TheRedArchive

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Reflections on dating after 9 years of marriage

August 16, 2022
111 upvotes

It's my anniversary this week. In the spirit of that, here are some thoughts on my experiences dating and vetting my husband. At this point, we are very solid and happy. My regrets are few and mostly center around not having kids sooner. I've also gotten to see how my choice of man and my vetting (a term I use loosely) have played out in a marriage. So here you go, some random thoughts that do not rise to the level of their own individual post.

Also in the spirit of "I'm in a good mood today" - ask me anything. We don't usually do AMAs around here because who can really claim to be an expert. But I've been around this community for a while. I've been married for a while and with my husband for quite a bit longer. I'm open to answering random questions today.

You cannot negotiate attraction

I have always been very attracted to my husband. When I could not fully articulate why I was with him early on, it was because I was fiercely and incredibly attract to him. This was both his physical appearance and who he was as a person. One reason that I knew I wanted to stay with him forever was because I did not find myself interested in other men. I didn't notice other men or have fantasies about other men when I started dating him. I never flirted with the idea of cheating.

I can put more words to it now. I didn't have them when I was 24. I think the world of my husband but he's an imperfect man. Because we started with a firm foundation of respect and attraction, it is easy to recall those feelings when life is difficult.

If you can't live with it now, you can't live with it after marriage

My mantra when we were dating was "if you don't like him as he is right now, then you don't like him."

We have changed in a lot of ways and conformed to each others needs and rhythms. It is untrue that people don't change. People don't always change how you want them to though. My man has mellowed out. He's learned how to be sick and rest when he's sick. He's agreed to wear a helmet when he rides for me.

He still does not think to get me a drink when we are sitting down to dinner. A minor example to be sure, but something that used to bug me and I have learned to let go of. He's also a work-a-holic. That was true when we were dating and it hasn't changed now. He has to be busy all the time. If I somehow thought that it would change once he settled into his career, then I'd be a very disappointed and unhappy wife right now.

Incremental Reciprocation is the best way to judge intention

This is my opinion ok, but I think this is the best tool that comes out of the RPW handbook for the dating years. I was SURE from early on that this was the man for me. I baked cheesecake and brought it to him on the midnight shift at work. I moved him into MY apartment around the 6 month mark. I cooked for him. I did ALLLLL the RPW no-nos.

But it went both ways. He took me to meet his father - who he hadn't seen in a decade. He brought me coffee in bed every morning. He paid for my health insurance for years before we were married. We did not go tit-for-tat but we did both show each other how we were "in it" for a long time before we were married.

And we were dating for about six years before we were married. There were a variety of reasons for this but ultimately, for vetting, it mattered that he always acted as though we were in this together. Decisions included both of us and were made for the long haul.

Sex is neither everything nor nothing

We had sex on our first date. Oh we were friends before so I knew him. Still, we had sex on our first date. He did not run screaming for the hills, treat me as a hook up, act like I was not wife material. I'm sure that he took a while vetting me for the last part. Any sane man would not think "we banged, let me make her my wife".

We've had spells of intense, all the time sex and we've had dry spells. We aren't as strong during the dry spells and tend to snap at each other more. We've had threesomes which were fun enough at the time and didn't break us.

Sex early impacted my judgement of him. There is no question about that. And if he was a bad man, that could have been a problem. He's not and I am fully and completely bonded to him in whatever fashion you want to think about it. The idea of another man doesn't cross my mind. Would it be better if we had waited until marriage? If we were each others only partners? I can't know that but I also don't see any lasting scars from the fact that we didn't.

We had fun together

FOMO is built into our social media culture. I have no regrets that I met this man in my 20s. That I stayed with him and settled in for the long haul. We had fun together. I have never felt as though I was missing out on life with him. Having a partner to experience life with is far better than a night at the club with a girlfriend. And I had those nights too. And he had his long solo motorcycle rides. We still are individuals. However, the best times are the things we've done together. After that, its' being able to come home to the person you love and tell them about your night out or your solo trip. Never when we dated, did I feel like I wanted to leave him home so that I could do my own thing. Never did I think that single friends had it better. If you aren't having fun with your partner then he's not the right guy.

