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Did/Do you have a good example to follow?

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Almost12Years posted 5/28/2013 08:42 AM

Thinking about this a bit lately..did you have a good example of a healthy marriage to follow at any point during your M? As I reflect on everything that's happened over the last year and a half, I often wish we had a "mentor" couple to support and guide us during the aftermath of the A.

While I commend my own parents for "sticking it out" over the last 40ish years, I often wonder how they ended up together in the first place. I know they love each other and in some ways balance each other out, but it is NOT a marriage I would want and never did. There are some better examples on fWH's side, but much more traditional (patriarchal) than what we want so it's not hugely helpful either unfortunately.

I desperately want fWH and I to provide an healthy example to our kids so that they know what it should be like. I just wished we had someone that we could follow instead of being the ones to pave the way..

twodoves posted 5/28/2013 09:07 AM

My parents have been together since 15, got married at 18. No big issues, still happy as can be.

WH's parents have been together forever, since early 20's, but WH's dad cheated on his mom when WH was the same age our daughter is now. They did work it out and stayed together, but i always wonder if that changed my WH in some fundamental way.

VD2012 posted 5/28/2013 10:12 AM

Does Uncle Phil and Aunt Vivian count? Because my only good examples of marriages and relationships sadly come from television.

My parents were beyond dysfunctional my whole life. Extreme physical, mental and emotional abuse from both of them to each other. But they "loved" each other until my mother's death. They modelled for me what not to do. My mother also cheated on my father, though my father always stayed steadfastly loyal to her even when they weren't together.

My mother also comes from a failed marriage before she met my father. Another very abusive relationship, in which her husband also cheated. Supposedly that was why my father was always better in her eyes even though the abuse was worse, he didn't cheat on her like her husband did. When I was 14 she abandoned me to retry being with the man, it didn't work out.

My one sister is a mess of a human who has plenty of screwed up relationships. My other sister has been with the same guy for 23 years but their relationship is terrible and she cheated on him about 8 years ago.

My grandma's relationship with her boyfriend (who I suppose could be considered my surrogate grandfather) was also toxic and not something to aspire to. My one uncle is a deadbeat father to two kids with separate women.

Honestly... no, no personal real life good examples. Even friends of mine, lots of cheating, lots of issues. Unhealthy relationships but they're displayed and shown off to the world as great.

My wife I suppose did. Some of her uncles are married to women for decades, and her one aunt has been married to her husband forever. They all seem like decent upstanding loving couples, but they're not close with her at all. A bit when she was a kid I suppose. But her parents showed her every toxic relationship you could have.

Her father was a loser who abandoned them and went off to marry another women. That marriage failed. He then got involved with random other women until meeting one (up to his death) who sucked him dry of his money.

Her mother has never had a stable good relationship since her divorce. She was engaged to a guy who touched my wife inappropriately, so that ended the engagement. My wife has told me her mother's long string of different boyfriends and how she was with them very heavily influenced how she thought she was supposed to be in life. Which to say the least is awful.

So yeah... no good examples for either of us.

TXBW68 posted 5/28/2013 10:37 AM

Nope. Other than his grandparents, who were together for 50+ years before gdad passed, we had the longest and best marriage. Includes both families and all of our friends. We were the "golden couple" everyone else looked up to.

My boys knew what was happening last summer when Dad left to be with OW4. My youngest said he didn't want to get married because he didn't want to leave his wife and kids the way Dad did. I told them both that they could use this experience to help them in the future. When they have girlfriends or get married and feel the need to cheat, they should remember what it was like watching their Mom go through all of it before they hurt their SO in the same way.

I'm also hoping that they learned how to be strong and ethical from me and how to be humble from their dad. I hope they remember that this almost destroyed us forever as a family and how hard Mom and Dad are working to make it better for all 4 of us.

jellybean22 posted 5/28/2013 10:52 AM

No. Unfortunately.

My father cheated multiple times on my mother. They are happy now but it was miserable when I was a kid. My one sister cheated on her husband. My other sister considered it and her H is abusive. My brother is controlling of his wife as is my FIL of my MIL. H's one aunt/uncle were sort of our mentor couple until he cheated on her and abandoned his family.

We were the "good" marriage in our family. Ha!

rachelc posted 5/28/2013 11:01 AM

No. my parents divorced when I was 10 when he left her for the OW - and is still unhappily married to her 30 years later. My Mom never remarried but has had a partner for 20 years and they are on/off. Both of my parents are too self-involved to be married.

fWH's parents have been married 53 years! And his grandparents were awesome, although they almost killed each other - it was a very passionate relationship.

idiot85 posted 5/28/2013 11:06 AM

My house growing up was matriarchal but nice and happy- they love each other and make each other laugh daily. My grandparents are ace- they bicker constantly but it's hilarious!!!

My wife's family- cheating Mother- unhappy Father but... he did leave and now he has a lovely relationship with his new wife. Her Mother... well she goes out with men. When her Grandad died her Gran did a Romeo & Juliet- not so romantic in real life.

sisoon posted 5/28/2013 11:22 AM

I've never seen an M that I wanted to emulate totally. My parents had passion, but fought bitterly and often. My W's parents avoided conflicts, but worked together beautifully. I saw an aunt and uncle while I was courting my W, and I liked a lot about their relationship, but my uncle was an alcoholic. A professor and hi W were a powerful influence on us, but they had 4 kids and were exhausted all the time, and our prof is an alcoholic (could be a result of WWII PTSD), though he drinks at home.

Our parents and prof were in LT Ms. My uncle's first W dies after being M for about 28 years, and it's my uncle's 2nd W I refer to.

We did our best to emulate the good stuff and leave the bad.

