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Author Topic: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?  (Read 14839 times)

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Offline chornbe

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How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« on: March 10, 2014, 01:25:55 PM »
This chick is kinda brilliant...  :smiley_thumb:

http://lizhearn.com/secrets-of-a-happy-marriage/

Quote
The second secret is one I have found to be paramount, and both overlooked and often negated in our society as a whole: relationships aren’t hard work. At least, the right one isn’t. I recently attended a wedding during which the officiant mentioned that relationships aren’t 50/50; you each have to put in 100%, and that way when one of you isn’t able to give it that much on any given day, there is still a full effort being given. I call bullshit. Do you hear me, interwebs? Bull. Shite. Put in 100% at your job. Put in 100% at parenting your offspring. Guess how much effort I put into my relationship? A big fat goose egg.


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Online Black Hills

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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2014, 01:32:32 PM »
hmm.. after a moment (OK, a second or two) of reflection I think I have to agree with her..
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Offline R Doug

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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2014, 02:08:22 PM »
Sheri and I have been happily married for nearly 21 years.  Early on, we stubled across a book called, "The Five Love Languages."  Yes, it's written by a Baptist preacher and yes it has some Christian principles to it, but it's GREAT advise no matter your belief on religion.  So, don't let that get any any ones' way in reading the book.

One of the things this book said was that relationships are not 50/50, they require 100% effort from each individual.  So, the quoted portion above resonates with me.   :smiley_thumb:
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Offline Max Wedge

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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2014, 02:30:28 PM »
I think it really depends on what your definition of 'effort' is. I could agree 100% or 0% depending on that definition.
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Offline RRdvark

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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2014, 02:33:08 PM »
"nowhere near enough"

-my wife

Offline chornbe

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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2014, 02:42:26 PM »
I think it really depends on what your definition of 'effort' is. I could agree 100% or 0% depending on that definition.

That's an excellent point. A few years before we finally broke up, the ex and I were in marriage counseling for like the umpteenth time, and one of things suggested was to make a date night. So, there we were, taking scheduled date nights, not really talking to each other, not really having anything in common, and not being able to FIND the common ground... and yet still "working" at not fighting, not having anything but apathy, not walking out... That's the kind of thing I see as "effort" (in this context).

In short, I shouldn't have to "work" to *want* to be there, if that makes sense.
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Offline Dan K

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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2014, 02:58:17 PM »
Defining effort is the key, and I think all relationships, no matter how rosy and perfect, require some effort, not a goose egg.  Anyone telling themselves their relationship takes no effort is lying to themselves and will be greatly disappointed when the time for some effort comes, setting themselves up for failure.

All relationships, even great ones, have stumbling blocks. Once in a while, it takes a little effort to get over it. There have been times I've done or said something wife was very unhappy about and we have to talk it through.  Job changes that can affect money/lifestyle. Toy purchases (ahem, bikes/therapy costs...)  Are those fun conversations? No. Do they take effort? Absolutely. Do they happen often? No, maybe two or three times in 16 years or so - But that's still effort, no way around it.

Chris - your effort (e.g., counseling) is effort, but that is extreme effort. It just didn't pay off. Sometimes it does. There's no one absolute answer.

On a lighter note - my wife has this thing where she can't answer a yes or no question, but can tell me in a long complete sentence that she's in the middle of an email to a client about a counter top, or in a rush to get ready and she can't answer now... would have been much easier to say 'yes.' She also never tightens the cap on jars or bottles. Do I overlook these things because she is generally an amazing wife and mother? Absolutely. Does it take a little effort? Damn straight it does.  ;D
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Offline cultureslayer

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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2014, 03:06:27 PM »
The main point is that when something is enjoyable, it doesn't seem like work even when it is.  You shouldn't be in a relationship where everything seems worse than it is, because you aren't enjoying it.
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Offline chornbe

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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2014, 03:07:20 PM »
Excellent points, Dan. And I think those little things you mentioned are the kinds of things that fall outside the normal definition of "work" or "effort" as you hear so many counselors and marriage self-help books discuss. And I agree - all those little things do take certain "effort", but I find those to be the "chuckle and move on with life" kinds of efforts.