This hasn't changed either. We sit down together every night once the kids are in bed. I still love just having him around. We have fun together, we have stress together, we get through it all together.

Ok RPW, those are my rough thoughts from dating my husband. Take from it what you will. A happy marriage is a wonderful thing and I hope you are all headed in that direction.

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[–]Plus_Maintenance1647 13 points14 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

You've said before that the two of you dated 5-6 years before you got married. How were you able to tell if he was a guy who actually loved you and wanted to get parts of his life in order before marrying you, or if he was a guy who was just saying that to keep you around but had no intentions of marrying you?

(And if it's not too personal, what life things needed to be in place for the two of you before you tied the knot?)

[–][deleted] 23 points24 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

I wasn't specifically looking for marriage so that wasn't as big of a concern initially. I knew I wanted to be with him. At a certain point, I also knew that I wasn't going to leave him if we didn't get married. I wanted to get married, I probably even bugged him more than he appreciated but I wasn't going to leave and I admitted that to myself.

We both took time off of college and completed it as adults. That was one of the things that needed to be in place. He wasnt' going to get married until he had started a career and felt stable. I understood that. He wanted me to finish school to show that I would. We also spent a long time trying to make things work between him and my parents. Ultimately, we eloped and I think that helped some too though he'd never have said "I'm not having a wedding" if I had desperately want that. It did take the pressure off though.

But I knew he wasn't going anywhere. When he got his first job, he was able to cover me on his health insurance. He cosigned student loans when I was going back. I met his dad which was something his best friend couldn't even say. When we moved to be closer for him to finish school it was also a place where I could find work in my field. Further, he is someone who places value on his word. He continued to promise me that he wanted to stay with me. Plus, and maybe I'm wrong here, but I never lacked confidence in myself as a dating prospect. I was going to make things work out with him but I also couldn't really imagine him not wanting to be with me. So maybe there was a touch of delusion involved as well? Hard to say :-P

[–]Cosima_Fan_Tutte 12 points13 points  (5 children) | Copy Link

Thanks for sharing this, you're an awesome contributor.

I'm really interested in how women "RPW" in long ltrs, so I'm going to take up your sort-of invite to AMA. 😃

Do you think your husband explicitly understands the role of the man in the relationship (upholding the burden of performance) or is it more like you inspire him to do this and the understanding is more veiled on his part? Is he aware of the red pill?

Are there RPW tactics or advice that you've changed your opinion about over the years? Or something women should be doing that we don't talk about much?

[–][deleted] 19 points20 points  (4 children) | Copy Link

Thank you :-)

My husband used to have a matching user name to mine and would hang out here poking at me and giving advice. So yes, he's aware of the red pill. We talk about this stuff all the time.

He does explicitly understand the role of the man in the relationship. It's an unfortunate state of affairs that so many men do not.

It's not that I disagree with RPW tactics but I think that they are not always used as tools. I'm trying to think of how to phrase this... individual people and relationships are unique. We can discuss them in broad strokes because men and women have similar desires and tendencies overall but that doesn't mean that everything is applicable to every situation. This results in arguments like "is the degree worthwhile". The answer is "it depends". No man is going to get hard for your phd but some men might want an educated woman for reasons beyond their libidos. The issues I see are when women try to apply a tactic without understanding why it should be applied.

To this end, I think STFU is the worst offender. You simply cannot STFU out of any issue. Biting your tongue is great if you are a recovering nag. It's good if someone HAS to be the leader. It's not an answer to every situation and it's not the answer to "I'm unhappy". You cant submit or STFU your way out of an unhappy relationship UNLESS your dominance is the cause of the problem.

[–]JanuaryArya4 Stars 7 points8 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Omg I just realized who you are. I remember you from way back when and I know I’ve seen you and your matching-user-name-husband’s posts.

YOU inspired me to do the FW posts because I so enjoyed your contribution to RPW theory.

Big fan!!

[–][deleted] 4 points5 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

YOU inspired me to do the FW posts

That's awesome! Those posts are great and such an asset.

[–]Cosima_Fan_Tutte 4 points5 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

My husband used to have a matching user name to mine and would hang out here poking at me and giving advice. So yes, he's aware of the red pill. We talk about this stuff all the time.

