When I bought this lovely card, he really was my favourite. But by the time it came to giving him this card, he really wasn’t my favourite at all. In fact he was quite the opposite. It was our twentieth anniversary on Monday (how old does that make me feel?!) and we weren’t even speaking let alone exchanging cards. Not all hearts and flowers is it this real life thing?
I joked on Instagram about listing twenty ways I wanted to kill him in a way that is only possible after the dust has settled and you are friends again. But actually it kind of got me thinking that after twenty years together, being able to survive arguments is pretty important because they are bound to happen now and then.
I can honestly say that for the first ten years of our relationship, we didn’t have so much as a crossed word. But for the ten that have followed? Not so much. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I’m not saying that I like falling out. Quite the opposite in fact I absolutely hate falling out with anyone ever but especially Mr Mostly. But being able to work out disagreements and get through the rocky times is surely vital when you’re in this for the long haul?
I was seventeen when we met, he was twenty four. To say that we are both very different people now would be an understatement. But somehow we have grown together not apart. Not many of our now divorced friends have got that bit right but I’m happy to say that we have. We both have different interests and respect each other’s space enough to let each other do our own thing but yet we always find a way to come together to share the things we both love. I think that’s really important. Or it is for us anyway.
And it’s the little things too like just going out for coffee just the two of us. Weekends away – heck even nights out – are out of the question. We’ve had one single night off sans enfants in the last nine years. Once we had three children, all offers of babysitting quickly diminished but after four whoooosh! Nada! But actually we’re okay with that. There’s not much we can do about it for starters. But we already make plans for all the catching up that we’ll do one day when the children are all grown up. What’s another ten years to wait for that much dreamed of weekend away in Paris with my favourite bearded man, eh?
So many magazine articles claim to hold the secret to a happy relationship but I’m not so sure that there is one. I can see why people want to know the secret to a long and happy relationship. Well of course I can. Isn’t that all any of us dream of? But relationships can be complicated beasts and bloody well hard work. All you can hope is that the good outweighs the bad because over twenty, thirty, forty or more years there will be good times and bad as you make your path through life together. You’d think that I’d have some tiny gem of knowledge after twenty years though, wouldn’t you? All I can say is be kind. I remind myself of this often and actually it’s especially important to be kind even when you don’t particularly want to be. Love for me is about wanting to make that one person happy for the rest of your lives. And feeling very lucky that he happens to feel the same way too.