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I've always really liked the idea of being married, but it's an intimidating idea where so much could go wrong, and we are all very aware of all the failed marriages out there, but what of the successful ones? How did they make it?

I'm interested in hearing from people who have been successfully married for a long time (the longer the better), how long they have been married for, what they think has helped their marriages last for so long, would they call their spouse their "Soul mate" and why or why not, how do they feel about their marriages now after all this time compared to how they started off, did they push thru tough periods and how, what personality types they each are, and what advice they would have for those seeking relationships and marriage, and any other comments they might have?
 

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I've always really liked the idea of being married, but it's an intimidating idea where so much could go wrong, and we are all very aware of all the failed marriages out there, but what of the successful ones? How did they make it?
First let me say that even successful marriages have trials. There are hills and valleys. My husband and I married quite young, he was 21 and I was 20 when we married. We have been married now for 30 years.


You've asked a lot of questions, I'll try to separate them out a bit.

I'm interested in hearing from people who have been successfully married for a long time (the longer the better), how long they have been married for,
As I stated above my husband and I have been married for 30 years.

what they think has helped their marriages last for so long,
First of all, we entered marriage with the idea that it was till death do us part. If something isn't working right, we don't discard it, we work to fix it. Anything worth having, in my opinion, is worth working for. This definitely applies to relationships. There will be tough times and times of adjustment, for even the best of relationships.


would they call their spouse their "Soul mate" and why or why not, how do they feel about their marriages now after all this time compared to how they started off,
Not sure what you mean by soul mate. I'll substitute best friend in its place. My husband is my best friend. There is no one I would rather spend time with than him. That doesn't mean he doesn't annoy or irritate me from time to time. I know there are also times I annoy him. There are times I wish he did things differently, just as there are times he wishes I did things differently. We are individuals and have differing ideas, likes, dislikes, etc.

When we entered married life, we were very young and idealistic. That euphoria(high) that you experience at the beginning, does not last. That isn't bad though, it's just the way things go. You settle into a routine, you become familiar with each other, you begin to notice that you each have a few annoying little quirks. In other words, you realize you are married to a flawed imperfect person. They also make the same realization about you.

Lasting marriages may likely go through stages something like this:
  • We are so in love, isn't he/she just absolutely perfect. Life is perfect
  • I really love him/her but I sure wish he/she didn't do so many annoying little things
  • Kids come along (for many) now things really start getting interesting. I sure wish she had a little more time for me, but I know the baby needs her attention.
  • These kids are so expensive. I can barely keep up financially, why doesn't he/she do more to help out.
  • We never have any time together anymore. Everything is about the kids. Does he/she really even love me anymore?
  • Wow, we survived raising the kids and now we're empty nesters. Who is this person I am now alone with once again.
  • We really want to make this work. We need to get back to understanding one another and rebuilding what we once had.
  • Solid relationship/companionship once again being enjoyed.

did they push thru tough periods and how
Again, commitment from both to make it work, and perseverance through the difficult times. (there will be tough times)


what personality types they each are, and what advice they would have for those seeking relationships and marriage, and any other comments they might have?
Don't marry someone who doesn't share core values with you. A marriage will have a much better chance of making it, if you are on the same page and share similar values/beliefs. If both are committed to persevering through the tough times when they come.

One thing I have seen over the years is people are often attracted to qualities they later find annoying.
For example: my mom was raised in a very strict authoritarian home. My dad was raised in a much more permissive environment. Fun and games were almost treated like they were sinful in my mom's home. My dad was fun loving and all about games and playing. My mom loved his boyish enjoyment of life. His constant quest for fun was exciting, while they were dating. The problem was he didn't grow out of this.

