Author Topic: tell me about your amazing relationship!  (Read 28935 times)

scrubbyfish

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tell me about your amazing relationship!
« on: November 24, 2014, 12:09:53 PM »
I've been really enjoying the topics "how did you meet your frugal spouse" and the one about whether to leave a partner who is exhibiting toxic behaviours, especially where people have moved on from that to something awesome. I also really like reading about marriages like Jon_Snow's and MMM's, and many others discussed on this forum. All of the above give me glimpses of what a good relationship looks like.

How many of you who are self-identifying as being in a ridiculously happy relationship of over four years are willing to give a paragraph or list of what makes it work? Not just financially, but across the board? What are your subjective and objective experiences within it? What are the strains even within the Awesome that you feel are worth it? And what would be a deal breaker within that awesome relationship?

Living together, living apart, married, unmarried, gay, straight, polyamorous, monogamous, etc, I'm keen to hear from all happy ones.

catccc

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2014, 02:13:56 PM »
I'm basing this on 15 years of togetherness, which has included 7 years of long distance dating and almost 7 years of marriage.   And now 2 kids that are 6 & 3.  To put it in nutshell, mutual respect and admiration has worked for us.  We are very happy, and if at times it is tough, I would say it is primarily because one partner is not taking care of himself or herself.  So I think you need to take care of yourself so you can better support your partner.  It might be an unromantic notion that you take care of yourself when you have someone else kinda looking out for you, but ultimately we are all responsible for our own happiness.

BooksAreNerdy

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2014, 02:23:21 PM »
Ah, yay!!

DH and I have been together just over 7 years. What makes it work? He inspires me to be a better person. To expand my heart to others. To be more compassionate and to call my grandma more often. ;)

He supports me through my worst times, and I him. I truly know that the more I put in, the more I will get out.

I go through nothing alone.  He has eyes only for me. I love watching him parent our children.

I don't know how we knew 7 years ago that we were perfect for each other. But I am grateful that we did!!

The most important part of our relationship is that we openly cheer on each others farts. That's the secret to a happy marriage.

mrsggrowsveg

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2014, 02:41:08 PM »
This is a great thread and it really gives me the chance to write out all of the good qualities of our relationship.  We have been together for more than 5 years and married 4 years and now have one little boy.  I believe we are in a ridiculously happy relationship.  Fights are very seldom and we really enjoy our time together.

We communicate openly.  I am able to address any concerns with him and he truly listens and accommodates.  I do the same for him.

We value each other's happiness as much as our own.

We share the same goals in life.

He is a wonderful parent.  He parents gently and consistently.  We agree on parenting decisions.

Our relationship changes and evolves with each new stage in life.  There was a rough transition period when we had our son and then this year with a new job.  Being able to communicate very openly and know that we are committed to this for life has helped us with these transitions and made our relationship stronger.




kyanamerinas

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2014, 02:54:12 PM »
7 years together including 3 years long distance. I honestly don't know what makes it work. Things that help:
We are both deeply committed to each other and making this work.
We have a lot of common interests and a few individual but we take interest in each other's hobbies.
We have basically become adults together (19 when we started dating) so have grown together in a lot of our lifestyle choices and habits.
We laugh a lot.
I think also we both have huge amounts of respect and admiration for each other without idolising.

Zikoris

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2014, 02:55:30 PM »
We're in a ridiculously happy relationship of five and a half years so far. We moved in together about 8 months in, and are on our third apartment together. Some of the things that really work well for us:

- We have clearly defined roles and jobs. There's never any question as to whose "turn" it is to do something, because we operate in completely different jurisdictions. This lets us completely sidestep a HUGE amount of the disagreements other couples have.

- I'm naturally very organized and on top of things, and he's very laid back and happy to me run the show on most of the day-to-day decisions. He's completely happy with whatever I want to cook, however I want to have our apartment arranged, whatever projects I think need to be done, etc. However, I can't remember an appointment to save my life, so he books my haircuts and dentist visits and sends me an email reminder at work on the day of.

- We agree on everything important. This would be things like not having children, renting instead of buying, and early retirement. It also includes things like our joint need for peace and quiet at home, so we generally do not have a lot of visitors and spend a lot of time in quiet activities at home. Totally critical for long term happiness in my opinion.

- We both have our own interests and are not glued together. I've been doing various forms of dance since before we met, which includes classes, training, and social events. He used to play dodgeball competitively, and also plays video games and board/card games with friends. We volunteer on different committees in our housing co-operative. I've had relationships before where there was no distance and we did everything together, and it felt completely smothering to me - this is much better.

- We're both interesting and creative people, which means we always have lots to talk about. We follow current events and international politics, as well as local issues and a number of movements we're interested in. We try out new activities often for fun.

- Most importantly, we manage to spend as little time as possible on mundane stuff in a day, leaving us the majority of our mental and emotional energy for other things. Everything boring is streamlined, automated, and efficient. We don't have to think "What's for dinner?", "Did I remember to pay that bill?", "Where did all the money go?", etc.

