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Have you been married a long time?

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
As I was walking the other day I thought of the title for a book: For Better Or Worse.
Subtitle: Stories of People Who Stuck Together.
I don't know if I'm going to write it, but as I look around at marriages of friends falling apart left right and centre - whether married for less than a year or over thirty years, I've become curious about what makes people stay together. If I end up writing anything I imagine it will be personal-story-based, but with a solid background of research informing the stories. The narratives would be important, but I would want to really drill down and try to identify if the continued marriages are fundamentally different from the broken ones - and what the differentiating elements seem to be that make people go in one direction or the other - is it about “tipping points” for example, or “cumulative fray” or a mix of both???
That's as far as my thinking got and I was back at my doorstep!

I need to do a literature search before I start putting together a questionnaire - but if I ever get that far, is there anyone on this forum who would be comfortable answering? The title asks for people who have been married a long time, but that was really just a provocation - I envisage interviewing those who opted out too, so really anyone who has been married ever could be useful.

Mods, if this is too far from camino-related, please feel free to delete (although I must say each of my caminos has included at least one divorcing person, grieving widower, and infatuated old couple - not to mention the guy who had been married three times and whilst still married to the third wife who would not divorce him, had a mistress on the side!!)
 
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MichaelB10398

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago de Compostela, Lourdes to SdC, SJPP to SdC
A marriage is a lot like a long-distance pilgrimage. We know when we begin in the same manner when we enter into a marriage. We know there is a goal, but it is way out ahead of us. We begin being committed to the journey together. We hit rough patches when there are aches and pains. There are trials and challenges along the way, but we learn to savor the joyous moments along the way also. In fact, we focus on the good times as we go about our journey. We help one another in a give and take as one is low and the other is high and vice versa. We meet great people along the way, but our focus remains on the journey we share together.

We have been married for forty years and I don't see that changing. We have grown into each other too much to sacrifice that caliber of relationship. We have children and grandchildren that bring joy to both of us and we have a responsibility to them, to help them along their own journey.

We will get to where we are going, but it is ahead of us still. For now, we just enjoy the daily walk together.
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
Check on the stubbornness factor. It got us through some tough patches (25 years in a couple of months).
Oooh this is why I love collaboration - different ways of seeing things. Stubbornness is usually slated as a negative factor - but here is a novel framing. This kind of insight excites me about contemplating the hard work - so long as I can largely avoid statistics!
 
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Mycroft

Active Member
As I was walking the other day I thought of the title for a book: For Better Or Worse.
Subtitle: Stories of People Who Stuck Together.
I don't know if I'm going to write it, but as I look around at marriages of friends falling apart left right and centre - whether married for less than a year or over thirty years, I've become curious about what makes people stay together. If I end up writing anything I imagine it will be personal-story-based, but with a solid background of research informing the stories. The narratives would be important, but I would want to really drill down and try to identify if the continued marriages are fundamentally different from the broken ones - and what the differentiating elements seem to be that make people go in one direction or the other - is it about “tipping points” for example, or “cumulative fray” or a mix of both???
That's as far as my thinking got and I was back at my doorstep!

I need to do a literature search before I start putting together a questionnaire - but if I ever get that far, is there anyone on this forum who would be comfortable answering? The title asks for people who have been married a long time, but that was really just a provocation - I envisage interviewing those who opted out too, so really anyone who has been married ever could be useful.

Mods, if this is too far from camino-related, please feel free to delete (although I must say each of my caminos has included at least one divorcing person, grieving widower, and infatuated old couple - not to mention the guy who had been married three times and whilst still married to the third wife who would not divorce him, had a mistress on the side!!)
Hi, Kiwi. When I first read your line "I envisage interviewing those who opted out too..." I thought you meant those of us who have opted out of being married, ever, but the rest of your sentence sounds like you mean those who have opted out of marriage by divorcing.
One question I would add in your survey has to do with background. How did your family of origin influence your choice in a partner, working out problems, choosing to stay together or divorce, etc.? In other words, I grew up with extremely poor role-modeling for the married state, and knew quite young I would never choose such confinement. In fact, when I hear the word "marriage," I picture those multiple metal prison doors slamming shut that I saw in an old Jimmy Cagney gangster movie. It completely baffles me why anyone would want to be with the same person, likely for decades, get used to him or her, only to have the partner die and you are left devastated in your later years.
But that's just me.
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
@Mycroft oooh yes - opting out of marriage at all as you suggest is a valid perspective that might shine light on the question too. Thanks for your input. As for your question, Tennyson offers a possible answer more eloquently than I could:
Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
 

Martin Groeger

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2014
Camino Portugese 2016
As I was walking the other day I thought of the title for a book: For Better Or Worse.
Subtitle: Stories of People Who Stuck Together.
I don't know if I'm going to write it, but as I look around at marriages of friends falling apart left right and centre - whether married for less than a year or over thirty years, I've become curious about what makes people stay together. If I end up writing anything I imagine it will be personal-story-based, but with a solid background of research informing the stories. The narratives would be important, but I would want to really drill down and try to identify if the continued marriages are fundamentally different from the broken ones - and what the differentiating elements seem to be that make people go in one direction or the other - is it about “tipping points” for example, or “cumulative fray” or a mix of both???
That's as far as my thinking got and I was back at my doorstep!

