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  • #16
    Originally posted by sakura_girl View Post
    ...I am thinking of when one hits 50 years old and is living with someone they thought was the love of their life, until they hit some sort of hardship, in which case the love slowly dwindled to a life partner (which I assume is the case for the large majority of relationships). How do you spend the next 30 years of life together?
    I have been with the love of my life for 25 years. For us, hardships have increased our love for each other and bonded us closer.

    I'm not sure how religion and life-long love necessarily fit together. I am Buddhist, my husband is Protestant. We are completely accepting of each other's differences, and we also have many things in common.

    As far as a marriage relationship that lasts through a lifetime, I think it has a lot to do with commitment and open-mindedness. Commitment to each other and to keeping the relationship working, and open-mindedness to change and compromise. As a relevant example, I was Christian when we were first married, but over the years became disillusioned with various organized religions. As I pondered on that disillusionment, I found that I had difficulty understanding the belief in any kind of deity. I studied different religions and then found that Buddhism fits with my world view. (Buddhism is actually a philosophy, not a religion.)

    My husband could not completely understand my change in view, but he is totally accepting of it, as I am totally accepting of his religious preference.

    One of the things that makes us human is our capacity to think these deeper thoughts!

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Sabine View Post
      Why do you assume this? Or understand that? Seems contrary to your nature.

      (Okay, I'm not over 60, and I don't know if I'm a Christian or not, but I had to see what this thread was about. Also, intrigued by OP asking people to share without doing so themselves first. Isn't that the typical arrangement?)

      Along with Marcadav, I think everyone feels empty at times. And regardless of age, religion, marital status, it is up to the individual to fill or deal with their own particular emptiness.
      Sorry, I didn't realize there were traditions to do that.

      I am in my twenties, and I just actually broke up with my first boyfriend to whom I have been with for over half a year (hence the depressing posts...). He is atheist, and I am Christian, at least by upbringing. We make a pretty great couple; we can do many things together due to similar interests and lifestyle (he is not Paleo, but he thinks it has some merits; otherwise minimalism and practicality match to a T). However, he is very staunchly atheist until I can prove to him that Christianity is the way to go....which is ridiculous because I can't "prove" anything with belief-driven philosophy. I thought about marrying him, but I thought it would cause too much of a rift over time to make decisions based on my faith, and to also be disconnected by the part that I am working toward a life closer to God, when he isn't. Our life goals are too different, and I can see how my life may become unhappy over time because of this. And empty if we grew old with each other.

      Anyway, my decision was made, and I feel very sorry for him to have rejected him so quickly, and just sad for myself in general. I'll get over it, but what other great time to contemplate life's greatest rewards/pains than this?
      My chocolatey Primal journey

      Unusual food recipes (plus chocolate) blog

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      • #18
        I'm a bit over 50, and in my second marriage (probably my last one).

        I spent some years as a very devoted christian, but that pretty much ended with my first marriage (about 16 years ago).

        Feeling empty inside is related to a lack of purpose in one's life. This "purpose" can be related to one's beliefs, or one's career goals, one's hobbies, or one's family. It can be a deep sense of acceptance of one's life. That empty feeling has been called the "god-shaped hole in your heart"... to which, I'd like to say "bullshit".

        Whether you call it a purpose, a calling, or your dharma, it is important to figure out what you are meant to be/do in your life. For some, it is some sort of religious activity, for others, it is a career that seems to fulfill that void. Some will never find it unless they are married/have kids (just some, not everyone, of course). It could be pursuing the arts, the sciences, or volunteer work.

        Once you find your dharma, you'll find less emptiness in your heart/soul.

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        • #19
          I'm almost 63 and will be celebrating 45yr anniversary on Dec. 30. I've tried several times to put my thoughts/beliefs into words, can't seem to get it right. I will say that I understand that faith/religion fills a need for many people. I found it unfulfilling and too contradictory to what I 'felt' was true and right. I'm sorry you felt a conflict with your boyfriend's beliefs~ personally, I think people should be judged by their works, not by some label they choose to define themselves. (that goes for vegans too)

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          • #20
            In reading your response, I would say that it is important to have similar life goals (going in the same direction), but they don't have to be terribly specific really. DH and I had really one goal, which was to be and live authentically ourselves, finding work and a lifestyle that we love. I think we've done a good job.

            At your age (early twenties), I was still holding on to the last vestiges of "faith." I was trying really hard to be christian because my family was and because I knew several and. . . I don't know. . . I am already so "different" that I didn't want to be more different. That being said, I was never particularly evangelical about it because I saw no need for others to be christian.

            Had I been more honest with myself at that time (it took several more years), I would have realized that I'm basically buddhist (philosophically if not religiously), generally pacifist (not quite as far as quakers, but close), and also atheist (though to not confuse people, I use "non-theist" as atheists tend to have a certain rhetoric which is not a rhetoric that I share). In all truth, I should have just "come out" as not-christian as a teen (and I did try and it was a huge mess of messiness -- which is why it took me many more years (5-6) before I was just open about who I am in terms of religion/spirituality.

