up your home is also "a lack of commitment to the marriage." There! how's that for intolerance!?!?*
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Re: Making marriage last
Old 07-20-2006, 09:14 AM   #60
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Re: Making marriage last

Quote:
Originally Posted by audreyh1
We haven't found it necessary to consciously "work" on our marriage.* Are we in a minority here?* 15 very happy years.....

We chose not to have any children.* Does that put stress on a marriage or help it?

We both had the LBYM point of view.* We never endured financial struggles although the early years were a bit lean (little savings).* Financial stress must be terribly hard on a marriage.

We think our biggest strength is that we have a great deal in common - interests and life philosophy.* We tremendously enjoy doing things together.* FIRE has been awesome because we've been able to do so much together.* We're a great team.

Of course we have the deepest respect for each other.* I'm sure that must be the foundation.* Without a deep respect and trust for your partner - no marriage can last very long.

And at this point there are so many good years of good feelings towards each other - like a huge bank account.* Hard to deplete that kind of investment and trust.

Audrey
Amen, sister.*
Our situation exactly (married 13 yrs).*
Thanks for giving us the words and hope for our own FIRE!
Sarah
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