My twelve marriage tips to celebrate my twelve years of marriage

On November 14th, 2004, me and my number one got married in front of our closest family and friends in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where we were living at the time. It was an incredible day, an amazing week in fact, just being with all of our family and friends and having so much fun and making amazing memories.

I seriously don’t know where that time has gone. Where has it gone, people? Time really does go too quickly and I know we know it, but we really do have to savour and enjoy all of these experiences because they really are what life is all about and what makes us keep getting out of bed every morning, knowing we are wrapped in a huge blanket of love, passed on to us from our friends, family and most importantly each other.

So on this special day of ours, instead of starting off the day with a champagne breakfast, try a frantic school run and cleaning up dog sick! (Our dog stole a tub of butter off the work top yesterday and we were brutally reminded this morning why we don’t leave any food on the work top! Thanks Pancho.) Instead of starting the day with celebrations and gifts, I am writing this post instead and offering 12 gifts of my wedded wisdoms and marriage quirks. I know, I’m nice like that.

So here they are. Take them, leave them, but here’s my two pence worth about what I’ve learned to appreciate in twelve years of marriage.

This is seriously like the only wedding photo I have on my computer. Need to find the rest!

This is seriously like the only wedding photo I have on my computer. Need to find the rest!

It really is okay to not like your partner now and again.

Seriously. My husband and I pretty much annoy each other at least once a day, but by the end of the day we still always love each other and that’s what is important. Not liking your life partner, is not a sign that your marriage is failing, unless you seem to dislike him or her for longer periods than you like them.

Live by your own rules.

For us, one of the best things about being married is that we are our own team. We create our own goals, our own norms and our own way of living and loving. We do what we feel is right, together as the team that we are and we never feel intimidated or pressured to live in anyway that we as a team don’t want to live or be. We are us.

Be a staunch defender of your love bunny.

I love to defend who my husband is as a human being. It is who he is, flaws and all and it’s what makes him him. I love to show my loyalty and I will be on his side even when I don’t necessarily agree with what he is saying or his actions. But I still take his side. This doesn’t mean I don’t ever tell he’s wrong, on the contrary, but I do defend his stances in public and we uphold each other as a team. And especially with our son, I never dispute or challenge him in front of him. Later yes! In the moment, no!

Have your own space.

Me and the hubster share lots of loves. We love good tv shows, huge mugs of tea, EATING and red wine. We also have interests that we don’t share, that I don’t want to share, thank you very much. I don’t want to know how to play the banjo, or about sailing knots, or watching documentaries about naval history. On the other hand, my husband has probably read 1% of this blog, and will not sit and watch Strictly Come Dancing with me. He has just been on a week long sailing course. Amazing. I had the time of my life!!! And so did he. Having our own space is so good and so healthy. Being joined at the hip does not work for us. It can become suffocating and tense. We enjoy being our own people, as much as we enjoy being together. I wouldn’t want us to lose any parts of ourselves in order to be the couple we are.

Say how you feel.

My husband is more direct about saying how he feels and I should probably take a leaf out of his book. I tend to keep how I feel inside although I know it is not healthy to let things fester. But there is also the fact that my husband now knows how I feel without me having to say. So as long as the feeling is communicated, then it is better said than not.

It’s okay to argue and have great big rows.

It really is. I was in a cafe the other day and I heard a woman telling a friend that she and her boyfriend never argued. I couldn’t tell if it was a new relationship or not, but I thought it sounded a little strange. Never argued? Is this possible? Anyway, I know our household would not run properly if we did not argue now and again. I see it like a muggy day that needs a bit of rain to clear the air. I thinking arguing is a healthy as agreeing.

A kiss good bye, a kiss hello.

One of our little life rules, is that we must always kiss when we leave the house and always kiss when we come back home. Trust me, this may sound like a no brainer, but when you have three dogs and a child, the pecking order of hellos and goodbyes can be quite harsh! So now, even if my husband has been through the door for ten minutes but I’ve not seen him because he is lying under a mountain of cushions, a child and dogs, we always make sure to still say hello properly with a little hug and a kiss.