SisterX

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2014, 03:04:04 PM »
We've been together for about 8 years now, married for just over three.  We have a daughter who just turned 1.  For marital harmony, we've decided never to hold anything said at 3a.m. or after an hour+ of screaming/crying against the other person.  :)
What really makes us tick is humor.  It's what first attracted us to each other, and we're pretty good at using humor to deflate a situation which could balloon into an argument.  When I make him throw his head back with laughter, that is one of the best things ever.  Honestly, I feel proud whenever I can make someone so smart and so funny laugh that hard.
We do also push each other to become better people, respect one another, and agree on the big things (like money).  We're very in sync when it comes to spending time together, since we're both extremely extroverted until we aren't, and then we need a few hours alone to recharge.  Usually the recharge needs occur at the same time so we can each go off and do our own thing with no hurt feelings.  That all helps us feel comfortable with each other.
Finally, in a romantic partnership, sex is important.  Doesn't matter if you have it once a week or twice a day, you need to find what works for the both of you.**  I think this gets undervalued a lot, and it's a weird thing to bring up, but many many studies have proven that it's important in relationships.  We are so, so much happier when we make being physically close a priority.  And for us, it goes back to the humor thing because we end up hanging out, chatting, and making each other laugh at the same time.  It's fun, and it's just for the two of us.  We focus on ourselves and each other and that is just as important as the physical aspect of it, since that can get lost in the everyday routine, whether you have kids or not.

**Edited after reading Serpentstooth's comment below: it does not have to be mind-blowing or adventurous or whatever.  Having the sex, being close with your partner that way, is what counts.  Channel Zapp Brannigan: http://31.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lytumz64BH1qieeeto1_1280.png
« Last Edit: November 24, 2014, 05:27:54 PM by SisterX »

Villanelle

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2014, 03:11:38 PM »
Know my husband 18 years, started dating (after a brief high school thing) 14 years ago, married 13.

He is my partner and we have shared values and a tremendous amount of respect.  If I had to list one non-sandard thing (as in, beyond the things one typically hears about why relationships work), I would say it's that we always (or at least almost so!) attribute positive intentions to each other.  If he does something that pissed me off, I give him the benefit of the doubt that he never meant to upset me, no matter how boneheaded the choice might seem from my perspective.  If I have to make a decision without consulting him and he doesn't agree with it, he is willing to assume that I meant well and that I took his feelings in to account.  We trust each other to consider the others needs of the other. 

He's in the military, which adds all kinds of atypical stressors.  Often, he has to make hard calls that mean some shit falls my way.  But I know that when he does so, he has always taken my feelings in to account and weighed them against all the other facts at all.

Always attribute positive intentions to your partner, and assume s/he is always going to look out for you as best s/he can.

Beyond that, we laugh and don't take ourselves too seriously, and we support each other's goals. 

Allie

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2014, 03:20:09 PM »
We have 16 years of togetherness, 10 are married, almost 4 as parents.  We have different interests, quirks, and in many ways are the exact opposite of each other (clean/messy; planfull/seat-of-your-pants; introvert/extrovert; outdoorsy/urban).  But, we have the same long term vision for our life, are both open to new experiences, and love our family. 

I think my husband is just an awesome person.  For me, in the forefront of my mind is always what will make him happy.  I try to go out of my way to make him his life as comfortable and easy as possible.  He does the same for me.  It becomes this really great cycle of giving to each other in a way that enhances both of our lives for the better.  I think that if only one person puts in the effort, it becomes draining and selfish.  But if you are both working hard for the other's happiness, your relationship will flourish.

deborah

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2014, 03:40:57 PM »
Let us see. We met at uni. A number of years later he got a 3 year secondment to the US, so he went without me. A number of years after he came back his job moved to a different city, 8 hours drive away, and he drove home to see me every second weekend for 8 years. I eventually got a job in that city, and we've been together (again) for a lot longer than we have ever been apart. So we've been together many many years.

Dedication. Loyalty. Kindness. In the years since we retired it has been even better. We aren't always on the same page about things, but so what? That doesn't count. We gradually discuss some things - maybe a couple of sentences a week - maybe agree on something after a year. It doesn't matter how long it takes, we have the rest of our lives. Other things get settled immediately.

Looking at the other posts we had low expectations (weren't going to be together more than a year), have very defined roles, equally intelligent, share humour (I try to make him laugh at least once a day - and I really agree with Sisterx about its role in arguments), and really value each other's happiness. I really agree with attributing positive intentions to your partner (it's part of kindness, which I think is possibly the most valuable thing - I know he is kind to me and he knows I am kind to him). We are independent people in that we do a lot of things apart (I guess in part because we lived apart for 11 years), and I am continually surprised that I am so very lucky and have what many people would die for.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2014, 08:34:59 PM by deborah »

scrubbyfish

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2014, 03:42:53 PM »
WOW!!!!!

So glad I asked.

These are mind-blowing. They fill me with happiness!

