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Old 18th September 2012, 12:59 PM   #1
Raymond
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Hope Springs

OK some coffee shop chat.

My wife and I went to see this film as part of our anniversary which continues this weekend at a resort near Corfe Castle. Our anniversary that is.

We just needed a little outing so I picked this film which was about a middle age couple who had lost touch which each other. She got him kicking and screaming to a marriage counselor at Hope Springs a seaside resort in Maine.

Although a lot of the counselling was about sex neither of us found it offensive because of the way it was treated. It actually helped us to be a bit more frank in these matters between ourselves. Although we did not agree with every single thing, basically we were left with a positive feeling that we must protect the intimacy we have in marriage and not sweep embarrassing things under the carpet.

Obvously a lot of couples do find it embarrassing to talk about sex with each other in a meaningful way although they would do it on the internet. It did underline for me the need to talk with our spouses about intimacy when it's needed or when there is a problem instead of switching off from them.

Any other views?

Last edited by Raymond; 18th September 2012 at 02:49 PM.
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Old 19th September 2012, 03:21 AM   #2
1aokgal
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Re: Hope Springs

Hi Raymond..

I saw the film preview and familiar with the storyline. Normally I would go to a film made by these great actors. In my situation I think hope "never springs" so I passed on the film. My friend asked me if I wanted to go, but frankly, it sits too uncomfortable for me from the comedic premise of the film. we chose another film at the theatre. I think for most couples, of a certain age, the story might prove inspiring and helpful to address such problems.

If my husband were here and went with me I believe he would go rigid. He would sit, eyes forward, catatonic. Then he would either be stony on the way back home or just change subject if I mentioned the film.

He might even pass on the popcorn and I would get to eat the whole bag myself. That is a positive part!!

He would figure I set him up for a discussion..which he won't do, of course.

Last edited by 1aokgal; 19th September 2012 at 03:56 AM.
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Old 19th September 2012, 08:28 AM   #3
Raymond
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Re: Hope Springs

I can understand that 1okgal. A woman I work with says the same thing. She thinks all middle age marriages are sexless after speaking to her friends. Her husband would never go to see such a film. Actually the husband in the film felt set up but it worked in the end. I think it was good the way they did it mostly.
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Old 19th September 2012, 07:29 PM   #4
chosen
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Re: Hope Springs

I didnt fancy seeing this film, but if it has encouraged you to talk more about sex then that is a good thing. Its really sad that so many couples cant talk about sex, when its is so important, and Raymond, isnt it worrying that this lady at your work thinks that all middle aged marriages are sexless!!! Hope you told her they arent!!!!
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Old 19th September 2012, 10:15 PM   #5
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Re: Hope Springs

Hi Chosen..

I didn't fancy seeing the film because I think the subject is so sad and not funny for those in that situation.

I think the barometer of the success in marriage would be seen with couples married over 15 yrs who share a satisfaction and harmony in their lives. There are several couples I know that I think are healthy and have found the formula for a good marriage.

One, is that they set a certain time aside to be together on a schedule. They let nothing interfere with their time. One couple calls a weekly date night where they go out to dinner, dancing, or some shared romantic time. They are awfully cute together and dress up and do it up nicely, even if it is a movie together..it is special. They are together more than once weekly, I am told, but that one night is set on calendar.

The other commonality is a faith based belief that the marriage is contractually blessed. They hold beliefs prescribed as fidelity, loyalty, patience, understanding and concern for the partner. There are no conflicts in discussions or goals, as they work well together and compromise on differences.

They readily engage in their community in some form. These couples have strong social interactions with others. They go beyond their home unit to add input with others..friends and church, social networks.

They never stop learning as taking courses, having goals, working toward some shared desire as a trip or cruise or whatever. There is enthusiasm and motivation as a couple.

There is emphasis on maintianing good health, physically and emotionally. They walk, hike, bike, dance, and share music and athletic pursuits. There is youthful zest. Sex continues to be important for these partners.
Anyone have any other observations of a good marriage?
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Old 20th September 2012, 04:15 AM   #6
chosen
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Re: Hope Springs

We all have our criteria for what we want in a marriage and what we think are good points for marriage. Of course they will all differ in some ways.

Obviously I cant agree in the 15 year thing. I know several marriages that lasted/have lasted 40 or more years and that are/were not good, and marriages like mine of 7 years that are amazing, incredibly strong, and that get better all the time. I am not sure why 15 years is some sort of cut off point? You cant measure success in marriage by the length. My aunt found the love of her life when she was 60 and he 70. They had 10 amazing years together before he sadly died. Not an especially long marriage, but an amazing one.

My son has only been married for 18 months, having known each other for nearly 3 years previous to marriage, and I have never known a couple who are so close, so well suited and so in tune with each other. Its a joy to see them together and the way they interact. Of course it helps that it was God who bought them together, and that they are both strong Christians.

Sex is very important to us. For my husband especially, because his first wife was very controlling in this area and they only had sex when she said, and if she said. Not good for a man at all. I made a decision when we married that I would never be like that. We are very open about it, and talk about anything and everything in life.

