2748. Essentials of Successful Marriage — 01 Introduction


Seventeen years ago I set out to develop ‘a golden formula’ for successful marriage, defined as they do not separate. Not perfect and perhaps not even very good marital arrangements, but mutually satisfying for who they are and what they have as a couple plus some method to hold them together.

I was motivated by this comparison. Grace and I had 59 years of success in our one and only marriage. We saw so many broken marriages that included our three sons. Why was separation for Grace and me so difficult, and yet so easy for so many others?

I discovered that couples are not held together by common emotional connections such as love, vows, mutual likeability, legal pressures, and good intentions. All of which are prompters of motivation stronger within women than men. Although highly exploited, those connections are only fronts and often temporary. They are positive concepts and affirming emotions that help a lot but are less influential than negative disruptions that too easily pile up in pressure fronts and disturb relationship equilibrium and steadiness.

Example: Husband goes off to work with wife’s kiss and nice wishes the last thing out the door. Before the car is out of the garage, his mind is elsewhere. With men, positive endorsements of his importance to others is well known to him. It’s not a concern or worry, and he has more important matters to occupy his thoughts today.

If the same thing happens to wife, she’s more inclined to longer enjoy his departing thoughts. Perhaps until she gets to the first stop sign or light. Positive and affirming thoughts are essential for successful marriage, but they are less impressive and occupy the mind far less than statements that identify or criticize one’s individuality.

Couples are held together better by the absence of little things that accumulate, offend, and wear down one or the other mate: blame, shame, irritants, impatience, misunderstandings, criticism, nagging, fault-finding, unfilled promises, abuse, and disrespect. All of which can too easily accumulate and morph into contestable pressures so unacceptable that one or both has to escape. IOW, personal differences drown out the attractions of gender differences. Separation follows based on determination of one or the other to escape their anti-respectful, self-induced environment in which opinions differ as to one’s worth to self or the other.

Too little respect motivates one mate to express negative opinions about the other. True respect for someone discourages defining or describing their faults; respect encourages their acceptance, warts and all. So, when mutual respect is not present, love and vows and other affirming connections are not enough to hold a couple together.

The roots of mutual respect one gender for the other, one guy for one gal and vice versa goes back in time. So, it begins with how they are born to be distinctly different from birth and even before. Next, there’s a difference between the war and the battle of the sexes.

9 Comments

Filed under courtship, Dear daughter, How she loses, marriage, sex differences

9 responses to “2748. Essentials of Successful Marriage — 01 Introduction

  1. Confused

    Sir Guy,

    What do you do when a guy you’ve been dating over a year goes from I want to marry you tomorrow to I want to save for a ring and get us an apartment first so let’s wait six months to a year? If it means anything, I’ve been playing hard to get, mysterious, and practicing virtual virginity from the beginning with this guy.

    Your Highness Confused,

    My bet is that he’s been listening to buds who advise against marriage or they favor the man’s game, conquest first. Perhaps not, though. He could just be undecided and seeks to break up his gridlock.

    It’s either a bluff to facilitate conquest or he’s losing interest in you. Tough to guess.

    You won’t know unless you call his bluff and say no to shack up, but yes to marriage (if you’re ready and he proposes on his own). I strongly endorse your last sentence as best strategy to continue for the future and your long range advantage.

    His way reflects either less interest in you or hope to facilitate conquest sooner than you desire. He wants to clear the confusion about his investment in you. Are you worth his marital obligation or not? If not, he wants to know more while he considers what’s best for him.

    By the way, congratulations on your strength of character, attractiveness, and virtues to sustain the relationship this long.

    Guy

  2. Mary Wumths

    A fine post Sir Guy in revealing the keys to a successful marriage. It is a treat every time you write a new blog post

  3. Have just finished reading, “Walk with me, an allegory” by Annie Wald. When I attempted to read the original Pilgrims Progress as a teenager I found it like wading through treacle. I have been surprised how easy it has been to read and how helpful it is towards the ways disrespect can sneak in. Would surely appreciate any thoughts on it if anyone has read the book.