When did he become red pilled? Did that affect your relationship? Sometimes women here are warned against pill-aware men, but you and your husband seem to be using this knowledge successfully.

(Oh, and thanks for answering my questions, much appreciated!)

[–][deleted] 6 points7 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

As far as I am aware, my husband did not "become" red pilled. He is a fairly observant and intelligent man and has always done well with women. Our early 20s predate the manosphere so he's just a 'natural'.

The reason for being warned against RP men has more to do with the anger phase OR an unsuccessful integration of RP ideas. That was never an issue with us. The language gives us a way to talk about ideas but the ideas weren't new or shocking - particularly for him.

I would not want to go along with a man on his red pill journey. I have sympathy for them but it's a high risk proposition to be the partner to a man in transition like that.

[–]JanuaryArya4 Stars 11 points12 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

I am so happy to hear your thoughts. And I think we should do AMA here. Thank you for sharing some of the more private details of your sex life.

I haven’t felt “bold enough” to write theory about vetting men. But I share a similar story to “just knowing” and I also relate to being impressed by the sex where “it could have been a problem” if he was a bad guy.

I’m coming up on my 10 year anniversary. I’m proud, and it’s totally worth it.

Again, thank you for your thoughts, and MODS: let’s do AMA’s from RPW who are successful. It would be awesome and enlightening!

[–][deleted] 6 points7 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Thank you for sharing some of the more private details of your sex life.

I grew up with a looooot of gay men (childhood friends). TMI just wasn't a thing with them so I'm probably more open about sex than appropriate for polite society :-D

But I share a similar story to “just knowing”

There is a family story that my grandmother took off her engagement ring when she met my grandfather. I am not usually one to go with my gut but I do think that sometimes you know. And maybe, just maybe, it's as important to decide that you ARE going to be with someone than that they are the "right" person. Like, we all make compromises and trade offs and obviously you need to make the trade offs that give you the best chance for success. But IMO a lot of marriage (especially early on) is just the decision to see it through.

I’m coming up on my 10 year anniversary. I’m proud, and it’s totally worth it.

Congratulations!! We should be proud right. The friend who married the same year didn't make it. And beyond staying together, I think being content in your marriage is an even bigger accomplishment.

[–]JanuaryArya4 Stars 3 points4 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

I am not usually one to go with my gut but I do think that sometimes you know.

That’s a tough one. Because I really want to offer sound advice to the women here who have zero or low n-count. But I “thought” I knew many times. But it was a painful process. But when I really knew…it was different. But that’s an emotional explanation. I can’t give advice here: I have a high n-count.

And maybe, just maybe, it's as important to decide that you ARE going to be with someone than that they are the "right" person. Like, we all make compromises and trade offs and obviously you need to make the trade offs that give you the best chance for success.

Yes. And I don’t think it’s “settling” for less. It’s a commitment to self improvement for the sake of commitment. And it’s made me very happy.

I don’t have regrets, but I wish I was more mature and focused before I made so many mistakes. But I’m grateful for what I have now.

[–]SunshineSundressEndorsed Contributor 6 points7 points  (6 children) | Copy Link

Happy anniversary! You and your husband’s interactions here in the past was what sold RPW to me years ago. These are such incredible insights that we all could use a reminder of. My “incremental reciprocation” post was all inspired by a single comment you made and subsequent discussion we had about that topic, FYI! I agree it’s one of the strongest ideas we’ve had at RPW for years and I’m not surprised it came from you 🤪

As for the AMA, what do you think it is you do that inspires not only your husband’s commitment but also his devotion to you and your kiddos? I’m sure a big part of it is that you chose a man with excellent character, but what stands out to you as the most effective strategies you used/use to “keep” a man you hold in such high esteem?

[–][deleted] 5 points6 points  (5 children) | Copy Link

Thank you and LOL.

I agree it’s one of the strongest ideas we’ve had at RPW for years and I’m not surprised it came from you

It didn't come from me really. It came from durtyknees. I merely relayed the idea for you to run with.

what do you think it is you do that inspires not only your husband’s commitment but also his devotion to you and your kiddos?

He says (literally before I read your comment he said "tell Sunshine the answer is...") to tell you that it is knowing that I will always have his back. He knows that I support him and he love me more because of it.

