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Wow, so much negativity.

I think this is great advice. The key is being genuine and appreciative. Take care of your neediness in other ways. If you don't know how to listen, writing lots of notes can be just another way of monopolizing the conversation. Use the note as a way to maintain the intimacy you already have.

Ps my marriage lasted happily for 37 years until the untimely death of my beloved wife.

I think the responses / strategies / etc. are diverse because relationships are as diverse as the human race. What works in one relationship has no guarantee of working in another.

The article is certainly well-meaning but it has a bit of a "one weird trick" feel to it. It's written by a 30 year old man who has done something to improve his marriage which is great. It's anyone's guess what kind of article he's going to write when he's 60. He's on a good track, he's learned that regular communication is almost always a win, my own $0.02 is that if there's any one secret weapon, it's that.

But there are also relationships and people where there's nothing that will work, someone is just a rotten apple, or maybe the trust is irreparably damaged. I've had partners who were such supportive, caring human beings that I felt humbled - a little ashamed of my own selfishness by comparison. But I've also had partners who were clearly in it for themselves, seeing what they could milk out of me, and no amount of communication was going to change that. For the latter there was no strategy that was going to fix it - the only right path was to end it and move on.

I don’t fear much but my wife dying before me is up there, right after my kids. I hope to experience and provide the marriage you’ve experienced.

This year will be my third married and my 10th being in a relationship with my wife. It’s been a tumultuous journey at times because of lack of communication.

In lieu of notes like OP mentioned, my wife and I just check in with each other every morning. And, throughout the day. She’s naturally thoughtful while I’m mostly focused on myself. We had a talk a few months ago and it was revealed that my self-centeredness was a defense mechanism I haven’t needed to deploy for at least a decade.

I could go on and on so I’ll just stop here and co-sign once more; communicate with your spouse. And then do it even more than that.

* a defense mechanism I haven’t needed to deploy for at least a decade*

the behaviors we learn through our experience to protect ourselves are very hard to shake off. quite often we are not even aware of them or understand why. and any new partner will end up working hard trying to break through. but it looks like your partners effort and patience is starting to pay off. good luck to your continued future.

Yeah I agree. This is the core idea of IFS Internal Family Systems. Heard about it on Time Ferriss. A real life friend recommended it. I tried it and benefited from it.

Thank you. I'm always happy so if she's happy, I'm ecstatic.

I’d be interested to hear more.

I have come to realize that I am very self centered, but I can’t quite figure out why.

I tend to get very caught up and focused on what is going on in my life and never stop to think about others. It is more that the thought never occurs to me, as opposed to me consciously prioritizing myself over others.

My wife on the other hand is very thoughtful, always checking in on others to see how they are doing. I wish I could be more like that, but would require some external override (eg setting a reminder on my phone) instead of me organically deciding to do so.

Our situation is very much the same. In fact, it was constantly seeing my wife check-in with her family that encouraged me to do the same. About a month ago I called my grandmother and had a two-hour convo and I learned that my mother never wanted her to have my number, for whatever reason. I regret not thinking of reaching out to her sooner but we're both glad I did.

My parents divorced when I was 13 or so but dual-parented. My dad was very focused on trying to get me to be more "macho" and my mom didn't seem to care much about whatever I had going on. So, I kept to myself; reading books, dreaming up inventions, sketching, &c. When college came, I found out via campus security that I did NOT have a college fund and was subsequently removed from campus. For some reason, my mom seemed angry at me for being home even though she's the one who bragged to everyone for YEARS that her kids had a college fund and never had to worry about working while focusing on education.

I'm starting to feel resentment as I recall things so I'll just say this: my feeling weren't considered when I was a child/teen, I didn't have help in early adulthood, and I was setup to fail (credit/identity theft victim, per mother). As a result, I had to learn how to live in the "real world" without a safety net and try to figure out how to forgive people because these people would never apologize (or even remember their actions).

Doing all this got me through all right. I'm self-taught, have a pretty cool job, and live relatively stress-free in a safe community with a great school district. Nearly ever day is sunny but having someone you trust that can tell you objective things about yourself is a must.

Thinking of others when you've only thought of yourself for two decades is hella difficult but not impossible. I make sure to call my grandmother at least every two weeks. I look for ways to make my wife's life easier around the house. I'm more productive in my downtime so I can make progress on my personal projects so I can be present when the family's doing something. It's a lot of work but my life has demonstrably improved.

