People Who Married Their 'Better Than Nothing' Partner Describe How It's Going

bride and groom
Olivia Bauso on Unsplash

I've always been told... NEVER SETTLE!

But settling can work out.

You never know.

So what really happened when people settled?


Redditor adambier1587asked:

"People who married their 'better than nothing' option, how’s your marriage going?"

Still Time

"My wife said 'so far so good' but it's only been 35 years so there is still time for change if needed."

Netman-

black and white love GIFGiphy

22 Years

"I feel like we may have both settled because we had a child together, but 22 years in and he’s a better partner than I could have ever dreamed."

armsinstead

"Definitely everything up to the ‘but’ with my wife, things have been good at best and poor recently. Living together before helped some, but damn I underestimated or was decidedly oblivious to the necessity of having a similar level of intelligence, even more so than common ground, for long-term happiness."

Away_Reaction_1628

Give it a shot...

"A coworker got married to their 'better than nothing' six or seven years ago. It was one of those things where both people settled since they were getting older and I guess they figured they'd give it a shot. They went from single to married in eight months."

"Apparently as time went on it only got better for them."

"They both started actively trying to better themselves (seeing therapists, picking up healthy solo hobbies) and learned how to best communicate with each other over that time. They're both in their early 50s now and they act like a happy younger couple whenever we're at work events. It's kinda cool to see."

"Pretty mundane but I wanted to share one that I know that worked out."

Justicles13

Obsessed

"So my marriage is not 'better than nothing,' but I was also never obsessed with my wife the way I have been obsessed with a new person before. Part of the reason I was willing to marry her was because we communicated well, worked with each other to improve each other's lives, and we generally enjoy many of the same things while still retaining who we are individually. The biggest thing is that we both felt physically and emotionally safe with each other."

"I am now obsessed. I love my wife more than I have ever loved anyone."

Xannin

knocking my socks off...

"I think the way you worded this implies that the relationship was shi**y to begin with. I married someone I considered kind of a settle at first. I hadn't had a relationship in over a year and met a girl at a bar and thought, 'she's pretty enough and I like being around her.'"

In Love Hearts GIF by SpongeBob SquarePantsGiphy

"The thing is, we grew together and I have a very successful and happy marriage despite her not initially knocking my socks off. I think I fit your comments intent but I'm not sure because at no point in our relationship was it so bad I didn't want to be in the relationship anymore."

"I guess what I'm saying is if my story matches your intent, then it can work out. If you meant marrying into a toxic relationship, I don't think you're going to get many success stories."

MrPopo72

So the end can be different from the beginning. Good to know.

It was devastating...

"I think I am the better than nothing spouse. About a month ago I found out. It was devastating."

Sad Rabbit GIF by Muffin & NutsGiphy

"For 17 years she settled for me despite not truly loving me. Life was hard but we had each other or so I thought. The moment we talked about how bad things got she asked for a divorce and I lost my best friend and sole person who I felt I trusted enough to talk to. I move out tomorrow to rebuild my life."

Kierik

The Turning Point

"I don't know if this is exactly what you're after, but my husband and I got together as single parents. When you do that, you're choosing as much for the kids as for you. You actually don't know what kind of couple you are on your own. And when the kids grew up, after over a decade together, we had to figure that out for the first time."

"It started out good for maybe the first 4-5 years, then went really rocky in the kid's teens. Turns out as they needed us less, we really didn't have enough common ground in a lot of ways - in particular, I had emotional and emotional-labour needs that weren't being met."

"We discussed divorce several times, but at our peak crisis point, decided to work on it because one of our kids had just had a bereavement (death of the other parent). And honestly, it still wasn't working that well and maybe still would have ended in divorce, but then I had a terrible work situation that lasted a year, and he really stepped up."

"That was the turning point. I was able to let go of my resentments about all the times I'd carried us, because at some point he'd done enough that I didn't feel baited-and-switched anymore. Then the kids grew up and we had to learn to be a couple on our own together."

"That took time, but we'd sort of grown and changed into a better match by then. We're really solid now, have been for probably the last five years or so. But it's been a team endeavour to get it that way and keep it there, it's not something that just happens."

nurseynurseygander

Love & Loss

"Was married for 10yrs, got 2 kids out of it and some of the happiest years of my life. We both pretty much settled for each other. Eventually both concluded that we just weren't right for each other and cut it off but I don't have any regrets about it. Without her I definitely would have been one of the people out there that are forever alone. So I definitely would agree with the 'better to have loved and lost' saying."

FerretsAteMyToes

Option in my 30's

"I married my 'better than nothing' option in my 30s. We both understood what we had waited for and committed ourselves fully to the marriage. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I had married my 'preferred option' and I realize that the love I feel from the person I married is so much better than the 'preferred option' would have been."

"I never did convince the preferred option to date me, while the woman I'm married to now found me easy to love. In other words, my romantic self is an idiot and my better than nothing was actually better than everything."

eileyle

42

"My parents got married because they were considered old in their church (they were 26 and 24…) and they both wanted kids. My mom told me that is was the practical thing to do, haha! Luckily they hit it off, and though it took a lot of time and work, they are annoyingly in love and have been married for 42 years next month."

Islanduniverse

in love kiss GIFGiphy

So good enough can turn into the perfect choice.

Good to know...

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