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Switch to Forum Live View Are there any successful relationships/marriages?
5 years ago  ::  Jun 02, 2010 - 1:36PM #61
appy20
Posts: 10,165

Jun 2, 2010 -- 11:06AM, David wrote:


Love is blind..and marriage is an institution..therefore marriage is an institution for the blind....Wink




 


::snort:: rotfl


I have seen marriages that I would want but I am just not seeing them in my age group.  It seems like the good marriages are all dying out.   I was trying to think the other day who, my age, is married.  Everyone is either never married or divorced--usually divorced several times.  I wasn't just thinking of my friends.  I work with the general public and know lots of people.  I can't come up with anyone.  


At this point in time, there are more never married people than there have ever been and one of few times in history when women really had a choice in the matter.  My friends who never married always thought marriage was a pretty dismal institution and the ones divorced swear they never will again.  Most are divorced due to adultery.


 

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5 years ago  ::  Jun 03, 2010 - 11:27AM #62
David
Posts: 287

Jun 2, 2010 -- 1:36PM, appy20 wrote:


Jun 2, 2010 -- 11:06AM, David wrote:


Love is blind..and marriage is an institution..therefore marriage is an institution for the blind....




 


::snort:: rotfl


I have seen marriages that I would want but I am just not seeing them in my age group.  It seems like the good marriages are all dying out.   I was trying to think the other day who, my age, is married.  Everyone is either never married or divorced--usually divorced several times.  I wasn't just thinking of my friends.  I work with the general public and know lots of people.  I can't come up with anyone.  


At this point in time, there are more never married people than there have ever been and one of few times in history when women really had a choice in the matter.  My friends who never married always thought marriage was a pretty dismal institution and the ones divorced swear they never will again.  Most are divorced due to adultery.


 I agree, Appy..just do the math...over 50% of all marriages end in divorce...and about 25-30% are about to end up on the rocks...that leaves about 20-30% that are ok marriages..I don't like those odds..and everything is disposable these days...disposable jobs, income, food, etc...marriage is disposable along with everything else...my mom died in 1987 and dad remarried in 1989...but he told me years later that if he hadn't met my stepmom he would never have married again....mom was a lovely and gallant lady who was a saint..but they had a very difficult marriage...and as far as adultery...people have been screwing around on their spouses since Adam and Eve....and these days married women are cheating as much as men...I have seen enough to know..nothing is sacred anymore... 





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5 years ago  ::  Jun 03, 2010 - 12:47PM #63
ArnieBeeGut
Posts: 1,407

Jun 1, 2010 -- 4:00PM, appy20 wrote:

Arnie, I was trying to make it easier for you to read.  I have tried to enlarge, to color it but you still don't get it.


You are still feeling unheard - perhaps you would be willing to express what it is you believe to not be understood.

I am having difficulty correlating the responses with what I have written. The responses seem to be in the form of a rebuttal, and yet what they are apparently rebutting are not thoughts that I have expressed. For example, I have stated that ‘happy’ and ‘successful’ are distinct. I continue to use ‘successful’ on this thread because that is the word the OP used; however, I prefer the term ‘healthy’ as used in the other thread I started. That is because a long-term relationship is a process, not an outcome. None are perfect, just as no person is without flaws.

If the perception is that marriage nearly always involves cheating and/or abuse, then it is quite understandable to believe that there are not very many that are ‘successful.’ Being populated by imperfect human beings, marriage is likewise inevitable imperfect itself and eternally a ‘work in progress.’ Each one of us has a choice - to focus on the positive or focus on the negative. To do the latter does not mean being a pollyanna or denying there are flaws.

There’s a story I heard recently - a traveler came to a medieval square where there were stonecutters busily working on blocks of stone. The traveler asked one of them “What are you doing?” He looked up with weariness in his voice and eyes and muttered “I’m chipping stone.” The traveller went to the next worker and asked “What are you doing?” That man looked up with a glow in his face and a sparkle in his eyes and said with enthusiasm “I’m building a cathedral!”

So it is with relationships - the focus can be on what is bad or it can be seen as a journey towards something wonderful. Neither is right or wrong - but the choice is ours.

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5 years ago  ::  Jun 03, 2010 - 4:37PM #64
appy20
Posts: 10,165

These are your words:


"


My experience has shown me that there are nuances to long-term relationships that don’t appear for quite some time; I hear many other couples express thoughts to the same effect. I see many unhappy marriages - and my experience in most cases these same unhappy marriages can be radically improved with the right kind of work - often dramatically so in juts a few days. So when I see a couple who is in misery, I see the potential for healing and increased love and intimacy. You evidently see something quite different. Your subjective experience is definitely as equally valid as mine is - you “haven't seen a good relationship in my age group in 27 years”  and you “really do think most marriages are pretty dismal.” (your words) What is valid and absolutely true is that this is what you believe. And it makes perfect sense given what you have seen in your life.


 


Perhaps you are expressing that a successful marriage is impossible to achieve."


