Jump to content
Goodbye Jesus

What Have You Done Right In Your Relationship?


decafaholic

Recommended Posts

A lot of people post here about having problems in their romantic relationships (I've posted several times along those lines!) yet I know there must be some people on the board who are in happy, committed relationships.

 

Come out wherever you are and tell us what you and your partner do to make the relationship a success! Also, if your partner is deceased, talk about what made your relationship great when he/she was alive.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Note: All Regularly Contributing Patrons enjoy Ex-Christian.net advertisement free.
A lot of people post here about having problems in their romantic relationships (I've posted several times along those lines!) yet I know there must be some people on the board who are in happy, committed relationships.

 

Come out wherever you are and tell us what you and your partner do to make the relationship a success! Also, if your partner is deceased, talk about what made your relationship great when he/she was alive.

 

My wife is a believing Christian, I am an atheistic ex-Christian. We accept each others differences, recognizing that we are still individuals, but committed to each others success; because her success is mine, and vice versa. So, in effect, we live both as one and as individuals; existing in the balance between the two extremes. I don't try to convert her, nor does she try to convert me. This respect for each others individualism, I think, has been the key to the past 13 years of marriage.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

lol, you can think of this as "The Love Dare" for the godless!

That would make a great book, by the way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My partner is laid back, easy going and not much bothers her at all. I on the other hand am high-strung, go like I'm on speed, and tend to be bitchy and have things my way or no way. I made this very clear to her from the start. We were friends long before we were lovers. I think the biggest thing that makes things work for us is that we're very honest with each other, there's no jealousy, and we tend to see and cherish the good things about each other and look past the rest. There's a lot we could bitch about, but there's a lot to be happy about and thankful for too, and that's what we look at.

 

Also... My past relationships failed in part because of financial problems. With Danielle it's totally different. We both have great jobs and we don't worry much about money, which is a complete and total first in my life.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not a whole lot when it comes to women, but the cat and I seem to get along.

 

 

I think the biggest thing I learned was to just cooperate and obey all commands. LOL

 

 

Seriously, though.......... I think communication is often the key. Now that I'm a little older, I just ask (her) about how she feels about things.

 

 

The problem for us guys is sometimes that which worked well in one relationship doesn't work in another. My recent disaster featured all sorts of things that I wasn't expecting. It was almost as though she wanted to maintain a slight level of conflict at all times. Maybe she got off on that; but I'm kind of an easy-going guy and I like harmony when I'm with someone I like and care about.

 

Sometimes the "right thing" to do is to note the warning signs and get out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chad and I have been together 10 years which I attribute to a few things...

 

- We try our best to communicate when something is wrong rather than holding things in

- We try our best to be civil when we argue/disagree

- We don't go to bed angry - we resolve the problem before we go to sleep

- We made it clear to each other early on that we both want the relationship to succeed and we continue to tell each other that. It helps to know that when things aren't going well - you know that the other person still wants to be with you and that they want to resolve the issue too.

- We make sure to spend some time each week doing things together.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been married twice and had a number of serious relationships over the years. I'm currently in a polyandrous V with my spouse and another man; I sort of have two husbands, if you will.

 

The first marriage was a miserable failure. We were together for 2 years before we married; it ended in divorce just under 4 years later. What killed the relationship was a total lack of emotional connection, and a distinct lack of open communication. I spent 4 frustrating years banging my head against an emotionless wall, then gave up and left. I now use my first marriage as a yardstick for helping me figure out how well my current marriage is doing, because my first marriage taught me so much about what NOT to do to keep a relationship going that I'd be a fool not to use the experience that way.

 

The second marriage has been sometimes rocky but is overall good, even thriving. We actually talk to each other - we open up our mouths and tell each other what's going on in our heads and how we're feeling. And we argue. In fact we like to argue, about all sorts of things: politics, chores, news, whose turn it is to do the dishes, how we feel, who fucked up this week, our relationship, whatever comes up.