Appreciate the little things.

It goes without saying doesn’t it? But it is still one of those things that needs to be said. I can hand on heart say that today on our wedding anniversary neither of us have gotten each other a present, and it absolutely does not bloody well matter to us, in the slightest! We have everything material that we could possibly need. We want for nothing. I get to wake up with my husband next to me every day and he makes me a cup of tea in the morning almost 365 days a year and it’s these things that mean so much more to me, than anything else.

We’ll probably have a nice home-cooked dinner tonight and lots of wine (one of our favourite activities) and this evening before the little one’s bedtime, we’re going up on our roof terrace with our new telescope to gaze at the supermoon, where the moon is going to look like you can touch it, which won’t be like that again until November 25 2034. So this is how we’ll be marking our anniversary. I’m very excited and wouldn’t want it any other way. On a side note, if we were giving gifts today, apparently they ought to be silk or linen. So actually, I’m quietly pleased that we’re not given gifts. My husband has not worn a silk tie since like, ever.

Be silly (a lot).

I love that we have things about us that we can both laugh about (a lot) or things we pretend we don’t like and moan about, but secretly we love. My husband pretends he cannot stand me dancing at every single song or tv advert that I hear. And now, when I’m living room dancing, our little one joins in (that’s my boy), much to the fake horror of my husband. Being silly is the best. We have zombie mummy days too, which stems from how I look when I wake up! I have to chase everyone, including the dogs, around the house whilst chanting ‘Zombie mummy,’ and the whole house goes crazy. The dogs start running around with the cushions and the house descends into chaos. There is so much laughter in our house, it is the best medicine for life. The best!

Date time.

I say this like I am someone who has dates with her husband and right now I am trying to wrack my brains for the last time we were together by ourselves without our little one. Oh yes, I just remembered. Last December, we watched Star Wars in the cinema, whilst my mother in law who was visiting, babysat! Okay, so for us it doesn’t happen much where we are on an actual date at a restaurant having a romantic meal by ourselves, but we do have our lovely coupley evenings in front of the telly, which is our time to re-invest and to speak and act like adults!! It really is easy to let these times slip, so we do try to make these evenings happen when they can.

Have your own code.

Every couple has their own code, right? Oh my, we couldn’t live without ours. By codes, I mean, our little signals, our looks or expressions that say what we need to say without actually saying it. One of my favourite codes is when we touch the little fingers of our right hands together. This is our little way of connecting without speaking. I think this developed during our intense film addiction days when we wanted a way to say ‘hey, how you doing? Love you,’ without speaking and missing anything important in the film, so we would touch our little fingers together! And now it’s an integral part of our world. So are our made up words and names for everyday things. Snooffle – to kiss one’s neck noisily. Our little ones loves a snooffle.

To lean in

This year has been a shitty one in terms of how we as a world are progressing. If the devastation and brutality in Syria isn’t depressing enough, Brexit and that man called Trump have been a bit too much for me to bear. My insides are in turmoil. And so it’s times like this that I remember to ‘lean in.’ To evoke the love and the strength that my team gives me and to lean in on it and to use it to raise me up and lift my spirits. The power of my husband’s hug, the rubbing of my back, his calm and reassuring voice is often all I need to make me see something with fresh eyes or to give me the confidence to know that everything will be alright, whatever it is I’m doubting won’t be. And this is what, we need to do. Lean in and lean on each other.

So that’s my marriage wisdoms simplified into one post. I hope you’ve enjoyed a little sneak peak into what gets me through life as a wife and a mother. I’m off to Google something nice for dinner. Have a lovely day x

If you’re really really interested I wrote about our ten year wedding anniversary too, and the vow renewal that we still haven’t got around to doing! Oops.



About the author

Natasha Johnson

Natasha Johnson is an experienced Wedding Celebrant, blogger and writer on all things related to weddings, in particular wedding ceremonies. Her mission is life is to encourage couples to see the importance of their wedding ceremony and to get married in just the way they want to. Make sure you catch her on the Engaged and Ready Wedding Podcast, here or on iTunes and Stitcher.

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