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Why do people even bother to get married...

Posted by scarlett2001 (My Page) on
Tue, Jul 10, 07 at 19:39

I'm just having a bad day today... I wonder why marriage is such a mess most of the time...seems like somebody is always having to give up how they want to conduct their life for the other person... it gets really old being the one who does this most of the time. I have a good job, I don't need a husband for financial support. When I was single, I traveled where and when I wanted to, bought what I wanted, lived where I wanted, ate the food I like, wore the clothes I like - I wasn't lonely. It's not that I mind sharing, I share everything, but I don't feel like this is my life at all now.

I get along fine with most people, no feuds at work or with my neighbors or extended family, so I don't think I'm all that awful to live with. This is my second marriage, so I went into it with eyes open...now I wonder why. Tell me your success stories? I need to hear something positive today. We have been married 11 months.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Why do people even bother to get married...

For many people, marriage isn't a "mess most of the time." Marriage isn't the only option for living a fulfilling life. Why did you choose it? And what's the problem?


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RE: Why do people even bother to get married...

I have been married almost 27 years... and wouldn't trade it for the world!

I didn't change for him... he didn't change for me.

"I wonder why marriage is such a mess most of the time"
Not my experience. Yes, we sometimes have issues, but those are few and far between.


So.... why DID you get married, esp this time around?


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RE: Why do people even bother to get married...

Well, you folks sure get down to the basics fast! Why did I marry him? We have been together 10 years and known each other over 20 years. I thought that should do it as far as not getting any surprises. I thought I would not enter marriage this time with youthful idealistic and unrealistic expectations. I thought we could talk over anything and everything. I thought all the questions of sex, finances and family had long since been resolved. I thought we were enough alike and enough different to make this work out. It hasn't even been a year and I am having serious doubts...


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RE: Why do people even bother to get married...

"It hasn't even been a year and I am having serious doubts..."

Jeez, Scarlett2001, it's like pulling teeth! What, EXACTLY, is/are the issue(s)? You're not giving us anything to respond to. We know you're disatisfied. Why? One, two, and three would be fine.


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RE: Why do people even bother to get married...

That first year of marriage is hell. It sounds like you are having trouble giving up Miss and becoming a Mrs. In a way you do lose your identity. Life was all about you and you could come and go as you please. Now its not that way. You have someone else to think of and now life is full of compromises. That is what a good marriage is "compromise." When i was first married i ran into an old friend who asked me "hows married life going?" I was having a bad day and i gave a smile and said "great." She saw right through me and said that the first year of marriage is hell and it gets much better. I felt so relieved that someone understood and she was right. It does get much better. I think what makes it so hard is that you feel as though you have lost a part of you. However you gain a new life that is so great and you begin to love the Mrs. I hope this has helped.


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RE: Why do people even bother to get married...

Not all marriages are messes. We just celebrated our 34th anniversary. We've always been the sort of couple where we complete each other. Not saying there haven't been the occasional disagreement along the way, but we're so alike and so in love with each other, that they've been truly few and far between.

I don't know that there is any 'magic' formula for making a marriage work--other than marrying the right person to start with. And, in your case, it does seem as if you took your time making up your mind. Maybe that's part of the problem though? When I met my husband, there was no way I could have sat back and waited 10 or 20 years to marry him--too much passion between us to wait that long to get together and become a couple. And, being old-fashioned, we spent the year and a half we dated getting to know each other, rather than having sex (which only clouds the issues at that point, I'm afraid).

When it's the right one, I don't think marriage is such a struggle. AND when it's the right one, the passion is everlasting. I still get excited and tingly about 3:15 every day, waiting for my husband to get home from work (about 3:30 most days).

Guess this isn't the 'advice' you want to hear--but I truly believe that there are some marriages that cannot fail no matter what--and others that cannot succeed.... no matter what.


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RE: Why do people even bother to get married...

"I still get excited and tingly about 3:15 every day, waiting for my husband to get home from work (about 3:30 most days)."

Azzalea, how utterly sweet, getting all tingly. LOL

Scarlett,
I guess its nice to have someone who cares about you, who is concerned about your happiness. I know people who are on their own, and gee...its lonely. But you say you can survive on your own.

Speak to hubbie about how you feel, there must be some solution.

You may just not be happy with yourself, how about focusing on what makes you happy.

Maybe there is a physical reason as to why you are feeling despondent.

Popi


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RE: Why do people even bother to get married...

Scarlett, I love the candor of your question. In this day and age, I'll bet some may think it, but you actually verbalized it! For what it's worth...

