So, last week the Man and I made it to our silver wedding anniversary. 25 years! Sometimes I wonder how we made it and then I remember, I married my best friend!
Of course it isn’t really that simple. I mean, even best friends argue and fall out, but you work at it. If it is worth it to both parties you find compromise in most situations. Of course, it helps when he finally realises that I was right in the first place 😉
So here are my top 25 tips (some serious, others not so much) for lasting 25 years, and hopefully another 25:
- Love each other – it kinda helps
- Don’t try to change each other. You fell in love with each other as you were.
- If you’re going to change, change together.
- Walk away from an argument you can’t win. Actually, walk away even if you can if your other half is still saying black is white after 15 minutes maybe it’s time to take a break. Take time to cool down and see their side. If necessary, agree to disagree (for now anyway).
- Don’t do everything together. It’s ok to do things that you enjoy on your own.
- Find something that you enjoy doing together, even if it is something as simple as going for a run together. If you are faster, slow down to their pace once in a while and give them encouragement. Let them know that you are there for them and that they are doing really well.
- Don’t go to sleep on an argument. If you don’t agree with each other, kiss and cuddle then leave it alone. You’ll probably have forgotten about it in the morning. If it’s really important, save it for when one of you isn’t trying to get some sleep.
- Put your phone, tablet, laptop etc away. Actually spend time with each other while not being distracted by social media.
- Try to eat at least one meal a day together as a couple, or family, without distractions so you can all catch up on what has been happening in each other’s lives. This isn’t always possible if you work shifts but on days when you are all at home, do it.
- Be true to yourself. Don’t try to be someone you’re not. You’ll only make yourself, and them, unhappy.
- Don’t expect them to do everything. Split the chores. I think I got the better end of this deal – when we first moved in together we had a twin tub so I would spend the best part of Saturday doing the washing while the Man did the vacuuming and dusting. This split of labour continued even after we got a “proper” washing machine 🙂
- Never forget the silly things he’s done and remind him of them often. For example, the Man thought a terabyte was called a teddy-byte. We still chuckle about this, and a lot more.
- Don’t take each other for granted.
- Try to have a date night. We didn’t have date night for years (it’s kind of hard with a disabled child) but once we got some regular care we have date night whenever we are both free on that evening. We even met up for lunch on our anniversary during the Man’s lunch break as I wasn’t at work.
- Be each other’s best friend and cheer-leader.
- Close the toilet when you’ve finished! It’s not just about putting the seat down, gentlemen, it’s also about putting the lid down, ladies and gentlemen. I’ve lost count of the times things have fallen out of the cupboard over the toilet and gone in. Do you want to fish a toothbrush out of the loo? No, nor do I.
- Talk to each other about anything that is bothering you. Don’t bottle it up.
- If there are TV programmes that one of you wants to watch but the other doesn’t, record them and watch them later. You don’t have to like all the same programmes, or sports, so watch what you both like together and then have times to watch the other stuff separately. I will often sit reading a book while the Man watches the F1, or he’ll watch it on catch-up when I’m at work if he’s had to miss the live coverage or highlights due to work.
- Listen to each other. If they want to have a rant about something that has happened, let them. Don’t interrupt and let them finish what they are saying – you may not need to respond once they’ve got it off their chest.
- Accept their quirks. They may annoy you but keep your mouth shut! If you didn’t break up with them because of it in the early days of dating, it’s too late now. Accept it, I’m sure you have some habits that annoy them too.
- Accept responsibility. If you’ve done something silly, admit it. Even if it was flooding the garage because the hose wasn’t connected to the tap or deleting a recorded show before he’d watched it (yes, I’ve done that and I admitted to it, fortunately I was able to get it back!)
- Share the cooking. If you can’t cook, learn to cook something even if it is fish fingers, potato waffles and peas/baked beans.
- Keep the intimacy alive (sorry step-daughter, I know you’ll be reading this but it has to go in). It’s important.
- Kiss each other good bye … even if it is 4.30 in the morning!
- Laugh … a lot!
That’s it. That’s my list. Of course, there is one person I didn’t refer to on my list who is a very important part of my life. Our son. He’s important in both of our lives but he does not make the marriage work, we do. We are not still together for the sake of our son if we were then when he finally goes to live independently … what then?