A counselor once told me (to paraphrase), "you have to *choose* to be happy with your spouse." That's the kind of 'work' I don't even begin to understand. To my way of thinking - and apparently to Liz's as well - if I have to make a conscious choice and "choose to be happy" with my partner, then... I'm with the wrong partner. That's like asking me to choose to be happy to eat meat if I'm a vegetarian, or to choose to be happy living with sheep if I'm allergic to wool. The happiness comes from compatibility and neither of us being an asshole... not from "choosing to be happy" if we have nothing in common and just get on each others' nerves.

That's the kind of "work" being discussed, I think.


The main point is that when something is enjoyable, it doesn't seem like work even when it is.  You shouldn't be in a relationship where everything seems worse than it is, because you aren't enjoying it.

There ya go.
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Offline Scratch

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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2014, 03:13:11 PM »
Love is a banquet.

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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2014, 04:01:01 PM »
I guess it depends on the people. with my ex it was always "you need to..." you have to..." your going to..."  with my current wife it is "can you..." "will you..." "could you.." It makes for a much more pleasant atmosphere. I would like to think I am at least 1/2 the equation, but I'm pretty sure my wife does more than I do for our relationship. But, as I tell her "your whispered wish is my shouted command" she just rolls her eyes and say's "you trying to get laid?"
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Offline bluepoof

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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2014, 04:27:20 PM »
I work really hard at my relationship.  We're currently with our fifth counselor.  We both have a lot of issues, both emotional and physical (for me, I've found being in a relationship with someone with a chronic illness takes effort.  I can't speak for Peter, but I'll go out on a limb and guess that having said illness makes relationships take more effort on his end, too).  Does that mean we're wrong for each other?  I honestly don't know.  Maybe 25% of the time I think that's true.  But he's an excellent father and a good man and so far, it hasn't been throwaway work.

Offline R Doug

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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2014, 04:32:28 PM »
This chick is kinda brilliant...  :smiley_thumb:

http://lizhearn.com/secrets-of-a-happy-marriage/




Ha, I was finally able to read it (blocked at work).  What a wonderful read.  Thanks for sharing! 

(PS... I just dawned on me who wrote it    :redface: )
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Offline BuckeyeRider

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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2014, 04:59:10 PM »
I just paid a decent sized retainer to a law firm to file my dissolution and the wife moved out this past weekend, so I'm probably not the best person to answer that question at the moment....

 :twofinger:

Life is good though, and it's "mostly" amicable.


Offline giaka

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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2014, 05:21:07 PM »
If its working it should seem a 100% effortless.
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Offline I'm NOT Carl

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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2014, 06:00:48 PM »
It's amusing. My past experience has me agreeing. Working at it is a psychic drain. While my current relationship is less than a year old, I'm constantly surprised at what Jeanne says. I keep saying "you're my clone, aren't you?" :) She is a video gamer but has really gotten in to table top gaming. She's going with me to GenCon this year. She asked if I wanted to go with her to Albequerque in April. I said sure, could be fun. She suggested we take my bike though :) And we're planning a week long camping/biking trip around Colorado in June. And the trip to Indy is on the bike.

So far she seems to be enjoying it. Nothing seems forced. She's participating in the role playing game we're in and even figuring out she made an error on some combat stats. It's almost scary "it's a trap!" :D

Even our tastes are fairly similar. Food and entertainment.

Honestly, I would have been a little disbelieving that at least some work must happen, but this seems to be going quite well. :)

Carl
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Offline kneescrubber

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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2014, 06:03:06 PM »
On my 3rd go around now. Her 3rd as well. This one is by far the easiest and requires a whole lot less effort. Perhaps because we're older and our kids are all grown and responsible for themselves and their own relationships. We're coming up on our 10th year together as well. We spend plenty of time together doing the things we enjoy with each other but we both also have our own interests that neither is remotely interested in.

