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Marriage and happiness

How many people think that within a marriage one of the spouses  don't owe to their spouses happiness?

I see it this way if one spouse doesn't give the other spouse sex. Does that bring unhappiness to the other spouse?

If one works and the other doesn't. Does that bring unhappiness to the other spouse?

If one does 0 chores around the house and the other spouse does. Does that bring unhappiness to the other spouse?

If one spouse beats the other spouse. Does that bring unhappiness to the other spouse?

If one spouse calls their spouse bad names left and right. Does that bring unhappiness to the other spouse?

I can't answer for anyone else, of course, but this is how I feel:  Plenty of people have been unpleasant to me.  I don't feel "unhappy" because of it.  The actions, labels, beliefs, etc. of another person have no effect on how I see myself. 

I try to be a "good" person because, ultimately, it would hurt my happiness to be an a$$hole more than it would hurt anyone else's.

I feel just about the same. My conscience slaps me in the face regularly. It's important for me to do the right thing even when no one is looking. Sure it's easy to return a dirty look or give a sharp answer, but ultimately I'm the one who has to live with it. KNowing I've hurt someone else, well, hurts.

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My mother has been a housewife all of the 50 plus years they've been married.  Even after the kids have long grown and gone.  Doesn't seem to make either of them unhappy.

Dad really doesn't do much around the house.  He does mow the grass.  Doesn't seem to make either of them unhappy.

So blanket statements don't necessarily make anyone unhappy.  But I would venture to say that abuse does. 

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No one "owes" anyone happiness. That reads like a business contract. And contracts are conditional. They include escape clauses.

Marriage goes much deeper than this. The love in a marriage is a covenant, a commitment of unconditional love all the days of your life.

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No one "owes" anyone happiness. That reads like a business contract. And contracts are conditional. They include escape clauses.

Marriage goes much deeper than this. The love in a marriage is a covenant, a commitment of unconditional love all the days of your life.

I think it is very much conditional. I don't think unconditional love exists (unless it comes to one's children). Sure, we ALL say that we'll love them unconditionally no mattter what. But, there is a line at which it stops. That line is different for everyone. If my husband abused my children, if he raped someone, if his values changed so dramatically that he went from atheist to preacher, etc. ...I'd be LONG gone. And my love for him would fade over time to nothing.

I love him because of the values he holds, the philosophy he has, the person he is.

I think most people would stop loving the person who began abusing them, who abused their children, who sexually assaulted them or their kids. Yes, these are extremes. But, it just proves the point that there is a limit in terms of loving someone, remaining with someone. Eventually, over time, that love would disappear. Relationships, including marriage, is very much conditional.

Back to the topic, though. I'm not unpleasant to people because it makes me feel bad, and makes me less happy to be mean to others. Thus, I don't do it. I'm nice to others because this reflects the values I hold, and it makes me happy to uphold those values. Just like it makes ME happy to have my partner in my life, so I'll work to keep him in it.

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Wow marriage.  Never been married. 
Although I am in a very wonderful relationship right now.  The first one in many years.
I think many people stay in unhappy marriages for all the wrong reasons.  I have heard friends say...we are staying together because of the children.  This makes me think of one of the best lines I have ever heard.  From the movie 'Airport'.  Funny I haven't seen the movie in years but I will always remember this line.  "It is better to come from a broken home than to live in one".  Young children may not know what is going on but I believe they feel the stress.  Older children do know what is going on.  They aren't stupid.  Pets feel the stress too.  They may start having behavioral problems and start acting out.  If you are in a bad marriage, talk, get counselling and if all else fails...get out of it and be happy again.
I often put my happiness on hold to make others happy.  Not sure if that is a plus or a fault.  Although if I can make someone happy, I benefit from it also as it is a huge high to see and make someone else happy.
In my current relationship, we talk a lot.  We are honest with each other and we are happy.  Do I purposely go out of my way to make him happy?  Yes!  Does he? Yes. 
My BF likes nothing out of place.  Hates mess.  What he sees in me I have no idea.  Although I am finally starting to get things organized and in place.  I told him I will always be somewhat messy.  He said he is OK with that because he loves me.  That is compromise on his part. My place was once mess free.  When my mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, everything fell apart.  He realizes that something changed (I stopped caring when my mom got sick) what I wanted to be to what I am now and he also knows I want to get back on track.  Bless his heart, he is helping me.
As for sex, shared chores etc., I think you both have to be agreeable.  But isn't that what makes a relationship work.  Compromise and understanding.
If one of you like sex a few times a week one one likes it once a month, you are not truly sexually compatible.  One of your needs is not being met.  But compromise can work too.  Maybe a little less for one and a little more for the other. I do believe sex is a healthy part of a loving relationship because of the closeness and intimacy.  Something you share with no other.
If both work outside of the home, then chores should be shared. 
No one should apologize for being a homemaker.  That is a tough job.  Often totally unappreciated but none the less a tough job!  Regardless of which partner stays at home.
Like Dave stated, you can be in love and yet not being able to live together.  In that case it is time to move on. Thankfully Dave and his ex could do that and remain great friends.  Marriage just wasn't right for them.
As well, being happy yourself is vitally important.  You can't expect someone to make you happy if you are not happy within your own skin.
Wanting to please your partner is huge.  By being yourself and loving someone so much that you want to please them and make them feel loved is being....well in love.
In addition, it is no different to how feel about your pets, family and friends.  By being happy and positive, loving them and just being a good person toward them, you are making them happy and pleasing them.  The good that comes out of it, you are pleasing yourself and making yourself happy and fulfilled. 
It is not to say that we all don't have bad moods, are needy at some time or another, need a shoulder to cry on or to rant and vent but that is where relationships, friendships, and love and support can help us all. 
OK bringing up Cali and my dear departed Isabela again, many thought I was putting too much time into helping them.  The people that truly love me, my friends, family, animal lovers and BF all admire that I can/could put love and devotion beyond all else.