 

I never knew before this relationship how useful a good, clear argument can be for defusing an issue quickly and getting stuff out and on the table and dealt with. The ex sought to avoid arguments at all costs; whenever heated issues came up, he immediately stopped talking... which meant that so many things built up and never got resolved. Arguments then ended in explosive emotional meltdowns on his part. They don't end that way now - we never even get there at all, because we hash shit out right when it comes up. But both my partners now handle arguments differently: legal spouse charges right into them with me, second spouse is more avoidant, so he'll vanish for awhile and then come back later when he's calmed down.

 

In this marriage there's actually personal interaction too. Something else I didn't know was how nice it is to walk into a room and have your spouse look up and smile and say hello, and have friendly body language and be interested in you and your day. Letting people have space also helps, as long as you come back together again later and talk or hang out. So does asking for what you want as clearly as you can.

 

I don't take abusive bullshit from partners anymore either. I call them on it. I think people can have a bad day and fight dirty once in awhile or something like that, but there's a difference between a rare "bad day" and a pattern of ongoing abuse. I've learned to take a partner's reaction to my calling them on something abusive as a good measure of whether or not things are going to work out okay: do they apologize and admit they were wrong to be abusive? Or are they offended and angry that I pointed their crap out? Do they blame me?

 

Someone adult enough to own their own shit and apologize for being a jerk is a good catch. Someone who treats people like crap and blames everybody else for it isn't worth your time.

 

Stuff like that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My wife and I get along great. I am her third marriage and she is my first. We have been married for almost 17 years, her other two marriages lasted less than two years each. We have a 16 year old son. My wife and I are both disabled people and we help each other out when we are feeling bad. When we first got married, we made somethings a priority and there are some things that are not worth arguing about, such as leftovers or some other piddly ass thing. We hardly ever argue and we never physically fight with each other. I do not like getting beat on and would not stick around if that were how we solved things. I know she would not physically fight with me because she comes from an abusive family and abusive marriages. There are things worth arguing about and other things are just a waste of air to argue about. I am not a stick in the mud about cleaning house. I can run a vacuum as easy as anyone else and I know how to run a dishwasher too. I don't care what's for dinner or lunch cuz I am not a picky eater. I starved too much when I was younger. Now, when it comes to beer, my wife does not care that I make my own beer and on occasion, I make wine too. She buys my favorite beer, Guinness, when shopping to make me happy and I buy her games for her game machine to make her happy. She does not ask much out of me and she is easy to please. She never screams at me because she knows screaming sets off my PTSD and that is not good for either of us. We have a fairly quiet household. We have never had the cops involved in our relationship.

 

Our kid gets mad because he tries to play us against each other like he sees his friends do their parents, and we don't fall for it. I got married at 36, my wife was 26, we've both been through the mill, so to speak, and we are firmly committed to each other. No one gets between us. Not even the kid.

 

Our favorite thing to say to each other when the times get tough is, 'it's you and me against the world!' We do not allow anyone to come between us, we do not choose sides with anyone and we will not tolerate someone bad-mouthing one of us, even if it's true--it's our problem not theirs. I had a religious friend that tried to throw a wrench into our relationship a few years ago and he is no longer considered a friend. We do not let religious people preach to us about how we live, or how we talk (which is pretty coarse at times but that is just the way we talk, we grew up hard, we talk hard and we play hard.) My wife's parents tried to break us up several years ago, because we moved away from the god-almighty state of Colorado, and it backfired on them because my wife told them to piss off and not come around anymore. We both have friends and we do not demand each other like each other's friends. We are married to each other, not our friends.

 

I do not tell my wife what to do even if she asks me to decide. I tell her what I would do but I do not make her choices for her. She has her own bank account and I have mine. We both know the bills have to be paid so we stick to a budget by writing out all the bills we have coming in the month and subtract that amount from the amount of money in our accounts. Then we know how much money we have to play with the rest of the month. Always go by the amount showing in the check book, not the statement or what the ATM shows. If we actually have a couple hundred dollars left over then we divide that by the days in the month and that tells us how much we can spend on groceries or how much we can spend a day or save, which isn't very often. That is how we do a budget and it works for us. The idea is to cooperate with each other and not spend in spite of each other.