Many kids later, she found it extremely annoying that his life was spent in pursuit of fun, thrills and playing. What was attractive to her as an 18 year old girl, was not so attractive when she was 28 years old trying to handle a house full of kids by herself much of the time. He didn't leave, and he did hold a full time job. He just spent most of his free time with his buddies, leaving my mom to deal with a houseful of kids by herself often. So what initially attracted her to him ended up being at the center of the majority of their fights. They were together for more than 40 years. ( until my dad passed away)

I am an ISTJ and my husband is either INTJ or INFJ. I'm not quite sure which. Our biggest issue over the years has been communication. We are both introverts, so neither of us requires constant interaction, but I do need more than he does. I will say that looking back, it was noticeable even when we were dating that he didn't talk much. He relied upon me to carry conversations. Small talk has never been his thing, not then nor now. So even though it annoys me, I have to be honest with myself and admit he did not change. He is just as he was when we were dating.

Don't marry someone expecting them to change. You will both mature as you age, but your core personality will not change.

I have read countless marriage advice books over the years. I have learned many things about how to relate better to my husband. I have invested a lot of time in trying to learn from the tips and advice of others how to be a better wife. I have to be honest and say that I wish my husband would invest a little more time in this area, but he does try to do the best he can with the knowledge that he has. We are both far from perfect, but we are committed to making things work.

At times, I need to stop and remind myself of some of the things that attracted me to him in the first place. For instance, he was quite chivalrous when we were dating, and I liked this about him. He still has this quality. He still drops me off at the door in a rainstorm so that I don't get wet, shovels a path through the snow to my car in the winter, and other little things like this. He wasn't much for communication when we were dating, and it is not realistic for me to expect that to suddenly change now. So when selecting someone to marry, be realistic and don't just expect that certain things will change because they probably won't. Remember what qualities attracted you to them when dating, and ask yourself will these qualities still be attractive after 5 or 10 years of marriage or will they annoy you.

Wow, this is rather lengthy. I hope that you can find something useful in all of this. Feel free to ask me questions if I was unclear on anything. It is way past my bedtime, so I realize this is probably not as coherent as it should be. I think I'll call it a night.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
@jamaix, that looks like good advice, thank you very much for sharing! Really nice to get the first response from someone married for 30 years too.

I'm also interested in the dynamics of various personality types and how they relate to eachother, so maybe you can go a little deeper into what it's like for you and your husband? I think with your case I'm especially interested in how it is being a Sensor dom person with an iNtuitive dom person.

Also, over the years have you learnt about any bad advice, or suggestions that you found didn't work? With reading a lot of advice books I'm assuming not everything you read was good advice - as it goes with some advice books.
 
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Not married, but this might be interesting.

"The Journey of Adulthood" 8th Ed. Barbara R. Bjorklund
Based on the work of Psychologist Howard J. Markman and colleagues (Clements, Stanley, & Markman, 2004) for first excerpt.
Comparisons were made among the groups based on the data gathered at the beginning of the study, and it was clear that the three groups differed even before marriage took place. For example, the groups that experienced divorce or marital distress had exhibited negative interactions with each other in their first interviews, expressing insults towards each other, showing lack of emotional support, and making negative and sarcastic comments about their partners. Markman and his colleagues described the process as "erosion" and said that these negative interactions before marriage and in the early years of marriage wear down the positive aspects of the relationship and violate the expectations of one's partner will be a close friend and source of support.
The eroding power of negative interactions has also been found in the results of longitudinal studies by psychologist John Gottman and his colleagues. For example, Gottman and Notarius (2000) found that couples who will eventually divorce can be identified years ahead of time by looking at the pattern of positive and negative exchanges. In fact, Gottman claims that he is able to interview a couple for a few hours and predict with 94% accuracy whether they will be divorced or still together 4 years later (Gottman, 2011).
Gottman asks couples to tell him "the story of us." He listens for five key components and evaluates whether they are positive or negative. If the positive outweighs the negative, then the couple will almost certainly be together 4 years later. These are the key components Gottman evaluates during the interview:

. Fondness and admiration - Is the couple's story full of love and respect? Do they express positive emotional like warmth, humor, and affection? Do they emphasize the good times? Do they compliment each other?
. "We-ness" versus "Me-ness" - Does the couple express unity in believes, values, and goals? Do they use "us" more than "I" and "me?"
. Love maps - Does the couple describe the history of their relationship in vivid detail and with positive energy? Are they open with personal information about themselves and their partner?
. Purpose and meaning instead of chaos - Do couples talk about their life together in terms of pride over hardships they have overcome? Do they talk about shared goals and aspirations?
. Satisfaction instead of disappointment - Do couples say that their partner and their marriage have exceeded their expectations? Are they satisfied and grateful for what they have in each other? Do they speak positively about marriage?