Thanks, and keep 'em coming!

ioseftavi

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2014, 03:55:19 PM »
SHE IS PRETTY AWESOME BECAUSE SHE IS FUNNY AND SMART AND FUNNY AND SOMETIMES SHE MAKES ME COFFEE IN THE MORNINGS

EDIT: OK I wrote that for my spouse's amusement, as she is a fellow MMMer.  But seriously, we've been together uhhm...9 years as a couple, but we were friends before that.

We have similar "big" priorities.
We divide up the small chores and small responsibilities in our lives.
We try to do nice things for each other without asking.  Failing that, doing nice things because you were asked is okay, too.
We try to be grateful for each other and the life we're fortunate to live.
We communicate a lot. 
We try to have healthy arguments when we disagree on things: talk it out, no name calling, figure out concrete things we can do to avoid having the same argument in the future.

That about covers it.

EDIT 2: ALSO WE HAVE ALL KINDS OF FREAKY SEX, STUFF THE REST OF YOU GUYS HAVE NEVER EVEN HEARD OF
« Last Edit: November 24, 2014, 04:04:50 PM by ioseftavi »

SisterX

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2014, 05:23:54 PM »
One thing I do occasionally have to remind myself is to not keep score. I'll always feel like I do more even if it's not true and if I think of it that way I get aggravated.

Me too.  Lately I've started trying to make it less about myself.  I'll think of everything I've gotten done, then everything he's gotten done, and I'll go over the highlights with him in a "this is what we've gotten done this week, above and beyond normal life" and it becomes a relationship high-five moment.  We get to celebrate together that we've made it through a particularly stressful time/event, rather than using it as a reason to be snappish with each other.

Gray Matter

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2014, 05:38:02 PM »
If I told you about mine, would you believe me?  :-)

midweststache

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2014, 06:12:50 PM »
Together six years.

We consider ourselves fairly intelligent people, but we don't always agree on everything. I think the biggest contributing factor to our relationship success is that we can argue and debate and still love each other after (with some lovely Wes Anderson style ribbing--"I love you, but you have no idea what you're talking about").

I work with books, he works with data, so we joke that he's the numbers guy and I'm the words lady. However, we are conversant in each other's "worlds"--we don't bandwagon onto what the other does, but we show interest so we can talk about our days in a meaningful way.

I motivate him; he calms me.

Also, I second the coffee statement. He makes me coffee in the morning. It's glorious. GLORIOUS.

Mesmoiselle

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2014, 06:19:30 PM »
It won't have been 4 years till February 2015. Wah wah, I can't put my beloved on a pedestal of words till then.

:)

h2ogal

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2014, 06:33:06 PM »
Together over 20 years....heres what works for us:

1. Love is a verb....its an action word.
2. No TV....talk to each other instead. Or read, or do something.
3. Have an adventure together...Start a business, learn to sail a boat in a storm, build a house, raise a kid...things like that.

scrubbyfish

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #17 on: November 24, 2014, 06:41:16 PM »
If I told you about mine, would you believe me?  :-)

Yep! :)

For one, you already gave it away in your Journal when you talked about the degree of awesomeness in the majority of years, and how much you like and love him and how you laugh.

I think any long marriage will have periods of needing to find new solutions to new challenges. Also, I'm particularly interested in the subjective experience anyway. Like, some relationships will have had to navigate some types of extrinsic hells, but if a relationship stays awesome through that because the people inside it have an awesome subjective experience, that's of much interest too!

It won't have been 4 years till February 2015. Wah wah, I can't put my beloved on a pedestal of words till then.

Hopefully the thread will stay alive 10 more weeks! ;)     

Four years was a bit arbitrary, admittedly. I think I was just wanting to aim for info beyond the "honeymoon period", and once a fair number of pivotal moments had been navigated. If that applies in your case, Mesmoiselle, please post away!

Gray Matter

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2014, 06:59:53 PM »
If I told you about mine, would you believe me?  :-)

Yep! :)

Alrighty, then!  Many of the same things others have said, notably humor, assuming good intentions (have fallen down on that one lately), shared goals, lots of things we like to do in common, but separate lives, too.  Realizing early in the relationship that no one person could meet all my needs, that there were some things I would need to get elsewhere (friends).  Realizing that we each need to take responsibility for taking care of ourselves, even as we enjoy taking care of each other.  DH finds my quirks--the things that would drive anyone else crazy over time--charming.  We delight each other (and infuriate each other).  He makes me feel safe, like everything is going to be OK as long as we have each other.  We laugh a lot.

I don't believe in the concept of "soul mates," but I have felt incredibly blessed that we found each other in a bar half-way across the world, and marvel that we had the good sense to recognize what we had at the tender ages of 22 and 25.

deborah

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2014, 07:07:46 PM »
One thing I do occasionally have to remind myself is to not keep score. I'll always feel like I do more even if it's not true and if I think of it that way I get aggravated.