I need to do a literature search before I start putting together a questionnaire - but if I ever get that far, is there anyone on this forum who would be comfortable answering? The title asks for people who have been married a long time, but that was really just a provocation - I envisage interviewing those who opted out too, so really anyone who has been married ever could be useful.

Mods, if this is too far from camino-related, please feel free to delete (although I must say each of my caminos has included at least one divorcing person, grieving widower, and infatuated old couple - not to mention the guy who had been married three times and whilst still married to the third wife who would not divorce him, had a mistress on the side!!)
How about 44 years and counting? We also walked from Sarria to Santiago together. We have four wonderful children and nine grandchildren. We have been blessed with health Thank God. Success with you project if you get to complete it. You have started. Good luck.
 

AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Year of past OR future Camino
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
A marriage is a lot like a long-distance pilgrimage.
I love that analogy!

Multiple leaps of faith and a lot of trust. My wife and I have been married 38 years.

Our first challenge was losing two little babies. For her third and fourth pregnancies, my wife spent 7 months in bed, trusting that we would eventually have two sons.

We took up the challenge of migrating to Australia in 1989. I didn't have job, it was a new life, but we trusted that it would work out.

When the company I worked for was privatised, I was made redundant. My wife became the bread winner of the family, and I looked after the boys. We trusted each other to make it work.

I later started a business, and my wife kept working. There were ups and downs in my business, and my wife's steady income made sure we trusted the future.

Three years ago, my wife was diagnosed with cancer. I had just sold my business, and I could spend time with her.
And this is why I love @MichaelB10398 's analogy: we decided to do a long distance Camino in 2018, walking 2178 km from where my wife was born in Switzerland, following the Via Gebennensis, the Via Podiensis, the Voie Nive-Bidassoa and the Camino del Norte all the way to SdC. 133 days together, every day. We trusted we could do it, and we did.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
Whenever anyone asks us "how long have you been married" I'll always answer
"Too long"(43 years)
"Himself" just smiles!
Of course I don't really mean it....just breaks the ice and we have a laugh
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
As I was walking the other day I thought of the title for a book: For Better Or Worse.
Subtitle: Stories of People Who Stuck Together.
I don't know if I'm going to write it, but as I look around at marriages of friends falling apart left right and centre - whether married for less than a year or over thirty years, I've become curious about what makes people stay together. If I end up writing anything I imagine it will be personal-story-based, but with a solid background of research informing the stories. The narratives would be important, but I would want to really drill down and try to identify if the continued marriages are fundamentally different from the broken ones - and what the differentiating elements seem to be that make people go in one direction or the other - is it about “tipping points” for example, or “cumulative fray” or a mix of both???
That's as far as my thinking got and I was back at my doorstep!

I need to do a literature search before I start putting together a questionnaire - but if I ever get that far, is there anyone on this forum who would be comfortable answering? The title asks for people who have been married a long time, but that was really just a provocation - I envisage interviewing those who opted out too, so really anyone who has been married ever could be useful.

Mods, if this is too far from camino-related, please feel free to delete (although I must say each of my caminos has included at least one divorcing person, grieving widower, and infatuated old couple - not to mention the guy who had been married three times and whilst still married to the third wife who would not divorce him, had a mistress on the side!!)
28 years and counting. Best thing I ever did, although I’m not sure my wife agrees with me.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Plan to walk around 2022
Married 23 years, together for a total of 32 years. I too, love the Camino analogy, even though I have yet to walk one, lol! I think the keys to our success have included the willingness to compromise, the courage to be honest with one another, and a mutual love of adventure. Though if I’m honest, there is an element of sheer dumb luck - we literally drunkenly stumbled into one another at the age of 17 and were perfectly matched from the start. Happy accident, indeed! 😂😂
 

basquelady

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF (2013), CF Pamplona to V del Bierzo (2014), Baztanés, then CF (2016), CF Sahagun to SDC (2017)
As I was walking the other day I thought of the title for a book: For Better Or Worse.
Subtitle: Stories of People Who Stuck Together.
I don't know if I'm going to write it, but as I look around at marriages of friends falling apart left right and centre - whether married for less than a year or over thirty years, I've become curious about what makes people stay together. If I end up writing anything I imagine it will be personal-story-based, but with a solid background of research informing the stories. The narratives would be important, but I would want to really drill down and try to identify if the continued marriages are fundamentally different from the broken ones - and what the differentiating elements seem to be that make people go in one direction or the other - is it about “tipping points” for example, or “cumulative fray” or a mix of both???
That's as far as my thinking got and I was back at my doorstep!

