What Makes a Good Marriage?

In the way things often happen in my life, only the other day (very timely, given this wifey week we had planned) I was driving down the road with Pete and thought, we are meant to be together. That might sound a little bit random, but bear with me while I share the story.

Two days before I had been driving home from work, trying to get into the lane I needed to turn right and a huge Volkswagen drove past on my right. I can only describe the vehicle as a bus, and there was a man at the wheel, with his wife I assume and a teenage daughter in the back. The car was full of luggage and they were obviously going away but they all looked very bored with life and cheesed off. For all I know anything could have been happening to them that day, but my first thought was ‘please don’t ever let me drive a bus like that…’

Two days later in the car with Pete, we were driving to B&Q (I’m so rock’n’roll) and a similar bus-like MPV pulled out in front of us. We both fell silent as we had been chatting about something or other and Pete suddenly said, ‘Please don’t ever let us have a car like that!’

I couldn’t help myself but laugh. This isn’t a story about fancy cars, or material aspirations, (although my husband is a car fanatic so it probably was for him!) but about good partnerships. It’s not a profound example, but it’s a good one, of the feeling that I get most days when I’m with Pete. That feeling that we’re on the same page.

I say most days, because there are days I don’t see him. We are independent, the blog takes hours of my time and we both work very hard. Fortunately for me, Pete is sociable and sporty and keeps himself busy, which might sound a recipe for disaster, but I know he does it in support of me. Of course, he wouldn’t stop playing football if I stopped doing the blog, but he certainly makes sure he allows me the time I need to do something I love. There are also days, as happens when you have been with somebody for ten whole years, which we will have been later this year, that life just goes on and you might even forget to look at each other. There are days when I want to kill him, like the time I came home and found a patch of cement coloured paint on the wall in our living room, because he ‘wanted to decorate’ so thought he’d try a tester pot. Or the day I came home from London at almost midnight, stepped onto what should have been our path and almost missed my footing because the newly torn up surface that used to be our path was now 2 inches lower than I anticipated.

I’m a realist, not a romantic and I think thats what it takes to make a marriage work. I always remember thinking my parents were going to get divorced one night as a child when I heard them having a particularly heated discussion, but when I went downstairs crying about it my mum said, ‘It’s the people who don’t talk who have a problem”. I believe in communication, talking about your day, your problems and your deepest darkest desires. I don’t think it’s being married that has taught me these things, but being married to Pete. The way he cares for me, seeks to understand me and supports me, has taught me by example the kind of wife I want to be. Two years of working at that has brought us even closer together. A solid united front and a team.

However, I am getting off the point, which is, I don’t have the answers when it comes to what it takes to have a happy marriage, but I’m learning and I think that’s what it’s all about, learning together. You make mistakes, you say sorry but you always work at it.

So, the message here is that I don’t have the answers, but regardless, because I’m not the shy type and most of you here usually appreciate my honesty, I thought I would share some of my top tips for staying happy, not just two, but ten years later. I hope some of these resonate with you, make you laugh and most of all, I hope they make you think of your own little tips, because we want you to hear the little secrets to YOUR happy relationship, accompanying stories optional 😉

Laugh together, often. It might sound obvious, but you know what they say, if you don’t laugh you cry and it helps remind you both you’re on the same side of whatever battle has been drawn that day, even if it’s between you, the leaking toilet and the dripping ceiling.

Flirt. If you’re a few years in, flirting might not be a given, but a bit of cheeky banter is great for bringing back all the excitement of the first few weeks and months.

Surprise each other, and I don’t mean with gifts. Pete often leaves the house and asks me to tidy up for example and more often than not, when he gets back, I’m still sat here in front of the computer screen blogging away. I don’t purposely not do it, time just runs away. So on the occasions I make the effort to get up and do it, he loves it and knows I made the effort for him. He also loves it when I do my ‘football chat’ – Pete’s an avid footballer and follower, so when there’s a big match he’s always talking about it. If I hear something on the radio on the way home, I might chip in with some learned comment about the team selection or latest gossip and he’s always taken by surprise. (I think he also secretly loves that if he lets me talk a bit longer I invariably get myself into deep water and give away my lack of actual knowledge.)

