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How to stay married (famous last words)

February 20, 2013

Our wedding

Our wedding

I can hardly believe it. Today husband and I have been married 25 years. Who’d’ve thought it? It sounds so long. It’s a duration our parents celebrate, not young hipsters like us.
Silver Wedding Anniversary has such an aged ring to it……
Obviously it was a February wedding. By neccessity. I was pregnant and this was exactly three weeks after my decree absolute for my divorce came through, giving us the minimum statutory requirement to read the banns. Well, post them at the Registry Office.
I wore the shittest dress. Brown and black. I was about 5 months pregnant and I think thought I’d be bigger than I was so got a mega maternity number. No bridesmaids but we had a witness each to sign the register. My parents crashed the car on the way so were fairly shaken up as I think Dad had knocked someone off a bicycle. I can’t remember the details, but Mum had made the cake and it had slid off the back seat in the ensuing melee.
So we started off in the wrong order, having very little time to ourselves as a couple before baby number one arrived. Then two. Then a bit of a gap and three. But now of course we are having that time on our own as the children grow up and leave home.

I could give you all that lovey dovey guff about communication being the most important aspect of keeping a relationship together; telling your partner how much you love them every day, giving and taking, complimenting each other, making one night a week a special ‘us time’…. but I don’t hang with all that shit.
So here are my

Top Ten Tips for Staying Married

  1. Marry the right person. I tried the wrong person once and it didn’t last 🙂
  2. Do things that make you happy. If you are not happy yourself, you can’t make anyone else happy because you are being a miserable cow.
  3. Don’t take it personally when I tell you to fuck off. I don’t mean it literally I just want to say it.
  4. Don’t expect perfection. From your spouse or yourself.
  5. Focus on the positive. It is easy to be dragged down by your spouse being an annoying cunt, But wait! Try to remember why you got married in the first place (oh yes, I was pregnant), ok then why you got together in the first place (oh yes, he is so clever and funny and thoughtful and…)
  6. Don’t be a fucking martyr . If you don’t like something, spit it out and sort it out.
  7. Don’t compromise. Compromise means no one is happy. There is no point both of you disagreeing with the final decision so one of you has to give in.
  8. Don’t entertain an argument when one (or both) of you is pissed or knackered. It will go on and on, be much worse than it needs to be and everyone will feel shit in the morning. Whoever is the most sober or tired just hike off to bed.
  9. Realise that your work persona and your home persona may be different. Screaming “I don’t get this kind of shit at work” or ” No one has these kind of problems with me except you!” doesn’t lay the blame fairly and squarely with your spouse. Your work colleagues are not fucking married to you and don’t necessarily get to see quite the same side of you.
  10. Keep friends outside the marriage. In both senses. They can be a fantastic safety net to let off steam, be supportive or simply an alternative to looking at your spouse’s miserable fucking face when times are tough 🙂 But don’t let them steer your thinking on how a marraige should work. Their marriages are not the same as yours.
  11. Have a lot of sex (only with each other though).
  12. Remember that the grass may be greener on the other side, but that’s because it’s Astroturf. Real grass does have holes, and moss and need mowing every week. But it’s your children’s backyard and no other patch of grass is.
  13. Stick it out. Even when the going gets tough.

The real reason we are together 25 years on is that neither of us walked. Even when we could have.

Happy Anniversary Darling! xxx

My Silver Weddding Anniversary card

My Silver Weddding Anniversary card

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14 Responses to “How to stay married (famous last words)”

  1. Thanda Says:

    “The real reason we are together 25 years on is that neither of us walked. Even when we could have.”

    This, This, This! is the very best point I’ve ever read. The most important lesson anyone can ever learn in this life is to NEVER GIVE UP. Never throw in the towel. That is the true meaning of Marriage.

    In the words of Jesus concerning marriage “What God hath put together let no man put asunder!”


  2. […] belated celebrations on Saturday  – youngest turning 21 and us having stuck out the 25 years . The latter was only really used as part of the initial justification for having one, as on the day […]

  3. frankjwalker Says:

    Reblogged this on Let's Be Frank and commented:
    Good stuff

  4. Ray and Helen Says:

    Congratulations to both of you and a rather splendid list of hints and great wedding pic. Hope you celebrate in style and have a fantastic night. One to add to your list, look at your fantastic kids and say it was worth it, fucking expensive but worth it x

  5. georgiemcclarke Says:

    Such a nice blog (if a post that includes the word cunt can be classified as nice…) – number 12 is very poetic! Enjoy your dinner tonight xxx

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Totally agree about “don’t compromise”. Neil and I discovered this early on. We wanted ice cream for dessert – I wanted vanilla, Neil wanted chocolate so we compromised on strawberry. That evening as we both sat eating strawberry we looked at one another silently grumpy and agreed there and then that compromise did not work for us. We dumped the strawberry and although there have been more stand offs than we might have otherwise had I can put my hand on my heart and say we have never stopped one another doing something we really wanted to do. My biggest horror would be Neil looking back and saying with regret ” if deb had not been there I would have….”
    The other big light bulb moment for me was when the children were young and I was at home trying and totally failing to be the perfect Mum. Knackered, worried about whether what I was doing for the kids was ok, feeling Neil did not understand how hard it was I opened up to a group of girlfriends and their support, understanding and encouragement transformed both the rest of my early days as a Mum and the rest of my life. The recognition, that although Neil was central to my life, we could not give one amother all the support we needed and that friends were a fundamental need in survival. And boy has that been true. Neil and I have survived as much due to our good friends, both joint and individual, as much as by our own efforts.
    Final point – keep talking, keep laughing, keep hugging.
    Congratulations to you both. Here’ s to the next 25.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Sorry, not anonymous , my mistake
    Jinny x

  8. Anonymous Says:

    Happy Anniversary! Excellent points, well made. Your counting up to 10 slightly suspect though …. X

  9. Michaela Vogt Says:

    And of course congratulations to both of you for having made the 25 years and still be happy together!

  10. Michaela Vogt Says:

    Well said, Sarah! I should print it out and stick the list at the inside of my wardrobe door , just to look it up in some situations…..
    There is already the phrase:”it has nothing to do with me”, which has helped me at various occasions not to take things personal, when someone was in a bad mood coming home!
    See you again soon, hopefully! Love Micha xx


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