I need to do a literature search before I start putting together a questionnaire - but if I ever get that far, is there anyone on this forum who would be comfortable answering? The title asks for people who have been married a long time, but that was really just a provocation - I envisage interviewing those who opted out too, so really anyone who has been married ever could be useful.

Mods, if this is too far from camino-related, please feel free to delete (although I must say each of my caminos has included at least one divorcing person, grieving widower, and infatuated old couple - not to mention the guy who had been married three times and whilst still married to the third wife who would not divorce him, had a mistress on the side!!)
47 years for us and dealing with another testing time at the moment. We walked our first Camino from Roncesvalles to SdC to celebrate (among other reasons) our 40th in 2013. Thank you, Michael B for the comparison with long distance pilgrimage; spot on! Good luck with your project, Rachael!
 
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Most all Camino authors have decided to use 2020 guides for 2021, with free PDF files with updates coming in the spring. Get yours today.

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
One thing I can say from the opposite experience is that it takes mutual commitment. It's not a recipe for success when one half of a couple is willing to stay and grow and work things out when things get bumpy, while the other half gets itchy feet when it's not so fun anymore, or they wonder what they're missing.
 

reefer21

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020 may
As I was walking the other day I thought of the title for a book: For Better Or Worse.
Subtitle: Stories of People Who Stuck Together.
I don't know if I'm going to write it, but as I look around at marriages of friends falling apart left right and centre - whether married for less than a year or over thirty years, I've become curious about what makes people stay together. If I end up writing anything I imagine it will be personal-story-based, but with a solid background of research informing the stories. The narratives would be important, but I would want to really drill down and try to identify if the continued marriages are fundamentally different from the broken ones - and what the differentiating elements seem to be that make people go in one direction or the other - is it about “tipping points” for example, or “cumulative fray” or a mix of both???
That's as far as my thinking got and I was back at my doorstep!

I need to do a literature search before I start putting together a questionnaire - but if I ever get that far, is there anyone on this forum who would be comfortable answering? The title asks for people who have been married a long time, but that was really just a provocation - I envisage interviewing those who opted out too, so really anyone who has been married ever could be useful.

Mods, if this is too far from camino-related, please feel free to delete (although I must say each of my caminos has included at least one divorcing person, grieving widower, and infatuated old couple - not to mention the guy who had been married three times and whilst still married to the third wife who would not divorce him, had a mistress on the side!!)
Just celebrated 34 yes
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Lycra tribe.
CF (2017/8), VF (2018/9), Old Way (2020), VFnS (2020), CP (rebooked) (2021), VdT (ToDo)
I volunteer for a charity which helps with the fall out from divorce/separation. There are a lot of couples who are not married but live together successfully for a long time. We've noticed during COVID, a sharp rise in both divorce/separation and requests for information from people thinking about it.

As @AJGuillaume indicates trust has a lot to do with it especially the breakdown in trust.

Its mainly the trust that things will get better; or that habits will change; or the more basic "providing for the family". The stories are heart-breaking at the time but we do have clients come back years later with stories that would indicate the breakup was for the best. But we never judge when providing the help requested.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2011), Camino Frances (2015), Camino Ingles (2017), Camino Muxia (2017), LePuy(2019)
Our 50th anniversary was April 2020, and the big celebration became a virtual Zoom toast with family and friends. I was disappointed, but my husband, in his practical way, reminded me that we are still together - party or no. Trust, loyalty, commitment, and respect have been elements of our relationship along with persistence, resistence, and insistence! And, we don't always do things together and we have our own individual interests. My husband refuses to hike a camino with me!!!
 
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MaineSally

MaineSally
Year of past OR future Camino
Cam Frances SJPDP to Santiago ('17): Finisterre ('17); Muxia ('17): Camino Portuguese ('19)
Nearly 47 years. The test for me...I didn't have my parents blessing. They did not attend our wedding. I never regretted my choice. There was no communication with my parents until the day our daughter was born 2 1/2 years later. I knew their concern for me was out of love, but I also knew the integrity and the kindness of the man I intended to marry, and I knew I had found a keeper! We have had a great run, and I look forward to the next couple of decades for opportunities to create more lasting memories. Hopefully, in a couple of decades, I'll be lucid enough to remember them!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2013.2014..SJ/SDC ....2015.PORTO/SDC..2017.18.19.20.BURGOS/P.FERRADA
As I was walking the other day I thought of the title for a book: For Better Or Worse.
Subtitle: Stories of People Who Stuck Together.
I don't know if I'm going to write it, but as I look around at marriages of friends falling apart left right and centre - whether married for less than a year or over thirty years, I've become curious about what makes people stay together. If I end up writing anything I imagine it will be personal-story-based, but with a solid background of research informing the stories. The narratives would be important, but I would want to really drill down and try to identify if the continued marriages are fundamentally different from the broken ones - and what the differentiating elements seem to be that make people go in one direction or the other - is it about “tipping points” for example, or “cumulative fray” or a mix of both???
That's as far as my thinking got and I was back at my doorstep!