  4. Meow Meow

    Hi Sir Guy,

    You write: “Couples are held together better by the absence of little things that accumulate, offend, and wear down one or the other mate: blame, shame, irritants, impatience, misunderstandings, criticism, nagging, fault-finding, unfilled promises, abuse, and disrespect. ” Although my husband and i are still together after years of financial difficulties, caring for our developmentally disabled child and resulting stress (keeping the roof overhead, not fancy vacations or new cars) for the last year I notice we have been retreating to different corners of our home and rarely do much together. It’s me too, not just him, and maybe me more than him. On my part I am wary to allow myself to trust again after years of poor treatment…(his extensive unemployment, sexual neglect/overuse of porn, poor financial choices) yet he seems to have turned over a new leaf 2 years ago and to my knowledge has been applying himself back to being our provider and captain of our ship. You wrote how a man will change to keep what he has, and we did get to that point where he had to make a choice. Perhaps my husband is embarrassed about letting things get to that point….that I saw him fail so utterly….and I for one am embarrassed about being a doormat and nag for years instead of admitting the situation and acting to address it swiftly. Things seem better now, but the aftermath is something we are still working through…I feel I should just keep out of his way, let him work and keep my mouth shut…but my playfulness and trust is still recovering, and a resigned stoicism has settled over me over the last few years that is hard to let go of. Our relationship may be absent the negatives now, but how to bring the positives back? I want to be the innocent hero-worshipping woman he married, but he didn’t treat that girl very well when his world fell apart. It feels like I’m practically single, but it bothers me that I accept that so easily. We are moving into old age but broke…if at least our marriage was more of a source of strength for us I think I’d feel better about that.

    Your Highness Meow Meow,

    Congratulations. You have much for which to be grateful. So, start there to return to the positives.

    I suggest you leave love out of the picture. Start with restoring respect for what he does, who he is, and the family gratitude he earns regularly. Don’t preach, tho. Just let little hints and seed planting feed him. Make sure the kids show respect first and foremost. IOW, you’re slowly progressing and emerging from the past, so let it continue with out shock, angst, and questions.

    Let love drift back in after a stronger relationship develops out of respect and trust. Don’t tell him you love him until he first declares that he loves you. Even after that, no smother love.

    Guy

    • Meow Meow

      Thank you Sir Guy! Your advice is golden. It’s fascinating and humbling to see that your insights into the nature of men are so correct. My husband for example (being an old hippie) would be the first to call himself a “feminist” (pro-choice, believes women should be equal breadwinners, claims not to care whether I cook/clean etc. saying he’d rather have more of an income….) and he has always laughed at what he would call my outdated or traditional views on the sexes, which happen to be similar to yours although less well expressed. However, his own traditional upbringing must still be underneath all that as he occasionally breaks out into moments of chivalry, got seriously depressed when he couldn’t provide/find meaningful work, would blame me for NOT doing enough chores/caretaking when i had to work, asking for more sexual adventurous behavior from me but then being inexplicably angry at me later on in the day (loss of respect for me?) etc. It confused me for a very long time…him saying one thing but later acting like the opposite made him happier. Your blog has really helped me understand men’s needs and wants. Maybe this period of quiet and enjoyment in what we do have is exactly what we need right now.

      Your Highness Meow Meow,
      You have formulated a good recovery plan. Well done, and God bless you and yours.
      Guy

  5. chéma

    Sir Guy,
    I need your help please.
    How to recover from falling hard and low of the pedestal ?

    I am 23 years old I had a perfect reputation (i wasn’t aware of that before it was gone) : never had boyfriends, never dated never went to a party, never did anything bad actually not even smoking or even saying curse words. I work with disabled children.

    I felt extremely lonely and sad to not have anybody with me while all the girls around already had babies etc… I thought it was because i wasn’t attractive (which is not the case since i had people coming to me to do a model casting)

    So i made the biggest mistake of my life : my sister forced me to date one of her friend who just broke up with his girlfriend of 8 years which was not very nice from her 😦 she lied to me telling me he loved me etc… and me out of desperation i believed her.
    And i basically sold myself to him before even he showed a sign of wanting to be with me i was so desperate i tried all the bad ways to impress HIM (i feel so bad) i didn’t know how to be with me as it never happened to me and tried to read on internet what to do and that was a BIG mistake !! i dressed slutty, i even sent nudes pics i talked about sex i even invented past relationships i never had because i was afraid he will mock my inexperience. And believe me or not i even forced him to take my virginity in his car (i want to kill myself) because i thought he will see i am a good girl (!) but interested in sex so promising him a good time if he marries me (i’m crying while writing). He took it and dumped me the next day.
    I am sure he would have marry me if I was just myself.