So to this end...do I think you should try to please others, maybe please isn't the right word, maybe love and respect others....an absolute yes!

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My hubby and I have been trying to call one another "partner" rather than "husband" or "wife" for a few years-- because we are in it all together.

If you can't call your partner a partner, why are you in the relationship?  That's not a catty way to say "don't be in the relationship," I am asking sincerely why you are in it?

If you make a list of the things that make you happy about the relationship, you may learn a lot about yourself.  If it's nothing... well, that sounds like work or at least a very frank discussion are needed.  If you are happy, but there are things s/he does that exasperate you, it's probably a healthy relationship... people tend to exasperate even those who adore them.

If you do go the discussion route, I recommend against making a laundry list of "you do these things that make me unhappy" and bringing them all up at once.  It might be overwhelming and shut off further conversation.  If you can reduce all those things to one point-- "I think you are taking me for granted to handle all the things you don't want to do, and I wish you'd participate more," or "I wish you'd think of my feelings and consider my workload more often," it might be easier to swallow.

Good luck!

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No one "owes" anyone happiness. That reads like a business contract. And contracts are conditional. They include escape clauses.

Marriage goes much deeper than this. The love in a marriage is a covenant, a commitment of unconditional love all the days of your life.

I think it is very much conditional. I don't think unconditional love exists (unless it comes to one's children). Sure, we ALL say that we'll love them unconditionally no mattter what. But, there is a line at which it stops. That line is different for everyone. If my husband abused my children, if he raped someone, if his values changed so dramatically that he went from atheist to preacher, etc. ...I'd be LONG gone. And my love for him would fade over time to nothing.

I love him because of the values he holds, the philosophy he has, the person he is.

I think most people would stop loving the person who began abusing them, who abused their children, who sexually assaulted them or their kids. Yes, these are extremes. But, it just proves the point that there is a limit in terms of loving someone, remaining with someone. Eventually, over time, that love would disappear. Relationships, including marriage, is very much conditional.

Back to the topic, though. I'm not unpleasant to people because it makes me feel bad, and makes me less happy to be mean to others. Thus, I don't do it. I'm nice to others because this reflects the values I hold, and it makes me happy to uphold those values. Just like it makes ME happy to have my partner in my life, so I'll work to keep him in it.

Well, yes, of course. No one should stay in any abusive - physically or emotionally - relationship.

By conditional, I mean you don't treat a marriage like a contract. i.e. "If you do cook for me, have sex with me, etc., then I will love you, stay with you the rest of my life. If you fail to meet these terms, I will leave you."

Anyone in a relationship where his/her spouse is abusive toward the other, their children, others, should get out of that relationship immediately. I'm sorry if that wasn't clear.

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Marriage is a crap shoot at best.  Some of it is dumb luck, some of it is picking the right person, most of it is both people giving 100% because one thing marriage is not is a 50:50 proposition.

Marriage has taken on religious connotations in the US which did not exist when this country was founded.  Even the Pilgrams viewed marriage as a legal contract for the creation, care and security of children, and not as a religious rite.  As a legal contract, as others have pointed out, there are escape clauses.  There are also contract violations, like denial of carnal rights, as has been discussed here this week. One would argue that seeking carnal rights outside of marriage is also a contractural violation and they would be right.

I don't believe in marriage, I did it once which is why I don't believe in it!!  I think that love is over rated in general (except when it comes to one's children).  Most of us don't understand love at all, mistake other emotions for love and fall out of it with a great deal of ease.  There are those, like my ex and my mother, who are totally and completely incapable of the feeling, even for their children.  So you see, I don't believe in love between a man and a woman, I am not sure it truly exists...at least I put other names to it. 