Save time for each other. Pete and I are our relationship’s own worst enemy, we’re so social that when we have free time we spend it with everyone else, even if it is as a couple. Add the blog to that and it’s a disaster. So Friday night in our house is pizza night. Charlotte and Adam can testify I rarely work on Friday nights, and we just spend it with each other. Easy food, a bottle of wine and reconnect before the weekend, when we often haven’t had a proper conversation all week. Pizza is the food of love 😉

Keep your own interests and your own friends. It’s easy to fall into the socialising as couples only thing but I think it’s really crucial to spend time away from each other, so you get a different perspective on your own issues and everyone else’s!

Lastly, the most obvious one, the most important one. Talk. About everything, from how your day went, to what you want out of life. Sharing your thoughts and dreams make the foundations of your life together strong, and means you grow together.

I could go on forever, but now it’s over to you… share your tips, secrets, insights and funny stories please. I’m willing to bet there’s some serious pearls of wisdom between you all out there!

Yours (feeling like an old married agony aunt but happier than ever) Truly,

Rebecca
xoxo

PS Thanks go to my Mum, for teaching me most of what I know about relationships and being a wise woman indeed 🙂

Author: Becky Sappor
Becky is at her happiest when dunking a slightly chilled chocolate digestive into a very warm, very milky cup of tea. She also loves her job and pinches herself every day to make sure that she isn’t in a graphic design dreamworld.

42 thoughts on “What Makes a Good Marriage?

  1. I too have been with my boy for 10 years and I think the happiest we have have been is the last 5 when we realised the following:

    – When you move in together, saying hello before you go to work and goodnight before you go to bed is not the same as spending time together!

    – Playing to your strengths (me: being organised, him: providing the light relief) works better than me trying to force him to be more organised!

    – Locking ourselves in the house for the weekend and turning our phones off is a very good substitute for a holiday

    – In times of great stress, any kind of loud and raucous singalong in the car will work wonders!

  2. I love it when my other half’s reaction surprises me.
    If I’ve bought something I shouldn’t have, or made some awkward plans where I think he is going to be snappy or disappointed, and then he isn’t! He’s totally cool and lovely.
    I try to return the favour on a regular basis when I can tell he’s telling me something he thinks I’m going to be funny about.
    I’m not as good at it as he is but I feel good when I succeed. And of course he does too.

  3. Aww, I LOVE these sharey types of RMW posts!

    Ok, here is my advice after 6 years of togetherness:

    – if he has peed you off, tell him! More often than not, he doesnt realise he has and hopefully then rectifies whatever it was that peed you off in the first place!

    – share your plans e.g. job hunting. He can very helpful and logical with stuff like that.

    – let him figure out why the central heating is leaking and not you! Mahj + spanner = bad times!

    – always say goodbye in the morning with a kiss and a cuddle

    – randomly text him to say I love you

    – have regular date nights a la Rebecca and Pete’s Pizza Night! My personal favourite is a Nandos/GBK followed by a trip to the cinema.

    xoxo

  4. Brilliant post.
    I think you have to know what each others strengths and weaknesses are – be aware of your own as well – and play to them.
    I had a 2nd mini hen night on Saturday with close family and everyone gave me some words of advice for married life – I think my sister’s was especially good. She said ‘don’t say no to sex; you never regret saying yes but you might regret saying no.’ I think she’s right to be honest it’s one of those things that slips down the to do list but it’s the only thing we can give each other that no one else can, so it’s so important to feeling connected as a couple.

  5. I agree. I think it’s important to make an effort with your appearance. I spend a fortune on work wear to make me look and feel good but change into slops as soon as I get home. That isn’t good. You want the man you live with to appreciate the good stuff to.