Actual "strategies" to this end: I've had his back in public as well as working with him to achieve his goals. And I really mean his goals. He had a personal project for a group he was in for which I did some background work. It was a busy time that took him away from family life. Instead of complaining I tried to dive in and do what I could. We've dealt with unemployment - a thing RP accuses women of leaving during (but I can't imagine that being a marriage ending thing). We've been young and broke together - ie: we got together before he was established and with a mark or two in the "con" column. I got a tattoo for him (literally at his request - totally not my thing).

And stupid little stuff too - last night I made waffles at like 11pm because he wanted waffles and ice cream. Or hey, writing about him online all day. These small things that let him know that he's still important and a priority of mine. I think these are the day to day things that make a difference. On some levels it's the idea of continuing to "date" your spouse. We don't get out but we still treat each other with thoughtfulness and care and "out of your wayness" that you would do when you are newly infatuated with a partner.

The kiddos ... well you know men always love younger women the best.

[–]SunshineSundressEndorsed Contributor 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Really wish I was around when she was!

Please let guywithagirlwithasidecar know that I appreciate his feedback 😂 I feel like out of all the RP-isms that we know about what men value, loyalty is the most universally agreed upon one within and outside of the community. It’s that big that even men who aren’t RP aware or naturals have no issue saying they want it.

I think the fact that you were willing to take on more for his goals is something incredibly valuable. I feel like a lot of women (past me included) are extremely tit-for-tat without analyzing the full situation at hand. The second that we have to take on more, we start feeling resentful and wondering if he’s taking advantage of our kindness or whatever. But sometimes it’s because he has his focus on something else, or is in a tough spot. If we give him the help he needs in that time, I’ve found that they repay it with gratitude and reciprocated support twofold after he gets back on his feet or after you/the family are his focus again.

Mmmm, midnight waffles and ice cream! I’m definitely guilty of ignoring my cleaning responsibilities to make a late night snack for the both of us. We both have a savory tooth though so it’s usually something weird like kimchi and tuna rice balls as a midnight snack 😂

I love that idea though: making him know that he’s a priority. Enough so that you still date him even when you’re settled and stable and you’re just living every day life. “Out of your wayness” is the BEST way to put that lol. Grand gestures that still work for everyday. Like surprising him with an iced tea he didn’t ask for on a hot summer’s day of yard work or something.

Lol @ the kiddos. Those girls’ first of many victims is definitely their dad! 😂

[–]Cosima_Fan_Tutte 0 points1 point  (3 children) | Copy Link

I've had his back in public as well as working with him to achieve his goals. And I really mean his goals

got a tattoo for him (literally at his request - totally not my thing).

last night I made waffles at like 11pm because he wanted waffles and ice cream.

Oh, man, I gotta step up my wife game, I've been slacking, lol 😳

I guess...do you ever feel like it's his world and you're living in it? Or giving a little more than you're getting?

I've been there and done some similar stuff, but over the years I sometimes felt that the small, inconsequential-seeming sacrifices on my part added up and caused some quiet resentment.

Have you ever felt that and how did you deal with it?

[–][deleted] 4 points5 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

I am certainly not a perfect non-complaining angel. I get frustrated when women act like they are soooo good and sooo submissive and I feel like that is how I'm coming off.

So with that said...

No I don't feel like I'm giving more than I'm getting or like I live in his world. "Roles" are constantly fluctuating.

When his friends are around, I am conscious of them being his friends and I approach those interactions as the "good girl wife & hostess". I love having people around and caring for them so this is not a hardship. When it's my friends, I do not feel obligated to stop a conversation and make him lunch because he can take care of himself on these occasions.

When I have a ton of work for my job that pays money, he is the "doting father" who scurries the kids away and brings me afternoon coffee.

When we are together as a family, he is the Husband & Father who does the yard chores and throws the kids up in the air and I am the Mother & Wife who makes the meals and kisses the boo boos.

And when it's just the two of us, sometimes it's him running to the grocery store for cookies at 11pm and others times it's me making waffles at 11pm.