I married "later" in life - in my 30's. By the time I'd hit 30, I was heading into my second graduate degree program and had no inclination to get married. I was secure and confident in my abilities and my earning capacity, and I figured that after having checked out the field and finding it sorely lacking (for who I was, anyway), I'd just stay single. Then, of course, something changed, and someone I'd been freinds with for years started looking different in my eyes, and I in his. Yada yada yada, we ended up getting married.

I resonate with the posts above that talk about the difficulty of the first year. I'd have thought that since we'd known each other for so long, the adjustment to wedded bliss would be easy. But blissful it wasn't that first year, as we both realized that coming together as two well-formed adults created many tensions. One thing I realized early on in the marriage was how true it is about making choices in life: every time we choose to say "yes" to one thing, we automatically eliminate other options (not only in terms of who we're with, but in the myriad of ways we live our lives). Letting go of some of those options was, for someone who had always been used to creating and having any options I'd wanted in life, quite hard. Now, though, in retrospect, it was an important lesson for me to learn.

You said in your post, "seems like somebody is always having to give up how they want to conduct their life for the other person." Well, that's true. M. Scott Peck, in his book, "The Road Less Travelled," defined "love" as, "the will to extend one's self for the purpose of nurturing one's own or another's spiritual growth." Part of loving my husband means giving up what I may want so that he can grow or be lifted up.

Now, having said that, I realize you also said in your post that it seems like you've been doing most of the giving. If love is to be shared, so must the sacrifice. You defnitely need to know that your husband is willing to give up some of his personal wants for your benefit, too. But I have discovered that when two people are willing to mutually give of themselves for the benefit of the other (even if it doesn't feel good sometimes), that's when love really takes off. For me, I am rarely touched more deeply than when my husband gives up something that he really wants for my sake.

Anyway, there's good wisdom all around on this page. Great question, I'm glad you asked.


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RE: Why do people even bother to get married...

Lots of wisdom here and I appreciate each and every one of your replies. You have helped me a lot.

I'm not going to lay out a dirty laundry list of my grievances - I think every married person has them. Every roommate has them, for that matter. But here is the Mona Lisa in my museum of discontent - I'm BORED! I want to have an intelligent conversation with him- he's very smart, but all he talks about is golf, automotive stuff ad the blow by blow plot of whatever made for TV movie he just saw. He has a college education in psychology for God's Sake!

Oh - his one other topic is his ex, Jane. She dumped him fifteen years ago, but apparently he still has quite a lot of mental unfinished business with her. I could pass a Trivial Pursuit game on Jane, her family, what foods she liked, her favorite color, her pets, her recipes, every trip they took together, what kind of underwear she wore and well, you get the picture. And don't think I have been shy to tell him to cut it the heck out. He's just stuck there and I think he may always be stuck there.

I'm just starving for some type of mental stimulation, maybe some fun or adventure - Am I asking for too much??


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RE: Why do people even bother to get married...

Thanks for sharing this, Scarlett.

My first thought is: so where do the two of you dovetail in your interests? What activities or enjoyments do you share together? Or could you share together? You say you've known each other for awhile...what are the shared interests that brought the two of you together? Maybe it's time to revisit those - or to find some new ones. If you want adventure and stimulation and he's not taking the lead, then you do it - plan a vacation with activities you'd enjoy doing together, or join a book club together, or find something that would get you excited about the same thing.

My second thought is: the issue of the "mental unfinished business" with an ex is, I think, quite valid, especially if the past is disrupting your present lives together. Any chance of seeing a counselor (that degree in psych must make him at least somewhat amenable to it, I'd think)?

And finally: Maybe he thinks his conversations are intelligent and stimulating - at least from his perspective. Perhaps one of the gifts you could give him is to show that you're willing to be a part of the things that excite him (except the ex wife part, of course...) not because you get anything out of it, but simply because you love him. Case in point: I love baseball. My husband couldn't care less about it. But he goes to games with me and watches the games on TV because he knows it means a lot for me to share that with him. And he loves movies. I can easily live without them, but I go occasionally with him because, even though it's not my greatest interest, it's a way of entering into his world and sharing it with him.

Don't know if any of this fits for you, but they're the thoughts off my head...


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RE: Why do people even bother to get married...

Scarlett

Sitting there are listening to the Jane story must be really annoying...gee, why would he even think it was okay to tell you all those things ?

What do you talk about, are you an interesting person ?

PP


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RE: Why do people even bother to get married...

Just to get this out of the way - I'm not jealous of Jane. She left a long time ago, married somebody else and moved far away. (She also has a drinking problem and her face looks like the backside of a moose.) It's not Jane herself who is the problem, it's just one of his conversational bits he can't let go of.

And what did we have in common before? Well, we had an inordinate amount of sex, which rather colored the whole picture. But now it's ten years down the line, you know what I mean?

