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Modern Marriage: Surprising Positive Secrets to a Long-Lasting Marriage

Modern Marriage is completely different in the 21st century. Women aren’t getting married until they are well established, and men are choosing to further their careers as well before hunkering down with marriage. So, marriage used to be the idea of every girl’s dream. White frilly princess dress, (or a sleek a-line dress), a gorgeous venue with a reception and the best in-laws you could think of.

Now, not as many people are getting married due to family problems, like parents divorcing, wanting to further their career or even just want some time to themselves. I mean who wouldn’t want a few years to themselves to do whatever they wanted. 

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I got married in August of 2014, in a stretchy white dress from Le Chateau, blue flats and 5 months pregnant with my son. We got married in the gardens of Bear Creek Park in Surrey, British Columbia.

marriage-wedding
Image by Tú Anh from Pixabay 

We made the promise that I would eventually get the wedding of my dreams, once our financial situation got better. 4 years later, and we are still struggling. However, we make sure that we have food on our table, a roof over our heads and clothing on our backs. 

I wouldn’t be the type to say that marriage is easy. It is not. I’m not saying that just to make you feel better. Every marriage is different. Mine comes with a lot of ups and downs. We fight over the smallest things, like at the beginning, whose turn was it to change a sh**ty diaper.

It hasn’t been easy because of my mental health. I have been the worst negative Nancy to my husband and I haven’t been exactly faithful to him either. He still took me back after infidelity, and he still helps me fight my battles. 

Divorce Talk

Lately, I have been talking about divorce. Hinting at it and mentioning it in our fights. He thinks it’s in the heat of the moment, that I just want to hurt him, but it’s also the fact that I don’t want him to keep fighting my battles for me anymore.

Sometimes, I feel like I am toxic to him and I have expressed that to him. I get frustrated easily and I don’t like talking about my problems to him. 

He’s pushy and persistent. If he gets just a whiff of me pouting, or he can sense it in my voice, he will push and push until I blow up at him and yell at him to leave me alone.

Like my counsellor has said before, he’s like a tiger prodding a snapping turtle. Keep prodding, and it will snap back at you. I will be honest. Sometimes, I am the turtle, most of the time, and sometimes I am the tiger. 

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I bring up divorce like it’s an easy thing to me. Like, I don’t even account for the price of it, to someone who is already swarming in debt, and I don’t even think about what the effects it would have on Lukas.

Fears

I am constantly in fear of myself, for hurting anybody. If you talk to me about your problems, I will probably give you advice that I should be listening to myself. 

Here I am, talking about the negatives of marriage, like the negative Nancy I am. The positives, what I feel, are the most wonderful thing. I get someone who actually cares enough to want to talk to me about my feelings.

Someone to let me cuddle them because I don’t like being cuddled (claustrophobia, am I right?), someone who will take care of me when I am sick and feeling under the weather. 

Kiefer does all this for me and more. He makes sure I eat, even when I don’t want to, or when I have had enough. Kiefer also makes sure that I have time to myself when I have been taking care of our son every day.

I love the fact that he brings home funds for me to go grocery shopping with, provides our son with the foods he’s picky about, as well as providing the diapers that our son doesn’t want to forgo during nighttime training.

Modern Marriage: Communication

We found out that a positive surprising secret is that communication is key. When communication comes into the mix, there isn’t anything that you cannot do.

Even with communication, there can be miscommunication. For example, when you forget to mention an important event, or when you omit certain aspects.

Kiefer and I don’t have the greatest communication, partly because he thinks I don’t communicate, even when I do.

In order to communicate properly, you need to make sure that there are no distractions around. Turn off all devices, turn to your partner and really listen.

While your partner is communicating, make sure you really listen. This brings us to the next secret.

Modern Marriage: Listening Skills

From a young age, we are taught to listen to those talking to us. Some of them are good and some of them are bad. It’s up to you to pay attention to what you will listen to.

This is why this secret really ties in with the first secret. When you effectively listen, you are showing you’re paying attention and that you really care.

Kiefer and I have a hard time listening to each other because we interrupt each other. We are constantly going like this;

“Talking about debt payoff….” interruption by another party, “what if we talk about this other subject.” Which leads to one of us getting upset at each other.

Trust

This is a big one. Trust is one of the main factors of marriages failing. When one partner doesn’t trust the other, it leads to problems.

Since I was dishonest and cheated on Kiefer, he has a reason why he doesn’t trust me. However, you cannot gain to trust the other person unless you believe that they have changed.

Kiefer and I have discussed what that looks like. I have told him that because I haven’t been honest, he has a hard time trusting my words. It looks like I am lying when I am being honest.

He is always asking me if someone is with me when he hears other voices in the background. Doesn’t believe me when I am telling the truth, and is constantly checking my location because he doesn’t believe I am where I say I am.

This shows that he doesn’t trust me. Which I understand. However, in order for me to gain even a single bit of trust back from him, he needs to let go of his insecurities.

Modern Marriage Secret: Honesty

Honesty is also a huge factor in a positive modern marriage. All the time, we see other couples being dishonest and it hurts us to see it. When honesty comes into play, it shows the other that you are working together, instead of apart.

If there are children involved, showing that you’re honest to your spouse, shows your children to be honest with their peers and family. When Lukas is being dishonest, we try to correct him, as a joint couple.

Working together

Looking at all the marriages I have seen in my lifetime, I see a lot of couples both working together and working apart. Working together means that you talk to each other and make a joint decision.

Kiefer and I do both. We work together some days, especially when it comes to parenting. However, when I make a rash decision, we are working against each other.

In order to work together, you need to make a decision together about what is going to happen. You need to sit together, talk about what is working and what isn’t working.

During times of not working together, you need to take a step back and talk to your partner about what is happening.

Kiefer and I will chat about what’s going on. We discuss who is going to be the good parent and who’s the bad parent at the time.

Modern Marriage: Intimacy

When it comes to intimacy, most couples will say that they have the greatest intimacy. While that may be true for some people, it may not be true for others.

Intimacy is when 2 people come together and share their emotions, fears and other things. It can be sexual in nature but doesn’t have to be. You can experience intimacy with your brothers, sisters and other family members.

There are 4 types of intimacy. Experiential Intimacy, Emotional Intimacy, Sexual Intimacy, and Intellectual Intimacy. Each type is completely different and relates to what I am talking about.

  • Experiential Intimacy: When people team together during a leisure activity. When they team together, they “sync up” and form a rythym that helps their team.
  • Emotional Intimacy: This is when you feel really comfortable with someone that you trust them with your feelings, even the most uncomfortable ones.
  • Intellectual Intimacy: When 2 people who have opposing ideas and opinions share their topics without wanting or needing to win an argument.
  • Sexual Intimacy: When 2 people engage in sexual or sensual activities. Usually when people talk about intimacy, they are referring to this one.

When we talk about intimacy, this means we are usually talking about sexual intimacy. Kiefer and I used to have the greatest intimacy. Then something changed. I became withdrawn, less like I used to be when we first started dating in 2014.

Dealing with intimacy issues can be hard for some people, but when you have communication, trust and above all else, honesty, then everything will work itself out.

Sometimes it doesn’t work out, but don’t jump the gun and immediately go for separation and divorce. Talk about your issues first, see what you can fix, and then go from there.

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