The times when things are off balance -- because that does happen, that's just life -- I can usually remind myself of the things he does or has on his plate. And when that doesn't make me less annoyed, I vent to a few very select friends. I also do not run myself ragged most of the time. It can't always be helped but I don't feel guilty if I say "we have to order pizza tonight" or "its your turn to be the parent in charge". I have never found him to reject my needs when I express them.

And the times when life is really all too much, I tell him. It's not his fault if I have a lot going on - even if I have a lot going on and he, say brings friends over for dinner. I try to approach this stuff as "I'm exhausted, I can't do everything, I'm frustrated, sad, cranky even though it's not your fault, this is how I'm feeling" I think the key is often the "even though it's not your fault" or "there is nothing you can do to fix this but listen". It helps to know that I'm heard and usually squashes resentment without accusing him of being the cause. Then I feel better and we don't have to fight for me to feel better.

Does that make sense?

[–]Cosima_Fan_Tutte 0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy Link

It does... thanks!

(I've been trying hard to get the kitchen cleaned up earlier in the evening so I can relax, the waffle thing made me twitch a bit!)

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Yeah I get it. I sound like someone you want to strangle. It's more that I have no problem leaving the kitchen dirty so I can be in a good mood to make waffles. I relax when it's time no matter what needs to be done still. It can get done in the morning. I can't get downtime in the morning because my kid wakes up before me every. single. day.

[–]_Pumpkin_Muffin5 Stars 5 points6 points  (5 children) | Copy Link

Happy anniversary. You write very wise things, and I'm taking notes.

Did you always see him as a leader? How did your dynamic change over the years?

I'm doubtful only of one thing:

He's agreed to wear a helmet when he rides for me.

WHAT? He didn't wear a helmet? All The Gear All The Time, man! I feel anxious if we're not wearing our gloves. No helmet would give me a heart attack.

[–][deleted] 8 points9 points  (4 children) | Copy Link

Thank you!

He didn't wear a helmet?

Yeah I know. I have the same feeling about it. He is .... not risk averse. I took a spill on some gravel a few years ago. Allllll the gear for me thank you very much.

Did you always see him as a leader? How did your dynamic change over the years?

In the beginning of our relationship, I was under the impression that a relationship was supposed to be equal. I didn't understand the concept of complementary. I saw us as being in it together and we didn't fight over the division of labor or anything.

I did struggle with following him when it was a serious leap of faith. We moved early on and I had to leave my town and my apartment and that was scary. I dug my heels in and while I did ultimately follow him (and he did some compromising of his own to our detriment) I made things tough.

I always did what he wanted in the end so I guess I was technically following his lead. I just needed to go through a full discussion of "why" and "did you think of" before I got there. Before we were married, I felt like it wasn't quite appropriate to surrender my full agency to his decision making and so I needed to understand every aspect of a plan.

Once I understood "complementary" rather than "equal" and especially once we were married it became easier to follow without asking all the questions.

We still talk and he explains the 'why' of things to me. I still have opinions and questions that he listens to. The difference is that it's more "ok why" instead of "no why" and that has made a huge change to our dynamic...and peace.

[–]_Pumpkin_Muffin5 Stars 0 points1 point  (3 children) | Copy Link

Yeah I know. I have the same feeling about it. He is .... not risk averse. I took a spill on some gravel a few years ago. Allllll the gear for me thank you very much.

Oh God. I could never. My husband (then boyfriend) took me to buy my own gear the first day my butt landed on his bike. Ohhh that safety lecture lol.

We still talk and he explains the 'why' of things to me. I still have opinions and questions that he listens to. The difference is that it's more "ok why" instead of "no why" and that has made a huge change to our dynamic...and peace.

This sounds like a good development, and one that would take time. It shows some serious faith in your husband.

If you still have time and patience for a couple of questions...

If you don't mind sharing, what's a big mistake one of you made, and how did you recover?

[–][deleted] 8 points9 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

Oh when I got my license he bought me all the gear. Roland Sands jacket, adorable helmet, intercoms so we could talk to each other. He just doesn't care about his own life

This sounds like a good development, and one that would take time. It shows some serious faith in your husband.

Submission, truly following his lead in all cases, takes time. I don't believe in the whole "don't give wife privileges to a boyfriend" thing BUT that doesn't mean that you give him more than has been earned or reciprocated. I could have faked submission early on and that would maybe have smoothed over some fights. He hadn't proven himself yet though so it would have been more going through the motions than actual trust.

what's a big mistake one of you made, and how did you recover?