But I feel the big difference for both of us is, in a word, expectations. Neither of expects anything from the other that we know the other is truly incapable of doing. We're not out to change the other to fit any preconceived idea of what the other should be. When you can accept the other, good and bad, and still love them and want to be around them, it becomes very easy and effortless.

I truly wish I'd met Susan many years ago. But then, we were both different back then.  ;)
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Offline R Doug

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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2014, 06:50:11 PM »
Carl and Kneescrubber,

Can you give us your thoughts on partner selection and what to look for or take heed of?

I believe I got really lucky with Sheri.  I've seen other ex-girlfriends over the years since I've been married and realize they are freaking nut cases!  I've dodged a few bullets.  :lol:
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Offline kneescrubber

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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #18 on: March 10, 2014, 07:20:18 PM »
Carl and Kneescrubber,

Can you give us your thoughts on partner selection and what to look for or take heed of?

I believe I got really lucky with Sheri.  I've seen other ex-girlfriends over the years since I've been married and realize they are freaking nut cases!  I've dodged a few bullets.  :lol:

I certainly can't speak for Carl. I got married and became a father at the age of 19. Way too early for sure. And I think my kids saw how much I struggled to pay 2 different child supports. I think their marrying age reflects that. However, having started so early, I'm able to enjoy my grandkids while I'm relatively young. On the flip side, I spent 10 years searching (and not) from '94 to '04. Other than the brief (2 years) between my first and second marriage, I hadn't actually spent much time on my own, as it were. I certainly dated and had a few medium term relationships during that time. But other than 1, none were really seriously interesting to me.

Then I met Susan. We met online and she reached out to me first. We had many common interests; music, arts, peak oil  :rolf: & healthy eating to name a few.


That's all for now.

Most of y'all know the secret already.  ;)

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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #19 on: March 10, 2014, 08:09:53 PM »
Somewhere along the line, I guess I got really lucky. 
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Offline Cookie

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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #20 on: March 10, 2014, 08:43:45 PM »
:popcorn:

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Offline BMW-K

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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #21 on: March 10, 2014, 08:47:38 PM »
Yep.  I agree for the most part.

I got lucky.  Well, actually it wasn't really luck.  I went through enough bad relationships to learn what didn't work...and enough bad relationships to figure out what was important to me.  All of that learning wasn't luck - it was experience.  No different than any other learning.  I had to develop enough experience to learn what I wanted and what worked for me.

When I met my wife to be we bother marked that being together didn't take effort.  It still doesn't.  Being with my Wife is the easiest time I can spend.  I get to be me.  100% me! No lies, no bent truths, no hidden bad traits. Trina gets it all...and "gets" it all too.

By the same token I want her to be her.  She just gets to be.

And for us, that's why it all works. We are ourselves without hiding the negative.  I love her for her faults and those faults have become little charms of joy in my life.  By the same token my flaws aren't a burden for her.  Even dating it just wasn't a big deal.

We each have baggage. Some it's rather ugly baggage.  For whatever reason her baggage just doesn't bother me...and my baggage doesn't bother her.  And so it is we get to accept each other just for who we are and we get to enjoy each minute together, encouraging each other just to be ourselves.

In letting each Other just be, we also discovered that we have the same fundamental values, morals and ethics.  With the topics Of politics and religion and the like being a non-event in our lives there's little to argue about. 

In our nearing ten years of marriage and 13 years together we've had maybe three real arguments. And, as a rule, it's usually because I said the wrong thing at a time when she's just too tired at the end of a day.

Each day I give thanks for all the blessings in my life.  Having her in my life is right at the top of that list.

Is it work? 

