This weekend just gone The Man, The Girl and I were at a wedding. The guest book was a lovely departure from the norm of intimidatingly blank pages and provided a series of ‘prompts’ to answer, with glue dots to attach them and stickers to decorate. I am not very happy with the prompt I chose and the answer I gave. I was tired and distracted with an over-stimulated baby wailing on my back and have been kicking myself ever since. The one I should have answered was “What 3 pieces of advice would you give us for a happy future together”. Well, after 11 years together, seven of them
trapped joined in marriage, I’d like to think I have a little bit to say on this topic, so R & K, this blog post is for you…
1 – Always be quick to apologise. Even if you don’t think it was your fault. Even if you were both in the wrong. Take the first step to saying sorry, and you’ll be able to have a real conversation from there and, hopefully, resolve whatever required an apology in the first place. If you’ve married the right person then they’ll apologise too if they were in the wrong.
If you really really weren’t in the wrong then you can still find something to apologise for. Example: “I’m really sorry I started crying and walked away. I just needed some time to calm down. Can we talk now?”
2 – Don’t make unilateral decisions. You were hopefully a team before you got married, but you’re legally committed to each other now and are responsible for each others’ decisions, so make sure you talk about them. I mean, you know, not about whether you wear the blue dress or the red dress to his mother’s party (unless there’s a ‘thing’ with his mum, obvs) but the big stuff like having children, buying a new car or stringing the Christmas tree with white or coloured lights (that’s a big cultural preference y’know. The Man and I still agree to disagree on this).
3 – Have faith in each other. This is bigger than just trusting each other – that’s only about monogamy. No, having faith in each other is trusting that the other has your best interests at heart and has your back. Having faith in each other means trusting that your spouse is doing their very best, trying their very hardest, even if you feel they’re not entirely doing their fair share. In return you need to be deserving of that same faith: have your spouse’s best interests at heart and have their back at all times. Always try your very hardest.
4 – Look after each other. This is a reciprocal arrangement, a little like number 3. If you always go that extra mile to look after them, and they always do the same in return, then both of you will always feel – and be – cared for. Make them that cup of tea, buy them that unexpected present, let them have a lie-in when the kids get you up at 4am.
5 – Have fun together. Life is serious and no-one gets out alive. Take time to be silly together. Have in-jokes, act childish, splash each other in the sea, goose each other, play kiss chase, hold hands. Don’t let the daily grind grind your spirit to dust before your body gets there. Enjoy the life you have together.
These are the five tips I would give anybody embarking on a life together. I wish I had written them in that book. On the way home from the wedding I confessed as much to The Man who turned to me with a smile and told me that he had gone back later and written something
for a change and which one had he chosen? The three tips: have fun together, be quick to apologise, have faith in each other…
I don’t know if that explains the strong marriage, or is the result of 11 years mind-meld 😉