    Now he said about it to everybody in the city even my family, everybody laugh at me i walk with shame and want to kill myself everyday 😦

    I wasn’t aware of my very good reputation before i thought everybody mocked my inexperience, but then they said why did you do that ? you could have married anybody ! now they just think i am a whore it make me suicidal.
    I even quit my job because of shame

    How to recover from that and make them see that i am not like that and will i find a husband even if he knows that ? NOBODY respect me even my own family and talk very bad in a harsh tone to me.

    Help me please.

    Your Highness Chéma,

    I just found and pulled this first post of yours from my spam file.
    Welcome aboard! I love it when pretty women join us on this cruise to WhatWomenNeverHear.

    I figure some readers will sympathize with you and your situation. So, I will focus on helping you recover. It isn’t all that bad, they you found disappointment and displeasure with yourself. If you continue to call it shame, however, you will find it harder to pull yourself up by some plan of recovery. Thinking ill of yourself is the first thing to stop, but it takes time and specific actions to eliminate it.

    Your story fascinates readers but it should not make you feel so unique. It happens to girls and women all the time. The cause? They don’t know enough about the female or male nature, how independent and individualistic that women are if they but act it. Claims without actions produce nothing. Everybody makes mistakes. It’s why recovery is everything.

    You need a dramatic recovery that pushes you to forget the past, ignore mistakes, and trains you to look to what a woman needs more than anything else, a brighter future. You can find it on this blog although it will take time.

    The sooner you forgive yourself, forget your mistakes, and learn how women function as good women, the sooner it will vanish from the minds of others. By upgrading yourself into a better woman than you presently think, the memory that others have of you will get overwritten by what you say and act from now on. You can obliterate your past only by acting as though you have obliterated your past. Strange, perhaps, but that’s the way the human mind works.

    I just today received the following advice from a lady reader, Shermy Brown, to another woman. It is so relevant and accurate to cure many female thoughts of shame, that I repeat it to you a second time. It’s a good beginning to initiate a recovery from self-hatred inflicted by big mistakes.

    “To me, and perhaps Sir Guy will agree, it is best to direct your energies elsewhere. You will waste your precious time trying to convince someone to disbelieve what they already believe. Take it as a lesson learned and move forward. Your energies should be directed toward generating greater self restraint, self-respect and perhaps review the advice in the top banner on “Female Blessings at Birth” and “The Path to Victory.” This is the best use of your time, wallowing in painful feelings and trying to change a man’s mind is a GREAT WASTE of time that you cannot get back. Value your time by training yourself to create the best life for yourself.”

    I strongly endorse it as plan to initiate recovery. If the articles Shermy mentions don’t provide better thoughts for you, please come back and we can pick up with what’s still left to do.

    Guy

  6. jumana

    Sir Guy, how to regain respect after being a booty call because of low self esteem ? (regaining respect from the man you were a booty call with AND from people/future husband).

    My second question is how to react if I meet the ex-booty call guy ?
    And if we meet him with my future husband and he brags about it in front of him to shame me?

    Your Highness Jumana,

    Shermy Brown just commented to another woman with similar problems. Not exactly the same, but Shermy’s advice rings a bell for you. I quote her as the recovery plan for you.

    “To me, and perhaps Sir Guy will agree, it is best to direct your energies elsewhere. You will waste your precious time trying to convince someone to disbelieve what they already believe. Take it as a lesson learned and move forward. Your energies should be directed toward generating greater self restraint, self-respect and perhaps review the advice in the top banner on “Female Blessings at Birth” and “The Path to Victory.” This is the best use of your time, wallowing in painful feelings and trying to change a man’s mind is a GREAT WASTE of time that you cannot get back. Value your time by training yourself to create the best life for yourself.”

    Carry out her suggestions and both your self-respect and self-gratitude will return, and they are more important than the respect of others.

    I have serious doubts that booty guy will try to shame you in front of future husband. Men can be evil, but they’re also pretty good at not insulting women before other men.

    Guy

    • jumana

      “I have serious doubts that booty guy will try to shame you in front of future husband. Men can be evil, but they’re also pretty good at not insulting women before other men.”

      I hope you are right because i am really afraid. Last month a man said something nice about me to a friend of mine and she heard him (the ex, they work together) tell him “don’t judge a book by its cover you’d be surprised” with a smile ! it hurts a lot 😦

  7. Back to Basics

    How wonderful to read your opening paragraphs!

    It is so true that how we are left colors our emotions a great deal afterwards. It’s so strange that it isn’t the case with men! How does a nice goodbye impact a man? He concludes that all is well and takes on other challenges? And what is considered an unpleasant goodbye for a man? Your advice in this comment section is very inspiring.

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