Advice for a happy marriage from one who’s 28 years in…

28 years ago, on 19 May 1990, I married my best friend. We’ve had 2 amazing daughters, have a lovely home, are relatively comfortable and are extremely happy. What advice can I give a couple getting married today?

  • Don’t take each other for granted– it’s very easy when you’re each doing your own thing, having you own careers for your example, to take each other for granted that you will always be there.
  • Make time for each other – we all lead busy lives but always have time for each other that doesn’t get spoilt. Time for the two of you do do something together; a walk or a pub lunch or just sit and chat over a coffee in the garden
  • Make sure you have your own space – conversely to the point above you can’t be in each other’s pockets because that just isn’t healthy. You need your own time to do your thing, bring back your stories and share them with each other. That’s how relationships grow, blossom and transform
  • Have a healthy respectful of one another – being respectful costs absolutely nothing, but so often in marriages it falls by the wayside too soon. Ultimately the person you have married has their own set of values, as do you, so respect them as you would your own. They aren’t silly or wrong they are just different to yours.
  • Laugh – try your best to make each other laugh. In our family we have something called “Never not funny moments”, there are things that never tire of being funny even when you recall them
  • Never go to bed angry – you will no doubt have heard this a MILLION times before, but I can’t reiterate it enough and it doesn’t just relate to bed! You life can change in the blink of an eye, imagine that thing happening and the last words you exchanged were of anger…
  • Children are a blessing to a marriage not a given – many couples try hard to become parents but are never blessed. Others have no problem. My advice… kids are a bi-product of your marriage, the result of your love always remember that. There were you two first (potentially but not always) then kids. Keep things in perspective, there’s room for everyone in a family
  • Have a good work/ life balance – the chances are your husband or wife doesn’t do the same job as you, so don’t chug it down their throat the minute you walk that he door. Of course they want to hear about your day, just be mindful you could get boring! Similarly, don’t work so hard you never see your wife or kids
  • A thoughtful act goes a long way – it doesn’t have to be a grand gesture, a cup of tea when they least expect it works a treat
  • Cuddle often – nothing beats a good cuddle. Like a cup of tea it makes everything ok. Do it often and demonstrate this tactile act love to your kids too, so that they know it’s a positive statement of love
  • Despite equality there are Blue and Pink jobs – Running a home is a joint effort, and division of labour through the “coloured job” system is a good way to approach things. I’m not specifying what job is what colour, just remember, once decided, stick to yours and help out if your other half is struggling with there’s

Marriage is of give and take and never forget that. It’s a joint institution of two people. It’s precious and not disposable. It’s something you work at and be proud of and it definitely matures over time.

Would I do it all again? Absolutely… in a heartbeat!

Until next time lovelies

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