Fortunately, negative patterns in marriage can be changed.
Certainly more to it than that but something good to look out for perhaps.
 

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@jamaix, that looks like good advice, thank you very much for sharing! Really nice to get the first response from someone married for 30 years too.

I'm also interested in the dynamics of various personality types and how they relate to each other, so maybe you can go a little deeper into what it's like for you and your husband? I think with your case I'm especially interested in how it is being a Sensor dom person with an iNtuitive dom person.
It's sometimes hard for me to know what is just a male/female difference(I know this is not PC) and what has to do with personality type differences. I'll give you some of the differences and let you and others more knowledgeable about sensor vs intuitive decide if those differences are attributable to this or not.


  • We both like to think things over before making a decision. However, I sometimes like to talk my way through a problem, he really doesn't. When we disagree and exchange sharp words, a simple apology is usually enough for him and then he forgets about it and moves on. I need to talk about it. I need to understand why we ended up in this situation. I need to know that we're okay. To him we're okay because we addressed it(once), and now there is no need to linger on it. IOW he moves on much quicker than I do. I usually feel the need for more reassurance than he does.
  • Surprisingly, he is more sentimental than I am. I don't attach a lot of importance to things like remembering cards for special occasions. I don't tend to develop emotional attachments to things that I view as not serving a purpose. I have had to learn that just because I don't value a particular item, and don't see the need to keep it, doesn't mean I should take the liberty of disposing of it without consulting him first. I have unintentionally hurt him in the past by choosing to discard things that have sentimental value to him.
  • I have a strong need to understand why we are doing something that doesn't seem logical or that deviates from what we normally do. I have had to learn that frequently questioning what he is doing, is perceived by him as doubting his ability to do things properly. Here's an example: When traveling, I usually think you should take the most efficient route. Take the route that will get you there the fastest. When he takes a route that I believe to be inefficient, it was my habit to say why are you going this way? When I did this, it came across to him as saying why are doing this? Don't you know there are better ways? It was an insult to him. He saw it as a lack of trust in his ability to get us there. I have learned to bite my tongue a bit over the years. Is it really always that important to take the fastest route? No, it isn't. It is far better to let it go and trust that he will get us there. He on the other hand has had to try to learn that I often think in terms of efficiency, rather than enjoyment. He has had to learn that it is good to let me know in advance when he is going to change things up.
  • He is more likely to base a decision upon how he feels than I am. I am more likely to dismiss feelings and look to facts and stats. He is also more likely to overreact than I am. This was especially true when our kids were still at home, and they broke a rule. For a relatively minor infraction, he would at times ground them for a very lengthy amount of time. I was usually able to get him to reduce the grounding, but I had to bide my time on this. I didn't approach him in front of the kids and I waited until he had cooled off. When he was no longer upset, he was open to discussing (again I stress not in front of the kids) the situation and quite often would reduce the consequences to something that more appropriately fit their behavior.

Also, over the years have you learnt about any bad advice, or suggestions that you found didn't work? With reading a lot of advice books I'm assuming not everything you read was good advice - as it goes with some advice books.
Most books have nuggets of good advice. I definitely don't agree with all of them, and in fact one that was very popular I couldn't even make it through. It was a very one sided book, and I didn't find much redeeming in it at all. But that's just me and the fact that many buy it and recommend it, means that it works for some.

As far as bad advice, well I think it is important to remember that every man and every woman is different. What someone may recommend that I do to be a good wife, may be something that my husband doesn't value at all and vice versa. I need to know my husband, I need to make it my job to figure out what he values, to understand what is important to him and incorporate these things. It is also appreciated when he does the same.