If you don't equate happiness and success, then why are you going on about happiness in the above post?  How is that relevant to what I said?   What does happiness have to do with success? I do think most marriage I see now are pretty dismal but I don't think everyone I see is unhappy with the marriage they are in.  


I do suspect (I am not 100% convinced yet) that people are not biologically designed for successful  long-term relationships.  That doesn't mean that an individual can't break the statistical norm most of the time.  I just don't think the majority are intended to or do succeed.

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5 years ago  ::  Jun 03, 2010 - 4:39PM #65
appy20
Posts: 10,165

Jun 3, 2010 -- 12:47PM, ArnieBeeGut wrote:


Jun 1, 2010 -- 4:00PM, appy20 wrote:

Arnie, I was trying to make it easier for you to read.  I have tried to enlarge, to color it but you still don't get it.


You are still feeling unheard - perhaps you would be willing to express what it is you believe to not be understood.

I am having difficulty correlating the responses with what I have written. The responses seem to be in the form of a rebuttal, and yet what they are apparently rebutting are not thoughts that I have expressed. For example, I have stated that ‘happy’ and ‘successful’ are distinct. I continue to use ‘successful’ on this thread because that is the word the OP used; however, I prefer the term ‘healthy’ as used in the other thread I started. That is because a long-term relationship is a process, not an outcome. None are perfect, just as no person is without flaws.

If the perception is that marriage nearly always involves cheating and/or abuse, then it is quite understandable to believe that there are not very many that are ‘successful.’ Being populated by imperfect human beings, marriage is likewise inevitable imperfect itself and eternally a ‘work in progress.’ Each one of us has a choice - to focus on the positive or focus on the negative. To do the latter does not mean being a pollyanna or denying there are flaws.

There’s a story I heard recently - a traveler came to a medieval square where there were stonecutters busily working on blocks of stone. The traveler asked one of them “What are you doing?” He looked up with weariness in his voice and eyes and muttered “I’m chipping stone.” The traveller went to the next worker and asked “What are you doing?” That man looked up with a glow in his face and a sparkle in his eyes and said with enthusiasm “I’m building a cathedral!”

So it is with relationships - the focus can be on what is bad or it can be seen as a journey towards something wonderful. Neither is right or wrong - but the choice is ours.





As for your story, there is another story that can be told about an emperor and his new clothes.  Some people believed his story of having beautiful clothes and others saw him naked and did not see clothes. I don't see any clothes on the emperor. 

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5 years ago  ::  Jun 03, 2010 - 5:27PM #66
Tolerant Sis
Posts: 4,201

LOL, when I was 27 I am certain I knew everything there was to know, too. 


The truth is you are looking at an extremely narrow sample ... people your age, whom you personally know, many of whom you met in THERAPY, where it is fully expected that people are having some kind of difficulty.


There is a wider world out there.  Most of the people *I* know ... of all ages ... are successfully and yea, happily married.  That is not to say that some people don't cheat and other people don't grow apart and some people don't have issues with substance abuse and domestic violence.  They do.  But there is hope for some of these issues that crop up in marriages (I personally won't counsel women (or men) to try to save a marriage if there has been domestic violence, but all parties want to work on any other issue, I am willing to help, and I have).

First amendment fan since 1793.
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5 years ago  ::  Jun 03, 2010 - 6:13PM #67
ArnieBeeGut
Posts: 1,407

Jun 3, 2010 -- 4:37PM, appy20 wrote:



These are your words:

"

My experience has shown me that there are nuances to long-term relationships that don’t appear for quite some time; I hear many other couples express thoughts to the same effect. I see many unhappy marriages - and my experience in most cases these same unhappy marriages can be radically improved with the right kind of work - often dramatically so in juts a few days. So when I see a couple who is in misery, I see the potential for healing and increased love and intimacy. You evidently see something quite different. Your subjective experience is definitely as equally valid as mine is - you “haven't seen a good relationship in my age group in 27 years”  and you “really do think most marriages are pretty dismal.” (your words) What is valid and absolutely true is that this is what you believe. And it makes perfect sense given what you have seen in your life.


Perhaps you are expressing that a successful marriage is impossible to achieve."

If you don't equate happiness and success, then why are you going on about happiness in the above post?  How is that relevant to what I said?   What does happiness have to do with success? I do think most marriage I see now are pretty dismal but I don't think everyone I see is unhappy with the marriage they are in. 


I am beginning to see the difficulty here. I’m not sure what “going on about happiness” means when I was talking about un-happiness. Not being able to distinguish between the two can definitely affect one’s perceptions of things!

“Successful” does not equate to or even imply “happy.” “Unhappy” (as in unhappy in the relationship) does generally imply “unsuccessful.” The primary goal of a long-term relationship is not “happiness” - at least not in the “happily ever after” sense.

