Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Why have my hubs and I stayed together for close to 24 years mostly happy and contented?

Why have my hubs and I stayed together for close to 24 years mostly happy and contented? I don't really know, and as I said what has worked for us, worked for us because of who we are. I cannot comment on anyone else's marriage. These next things are only things I am speculating about but certainly aren't rules to live by or anything.

First hubs and I come from similar backgrounds growing up. We both came from loving and stable families with no divorce. My parents passed away young ( at the ages of 54 and 55) but were happily married. Not in a giddy lovey, dovey way but in that contented satisfied way. Just very comfortable with each other and the daily routine. Not overly affectionate. I would say the same for my in-laws. My husband is less than a year older than me so we share the same nostalgia, likes and dislikes. We both came from church going families. He was raised in a non-denom fundamentalist church. I was raised in a conservative Anglican church (I became a fundamentalist in college). I thought when I started attending the Catholic church, that was going to be a big issue because my very fundamentalist husband had some very fundamentalist misconceptions about the Catholic church in the beginning, Through lots of prayer, bible study, lots of discussion amazingly my husband has become a very devout Catholic (Better than me). So that is just an amazing plus that we still share the same faith and are on the same wavelength. (I wrote alot about that in My Faith Journey to the Catholic Church from Fundamentalism/Evangelicalism http://deenyssimplejoys.blogspot.com/2008/06/my-faith-journey.html)

We were married relatively young right out of college so we both did not have a lot of baggage coming into the marriage. We shared basically the same dreams and goals when we got married and still do. We believe an ideal marriage should last and are both committed to that- Divorce isn't seen as an option. (I realize in other people's situations it may be necessary for a multitude of reasons, but for us it really isn't an option. However, things have never been really bad between us either). Not counting normal everyday squabbles, we have only had about 3 major knock down drag out fights in almost 24 years. In maybe the heat of the worst fight the "divorce" word might have come up. I can't really remember. He has never hit me in even the worst fight but he has pinned me against a wall. Probably our worst fight came in our 7th year of marriage. My parents both had terminal cancer and I was working full time teaching then. So there was a lot of stress at that time. I remember throwing a plate at him (I really can't remember what started the fight it was back in 94). Then I remember him locking himself in the bedroom to get away from me. I had a screw driver and made several holes in the door at which he climbed out the bedroom window. Anyway he came back a few hours later- I had calmed down, he had calmed down- we probably talked most of the evening- Actually, I think we wrote our grievances down on paper because talking still wasn't happening. But eventually worked it out. Then because we felt so guilty that we traumatized the kids, DS was 7 and DD was 5, Hubs took off work the next day and we took the kids to Disney MGM studios where we proceeded to traumatize my poor DD even more cause all the rides we went on seemed to include fire. Anyway that was probably our very very worst fight. We have had about 2 other bad fights. So at least when we have had bad fights the children have seen us get through it and make up. Neither one of us can hold a grudge and I have learned if I let things go Hubs will calm down in time. Now lets see marital intimacy. Hubs has an active drive and well mine has waxed and waned over the years. Right now I have zilch drive and I attribute that to possible peri-menopuse and the fact I have gained all my weight back and feel terribly unattractive in the bedroom. However Hubs drive has not waned and apparently my weight is not an issue. He says he still sees me as the same girl he met in college. (Ok we know that sounds like a sweet line but he is only saying that to get nooky) So we do get into some squabbles over that. Guys do feel neglected, uncared for and unloved if they are not getting it enough in most cases. I know TMI but hey it had to be mentioned. I feel unloved if I don't get enough attention. We have some silly marriage tapes of the secular variety called "Women are from Venus and Men are from Mars" have you heard of them? LOl But they do have some insightful advice and have some wisdom on how to communicate better. We also have a secular book called Why Men Don't Get Enough Sex and Women Don't Get Enough Love http://www.amazon.com/Why-Dont-Enough-Women-Love/dp/0671689770
There are some good insights there too.
Now with all that said - I have no idea how I lucked into a wonderful guy and if something were to happen to him I don't think I could find a better replacement. I would say we have our super happy fun times but the majority of the time it is contentment. We don't have trust issues. We make sure to have date nights and do fun things with each other. We have the same philosophy in child rearing (I call it the Cosby philosophy after the Cosby show in the 80's). The goal is for them to be happy and independent and moved out of the house. It's all about getting the house back LOL. Anyway Bottom line is I am extremely lucky and don't know why we beat the odds- but I certainly count my blessings everyday.


kritterc said...

Just wanted to let you know I read your post. I have to tell you your marriage sounds a lot like mine was. I can count on one hand the real fights we had and thankfully we got past them. It is such a blessing to know you are truly loved.

SIL Anne said...

I just wanted to give you info on my "lack of a drive" experience. My husband used to feel hurt and think I wasn't attracted to him, and just couldn't understand that I had NO physical drive or desire. Although emotionally I wanted to "want" him like I used to. Anyway, I decided to have a blood test done for hormone levels. Women need testosterone levels to be between 60-100 to feel a sex drive, have energy, and not battle with forgetfulness. Mine came back at a 14! That is basically the same as a zero. My estrogen and progesterone were also below normal. I am 45 yrs. old. I've been on bio-identical creams for 5 months, at a cost of $60 per month, and I feel like I did in my 20s. Also, Rich felt better knowing there was a medical reason for the drive issue, and it had nothing to do with him.

Deeny said...

Anne we are the same age and you hit the nail on the head. That is exactly how i feel and how my hubs reacts too. I try to convince him that it is not him, but he really doesn't understand. Yep and forgetfulness, yep fuzzy brain and of course weight gain, but i can't really blame the weight gain on peri-menopause cause i like to cook and eat. I wasn't sure if it is peri-menopause because my periods are still pretty regular- i have been like clockwork my whole life. I haven't had any hormone tests done though and i am afraid of hormones. I guess i should look into it. My idealistic brain thinks why should women need hormones-- this is natural process right? Anyway,I hate to say it but I don't right now have a gynecologist because my last OB/GYN retired so i haven't been to a gyn in about 5 years - I know, i know not good and no mammogram either. And since I gained weight i don't want to go because the last time i went I was at about 112 and now oh about 60lbs heavier --dumb vanity.
But thanks for writing at least i feel like I'm normal and it isn't just me. I guess I should look into it.

SIL Anne said...

Deeny...a bit more FYI. I was regular too, but I instinctively knew it was a hormone level issue. Symptoms started around age 32 and just got worse each year. Back then my regular OB wanted to throw me on the pill...without any testing! He kept telling me it was all due to having my own young children, running a daycare, etc., etc. Six months ago I figured I was finally old enough for someone to actually pay attention to what I was saying about my situation, and hoped I'd finally get some help. I had to search online for a OB in my area who specialized in bio-identical therapy which, yes, is a NATURAL therapy. I didn't want the pill or any other type of artificial chemicals/compounds in my system.

Menopause is a natural process, but why should those of us with systems that have a hard time with it suffer? You just have to take control of your own health, and don't stop looking for someone to help you if you run into a few brick walls. Also, your weight gain is definitely something that can be managed easier if your hormones are in balance.