A comment that I hear from time to time, that I think is counter to a good marriage goes something like this.

Well, I like XXX and if he/she doesn't like it they can just get over it, I'm going to do what I enjoy. While some might be able to make a marriage work with attitudes like this, I doubt that most will last. Having a good long lasting marriage usually means making some sacrifices for the good of the other. It means sometimes you do things you don't necessarily like or enjoy for the benefit of your spouse. It means sometimes you refrain from doing things you like but that your spouse is bothered by. It also means you do it quietly and without holding it over their head. You aren't doing it for a pat on the back, you are doing it because you love and respect them and want them to be happy. Ideally both incorporate these attitudes.
 

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I've always really liked the idea of being married, but it's an intimidating idea where so much could go wrong, and we are all very aware of all the failed marriages out there, but what of the successful ones? How did they make it?

I'm interested in hearing from people who have been successfully married for a long time (the longer the better), how long they have been married for, what they think has helped their marriages last for so long, would they call their spouse their "Soul mate" and why or why not, how do they feel about their marriages now after all this time compared to how they started off, did they push thru tough periods and how, what personality types they each are, and what advice they would have for those seeking relationships and marriage, and any other comments they might have?
I was married when I was 18, and that survived for 15 years. I've since remarried and have been married for 3 years again and so far the second time around has been better than my first marriage ever was. After my divorce, I did a ton of research into what makes marriages work and what makes them fail, obviously feeling like a failure myself and determined to not make the same mistakes again. So far I think I've avoided many of the same mistakes I made the first time around. I think that @jamaix's advice was right on the money. We got to the everything is about the kids stage and had major medical issues on top of that and it just fell apart, but there were issues from the very beginning in regards to some fundamental values that in retrospect should have been obvious.

Doing my research, here are a few good articles that I wish I had seen the first time around.

How to choose a mate - One Thing to Look for in a Mate: Advice from Long-Married Elders : The Legacy Project

Advice from long married couples - Marriage Advice From Those Married A Long, Long Time
 

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I was not successful

BUT I will say that when we were happiest it was based on mutual love, effort, desires, respect and affection. Its about staying in touch with that. Marriage can be a wonderful thing, I still say that haven gone thru the what I have because I remember how awesome it was when it was healthy and right, its just about growing together and trying to remind yourself of those things.

Theres some things that cant be helped which is basically if theres toxic things involved and one or both parties are unwilling to adjust, change, quit, or seek help.

So anyways I would say despite not having success I still wanted to add some positives. I remember when. Makes my heart feel sadness and happy. I think when people truly love each other and marry for the right reasons then it was still time well spent even if they cant make it a success. Theres people that never marry people they love dearly out of fear, I guess I would rather still say I traveled a road of least resistance. Not that I m promoting people be irrational just that I wouldnt base a good thing off of others failures and successes. Oh and prepare for the worst I guess we didnt prepare ourselves for everything life threw at us. Its a very intimate special thing.
 

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So far I think I've avoided many of the same mistakes I made the first time around. I think that @jamaix's advice was right on the money. We got to the everything is about the kids stage
I probably should have mentioned a little more about this stage. I have seen so many marriages falter and fail, because they put everything into their kids. My husband and I made this mistake as well. Our marriage obviously didn't fail, but the last year or so of our marriage has been a bit turbulent. We have been empty nesters since last August. My husband, although he missed the kids, looked forward to this stage. He viewed it as a time that would be more about us. Unfortunately, I became very depressed and this threw a wrench into it. My life had revolved around our kids and I didn't know what to do with myself when they were gone. My husband and I had to learn how to be a couple again. Not just mom and dad.

I am more to blame than my husband. He often wanted to go out, just the two of us and I never wanted to leave the kids with a sitter. I worried about spending the money and I felt guilty eating steak, while they had a frozen pizza or hot dogs. I felt like I was depriving them, but the reality is they would have been fine. I ended up depriving my relationship with my husband. I let my life revolve around our kids and their needs. I neglected relationship needs with my husband.