I need to do a literature search before I start putting together a questionnaire - but if I ever get that far, is there anyone on this forum who would be comfortable answering? The title asks for people who have been married a long time, but that was really just a provocation - I envisage interviewing those who opted out too, so really anyone who has been married ever could be useful.

Mods, if this is too far from camino-related, please feel free to delete (although I must say each of my caminos has included at least one divorcing person, grieving widower, and infatuated old couple - not to mention the guy who had been married three times and whilst still married to the third wife who would not divorce him, had a mistress on the side!!)
2021 brings 49 years of ups and downs,laughs and tears,children grandchildren and even a greatgrandchild ,memories of a world so changed and different from the day we wed,memories of so many family and friends no longer with us,but all never to be forgotten.Looking forward to the golden year 2022.
 
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Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
What an interesting array of answers to wake up to on a Friday morning! This wee project is calling louder because of your willingness to contribute - thank you. Looks like my summer holidays might be spent researching! And this might be an unexpected part of a puzzle that had a missing piece - next year for the first time in 25 years I will be educating only one child at home and I was wondering what we’ll do differently. Obviously I will have much more time at my disposal so as well as the work we do together, it seems I may have a new project to work on independently. It has always been my practice to pursue learning alongside my kids, setting an example hopefully to inspire them (and because I like to learn and value a growth mindset), but I have never written a book......let’s find out if there’s anything to say!
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I can think of as many reasons to leave a marriage, as to stay in one. However, the reasons to stay may be more compelling than the reasons to leave. How compelling those reasons are, depends largely on culture and economics. Same as the reasons for getting married in the first place. That is the simple answer! The rest is just detail and personality.

I'm not sure I'd want to see a formula for marriage "success". It would depress me and make me realize that my own marriage falls way short of those standards.

After 39 years, I expect it will be till death do us part.

We know better than to consider walking a camino together!

Maybe the "C" in my forum name stands for "Cynic".
 

kiwi-couple

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF April/May 2019
My husband and I walked the Camino Frances last year, our first and only Camino - so far.
Our Camino was our way of celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary. At times one of us walked a few metres ahead of the other but mostly we walked side by side, or directly one behind the other if the path was narrow. Also on our Camino we shared everything with each other - the highs and lows, the joys and the pain and our Camino was so rich. This is also the same as in our marriage - we have shared everything side by side. We have had much pain - life threatening illness in both our children - and so many joys, and everything else that a shared life brings. As @MichaelB10398 said, marriage is a lot like a long distance pilgrimage. I am blessed to have experienced both.
Kia kaha & meri Kirihimete.
 
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Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
42 yrs. My wife and I were pals before we got together and I think that made a big difference, you have to like someone as well as love them.
I would still consider her my best pal.
That flips upside-down what I’ve been known to say about my kids - some days I love them even though I don’t like them (at that moment)


Marriage is not everything
Absolutely! Totally agree. A curiosity about something does not automatically mean that one thing is the be-all and end-all. I doubt there is any one issue (apart from one that the rules forbid us discussing) that is of importance to every single person in the world. My interest is for those who WANT to succeed at marriage (whatever that might end up meaning)
@C clearly I do not think you are cynical - indeed I share your abhorrence at the idea of a prescriptive approach or conclusion. Description may have its uses in identifying some helpful factors, but I would be running far from writing a formula or list of performance indicators! You’ve given me some threads of imagery to consider - thank you.
 

Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
An added thought to tie in Camino walking and marriage. 43 years for me and by walking our Caminos together, I have learned new things about my wife. Things I never thought were possible in our lives and the Caminos have brought us even closer every time we walked one. I would be glad to volunteer for your questionnaire.
 
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Piscesman1946

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Portugués (Oct 2019)
Married four times...to three different women, and I’m still learning! My ex ex and I divorced amicably after almost fifteen years together and two (inexplicably wonderful children). We remarried after ten years apart...why?...because the bonds of history and family are incredibly strong...and as Paul Simon says, “a shot at redemption.” But curiously, after ten more years together, I now realize that I was probably never cut out for marriage. Why? Because I enjoy my solitude more than almost anything else...so we’ve learned to enjoy our time together...as well as our time apart. In it for the long haul now....did Porto to Santiago together in 2019!!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2013), Primitivo (2015), Muxia/Fisterra (2015), Haervejen (2017)
As I was walking the other day I thought of the title for a book: For Better Or Worse.
Subtitle: Stories of People Who Stuck Together.
I don't know if I'm going to write it, but as I look around at marriages of friends falling apart left right and centre - whether married for less than a year or over thirty years, I've become curious about what makes people stay together. If I end up writing anything I imagine it will be personal-story-based, but with a solid background of research informing the stories. The narratives would be important, but I would want to really drill down and try to identify if the continued marriages are fundamentally different from the broken ones - and what the differentiating elements seem to be that make people go in one direction or the other - is it about “tipping points” for example, or “cumulative fray” or a mix of both???
That's as far as my thinking got and I was back at my doorstep!

