I sound incredibly pretentious and righteous with the title of this post. But the fact of the matter is, myself and Papa Bear are together 17 years last week. We must be doing something right. I was a teeny, tiny 17 years old when I met him, meaning I now literally know him half my life. I’ve thought of this day quite a lot over the last almost two decades. Knowing, and loving him (get a room!) for half of my life feels like such a huge achievement. He has been by my side for so long and I can’t imagine life without him. We were young when we met, young when we married and we’re still young. And we’re still together. Against the odds. Because everyone figured there would be odds. That we were too young. That we wouldn’t last. Well, we did. And we are. And I put it down to three things.
We Climb Mountains Together
And at least one of us remembers to bring the rope to pull ourselves up it. Life’s tough. It has it’s struggles, it’s awkward moments, and insurmountable obstacles that seem impossible to get over but we manage to find our way, stumbling if we must.
After so long together we know each other incredibly well. We know what makes us tick, what knocks us down and that B should always be the one to choose what to pick on Netflix. We know how to make our relationship work. There may not be a plan, a manual or a roadmap to help us stay on the straight and narrow but then who wants a straight road when twists and turns are more fun anyway.
We’ve hit walls. We’ve crashed a few times. In seventeen years you can’t expect us not to have a few blips. But hey, we’re not Hollywood. We don’t opt for a Quicke Divorce because things have gotten rough. We climb the mountain. We trust each other to catch us if we fall. We know one of us has the rope.
He Supports My Crazy Ideas
“Supports” might be too big of a word but he doesn’t present any roadblocks when I suddenly get an idea in my head. And I’ve been quite an annoying advocate of unusual hobbies. For instance, I set up and ran my own Writers Group for the guts of three years. I ended up creating a website, and an open competition for the group. I found venues, I sourced writers and publishers to give talks and workshops to the bunch of 25 wannabe writers, myself included. Needless to say I was an annoying project manager and it took over my home life. What a hobby eh!
Then there was my handmade jewellery obsession with watch parts being imported from Denmark and trinkets found in abandoned warehouses. I was in my element as I set my creative juices to something other than writing. Babies came along and this hobby fluttered out the window. But then of course came the blog which, personally, has been my most favourite choice of hobby turned career.
At the end of the day, B never complains. Never tells me that I should think twice about doing this, that or the other and never says I told you so when I hit barrier. I have either trained him exceptionally well or he’s the kind of guy who knows better than to question his wife’s unique and possibly frustrating hobbies.
And so when I brought up the idea of quitting work and giving freelancing a go, he was nothing more than positive. After sitting down with a cuppa and the obligatory biscuit, we went through everything, discussing our requirements openly and he never doubted, never questioned, never suggested I think again. Never threw up roadblocks. He’s a star really.
We Piss Each Other Off
In other words we show that we’re human. We can’t be perfect all the time. Where’s the fun in that? We never used to be one of those couples that fought but since becoming parents we’ve discovered that some couples need to argue. We don’t neessarily want to but it tends to clear the air. We piss each other off but don’t intentionally go out of our way to annoy the other one by constantly clicking our pen or spitting out our chewing gum and launching it into the air with a swift kick of your boot (yes, B used to do this when we first met. He wasn’t impressing anyone!)
Communication has always been the cornerstone to our relationship. We can’t read minds. How do we expect the other to know what’s going on in our heads? Fighting, while not necessary, is at least one way to communicate. So, go ahead, you have my permission to annoy the heck out of each other.
So, there you go. Climb the mountains no matter how big or small, piss each other off in a good, non threatening way and say yes to every harebrained, random idea. That’ll be the making of even the most impossible of relationships, right? Weeeelll no. Of course, there are a million ways to make a marriage and a partnership work and a million ways to make it fall at the first or last hurdle.
At the end of the day, (and the start) be honest, be trusting, love and be happy. Talk, listen and learn. Being in a relationship is about growing and changing with each other. It’s sharing, commitment and respect. And if our three cornerstones for a happy marriage fail then there are always other options such as couples counselling which I would recommend if the floodgates fail to open where communication is concerned.
So, to recap, that’s, don’t forget the rope, stop with the roadblocks and piss ’em off. I’m telling ya, seventeen years, we can’t be wrong. Happy relationship-ing!
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