I will tell my own children that they need to continue nurturing their relationship with their spouse even when children come into the picture. Yes, there will be times that the kids will have to come first, but it shouldn't be the majority of the time. The kids will grow-up and leave, that is what they are suppose to do. Then it will just be you and your spouse. Hopefully, you tend that relationship and don't find yourself with someone you barely know anymore when the kids leave.

My husband and I learned this the hard way, but we are getting through it and things keep getting better. We are going to movies, eating out among other things. It has been a process, but we are getting there. I just wish we had realized the need to continue dating each other even as we were raising kids. As I said in an earlier post even good marriages have ups and downs. Fortunately, I think my husband and I are on the upward climb.
 

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I probably should have mentioned a little more about this stage. I have seen so many marriages falter and fail, because they put everything into their kids. My husband and I made this mistake as well. Our marriage obviously didn't fail, but the last year or so of our marriage has been a bit turbulent. We have been empty nesters since last August. My husband, although he missed the kids, looked forward to this stage. He viewed it as a time that would be more about us. Unfortunately, I became very depressed and this threw a wrench into it. My life had revolved around our kids and I didn't know what to do with myself when they were gone. My husband and I had to learn how to be a couple again. Not just mom and dad.

I am more to blame than my husband. He often wanted to go out, just the two of us and I never wanted to leave the kids with a sitter. I worried about spending the money and I felt guilty eating steak, while they had a frozen pizza or hot dogs. I felt like I was depriving them, but the reality is they would have been fine. I ended up depriving my relationship with my husband. I let my life revolve around our kids and their needs. I neglected relationship needs with my husband.

I will tell my own children that they need to continue nurturing their relationship with their spouse even when children come into the picture. Yes, there will be times that the kids will have to come first, but it shouldn't be the majority of the time. The kids will grow-up and leave, that is what they are suppose to do. Then it will just be you and your spouse. Hopefully, you tend that relationship and don't find yourself with someone you barely know anymore when the kids leave.

My husband and I learned this the hard way, but we are getting through it and things keep getting better. We are going to movies, eating out among other things. It has been a process, but we are getting there. I just wish we had realized the need to continue dating each other even as we were raising kids. As I said in an earlier post even good marriages have ups and downs. Fortunately, I think my husband and I are on the upward climb.
From my research (I've read a huge number of books on the matter, gone through counseling, and also talked to a lot of couples that have been through this), the feelings you are describing are very common when transitioning to an empty nest. Most couples figure it out within a few years though and end up being happier in the end, just like anything else it's just another phase. If you had kids, then grand kids probably aren't that far behind, so you most likely won't be completely empty nesting forever anyway :).

Neglecting the relationship in favor of the kids is one thing that my ex wife and I did in our first marriage, and I think it was a large factor in our divorce. Neither of us felt like we were appreciated anymore. I've learned this time around to prioritize my relationship with my wife. We go on dates fairly regularly without the kids, and they have survived just fine and it actually boosts our relationship with them as well as we have a time out from them from time to time so we appreciate the time we have with them a little better.
 

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My parents have been married for 32 years.

I have analyzed their marriage so much that I could practically write a novel about it. Haha, they have taught me quite a bit and we are super close/open without each other.

Do they love each other? Absolutely. Has their marriage been overall happy? Yes. Is it perfect? Nope.

If you had some more specific questions I could answer them. I can give you some brief background.... They knew each other from high school, married at 22 and have little in common. My dad is INTJ and my mom probably ENFP. My dad is codependent on my mom because he fears being alone, but he really does adore her. My mom has always been more unsatisfied (due to insecurities fostered during childhood trauma I think) but she lives a comfortable life of luxury. But despite all that they really do love each other. So here they are after 32 years.
 

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Is there such a thing as a successful marriage?
Well that largely depends upon how one defines successful.

