Wednesday, 1 December 2021

Marriage wreckers


I was revisiting a long-ago post on why marriages collapse. It can happen very easily. All it takes is a total difference of opinion about some pattern of behaviour. What seems quite normal to one of you is baffling and infuriating to the other. Is it about sex? Money? Housework? Politics? Violence? Weirdness?

With Jenny and I, I think the one thing that would absolutely drive us apart is sexism. Jenny has always been a passionate feminist who expects me to do my fair share of the household tasks and treat her with respect and consideration.

If I suddenly became the stereotype bloke, sprawled on the sofa watching Match of the Day and clutching a bottle of beer, while she scuttled round the house with the hoover and changed the bed linen, she wouldn't put up with that for long. I'd be packing my bags and moving out.

Of course there are some strong runners-up as marriage wreckers. Like politics. Jenny and I are both ardent socialists, but if one of us suddenly became a rabid right-winger, banging on about dangerous vaccines and imaginary viruses, that would be pretty terminal.

Like domestic order. We're both minor neat-freaks, wanting everything in its place and a place for everything. If one of us was always messy, never clearing anything up and leaving a trail of clothing and chocolate wrappers and dirty mugs everywhere they went, the other would be driven totally mad.

Like weirdness. We both have our peculiar habits and opinions, but they're all pretty benign - nothing disturbing enough to horrify the other. Nothing to justify a sudden moonlight flit.

And there's the very obvious contender - one of us having an affair. As it happens, neither of us has bowed to temptation, though we may have toyed with the idea on occasion, when someone utterly delicious caught our eye. But apart from anything else, deceit and subterfuge aren't in my nature.

Anyway, Jenny needn't worry too much about an outbreak of sexism.

Match of the Day? I'd rather pluck out my eyeballs.

26 comments:

  1. It sounds like you two are well matched. I'm happy to hear Jennie is a passionate feminist.

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    1. Colette: She certainly is. She'll spot any undesirable masculine traits straightaway and tell me to behave myself!

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  2. My late wife and I knew each other and also each other's families for eight years before we got married. I think that it helped in keeping the marriage on strong footing. Both came from traditional families with strong traditional Indian values which helped too. Another strong reason that both of us acknowledged was my not being at home for long stretches of time in a travelling job.

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    1. Ramana: Jenny and I cohabited for 14 years so we were confident getting married would work out okay.

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  3. Our biggest divisions were about how to raise the kids. Fortunately, they are grown now.

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    1. Bijoux: Luckily, as we don't have any children, that's one contentious area we don't have to deal with!

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  4. Lack of communication is the biggest wrecker

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    1. John: Very true. But Jenny and I natter away to each other all day so anything vexatious gets thrashed out sooner or later.

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  5. "They" say that finances are the huge pitfall. And the lack of respect is up there too. I know far too many toxic marriages/partnerships. You are very fortunate to have met your soulmate.

    XO
    WWW

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    1. www: Finances aren't a problem. We have a joint account and everything's out in the open. No hidden stashes that aren't accounted for!

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  6. he was literally my best friend.
    I was head over heels in love too. I've often wondered what it might have been like to have grown old together.
    we talked about Everything! and he made me laugh. I never wanted to replace him. I'm glad I didn't. being alone for so long now hasn't made me lonely. I have great memories. :) xo

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    1. Tammy: Lovely that you have those great memories to enjoy. A partner who makes you laugh is very important. Jenny and I are always laughing about something.

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  7. I agree with John about communication, that and marrying way too young!!

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    1. Polly: Yes, marrying too young often leads to a break-up a few years (or even months) down the line. It's easy to think someone is your soul mate when they're nothing of the kind.

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  8. Ken and I were very much opposites in every area you could be. But we allowed each other to have our own thoughts and feelings about things and just talked about things without a lot of arguing. I always tell my daughter that communication is the key to a good relationship.

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    1. Mary: Jenny and I have very different opinions on some things but as you say, talking them through works better than getting worked-up and abrasive.

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  9. Dave and I met as teenagers and married at nineteen. It was a challenge to grow into adults within the bounds of marriage but here we are 54 years later still laughing together.

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    1. Linda: Marrying at nineteen is a bit of a risk but clearly it worked out all right for you two. Fifty four years, wow!

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  10. Sawdust. Honestly. It gets everywhere, and ruins socks and soft furnishings. Drives me bonkers. Thankfully a job change cleared up that dispute.
    Sx

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    1. Ms Scarlet: So where did all this sawdust come from? Did you have a job as a carpenter? Or did Mr Blue?

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    2. Questions, questions, questions.....
      Sx

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    3. Ms Scarlet: I can't help asking questions. Once upon a time I used to be a journalist. Also, I'm an insatiably curious person.

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  11. Blogger wonlt let me comment via Firefox for some reason, so here goes on Chrome.
    Money seems to break up marriages - who has it, who wants it, who saves it, who splashes it....we think alike on that score, luckily! We're both muckworms...Leo only fills one table to move on to the next while I have books piled everywhere....appearances don't bother us....I suppose we are well suited.

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    1. Fly: Luckily Jenny and I have seldom fallen out over money. We have one joint bank account and neither of us have abused it. We don't have piles of books everywhere but we certainly have a lot of them.

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  12. Just a few days ago I was reading a wedding photographer saying the couples bound for disaster can be spotted on the wedding day: not spending time together or if the speeches from the "other side" dont acknowledge both parties.

    Of course, my question is, how does the photographer know what happens to the marriages?

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    1. Kylie: Good question. Maybe he meets up with them again when they're re-marrying?

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