A question to all the married folks on this board...

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Gwyneth M905
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A question to all the married folks on this board...

Postby Gwyneth M905 » Sat Jan 17, 2009 5:58 pm

How do you know if you've finally found "the right one"?
What makes a good marriage work? What makes a "bad marriage" fail?
Does anyone here have a cross-cultural marriage? If so, what did you do to make it work out? Dhanyavad!

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Re: A question to all the married folks on this board...

Postby swp » Sat Jan 17, 2009 7:24 pm

Gwyneth M905 wrote:How do you know if you've finally found "the right one"?

you don't. you make it the right one. you work at it.

Gwyneth M905 wrote:What makes a good marriage work?

hard work. common interests. making the other one feel special. laughter. cause. in some cases, not all, raising children together. growing (sic) old and older together. so many more things, so little hard drive space in the universe.

Gwyneth M905 wrote:What makes a "bad marriage" fail?

lack of the above.

Gwyneth M905 wrote:Does anyone here have a cross-cultural marriage? If so, what did you do to make it work out? Dhanyavad!

Bewitched, bothered and bewildered,
Gwyneth

I know many people with cross-cultural marriages. They come in many forms. My wife is an Italian mafia princess from the Philadelphia area, and I am an army brat that has been around the world more than a few times. (Yes, those are the kids in the picture. Guess which side they take after.) Another example, in Florida a Gators fan and a Seminoles fan getting married is considered cross-cultural. A Cubs fan and a White Sox fan getting together is considered a mixed marriage in Chicago. The marriage of James Carville and Mary Matalin is another example. Mr. Patel and Ms. O'toole, both of whom I work with, are from strikingly dissimilar ethnic backgrounds and cultures. They all do the same thing. They find common ground and work at it. Marriage is not a passive activity.
swp

reddragon70
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Postby reddragon70 » Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:50 pm

Oh damn that is a tricky one.

I have had loads of relationships I believed were "The one". All went the way of the top hat and the pocket watch.

I dont know what makes the special one. I guess its different for every person. All I can do is relate my philosophy on this. And its probably wrong, innacurate or just way off mark.

What makes the one for me is the following

They share my passions, be it books, films, just life in general

They laugh at my pretty duff jokes. Perhaps politely but with a humouring and kindly intent.

Most of all though... There has to be an attraction there. And who the hell can explain that one? I dont just mean sexual. I mean intelectual, physical, sexual, spiritual and god alone knows what else.

Conclusion? Its not the person you meet. Its the person you see in the person you meet.

Which is probably a load of voodoo bullshit.

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Postby Alan Coil » Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:52 pm

As a currently de-married person, I really can't help much.

But I can speak about finding the right one. I found the right one yesterday. The day before, too. And the day before that. She might be a cashier at the grocery store. She might be in the car next to mine at the stoplight. She might even be a stranger walking down the street. She might be someone I've known for over 35 years. She might be someone I've only known for a few months.

In short, she can be any woman. My fantasy world is immense. My most recent right one is Katie Perry, who sings "I Kissed A Girl". (I think that is how her name is spelled.) I saw her the first time just a few days ago in a commercial for a contest to sing with her at the Grammy Awards.

My response may seem flippant, but many women might be the right one for me. Is there a soul mate for me? I think there is, but she is currently married, so I must hold my tongue and bide my time until she comes back into my life, if ever.

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Re: A question to all the married folks on this board...

Postby David Loftus » Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:58 am

Gwyneth M905 wrote:How do you know if you've finally found "the right one"?


You don't know; you never know; you decide.

Actually, success in marriage has much less to do with "finding" the right person than BEING the right person. Becoming the person you want to be, the person you are, accepting who you are and can be (and cannot), and thereby moving into a much better position to make a relationship work with another person.


Gwyneth M905 wrote:What makes a good marriage work?


I don't think it's any one thing; different people have different talents, abilities, and strategies for success.