 

I believe we get along great because we made that choice. We are a team and we can handle any hurdle that life throws at us.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chad and I have been together 10 years which I attribute to a few things...

 

- We try our best to communicate when something is wrong rather than holding things in

- We try our best to be civil when we argue/disagree

- We don't go to bed angry - we resolve the problem before we go to sleep

- We made it clear to each other early on that we both want the relationship to succeed and we continue to tell each other that. It helps to know that when things aren't going well - you know that the other person still wants to be with you and that they want to resolve the issue too.

- We make sure to spend some time each week doing things together.

 

My partner Matt and I have also been together for over ten years now (12/06/98) and we follow pretty much TexasFreethinker’s formula above. We share so much in common, and yet there are areas where we diverge quite a bit too. Matt is much more high-strung, and anxious than I am. Things that don’t bother me at all can make him miserable (and bitchy). I have had to learn what sets him off and what signs to look for. At first it used to bother me to always be conscious of what Matt is feeling, but after awhile you realize (if you are lucky) that your efforts are reciprocated.

 

I think money can play a huge role in whether or not a relationship will survive. Both of us share the same philosophy when it comes to money (Except for the mortgage, no debt ever!! We pay cash for everything.) We never argue about money and that is a big plus.

 

You need to laugh together. Every chance we get we love to get a little wasted (pot and a few cocktails) and put on something fun, like right now we are going through a phase where we watch old Carole Burnett programs and laugh ourselves silly. I love watching Matt laugh; nothing makes me feel as secure in my love for him as to have him laugh with me.

 

Matt also enjoys things that bore me to tears. He loves opera and I find it not just boring, but plain painful to listen too. He has friends outside of our relationship where he can find someone to enjoy this with. Matt usually takes a vacation or two every year without me. I don’t mind at all and enjoy having the house to myself for awhile. I like knowing that he has interests and friends beyond just me.

 

IBF

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 years and a few "commandments..."

 

1) The one whose issue it isn't shall not become more involved, emotional, outraged or problem-solving about the issue than the one whose issue it is.

 

2) When talk becomes too heated or sensitive, the use of three minutes on the timer shall be employed, and the talker shall shut up at the sound of the Ding, listen to the other until the sound of the Ding, repeating this alternation until there's an agreed-upon conclusion or postponement.

 

3) Neither shall ever neglect to laugh at established inside jokes, no matter how many times the other enlists them.

 

4) Neither shall pay much attention to the inevitable evidence of the other's aging process.

 

5) Each shall be solicitous when the other is in physical or emotional pain; neither shall emphasize physical or emotional pain unnecessarily.

 

6) Both shall be good sports a few times a year and do something s/he doesn't like much, simply because the other likes it very much.

 

7) Parenting shall always appear to the children as parents-united, even when there's private (but temporarily resolved) disagreement between the parents.

 

8) Identical ethical convictions and moral principles shall be shared by both; divergent interests, however, shall be encouraged.

 

9) Mutual laughing jags shall be frequent and appreciated.

 

10)Taking up the slack for the other, when such is necessary, shall appear as effortless and as an act of affection (no matter how taxing or resented it actually is).

 

And did I mention laughing...? ... a whole lot of laughing...?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, we are both ex-christians so we haven't any tension there. In fact I'd say we've helped one another get through some of it. I think the secret to our relationship is that we don't take one another for granted ... ever. We were separated by over 3000 miles for way too long so I love ever second I get with him. Beyond that, we talk A LOT. We share our goals and try to support each other in everything. We joke around a lot, and try not to take everything too seriously. We're always a united front whenever there are any outside forces causing problems ... so we've always go each other's back, and when ever we do have an "issue" that causes any tension, we talk about it before it festers up and gets too big for the both of us. I guess it all boils down to openness. We promised to always be open with one another, and even when that get's scary we just suck it up and spit it out. No topic is sacred ... seriously. Oh and another key ... great sex. :-) I think that's about the long and short of it. It works for us.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We are just laid-back folks, I guess. People like to say I'm high strung, but I'm not when it comes to relationships. We hardly ever fight, and unlike some of the other posters, we DO go to bed angry. LOL. We think it's very important and that sleeping on it gives a fresh perspective. Fighting all night just doesn't sound like fun. I'd say we have about one or two arguments per year and they generally last about 5 minutes, but if they're at bedtime, they get slept on. We have never had a physical fight and Ive only called him an asswipe a couple of times. :-) I like profanity, so he just ignores it. It's not verbal assault; it's just my love of profanity.

