Originally Posted by carve
I chimed in earlier. I met my wife in high school. We started dating in college (separate schools in the same town), got married way too young (I was barely 22, which made a prenup beyond pointless anyway) and are still going strong 12 years later. We're much different people than when we got married, but grew together. Much BETTER people, I'd say. We travel (including a 1-year around the world trip), ski all winter, and live a good life. Nobody understand each other like we do. Nobody is perfect, so nothing is ever 100% perfect, but we live a pretty good life. We don't argue that much, and they are never serious or long lasting. We both hate making each other upset, so that helps.
We were together for about 4.5 years before getting married. We didn't see it as a very big step- mostly a formality due to social structure of the society we live in. In other words, we were just as committed to each other before getting married. I think some women, and men too, have unreasonable expectations of marriage. Those who say "oh- everything changes" are doing it wrong. Very little changed for us beyond some jewelry, how we filed our taxes and how she signed her name.
We don't play games. We say what's on our minds.
No kids. Life only gets easier with no kids. I have a feeling a lot of failed marriages wouldn't have failed if they didn't have kids. Life won't be the same when you have them, so don't expect it to. You're living for someone else at that point, and will have someone more important to you than your spouse at that point.
Don't marry someone just because you think they're sexy. They have to be your best friend, for a few years. Someone you want to hang out with before your guy friends (we were actually platonic friends for quite a while before dating). You have to know her well enough where you know you can put complete trust in her.
We're also atheists. Atheists have the lowest divorce rate, probably mostly because we don't get married for stupid reasons, like to have sex without offending imaginary friends or your church/church friends.
It's true that sex with one person for ages loses its sense of adventure. I think you have it a little less as you get older (mid 30's now) anyway, since you only think about it about 40% of the time, rather than 80%. When you want it it's easy though. "Hey...wanna have a quickie?" All the more reason to not marry someone just because you think they're sexy though. That won't last, but friendship can. If the sex is all you got...well...you're fucked.
Oh yeah- never marry a spendthrift. They don't have to be a financial wizard, but don't marry someone who's a spendthrift or is financially irresponsible. That'll cook a marriage faster than just about anything. If YOU are a spendthrift, get your own house in order before marrying someone.
I am really happy for you. I and my wife were extremely happy until my daughter was born. Everybody used ask us what our secret was. But after my daughter we became further and further apart each day.
I think most marriages that end up in divorce would be ok it the couple don't have any kids. As much fun as kids are, they create a lot problems, mainly financial issues which lead to other issues.
I personally haven't seen a happy couple with kids. Maybe this is just a coincidence, but very friend, family member or neighbor with kids thatI know either have divorced, or in the middle of divorce or staying married unhappily because of financial reasons.