I dunno, no more work than choosing to spend a few hours of my life with the woman I love.  I suppose that's some kind of work...I mean, I gotta bust out a couple of bucks for dinner and a movie here and there.  But she doesn't ask me to go see chick flicks and I don't ask her to see pointlessly loud and violent movies either. 

And we both like red meat.  Medium rare. 

And Dark beers.

And she impressed the heck out me by having Teflon pipe tape in her apartment...and the fact that I knew what it was and why impressed the heck out of her (errr, yeah.  I fixed her plumbing.  LOL!)

Aww heck, gettin' misty here.   I love that woman. 

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Offline Napper

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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #22 on: March 10, 2014, 09:42:42 PM »
My last marriage felt like a dead-end job.  So I retired.

Keeping a relationship healthy takes effort.  If you neglect it, it can't last.  Whether or not you want to call tending to the relationship "work" is up to you.

Offline bluepoof

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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2014, 10:01:36 PM »
This thread is depressing the hell out of me. :(  Ah well, it's not like I don't know where the door is if I want to walk through it.

Offline M.Brane

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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #24 on: March 10, 2014, 10:32:15 PM »
 For the most part I do all the manly work, and she does all the girly work. Seems like a fair arrangement.

 We just enjoy each others company most of the time we are together, and have time for ourselves as well. Yeah we've had some issues, but we're both mature enough to work through them without holding grudges or bitterness.

 I guess it depends on your definition of work. For me work is what I do to earn a living. Not that work can't be enjoyable, but I tend to think of the time spent in my relationship as being outside the realm of "work". I would certainly rather spend time with my girl than at work. I've known people who felt otherwise, and that is sad.

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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #25 on: March 10, 2014, 10:39:27 PM »
This thread is depressing the hell out of me. :(  Ah well, it's not like I don't know where the door is if I want to walk through it.

Most people put too much thought into things. Enjoy it while,you can, if it lasts forever great, if not tie one on and start over. No sense being miserable any. Longer than necessary.

P.s. Immediately after having a baby is a bad time to think about your relationship  ;)
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Offline cultureslayer

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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #26 on: March 10, 2014, 10:48:04 PM »
This thread is depressing the hell out of me. :(  Ah well, it's not like I don't know where the door is if I want to walk through it.
Nah, most people just forget what a pain in the ass the other person is most of the time.  Like me not having a bike to ride the last three weeks because he wanted to check the flat front tire before I ordered a new one and guess who hasn't gotten around to it?  Or him not eating vegetables and I have to eat a nightshade free paleo diet if I want to feel like getting out of bed in the morning.  Or him being tired of working on the house and my allergies bothering me because there is carpet left?  Right now he's annoyed that I'm fostering a dog, but he can suck it up and deal with it.  I'm sure the recent nightshade free thing isn't great for him either, but I don't have a choice on that unless I want to slowly kill my liver with medication instead of changing my diet. 
Lauren

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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #27 on: March 10, 2014, 11:10:08 PM »
Nah, most people just forget what a pain in the ass the other person is most of the time. 

:lol: That's likely true.

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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #28 on: March 10, 2014, 11:31:58 PM »
 :lol:

M.Brane really, and I mean really, hates doing the dishes. The upside is that if I don't feel like doing them, I don't get any static. :thumbsup:

Yeah, middle age is great; expectations are a lot more realistic. And a lot of stuff Just. Doesn't. Matter. Any. More. What a fucking relief.

So many people like to embroider their woes on all of their clothing. And most of that clothing needs to go to Goodwill.  :bigok:
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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #29 on: March 11, 2014, 01:14:08 AM »
/snicker.

I'm not allowed to touch the washing machine.  In exchange, I get to maintain the vehicles and any household repairs. 

It's a good trade!   ;)
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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #30 on: March 11, 2014, 04:21:21 AM »
I do most of the cooking, cleaning, shopping and she folds the laundry. I hate folding the laundry. I tend to all outside work, bring in most of the wood and home maintenance. 