Today we decided to plan a two week trip for next month, so I'm hoping we can rekindle a bit. We will either have some new experiences we can share or I will be trapped 24/7. It's a gamble, but right now I'm willing to try almost anything.

Good question: am I an interesting person? Right now I don't think so! In fact, I feel dull as dishwater. What makes a person interesting? I think when two people have the same interests, they are interesting to each other. Or if one is willing to go into the other's world, that makes it better, like the baseball/movies example. However, after spending a few years going to the stock car races, the sprint car races, the boat races, etc. one evening I was sitting in the stands, being showered with mud clods and getting a splitting headache from the roar of the engines and I just had this mental revelation that this is just not me, no matter how much I try. And he hates museums, art, current events, concerts, etc. We just have to find some common ground, and quickly!


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RE: Why do people even bother to get married...

Scarlett, dear person, I think its so important to perfect the knack of finding happiness within ourselves.Once we do that, we don't have to rely on DH or anyone else for that matter, to provide us with happiness.

I am not saying this is easy and, for me, it is an ongoing project !

In my marriage, I have totally different interests to my DH, and at the moment I am plotting to extract myself from the looming summer interest of his, that I have faithfully supported for years....not sure how that will pan out !

I love art galleries, museums, bushwalks etc etc, he is the opposite with a love of all things technological. I just see this as an opportunity for me to flit away and persue my own interests.

Of course we still have a bond which keeps us going.

Enjoy your holiday, together, I hope it brings you some valuable insights.


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RE: Why do people even bother to get married...

We've been married 37 years. It really depends on the people involved. Most of the time we get along, he would support me in whatever I wanted to do, doesn't belittle me, things opposite of his parents who were married for over 50 years when his dad died but never got along. Sure, we argue, even yell sometimes, holding things inside doesn't make problems go away. We are very comfortable with each other and trusting. I knew him for 8 years before we were married, "went steady" in high school, broke up for a couple of years then got back together. This was the first marriage for us both so we already had a history together.....LinnZ


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RE: Why do people even bother to get married...

Scarlett--part of the problem is that you have an athletic guy who lives in SoCal--we have all sat through countless hours of motocross, volleyball tournaments, etc. Nobody in Kansas has that problem. Mercifully they have winter.
The physical activities wear them out, give them a suntan and don't provide much to talk about, unless the fine points of a Harley are of interest to you. worse yet--the other women that hang around those sports are often wearing a bikini and think Paris Hilton is a goddess, so its unlikely you will develop a long term friendship with one of them.

Your only hope is to develop an interest that might parallel his. Get yourself a Corvette, or something similar and join the owners club. Go on rallies and trips. That might interest him. Get involved with the Sierra club--go river rafting, hiking, peak climbing or skiing. There must be something sportsy that you like.
Try taking him to the Laguna Festival --that would give you stuff to talk about. Go to the races at Del Mar or at least to the Fair. There is plenty to talk about with those activities. I developed into a pretty good handicapper at the races.


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RE: Why do people even bother to get married...

That's the real kicker here - I have two bad knees, which rule out most sports except swimming, which I love- but he doesn't. But some of those other ideas sound workable. I will bring it up with him tonight.


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RE: Why do people even bother to get married...

Marge727, WOW!!!!!!! You mean you have all that fun stuff to do in SO CA? All your missing is a good education!


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RE: Why do people even bother to get married...

ninos - Careful there, Marge727 is an attorney. She's most likely had a good education and has offered some very insightful information and sound legal advice on this and other forums.


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RE: Why do people even bother to get married...

We have been married 14 years and we both have different hobbies. But for the most part we get along fine, I did find a huge hobby that I can do around the house, so while he is sitting in front of the t.v or working out I am either walking around grooming houseplants or outside weeding beds, before I had that hobby? Thought I was going to go insane a few times from boredom. Got to find ya something to do, it helps out immensly.
(so says the person 100 houseplants later,lol!!)


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RE: Why do people even bother to get married...

We'll i guess a good education CANNOT buy you good manners!


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RE: Why do people even bother to get married...

So who was being rude here?
(Hint: It wasn't Marge...)


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RE: Why do people even bother to get married...

Marge727, WOW!!!!!!! You mean you have all that fun stuff to do in SO CA? All your missing is a good education!

I'm going to assume that Ninos meant that as a general hit on the education system in California, not personally to Marge. My mistake.

As to the second Ninos post, is it now bad manners to give a forthright response?


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RE: Why do people even bother to get married...

Ninos, if you want to slam someone for their poor education, you'd better make darn sure your own written word is without mistake. Why don't you see if you can find your mistake?