    Speak before you go to bed. We live apart (stupid job) and make a point of speaking before we go to sleep, just to say goodnight.

    Laugh. At each other sometimes.

    Be open. About everything (including gasp say it ‘sex’ and why it’s your turn to hang the laundry up).

    Share. Housework. I cook. He washes the plates. I do the laundry. He irons my shirts (darts get me everytime).

    Share. Almost everything else. He doesn’t need to see you wax your top lip. Remain slightly mysterious.

    Surprise each other. I occassionally cut his sandwiches into a heart shape. It drives him insane (wastage).

    Love posts like these.

  6. Fee I think yours are exactly the same as ours – especially the car singalongs and playing to your strengths! We’re 9 years this August. And you guys have just reminded me I need to get an orange wednesday code so we can ‘date’ tomorrow night!

  7. loving the wifey posts – can’t imagine why 😉

    mr r.now always says that you should make the most effort for your other half rather than your work colleagues, friends etc. this means making an effort to look nice, having good manners, paying compliments etc. its easy not to but it really pays dividends, after all, they ARE the one you chose to marry!

    mrs r.now x x x

    oh and PS, get a satnav.

  8. Listen, Laugh and Learn.

    Sounds like a horrible cliché but I really believe it to be one of the truest statements in our marriage.

    Also remember that a wedding is just for one day, a marriage is for life.

    x

    P.S. Another great post Rebecca!

  9. Rebecca – I like that one: Share. Housework.

    A friend of mine, after a few too many glasses of wine looked at me like I had insulted every single one of her foremothers when I said that 98% of the time (sometimes, please, even food isn’t getting me off the sofa!) I cooked supper in the evenings, it usually being ‘on the table’ (we don’t have one!) when himself walks through the door from work (he commutes). I did have to point out that she was focussing on the wrong thing. Yes, I cook every night, however, he washes up every night and I can tell you know which task I prefer!

    I think that’s what it is for me – being part of a team with your best buddy. Sorry, I know that’s soppy but that’s my favourite part of it all!

  10. I second Rebecca’s keep your own interests and own friends… my nowhusband and I met through our hobby and had shared a social group for years before we were together as a couple so it’s really important to maintain the tiny bit of social stuff we DON’T have in common. Otherwise we really would blend into the same person.

    Recognise when you’re arguing for a purpose and when you’re just bickering to have the last word/be right. We’ve finally started learning to let it roll on by when it just doesn’t matter (not easy – we’re both pig headed!)

    Finally, and most importantly, never EVER take each other for granted. You chose this person for a reason, and they chose you. Don’t let the day-to-day stuff cloud your vision and make that any less special than it is.

    Px

  11. We’ve only been married two months, so I am by no means expert….but the things that help keep us ticking over nicely are

    – Being affectionate – a kiss and hug morning and night, and holding hands. Physical closeness doesn’t have to be of the nookie kind, merely being close is enough

    – Keep talking – as your mum says, those who don’t talk are the ones in trouble. You might not always like what you hear, and he might not like hearing the tough stuff either, but it’s always better out than in and it ends up pulling you closer together.

    – Having a shared interest, but interests of your own too. And each having an interest in the others interests too, I might not like xbox but I do listen. Just as he listens when I witter on about X-factor or what ever other ‘rubbish’ telly I’m watching

    – Reading from the same page – one of you wanting to go off and travel, with the other wanting to homemake does not make for a happy partnership. Check in with each other regularly that the path you are on is the one that is leading you to your ultimate goal as a couple

    x

  12. What a fab post…

    We have been together 8 years in and 1yr 4months as old marrieds, we have wonderful days, good days and the odd bad but are generally blissfully happy and completely on the same page.

    I think the talking thing is really THE most important. Friends of ours never talked about the important stuff and in 4 years never had an argument and now they are so sadly divorcing. It has really reinforced the importance of telling each other your fears, annoyances, your dreams (even if they do make his eyes roll!) and your peeves.

