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Red Letter
since 05-24-99
Posts 92
Allentown, PA

0 posted 07-10-99 03:52 PM       View Profile for Red Letter   Email Red Letter   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Red Letter

Everywhere around me, there are married couples who are not happy anymore. They are in different stages of their relationships, but somehow, all are fighting to keep things afloat, or merely 'surviving' for the sake of the children, financial situation or whatever the case may be... Too many are no longer "in love"... Too many have one foot out the door...

This week, two different male friends of mine - both married - have hit on me. I put myself in the position of these men's wives and wondered what they would think if they knew their husbands were making advances to single women...

My own two year marriage ended not so long ago and I wonder if I will ever find the kind of true love that you read about - the kind that transcends time's boundaries, the kind that supposedly never ends... Is it possible to be happy with ONE person for the rest of your life?? Do you think it was MEANT to be that way or do you think that it's possible that this institution that we call marriage is inherently flawed and for 99% of us, as we change and grow older, so do our needs and desires?

Any thoughts??

[This message has been edited by Red Letter (edited 07-10-99).]
doreen peri
Member Rara Avis
since 05-25-99
Posts 8028

1 posted 07-10-99 04:11 PM       View Profile for doreen peri   Email doreen peri   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for doreen peri

Marriage is an institution. People hate to be institutionalized. That's the big answer in a nutshell.

Problem is.... "in love" fades.... ALWAYS... you have to continually rekindle the flame and that takes work. People are lazy. They want instant gratification. They want the newly found lust of the beginning of a relationship and don't quite know how to move on to the deeper love of commitment.

And then again.... once you're committed and live in the institution, the food sucks and you need medication.

Red Letter
since 05-24-99
Posts 92
Allentown, PA

2 posted 07-10-99 04:26 PM       View Profile for Red Letter   Email Red Letter   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Red Letter

dp -

couldn't agree with you more there but I guess my question is more about if it is even possible, with "hard work" and all, to keep a marriage happy, continually satisfying, and reciprocal? Or is it just fighting an uphill battle to the point that it is more work then it is joy? I don't think most people honestly think that the 'rosey haze' of a new relationship is forever but do believe that their love will last and deepen as years go by - that it will not end (even after the "lust" has faded)... but I have so rarely seen it that I wonder if that really is possible?
Poet deVine
Member Empyrean
since 05-26-99
Posts 25869
Hurricane Alley

3 posted 07-10-99 06:20 PM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

So many people go into a marriage with little more than lust in their loins. The greatest marriages are built on friendship. When the lust fades, if you truly like someone and enjoy being with them, that part of the relationship takes over. There's still lust/love but the friend/love will always remain strong. If all you like to do together is have sex, when that doesn't happen as much (because of stress, work, kids , etc)you have nothing left. But if you love to do the same kinds of things or just enjoy talking or being together, the marriage will surely last.

I was married for 20 years. At the end of 10, I knew it was a mistake. I loved him but found out that as we got older, I grew and changed, he didn't. And since I didn't feel he was my 'true friend'...always there for me, the marriage crumbled.

About married men hitting on you... make it a rule to NEVER knowingly go out with a married man! Be firm! There will be 2 people hurt - you and his wife! He will emerge unscathed every time!
Senior Member
since 07-01-99
Posts 651
The Steamy Desert

4 posted 07-10-99 06:20 PM       View Profile for azblond   Email azblond   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for azblond

I so strongly believe that once you give up hope you begin to set standards so low, that the only thing we are able to live up to is the disappointments of life. Granted, marriage is something that we see fail more and more often today, but alot of times it is because we allow ourselves the right to do so. We accept "Growing Apart" as an excuse, instead of trying to find ways to come together. We allow children and careers to run our lives, and fail to think of ourselves as part of a package. We forget when the kisses were sweet, and concentrate instead on the bills, the menu for dinner, and what's up with the Joneses. How often we let the little things that we fell in love with slip away. How easy to try and change the one you love. Of course there is never going to be someone perfect for you, or for me in that matter, for after all...we are all far from perfect. I believe that the true challenge is in being a partner, a friend. How is it possible we can hold onto friendships from when we were young, knowing all the changes we have gone through, and still hold these friendships so close to our hearts? Can't we apply the same philosophy to our spouse? I have to allow myself the dream that I will grow old with someone I love by my side. And sometimes I have to work damn hard to make it come true. The biggest thing is not letting anything get in the way of the dream, of not setting standards so high no one can reach them, or so low, that you sink before swim. It's in loving blind, but kissing with your eyes wide open. And accepting no one is perfect, lest of all yourself. And every once in a while kissing the one you love so long and hard that it takes his breath away.