Me too.  Lately I've started trying to make it less about myself.  I'll think of everything I've gotten done, then everything he's gotten done, and I'll go over the highlights with him in a "this is what we've gotten done this week, above and beyond normal life" and it becomes a relationship high-five moment.  We get to celebrate together that we've made it through a particularly stressful time/event, rather than using it as a reason to be snappish with each other.
Absolutely no to keeping a score - that's a reaction to feeling exploited. If either of us ever feels at all exploited, we talk about it immediately, and solve the issue. For instance, we used to go out a lot to get takeaways, and we would argue whose turn it was to pay (my turn, no it's mine - you paid last time). Most of the places were roughly the same price, but one place where we always went on Saturdays was about twice the price. At one stage we seemed to be going out an even number of times a week, so it was always his turn to pay at the expensive place. After about three weeks like this he said that it always seemed to be his turn. Obviously he was feeling a bit exploited. We talked about it and I can't remember why (it must have happened more than 8 years ago), but ever since then he has always paid for that place.

Caoineag

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2014, 07:57:44 PM »
 Married over 10 years, together over 13.

Being grateful for each other and expressing it (on all levels) on a regular basis is a huge part of that. Since we are one of those couples that are naturally compatible, we realized around year 7 that we had started to let the day to day bog down the relationship and we needed to make a little bit more of an effort to tell each other how much we care and pay attention to each other. Haven't made that mistake since.

Neither of us are emotion based so we aren't grand passion type people which is great for us because neither of us tolerate drama for any length of time. Have an issue that needs to be resolved? No problem, let's chat, think up a solution and never have to deal with it again.

Communication is another big part of our success as you can probably guess from the blurbs above. I think everything else just developed over time as we grew together.

DecD

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #21 on: November 24, 2014, 08:24:52 PM »
Ridiculously happy relationship here.  Married for 9 years now, two kids.  But before we got married, we were close friends for 12 years...and then dated for just a few months before deciding to get married. 

Why does it work so well?

We're rational.  If we get upset or annoyed, we talk about it.  We both tend to think things through logically.  Neither of us tends to fly of the handle about things.
We're a team- we've got each others' backs.  We both really try to make the other's life easier/better/happier.  Kindness goes a long way.
We respect each other- we give each other the benefit of the doubt. 
We're attracted to each other.
We've got similar values- financially, spiritually, home/family/work balance.
We have the same group of friends (just a side-benefit really, but it sure is nice.  Another side-benefit: our parents live just a block and a half away from each other, making holidays super easy.)
We really really love each other.  And we act like it.

Also- he's super duper patient :)

homehandymum

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #22 on: November 24, 2014, 08:36:09 PM »
Married nearly 14 years, parents for nearly 11.

We're good buddies. 

One thing that attracted me to him early on was his total integrity - what he said was truly what he thought (even if he was expressing it poorly), and he wouldn't lie or hedge just to create a good impression.  So I can trust him utterly.  We may not agree on everything, but I can trust that whatever he thinks or believes about something, we can discuss it openly - there's an absence of deception that is really fundamental to his character when discussing things of deep importance.

Having said that, he often takes the devil's advocate position on issues that *aren't* fundamental ones, which can be lively, and confuses other people no end.

He prioritises family time at weekends, we really do pull 50/50 around the house (adjusted for the fact that I'm home all day).  He really doesn't have a mindset of things being 'women's work' or 'man's work' - our role division is about pragmatics and aptitude.  He'd really love to have been the SAHD, but earned three times my salary so it just wasn't sensible.

We try to step up and carry the load for each other when needed.  He was quite depressed a few years back, situationally, due to a workplace dynamic, and I stepped up and carried more of the childcare and household stuff, and helped with him brainstorming ways forward etc.  And when I've got a newborn at home, he's been known to come home, take one look at a newly-vacuumed floor and clean dishes and say "you've been tiring yourself out - go to bed".

I guess it boils down to mutual respect, good communication, and not taking it personally when the other is in a bad space and behaving badly (me, usually - I get overtired and stressed out and tend to tantrum, rather than being real mature.  He just raises an eyebrow and ignores me, or suggests that maybe I need some alone time).

Team work.  A meme we use for our children is that we are Team [surname].  We really do operate like a team.

catccc

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #23 on: November 24, 2014, 09:57:20 PM »
Team work.  A meme we use for our children is that we are Team [surname].  We really do operate like a team.
To give ourselves a sense of community, we have a made up hybrid last name, since I opted to keep mine upon marriage.  I'm joking.  I mean, we really have a hybrid last name we use for, say, Christmas cards; but I'm joking that this is a magical key to our happiness, the last post just prompted me to share it.

Kansas Beachbum

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #24 on: November 24, 2014, 09:57:35 PM »
Scrubbyfish I love this question, and have enjoyed reading all the responses.  So often nowadays all the focus is on bad relationships, not on the good. 

The Mrs. KBB and I have been together 14 years, married 12.  We are ridiculously happy.  This is second marriage for both of us, so I have often wondered if being older and knowing more what you want out of life and a partner (and what you don't) comes into play somehow?  I'm not sure it does, as I know many couples our age who have not been divorced who are also ridiculously happy. 