    Time together on your own – you really can’t beat making time for each other on your own, turn off the TV, computer and sit down at the table and have a meal together. So often life gets in the way and it’s important to re-connect.

    Compromise where necessary, sometimes it is hard but it is so important if only to show that you each value the others opinions or wishes.

  13. ….Oh and never go to bed on an arguement – my mum told me this one years ago and it has really stuck with me….even if we are not talking we always give each other a kiss and say love you before we go to bed…..9 out of 10 times it also solves the not talking 😉

  14. My best piece of advice would be to be true to the kind of couple that you are. You may be very openly affectionate and loving in public, you may not. You may speak to each other ten times a day, you may speak to each other once. You may say I love you every day, you may say it once in a blue moon. You may buy each other flowers, you may go out on dates, you may just have curled up nights in and show your love in different ways.

    You should never let yourself think or be convinced that your way is wrong, though. Some people I know need their relationship to be “right”, the right way to have a relationship, and they feel the need to undermine relationships that function differently. There is no right way to have a relationship, no-one but the two of you will ever know or understand how your relationship works, anyway. So, don’t defend it, don’t feel obliged to change it, just have the courage to be true to what works for you. After all, everyone is different, so every relationship is bound to be different too.

    Oh, and I agree with laugh. My favourite time is at night, when we go to bed, and I cuddle up to him and we chat about completely ridiculous nonsense and generally behave like daft giggly children. Every time I think the same thought “this man is my favourite and I never want anything but this”

    xx

  15. Awww a great post Rebecca, love hearing everyones advice makes me wish I was at home with my fave rather than at work.

    So I will try and give my tips to keep it happy (although not been with Mr M as long as some of you lovelies, I have been in a 7yr relationship before which was a disaster so I think you learn from the bad too) sorry if its repetitive of the above tips.

    1) Be honest. Even if its silly and you are in a morky mood and don’t want to share why this is, it really helps to let him in on it…e.g. me sometimes it is simply cos my hair wont do what I want or have nothing I want to wear and yet he is thinking it is something he has done (yes that can put me in a stinker of a mood).

    2) Don’t sweat the little things, it stops you from enjoying the amazing time you have when your together. It’s not worth it. Well not always.

    3) Laugh, at each other, at other people and at daft things that could really wind you up otherwise (apt for wedding planning). A good belly laugh really lifts your mood, and to me him laughing is one of my fave sounds!

    4)Say sorry. If you are in the wrong but still feel like sulking, try and be a big girl and apologise..I find it hard but feel so much better after. Sulking equals big waste of time. (I read somewhere recently in advice columns that as long as one of you apologises, then you are in a good pair because it doesnt matter who is in the right…as long as one of you can say sorry..it will all be alright. And my other half is amazing for apologising even when I have been an utter idiot!)

    5)Make time for each other and texts/calls/internet are banned. It makes such a difference, even if it is one night or just an afternoon…it is sooooo good to just forget the world exists.

    6)Don’t take each other for granted, Mr M is so amazingly fantastic for many reasons,but it’s easy to forget the little things sometimes and they really do make him a little superstar.

    I don’t know if this is advice or just me gushing, but either way it’s lovely to share it and I hope we are just as happy if not more once we are married. I wholeheartedly know what you mean when you say you belong together and its a fantastic feeling. I think after being in a bad relationship previously for so long I didnt know how happy you can be with the right person. Now I do and its the bees knees!!

    Looking forward to the rest of you lovely lots advice and thanks Rebecca for making me want to run home and give Mr M a massive big hug xx

  16. One of the best pieces of advice we were given (at our pre-marriage classes) was ‘love smartly’. What they meant was, it’s no good lavishing someone with gifts and ‘I luurve you’ stuff without clarifying what THEY like. Not what we are told a partner likes as a sign of love. If you take time to find what THEY like (rather than what you like/you want them to like/you assume they like) communication and care, little gestures- all become like gifts. For example, it’s no good buying a huge box of chocolates and flowers if- deep down- the other person really isn’t sweet toothed and has hayfever (this is a really obvious example, but basically it’s one of those things we are ‘supposed’ to do when being romantic). They might prefer a stinky piece of cheese – or even a drive out somewhere nice instead.