As for me, I will answer with an adamant of course. I consider mine to be successful. My husband and I have navigated life together through many difficult and trying times including money problems, cancer, depression and raising two children. We have kept our vows, and we have been loyal and faithful to one another. We are and have been best friends for more than 30 years. Do we ever become annoyed or frustrated with one another, of course. We are both human and flawed, so that is to be expected.

If success is only defined by perfect, then of course there is no such things as a successful marriage. There is something to be said for knowing you can go through some of the worst things in life like cancer and depression, and know that the other person will always be there for you. Even when you are not particularly lovable. A person who won't bail on you when things don't go perfectly, or as they had hoped they would. Someone who will stick with you when you are depressed, and when you cry every single day, many times. Someone who will love you even though they don't know when the sadness will end, but they want to help you figure it out. Someone who will look you in the face, and put their comforting arms around you and say, we will get through this. And you believe them because they've already proven this many times before.

So yes there are successful marriages and mine is one of them. 30 years married and counting!
 

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Is there such a thing as a successful marriage?
Considering 70+% of all marriages initiated after the couple is 25 years old survive I think so. The statistics you hear blasted on the news about 50+% of all marriages failing are only true for those under 20 years old when they marry, but even then that means that half of those marriages are surviving.

Nearly twice as many married people state that they are happy with their current state in life than singles, so I don't think the adage is true that marriage comes with a ball and chain. I know many happily married couples, and my own marriage is doing quite well at the moment. I don't believe that there is any marriage that will not face hard times over a lifetime, but then again those hard times are going to come regardless if you are married or not and sometimes it is nice to have someone by your side to face them.
 

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marriage worked more in the past. there was a different sense of moral obligation, a different type of lifestyle was promoted. People were more prone to be less broken, as a result, less corrupted i guess. I think this generation, male and females, have become too damaged to actually have a marriage work out for the most part. The cultural atmosphere is so different now, where everything and anything is okay, that we become damaged faster and or, we also seem to have more opportunities to not be obligated to our partner. A different mindset and lifestyle is promoted these days in abundance and it just isn't suitable to produce women and men in the mass that can become Wives and Husbands... in the traditional sense. we are just so far removed from what was traditional. Most of us have had many sexual partners, each leaving a scar or mark upon us, which we carry into our future relationships... many of us have gotten fixed into cyclic patterns, which we are prone to seek out the things which makes us suffer, as we dont know of anything else, or we are all over the place due to our past and simply cant commit. now if you have a person in a relation or even better, both, whom are willing to work on themselves, then you have a condition for a marriage to be possible.

Every girl I have attracted has been damaged, many of them have been molested, it is odd how frequent this occurs. And I, myself, must be damaged, in some way. I think each person should really strive to work on themselves, before they can truly commit to something like marriage, and learn to be sincere with themselves. In the past, things were just different. I have kinda loss hope in marriage, after failing to produce one, one has to wonder, is it even possible. I know it is, I've seen it, but at best only in couples who are from a different generation, to be honest. i dont have much hope of the generation of 20 and 30 somethings.
 

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I've always really liked the idea of being married, but it's an intimidating idea where so much could go wrong, and we are all very aware of all the failed marriages out there, but what of the successful ones? How did they make it?
Research is valid, testimonials are important, but anybody can post a long story of 10, 20 years of successful marriage. We would need the opinion of the other party and check 1 year later. A lot of those can go down in any 6 months, some will recover (without telling nobody about the problem) and some can never recover starting a downfall), it's tricky.

Church people are easy to fall into "we are getting there" or "we are already there" while its just smoke, problems covered under the forgive-we-are-special people, it's a kind of blindness just as a lie, a cover. The same CAN happen to psychologists. Denial... is such a terrible thing. Even people with terrible relationships can tell you they made it (very different than lying).

That's just to save space and avoid long stories of 5 year relationships gone wrong, 10... gone wrong... 50 gone wrong. Anything can fail, it takes hard work every month (nope, I'm not married, just as interested on it as you perhaps9.
 