I agree with most of your points, and I am blessed in that my husband works from home so we can spend a lot of time together, and when he has a quiet spell we go out all the time. Times away together are also special, and in fact we have just been away for 2 weeks and its been really good, especially as we both have such a lot on in the next couple of months.

Faithfullness is vital, as is complete honesty, trust, and openess about anything and everything. A good sense of homour is a real bonus and we laugh such a lot.
Friends are also important, and we both have some good friends.

Faith in God is vital for us, and my husband is an avid Bible reader. Praying together is also really useful, and we try to do that fairly regularly.

We have also found that it is helpful to go on the occasional marriage enrichment course. This is sort of like an MOT and provides the time and space to take stock of your marriage.

Being best friends is so important as well, and also being in tune about things. We just seem to have very similar tastes generally, and just 'clicked' from the first time we were in contact. I feel as if we have been married all our adult lives.

I am sure there are more things but thats all for now.

Last edited by chosen; 20th September 2012 at 08:38 AM.
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Old 20th September 2012, 08:59 AM   #7
Raymond
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Re: Hope Springs

Sounds like a wonderful marriage to me Chosen.

Yes I did tell the woman at work that not all middle aged marriages were sexless and that my own was not.

Sometimes you do see good marriages that seem invincible then shockingly go wrong, even after forty years and even in the church, so there's no room for complacency. It happens rarely in our church but it can happen.

For me honouring the scripture about marriage is the greatest cement and out of that comes the blessing of everything that marriage is meant to be. Husbands love your wives as Christ loves the church is the greatest marital challenge a man can have. Not that my wife is not lovable. Just a case of extent.
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Old 20th September 2012, 02:48 PM   #8
chosen
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Re: Hope Springs

[QUOTE=Raymond;72219]Sounds like a wonderful marriage to me Chosen.

Yes I did tell the woman at work that not all middle aged marriages were sexless and that my own was not.

Sometimes you do see good marriages that seem invincible then shockingly go wrong, even after forty years and even in the church, so there's no room for complacency. It happens rarely in our church but it can happen.

For me honouring the scripture about marriage is the greatest cement and out of that comes the blessing of everything that marriage is meant to be. Husbands love your wives as Christ loves the church is the greatest marital challenge a man can have. Not that my wife is not lovable. Just a case of extent.[/QUOTE]

Thanks Raymond, it is a great marriage, and I know that I am blessed to have this second chance.

I actually only know of 2 marriages that ended in divorce where both spouses were believers, and one of them was my husbands marriage. As you said people can do things that you never thought they could, and despite being believers they can sin and have affairs and divorce their spouses, seemingly with no thought for what God says. My husband still cant believe how his ex wife(a long time believer) acted, and neither can I, but we are not immune to the traps set for us.
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Old 21st September 2012, 11:39 PM   #9
1aokgal
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Re: Hope Springs

Chosen..

Statistics read that the 7 year point is considered a danger area in marriage. Personally, I think the first 5 years are generally still in the honeymoon phase. It is surprising to see here many marriages of less than two years are often in trouble. I guess the statistics still reflect there are no guarantees in marriage and still 50% of marriages end in divorce.

It is also true today, there are more adults who choose not to marry but to live together as a primer for marriage. These arrangements actually show that most do not result in a later marriage and the couples split. These were entered into with the best intent at the inception. I think cohabitation is for sure a mistake for most women. Since there is no contractual bond between these people many who live together won't work through issues, but choose to bail out.

It would seem there would be less divorce or relationships that end badly, if the couple agree to attend premarital classes. Issues that can cause problems are discussed. How do people handle finances? How do they relate with others and family? Are there issues that the couple are reluctant to discuss in the blush of courting? I think the classes are a great idea and the marriage enrichment classes benefit couples.

In response to why I say 15 years together might be a good example of a working marriage is because it simply has survived. These couples have found ways to adapt and flourish in a difficult world. I also think some people just choose to be happy with whatever is their lot. Other people
can be always be moody depressive individuals who can't make adjustments to live with another.
It is where we choose to find ourselves in some cases. Again, this is my personal opinion.

Last edited by 1aokgal; 21st September 2012 at 11:45 PM.
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Old 22nd September 2012, 12:40 AM   #10
chosen
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Re: Hope Springs

[QUOTE=1aokgal;72241]Chosen..

Statistics read that the 7 year point is considered a danger area in marriage. Personally, I think the first 5 years are generally still in the honeymoon phase. It is surprising to see here many marriages of less than two years are often in trouble. I guess the statistics still reflect there are no guarantees in marriage and still 50% of marriages end in divorce.

It is also true today, there are more adults who choose not to marry but to live together as a primer for marriage. These arrangements actually show that most do not result in a later marriage and the couples split. These were entered into with the best intent at the inception. I think cohabitation is for sure a mistake for most women. Since there is no contractual bond between these people many who live together won't work through issues, but choose to bail out.

It would seem there would be less divorce or relationships that end badly, if the couple agree to attend premarital classes. Issues that can cause problems are discussed. How do people handle finances? How do they relate with others and family? Are there issues that the couple are reluctant to discuss in the blush of courting? I think the classes are a great idea and the marriage enrichment classes benefit couples.