    Basically, thinking of a spouse as a loved person, rather than a ‘husband/wife/lover’ with cookie cutter needs and desires is the key. Other people might think ‘what unromantic fools’ – but understanding each other as people, not as romantic marketing stereotypes (which is hard come wedding time) is key.

  17. I’ve been with my H2B for 5 years and in that time we’ve seen lots of our friends relationships hit the dust. We are in the lucky position that both sets of our parents are still together, so we look at marriage as a lifetime commitment, not just a passing fancy. (not that I’m suggesting any RMW ladies do!)
    I strongly believe we work because we have very similar personalities and the exact same sense of humour. Our relationship is all about laughter. We talk about everything as well, I am a perpetual worrier, he keeps me grounded.
    We never go to bed on an argument. EVER! I couldn’t sleep if we hadn’t made up.
    I think the best piece of advice is learning to give and take. It’s hard, and sometimes all I want to do is throttle him. But I know he would do anything for me, the same way I would for him.

  18. Although we arent married yet we have been together for 8 years.
    * Be each others rock – sometimes he’s down, sometimes its you…sometimes everything seems to be against you… when we are like this we hug and say ‘its you and me against the world baby’…
    * Recognise when its not HIM you are cross at but someone else, and then try not to take it out on him
    * Make each other laugh.
    * Kiss, cuddle, hold hands, play fight, have nookie
    * Silliness is definately underrated
    * Play on Spotify and dance around the living room
    * Say sorry and kiss and make up

    Also, not neccessarly a strict life plan, or anything in stone but a general idea of a future.

    The other day when we were looking at accommodation near our venue, we stumbled across a beautiful village and we said at the same time: ‘one day we’ll live somewhere like this’

    I guess stuff like that, having similar dreams, even if they don’t happen for a long time. A

    nd although in many ways we are very different (me, social, extroverted, dreamer: him, quiet around new people, not into small talk, pragmatic) we have similar values and get excited about very serious (politics) and very silly stuff too!

  19. I LOVE this post! I’ve been married for only 6 weeks and all this advice is perfect 🙂 It’s definitely been an amazing few weeks so far, but this advice helps to keep it grounded and prepared for the times ahead.

    My favourite: playing to your strengths.

    Thank you RMW! x

  20. I agree with so much of the above advice, and great post Rebecca.

    But my one, abiding rule and the one I truly believe will serve me and Mr K through the long haul is…

    PICK YOUR BATTLES

    Marriage is a tricky ship to steer. Don’t rock the boat unnecessarily. If you’re arguing, know when to step back, and when to “swallow it annd shut up”. There is no point keeping chipping away at a point when it’s a small win. Save your arguments for the good stuff, the meaty stuff, the stuff you believe in and can’t live without.

    Bickering is exhausting, debilitating and erodes away patience.

    Not that I’m saying it’s easy to “swallow it and shut up”. My god, it’s hard work! x

  21. Rebecca I think you’re Ace! Great post.

    I have been with my hubby for 11 years and married for just over a year. Here are my pearls of wisdom(sorry if some of this has already been said);

    -Never let a problem or argument fester, speak about it and deal with it, the longer you leave it the more damage it can do. i.e. giving eachother the silent treatment. Sometimes you have to agree to disagreements and say sorry and move on.

    -Make eachother laugh often, it truely is the best medicine.

    -Say I love you with a kiss before you go to sleep.

    -Say ‘yes’ often. By that I mean the little things like if he asks you to iron his clothes, or run a errand, or load the dishwasher…Sometimes you don’t feel like doing it but a positive attitude is always recipricated!