My parents and my husband don't get along and I was the one that facilitated a lot of the drama. My husband and my mother were NEVER going to get on well because of their personalities and baggage. I made i worse by oversharing with my mother and then repeating things she said to me to my then-bf. I was an idiot.

Their relationship is probably not recoverable but they've been able to be in the same room since we had kids. I recovered my relationship with my husband by going no contact with my parents for a while. It helped me figure out who I was as a wife without other people whispering in my ear.

That and thinking that things were supposed to be equal were the two biggest drains on our early relationship. Once both were alleviated it has been very smooth.

[–]_Pumpkin_Muffin5 Stars 1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I'd give out an award if I had one, but... waves hands

Edit: Ah-ah! Got one!

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

:-D

[–]cayenne4 2 points3 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Thanks for sharing, love hearing the perspective from the other side of dating!

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

You are welcome :-)

[–][deleted] 4 points5 points  (5 children) | Copy Link

Were the threesomes after you were married?

[–][deleted] 3 points4 points  (4 children) | Copy Link

Yes they were. We had talked about it on occasion when we were dating. He had done it before so it wasn't necessarily an un-experienced fantasy that I felt compelled to fulfill. I was also not opposed to trying that out. I think after marriage, we both felt that we were on more stable footing for it to happen without too much drama than it might have been prior to marriage.

[–]DraftTrick95591 points [recovered] (3 children) | Copy Link

Are you guys still going to have future threesomes? How is the aftermath, and how can you mentally just prep for that?

[–][deleted] 6 points7 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

We are not. We have kids and don't want to bring them around that sort of thing.

I'm not sure what you mean by mentally prepping. These were ongoing encounters with women that I was perfectly happy to have dinner with, bedroom games aside. One was a good friend long after the sex stopped and I miss her sometimes. (She divorced and moved away & I got pregnant.) It wasn't a turn off for me so it's not something I needed to wrap my head around or anything like that. My husband was really good at making sure I felt like his priority. He handled it with finesse and I was along for the ride.

And there really isn't aftermath. It was an interesting experience but I also don't miss it.

[–]mizchanandlerbong 0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy Link

I love how you put this, thank you. My SO and I did the same and I kept waiting for some sort of aftermath, but it's been years and there isn't any. We're happy, committed, and aware. Glad to find out that not having an aftermath is a thing.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Yes! I'm sure that it goes badly more often than not but I don't borrow trouble and trouble didn't knock. Any small issues we dealt with in the moment and I haven't had lingering doubts, regrets or hurts. I'm glad it went well for you too. It is possible to have it go smoothly!

[–]Playful_Function_173 1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Do you believe in the standing beside my man in public even if he’s wrong, but correcting him or telling him he was wrong in private (ex: he’s in an argument with another guy and you know your husband was in the wrong)

[–][deleted] 14 points15 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

I believe we are a team. So overall, yes, I believe in having his back even if he's wrong. If we are on the same team then public disagreement is off the table. There are caveats to this. If we are with a group of friends having a lively debate then I would state my own opinion. I don't mind disagreeing on the nuance of something in appropriate company. But overall, if he is saying "this is the way" I'm not going to turn to someone else and say "he's wrong".

I've quietly expressed my views away from a group, or at home later. It depends on the situation. I have absolutely backed him up and then later said "what was that about".

Specifically when it's him or another man - I stay out of that. I don't claim to understand male-male interactions so I can never be sure that my solution is the right one. I do know that being contrary to my partner puts him in a weakened position among other men so this is where I definitely STFU until we are in private.

[–]_Pumpkin_Muffin5 Stars 1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Last tiiiiiny question (sorry :P feel free to ignore me if I'm bothering!) If you could give a newlywed woman one piece of advice, what would it be?

Thank you :)

[–][deleted] 8 points9 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

First, I would tell her not to go all out with gifts on her first anniversary because then you have to keep it up :-P.

I'm not sure that I have a single piece of universal advice. My best would be to remember to be charitable with her husband. Don't assume that he has bad intentions or does things for bad reasons. I find that assuming he's overall a good guy with good intentions helps downgrade resentments into mere annoyances.