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Research is valid, testimonials are important, but anybody can post a long story of 10, 20 years of successful marriage. We would need the opinion of the other party and check 1 year later. A lot of those can go down in any 6 months, some will recover (without telling nobody about the problem) and some can never recover starting a downfall), it's tricky.
Yes, it's true anyone can post a long story on-line and it's hard to validate it. That is probably true of just about anything you read online that you can't personally observe. However, you can evaluate what those who say it can be done have to say about it. Is there logic in what they have to say? Can you learn anything from it?

I don't think most who believe their marriage to be successful will tell you that it has been easy. To bring two together in harmony requires each to give up a little of their self for the good of the other. That is not easy for many to do, and some bristle at the very idea of having to make sacrifices for the good of another. Why should I have to give up what I want. Well the answer is you don't have to, but if you are going to make a go of it long term you will likely need to do so. If you don't want to give up any of your own interest, then it is probably best to acknowledge that and realize that a long term relationship is not your ultimate goal.

If I understand the OP questions correctly, he seems to be interested in those that last. What they have learned, how did they accomplish this, etc. What have been some of the problems. I could be misunderstanding him, but seems to me he want details about relationships that have endured. Or at least information about what caused some not to endure. He seems hesitant to enter into marriage because he doesn't want one that will end after a few years.

Church people are easy to fall into "we are getting there" or "we are already there" while its just smoke, problems covered under the forgive-we-are-special people, it's a kind of blindness just as a lie, a cover. The same CAN happen to psychologists. Denial... is such a terrible thing. Even people with terrible relationships can tell you they made it (very different than lying).
I may be misunderstanding you but it sort of sounds like you are broadly painting an entire group of people as liars. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong. You seem somewhat negative about those who consider themselves to have successful marriages and I think that is sad. Perhaps you might examine what has caused you to be negative about it? Or maybe you aren't truly interested in a long and lasting marriage, and that is your prerogative. However, is it fair to paint all based upon your personal experiences?

That's just to save space and avoid long stories of 5 year relationships gone wrong, 10... gone wrong... 50 gone wrong. Anything can fail, it takes hard work every month (nope, I'm not married, just as interested on it as you perhaps9.
Absolutely, any relationship can fail at any point in time. But does that mean that those who are interested in pursuing a successful marriage should just assume it is an impossibility? Why bother it might fail? I would rather not give someone who is interested in pursuing a successful (lasting) marriage doomsday advice. I also wouldn't tell them that it is easy to achieve. I would tell them that you need to select carefully and find someone who is as committed to this as you.

I would tell them that a successful (enduring) marriage requires two people who are determined to make it work. Two people who enter with the idea that they will do everything in their power to fix those things that don't work right. Two people who are ready to forgive each other, regularly. Each should be committed to the happiness of the other person, and not their own happiness. Ideally both approach it this way, but someone must go first. If I am only doing these things so long as they do their part, the marriage has a greater chance of failure(ending). It is true that greater happiness will be achieved when both are on the same page, but someone must go first and you can only control you.

I will also tell them that their mate may from time to time be selfish, self serving, inconsiderate, etc. and they need to be prepared to overlook and forgive them for this. I think it is good to discuss this with them, but don't plop out ultimatums and threats. Ultimately each person in a marriage can only control their own behavior/actions. Are you prepared to do all that you can to be the best spouse possible, even if your partner isn't? This type of attitude will greatly aid those whose goal is to make it long term. Even then it's not a guarantee because if the other person decides to walk, there is nothing you can do about it.

I think it is safe to say from reading some comments, that not everyone defines successful as enduring. Not everyone is interested in making the sacrifices that are needed to make a marriage last through the good and the bad. Some may be offended at the idea that they should have to give up some of the things they want to make it last. The idea of compromising what they want may be offensive to them. I personally believe that a long lasting marriage will likely elude many who are not willing to make these type of commitments.