"I did NOT have a college fund and was subsequently removed from campus" -- wait, what? This is a thing in the US? We don't even have "college funds" in Australia but if you don't pay your uni fees you just won't get a degree, nobody's going to physically remove you from anywhere, that seems nuts...

Yeah so for us in the States, the concept of a college fund is just a bank account that parents deposit money into over the course of a child's life so when they reach college age there isn't anxiety about the cost of college.

I assumed as much, but why would a student get physically removed from campus just because they didn't have one??

It's not that I didn't have one, it's that my mom lied to me about having one and was instead writing bad checks to the college. They didn't like checks bouncing so I had a few days to get off campus or else.

Believe it or not there was an outcry here when fees were introduced for tertiary education. But you pay them using a government-backed interest-free loan - I think it took me 6 or 7 years to pay off two degrees? Still, as I said, even if for whatever reason you attended lectures etc. without having paid for enrolment, nobody would care.

That’s amazing. I was attending an out-of-state university with no friends or family in the area so that wouldn’t have been an option.

I don’t regret what led me to the life I have now, I just wish it didn’t take as long to get here.

Have you ever considered whether you may have ADHD?

Not saying it’s the case. But if so, that would be an explanation that would make sense to me.

My therapist mentioned the same thing to me recently so I suppose it is worth investigating further.

I had never considered it before that, probably due to lack of understanding of what ADD/ADHD is (when I was growing up the stereotype was high energy kids bouncing off the walls and unable to sit still and focus in class, whereas I was low energy, introverted, and had always done well in school and work so it was never a thought).

i can recognize myself in what you just wrote. and in my case i am pretty sure that it comes from my parents divorce and the lack of role models. there was nobody in my life growing up who would show care for me or for others in the way that your wife (and also mine) was doing it. i have the same issue with generosity. i haven't experienced people being generous as i grew up and as a result i don't know how to do it. it's just not something that i'd think about, and i have to consciously remind myself to share more things with others.

on the other hand, despite being somewhat introvert, i have no problem inviting some of those regilious types, when they come knocking at my door and having a serious conversation with them, while critically inspecting their claims. why? because that i did learn from my dad who was welcoming, open minded yet serious about his own beliefs.

EDIT: I'm in my 5th year of marriage. I've known her for 18 years now, not sure when we started dating...good thing my wife doesn't read HN.

This is probably the most abjectly negative comment section I've seen on HN. Really reddit-tier comments coming from some well aged accounts.

The submission is classic Reddit typical, to be fair. So one should expect a HN user to respond appropriately. I expect the submission to be flagged or at least not be visible on the front page in a couple of hours.

Yep. I suspect this submission is SEO spam, based on the authors other content about... yeah you guessed it, creating SEO spam.

Yeah, who wants to take life advice from someone who describes themselves like this - "I’m an Indiehacker with a goal to teach others what I know about niche products, SEO, and making money online."? Certainly not me.

The whole idea of communicating via notes rubs me the wrong way because the only people who ever tried to do it with me were toxic, manipulative, and didn't care about me as a person. My healthy relationships communicate face-to-face.

Author here - so awesome your marriage lasted 37 years. I can't imagine that loss. Thanks for the kind words.

Sorry to hear about your loss.

I have been married for ~10 years. Ups and downs, but mostly happy to have chosen her. And hoping to get to 37, and past that, and live a long life together. I really hope that.

I think the main lesson from the article is that communication is key. There's different ways of going about it, and daily notes is just one of them.

I guess I just don’t care about any of this. I can tell if my wife (or girlfriend) loves me or not based on body language and actions. These sorts of things have no significance to me, words mean very little. I’m all about action— body language, your tone when speaking, a respectful demeanor, being gracious and pleasant, smiling a lot, keeping the peace - are the only things that matter in my opinion.

My wife is the same way. Words mean little, actions are her love language.

Words are mine. My assumption is everyone means what they say. I tend to take things too literally sometimes.

It’s been hard to figure that out about each other, but once we did it’s been easier to translate our love into the language of the other person.

My point here is that people have differences in the way they operate and some day you might find the love of your life operates differently too. Keep an open mind about it and seek to understand.

I wonder if your significant other feels the same way?

Yeah, notes are the polish, not the foundation.

I'm really sorry to hear that :(

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