Do Happy Lifelong Marriages Exist?


#1

I was engaged and planning on spending the rest of my life with my ex-fiance but things fell apart right before my eyes. I never expected it but one argument snowballed and it led to the end.

Through that, I began thinking about marriage and I looked around at people I knew. The majority of the people I know are divorced. The few couples that I do know who have been married for a while are not happy. It just seems like people can't stay together forever. One person changes or grows and if the other person doesn't, how can you make it work? Or what if you find something about your spouse that you didn't know before and with each day the frustration grows and you can't take it anymore?

I know marriage is supposed to be forever but it seems like people either stay together forever and are unhappy or people decide they want to be happy but split. I guess I just can't understand how people can make it last forever and still be happy and in love. :shrug:


#2

For one thing divorce is not an option. Second, marriage isn’t a fairy tale. The phrase “a couple who prays together stays together” is so very true. You MUST frequent the sacraments in order to have a successful marriage (Eucharist, Reconciliation).
Tim Staples said it best; “True love isn’t found in the back seat of a Chevy, but in the front pew of the Church.”


#3

Society tells us that marriage should be about “me”. Christ and His Church tell us that marriage is about “us”.


#4

I guess that's where I'm having a disconnect. The people around me tell me that I need to be happy and focus on my happiness.

My question is more about people who have stayed together for the span of their lives. Are they truly happy or would they have been happier alone?

After going through my situation with my ex-fiance, I can understand how you want to spend your life with someone but when things get bad they can get totally rotten. How can you make a marriage work if one day it just goes sour and you are miserable?


#5

YES they do! My grandparents are some of the best people ive ever met in my life and they had the best marriage that I have ever seen in my life.
They are out there- they are rare, but they are real.


#6

Yeah, I have to agree with StFrancisXavier...

Sharing your faith - and actually LIVING it out on a day by day basis - is what binds you together...

Over the years there are many times that you don't necessarily FEEL "happy" or "in love", and the Sacramental bond is the only thing binding you together.

There are practical ways of keeping the bond... quality communication, spending time together, sharing your thoughts and feelings, laughing and crying, loving and forgiving, and being willing to move forward and wake up tomorrow knowing that you'll still be together in the morning...

We're getting there... married 10 years at the end of this year... and praying for many, many, many more years together...


#7

:thumbsup:


#8

I can't emphasize enough the teachings of the Church. Follow the teachings of the Church, all of them. Christ gave them to us for a reason.


#9

My grandparents were great catholic couple. Married 60 years with no major problems.


#10

[quote="jennifer1auren, post:4, topic:218325"]
I guess that's where I'm having a disconnect. The people around me tell me that I need to be happy and focus on my happiness.

My question is more about people who have stayed together for the span of their lives. Are they truly happy or would they have been happier alone?

After going through my situation with my ex-fiance, I can understand how you want to spend your life with someone but when things get bad they can get totally rotten. How can you make a marriage work if one day it just goes sour and you are miserable?

[/quote]

Marriage isn't just about YOU, though... it's not about making YOU happy.

Well, of course you should be happy, but the marriage itself should be focused on making your SPOUSE happy.

Obviously you don't want to be in an unloving or abusive relationship... that's basic stuff... but for the purpose of a LONG-TERM loving marriage - the focus is on one another - not on YOUR happiness...
I hope that makes sense...


#11

My parents have been married 31 years and are still happily married. My in-laws have been married even longer and are happily married as well. The only people who I know who aren't happily married were never happily married but rather got married for the wrong reasons. I don't think I've known anyone who I'd say had legimate reasons for divorce where there weren't serious issues before they got married.

I think though ultimately that you can't look to get happiness out of marriage or any relationship. Its all about having a healthy relationship and part of having a healthy relationship involves knowing how to hold your own emotional ground and well being. You can't be happy married unless you're at a place where you don't feel desperate to be in a relationship. The other person should definitely add to the joy in your life, but you should have joy independant of that person. A single person who is depressed and thinks the solution to their depression is to date or get married needs to get over their depression before he/she's ready for marriage. Otherwise you end up with a married person who realizes after the infatuation has gone that they're no longer happy in their current relationship. The grass will always be greener on the otherside because they're looking for happiness in the wrong way.


#12

Absolutely there are happy lifelong marriages. My grandparents, in-laws and parents were all long-married and very happy. My dad and mom were married 59 years at the time of her death, and he, at 90, still misses her every day.

My husband and I have been married 36 years, and have been together since we were 18. I think it is imperative that you get to know each other well, and make sure that you share the same values. Most character traits that would be deal-breakers emerge in the dating/courtship period.

I believe that - while “mixed” marriages can work - it is much easier to share your life with someone who shares your faith. And, as a previous poster mentioned, “divorce is not an option.”

Sure there will be tough times, but commitment means you work through them. We had good examples of long, faith-filled marriages in both our families, and I am so grateful to see the same in our daughters’ marriages.