Let my words fall first upon deaf ears before a closed mind...
since 06-07-99
Posts 101

5 posted 07-11-99 07:47 PM       View Profile for fjones   Email fjones   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for fjones

I have to reply to this question. I am living proof that you can stay married thirty-seven years and be very happy. The truth is you receive so much more than happiness. Let me list some of the rewards of a good marriage. First there is the physical attraction and lust which is great and last for a while but then it can be replaced with wonderful lovemaking which never grows old if you will always remember to pleasure each other. Another reward is the friendship that should always be growing to the point that you will know your mate so well that you can know his every need. Contentment is another blessing of a good marriage. You are satisfied with your mate and never consider anyone else. You know the statement “You become as one.” Well it’s true but you still allow each another to be individuals.

Now most of you probably think this is fiction or you have become board with the simple truth but I am going to tell you some of the reasons our marriage has worked. First and foremost we like each other.
Second leaving was never an option for either. Truth is we had it much better after marriage to each other
than we had before we were married. We made a pact –We would never say anything to hurt the other knowingly- not easy but it can be done. Now, we air our grievances but we do not attack each other.
We both know without a shadow of a doubt we can live without the other. I would not want him to go but I would be OK. In other words our strength, happiness and well being is a product of our own doing and together we complement the other’s life. I know this will not be understood unless you are also a Christian
But we have always had God as head of our household.

Notice I never said we were happily married. We are happy and we are married. We have a good marriage because we want it and decided that would be our fate early on.
Enough said I hope you may understand some of what I am trying to convey.
Alain DeLaCendres
since 07-02-99
Posts 121

6 posted 07-12-99 12:59 AM       View Profile for Alain DeLaCendres   Email Alain DeLaCendres   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alain DeLaCendres

Hhhhmm....not being married or ever having been married (and therefor not having a whole lot of room to talk) I guess I can only say one thing.
I believe that love changes. Romantic teenage devotion is different from the mature love of a couple married for twenty years. The type of love a couple shares changes as the people do, and maybe therein lies the answer...but then maybe not...

Tout s'en va, tout passe, l'eau coule, et le couer oublie.
Member Seraphic
since 05-20-99
Posts 24426
Cape Cod Massachusetts USA

7 posted 07-14-99 04:41 PM       View Profile for Nan   Email Nan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Nan's Home Page   View IP for Nan

Red, I know people who are still happily married after decades - I've seen it and I believe in it - rare as it may be... and I'm just idealistic enough to want that kind of relationship...
Senior Member
since 06-08-99
Posts 1801

8 posted 07-14-99 05:58 PM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

All around me, I see people who are not married who are not happy. Being somewhat biased having been married 28 years, happiness and true love comes from within. Life inexorably changes... so do relationships, but what you make of those changes determines your happiness or lack thereof. Having gotten married at 18, having had four children,I know about teenage romance and changing lives. I know far more happily married people than I know happy single people. forwhatever it is worth department....
Red Letter
since 05-24-99
Posts 92
Allentown, PA

9 posted 07-15-99 02:52 PM       View Profile for Red Letter   Email Red Letter   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Red Letter


While I appreciate all of the imput I received here, I think it was your reply that hit closest to the heart. Just to be clear on something, I'm not a teenager, I'm not wondering about the difference between a mature adult relationship and the kind of "puppy love" or "infatuation" that teens may find themselves in. As an adult, I am very aware of the difference. My question stemmed more from a seemingly lack of contentment among married adults around me.

Your reply was exactly what I was looking for. I appreciated your thoughts on why you have found happiness and the items that you listed make a lot of sense. In my own marriage (now defunct), I often felt I was the REASON for my husband's happiness. I could not accept that in order for him to be happy, I needed to be there. That became clear in time but it took a while for us both to realize how emotionally unhealthy it was for both of us.

I love the idea of remaining individuals while still acting "as one flesh". Of respecting each other and being FRIENDS - genuinely LIKING each other seems obvious but unfortunately missing from too many relationships. Keeping passion alive takes creativity but I can't believe that a couple should ever let that go, no matter what their age or how many years they have been together. There are other things that you brought out but I think you get the idea..