 

Also, we like to keep a happy medium on most issues. When one goes out, the other is always invited, even if it's unspoken. However, we are smart enough to not always grab up those invitations. Sometimes we'll go out separately once a month and sometimes it gets as frequent as twice per week. Who cares. I don't know why people fight about that stuff.

 

Another thing we keep a happy medium on is sharing household responsibilities. We split it about 60/40. I am more neurotic than he is, so get stuck with the 60. Okay, maybe 70. I deal -- why should he be punished because I'm neurotic?

 

Also, a big thing is the financial stuff. We are on the same page financially and that is a HUGE HUGE plus. Can't say enough about that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know that what I have (or what others have suggested, for that matter) is part of any magic formula, but here are some good elements between my wife and me that contribute to a good relationship:

 

We are not jealous. Since we happen to be exclusive and monogamous, we are also able to trust each other and relax. I noticed money mentioned before: there are several issues that are common points of contention that stress a marriage, these being two of them. Which brings me to...

 

that hard to describe attitude, no, more than an attitude, something you've really incorporated into your relationship that's something like this: you love each other, you are a family, you're here to stay, and you will work things out together. For example, I wish we were as harmonious about money matters as we are about our lack of jealousy. Well, while it's not perfect, we do work things out reasonably well, and what's more, there is no question that if we came into REALLY tough times we would still work through our money problems, even if it was tough and painful.

 

This one makes life SOOOOOO much better. When we have a disagreement, issue, argument, whatever, that we settle, we leave it in the past. I don't think either one of us has thrown an old argument in the other's face ever, during a subsequent disagreement or at any other time. We have an issue, we deal with it. If we've dealt with an issue in the past we don't throw it in the other's face, critically rehash anything that's been settled, pick fights with it, or otherwise use it as a weapon.

 

When we got married (or replace made a commitment, or decided/realized we were in it for the long term, etc.), we did not seek to change the other person. We made sure we could live with the other as is. If you think you need to "fix up" a person after you're together, it's just not going to happen. A nice side effect is that we just don't nag. Neither of us. We were both raised in nagging households, and it is really nice that we don't do it to each other.

 

We've also noticed that some people change after they've bagged a mate and others do not. Of course we all change over time, but what I mean is that some seem to put on an act until they're married or otherwise have the other "hooked" into a relationship, and then drop the act, let out their true colors or reveal some sort of agenda. Neither one of us changed in such a manner, and I think that is another aspect of a solid foundation to a good relationship.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I forgot to mention we never raise our voices (even if the word "asswipe" is used for some reason). :grin:

 

Also, like Shackled mentioned re: him and his wife, my husband and I are not jealous. In the almost decade we have known each other, I think jealousy has cropped up once, and it was short-lived. The way we see it is, if you have chosen a monogamous relationship and your spouse decides they want someone else, why would you want them anyway. No reason to be upset or jealous. Just shed them and move on. :eek:

 

I have seen a couple of people say choosing to be committed is important, and I agree. There are a few times when I haven't "felt" in love or "felt" like being married over the years, but I just remembered my commitment and also remembered that the grass usually isn't greener on the other side. After a few months or so (okay, in one case it was a couple of years) that loving "feeling" (because that's all it is...a feeling) came back and I was glad I hadn't done anything stupid.

 

It takes two, though, and you can't make someone else behave. Been there. Now I have a good one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Come out wherever you are and tell us what you and your partner do to make the relationship a success!

"We're just friends" isn't a success,right?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.