I'll echo a lot of things others have said.  Mutual respect is important.  My wife is a very intelligent woman and I respect her very much as a person.  Chemistry is vitally important.  To this day we both feel the electricity when the other enters a room and it is wonderful.  Someone mentioned sex.  I also think that is important because:  one - it's just fun, and two - sex promotes true intimacy...and intimacy is vital.  Common interests, or at least the willingness to try new things if your partner enjoys something, are important.  Common goals and general view on life are also vitally important...views on money, religion, how to raise children, that cooking a steak anything beyond medium rare is a crime, etc. 

Again, good thread!   

driftwood

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #25 on: November 24, 2014, 10:16:09 PM »
Married 2003-2009, divorced grew up some, married again (to each other) 2011-present.

If we need to have a deep, potentially hurtful/volatile conversation, we put on some hats from our kid's dress-up clothes.  Firefighter hat and cowboy hat make the most appearances.  It makes it hard to get too mad, and keeps everything light enough to work through tough issues.

We both understand when the other one gets angry or grumpy or is having a bad day without taking it personally.  We also acknowledge that we may say/feel one way right now, and it can change later.  We don't try to hold each other to things we've said like you might see in a court of law, we make allowances for changes in feeling/ways of thinking. 

Open to talk about any subject, whatsoever. 

Kansas Beachbum

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #26 on: November 24, 2014, 10:17:09 PM »
He called me to inform me that he had "fixed" them by microwaving them until they were really cooked all the way through.

Oh my, LOL.  I guess we all have our crosses to bare.

SisterX

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #27 on: November 24, 2014, 11:01:58 PM »

If we need to have a deep, potentially hurtful/volatile conversation, we put on some hats from our kid's dress-up clothes.  Firefighter hat and cowboy hat make the most appearances.  It makes it hard to get too mad, and keeps everything light enough to work through tough issues.


That is AWESOME!  I'm stealing that.

homehandymum

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #28 on: November 25, 2014, 02:13:46 AM »

If we need to have a deep, potentially hurtful/volatile conversation, we put on some hats from our kid's dress-up clothes.  Firefighter hat and cowboy hat make the most appearances.  It makes it hard to get too mad, and keeps everything light enough to work through tough issues.


That is AWESOME!  I'm stealing that.

+1

KodeBlue

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #29 on: November 27, 2014, 01:55:53 AM »
My fiance' and I have been together for 19 years. He was my sig-other until October when same-sex marraige became legal in our state. We're planning to get married in August, and planning the wedding is starting to take up more time.

pipercat

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #30 on: November 27, 2014, 05:40:27 AM »
Married for 13 years, together for 21.  Neither of us is overly dramatic.  That is sort of a personality thing with us, but it definitely helps.

But I think the biggest reason we are "rediculously happy" is that we laugh.  A lot.  He makes me laugh every day, and now our kids are laughing too.  Sometimes, if I'm nagging him or fussing at him about something, he will say something along the lines of "what, I thought you wanted it that way".  The way he says it, I know he is sort of making fun of himself, and I also realize how silly it is to nag.  That's just one example, but I really do believe that laughter helps a relationship.

When we are at family gatherings or anywhere with other couples, I sometimes notice that we are the only couple that is laughing together.  Not everything has to be so serious, and we help each other with that.

BPA

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #31 on: November 27, 2014, 05:46:52 AM »


How many of you who are self-identifying as being in a ridiculously happy relationship of over four years are willing to give a paragraph or list of what makes it work? Not just financially, but across the board? What are your subjective and objective experiences within it? What are the strains even within the Awesome that you feel are worth it? And what would be a deal breaker within that awesome relationship?


I'm straight.  We both have children.  Our children get along for 18 hours max and then they start fighting.  Living apart works for us.  There are a lot of potential deal breakers for me because I don't put up with much shit.  Our philosophy is "We are in this relationship as long as it's happy, and if that changes, it's over."  Neither one of us expected it to be this happy this long (seven years).  One thing I've noticed is that we are hyper aware of taking the other for granted.  I think that helps to make it work.  Also, we want and don't need each other.  We have been in enough relationships to realize that we can be happy being single again. 

begood

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #32 on: November 27, 2014, 08:30:20 AM »
My fiance' and I have been together for 19 years. He was my sig-other until October when same-sex marraige became legal in our state. We're planning to get married in August, and planning the wedding is starting to take up more time.

Congratulations on your impending marriage, KodeBlue! Wedding planning is a lot of fun! :)

My mister and I have been married for almost 26 years, and we were together for 4 before that, so we're coming up on 30 years together. Our only child came along 13 years in, so we had a loooooong stretch with just us as a couple. We were blessed with excellent examples of stick-togetherness in our parents, both sets of which were married more than 50 years. We met at 19 and 20. We married at 23 and 24. We had absolutely NO idea what we were doing.  We moved six times in twenty years, lived in five states. Whatever we did, we just did it together.

We're very compatible in terms of our views on finances, our political leanings, parenting methods, etc. He's an ENTJ and I'm a ESFJ. I think sharing E and J traits help us live together peaceably.