#13

Well here is where the problem really stemmed from. My would-be MIL doesn't support herself. She doesn't work and lives off welfare. I asked my fiance what would happen when she can't work anymore or if she comes to us one day and says she has no place to go. I told him that I wouldn't want her moving in with us (it wouldn't just be her, it would be her son and her mother) and he said that unless I had a good reason (privacy was not good enough), he would move her in anyways.

It seems like when it comes to her, he is oblivious and completely defensive. It's as if it's the both of them against me.

Before she started intruding in our lives, we were happy (or at least I thought we were). She moved to be where he was for the sole purpose of trying to stop him from marrying now and making him go back to school.

If this woman refuses to work, I don't think it's fair for him to say it's ok to bring her into the house and support her when I do not want that. He will just continue enabling her. He just tells me that helping is the Christian thing to do.

I'm at a total loss because all we do is fight about this and we reach no conclusion. I love this man but I feel like I'm being pitted against her.

This derailed the OP that I made but this is a little background. From this, everyone keeps telling me to just let this relationship go because I would be signing up for a lifetime of unhappiness.


#14

[quote="jennifer1auren, post:13, topic:218325"]
Well here is where the problem really stemmed from. My would-be MIL doesn't support herself. She doesn't work and lives off welfare. I asked my fiance what would happen when she can't work anymore or if she comes to us one day and says she has no place to go. I told him that I wouldn't want her moving in with us (it wouldn't just be her, it would be her son and her mother) and he said that unless I had a good reason (privacy was not good enough), he would move her in anyways.

It seems like when it comes to her, he is oblivious and completely defensive. It's as if it's the both of them against me.

Before she started intruding in our lives, we were happy (or at least I thought we were). She moved to be where he was for the sole purpose of trying to stop him from marrying now and making him go back to school.

If this woman refuses to work, I don't think it's fair for him to say it's ok to bring her into the house and support her when I do not want that. He will just continue enabling her. He just tells me that helping is the Christian thing to do.

I'm at a total loss because all we do is fight about this and we reach no conclusion. I love this man but I feel like I'm being pitted against her.

This derailed the OP that I made but this is a little background. From this, everyone keeps telling me to just let this relationship go because I would be signing up for a lifetime of unhappiness.

[/quote]

So sorry to hear this. I can promise that you would be buying a boatload of trouble if you married someone who didn't put his wife first. His idea of "the Christian thing to do" and mine are vastly different. He is enabling his mother to manipulate him, and he is letting her get away with it. Believe me, nothing will change.


#15

[quote="dixieagle, post:14, topic:218325"]
So sorry to hear this. I can promise that you would be buying a boatload of trouble if you married someone who didn't put his wife first. His idea of "the Christian thing to do" and mine are vastly different. He is enabling his mother to manipulate him, and he is letting her get away with it. Believe me, nothing will change.

[/quote]

It's just really sad to see it end. He brought me to the Catholic faith and we both converted together. We received First Communion and were Confirmed on the same day. I thought this was something amazing that would last. :(


#16

Well the good thing here is that are now in the faith and that will last! This is a very precious gift.

Maybe God brought him to you to bring you back to the faith, and he has someone else in mind for you to marry.


#17

They absolutely do.

Remember, a Catholic marriage needs to represent the love Christ had for his church and vice versa.

As a Husband/wife your sole responsibility is to get your wife/husband/children to heaven. You completely forget about yourself and focus on the other.

Marriage is about joy, love, commitment etc...but I think many people forget that it is about sacrifice as well.


#18

[quote="Louie1983, post:16, topic:218325"]
Well the good thing here is that are now in the faith and that will last! This is a very precious gift.

Maybe God brought him to you to bring you back to the faith, and he has someone else in mind for you to marry.

[/quote]

I hope so! It's hard letting go of trying to control everything and trust God.

I'm still a newbie to the faith (I came to the Church February of last year) and he was my companion in faith matters. I never imagined he wouldn't be there anymore.


#19

Good Question. I posted a poll recently on this forum asking a similar question if most marriages are happy or unhappy.

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=486190

I got a varied response, but someone said that happy or unhappy was the wrong way to look at it. There are ups and downs, but marriage is about intimacy.

I also posted a thread about being happy being single and the response that I got from the CAF was that there is nothing wrong with that.

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=483220

If anything I have said is against the Catholic Church, let it be anathema.


#20

I certainly hope they do! My DH and I have only been married about a year and a half, so my experience is more limited than others, but I try to keep in mind something that the priest who said our nuptial Mass said. He told us that the most important thing we will ever do is love each other, and that we have to put loving each other first. It is in that loving each other that we will grow closer to Christ. Now, loving each other isn’t just a feeling - it’s a decision. Each day, in everything we do, we must put each other first… which gets easier to do when I realize that while I’m putting my husband first, he’s putting me first! We try to keep close to the sacraments, and love being able to go to Mass and sit together (which doesn’t happen often, since I’m in the choir and he often has to work on Sundays). I do know that marriage is more work than I expected, but also brings more joy than I could have known.


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