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Marriage is a crap shoot at best.  Some of it is dumb luck, some of it is picking the right person, most of it is both people giving 100% because one thing marriage is not is a 50:50 proposition.

Marriage has taken on religious connotations in the US which did not exist when this country was founded.  Even the Pilgrams viewed marriage as a legal contract for the creation, care and security of children, and not as a religious rite.  As a legal contract, as others have pointed out, there are escape clauses.  There are also contract violations, like denial of carnal rights, as has been discussed here this week. One would argue that seeking carnal rights outside of marriage is also a contractural violation and they would be right.

I don't believe in marriage, I did it once which is why I don't believe in it!!  I think that love is over rated in general (except when it comes to one's children).  Most of us don't understand love at all, mistake other emotions for love and fall out of it with a great deal of ease.  There are those, like my ex and my mother, who are totally and completely incapable of the feeling, even for their children.  So you see, I don't believe in love between a man and a woman, I am not sure it truly exists...at least I put other names to it. 

Wow!That's very interesting especially about love not existing .

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when I read the title of this thread I though it said: "margarine and happiness."

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when I read the title of this thread I though it said: "margarine and happiness."

Well, that's an understandable misread.  Mmmm, Earth Balance...

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when I read the title of this thread I though it said: "margarine and happiness."

;D ;D ;D ;D Hey I'm not that much of a glutton. :D :D :D :D ;D ;D ;D ;D

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That one made me laugh, laurabs.  ;D It's funny how many of us misread the subject line and either interpret one of the words as food-related (well, that makes sense, of course, since this is a food site) or sex-related. Food and sex--a good combination, eh? Shows you what's on everyone's mind.  :D

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Yeah.  I only got married for the insurance.  I don't feel any differently about DH now than I did in the 2.5 years we lived together before we got married.

And you guys are so perfect for each other!

I'm reminded of the way i felt about love years ago when I was young(er) and naive(er?). I really thought it was up to my significant other to make me happy, and if they weren't making me happy I must not be making THEM happy. So I tried to make them be happy, but it never worked. Give and give and do whatever they asked or whatever I thought would make us both happier, but it never worked.

Then one day I met my sweetheart, the guy who doesn't need me to make him happy, the guy who doesn't have to MAKE me happy, either. We share our happiness. We're satisfied to be together, and we waited a LONG time to do that.

We're best friends first. We joke and laugh and play around. We're not good at the same things, so he helps me cook and I help him by telling him all the things I think I could do better because I'm a woman and that's how it is.

He takes out the garbage, and I vacuum the floors. He complains I'm not 100% turned on every time he is, and I complain...uhh... about everything.

It's give and take, and you have to comfortable with YOURSELF. You can't just give and expect to get something in return. It should be a pleasant surprise. And if you're not getting enough of something to be happy with life in general and your relationship, you need to fix the situation by either working it out or leaving. My boyfriend makes me feel loved and appreciated and he is very open about telling me when I'm too bossy or moody or lazy. I do the same. We value our relationship enough to be blunt and honest and forgiving.

And I cannot wait to marry him, even if only for the insurance benefits. I just plain want to be his wife.

:)

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True wisdom, Jeanacorina. With a basis like that your relationship/marriage will last. Friendship and respect waaaay outlast the sex. Face it, we're all going to age, you've got to have SOMETHING else to do.  ;D

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People love to say that... and I believe it!  But the sex doesn't up and evaporate six months in, either... been married 19 years and I don't think much has changed (except that practice makes perfect).  ;D

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People love to say that... and I believe it!  But the sex doesn't up and evaporate six months in, either... been married 19 years and I don't think much has changed (except that practice makes perfect).  ;D

That's so good to hear!  I have heard SO many people say that women just stop wanting to have sex once they get married.  Although I can't imagine that happening to me, I started to feel like I'm doomed!

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But that's what I mean...IF you have a solid friendship with your spouse, and respect and enjoy them, the sex lasts longer! If sex is all you've got, the spark soon goes out. I married a man 18 yrs my senior and our physical relationship was extremely satisfactory until he hit about 62...and developed a few prostate problems. It comes to all of us; you just  have to get creative! But even without the physical side, if you have other things you share with your best friend-spouse, the end of sex isn't the end of your relationship.

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But that's what I mean...IF you have a solid friendship with your spouse, and respect and enjoy them, the sex lasts longer! If sex is all you've got, the spark soon goes out. I married a man 18 yrs my senior and our physical relationship was extremely satisfactory until he hit about 62...and developed a few prostate problems. It comes to all of us; you just  have to get creative! But even without the physical side, if you have other things you share with your best friend-spouse, the end of sex isn't the end of your relationship.

Oh, I completely agree.  I know it's the most important thing, but sex is important too.  I was just commenting about that ubiquitous image of the man begging his wife for sex and was worried that I would turn frigid or something someday!

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