Metta

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #33 on: November 27, 2014, 08:53:17 AM »
We’ve been together for 36 years and are as happy as it is humanly possible to be. Though I said that a few years ago and it appears that happiness is endlessly expandable since I continue to love him more each passing year.

We are both fairly internal people who like structure so what works for us will not work for others. Early in our relationship we established rules for just about everything (who does what, how to fight, how we sleep, how we handle money, what time we can discuss what topics, who has final say on what issue, etc.). We re-examine the rules on occasion and modify when it seems appropriate. When I retire we will have to change the rules and we are already discussing how they might change. So we are very open with each about our structure. No undefined expectations.

We both need honesty intensely. No white lies. No lies at all. So that’s what we do. It works for us. From what other people tell me ( example: “I would never allow my husband to tell me that I looked fat in a dress…”) I gather this is not acceptable to many other people. Apparently for some people, a bit of lying in a good cause is acceptable and makes their relationships better. It doesn’t work for us.

My great-aunt told me on our wedding day to never go to bed mad. So we don’t. We stay up and fight until we are ready to forgive and compromise. But we don’t fight that often. And most of the time, when we have something contentious to talk about we do it while walking. It's nice to have the physical activity to defuse the energy. And, since people might be watching it prevents our arguments from getting too ugly.

We do virtually everything together. We just like it that way. I get that the conventional advice is that no one person can fulfill all your needs, but he fills me. And I fill him, apparently. Our other needs cannot be filled by any person because they are needs for alone time and quiet.

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #34 on: November 27, 2014, 09:53:13 AM »
[quoteThe most important part of our relationship is that we openly cheer on each others farts. That's the secret to a happy marriage.][/quote]

Best relationship advice ever.

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #35 on: November 27, 2014, 10:15:45 AM »
I don't have time right now to give this question the answer it deserves.

For now, let me say that, our marriage was the foundation upon which EVERYTHING we have accomplished (including FIRE) was built. Finding my wife is easily the best thing to occur in my life... won't speak for her, but I suspect she would say the same about finding her husband.

Lot's of instances of broken marriages, dysfunctional relationships on this Forum... when I read them I give silent thanks for what we have.

May go into greater details on this later... heading to airport for flight to warmer climes...

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #36 on: November 27, 2014, 12:15:25 PM »
I've been with my husband for 14 years, and married for almost nine.  We have two little kids.

Our relationship is awesome.  Not to say that it's perfect, because everyone has snipey days, and no one is without flaw, but at the centre of it, we have a great partnership, and we are on the same page about how we want to live our life.

Thoughtfulness, conscientiousness and mutual respect are really important.

But there are other things - we are both introverts, we both enjoy similar indulgences (wine, good food).  We have similar money habits and values.  We have similar expectations of our children and the way they will be raised.

I think the thing to remember is that not every day will be happily ever after, and both parties have to want the relationship to work (and have to work at it sometimes).  You need to be humble enough to accept when you're wrong, apologize for douchey things you've done and then be able to move forward together.  And it also helps that you don't, in general, act douchey.

Dealbreakers for me would be cheating and lying.  Honesty and trust are the foundation of our relationship, and if this foundation were taken, I don't know that I'd be able to rebuild.


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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #37 on: November 27, 2014, 01:09:02 PM »
We've been together a quarter of a century already and are co-parenting three fabulous kids. Most of the time I would call our relationship "amazing" but once in a while, of course, I could also call it "annoying." ;) What makes it (mostly) amazing?

1. Loyalty to each other, to the children, and to each others' families. This (along with the corresponding "duty") takes top priority.
2. Similar values. We didn't have to hash out a lot of things because we already agreed from the start.
3. Working as a team. We pool our resources (financial, mental, etc.) in the way that brings most benefit to the overall team. Over the course of our marriage we've taken turns being the top wage earner, the main chef, the laundry slave, the at-home parent, etc., all in the interest of what was best for everyone at that particular moment.
4. Humor. We laugh together a lot.
5. Conversation. We're both constantly learning and sharing new things with each other.
6. Acceptance. It's okay that we're not perfect and that we may not be able to change certain things about ourselves.

Dealbreakers? I don't sweat the small stuff (and some things other people could see as "big" still strike me as small, in the grand scheme of things). Any sustained behavior that represented a betrayal of the trust and core values we share would first be cause for concern from a medical/psychological standpoint, because after this long together a significant change like that could possibly indicate such a thing. If causes such as dementia or depression were conclusively ruled out then the relationship might require re-evaluation.

cakie

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #38 on: November 27, 2014, 05:43:43 PM »
Thanks for asking this, it's got some interesting responses!

I'm not going to comment on my situation since we won't hit 4yrs until March, but it seems the common thread is that you all have an excellent understanding of your personality quirks and so you have good open communication as a result...

I like reading about all the strategies to make life easy/fun ;)

MBot

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #39 on: November 27, 2014, 06:12:30 PM »
This thread is awesome.