I need to do a literature search before I start putting together a questionnaire - but if I ever get that far, is there anyone on this forum who would be comfortable answering? The title asks for people who have been married a long time, but that was really just a provocation - I envisage interviewing those who opted out too, so really anyone who has been married ever could be useful.

Mods, if this is too far from camino-related, please feel free to delete (although I must say each of my caminos has included at least one divorcing person, grieving widower, and infatuated old couple - not to mention the guy who had been married three times and whilst still married to the third wife who would not divorce him, had a mistress on the side!!)
So interesting. As an aside I’ve taught family law for many years.... I’d love to participate in your project. My husband and I have been married for 36 years. We walked the camino the first time in 2013. At the time we walked because I wanted to to celebrate and give thanks for a significant weight loss. Our kids (twins) had recently graduated from college and we were empty nesters. What I didn’t realize is that this camino would end up being one long renewal of our wedding vows. Working and raising kids takes a lot of time and teamwork, but doesn’t leave much reserve for deep connections. For 35 days on the camino the two of us reconnected, talked about who we had become, what we wanted/ neede from each other going forward, and just envisioned the next phase of our life together. It was such an unexpected camino gift!
 

David61

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2019
Frances (2020)
That flips upside-down what I’ve been known to say about my kids - some days I love them even though I don’t like them (at that moment)



Absolutely! Totally agree. A curiosity about something does not automatically mean that one thing is the be-all and end-all. I doubt there is any one issue (apart from one that the rules forbid us discussing) that is of importance to every single person in the world. My interest is for those who WANT to succeed at marriage (whatever that might end up meaning)
@C clearly I do not think you are cynical - indeed I share your abhorrence at the idea of a prescriptive approach or conclusion. Description may have its uses in identifying some helpful factors, but I would be running far from writing a formula or list of performance indicators! You’ve given me some threads of imagery to consider - thank you.
What is the "one issue". Can someone clarify please?
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
What is the "one issue". Can someone clarify please?
I have in mind the issue of faith, but in joining the forum I agreed not to indulge in religion conversations which is where “faith conversations” are inclined to go so I don’t want to threaten the value that I’m gaining from this thread by derailing it!
 
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simeon

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPDP LosArcos 09\14 Tricastella SDDC 0515 Porto SDDC 1015 LosArcos Burgos 1016 Burgos Leon 0917
120 years, if it how long do you feel your married for lol. Still yet to do a camino together.
 

susanawee

susanawee
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances-(2013/14/18
Camino Salvado Perth -(2015)
West Highland Way (2016)
Lyon France 2017
As I was walking the other day I thought of the title for a book: For Better Or Worse.
Subtitle: Stories of People Who Stuck Together.
I don't know if I'm going to write it, but as I look around at marriages of friends falling apart left right and centre - whether married for less than a year or over thirty years, I've become curious about what makes people stay together. If I end up writing anything I imagine it will be personal-story-based, but with a solid background of research informing the stories. The narratives would be important, but I would want to really drill down and try to identify if the continued marriages are fundamentally different from the broken ones - and what the differentiating elements seem to be that make people go in one direction or the other - is it about “tipping points” for example, or “cumulative fray” or a mix of both???
That's as far as my thinking got and I was back at my doorstep!

I need to do a literature search before I start putting together a questionnaire - but if I ever get that far, is there anyone on this forum who would be comfortable answering? The title asks for people who have been married a long time, but that was really just a provocation - I envisage interviewing those who opted out too, so really anyone who has been married ever could be useful.

Mods, if this is too far from camino-related, please feel free to delete (although I must say each of my caminos has included at least one divorcing person, grieving widower, and infatuated old couple - not to mention the guy who had been married three times and whilst still married to the third wife who would not divorce him, had a mistress on the side!!)
I will be happy to help out. 🌺🦎🌻
 

Chenahusky

Happy Pilgrim
Year of past OR future Camino
CFSJPP to SDC 2016
CIng x 2 2018
CPort. Tui May 2019
CF Ponf. June 2019
48 years last June. We met on a mountaineering course. We have done three Caminos together and have several times, worked together for the same companies. Having been together 48 years, we decided last July, that as it seemed to be working, we would make it official and tied the knot. After 5 months it seems to be holding up.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Being able to get away, walk a Camino and be my own person
These words ring true for me. Hubby and I married as teenagers, raised two sons, and until I walked my first camino in 2015, I had never really done anything on my own before. I fell in love with walking, while he prefers biking. I have loved these opportunities "to get away, walk caminos, and be my own person". Lord willing, we pass the milestone of 50 years together in 2021.
 