Thanks for restoring my hope. It's funny but as "realistic" as I view myself to be, I still hold on to this hope beyond hope that the "fairytale" is REAL. That you really can live 'happily ever after' in the real world. I don't think that I am looking for something unrealistic - just something that is fulfilling and genuine and reciprocal. Knowing that there are folks out there such as yourself simply assures me that the joys can certainly outweigh the "work" - I applaud both yourself and your husband and wish you many many more years of love and joy together. God bless...
doreen peri
Member Rara Avis
since 05-25-99
Posts 8028

10 posted 07-16-99 08:21 AM       View Profile for doreen peri   Email doreen peri   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for doreen peri

Hey, Red... just thought I'd let you know that my parents were happily married and actually appeared to be "in love" for 46 years, before my dad's death in '96. Yesterday, I was taking my mom to the doctor and I noticed this elderly man flirt with her as we were entering the building. "He's flirting with you, mom," I said. Mom showed me her left hand. "See this?", she asked, pointing to her wedding band, still nestled with her engagement ring. "Your father may not be around right now, but we are still very much married. My heart is his," she said. I got a warm feeling inside and could almost feel my Dad smiling down from heaven.

I was brought up living with these happily married people (well, they disagreed from time to time) and as a result, I set my sights and priorities high.
luv ya, dp
Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US

11 posted 07-16-99 09:29 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Red, one of the questions you asked in your initial post was "Is it possible to be happy with ONE person for the rest of your life??" And, interestingly, I think you answered that question yourself in another thread, in another forum.

Yes, it's possible to be happy with one person for the rest of your life. But only, I think, if that one person is yourself!

There are a lot of reasons, I think, why a relationship fails - so anything I say is just generalities. But I also think a very large part of the reason many relationships fail is because people become disillusioned. They think the relationship - the other person - should be responsible for making them happy. I know so many people that go from one relationship to another, one bed to another, with never a moment in between. I know almost as many that won't even think of leaving a relationship until they have someone else to replace the one they're leaving. They can't seem to even imagine the concept of actually being alone, of not being part of a relationship. I'll bet you know a lot of those people, too.

I think there are a lot of prerequisites for a good marriage. You have to sincerely like the other person as a friend, and respect them as a person. You have to be willing to work at the relationship. And all the other things already touched upon in this thread. But I think the very first prerequisite for a relationship is that you have to like yourself first! If you aren't happy alone, you won't be happy with another person - because you are still there.

One of the points you made in your post was about infidelity, and I think it relates directly to what I'm trying to say. People don't play around because it's a biological need - either for men or women. They play around because, for some, it's a psychological need. They need that continued sense of conquest, that feeling that someone would actually "want" them, to bolster their own ego. They need the reassurance. "I must be an okay person," they say subconsciously, "Because this other person wants to be with me." The new relationship, the conquest, makes them feel good about themselves. For a little while. But the sad part is, if they need an external confirmation of their self-worth then they're going to need it again and again and again.

I know Faye well enough through her poetry and correspondence to say she's a strong woman, confident in her own self-worth, which is bolstered even more through her strong faith. I strongly suspect her husband is the same, and I'm sure Poet deVine's parents were equally strong. I know my own parents, together for 45 years, were like that.

I personally don't think another person can ever make you happy. Happy comes from you. One of the biggest problems in our society is the result of expecting marriage to make us happy. When it doesn't, we blame the marriage. And we leave, usually only to find another marriage that still doesn't make us happy. As long as a person insists on finding happiness through a relationship they are doomed to disappointments. Only when they discover happiness within themselves can they be happy with another.

And the best part is - that kind of happiness really can last forever!
Junior Member
since 07-13-99
Posts 30
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

12 posted 07-18-99 01:54 AM       View Profile for Daniel2   Email Daniel2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Daniel2

I'm with Fjones. I believe that the Bible gives the true secret of all lasting relationships. The Bible has a different definition of love than our culture. Our culture believes that love is a feeling. The Bible says that love is your actions. Feelings come and feelings go. Love operates with and without the feelings. An example of this is the Biblical command to love your enemies. That means to act in the best interest of your enemies, not to feel mushy about them. That kind of love comes from God.
Now, I must be honest. My own marriage is at a very rocky stage and it's because of my actions in the past. I believe that I can turn it around by my present actions with God's help. If love was a feeling like in all the songs, I'd be outta here and my kids would be part of the statistics. I pray that that won't happen.
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