My First Marriage Felt Forced

Take the pain out of relationships.

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Forced! No Choice!

I gave my quitting notice at the three jobs I was currently employed at, sold all my things at a yard sale, and booked a train ticket to California. I had no home, no job, and no belongings.

Two weeks after I arrived in California, my boyfriend proposed. In shock, I sat silent. “Marriage? No Way!” I thought to myself. Never will I get married.

He said, “Marry me or go back where you came from.”

My jaw dropped, “Return to what? I had nothing to return to.”

“What an option. Marriage or return to the Hell I just came from?”

After many tears and agonizing, I agreed to get married. I felt I had no choice.

That marriage lasted ten years. It ended when my husband said, “I’m moving back to where we first met, I want you to come with me.”

“No.” I said. “I’m staying. I’ve built a life and profession here.” We went through the process of a simple divorce, which ended up taking a year.

“A good marriage isn’t something you find; It’s something you make." -- Gary L. Thomas


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Deal Breakers

Let’s talk about personal boundaries, values, and goals. Get yours straight in your head before stepping into a new relationship.

First, analyze your values. Our values change over time and as we have new experiences. Sometimes we have conflicting values and need to make difficult choices.

Conflicting values are like personal needs conflicting with family needs.

What are your values about marriage, relationships, family, work, education, and spirituality? Set up goals in these areas to help you better understand your personal values.

The more values you and your partner share, the better.

After I write my goals, I ask myself, “Why these specific goals? What values do I hold that cause me to desire to achieve these specific goals?”

Reminder: Values are areas you guard, maintain, and never cross. Don’t allow relationships into your life that cross your boundaries, values, and goals. That’s your biggest clue to avoid a relationship with such a person. That’s a deal-breaker.


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Take an “Intellectual Approach to Relationships.”

As an Autistic person, I’m more successful if I take an “intellectual approach to relationships” (Tony Attwood). Education and how-to books are what help guide me through.

I read helpful books that match my personal values. (Affiliate Links). These books are an excellent read, especially the 1st book.


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Sudden Marriage - I Did It Again.

I lived single for another ten years. I focused on work and raising my one child. I was determined never to get married again.

One day a parent of one of my students noticed me. I am different and quite noticeable. He saw me communicating with another parent in sign language. That caught his attention.

He was actively seeking a wife. Since I was his son’s teacher, he thought he would ask me on a date.

Despite my rejection letters, slammed doors, “No,” “I never want to see you again,” and “I’m not interested.” He kept trying. That alone should have been a boundary warning sign for me.

One day he asked, “Will you marry me?”

“Sure, why not,” was my response. About a week later, I took the day off. We went to the courthouse in jeans and t-shirts and said, “I do.” We have been married for 14 years now.

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The Point System Works.

What I learned through my second marriage is patience, tolerance, communication techniques, and boundaries.

We were having difficulty communicating with one another. I read a book by Dr. Phil, and his point system made sense. I explained it to my husband, and it made sense to him too.

It’s a running joke now that when I say, you just got 100 points, he knows he did something pleasing for me. That means he probably did the dishes and vacuumed the house or something that lifted my burdens a bit.

If I said, “Man, you dropped down to zero points in 3 seconds flat.” That means he is probably being selfish or didn’t do something he said he would do.

The point system made sense to both of us and helps us understand one another a bit. Maybe we are unique. But men seem to understand points, and they think if the woman is doing a lot for them, it’s because the woman is behind in points.

If the woman stops doing everything and stops catering to the man, he thinks he is behind and owes points and will start doing better to earn points and try more.

You can read about the point system in this book: (Affiliate Link) Love Smart: Find the one you want. Fix the one you’ve got. By Dr. PHil McGraw.

The Take-Away

  • A good marriage builds over time and takes both partner’s dedication to make it happen.

  • Respect one another’s personal boundaries, values, and goals.

  • Read the How-to books to gain a better understanding of each other.

  • If you find yourself repeating negative relationship patterns, there may be an underlying reason, What baggage are you carrying from your past?

  • Find strategies that help with communication, such as “The Point System” by Dr. Phil McGraw.

Read Part 2 of this article about escalating arguments, how to communicate successfully, married when you have nothing in common, jealousy, a supportive marriage, and physical touch.

Let’s keep in touch. Please sign up for my newsletter.

Bobbi Lynn Gibson

Read Part 2 of this article about escalating arguments, how to communicate successfully, married when you have nothing in common, jealousy, a supportive marriage, and physical touch.

Let’s keep in touch. Please sign up for my newsletter.

Bobbi Lynn Gibson