What makes a happy marriage?
Someone close to me asked this the other day. I was actually taken back because I was not sure how to respond. I replied to my friend, "What do you mean?" She said, "Well you & Grady seem so happy together, what do you two do to make it work?"
I paused for a second.
Having been through a divorce before, I was certainly happy this time around with my husband Grady. I have never once had to question my feelings or happiness with him at all! It almost feels like a second nature feeling-like I was born to love him.
I knew that her husband and she were going through a rough patch so I tried to conjure the best specific answer I could.
First and foremost, since going through a divorce, I learned what I DIDNT want in a man. And that helped a multitude. My first husband was selfish, childish, and very competitive with everything that breathed. We were very different people. We rushed it and that's why I never loved him as I thought I did.
I would have to say that opposites do not attract-not polar opposite people anyways. It is SUPER to have opposite attributes but they MUST compliment each other-not work against each other. You also must be on the same page with everything, especially important core values that make a marriage stay strong.
For example, my ex husband was terrible with money. There were times when he spent all of his check and mine, and we would have to call his grandparents or parents to borrow money because we were negative in the bank. I on the other hand hated spending money, I was very frugal. My husband today is the same way and we stay on the same page no matter what we spend! Also, my exhusband was very prideful and overconfident which proved he was not happy with himself, therefore I could not be happy with him. He had to have the best of the best, cars, phones, clothes-he HAD to outdo his friends.
Thats what was most important to him. He just was never content-not with himself, or anybody. My current husband Grady is very gracious and humble. He is content and happy and that makes my heart happy! He sees the great in every situation. That helps me be the best person I can be instead of tearing me down or leaving me insecure.
Another thing that I would say that makes for a happy marriage is a strong friendship foundation. Grady was my friend first and foremost-and he still is today. In fact, if we were not married, we would be best friends. We still text and call each other throughout the day as if we just met. We never stop LEARNING about each other.
I truly believe God sent Grady into my life at the best moment possible. It was at the point where I was fed up with my current marriage, I was lonely & depressed. My ex husband would get mad at something I would say and he would leave town for two weeks at a time (he did this maybe 5 times during our 3 year marriage) and then come back expecting us to work things out. He would always find things to get upset about. This one time I did not buy him an Xbox with my credit card and he would not talk to me for the rest of the day. Another time, he wanted to buy a motorcycle and I told him no (he needed my co-signature to be approved) and he pouted and told me how terrible of a wife I was because I was worried about him on a motorcycle. He previously took his friend's motorcycle out for a drive which he ended up totally wrecking at 70mph and had to go to the hospital-he never even paid the guy back for totaling his bike. So why was I about to sign for his own? But I eventually did and unfortunately I still am on his car and bike loans today which he refuses to remove me from. It is sickening to me that he is still finding ways to use me even after our divorce. Though, I sold my BMW that he had signed with me on, just to get his name off. I was just so unhappy, I felt like I was married to a kid. I was on antidepressants and I drank to cope with the unhappiness.
But during the last time he left me, God placed Grady in my life. I met Grady on the beach through a mutual friend. Immediately I thought, wow what a friendly and cool guy! My friend had told him what I was going through and he had gone through a divorce too. He knew I was contemplating one so he gave me his best advice. What did he tell me? I have to do what makes me happy.
That day, my exhusband came and wanted to work things out. I agreed. But after a few short days of him being back home, I decided it just could not go on. And he could tell. He stormed into the living room where I was sitting and he yelled "Do you want a divorce or not?!" I paused for a second. I thought clearly before I responded. I said yes. And that was the end of him being civil.
I turned to Grady for lots of support. He showed me how to file (I made my exhusband fill out the paperwork, it was the least he could do for all I had done for him in our time), he helped me move my things, and he was just simply there for me to talk and vent.
At one point, I almost had a breakdown because my ex husband told me he was not going to sign the papers, just to piss me off. All I wanted was for him to go away. I already knew he was cheating on me with a new girl, I did not care. It was amazing how someone can be so sickening and controlling. He took a lot of my belongings including my bed. He left me with over $10,000 in debt-he racked up my credit card in debt from buying car parts. To this day, Grady and I have worked hard to pay off that debt, and I am so happy to say that I only owe $1,400 of that $10,000.
Eventually, Grady and I fell in love. I fell in love with his personality first. I am not saying everyone should get divorced first to finally find someone to be happy with (lol) but it certainly helped me to be the happy and thankful wife to my beautiful USAF Staff Sgt husband today.
So here's what makes MY marriage happy in a recap:
- Be friends first and foremost.
- Do not rush things.
- Have the same mindset on finance, sex, and family.
- Find someone like you.
- Nice guys should NEVER finish last! Give them a chance.
Every marriage is different. If you have to try and MAKE it work, its not working.
Let it be.