    -Remember that marriage is forever and that its not always easy, it takes hard work at times but its worth it!

    x

  22. I love this post, it’s great advice! Me and the boy have only been together 3 and a bit years (getting married next year) so we are fairly new at this game. Over the past few years one thing I have found that has been really important to both of us (on top of the talking, laughter, date nights, cuddles, sharing of chores) is being able to be quiet together. Our house is usually pretty chaotic, (friends coming and going and a particularly noisey cat) and sometimes on a Sunday afternoon nothing makes me feel closer to the boy than sitting at opposite ends of the sofa, him with The Sunday Times and me with a stack of bridal/glossy mags and just reading for a few hours. Just knowing that we can be in each others company and be utterly comfortable without having to say anything is amazing.

  23. Rebecca I think you’re Ace! Another great post.

    I have been with my hubby for 11 years and married for just over a year. Here are my pearls of wisdom(sorry if some of this has already been said);

    -Never let a problem or argument fester, speak about it and deal with it, the longer you leave it the more damage it can do. i.e. giving each other the silent treatment. Sometimes you have to agree to disagreements and say sorry and move on.

    -Make each other laugh often, it truly is the best medicine.

    -Say I love you with a kiss before you go to sleep.

    -Say ‘yes’ often. By that I mean the little things like if he asks you to run a errand, load the dishwasher, make a cup of tea…Sometimes you don’t feel like doing it but a positive attitude is always reciprocated! Its all about give and take and 50/50.

    -Be a realist. Remember that marriage is forever, that its not always easy and like any relationship it takes work at times, but its worth it!

    x

  24. I want to add another I have just thought of while daydreaming about him.

    Think about the little things. They really count. Like on Sundays he makes me breakfast, and always incorporates a love message in it..like sun gone it was a heart shaped pancake (after weigh in of course!). I often leave him little notes around the house just to say I love you or something humourously dirty. He buys me lovely presents for no other reason and I have a box of all the cards we buy and write to each other for no reason other than to say nice things to each other in.They are lovely to look back on!

    And the last one for me which may just be a note to self thing, he doesnt really care about the bits you hate about yourself. I often hide my wobbly bits cos I feel insecure but he reminds me constantly that he loves me how I am. Being a yoyo dieter etc it makes a big difference to hear those words now and then xxx

  25. This post made me smile Rebecca! We were on a car journey a couple of weeks ago when we overtook a similar sounding bus to yours except our couple looked happy. I immediately thought “I’d love us to have one of them one day” and my boy said “hope we can have one of those one day”. We had the same click moment as you did although our sentiments were reversed!!

    My tip? Go for late evening – just before bed – walks together.

    My favourite thing ever.

    xx

  26. Rebecca this blog made me cry! I can totally relate to everything you said and just reading it made me cry a few happy tears.

    I have been with my husband for 12 years in December and married for 15 months (I should give up reading about weddings but this blog makes that impossible, have been following you and Charlotte since YAYW days!). We were lucky enough to get pregnant on our honeymoon and we now have a gorgeous 4 month old little boy so the first year of married life was pretty much me getting bigger and bigger. Anyway I digress……………………………basically what makes us work is making a effort, an effort to look nice for each other, to flirt, to talk, to laugh the list goes on and on.

    It is hard when you have another person to think about but the reason we have lasted so long and are still happy is due to us both wanting the same thing but also recognising our differences and learning from each other.

    Anyway I am not a regular poster but this really made me smile so thank you! xx

  27. Rebecca – Brilliant post! Because of this I just called the Boy to tell him I love him even though I’ve been emailing him all day!

    Pearls of wisdom after 6 years are:

    – Never go to bed on an argument – I actually did this not too long ago and I felt like cr*p all night and didn’t sleep well at all.

    – Pick your fights and learn to recognise when it’s not him you’re annoyed at – especially if its because you’re exhausted.

    – Always tell him you love him before you go to sleep. The Boy and I spent 2 years living apart and we rang each other every night just to say I love you.