Ingredients that undoubtedly help, though: some shared values/points of view toward life and the world . . . treating each other with respect . . . being able to trust oneself, and thereby others . . . a strong and ready sense of humor . . . a willingness to let the other person be who he or she is, rather than trying to fix them . . . .


Gwyneth M905 wrote:What makes a "bad marriage" fail?


Self-centeredness, lack of consideration, inability to listen or see the other person's point of view, unwillingness to make compromises, lack of self-love and self-respect on the part of one or both parties.


Gwyneth M905 wrote:Does anyone here have a cross-cultural marriage? If so, what did you do to make it work out? Dhanyavad!


Not sure what qualifies as sufficiently cross-cultural: Japanese-Norwegian congenital atheist married to Polish-Ruthenian raised Roman Catholic and converted to Jew?

As I said, respect for one another's strengths, needs, desires, and ideas.
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus

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Re: A question to all the married folks on this board...

Postby Moderator » Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:12 am

Gwyneth M905 wrote:How do you know if you've finally found "the right one"?


Wow. Question of the ages. I agree with what's been said above by others, but to add my two cents in: you don't finally truly know until you're many years down the pike. But there's a comfort level, a trust factor that you need to have. That's first. Second, is he/she your best friend? Virtually every successful couple I know are best friends. Do you communicate? Communication is an absolutely essential part of any good long-term relationship. Do you believe in your heart that this person is one without whom your life is not complete? I'm not talking about love, or sex, I'm referring to some part of you inside that recognizes "My life would be much happier with this person in it than not."

Gwyneth M905 wrote:What makes a good marriage work?


Communication and trust. Without those two elements, no amount of love will get you past the early stages. You need to be able to honestly and truthfully talk, wihtout fear the other person is just trying to tear you down.

Communication and trust. (And love, of course.)

Gwyneth M905 wrote:What makes a "bad marriage" fail?


Entirely too many elements can do this. No single answer...

Gwyneth M905 wrote:Does anyone here have a cross-cultural marriage?


Cris comes from a Texas family, I'm from a DC family. And she's female, I'm male.

Gwyneth M905 wrote:Dhanyavad!


Bless you.

Gwyneth M905 wrote:Bewitched, bothered and bewildered,
Gwyneth


I would say that these are positive early signs of "the one". Or heartburn.


Last note: Cris attributes her happiness to my making her laugh; listening to her problems; thinking she's beautiful; and having her back regardless of the opponent and regardless of the problem.

Mine is because she lets me do all those things.
Last edited by Moderator on Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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FrankChurch
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Postby FrankChurch » Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:32 am

Marriage is slavery. hehe

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Postby reddragon70 » Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:14 am

Slavery? Oh hardly, after all those who have done it, myself included, did so voluntarily. No one forced me to get married. The wifes father with a shotgun had nothing to do with it ;)

I guess looking at the stats on divorve you will realise its half chance whether it works out or not. You would be as well to flip a coin and decide to marry or not based on that. But lets face it, that is not very romantic. So the best advice I can give is that should you marry then do so for the right reasons and do it without fear. If youre worried that things might go wrong then they normally will.

Oh and work at it. Comprimise. And try never to go to bed on an argument.

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Postby Moderator » Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:40 am

reddragon70 wrote:Oh and work at it. Compromise. And try never to go to bed on an argument.


Bingo.

No guarantees in life, but it can be wonderful.

(Then again, I'd be curious what Peggy and Mark -- who have recently gone through breakups -- would say differently from us. Sometimes knowing what other people view as mis-steps is as valuable as getting the thoughts from those that, hopefully, have done well.)

BTW - A friend of mine, Susan K. Perry, wrote a great little book entitled LOVING IN FLOW which you can get from Amazon.

( http://www.amazon.com/Loving-Flow-Happiest-Couples-Stay/dp/140220065X )

Other than the fact she missed one of the happiest couples she knows during the interview process, it's a really good sourcebook.
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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Jan
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Postby Jan » Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:19 pm

Does anyone here have a cross-cultural marriage?