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RE: Why do people even bother to get married...

Because a human being in general wants to be loved and needed. And being in a marriage makes them feel safe and secure. Couples should marry for the right reasons. Marriage is commitment it's supposed to be that one other thing (other is love) that can make a person walk the extra mile for the sake of the marriage, family and love one. But now since Divorce is so easy to get Marriage has lost its meaning to most people. If it's hard to get a divorce or if there's no divorce, I think maybe almost 50% of the marriage couples had stopped first and thought what they are getting into and have tried to test the waters first like living together first. Or maybe tried to work the marriage out really hard than leave and find another one, or find another one then leave, this is the common thing nowadays they look first for a replacement then leave their spouses. I think the government should have a law that starting 2008 couples who are getting married then on should be married at least 10yrs or cannot have no divorce whatsoever. Imagine how many couples would now doubt marrying their partners or leaving their partners for another and instead work it out.

By the way, I am not single and I am not in a happy marriage either. My husband is cheating on me but I am trying to be there for him because he had some insecurity issues. But now what I do is let him have it sometimes sometimes I just go with the flow. I have 23 month old baby and also 5 months. We were married for 3 yrs but actually lived together for the last 2 1/2 yrs. I think that while I still can I will try to be there for the marriage and family.


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RE: Updated: Why do people even bother to get married...

Because a human being in general wants to be loved and needed. And being in a marriage makes them feel safe and secure, it's that feeling that everyone else can leave you and get mad at you but as long as you're family is there, you're good. It's a place where you're accepted and loved for what you are. Knowing that the family won't just abandon you because you made a mistake. But of course you should also try to change for the better and be the best that you can at least try. Couples should marry for the right reasons. Marriage is a commitment it's supposed to be that one other thing (other is love) that can make a person walk the extra mile for the sake of the marriage, family and love one. But now since Divorce is so easy to get Marriage has lost its meaning to most people. If it's hard to get a divorce or if there's no divorce, I think maybe almost 50% of the marriage couples had stopped first and thought what they are getting into and have tried to test the waters first like living together first. Or maybe tried to work the marriage out really hard than leave and find another one, or find another one then leave, this is the common thing nowadays they look first for a replacement then leave their spouses. I think the government should have a law that starting 2008 couples who are getting married then on should be married at least 10yrs or cannot have no divorce whatsoever. Imagine how many couples would now doubt marrying their partners (yet) or leaving their partners for another and instead work it out.

By the way, I am not single and I am not in a happy marriage either. My husband is cheating on me but I am trying to be there for him because he had some insecurity issues. But now what I do is let him have it sometimes, sometimes I just go with the flow. I have 23 month old baby and also 5 months. We were married for 3 yrs but actually lived together for the last 2 1/2 yrs. I think that while I still can I will try to be there for the marriage and family.


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RE: Why do people even bother to get married...

Angel

Your DH is hurting you and your children by cheating on you, despite the fact that he has insecurity issues.

Don't be a doormat.


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RE: Why do people even bother to get married...

Angel, listen to Popi. Your DH is violating the vow you took together and you're letting him do it? (shake head)


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RE: Why do people even bother to get married...

I swear I don't know! (married 15yrs.)


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RE: Why do people even bother to get married...

I think they marry because they are high on the excitement of being in love and think it will last forever. I think people confuse love with need. I am single and plan to stay that way.


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RE: Why do people even bother to get married...

Re: the Jane thing. I've always believed in fighting fire with fire. Start talking about your ex ad nauseum. Every time he mentions Jane think of something about your ex that he might just love to hear about. See how much he enjoys it. And like others have said the first year (or two) is very difficult, then things get better.


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RE: Why do people even bother to get married...

I didn't know it was normal for the first year to be difficult. I have been married twice and it honeymoon time for years. I found it to be more difficult as "years" went by and I do mean years. When problems are not solved the frustration seems to be worse then.


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RE: Why do people even bother to get married...

I have been married to my DH for 4 years and the 1st 3 were hell!! but we made it. My DH cheated on me as well repeatedly, and at 1st I felt helpless and just took it, then I found a book by James Dobson called, "love must be tough" and I also started doing some soul searching about myself. And after I got myself together and realize I did not need a man in my life to be happy and/or complete.

Then believe it or not my husband grew balls and became the man I needed. This last year has not been a bed of roses, but I would not trade it for the world. We are working thought our issues and really becoming a family.

I too had been single for a long time and had a hard time trading Miss for Mrs. Also, this was my second marriage and my 1st husband was abusive. blah blah blah.

What I have found is when time get tough go back to what made you love him and want to marry him in the first place, and don't make divorce an option unless there is infidelity.


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