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Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
For us - we are each others 'other-half', married 51 years and both of us would hope for a number of years to come. Just pleased that we celebrated our 50th in 2019, along with our daughter and son-in-law for their 25th. Lovely family gathering which would not have been possible this year.
Shared interests, including the Camino, mutual support and respect..... and we met bell ringing - something we no longer do - but much of our courting took place in church belfries :)
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2015, 2017, 2019) and plans for 2021 (Sept, Oct)
Married 38 years, after dating four years. Met our senior year at private colleges. Both of us spent the spring semester abroad our junior year (she in France, me in Spain). Before we met, both our plans were to attend the same graduate school to get an MBA. We both were lucky to get two jobs in the same city. Several opportunities came my way in my career, requiring family relocations. At some point, we decided she would devote full attention to raising our three kids, and I would devote lots of attention to my career. At one point, we relocated to Geneva, SZ for three years and we took our winter holiday in Spain each yearend. I retired in 2014, and said I wanted to hike the camino. Cindi said "I'll come with you". The rest is history. We hiked our first in 2015, another in 2017, and 2019 and have plans for 2021. We love our time together, love the overall experience in Spain. Can't wait to go back and enjoy ourselves next year! Bob
 
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Akbunny59

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2017 / 2018
As I was walking the other day I thought of the title for a book: For Better Or Worse.
Subtitle: Stories of People Who Stuck Together.
I don't know if I'm going to write it, but as I look around at marriages of friends falling apart left right and centre - whether married for less than a year or over thirty years, I've become curious about what makes people stay together. If I end up writing anything I imagine it will be personal-story-based, but with a solid background of research informing the stories. The narratives would be important, but I would want to really drill down and try to identify if the continued marriages are fundamentally different from the broken ones - and what the differentiating elements seem to be that make people go in one direction or the other - is it about “tipping points” for example, or “cumulative fray” or a mix of both???
That's as far as my thinking got and I was back at my doorstep!

I need to do a literature search before I start putting together a questionnaire - but if I ever get that far, is there anyone on this forum who would be comfortable answering? The title asks for people who have been married a long time, but that was really just a provocation - I envisage interviewing those who opted out too, so really anyone who has been married ever could be useful.

Mods, if this is too far from camino-related, please feel free to delete (although I must say each of my caminos has included at least one divorcing person, grieving widower, and infatuated old couple - not to mention the guy who had been married three times and whilst still married to the third wife who would not divorce him, had a mistress on the side!!)
Sadly my wife died 21 years ago at the age of 40, but it's my parents 73rd wedding anniversary tomorrow (20th December).

Merry Christmas and Buen Camino one and all....😉
 

Glamgrrl

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Travel318
Almost 34 years, and like the Camino the path isn’t always smooth, but there is reward for getting through the rocky parts. When I was planning my Camino, I intended to walk alone, yet as I reflected, we had walked and traveled together our whole marriage, I would have felt sad not to have this shared adventure/reflection/journey together in our memories of life, so we walked together. It focused us on the joy we share as a married couple. I’m so happy we did, we can not sweat the small stuff easier, it is the analogy of life - around every corner is a new challenge, how you handle it reflects on who you are. And like marriage, our love for the camino keeps growing and pulling us back. I’m so glad we walked together. We chose to be life partners, and experienced that blessing every step of the Way.
 

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hecate105

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
'09 Portuguese Estellas '14 Aurelia '16 St Davids '17 Via Augusta/V dl P. '18/'19 Michael Mary Way
29 years. He is my 'other half' - we feel we are better together than the sum of us apart...
We have faith in each other. We have trust (that took some learning!) We have worked together. Built a house together. He looked after me during years of illness and never gave up.
We have walked and cycled many caminos together and I would always rather be with him than without him...
But he is still THE most annoying man in the world....!
 
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Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
Sadly my wife died 21 years ago at the age of 40, but it's my parents 73rd wedding anniversary tomorrow (20th December).

Merry Christmas and Buen Camino one and all....😉
Sorry for your loss even after all these years. Please send warm congratulations to your parents (my first son was born on their 48th anniversary!)
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
The stories keep rolling in - thank you, each of you who has taken the time to contribute. Your replies are feeding my thinking and giving me ideas to pursue.
I have done my first Google Scholar search - which produced surprisingly little recent information but a couple of useful historical analyses. (Admittedly I was looking for NZ data - I expect there will be more if I widen the scope to worldwide)
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
We've had our certificate for 35 years now. Our marriage counselor dog helped out. Whenever our discussions got loud he would go to Peg, sit down and empathize. Then he would come over to me, sit down and make me feel guilty. That cooled things down. I was always the one in the wrong though and Peg the wronged one. Stupid dog.
 