In response to why I say 15 years together might be a good example of a working marriage is because it simply has survived. These couples have found ways to adapt and flourish in a difficult world. I also think some people just choose to be happy with whatever is their lot. Other people
can be always be moody depressive individuals who can't make adjustments to live with another.
It is where we choose to find ourselves in some cases. Again, this is my personal opinion.[/QUOTE]

I used to hear that also, but I must admit I have not know anyone of all those I know who divorced at around that 7 year time. I think that things are changing. I was reading recently that more and more couples are divorcing after long marriages when the children have left home and one or both spouses suddenly think that they have nothing in common any more. I even heard the other day about a couple in their 90's getting divorced. I mean why bother?!?!The marriages that I know that have ended(a lot of them) have nearly all been after 25 or more years.

We have been married for 7 years now, and as I said, we have never been happier. I am not sure about the honeymoon stage lasting 5 years, I would say it is shorter than that, but I cant say that our marriage has had stages like that, that I can recall. Its just all been good. Challenging at times, but amazing also. Second marriages have far more to deal with generally, with existing ex spouses and step children and more baggage because you are older and have been through more in life, so you do need to have a very strong bond anyway. We went through more together in the first year of our marriage, due mainly to outside events and people, than most have to deal with in 15 or 20 years, but each event seem to just made us stronger.

I do think that premarriage classes can be useful for some couples, especially the ones who dont live together first. My son and his then fiance went on one, and did enjoy it, but they have always been able to talk about anything and everything, and they were even discussing how many children they wanted on one of the first dates!My daughter couldnt go on one as her fiance lived some distance away, but went on a marriage course at her church not long after her wedding.

I was also interested to read recently that the divorce rate in the UK(which is 40%) has actually gone down in recent years.

Last edited by chosen; 22nd September 2012 at 12:46 AM.
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Old 22nd September 2012, 06:12 PM   #11
1aokgal
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Re: Hope Springs

Hi Chosen..

The shift to long time marriages ending is pretty shocking. Maybe that fact is because we live longer, healthier lives and people have become more selfish and less giving in relationships. If your marriage is good with your blended families and such history, it is because you work at it. You both appreciate life because of what you went through in the past. You choose to make it work and share mutual values.

I think it is sad so many older couples will just call it quits, when loving another is a lot about choice. The truth is the quality of life for couples in their 50's who divorce is much less than what they find to remain together. Financially, for both, there is a radical drop in the standard of living. Health statistics show married people tend to reflect better health, then singles, after middle age. Some marriages are also affected with widely dispersed family members so there is likely less support networks available today. That is a modern dilemmma as familes traditionally stayed in close proximity, but the labor market now requires many to leave the home area. There is a lot of stress on modern families.

The econemy has taken a huge toll on many couples and unemployment means the family unit struggles to maintain middle class standards of living. That stress means many struggle with conflicts on the handling of finances. In the US the dream of home ownership is lost to most families.
Hard work and lowered expectations is part of life. It is no wonder so many couples try and fail when they can't adapt and redefine their goals.

Last edited by 1aokgal; 22nd September 2012 at 09:18 PM.
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Old 23rd September 2012, 05:36 PM   #12
chosen
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Re: Hope Springs

yes, the sharing of mutual values is very important. Even among Christians there are large differences in values and morals and what they think is acceptable. So even marrying a believer isnt always enough in my opinion.

I think that my point was that the quality of a marriage cant be measured by the length of that marriage. Long marriages can be very poor quality,(I am sure that we all know some like this), and short ones of a very good quality.
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Old 24th September 2012, 09:32 AM   #13
Raymond
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Re: Hope Springs

Chosen 1okgal only thinks 15 years is a good barometer. She wasn't being dogmatic. One could say I suppose that if it get past the honeymoon period (say two years?) and is still going strong the odds are good.

As you say there are no guarantees as we all pass through different periods but if God joins us together then the chances of success are increased a lot if we are looking to Him.
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Old 24th September 2012, 02:01 PM   #14
chosen
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Re: Hope Springs

I wonder if it is a good idea to marry later like many do today. When I was young it was normal to marry at around 20. I married at 19 as did 2 of my close friends. However we all had children young, and all managed well, and my marriage only ended after 25 years, and the reason it ended wasnt to do with the relationship betwen he and I. My freinds marriages are still going strong after 37 years. We also all have lovely children now, all adults of course.

All of the young people in my family who have fairly recently married, have been between the ages of 26 and 33. Two are my own children, and also a neice and a nephew. I have another daughter aged 27, who has a steady boyfriend of 6 years, and 2 step sons aged 25 and nearly 29, who havent even got girlfriends, so they wont be getting married for some time I expect.
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Old 24th September 2012, 05:21 PM   #15
Raymond
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Re: Hope Springs

My son got married at twenty two the other not yet married at twenty three and no girlfriend.

I think people may be leaving it too long. In the late thirties there can be child complications. Sometimes one has no choice though if circumstances do not co-incide with meeting the right person.

Would you say you enjoyed some of your first marriage Chosen? Before it went wrong that is. That must have been devastating.
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