This isn't going to be comprehensive, but just some things that always stand out
- together 10 years, married 8 of those. No kids yet.
- we both think we "married up." Both think the other person is great and attribute the best to th
- no secrets. Brutal honesty; and then move on and don't bring it up again. Nothing from the past comes back to bite us, but we don't hold grudges
- we talk about many possibilities before they ever hit: kids, jobs, education, pregnancy, retirement. We enjoy being on the same page.
- living a few hours away from our parents works for us. We rely on each other well, and we like a dynamic for our family that's not as geographically close to our families as we once were
- shared faith. We're both Christians, and that's given us shared views on many things, but also tons of fascinating discussion/debates on others
- both being insatiably curious and having podcasts, talks or books to talk about
- some shared interests, some separate. We each do "our own hobby" once a week apart but also have shared hobbies and activities
- honestly, Netflix is good so we can both zone out together. We're such do-ers that it can be   hard to stop
- both INTJ personalities means we think very much like each other and that minimizes a lot of arguments
- we also share a lot of household tasks and have very few "defined" roles.  Usually those are split by aptitude or strength: Things like chopping wood require more strength so he does them, I don't mind mowin the lawn etc
- we have agreed goals but mostly I manage the money.

justajane

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #40 on: November 27, 2014, 07:15:26 PM »
We've been together for 12 years and married for 9. We have three kids under the age of seven.

What makes our relationship work is conversation. We talk to each other a lot and have conversations about both the important and banal things in life. We have very similar senses of humor. Our politics aren't identical, but we are both people that see shades of gray and are open to challenging each other in our ideas. We deal with our emotions differently. I tend more towards pessimism, while he is a glass half full kind of guy. I struggle with depression and feel things very deeply. He doesn't.

I mention these differences, because in many ways I think our differences make us stronger. Iron sharpens iron and all that. He has made me a better person, and I like to think I have challenged him in ways he wouldn't have expected.

Another thing that strengthens our marriage is the word "sorry." I use it a lot.

expatartist

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #41 on: November 27, 2014, 07:33:05 PM »
You guys are so inspirational!

DH and I have been together for 11 years, married for 9. We've had our trials, but both feel we've become better people by meeting the other person. He is very pleased I've 'found' MMM and our ensuing financial discussions have been very productive.

What makes us work is similar to many of you:

* A shared sense of adventure and belief that life is an experiment, 'failure' at our endeavors is something to be learned from
* Holding no grudges
* Plenty of sex (whatever 'plenty' means to both of you)
* Laughter, love of the other's quirks
* Holding back reflexive reactions and taking time to empathize with where the other is coming from (ie having a bad day @work) before responding

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #42 on: November 27, 2014, 07:41:00 PM »
Still loving it! Two of the many things I'm understanding from this thread:

1. I've chosen over and over to be single because I've not yet met anyone I feel as happy being with as I do when I'm alone (a best friend in my 20s was an exception).

2. There exist relationships in which absolute honesty (however much that can be achieved) and integrity are required, desired, and offered. This makes my heart sing! I noticed an incredible sense of relief in me when I read some notes here in that vein, to see that the choice does not have to be "honesty and integrity" OR "relationship". Whew.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #43 on: November 28, 2014, 07:55:13 AM »
Been together almost 12 years as first and only lovers. We're both inveterate tinkerers, generalists, and otherwise love to constantly change hobbies and reinvent ourselves.

The one constant has been that we each have the other as a fellow traveller.

scrubbyfish

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #44 on: November 28, 2014, 09:53:13 AM »
I would like to explore a little more in the "worth it despite [these strains]" and "dealbreaker" aspects of ridiculously happy relationships, with anyone willing to go there. At least two people said lying or otherwise breaking trust (e.g., cheating) would be a dealbreaker. What else? Some sample questions to getting digging in that vein (certainly feel free to ignore these and write about things that feel more relevant in your relationship):

If your partner asked you to shave your facial hair in varying arrangements, or to wear high heels or a suit or whatever other look, for the partner's esthetic enjoyment, would you?

If your beloved asked you for an open or polyamorous relationship, would you say yes even if this wasn't your preference?

Do any of you live with a loud, huge screen TV that you don't love, just because your partner likes to have one?

If your partner said today that your current home wasn't really working for them, and they genuinely needed your family to live in a broken-down 100 sq ft trailer with a broken toilet, would you?

If your partner wanted to be "on the road" solo for 8 months of the year, yes or no?

If your partner never did outdoor sports with you, or needed to have 5 dogs, or called you on stuff, or never called you on stuff, are you still game?

Stuff like that, whatever examples of "worth it despite [something that feels like a strain]" and dealbreakers. i.e., What "wiggle room" exists in your/a ridiculously happy relationship, and what wiggle room does not? How does wiggle room play in to ridiculously happy relationships?

Jon_Snow

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #45 on: November 28, 2014, 10:08:35 AM »
My wife and I are alike in certain ways that prevents us engaging in conflict - we have never really had a "real" fight or yelling match in the 12 years we have been together. We both have an ingrained desire to avoid strife... we both sense when we are the wrong side of an issue and will instinctively defer to the other. It works remarkably well....