She doesn't mind when I leave for a ride and don't come back for the day, days. I can spent the day working in the garage any time I wish.

I try to put her needs ahead of mine always.



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Offline chornbe

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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #31 on: March 11, 2014, 05:09:09 AM »
If its working it should seem a 100% effortless.

Which I think is more the point. "It doesn't feel like work."


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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #32 on: March 11, 2014, 05:40:55 AM »
I will add that i do all those things because i want to.

Also, if in a relationship you feel the need to keep score, youve already lost.

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Offline R Doug

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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #33 on: March 11, 2014, 06:34:10 AM »
You all are cracking me up.  It's "work" put into relationships, not work done around the house.  :lol:

For example, Sheri knows how much I love F1 and MotoGP and an any Sunday (during race season), if she wants to spend time with me, she gets involved in these things and watches it with me (with enthusiasm).

For me, I know how much she enjoys reading and needs moments of quite time around the house.  So, instead of going off on my own to leave her alone, I'll grab a book and sit down beside her and read.  She appreciates the fact I'm spending time with her doing what she enjoys.

Sure, I get big brownie points for emptying the dishwasher for her from time to time or running the vacuum for her.  And she'll get big brownie points for washing a car or mowing the lawn for me.  But, it takes more than that.

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Offline cultureslayer

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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #34 on: March 11, 2014, 06:38:40 AM »
/snicker.

I'm not allowed to touch the washing machine.  In exchange, I get to maintain the vehicles and any household repairs. 

It's a good trade!   ;)
I thought we had the same arrangement, then the whole bike tire BS thing started.  >:( I guess I'll order a new tire anyway in the next couple days. It's not so much about the bike tire as it is him being lazy and not doing what he said he would.  If he'd just do what he says he would there wouldn't be any problems.
Lauren

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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #35 on: March 11, 2014, 06:39:03 AM »
Replying to R Doug: Well it might appear that way but it's how easy that got 'worked' out is what the magic is.

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Offline chornbe

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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #36 on: March 11, 2014, 06:42:58 AM »
Replying to R Doug: Well it might appear that way but it's how easy that got 'worked' out is what the magic is.

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Offline CLAY

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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #37 on: March 11, 2014, 08:32:52 AM »
I'm no expert.  We're ina  tough time of life right now- two young kids, both work full time.  We are both committed to each other, even though some days it's a tiring life.  We do try to make time for each other- in a couple weeks we take off for the weekend with the two of us.  Those are the breaks we need.  In the summer we take a nice long vacation with the fam where tensions are reduced and we see stuff- last summer's was awesome.

It's not perfect, but it's good.  We both know and respect each other, and right now when she's really busy with work (heavy class load this semester) I pick up the pace a bit to help out more.  There's no doubt we love each other and have the commitment, it's just a busy season of life for us right now.  This summer it all slows down, which is awesome.

So, is it perfect for us?  Nope.  But is it good?  YES! 
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Offline chornbe

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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #38 on: March 11, 2014, 08:40:08 AM »
This thread is depressing the hell out of me. :(  Ah well, it's not like I don't know where the door is if I want to walk through it.

I'm sorry, Carolyn. I certainly didn't mean for anything like that to happen posting it.

Liz and I are (I think I can speak for her) deliriously happy, very compatible and very much at ease with who we each are, and with each other. In that regard, I feel happier and luckier than I ever thought I had any right to be, especially... given some of the crap that's happened with me in the past.

I guess I just wanted to brag a little by posting her blog entry, and put it out there that there's great stuff to be found in life.

I'm really sorry you're feeling bad things about it. :(
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Offline chornbe

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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #39 on: March 11, 2014, 08:41:43 AM »
I'm no expert.  We're ina  tough time of life right now- two young kids, both work full time.  We are both committed to each other, even though some days it's a tiring life.  We do try to make time for each other- in a couple weeks we take off for the weekend with the two of us.  Those are the breaks we need.  In the summer we take a nice long vacation with the fam where tensions are reduced and we see stuff- last summer's was awesome.

