Charlotte: As in…how do you keep your relationship new and exciting when you have been together years and years and have to deal with mundane activities such as putting the bins out?. And I don’t necessarily mean in a sexy in-the-bedroom way. I mean just in general – how do you find the time to remember why you fancy the panties off of each other and make each other laugh until you cry?
Last week my little sister kindly reminded me that Mr O’Shea have been together rather a long time: “Eight and a half years?! that is bloody ages! how do you find anything to talk about?!”
I’m not sure I answered her succinctly to be honest. And it did get my little brain doing the old tick tock I-need-to-make-more-of-an-effort O’Clock.
One of the first things I did was contract some cleaners because keeping on top of the housework is one of chores we both find difficult what with us working such long hours, and subsequently one of the tasks we argue about the most. We have an ace husband and wife team, Dawn and Gary, who just come for an hour or so a week and although admittedly it’s a bit of a luxury, we would easily fritter away what it costs for a continually shiny and germ free kitchen and bathroom on a bottle of wine and a few glossy magazines. I know which one I’d rather invest in.
It’s no big secret that the boy and I don’t have a hell of a lot in common. He loves sports, watching television and is a real foodie. I prefer a good book, am not in the least bit interested in sport (although I do love a bit of ice-skating, does that count?) and unless it’s got the words “ice-cream” or “cake” on the jar I could take it or leave it.
Then I remembered that whilst on Mini-moon and embarking on a particularly deep and meaningful conversation about life, love and everything we discussed the “If you could do anything in the whole wide world what would it be?” question. James’s response astounded me to the point of silence. I expected “Professional Golfer” of “Formula One Racing Driver” or “Master Chef” or a similar expert/skilled career focused pursuit.
Nope. Instead he announced “I would like to be able to play the piano – really well”
Oh. News to me. I didn’t think he was even that into music full stop.
Um…then I promptly forgot all about the whole thing.
Until recently that is. I actually learnt piano for about a year when I was 16 and picked it up pretty quickly, can’t remember why I didn’t continue, possibly became more interested in boys and clubbing at that point.
Once I had the light bulb moment and remembered James’s dream I figured it was something we could do together and I decided to buy us an actual piano….and get lessons. And for anyone that may just happen to be considering the same thing, you can essentially pick up second hand pianos almost for free – there are folks out there who due to a house move etc are practically giving them away for the cost of delivery.
Of course I am well aware that a relationship doesn’t simply require a wealth of material possessions to be successful. We also make a conscious effort to spend time together in the evenings and have at least one night at the weekend where it’s just us. We have recently become completely absorbed in the Mad Men series (and there was me saying I don’t watch much TV!) and spend many an hour discussing it afterwards – the same with movies, we make the effort to record films on Sky Planner and actually watch them these days.
For me intimacy has never been just about the different ways or the frequency of getting naked (although that’s important obviously) but just actually being together and enjoying each others company doing not very much at all.
So go on then lovelies, tell us what it is you gorgeous lot do to create a metaphorical mist of Fabreze when needed?
Jenny: My husband approached me the other day with an article from Men’s Health Magazine. He winked as he handed it over, I knew I should have been alarmed by the way he raised his eyebrows at me in a suggestive manner!
Said article is about 100 days of sex. A married couple undertake the challenge with interesting results.
This is one way of keeping it fresh I suppose. I mean, in our marriage I have spent more time pregnant, than not. We have spent more time moving house, renovating, moving country and having babies than we have just being a bog standard married couple who have the time and the inclination to focus on how to keep it fresh! But then I suppose that’s what works for us. We both keep ourselves so busy that any time we do get to spend together, is perfect.
Now that I resemble a medium sized heffa, and lack of baby sitter for our Willbo, means swanky dinners out or late nights involving culture, music, and alcohol, are a thing of the past. These days, we relish getting hold of a good DVD boxset and spend our spare time getting completely absorbed in what we’re watching (I generally do this whilst eating my body weight in lychees, they taste so good out here!) Anyone seen Breaking Bad? Absolutely genius idea for a tv show. I realise to most this may sound a bit lame. But that’s where life takes you when you’re married with children, and I couldn’t be happier!
When new Baby O arrives, and we are a family of four, and I never, EVER have to go through a pregnancy again, we are just going to focus on being a family, and focus on being a married couple again. But not just that, for the sake of keeping our marriage fresh I need to focus on just being me again. That’s what happens when you become a Mother, you have to be the wife, the mother, the homemaker, and still be true to who you are. I don’t want Mr O just to see me as Mummy, it’s crucial that he still see’s me as the Jenny he fell for 6 years ago. She’s still there, and she will be back with a vengence!
Naomi: It’s so easy to get bogged down in day to day chats about household tasks, asking “how was work?”, talking about things that need done… and all of a sudden, you go an entire day without actually having a real conversation. So to keeps things fresh and thriving, we make actual time for each other.
The idea of date nights pops up everywhere these days. And we’ve had a few. But I have to say that I prefer date days much better. Sometimes Gavin and I will just clear a Saturday and go exploring. Even if it’s just the farmers market, the beach, a park or the zoo. We make a point of getting out of our routine and going somewhere new. It’s usually then filled with kisses, cuddles, coffees and funny conversations. It makes time to talk about anything and everything.
As far as date nights go, my favourites are either going out at night just for dessert (a great one if funds are low and you can’t do the whole dinner) or at-home-date-nights. We’re both massive foodies, so we like to spend time choosing what we want to eat. We’ll then head home with a few bottles of red and spend the entire evening in the kitchen and dining room in candle light, cooking and eating. It’s usually three courses and peppered with brilliant conversations and reminiscing. There’s something very sexy and intimate about it.
But one of the best pieces of advice I’ve been given was to organise a night out, spend you’re evening getting ready separately and meet up at the bar. We’ve done this quite a few times and it never fails to get the butterflies going in my tummy. Even just the ritual of pampering and getting all sexed up for him, knowing that you’ll next see him in a room full of people looking all hot and preened is so exciting. Whether you’re there before him, perched on a barstool with a French 75 in hand… or whether you get to make an entrance, this is a surefire way to get back to being flirty/filthy with one another.
Vix: I am not a very ‘sexy’ person so being honest I don’t make too much effort in that area, I know that sounds bad but I know that Malc thinks I am sexy just the way I am, we fancy the ‘girl next door’ & ‘Calvin Klein boxers’ off one another so we don’t necessarily need anything to sauce it up. In some ways I wish I was in to all that sexy lingerie stuff, but it’s just not me at all.
The way we do make an effort with each other, and this is going to sound so so so cheesy…. ready?! Ahem, we try and make each other laugh. Every morning and every night, no matter what mood we are in there is always something to make us laugh together and I LOVE that, I love to laugh and giggle until I can barely breathe!! Even if we have had the most rubbish day I always always look forward to getting home and actually wait with my face in the front door window when I hear Malc’s car pull in, I pull different faces then open the door to my gorgeous boy.
(I’m sorry – that’s so cringey reading it back but it’s true!)
Laughter is the best ever and is a major part of our relationship…..*Big cheesy grin*
Big Fresher Than Just Cut Grass Love
Charlotte, Jenny, Naomi and Vix xxx