Some Advice for Young Marrieds from an Old Geezer Who's Been There, and Done That

VegasGeorge

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I've been married a long time. I celebrated my golden wedding anniversary a couple of years ago. I was married to my first wife for 7 years, to my second for 40, and when I hit year 3 with my current wife, that made 50! šŸ˜ So, I think I'm well qualified to give some advice to all you younger married folks out there.

Look, there is way too much trouble in marriages these days. Too many divorces and broken homes. Too much anger and sadness. I want to explain a technique that I developed in my second marriage, a technique that kept peace in that marriage until her death, and has worked very well in my current marriage too. This technique will resolve the tension that surrounds disagreements within your relationship. And, it is extremely simple and easy to follow.

First, each of you must resolve not to try to change the other's personal characteristics, traits, beliefs, convictions, etc. Each of you should remain free to be whomever you want to be. I'm conservative, she's a liberal, so be it. She's religious, I'm not, so be it. I love meat, she's a vegetarian, so be it. And so forth. I think you can understand that concept from these examples without much problem.

But, what about those pesky impersonal decisions? Should our next vacation be North or South? Should we buy this chair, or that chair? Do we want to decorate in farmhouse or deco style? These kind of issues can boil down to the question of who is in charge. And, in a modern marriage there is no boss, no one person who is clearly designated to be "in charge." And without a prior understanding and agreement, that can lead to trouble. Big trouble. So, here is how that has been managed in my marriage(s) over the last 45 years.

You both agree in advance that each of you has absolute veto power over any such decision. But, you also agree that your veto will only be used in extreme circumstances, and not as an everyday negotiating tool. Now, assuming that both of you are honest, and both interested in continuing the relationship, the fact that each of you holds veto power over the other will tend to moderate your disagreements, and bring you into acquiescence or compromise. Neither of you will be willing to push the other too far or too hard in any dispute. Each of you will be aware that the other's veto could ruin everything you're pushing for. Knowledge of the potential veto will act as a regulator.

It works. I have only felt compelled to use my veto three or four times over all these years. And, the same is true of my wives. And, when a veto is declared, it turns the situation around 180 degrees. Instead of going North or South that year, you will wind up going East or West. And since the veto arrangement is an ongoing thing, neither of you will feel the sting of losing to the other, as it may well be the other's veto that gets exercised next. It promotes a feeling of equality between spouses. Even if a veto is declared against you, you have the comfort of knowing that it is only a result of a voluntary agreement that you freely made. Not getting your own way will not seems nearly as discomforting.

Extra Bonus Advice.

When writing the above, I remembered another technique that has worked well in my marriage(s). It has to do with arguments. I call it: "The three Complete Sentence Rule." Whenever a dispute gets heated, and the exchange threatens to turn confrontational, either of you can invoke the rule. The rule simply states that both of you must only argue your point in three complete and consecutive sentences. At which time the other may reply or argue back in three complete and consecutive sentences. At which time the first party may ....etc. There is to be no crosstalk or interruptions. You will find that this technique quickly takes the fire out of any dispute, as emotions are suppressed by the mental concentration needed to formulate and deliver the three complete sentences. As a side benefit of this technique, each person may gain a better understanding of their own position, and may even experience a change of mind.

So, there it is. The product of many years. I hope someone here will find it helpful.
 

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What happened to your previous wives?
Any ongoing police case on you?
The inquiring minds want to know!