What is the glue, in a solid relationship? That component that, above all, keeps heartstrings attached. And when that glue is starting to lose its stickiness, how do you know whether or not to throw it away, or add a little something to it, to smooth out the paste?
I knew someone once, who had a way of announcing that she and her husband never fight…not even about money. They were divorced in less than two years. I’m aware of at least one other person that said the same thing, and is now single and dating men half her age. Apparently, not fighting, is not a dependable adhesive.
We all know someone that claims they “can’t live without their other half!” They tend to see it as the passion and devotion they have for one another. They announce that they would kill for the one they love. Red Flag. I’ve only ever seen jealousy on the other side of that coin. The kind that causes heart ache, fear and dependency. That glue will always dry up, leaving you flaky and pealing. Addiction is addiction, whether it’s a drug or another being.
Some couples, on the surface, seem to have snuggled in to that elusive rhythm of love and pride in their relationship. They are that couple that hide their cracks well. It’s marital bliss on the outside and something quite rotten at its core. The pretty packaging doesn’t always make it a full-proof product…and that’s a bitch.
I have seen and experienced a lot of what doesn’t work. I’m just wondering what my followers claim does work.
So what is it? That glue – keeping working relationships together, even in conditions that beg it to rip apart.
When do we bend, when do we mend and when do we break?
I have absolutely no interest in claiming to have the answers, nor am I looking for that one right answer. I know that’s a farce. I’m just curious, perhaps even a little nosey. What is your glue?
29 thoughts on “What Is Your Glue?”
I want to say it is honesty, no matter what…but I have been through the equivalent of two divorces, so I may not be the right person to answer this.
You’re a better person to answer it for that reason, I think. Live and LEARN right? I think honesty is key. A friend and I wondered if we were strong enough to ask our partners (that we have both been with for ages) if they would pick us today?….I still don’t know. I think that kind of honesty is both crucial and scary.
Maybe you would not pick them for the reasons you did then, but different ones now? Of course, you have the advantage/disadvantage of knowing them for so long.
I keep going back to honesty, no matter what, in ALL subjects. Think we need a break? Say something. Starting up with addictive behaviors? Say something. Think I need help? Say something.
IDK. I think some would say it can be too hurtful to be so honest, but when you are used to nothing but lies and rugs being pulled out from underneath you, then you (well, I) just want to know where you stand at any point. Being blindsided is the worst thing ever.
I loved this comment. …advantages AND disadvantages. So true.
Hell if I know. I’ve never had a stable relationship…
None of us really know TD 🙂
Why are you asking impossible questions???
I enjoy the suffering.
But why bring us down with you???
You love it.
I haven’t found glue yet (also twice divorced) but would you take some duct tape? That would be Realistic Expectations. We all have the unrealistic ones, the fairytales predict them for little girls, the media perpetrates them, – – Hell Bride Magazine is probably responsible for millions of break-ups (some before they even walk down the aisle) because the expectation is for the PERFECT wedding…..and none of the real life stuff afterwards. So in a (sticky) nutshell, that is the thing I’ve narrowed it down to. And note: If you or your mate comes from an “IDEAL” family (your parents seemed to you to have the perfect union) then my advice is your expectations are going to be very high. Nothing is perfect and I spent 10 years listening to my (ex)spouse tell me how our marriage didn’t measure up to the one he saw his own parents role model for him and how sad that made him. Whew! You hit a hot topic for me – – I’m off to grab my glue gun and fix something!!!
Interesting thoughts about your parental role models. And screw the ex that said you don’t add up. He sounds just lovely and quite clueless.
Couldn’t agree with you more about the media. I’m fighting against the princesses and all their bullshit on the daily.
Thanks for your heartfelt, thoughtful and funny comment 🙂
Hm. Our glue is commitment, I think. I know it sounds boring, but for me a vow is a vow, and so far as long as we keep that in mind, that there’s no way out, we work together toward a solution.
Granted, I’m only two and a half years in, but after nine years of dating. My answer may change, later.
That’s really what it boils down to. There are going to be things that happen that make you want to run. Six yrs in and fourteen yrs together … It happens. And its usually not affairs or any one thing. Its the day to day things that are marriage and raising a family. Next to honesty, that’s pretty much it. Love only has so much to do with it.
Our glue is my husband…he is patient, kind, loving…and he puts up with me when I am not! I got very lucky. But I am not willing to share him, so I realize that this is not a viable answer to your question!
Maybe not share but maybe advise other guys! I have a keeper too.. It’s a good feeling.
I think our glue is letting each other have time alone, actually. We’re both really understanding that it’s hard being married and parents, and that interests of our own are healthy. Also, I think that because we have both been married before, and became parents together later in life, that we’ve both had enough relationship drama, so we mostly work together and stay calm(ish). I have always thought those who don’t fight at all are super weird and repressed.
I think being married before really gives you insight to what works and what doesn’t. And you go into it with an understanding of that, I would imagine.
With a divorce after 7 years and a separation after 28, I obviously don’t have the right brand of glue to keep it together! However, I watched my parents’ 60 year marriage, and my aunt and uncle’s 65 year one, and can tell you that respect for each other’s feelings and foibles is paramount, as well as faith that your partner has only your best interests at heart. – Fawn
Putting pride to the side and the other persons interest at ahead of yours is one of the hardest things to do.
My husband and I have been together 13 years and he’s my best friend. We’re not terribly romantic. We can sit beside each other in silence reading all evening and barely speak, but we’re happy being close to each other. When he’s stressed from work I try not to nag him too much. If I’m in a bad mood, he can do my head in, so I just ignore him. We’re both quite laid back and can’t be bothered arguing. He doesn’t like drama. If I have a problem, I choose my time carefully when he isn’t tired or stressed. If I speak to him articulately about whatever is bothering him, he almost always comes to understand my view point and vice versa. We’re not perfect, but we’re happy right now. I do think there is a huge amount of luck involved in whether relationships work out long-term. I know some amazing people who have split up and I can’t understand why. I do believe in divorce – unhappy couples shouldn’t feel pressure to stay together, especially when one is being abused or dominated.
Sorry it took me so long to respond Olivia. It’s been a crazy weekend here!
I have to laugh at you saying you wait till the right time to approach your husband with something…I look for that window too. Otherwise, our tempers get the best of us. That is definitely key! 🙂 Hope you and yours are well. ~Dawn
Hey no worries… we’re busy mummies :o) We’re all good :o)
I haven’t been successful in making a relationship last, however I believe it is commitment. That’s what makes all of my friendships last and they have been intact for 50 years, even though we haven’t always liked each other! Relationships are hard, no matter what kind they are. My parents did not always like each other, but they knew they would always be together. They were married 58 years, because that’s what they said they would do!
My wife has my best interests at heart, and I have hers. She’s my best friend, and the person I want to see when I’m not with her.
We both are pretty laid back, and can spend time together happily in silence, just like Olivia Fitzgerald above.
We listen to each others problems, and tell the other when they’re being a jackass.
Ok, she mostly has to tell me, but still.
I have no idea what works for other people, but 14 years in for us, I’m optimistic about our chances.
Sounds like you guys manage the give and take quite well 🙂 I love that your wife is your best friend.
I don’t know a single relationship that I envy. And I don’t know a single happy marriage. But I believe they exist. I just haven’t had it either. Someday.
A “happy” marriage is over rated. It’s never happy all the time. To me, it’s learning how to roll with the highs and lows that makes it work. Not easy but definitely possible. Right?!