Married for the Long Haul - Are You Still Happy?

Updated on December 22, 2017
E.G. asks from Rahway, NJ
12 answers

Just something I'm wondering about lately. I've been married for 25 years and can honestly say I'm very happy. My husband and I still have fun together, great sex, laugh a lot and are on the same page about almost everything. Do the little things drive both of us nuts? Sure, but overall, I'm still happy we found each other and I'd marry him again in a heartbeat. He ages like a fine wine, me not so much but we make it work.

As I look around at my friends and their marriages, I'm seeing a scary pattern. Two of my closest friends are miserable by all accounts. Friend #1 admits that she's barely a roommate with her husband and I know of at least 3 long-term relationships she's had with other men outside her marriage. Friend #2 "appears" to be happy, but I've seen first hand some very ugly fighting matches between she and her husband and deep down, I know she's miserable. I know of several other couples who appear to be fine in public, have next to no relationship at home and haven't had sex in years. This describes almost every couple I know, with just a few exceptions.

Can someone either explain why this might be the overwhelming case for most couples or tell me why it just seems this way? Or feel free to tell me how blissfully happy you are after many years of marriage.

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A.L.

answers from Atlanta on

I do understand how it can feel rather disconcerting when many people in one's circle are unhappy or splitting up. I feel that way sometimes because a really large proportion of the couples we knew from when my husband and I got together (mid-1990s) have split. We are close to the last ones standing. So it can make a person wonder. Do I have theories about why they didn't work out and we have worked out so far? Not really. All I know is that I still like and appreciate my sweetie, and he seems to still like me. Are we always on the same page? No, 'cause we're human! I do think we have that basic trust that he means well and is doing his best, and hopefully he feels the same way about me. Congrats on being happy!

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B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

If you are very happy - who cares how anyone else is doing?
Stop comparing your relationship to anyone else s.
You get to define what's normal and happy for you and no one else matters.
What goes on in my marriage or anyone else s is irrelevant.

9 moms found this helpful

T.F.

answers from Dallas on

I'm glad you are happy in your marriage! Enjoy and treasure it.

I was happy in my marriage and in our 27th year he dropped dead with a heart attack At home with me, 2015.

I miss him every moment of every day. We were a team. We ran our company together and worked together many years.

We had a great marriage that would have lasted longer but it only lasted until the death do us part at 27 years.

No marriage is perfect and without flaw... you learn how to grow through your tough times.

Yes I'd marry him again in a heartbeat.

7 moms found this helpful

S.T.

answers from Washington DC on

i agree there are a lot of couples who seem to be together more from ennui about changing the status quo than joy.

but it's none of my bees wax.

the ol' man and i are happy as puppies after 31 years of marriage and 35 of being together. we went through rough patches, and almost separated once. thank all the gods we worked through it.

now that we're empty nesters we're reconnecting on a whole new level as lovers and playmates.
:) khairete
S.

6 moms found this helpful
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M.G.

answers from Portland on

I think the downfall to a lot of relationships is thinking you can change your spouse/partner.

If you're so busy trying to change them, you're not focussing on yourself. You can't accomplish anything in your own life, so you're personally unhappy.

You have to like who you married. You have to respect them.

Then you're free to pursue you dreams - personally. If you bring that to your marriage (each of you), you're good. You each have to be happy/content with your own selves, individually to be happy together I find.

I made that mistake with my first relationship in my twenties. I was focussed on trying to fix the relationship - instead of focussing on being the best me.

My husband is fine the way he is (I like him!) and he likes himself - and so I'm free to just be content - so happy, I don't know, but content for sure. I would marry him again :)

Added: as for the rough patches, I do think you grow through those and you learn about each other - what each other's strengths are and vulnerabilities. Being there for each other through hard times is key too.

5 moms found this helpful
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J.C.

answers from Anchorage on

A lot of couples just never learn how to really openly and honestly communicate effectively with each other or how to listen without judgement, how to step back and see things from the other persons perspective. People get so caught up in what they think the other person should be doing they don't see what they are doing themselves. I have seen it first hand not only in the relationships of friends, but in my own when it almost fell apart. We even had the divorce paper work filled out but decided to give counseling a try and it saved us. Are we perfect all the time, of course not, but the counseling was 10 years ago now and we are about to celebrate 19 years married (21 together) and things honestly seem to get better and better, even the sex is better then it has ever been. People have to stop being afraid to communicate and listen openly if they want change. In the end everyone changes as they age, it is up to the couple to decide if they will grow and change together or simply grow apart.

5 moms found this helpful

T.D.

answers from Springfield on

11 years. we fight, we argue it out, we share a bed. and not just for sleeping if you catch my drift. we talk, we parent together, and we work our butts off to remain married. we have happy moments and sad ones, we are a parenting team. we are not alone either. there are many other families i know that are looking good, and having happy marriages.

5 moms found this helpful
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S.W.

answers from Amarillo on

Marriage is a continuing project. You can't take it for granted. You have to make time for it and nurture it without the kids. One day they will be gone and you two will be strangers if you don't.

I have just had my 46th anniversary with hubby. We have had our ups and downs and now we are really a tight couple. This all happened after he had several very serious illnesses. It took him dying and coming back to realize what he had and how to keep it. It took me looking at my marriage vows and really reading them and making changes.

People are who they are and you cannot change them even if you think you can. So all the weird warts and such are there to stay. Take time for yourself and time for each other. Go out for walks in the park or to dinner and just enjoy each other and the moment. Sometimes less is more important than more. Now he is my best buddy and we sit and laugh at stupid stuff and have fun.

the other S.

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S.B.

answers from Houston on

We have been married for over 31 years. I love this man but more importantly, I like this man. He is the first person I want to share my news (good or bad) with. He is my lover and best friend and yes partner in crime! =)

Do we argue? You bet we do! Just last Saturday!!! Oh that man can piss me off!!! We are blessed with two wonderful kids and family. Most of our friends are happily married. My parents were married shy one month of 55 years before my Mom passed. My grandparents both were married over 60 years. My ILs over 60 years of marriage as well. I think I just had great role models and we wanted to be one for our kids. =)

PS Sex is pretty darn good!

4 moms found this helpful

W.W.

answers from Washington DC on

I've been married for 20 years. We just renewed our vows in Las Vegas in October.

Am I happy? Yes.
Are we ALWAYS happy? No.
Do we argue? Yes.
We have a roller coaster life. I can't complain. I've got a man who loves me through good times and bad....has given me two great kids and knows just how to drive me nuts!

There are many reasons why couples have sexless marriages. Many agree to it. Others because of physical issues (ED, Menopause, etc.).

As to cheating? Well.....one of my friends has an open marriage and had a long term (4 years) relationship with one. It works for them. So husband MAY know about her "affairs".

Many relationships fail because they believe in the "fairy tale" and "happily ever after" and don't take into account REAL LIFE events: job loss, miscarriages, sickness, money/financial issues, etc. and instead of plowing through and working on their marriage? They throw in the towel when it gets too tough. that's my thoughts...

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M.G.

answers from Atlanta on

Great answer B - you nailed it.

1 mom found this helpful
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L.C.

answers from Washington DC on

28 years married.
Happy? Absolutely!
It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it!

1 mom found this helpful

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