After thirty years, Michael and I have learned a few things.
Love this! My grandmother always said: "marry later, marry wiser."
I agree with this, and would add: Don't play games. Don't expect your partner to be a mindreader. None of this, "They should *know* what I'm upset about," or, "No, I'm not hurt/mad/whatever," expecting the other person to figure out otherwise. If you want/need something, just ask instead of turning it into a test.
Also, as you said, your partner is your friend and ally. Sometimes I see people online saying things like, "My partner did *this* that annoyed me so I'm doing *that* to get back at him," and I always want to say, "Wait, you're supposed to be on the same team!"
(I played some of those games in my 20s. By mid-30s I was able to forge the partnership I'm still in, and it's been wonderful to shed that baggage and just be real.)
Life throws enough challenges at us; why add unnecessary complications?
I just saved $200 in therapist bills with my $5 subscription! Well done, great article.
This is lovely. I got married at 22 and have been married nearly 25 years, but I think we just had sheer dumb luck with long-term compatibility. We were kids and we were idiots and have somehow stumbled through growing up together.
This is so wonderful! As someone who is divorced, I can definitely speak to choosing the wrong person early on and sticking together to try to make it work. There was definitely an "opposites attract" situation and no matter how you looked at it, it was doomed from the start because not enough of our values lined up.
This is all such wonderful advice and a lot of it I learned the hard way, haha
This is an excellent read. Choosing the right partner is the key. I had a few long-term relationships but none resulted in marriage until my last, I waited until I was 62 to do so. And I can say it has been magical. I'm the luckiest and happiest I've been in my life (relationship-wise). We are into our second year and going strong. Thank you for such great advice and your shares. Great and entertaining posts.
GREAT advice. I also married young to the wrong person, but still would not change a thing. I have 2 wonderful kids from that marriage. And, I think I needed that time to become the person capable of finding my perfect match! Now happily married, also spending almost all of our time together!
A couple of thoughts from a woman with a 26 year mostly bad marriage to someone who shared my values and a 11 years now successful marriage to someone who frequently votes for different candidates than I do. Better the latter than a Marxist alcoholic hypocrite who abused me verbally and didn’t work for 10 of those 26 years. I actually went to therapy to ensure I would never be attracted to or by someone like my ex ever again. I succeeded!
My advice now? Marry a happy person. (The key, BTW, is respect and commitment to agree to disagree even about the most intense of issues--my guess is our level of civil debate is higher than many couples BECAUSE of our different political perspectives). I am an atheist, he is a C & E Catholic. So what? He is a Republican, I am primarily a Democrat, edging towards libertarian. Neither of us believe conspiracy theories or subscribe to the extremist rhetoric of political parties. We discuss IDEAS and the plusses and minuses of many candidates rationally. I vote for people I don’t particularly like. So does he.
And, funny story. At a graduation keynote I delivered at University of Central Florida 14 years ago, I closed with advice from my grandmother, “No intelligent woman marries before she is 25 or 26.” As the new grads streamed out, a woman dragged her child to the stage to thank me and then turned to her daughter. “See what SHE said about marriage?” Made my day.
The bigger unanswered question for nomad couples is how to pack the sex toys in ways that don’t attract the attention of airport scanners.
Great read, but as a straight guy I do find it hard finding that lady who wants to settle down with a nomad. I have no issues meeting woman, but it’s always for a short time and on a purely friendship basis. Tinder is a nice networking app, met so many wonderful friends, but not the app for finding that longtime relationship. Dom
Wow. Really great relationship advice delivered in a very thoughtful non-“advice- y” way. Thanks!
My wife and I have been married for coming up on nine years. I was 34 and she was 30 when we got married, and we agree/are compatible on the big topics (e.g., kids, religion, politics, money). Still going strong and heeding your sage advice!
This could have been self-righteous, but it wasn't at all. I found a lot of value in this article, and I'm not even straight or in a long-term relationship. 😁 I'm so happy for you two!
To add to the penultimate paragraph, you know what's also not "cheating"? Dating someone else when the couple has not had a conversation about whether they want to be monogamous. (I am so sick of people assuming that every couple is monogamous from their first date until their divorce or death).
Married 42 years here and I agree with everything you said. I especially agree with your statement of giving the other person the benefit of the doubt. I think that's been one of our biggest secrets to our happy marriage and also our parenting (3 great grown kids) and I don't think it's emphasized enough. Of course we're lucky that we are compatible and really enjoy being together, all those points you write about. And whoever said try to marry a happy person, I couldn't agree more. Thanks for a superb post. I loved it!
I just wanted to say I totally agree With you. I never but all of those beliefs in a statement before, but pretty much everything you said about relationships rang true to me. So thank you for putting the actual words out there and making me feel like I am not the only one who feels that way and wants to remain feeling that way. I am well aware that things don't go that way no matter how hard you try, but NEVER GIVE UP! Love and Best Wishes to You Both! :-)
What a great post! I think you're advice on not marrying too young is spot on as well. Probably a little early in legality to have good stats, but I'd love to know the numbers on divorce rates differences between straight and gay couples. As well the average age of the betrothed and correlations there.
I'll be sure to show this post to my wife and see where we stand on your list!
Lovely. Thanks for these excellent reminders. <3