    – Make each other laugh as much as possible. On the flip side of this, also appreciate those moments where you don’t even have to talk to be close to each other – just being there is sometimes enough.

    – Always hug! You can be having the cr*ppest day ever (or in my case crying at Sam dying in Waterloo Road) and a hug can make everything okay again in your world.

    – Talk. I will admit to being really bad at this sometimes but as soon as I’ve said whatever it is that’s bothering me I always feel better. It’s true what they – A Problem shared is a problem halved.

    – Have sex. Even if it requires scheduling – which I realise is the most unromatic concept ever – it’s worth it. As Kathryn said – you won’t regret saying yes

    – Always say you’re sorry -even if it wasn’t your fault.

    – Talk – everyday – even if it’s just about your day, something that’s on your mind -or the “rubbish” you watch on the TV (in my case Glee!)

    I truly believe that if you do this and want to make it work it will. The Boy and I are so different (me: RAF Child, sociable, dreamer, idealist, live in a “shiny, happy world” as he puts it; him: worrier, quite shy, hates being the centre of attention, pragmatist) but because we were brought up with the same values, somehow it works!

    Love posts like these!

    xoxo

  28. Hello again!

    On a rare early finish… I’m sat in the pub with my husband and our friend Andy and the two of them are deconstructing my post! The cheek!

    Anyway, thanks so much to all if you who have replied… Some specific shout outs:

    Laura! Ha! I was thinking there would be someone out there that would think that! Like you say, it’s all about finding the right person, and as my wise mum says, pete and I dint spoil another couple 😉

    Katielase – you’ve hit the nail on the head of what I was thinking reading the initial comments here… Everyone’s relationship is so different and (in another of my mums wise quotes) you don’t know what goes on behind closed doors. Marriage is like being in your own private fan club I think, pete is my biggest supporter, my harshest critic and I know there are people who think their relationship outstrips ours but for me, nothing ever will. Very wise lady.

    Anna K – you just quoted my mum too! So true!

    To all of the rest if you, who cried or thought about why you love your other half, I’m happy you are all happy 🙂

    Xoxo

  29. Great posts from everyone, and more of the same from me. We’ve been together almost 3 years and married for just over 2 months, but having had a a previous 12 yr rleationship where we didn’t work as a team, that’s by far the biggest thing for me – we’re team M-B all the way and look out for each other all the time.

    I also do 90% of the cooking, not because I feel I have to / should do, but because I enjoy it and I know the boy hates it! He takes out the bins (*shudder*) and does the stuff I hate so I know it works our fair. Life really is too short to argue over housework – but if I ever feel like I’m being taken for granted (not often) I’ll make sure I say so and won’t just fester. Communication is so important and we’ll often start giggling if we bring up something trivial in a serious way (like laying Tshirts flat on a radiator so they dry nicely rather than scrunching them up to dry all fustily!!)

    Interests: I sincerely believe if you love someone, the happiness they gain from an interest, makes you happy by default. With Mr M-B that’s going off for a long cycle early on a Sat morning. I love the fact that he gets so much pleasure from it and I get time to do my own thing.

    Sex: We both have demanding jobs and work long hours. It sounds unromantic to schedule it in but sometimes needs must! And there’s nothing sexier than the other person letting you / them know their intentions for later on.

    We also know that we confide our deepest, darkest worries / concerns and I know that my boy won’t judge me and vice versa. Likewise, we can be as divvy as we like with each other – I totally agree on the laughter and making my husband laugh really makes my heart sing.

    Take pleasure in the little things. Every morning without fail, my husband makes me a cup of tea as soon as I wake up. He may not be great at flowers, but tea, 7 days a week, 356 days a year, says a lot more than endless presents ever could 🙂

    Say sorry! We both know when we’re in the wrong and recognising it to the other persons shows respect. I still struggle with this sometimes, but it’s such an easy thing to do and so worth it.