GinaMarie

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2010, 2017
My husband died in 2006 & when people asked me how long we had been married, I got used to answering instead: "He was my best friend for 32 years" (and we were married for most of that). We met, fell in love, got married & had children, though not in that order. I was heartbroken to say goodbye. But -- unbelievably! - 5 years later I met somebody else (also wonderful) & we have been together now for 10 years.
The "One Thing" making both these relationships enduring & (mostly) happy: a solid friendship to begin with. We continue to be good buddies & have fun together. A high point was walking from Astorga to SJC with my 'new' partner in 2017 & we hope to do more in the future.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
We've had our certificate for 35 years now. Our marriage counselor dog helped out. Whenever our discussions got loud he would go to Peg, sit down and empathize. Then he would come over to me, sit down and make me feel guilty. That cooled things down. I was always the one in the wrong though and Peg the wronged one. Stupid dog.
Dogs are pretty smart. 😉
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Marriage is not everything
My interest is for those who WANT to succeed at marriage (whatever that might end up meaning)
Nobody gets married and doesn't want to succeed at it. The decision if/when to end it will vary because "marriage is not everything" and the decision depends on how close to "everything" the marriage gets.

It focused us on the joy we share as a married couple. I’m so happy we did, we can not sweat the small stuff easier, it is the analogy of life - around every corner is a new challenge, how you handle it reflects on who you are.
I am quoting Glamgirl's words, not to argue, but because they make an excellent point that I will take a step further. Many or most contented middle-aged or older pilgrims would be able to say almost the same words regardless of their marital history:
"the Camino focused me on the joys I have as a person. I'm so happy I did..."
The rest of the words about the analogy of life, etc., will be the same.

Those who walk the Camino in joy with their partners experience something wonderful. Those who walk in joy without partners experience something wonderful, too. All experiences are different. Some Caminos are more joyful than others. Some people are more joyful than others. Comparisons are often not helpful.

None of us can experience everything, so we all miss many opportunities. I like to think that if I had not had a long marriage, I would have followed some different equally satisfying path.

I suspect that the qualities that make a happy marriage are largely the same as the qualities that make a happy life.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Fisterra2012;Ingles 2013;Littoral 2014;Frances 2016;Portuguese 2015,2017,2018;Mozarabe 2017,2019
We celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary in November , albeit quietly due to covid. I too liken a marriage to a camino , many ups and downs , having someone to lean on helps , never knowing what's around the next corner , but sharing the journey strengthens the bond. Hopefully 2021 we can walk together again .
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
2012-2018 Frances, Via de la Plata, Portugues Central and Seaside, Norte
As I was walking the other day I thought of the title for a book: For Better Or Worse.
Subtitle: Stories of People Who Stuck Together.
I don't know if I'm going to write it, but as I look around at marriages of friends falling apart left right and centre - whether married for less than a year or over thirty years, I've become curious about what makes people stay together. If I end up writing anything I imagine it will be personal-story-based, but with a solid background of research informing the stories. The narratives would be important, but I would want to really drill down and try to identify if the continued marriages are fundamentally different from the broken ones - and what the differentiating elements seem to be that make people go in one direction or the other - is it about “tipping points” for example, or “cumulative fray” or a mix of both???
That's as far as my thinking got and I was back at my doorstep!

I need to do a literature search before I start putting together a questionnaire - but if I ever get that far, is there anyone on this forum who would be comfortable answering? The title asks for people who have been married a long time, but that was really just a provocation - I envisage interviewing those who opted out too, so really anyone who has been married ever could be useful.

Mods, if this is too far from camino-related, please feel free to delete (although I must say each of my caminos has included at least one divorcing person, grieving widower, and infatuated old couple - not to mention the guy who had been married three times and whilst still married to the third wife who would not divorce him, had a mistress on the side!!)
My husband and I have been married for 41 years. We have friends who tell us they model their marriage after us or that they want to know how we did it. I have no clue. We are as different as night and day. I love to travel, he doesn't. I walk the Camino as often as possible and he stays home. I'd be happy to answer your questionnaire, but I'm not sure I can tell you why it lasted.
 

zrexer

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2014, 15,16 & 19 Camino Frances
2017 Camino Portuguese
2018 Camino Primitivo
2020 Camino Del Norte
Coming up on 38 years for my wife and I, but rookies compared to my parents at 68 years of marriage.
It is my wife's fault totally that we got into all this Camino nonsense. We watched a quaint Hollywood movie and next thing I knew I was traipsing across Spain...six times!
Glutton for punishment...the Camino's, not the marriage!
 

Otmoor22

Member
Married 54 years and my wife seems to ever more keen to encourage me to go off on pilgrimages! Things work between us because she is of a very sweet nature and I am bloody-minded! Still can't understand why she declines to come with me?
 