But we are different in many other areas that we still are able to surprise the other, even after 12 years. My wife is a much more social creature than myself - I am fine with that. I think she is constantly fascinated by my introverted, solitude-in-nature craving self....  she needs to be surrounded by people sometimes, whereas myself.... well, I could do without ANYONE except my wife and a few select family members.

Wouldn't be opposed to meeting some of the fine folks on this here forum though. ;)

Zikoris

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #46 on: November 28, 2014, 11:28:11 AM »
If your partner asked you to shave your facial hair in varying arrangements, or to wear high heels or a suit or whatever other look, for the partner's esthetic enjoyment, would you?

As long as it wasn't really difficult on uncomfortable, no problem. In fact, I actively seek out feedback - if I can do something so simple that my partner really likes, why not? My boyfriend doesn't seem to care one way or another, but I've asked him if her prefers my hair curly or straight, what kind of clothing he likes, etc.

Quote
If your beloved asked you for an open or polyamorous relationship, would you say yes even if this wasn't your preference?

I would be hesitant, but it would depend entirely on the details and ground rules that were decided on.

Quote
Do any of you live with a loud, huge screen TV that you don't love, just because your partner likes to have one?

No. I have a deep, primal need for my home to be a calm, peaceful sanctuary. That would destroy it.

Quote
If your partner said today that your current home wasn't really working for them, and they genuinely needed your family to live in a broken-down 100 sq ft trailer with a broken toilet, would you?

Totally! I see weird living spaces as an opportunity to get really creative, and I love small spaces. I'd be fine with living in almost anything except a big house.

Quote
If your partner wanted to be "on the road" solo for 8 months of the year, yes or no?

That wouldn't work for me. If I could join him and live sort of a transient lifestyle, sure, but the whole point of a relationship, in my opinion, is companionship - I wouldn't see the point in having an absentee partner.

Quote
If your partner never did outdoor sports with you, or needed to have 5 dogs, or called you on stuff, or never called you on stuff, are you still game?

It's nice to do activities together, but if we only did our own things it would be fine too - we do mostly our own activities now anyway. I love animals, so whatever setup someone had would be fine, as long as they were well cared for. I think it would be awesome taking dogs hiking - they seem to love it.

For me, a dealbreaker would be something that would make happiness in a long term relationship impossible. I could not be happy with someone who wanted kids, liked to party, was a slob, liked to fight/argue, watched tv (especially sports), or wanted to follow Standard Life Script. It could not possibly work.

scrubbyfish

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #47 on: November 28, 2014, 12:03:53 PM »
Quote
[Sample question:] If your partner said today that your current home wasn't really working for them, and they genuinely needed your family to live in a broken-down 100 sq ft trailer with a broken toilet, would you?

Totally! I see weird living spaces as an opportunity to get really creative, and I love small spaces. I'd be fine with living in almost anything except a big house.

Okay, so in your case the relevant question would be: If your partner said he absolutely needed to live in a big house, would this be worth saving the relationship over, or would that end the otherwise ridiculously happy?

(i.e., The sample questions I posted aren't meant to necessarily be answered, though I'm very interested in people's takes on those, too, but moreso to spur your notes on what kinds of things are wiggle-able and what kinds of things are deal breakers in your relationship.)

For me, a dealbreaker would be something that would make happiness in a long term relationship impossible. I could not be happy with someone who wanted kids, liked to party, was a slob, liked to fight/argue, watched tv (especially sports), or wanted to follow Standard Life Script. It could not possibly work.

Awesomely specific. Thanks!!

On the "slob" note, what would that look like to you? i.e., You noted that committing to a broken-down trailer with a malfunctioning toilet is fine, but some other sense of "messiness" would be a dealbreaker for you.

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #48 on: November 28, 2014, 12:08:17 PM »

For me, a dealbreaker would be something that would make happiness in a long term relationship impossible. I could not be happy with someone who wanted kids, liked to party, was a slob, liked to fight/argue, watched tv (especially sports), or wanted to follow Standard Life Script. It could not possibly work.

Agree on the main point, Z. For me "deal-breakers" are actually fundamental incompatibilities. Almost every item on SF's list is negotiable to me, especially while we're DINKs.

Meggslynn

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Re: tell me about your amazing relationship!
« Reply #49 on: November 28, 2014, 12:20:48 PM »
My hubby and I have been together 8 years. Married almost 5. One toddler son.

Respect and compromise is huge in our relationship. I honestly think we have had two disagreements in the entire eight years. We don't raise our voice, call names and consistently put the other first.

Compatibility is also key. Lots of people go for passion and no compatibility .... that passion will run out eventually. We typically agree on 99% of everything and if we don't we see its important to the other so we say we do.

Equal partnership. My husband equally helps with the housework and parenting. While I do most of the cooking and shopping he does all the car & yard maintenance.

I don't know what a deal breaker would be in our relationship as I don't see him drastically changing himself or his ways anytime soon.