Today we’ve been married for 12 years and in a relationship for 14. So wow! Happy 12th wedding anniversary to my husband-type-person. I really am blessed to share this life with such a generous, kind, warm man. To celebrate this momentous occasion, let’s take a look at the things I’ve learned about relationships. Even though I’m not an expert, the fact that we got here after the last year, well, I must be doing something right. Probably.
We’ll see, shall we? *wiggles eyebrows*
I often write about the funny things that happen in my relationship. Less often now, but it used to be a significant factor in the blog; Sharing the silly or the annoying things Kel does. And there is always plenty. That’s sharing a life and house with someone, right?
Then, sometimes I’d break character and share something sweet, like the way he always kisses me goodbye in the mornings even if I’m asleep. Or when he slept on a mattress on the floor at the foot of the bed while I was sick. Or the time he surprised me with a new knife because I was complaining about the old ones. And, you know, a million stories just like those. I was thinking about it the other day. Thinking that the teasing, the fun, sweetness and laughter that we tend to share online, it doesn’t cover off one essential thing.
Relationships are hard work.
I wasn’t a girl who dreamed of her future husband or wedding. I didn’t plan for children and a household to manage. So nothing surprised me more than falling in love and wanting to marry. As time went on the shock of actually wanting to commit my life to someone wore off, and I settled into the relationship.
Over time, we found a balance and would constantly look for ways to make it work. I cannot imagine that I am an easy person to be married to. And by “cannot imagine I am”, I mean I’m not. I don’t think anyone is. We laughed, cried, fought and spent those horrible times silent when no one would say a thing. I came to realise that this marriage was for life which was a brain bender in itself. I was talking to a friend, telling her that Hubby and I had been married for ten years next year (old story, obvs) and that it was AGES. Such a long time. Soooo long. Ages. She just laughed at me and said ‘honey, you’ve got a long way to go yet’. And it hit me. I do. A long time.
A long, long, long time. God-willing.
Looking that permanence in the eye and deciding that I could continue to be pissy about the pantry door always being left open, or I could be happy. It was time for me to choose. And some days, let me tell you, I don’t choose happy. That cupboard door thing drives me INSANE. Haha. I’ve found that to be married successfully you have to be all in. Open and free with communicating the good and bad and never have one foot out the door. So, a cupboard door can’t be a deal breaker, right? You can’t let it be.
I’m great at relationships that ebb and flow and rise and fall. Ones I can ‘escape’ from. I like space to do my own thing and be on my own without involving them. That’s how I have always made friendships, relationships with my family and colleagues work.
But, I’ve found that you can’t do that in marriage and have any success long-term. You can’t just lock yourself off for extended blocks of time. We are heading very quickly towards me being married for half of my entire life. Not just half of my adult life, MY WHOLE LIFE. Mind blowing. For me, as the years go on, one thing becomes more and more necessary even as I dedicate time to physically and emotionally be ‘with’ Kel.
My point is that when you’re with someone for a while, you have to keep checking in and making sure that YOU are still there. Do you still have interests and relationships aside from your partner? Do you have a hobby or interest that is all yours? My Mum taught me that. Be your own person, have your interests and continue to come back to your partner with new ideas, inspiration and excitement. She’s a wise one, that woman, and not too shabby at this marriage thing after 40 years.
Kel and I have found a good balance when it comes to this. We certainly aren’t the couple that spends all our time together. That works for some people. You know who you are. I think that it’s the finding of what works for you that is the most important. For me, there has been no winning formula that I have been told or shown as an example that perfectly works for us. We found a way that works for us and that my friends, is what it is all about.
Otherwise, it’s a long, long, long, LONG time to be trying to make something fit into an idea you have of marriage. And in my experience, those who are having ‘the perfect’ marriage, with ‘the formula and lots of lines in the sand are the people who find themselves in situations where they can’t forgive the small things. They can’t look at their partner as a whole person with flaws and faults and will one day have that bite them on the butt.
Don’t be that person.
Find your way. YOUR WAY. Work together, keep your feet firmly planted in your relationship and don’t sweat the small stuff (spoiler: It’s all small stuff). Most of all find a way to be married that works for you both and have fun creating a relationship just like that. Do it with lots of love. And sex, always lots of sex. *wink wink*
And now, because it’s Sunday and Sunday is VIDEO DAY, below is 20’ish Questions with Mr Suger to celebrate. Enjoy. If you can give the video a thumbs up, please do so! And if you’re into the YouTube thing, make sure you subscribe. I’ve got a bonus video coming this week that you’re not going to want to miss. How are you going with the videos? The mail opening one is almost at 100 views! Which considering we are like two weeks in, I’m taking as a win. Go team.
Chief Blogger at Suger Coat It; An Australian lifestyle blog for women who work for themselves. Melissa is a social media consultant & lover of stripes. Most weekends you’ll find her at the beach or home on the veranda kicking back. Around here, they call her Suger. Feel free to do the same.