            I do not want to go back to that "dark time of emptiness" in my life where I was striving/pretending to be christian, but not actually wanting to be christian and wanting to follow my heart/conscience.

            Even now -- a good 10 or so years after "coming out" -- my family still takes issue and freaks out on a regular basis. It's frustrating because I"m all like "let it go already." But . . . yeah. I'm exploring a lot about the separation that I feel from my family right now.

            Anyway, once I was able to step into what I actually do believe, I felt much more fulfilled. Since then, I've worked diligently to keep on that path of authenticity, and I feel like I've done quite well. I'm in a bit of a "funk" right now -- not quite sure why. Perhaps its a sort-of "mid life crisis." I'm struggling, whatever it is. But, it'll turn around. It always does.

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            • #21
              I'm over 60, not Christian, and happy (I'm Jewish, not married now, have child, no grandchildren yet, if that has anything to do with answering the question).
              Last edited by liza; 11-04-2012, 01:37 PM.

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              • #22
                The only reason I brought up children was that I haven't had anybody tell me that if I'm not married or not Christian I'd feel empty and lonely when I'm old, but I HAVE had someone tell me this about not having children. I think it's all BS that you will feel empty and lonely when you are old if you don't follow the typical path in life. Everyone must follow their own path and for a few of us, marriage and family and God aren't the path. It hasn't been my path.

                I go through periods now and then when life seems flat and empty. At this point in my life I now see that this is always what happens just before everything changes again. It's a necessary step. It sucks and when you are in it, it seems like it'll never end. But it does end. So I now just embrace and accept it and know that I'll soon be off on another adventure.

                I took a really good class once where we did lots of exercises to try to unlock our deepest longings and callings. We bought one book for the class called "Callings: Finding and Following and Authentic Life" by Gregg Levoy. I highly recommend this book. It was not just a career-oriented book.

                While reading the book and after doing the class it suddenly hit me that what was missing in my life was to go hike the Pacific Crest Trail, something I had always wanted to do since I was 10 years old. It turned out to be the most authentic experience I ever had, one of the most important things I ever did that actually "made the world a better place". Without trying, I touched so many people in so many ways out there I began to see that my hike wasn't even about me. It was something I was supposed to do to be a catalyst for a whole bunch of total strangers that I met along the way, a catalyst for change in their own life. It was an extraordinary thing. And I never would have gotten there had I not been really super miserable and empty and lost for about a year.
                Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                • #23
                  Not having children doesn't bother me.
                  Not being married bothers to the point of ... well let's just say you don't want to know some of the thoughts I've had.
                  Religion... yeah well, when one of them produces some actual evidence or holds my interest, then I'll think about it.
                  But yeah, I'm pretty empty.
                  5'0" female, 45 years old. Started Primal October 31, 2011, at a skinny fat 111.5 lbs. Low weight: 99.5 lb on a fast. Gained back to 115(!) on SAD chocolate, potato chips, and stress. Currently 111.

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                  • #24
                    There is of course: emptiness is form, and form emptiness. (buddhist phrase)

                    so, feeling empty is a good thing in some circles.

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                    • #25
                      "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

                      B*tch-lite

                      Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by sakura_girl View Post
                        Sorry, I didn't realize there were traditions to do that.

                        I am in my twenties, and I just actually broke up with my first boyfriend to whom I have been with for over half a year (hence the depressing posts...). He is atheist, and I am Christian, at least by upbringing. We make a pretty great couple; we can do many things together due to similar interests and lifestyle (he is not Paleo, but he thinks it has some merits; otherwise minimalism and practicality match to a T). However, he is very staunchly atheist until I can prove to him that Christianity is the way to go....which is ridiculous because I can't "prove" anything with belief-driven philosophy. I thought about marrying him, but I thought it would cause too much of a rift over time to make decisions based on my faith, and to also be disconnected by the part that I am working toward a life closer to God, when he isn't. Our life goals are too different, and I can see how my life may become unhappy over time because of this. And empty if we grew old with each other.

                        Anyway, my decision was made, and I feel very sorry for him to have rejected him so quickly, and just sad for myself in general. I'll get over it, but what other great time to contemplate life's greatest rewards/pains than this?
                        Good to hear what you are going through, though I'm sorry for the pain you are having. Hope it passes as it should, and you come out on the other side stronger.

                        I think you were wise, if your life goals were so different.

                        Awesome that you are thinking about being 60+ in a relationship when you are in your twenties.

                        About the sharing first: I think it is accepted, if only because in our culture, sharing feelings is typically done among intimates, or as a 'proof' that you want to take a casual relationship into a more connected one. It is really an offering of trust to open and expose yourself that way. I'm impressed with this forum, that so many are willing to jump into these discussions. It makes them incredibly rich.

                        Right now my husband and I are going through some hard times (with life, not each other) and it is only making our love stronger. But we had to get through a time or two when 'we' were our problem. Like anything, the tough part is figuring out if the situation is worth working on. For myself, I'm glad we did. We're in our 40s/50s and I am looking forward to being even more in love when we hit the 60s (and 90s!).

                        Hope my first post wasn't too harsh. Sometimes when I reread them, what I thought was just concise, sounds mean.

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