It's not perfect, but it's good.  We both know and respect each other, and right now when she's really busy with work (heavy class load this semester) I pick up the pace a bit to help out more.  There's no doubt we love each other and have the commitment, it's just a busy season of life for us right now.  This summer it all slows down, which is awesome.

So, is it perfect for us?  Nope.  But is it good?  YES!

I guess the big question is, in the context of the original post is, do you ever have to convince yourself or talk yourself into spending time with her? Do you have to find or make up reasons to spend with her? Do you have to brace yourself to be around her, I guess. If not, I see it as "it's all good."  :thumbsup:
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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #40 on: March 11, 2014, 08:44:50 AM »
"Work" is all encompassing. There was a line from a movie, "I want you to want to do the dishes". I want to do the dishes. It makes her happy. I want to do all the things I do. They make her happy. I want to bring her a coffee when she works 45 minutes away. It makes her happy.

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Offline chornbe

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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #41 on: March 11, 2014, 08:46:38 AM »
"Work" is all encompassing. There was a line from a movie, "I want you to want to do the dishes". I want to do the dishes. It makes her happy. I want to do all the things I do. They make her happy. I want to bring her a coffee when she works 45 minutes away. It makes her happy.

I knew you were a softie at heart.  :inlove: :thumbsup:
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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #42 on: March 11, 2014, 08:47:17 AM »
/snicker.

I'm not allowed to touch the washing machine.  In exchange, I get to maintain the vehicles and any household repairs. 

It's a good trade!   ;)
I thought we had the same arrangement, then the whole bike tire BS thing started.  >:( I guess I'll order a new tire anyway in the next couple days. It's not so much about the bike tire as it is him being lazy and not doing what he said he would.  If he'd just do what he says he would there wouldn't be any problems.

Shut your synthroid hole, girlie.  A man knows when he has a task to do.  There's no need to remind him every 6 months that it needs to be done.  You just wait until it's time!


:)
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Offline chornbe

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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #43 on: March 11, 2014, 08:51:20 AM »
But I feel the big difference for both of us is, in a word, expectations. Neither of expects anything from the other that we know the other is truly incapable of doing. We're not out to change the other to fit any preconceived idea of what the other should be. When you can accept the other, good and bad, and still love them and want to be around them, it becomes very easy and effortless.


Yeah, middle age is great; expectations are a lot more realistic. And a lot of stuff Just. Doesn't. Matter. Any. More. What a fucking relief.


Both of these really hit home with me.

I try, in all things in life really, to set reasonable, realistic expectations - for myself and for what I offer to others - and always try to deliver on those. I haven't always succeeded, but I've always tried in earnest. To me, that's one of the things that makes "a good life"; living with your decisions, making the best ones you can, and always delivering what you promise.

We're all a work in progress, each of us. The older I get, the work I need becomes clearer and clearer... and hopefully less and less.
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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #44 on: March 11, 2014, 09:09:42 AM »
My answer would be "a lot".  Here's why:  I married up...big time.  I'm not really worthy of the company of my wife.  On my own, I'm kind of a douchebag.  I'm selfish and lazy to boot.  So, I know that if I want to maintain my current status,
I need to work to not be that guy that my nature would have me be.  This makes me a better person and more like the man I want to be.  Her contributions to the household and its income are massive.  So, if that means that while she is
studying or writing a paper for her masters class on a Saturday, I spend a couple hours cooking so we'll have easy dinners and lunches for the week, I don't really consider that an unreasonable contribution or work, per se.  I consider it
the price of admission to this relationship that I'm not really qualified for.  I have no desire to give her any more reason than she probably already has to wonder how much better she could do.  So I do some stuff that I probably wouldn't
choose as my first choice just cuz I know it will make her happy.  I want to make her happy.  It keeps me married.  That's a pretty good trade. 