And there will always be annoyances when your life is intertwined with someone else's.

And of course never say anything meant to intentionally hurt him. No matter how angry you are, there are things you cannot take back. Don't say those things. Ever.

[–]Exstntial-strawberry 1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Hi!! Thank you for sharing your story :)

Would you mind sharing the reason why you regret not having kids sooner?

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

I probably would have had more and we wouldn't have had to do it so close together. I would have had more energy. Very little that I did before having them was better enough to delay for. I quite enjoy where life is right now.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

How was "hitting the wall" within a committed relationship? Did you feel like you became less beautiful in your 30s? Did this effect your self-esteem? Any difference in your husband's attraction or physical affections?

[–][deleted] 6 points7 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

I don't feel like it has impacted my life in a real way. People are still nice to me. My husband still grabs my butt when he walks by.

I like to think that I will handle aging with grace. I'm going to pretend here that I am ever so zen about it but that's probably not true. I'm aging well. I wouldn't try to compete with myself 10 years ago but I don't have to which is the point of marriage. Now that he is stuck with me I simply have to look good for my age. I can keep up that standard. He seems content.

[–]CountTheBeesEndorsed Contributor 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

15 years together!!! That is a huge deal and plenty to celebrate. I enjoyed reading these thoughts; and I'm glad you've stuck around this sub to give a guiding hand.

[–]CrimsonWoman 0 points1 point  (3 children) | Copy Link

Can you talk more about the positives and negatives of your husband's long work hours, please? I have recently started dating a guy who works long hours and is therefore often tired. He's very fit, but his work requires him to be on his feet all day.

It's still so new that I can't tell yet whether I'll be okay with it in the long run. He has expressed that he is afraid his working hours will ruin the good thing we have going, as apparently women have left him for this reason in the past. He said they would feel neglected. He did say that when he has the time he tries to show up for his partner as much as he can, but mostly he just doesn't have the time or energy to fully show up.

A lot of our values and goals align, and I really like him as a potential serious partner. However I am slightly concerned about this aspect. Would love to hear your thoughts on it.

(For the record, I aspire to be a stay at home mom, and though we're still too new to have had that discussion, we have previously discussed cultural things like the failure of feminism and male/female roles in society, so I have reason to believe we're on the same page.)

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

When we met, he was in school and working an overnight shift to pay for college. He carved out as much time as he had to carve out but it was a busy time. It's probably one of the reasons that we moved in together so quickly. It was a way that I got to see him more.

At that point, he and I both thought that it would ease up once he graduated. He stopped working his last year of school to go back full time and finish. I NEVER saw him that year unless I went up to the school and visited him. We lived together. I was very lonely that year. IIRC after he graduated he was still hanging around the machine shop at school working on some stuff.

Then he got his first job and spent all his nights trying to re-learn software that he wasn't taught in school. He was in the room next to me. I think I started working on certifications at work at that point so that we were doing things together.

It finally eased up a little bit with his second job. He didn't have the option to bring work home so his days ended at the end. He would however spend the evenings and weekends on his personal projects. I learned that if I wanted to see him I would have to take my book and go outside to his garage and hang out there. He liked me hanging out while he worked.

There was a period of total laziness where we actually did just hang out, fool around, be lazy. That was nice. I remember that time fondly now that we have kids. Now we sit down together most every night. But we don't see each other all day. And when he gets home someone has to chase the kids around.

So after going through all of that, I think that what happened is that I learned early on that I had to go to him. A handful of times I've told him to go spend time with his kids. He's generally good about that though. He has readjusted what is important as he's gotten older. He is however, still a man who has to be doing things. We were sitting on the couch last night and I was ranting and he said "can we do this in the garage while I lift" ... so we did.

I don't know if that helps so ask me other questions if it doesn't.

[–]CrimsonWoman 0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy Link

This was honestly a really good response. And also just hearing your success story makes me feel better about it. Personally I feel that I would manage it, but he is very concerned that I will leave him in a few months. I’m hoping as time goes by, i will feel more confident about my own response to his unavailability, and will be able to reassure him as well. Thank you for your response :)

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Glad it resonates for you. Good luck!!

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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