[This message edited by sisoon at 11:26 AM, May 28th (Tuesday)]

LA44 posted 5/28/2013 11:26 AM

My BF and her H have a wonderful relationship. I always knew ours was not in the best place when I looked at them. It was so....effortless. Ours is getting more like that everyday tho.

I think the best you can do is work hard to BREAK THE CYCLE of what we saw growing up. My parents have been married for 46 years. They have come to accept one another but there is no passion there and like you, I often wonder why they even got married! I was so afraid of that for me and H. Saw us going down that same road.

My H's parents split due to infidelity (his dad). In fact, one of the first things we did in MC was to note the infidelity in our families. What an eye opener!

I saw that as an opp to break the cycle, let go of past hurts that I saw other family members hold on too and set a greater example for our kids. This is not easy, esp. in the wake of an A. But do I think we would have seen that and felt compelled to make better choices and bring changes as we are today, otherwise?


Show your kids the marriage you want them to have, Almost12years. I hear the paver starting up as I type this....go for it!

JanaGreen posted 5/28/2013 11:39 AM

Sadly, no. My parents had an awful marriage when I was a kid (it seems to have gotten somewhat better - my dad seems to be nicer now to my mom).

I remember thinking how cool and awesome it was that my ex's parents slept in the same bed, went to bed together at the same time, and genuinely acted like they liked each other. That was when I was a senior in high school. They were the first "functional" couple I'd spent a lot of time around.

lordhasaplan? posted 5/28/2013 11:45 AM

My parents have been together for 35 years. goods, Bad, terribles. All brought them closer. They are a fuctional team who addores each other. My W's parents the same, didnt seem to help stave off her affair.

Rebreather posted 5/28/2013 12:40 PM

Sort of? My parents celebrate 50 years in August but it wasn't always happy. I remember hard times in my teens where I wished they'd just divorce. It caused my IC to work with me on the fact that I don't HAVE to stay married. So, my perspective was different, I think, in that I had to work to ensure I wasn't choosing to stay married because that is what I HAD to do, and the message delivered to me in my youth.

keeponkeepingon posted 5/28/2013 12:45 PM

Good timing on this one for me. I was in IC last week. She asked if I knew any people that have successfully R, at least in IRL. (She knows and likes what I have gotten out of SI). I immediately said my parents. Although they are a good example she was looking more at someone closer to our peers that could share their experiences. I had to really think. I have friends that have S without A being a cause that have R successfully. I do have friends that have had A as a part of the M. I have had several friends split because of A. I also have friends that are still in their M but not one of those would I say are actually happy. Lots of RAs and rugsweeping. I do not know of one marriage of my peers IRL that has successfully and happily recovered from infidelity. Doesn't give me a lot of hope. Thankfully there are people here that show otherwise.

And just to add. My parents will celebrate 47 years married this year. They are very happy despite infidelity in their history.

My ILS are divorced. There were A there. MIL never remarried. FIL on third M. MrKOKO has a whole helping of FOO issues.

[This message edited by keeponkeepingon at 12:49 PM, May 28th (Tuesday)]

Conflicted1 posted 5/28/2013 13:47 PM

Interestingly I had this very conversation with WH on Saturday. We both agreed neither of us saw one we admired because it was "healthy" but both observed qualities in various marriages of elder relatives when we were younger. Found it also telling that we don't have any current peers that either of us thought was a model- only mature marriages. Somehow the longevity for us both was a yardstick -is quantity over quality what we are going for or do we want both?I know I alway expected that both was the goal. Lots to ponder.

confused615 posted 5/28/2013 13:53 PM

My mother has been married 5 times.

My father left when I was 2..he was very abusive.

She cheated on husband #2 with husband #3.

She married husband #4,very briefly. He was an old friend...she and #2 partied with when they were younger..wife wasn't fond of my mother..hmmm.

She married #5,after a few years and a child. Turns out,he was a coworker,and a friend...that was getting married,and the night before the wedding he went out with a group of coworkers..and went home with my mother..and never left.

Mom is currently living with the man she has been with for the last 14 years. He was married until a few years ago.

No..I do not have a healthy example of a good marriage. I have not cheated on my WH.

WH's parents were married for 45 years. His father recently died. Both are/were good people,but lousy parents. Both were working all the time,not affectionate,or involved in their children's lives. Oh,and both are huge rugsweepers. I never saw any affection between them,until the very end,when I saw FIL kiss MIL. Im not sure what their marriage was like when WH was a kid.

[This message edited by confused615 at 1:54 PM, May 28th (Tuesday)]

huRtZ413 posted 5/28/2013 14:36 PM

Nope not one!

My mother was married once before my dad but until meeting him she was " dating" many men then I would say my parents got together they weren't ever really passionate that I remember and they had a really old day way of looking at things he worked she stayed home and they never married and were off and on he would shear they would seprate then he would sleep around then get back together then cheat and leave then back together so he was in and out of my life . My mother was bitter and had nothing positive to say about men to me or anyone for that matter . All the years in between their brief break ups my mother would have men from bars come over and well get her I suppose . Friends I don't know many who have married they keep it at BF/GF status and are off and on the marriages of peers that I know never been through an A , maybe they have but I wouldn't know . Sisters marriage to her first H was abusive and he may have cheated idk ....not something ppl like to say (it's embarrassing) her second marriage seems ok they laugh and he takes care of her but it looks passionless . Me I'm going through R with my WH who's my high school sweetheart and first . Although through our break up before marriage I did sleep with someone which he now knows about since I brought it to light in the mist of my DDay about his ONS in our marriage . Horrible oh and WH father is a serial cheater and still with my MIL who has already suffered more then I will ever allow.

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