Perhaps for some a lasting marriage is not their goal, or even all that important to them. Some will enter a marriage and try to do all of the right things, but they may have a partner who still chooses to walk and there is nothing they can do about that. However, I think there is great wisdom in evaluating the cost and rewards of a long lasting marriage and deciding is it worth it to you? If it is, here are some of the things that may help you accomplish that. Listen to those who have had successes and learn what you can from them. Listen to those who wanted that and learn from them as they tell you what went wrong.
 

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Thanks, long story short: I have asked the same question for too many years and have collected the answers, but mostly, been able to see what happens, so, marriage is a difficult thing that can change over time. About the "negative" it's actually a warning, because many try to disguise things that aren't actually positive and this my friend is the most abundant attitude you will find while asking.
 

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Thanks, long story short: I have asked the same question for too many years and have collected the answers, but mostly, been able to see what happens, so, marriage is a difficult thing that can change over time. About the "negative" it's actually a warning, because many try to disguise things that aren't actually positive and this my friend is the most abundant attitude you will find while asking.
Yes, I too have seen what happens when they go wrong, and it usually is some of the same things for most. As I said, those who chose to marry, and want a long lasting one must consider the pros and cons. Are you willing to pay the price of an enduring marriage, is it worth it to you? It may not be for many, and some are perfectly content to live out their days alone or with their cats/dogs. Preferring their company over another person.

What I often see happen is people have many companionship opportunities in their 20's and 30's. Choices dwindle as they reach their 40's and beyond. Then they often wish that they had someone to curl up beside on a cold winter night. Someone to care when they've been in the hospital, and they come home to an empty house. Someone to enjoy a meal with, but instead they may find the only company they have is their computer or tv. They might want to go to a concert or a show, they may want to travel, but they don't have anyone to go with. I have seen some terribly lonely people over the course of my life. I have also seen people who are perfectly content living out their days alone. That is why I said one must weigh the pros and cons. If you want someone to spend your life with, you need to be willing to adapt, compromise and let go of some things you may want. If you don't want to do those things, and being alone doesn't bother you, I wouldn't bother. Really it is just a matter of what you value. Are those things you value when young, going to be important to you when you reach 50 and are all alone? For some the answer is yes, and for others like myself the answer is no. I wanted someone to spend my life with and I must say I think the sacrifice and compromise is absolutely worth it. But that's just me.
 

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I've always really liked the idea of being married, but it's an intimidating idea where so much could go wrong, and we are all very aware of all the failed marriages out there, but what of the successful ones? How did they make it?

I'm interested in hearing from people who have been successfully married for a long time (the longer the better), how long they have been married for, what they think has helped their marriages last for so long, would they call their spouse their "Soul mate" and why or why not, how do they feel about their marriages now after all this time compared to how they started off, did they push thru tough periods and how, what personality types they each are, and what advice they would have for those seeking relationships and marriage, and any other comments they might have?
Married for almost three years to an ENFJ (I'm INFP):

Soul Mate? I guess. Best friend? Heck yes.

It's all about compromise and give and take. You can't be 100% selfish NOR 100% selfless.

As for advice, I can offer some cliches; be yourself, but be the best version of yourself. And only form relationships with those who accept you for who you are, assuming who you are is healthy. Don't be passive aggressive: be assertive but compassionate (unlearning passive aggressiveness was hard for me, especially when dating others before meeting my wife, also we are both conflict-avoidant, but we work on voicing concerns)

The infatuation period will end, but that doesn't mean you can't try to revive it.

Our opinion on looking at other people, even though we are monogamous: look, don't touch (or flirt). We are loyal and faithful, but we aren't repressing human instinct either.

Get on a similar (not necessarily same) page with money. Money can break a lot of things up, especially marriages.

For me, since I'm so attached to my values (INFP), it would be tough if my wife and I had major value disagreements. That doesn't apply to everyone however. We are friends with a couple that are the complete opposite politically, and they do fine.

Be positive and spontaneous.

Learn how to cook :wink:.

Edit: if it matters, my parents are 35 years into their marriage. My mom's an ESTJ and my Dad is an INFP. My wife's parents are also married for a similar time; my mother in law is an ENFP and her husband is an INTJ (I think)
 
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