German-American marriages work perfectly, if that's what you mean.
I suggest you stop talking behind my back!

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Postby David Loftus » Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:29 pm

reddragon70 wrote:I guess looking at the stats on divorve you will realise its half chance whether it works out or not.



This is one of those situations where statistics can mislead, or be employed in a careless or downright erroneous matter.

IF we accept as gospel the statistic that 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce (which I haven't seen firmly established, but let's accept it provisionally), that does not mean that YOUR -- or any particular person's -- marriage has a 50-50 chance of succeeding (or, as I would prefer to put it, lasting; I think it's entirely possible to call a marriage that ended in divorce a success, as well, because it comes down to how the parties involved define the matter, really).

For one very simple caveat, there are folks who have been divorced multiple times -- three, four, seven -- and there are those who have never been divorced. The former skew the statistics toward that 50 percent collective total, while the latter clearly have had a far less than 50-50 chance of "failing" (or, once again, ending) and presumably will in the future.

So one has to take care with one's wording on the matter, when addressing specific cases.
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus

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David Loftus
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Postby David Loftus » Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:33 pm

Or to put it more succinctly, my wife and I have a divorce between us, statistically speaking, but I personally have never been divorced.
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus

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Postby Moderator » Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:46 pm

And does not differentiate between one-time divorcees and multiple-offenders. (Reference is tongue in cheek, no offense intended.)
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Postby markabaddon » Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:53 pm

Gwynnie,

The questions you pose are ones I have asked myself a ton of times over the past two years. I am not entirely sure anyone know who "the right one" is, or if there is truly a "right one" for every person, but I can tell you some warning signs for spotting a wrong one. Pay attention to those closest around you (friends and family) react to your significant other. Now, if you have a parent who feels that no one will ever be good enough for their child, this can certainly be discounted, but if you notice a distance or a change in behavior around these people, pay attention to it, even if they will not speak to you about any specifics.

Also, pay attention to the frequency and nature of your fights. Conflict is a natural and healthy part of any relatonship, be it a spouse or a friend,, but if there seems to be an escalation in intensity or frequency without adequate resolution to the fight, then I would pay attention to that and explore the long term implications of a relationship more fully.

Take what I am saying with a grain of salt, as I may very well be working out some of my own demons and this may not be applicable to all relationships. Just drawing on my own experience here folks.

I do want to take slight issue with something my friend Mr. Barber said, that of being a best friend to the other. Don't buy it, sorry. Not to say that you should not be friends and close friends woth your partner, I feel that is essential. BUt I have seen too many relationships, including my own marriage, falter because one side relies far too heavily on the other for an outlet. I find it much healthier to have a strong support network outside of your partnership to help achieve more of a balance. Other than that, I agree completely with Steve's statements.

Along those lines, I agree with Steve's statements about what makes a marriage work, but feel he neglected one key component: sex. This may sound callous, shallow and crass, but it is the truth: without a strong physical component to a relationship it will fail. It happened in my marriage (and yes, I realize I am again working out my demons, just let a bitter man ramble), and in most of the other divorces of which I am aware. You have to feel that spark, that attraction towards that other person or shit is going to fall apart.

The cross-cultural issue is one I am working on now to some degree. My girlfriend is a Minnestoa Lutheran. To say she received a shcok when she met my East Coast Jewish parents would be an understatment but we are working on it. Primarily by having her watch a ton of Seinfeld (and on this, I am not kidding, not many Jews around here for her to interact with). She has come with em to synagogue and I have gone with her to her church. Really, since we both have kids and will not be having any more, it is just a question of respecting the religion of your parenter.

If you want to discuss more, shoot me an email later or give me a call. Lori, Steve or Peggy has my cell phone number.

Off to see the singer Adele in concert......

Mark
Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristrocratic forms. No gov't in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, gov't tends more and mroe to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class

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FrankChurch
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Postby FrankChurch » Tue Jan 20, 2009 6:08 pm

Mark, were your parents pissed?


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