10 Years of Marriage & How We Have Made it Work…
We’re married! YAY! (Strawberry Daiquiri was down the front of this dress about 10 mins after this pic was taken, woops! Oh and yes, that’s SJ with long hair!)
Today we have been married for 10 years and it’s all a bit of a head spin really because it certainly doesn’t feel like it has been that long. To be honest we still feel a bit like newly weds and quite possibly still act that way! Since 2003 we have had friends and family marry, procreate, divorce, remarry, bat for the other team, commit adultery and so on. Increasingly we seem to be on the receiving end of “Oh you’re ‘that’ couple” as if we are some foreign species for having made a commitment to each other, stuck to it and actually be happy about it.
Neither of us knew what the future held when we said “I do” and it’s not always been lentils and sugar-free love pops, but one thing is for sure our love for each other and desire to spend the rest of our lives together far outweighs any thoughts of flying solo! Also, getting engaged and then married does turn the dial up a notch so whoever tells you “It’s just a piece of paper” (we believe) is talking bollocks.
We don’t profess to be relationship ‘experts’ but we do know what works for us and what has kept us solid. People often ask us how we manage not to ‘drop our shit’ and ‘keep it together’ so we thought we would share our Top 5 tips for a happy marriage or long-term relationship (we’re forever hopeful that our narrow-minded Prime Minister will approve same-sex marriage!):
- Be on the same money train. Despite growing up in completely different environments as far as money was concerned we somehow both ended up with the same ethos about money and we cannot emphasize enough how important this is! If you have a ‘spend thrift’ married to a ‘tight wad’ there is bound to be problems so if you are not aligned at the beginning of the relationship, you need to sort this one out quick smart or things are going to get ugly. It’s a deal breaker.
- Maintain your own identity. By this we don’t mean outlawing matching tattoos or keeping your own surname, we mean having your own hobbies, group of guy/gal pals and not being co-dependent on your partner in social situations. Ladies, if you drag your bloke along to a strictly ‘girls night out’ you will not only lose your girl friends quicker than you can say “Marian Keyes” but your bloke will resent you for it. Taking some time out and having your own life experiences is just as important as sharing time together.
- Talk lots. Seems simple, right? Apparently not! We have listened to endless people whine about their relationships only to find that they haven’t had a ‘real’ conversation with their partner about how they are feeling in years. We don’t mean the “please stop farting in the bed” type conversation; we mean the “I’m scared”, “I’m feeling vulnerable” or “I did a bad thing” type conversation. Talk about it. Don’t run from it. Don’t let fear (your ego) take hold.
- The Customer is always right! We all know the customer is not always right, but in the interests of good business you make them think they are, right? There are certain situations in a relationship where you just need to let things go, you don’t always need to be right and fight to the bitter end. You can choose to direct your energy in a more positive way. Suck it up and scream into a pillow in the guest room if you have to!
- Laugh. This releases all kinds of tension from completely unrelated spectrums that could have the potential to turn ugly in a marriage or long-term relationship. Silly movies work a treat! We recently celebrated our descent in to middle age and saw ‘This is 40’ and it was seriously good therapy. We both laughed-out-loud (a sneaky snort may even have got away) and nodded knowingly at the screen remembering that we are both human, we screw up some times, words can come out wrong, that things are ‘figureoutable’ before they are ‘unrecoverable’ and that surprise gifts are mandatory even when your wife says she doesn’t want anything for her birthday/Easter/Xmas/Mother’s Day!
James MacDonald – our incredible piper!
I never thought I would get married but I hadn’t ruled it out completely. My parents gave marriage a crack several times each and they sucked at it, really badly. They both became quite resentful and bitter about the whole arrangement so I was dubious.
It was my Grandparents that showed me how being married really worked, how to be in tune with another person without losing your own identity. My Grandparents were adorable; they really looked after each other, even when old age didn’t make it look so desirable. The bond they had was unbreakable. My Grandfather passed away and my Grandmother died of a broken heart less than a year later. They literally couldn’t live without each other.
I knew early on that Tate was ‘the one’ so I never had any anxiety or conscious thoughts about us getting married. Somewhere deep in the back of my mind I figured it might just happen one day and I was open to it. This made Tate’s proposal whilst we were on holiday in the Greek Islands all the more special, I couldn’t have been more surprised! (or red – mild case of sun stroke!)
Tate is truly my soul mate. I get a bit ‘woo woo’ about it at times as I believe we have known each other once before. I cannot imagine life without him. Here’s to many more decades darling!
I always thought that I would be married one day although it was never a conscious thought about by when, why or where. I guess that’s probably because my parents and people I knew growing up in a small country town were all married and very few people got divorced, it just seemed ‘normal’.
It was a combination of many things, not one single event that resulted in the feeling that the time was right to propose and that I wanted to get married to SJ. Pretty soon after that on a rainy day in London I found myself sitting with a jeweller sketching out the design for SJ’s engagement ring, answering a call to her as I was leaving the shop, telling her I was just leaving work, which was technically true, it was on the way home! I can’t imagine us ever being apart. Happy Anniversary SJ
Here’s to love!