    And my favourite thing? A proper cuddle last thing at night and first thing in the morning, telling each other ‘I love you’ – it’s the best. xxx

  30. Lovely post Rebecca, has really struck a chord with me. The past few months have been quite tough, planning a wedding and a full time job can be, as I’m sure we all know, quite full on at times but when you throw illness and surgery into the mix it can get a bit more complicated!

    My other half has been so fantastic and supportive over these past few months whilst I’ve been recovering, taking care of the planning, house and me and it’s really confirmed how lucky I am to be marrying him! I think it’s so important to always talk, make time for each other, never go to bed on an argument, as has been mentioned above, don’t be afraid to say sorry (even if you don’t feel it’s your fault!), and the biggest thing I’ve learnt this year is to always make an effort to be there for each other, even if you’ve got a lot going on in your own life and feel exhausted!
    x

  31. I have been reading this blog religiously for the best part of a year, and I have to say this has to be my favourite post by far. Reading rebecca’s original post and all the comments after has reminded me of all the lovely things the future hubby does for me day to day, that if I’m honest I sometimes take for granted.

    Like perdita said, it’s not about big showy displays of affection or how we “should” show it, but about knowing that person well enough to cheer them up/apologise in a personal way. My other half brings me Jaffa cakes 🙂

    X

  32. I’ve only been married for five months, but something I’ve seen both make and break marriages is purusal. A husband must always pursue his wife, until the day they die. The failure to do so causes us to resent them- we don’t feel wanted or sought after anymore. I watched it play out in my parents marriage and nearly caused them to split. It was until my dad started making an intentional effort to pursue my mom that they could love each other again.

    My husband has promised me he’ll never stop dating me. I know that’s easy to say only 5 months in, but I believe he’ll do it.

  33. Patience, compromise, love and kindness. The four most important things in a relationship….. Fact!

    This article was so heartwarming and inspiring I really loved reading it 🙂

  34. Rebecca! Such a wise lady! Although possibly too young and glam for proper ‘agony aunt’ dowdiness, you’ve got the advice spot on! My husband and I have been married 6 months exactly, and have spent the majority of that travelling and working together. Sometimes it gets a little full-on when you’re constantly in each other’s pockets and in each other’s space (it’s the flip-side to the ‘never seeing each other’ life we had when we were engaged) and we realised together, the other day, that if we felt like tiffing we needed to breath and re-appreciate how lucky we are to be together all the time at the moment… we know we’ll miss it when it’s back to real life.

  35. Aw- I love your posts, Rebecca! Very timely for me as I have been married a feeble 2 weeks (although been together for 10)
    I know what you mean about the “meant for eachother” thing- we have something odd with illnesses and injuries! If I bump my head or something at work, I’ll come home and he’ll tell me of his headache that came on suddenly! If one of us gets a cut, the other one gets a spot or mark in the same place- FREAKS!

    Don’t feel qualified to give advice, but I’m trying to make it my wifely duty to always remember how extrordinarily lucky I am.

  36. We’re not married but have lived together for about 6 years now. Our method of survival is speaking on the phone at lunchtime every day. It might seem odd seeing as we live together, but it’s often the best conversation we have all day.

  37. I totally agree with your post. I consider myself a realist, not a romantic. I’ve been with my fiancee for 6 years, engaged for 9 months. To me its no coincidence that our engagement came after the hardest year of our lives because its when you go through that and come out the other side with a relationship in tact that you realise the strength you have together.

    We have friends who say things like ‘our relationship is amazing because we’ve never spent a second apart since we’ve met and we have never have a single argument’. I cant think of anything worse than a relationship where i can’t have my own space, my own social life and with every argument i’m sure that i’ve learnt something a little more about the boy.

    We have lived together for 3 years now and my favourite ‘relationship rule’ type thing we have is one night a week we spend it with each other, it doesnt actually have to be going out, it can b a movie night but there is NO talk of work, university, housework etc. Its like a night off from reality <3

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