One of our biggest problems is that we're usually so busy being best friends that sometimes we forget to be married. 

If a person's primary concern is increasing freedom, they should prepare for a reduction in average lifespan.  ---  Misanthropist

If you say "Gullible" real slow, it sounds like "Orange"

Offline Rincewind

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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #45 on: March 11, 2014, 09:33:42 AM »
If I didn't put any effort into my marriage relationship, I doubt she would stay with me.  Heck if she didn't put any effort into it, I would feel the same. 
« Last Edit: March 11, 2014, 06:55:08 PM by Rincewind »

Offline bluepoof

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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #46 on: March 11, 2014, 09:54:11 AM »
I'm sorry, Carolyn. I certainly didn't mean for anything like that to happen posting it.


Oh, I know!! I didn't mean to make it about me. :lol: I'm super legit happy for you and you deserve to brag!

To elaborate just a teensy bit: now that I think about it, Peter and I work hard, but it's not working to enjoy spending time together, etc.  We've come to realize that some of our individual personality traits are not entirely compatible (we're both codependent, for example), so we spend a lot of work on ourselves, which hopefully improves the relationship as a side effect. 

Our biggest problem is actually trying to help too much (see above, re: codependence).  Neither of us are good at asking for help, so the other person tries to guess.  We wind up spending inordinate amounts of time trying to help the other person, which sets us up for resentment and bitterness when the other person doesn't immediately explode with blow jobs and rose petals to shower us with appreciation.  :lol:  The person being "helped" also feels resentment because we think that after 16 years together, the other should know exactly how to help at all times (which, duh, isn't true because no one can read minds).

So we're actually actively trying to "work" and "help" each other less.  It's been tricky, especially with a baby and the aforementioned illness, but it's actually helping quite a bit.

Offline chornbe

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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #47 on: March 11, 2014, 09:55:20 AM »
*whew*  :bigok:
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Offline CosmicCowboy

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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #48 on: March 11, 2014, 10:06:54 AM »
Sheri and I have been happily married for nearly 21 years.  Early on, we stubled across a book called, "The Five Love Languages." 

It's not a comprehensive list. Turns out there are at least six love languages. Mine is personal space.

Offline CLAY

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Re: How much "work" do you put into your relationship?
« Reply #49 on: March 11, 2014, 10:12:40 AM »
I'm no expert.  We're ina  tough time of life right now- two young kids, both work full time.  We are both committed to each other, even though some days it's a tiring life.  We do try to make time for each other- in a couple weeks we take off for the weekend with the two of us.  Those are the breaks we need.  In the summer we take a nice long vacation with the fam where tensions are reduced and we see stuff- last summer's was awesome.

It's not perfect, but it's good.  We both know and respect each other, and right now when she's really busy with work (heavy class load this semester) I pick up the pace a bit to help out more.  There's no doubt we love each other and have the commitment, it's just a busy season of life for us right now.  This summer it all slows down, which is awesome.

So, is it perfect for us?  Nope.  But is it good?  YES!

I guess the big question is, in the context of the original post is, do you ever have to convince yourself or talk yourself into spending time with her? Do you have to find or make up reasons to spend with her? Do you have to brace yourself to be around her, I guess. If not, I see it as "it's all good."  :thumbsup:

For me it's exciting to spend time with her.  I look forward to it- we enjoy it.  It's just that given our current stage of life, sometimes we get "too busy" to spend time together, which is a mistake we constantly correct by *planning* time together.  Date night, weekends, etc.  When we do it, we love it.  I know it probably seems ironic that we both sometimes neglect that which we love, but that's what happens a bit.   :shrug:
  Then a weekend away or summer will come, both of our weekly schedules slow down, and we spend "chill time" at the pool.   :inlove:
"Most accidents happen when the meek meet the douchebags."  -Viffergyrl
"The wider the road, the worse the food." -Coho
Let's do some science.