Old Kiwi

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2016
Camino Frances 2019
SdC to Muxia and Fisterra 2019
Camino Portuguese "2021"
Most of you are just beginners. My wife and I married when I was 19 and she was 18. Everyone said it would not last. We have now been married for 58 years and expect to remain so for some time yet. We have been together through thick and thin. We have both worked side by side in farming, three businesses, building three houses with our own hands and raising a family of three fantastic kids. Over the years we have grown closer together and I could not imagine life without her. Unfortunately she has a degenerative spine disease and can no longer walk very far with me, which is one of the things we miss most as we have have both carried packs on trails all around the world and wonder at the natural beauty of it. When times have been hard we just put our heads down and worked to a solution. Over the years she has put in a lot of physical effort in doing her share despite only being 4'8' (1.4 metres) tall. I would be happy to contribute should you think I had something to offer.
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
@Old Kiwi I’ll definitely be calling on you! (You’ve been married for longer than I’ve been alive!)
I’ve made contact with a Research Manager at an organisation that is involved with social issues in NZ and he has given me some things to read and offered to meet in the new year. Could be a very helpful contact and I am grateful for his generosity. I will have to focus on being present with visiting family over Christmas, knowing I’d rather be reading!!
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
VDLP to Finisterre 2009
Le Puy to SJPDP 2013
Frances 2014
GR700 & Arles 2017
Norte 2019
Such an interesting topic out of the blue. Thanks Kiwi-family. My husband & I will celebrate 40 years next year & I've warned him it's going to cost him plenty!!!! (tongue in cheek) although the laugh maybe on me if travel is still out of question at the end of the year. Interesting though I have been fortunate to complete 5 Caminos, my husband is not interested in walking any at all although he is my greatest supporter. 3 of the 5 I have completed with my brother, we can't divorce each other but very pleased to say we are the best of friends. His wife wholly supports his Caminos too. We're both very fortunate to have the partners we do.
 

Marikie

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020
What an interesting array of answers to wake up to on a Friday morning! This wee project is calling louder because of your willingness to contribute - thank you. Looks like my summer holidays might be spent researching! And this might be an unexpected part of a puzzle that had a missing piece - next year for the first time in 25 years I will be educating only one child at home and I was wondering what we’ll do differently. Obviously I will have much more time at my disposal so as well as the work we do together, it seems I may have a new project to work on independently. It has always been my practice to pursue learning alongside my kids, setting an example hopefully to inspire them (and because I like to learn and value a growth mindset), but I have never written a book......let’s find out if there’s anything to say!
Yes, 24 years. And now again for 4 years. Although staying married remains first prize, the authenticity of the individual parts should not be compromised for the sake of the committment. I had to let the first one go...and it almost destroyed me...but I would have had to die to stay in that relationship. Finding a significant other where the individuals feed the whole has been an enormous blessing and I am grateful I moved on. My second partner will not walk the Camino with me, but thats fine, because we continue to live authentic lives and return with gifts of joy and abundance because in trust you can allow each other space.
 

Sharonih

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF (SJPdP to Santiago) March 15, 2018
We are heading into our 40th Anniversary this year. As we were young getting married so many did not have faith we would last so stubbornness comes into it, the unwillingness to prove that people were “right” and they weren’t. He makes me laugh but the biggest thing I would say is throughout the years the only emotion I haven’t felt was boredom.
 

FrankW

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2013, 2016 and 2018 - French camino
2022 September/October - French camino
A marriage is a lot like a long-distance pilgrimage. We know when we begin in the same manner when we enter into a marriage. We know there is a goal, but it is way out ahead of us. We begin being committed to the journey together. We hit rough patches when there are aches and pains. There are trials and challenges along the way, but we learn to savor the joyous moments along the way also. In fact, we focus on the good times as we go about our journey. We help one another in a give and take as one is low and the other is high and vice versa. We meet great people along the way, but our focus remains on the journey we share together.

We have been married for forty years and I don't see that changing. We have grown into each other too much to sacrifice that caliber of relationship. We have children and grandchildren that bring joy to both of us and we have a responsibility to them, to help them along their own journey.

We will get to where we are going, but it is ahead of us still. For now, we just enjoy the daily walk together.
I agree with you Michael. Brenda, my wife and I have been married 47 years and have accumulated significant history together - far too much to throw away. The one thing I would add is that we have learned our marriage is a relationship in which our attitude has become this: Each of us is committed to what we can give to the other not what we can get or demand from it. This works for us. Plus a health dose of forgiveness. Wishing you many more years.

Frank
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Ingles 2018
22 years of blood, sweat and tears. I always add 5 years because we got married exactly 5 years on from the first day we met, so I will round it up to 27.
Yes, marriage is like a camino, it kind of starts with a youthful excuberance, has trials and tribulations along the way and may not finish with a bang but, at the end of the day very rewarding and fullfilling.
It was nice that our only short camino to date was with our Daughter.
 
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Lexicos

Jim
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances
2017
Camino Portuguese 2019
Yes.
As a % of my life to date Kiwi, yes.
As a measure of my feelings, just married.

(PS. What a funny question to be asking!!?)
 
Year of past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
I have had many fine wives in my time. I was even married to two of them.
 
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