It is understandable to be skeptical when there is no direct evidence - and I also suspect that evidence is being disregarded to support a pre-determined point of view. What I do know is that by my direct experience, it is completely possible in a relatively short amount of time (e.g. 2 1/2 days) for a couple to transform from being miserable with each other to having more loving and positive feelings as well as a strong desire to work on the marriage. Of course this kind of transformation is generally relatively short-lived, since problems that accumulate over years cannot all be resolved in a single weekend. Which is why ongoing work is also necessary to strengthen and deepen what happens rather than backsliding to the old ways.

Of course never having seen this it is natural to believe it to be a “naked emperor.” Things like relativity and evolution also make little sense as well until one becomes acquainted with more sophisticated means of understanding.

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5 years ago  ::  Jun 04, 2010 - 8:59AM #68
appy20
Posts: 10,165

Your ego may think that your opinion is more sophisticated but as long as you keep adding 2 plus 2 and getting 5, then your self-appointed brilliance is suspect.  Also, your tendency to oversimplify evolution and biology also makes your "sophistication" quite laughable.  Happiness or unhappiness has nothing to do with the success of a marriage. You are still confusing the issue.  I consider a marriage in which both people manage to behave reasonably well and care about each other to be a success but it won't always be happy.  There are some basics that if each partner covers, then the relationship may be a success but may or may not be happy.  That is why I said I would prefer a successful marriage over a happy one.  Also, the only reason I have such a dismal view of marriage is because of what I see.  If I saw more marriages like my uncles had, then I would have an entirely different view of marriage.  Actually, when I was younger, I had nothing but a positive view of marriage.  I assumed the emperor did have clothes but I just can't see them.  


Once again, let me repeat.  Neither happiness or unhappiness has anything to do with what I consider a successful marriage.  It is you that keeps adding happiness or unhappiness into the equation yet you claim that you do not.  This is 2 plus 2 equalling 5. 

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5 years ago  ::  Jun 04, 2010 - 10:18AM #69
ArnieBeeGut
Posts: 1,407

Maybe you would be willing to point out where it was claimed that my opinion was more "sophisticated." Being in a marriage and having worked with many married couples does provide a more experienced perspective, but not necessarily a more "sophisticated" one).

A "successful" marriage will not always be "happy." I am finding it hard to understand why this keeps being argued as if it were not something that was agreed.

A marriage in which the spouses are always "unhappy" would be considered "unsuccessful" by pretty much anyone's standards. The fact that happy/unhappy is not symmetrical in this manner is the cause of confusion.

Your preferences or mine are only relevant to the marriages we happen to be in. What would be judged "successful" for me would be very much different than what you would judge "successful" - and vice versa. Maybe that is what is so difficult to accept, that there might be others who have a different point of view. The only arbiter of "success" is the particular couple themselves. It is not unreasonable to think that a couple who seeks help for their marriage judges it to be "unsuccessful" at least in some significant areas. Since no relationship is perfect, there will always be problems and issues; are the problems addressed as they arise, or do they fester and compound until they reach a tipping point? The latter is typical in most relationships. That's why the successful/unsuccessful dichotomy over-simplifies what is really going on. Marriages are not static entities, but a dynamic process.


Unfortunately, few couples learn about what it really takes to have long-term relationships that are mutually satisfying. The "role models" in the media, tv, and movies tend to teach the wrong things about being in relationships.

When one experiences marriages from both the outside (observing others') as well as the inside (i.e. being in one), then there is a different perspective than if one only views them from the outside. Indeed, many of the problems that arise in marriage come from the illusions about marriage held by the partners before they found themselves in one. (Most of the others come from the respective spouse's family of origin issues, but that is another topic altogether).

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5 years ago  ::  Jun 04, 2010 - 11:00AM #70
Tolerant Sis
Posts: 4,201

Right, Arnie.  I think it is quite important that the two parties are at least content in the marriage; otherwise there will be problems.  No one is expecting deliriously happy people in a relationship for 50 years; that's unreasonable.  People grow and change, whether they are married or not, and sometimes they grow together, and other times, they grow apart.  The content couple can roll with these changes, come together on the most important issues, and be willing to give the other the space he or she needs to grow on the rest.


If one or both are unhappy all the time, that's not successful.  A successful marriage, in my book, is one that takes into account both partners' hopes and dreams, while working together to support the family and the 'ship of the marriage' - everything from educations, jobs, major purchases, planning for the children's educations, planning for retirement, taking care of one another when the other is sick, disabled, and dying, while happily celebrating their milestones.


Marriages are tried all the time.  A child becomes ill; a wife wrecks the car; a husband flirts with a waitress; a home is lost to a hurricane.  Secure marriages can withstand these things and more.  The most important moments in a marriage occur at the most difficult times.  How the couple resolves those moments is key to whether the relationship is successful over the long term.  


Perhaps Appy is seeing the self-centeredness of the young and extrapolating that to humans in general or marriage in general; I don't know.  Marriages that survive that first critical five years (which is the proving ground, I think) are more likely to survive long term.  

First amendment fan since 1793.
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