What is a happy marriage?
Marriage is many things. To me it is sharing your all with that one other human being who completes you. It is honesty, open communication, love, understanding and acceptance. It may not always be a happy marriage but it can be a lasting one. Sometimes you may want to take a swing at the back of his head with a frying pan but, the most important thing is that you don’t. You need to rely on each other, trust each other to make it work. Nothing in life is easy and nor should it be. We need to challenge ourselves to grow and change as, the best things happen when you put in a little effort. So, baring that in mind, what is the secret to a happy marriage?
Pick Your Battles
My first secret to a happy marriage is probably one of the most important as it establishes that the frying pan is NOT the answer. I learnt this early on and no, I don’t mean I tried to commit a felony with a frying pan. I learnt to pick my battles!
My husband and I are both extremely stubborn individuals and well, he has a tendency to be unable to admit when he is wrong. A trait I can identify in a lot of men I know. (Cough, Dad, cough) Sometimes that frying pan looked pretty damn good. I realised that the only way around this was to just let it go, taking the knowledge that I know that I am actually the one who is right. Just smile, look pretty and change the subject. After all, the last thing you want to do is start a fight and go to bed mad.
Don’t go to Bed Mad
Never go to bed mad! If you do get into a “heated discussion”, maybe involving the threat of a frying pan, try and resolve it by taking the high road. Again, pick your battles so that you don’t go to bed mad with each other or, end up in front of a judge charged with aggravated assault with a kitchen utensil.
In my marriage we are quite content in that we don’t disagree too often. I think that is when you know you have found your other half. Yes, we do have our moments but they are few and far between. To be honest I tend to build things up in my head to be something that they aren’t and then wait till I’m at boiling point. Then I explode!
Most of the time, he can ground me and bring me back down to earth but, sometimes he may take offense and then we argue. These arguments are usually short lived. I tend to storm upstairs to my room, have a little cry and then come downstairs with my tail between my legs, mainly because I’m hungry and want him to make me dinner. If my mum reads this she’ll probably say I used to do the same thing at home with them. What can I say? I’m a red head with a short fuse.
Since having the boys though I am changing, having learnt some techniques to help keep me cool, calm and collected. These also help to restrain me when dealing with the hubby. So far, that frying pan has stayed in the cupboard. The secret to a happy marriage is to resolve your differences in a calm manner. Talk it out without the aid of said frying pan.
Talk it out
The main key to any relationship is to ensure you listen and acknowledge the other person’s point of view. If you do not listen then it is fated to fall apart. If you cannot acknowledge and understand how your partner is feeling then you will have nothing to fight for. You need to put in that effort or, at least look as if you are. I don’t need to agree with everything David says but, I sure as hell need to understand where he is coming from and accept that he has his own opinions and views that may differ from mine.
We are two separate people with different thoughts and feelings so it is expected that we will eventually clash with one another. The secret to a happy marriage is accepting this and dealing with it appropriately, not with the use of that frying pan. Talk it out and, if you cannot work out your differences, agree to disagree. Don’t go to bed mad.
Laugh it Up
We laugh A LOT in our marriage and David is probably the main reason for that. He is, and always has been, a practical joker with a cracking sense of humour, loving nothing more than a good wind up. He is a trickster at heart.
A Trickster at Heart
Recently, his work colleagues have bore the brunt of his sadistic jokes. Someone kept stealing his snacks in work so what does he do? David replaces them with those mega hot, chilli jelly beans. While his colleagues help themselves, he is sitting there, quietly eating ordinary jelly beans and they are none the wiser. I suspect a few may have wanted to crack him one with the frying pan after that. He did try this on me at home but I’m not that daft, well not anymore. I’m wise to his tricks these days, most of the time and, it helped that I knew he had bought them.
I did fall for the spider in the box the first time he pulled that one. You can see the boys’ reactions on my YouTube channel.
This was him testing the prank out, before “going live” in work. Really, I feel so sorry for his poor unsuspecting colleagues but, it is a cracking good joke. What’s the secret to a happy marriage you ask? Laugh along with your other half, have fun at the expense of others and deny all when the finger is pointed at you.
Laughter Makes Life Interesting
In all honesty it is all completely innocent. We have laughed at a lot of things over the years, quite often my own naivety, like when he told me there were bears in Scotland, when I was convinced America should be in Eurovision and, when I stupidly said people have only been on Earth for 500 years. Unfortunately I am loath to admit that there have been a lot of instances of this. I have a tendency to open my mouth and let it all fall out before thinking things through but, it makes our life together entertaining. Being married to me is certainly never boring and vice versa; having him as my husband keeps me on my toes. Our ability to laugh with and at each other makes for a very interesting life, after all you’re in it together and you need to be able to laugh.
You’re in it Together
As soon as you commit to those wedding vows and say them aloud, that is it; you are in it together, you are tied to one another for the rest of your lives. I will admit I giggled the entire way through our service so, technically I never actually said my vows. “No David, that is not a get out of jail free card, we both signed on the dotted line.”
When you finally choose that person whom you will spend your forever with, you take on a joint responsibility for everything. All decisions fall on both of you be it money, property, employment, bills and even kids schools. As a couple you can share the load and work together to achieve what you both want. You support each other and stand by each other through thick and thin.
In other words, you’ll have each other’s back till the end. Now in our marriage, he works away from home. You can read more on this here. I am the one who is present with the boys so a lot of the decision making falls on my shoulders however, I always consult him on his views and opinions. At least I give him the opportunity to put his two cents in then go ahead and do it anyways.
All joking aside, most of the time what I want is what happens. He isn’t here so he doesn’t really bother about what I do with regards to the house, boys etc, just as long as I don’t do something crazy like spend a grand on something frivolous. We trust each other in everything we do. The secret to a happy marriage is to trust each other with the big stuff; talk it out and ultimately do what is best for both of you and your children. It is also important to make time for one another.
Making time for each other is especially important for us as we don’t see one another mid week. Sometimes he’s away for weeks at a time so we have to work extra hard when we are together. Our two boys can make this particularly difficult. If you have children you will understand. They monopolise every aspect of your life and privacy becomes a pure luxury. Every so often, we try and get a weekend away, just the two of us. This has been made increasingly difficult over the past year by the Covocalypse, though we did manage one trip.
For us it is a balancing act. We have to juggle time with the boys and time for us. They truly miss him when he’s away so we make a point of having family time on a Friday night and couple time on a Saturday, or vice versa. Usually he has a sleepover downstairs with them where they can do their stinky boy stuff. Every Sat morning my living room needs a good airing out.
This works for us though private time can still be an issue. We have 2 little boys that like to stay awake in their beds for hours. The second you make a move upstairs, “Muuuuummmm, I’m thirsty,” or “Muuuuuummmm, I don’t want to be in stinkin’ bed.” One has a tendency to call everything “stinkin’” just now. That’s the joys of kids; sometimes you wish they had an off switch. That is why you need to keep your relationship strong in other ways too. Keep doing those little shows of affection.
It’s the Little Things
In marriage, well in any relationship, it’s the little things that count. It’s when you stop doing those wee niceties for one another that you should start to worry so my advice is, “Don’t!” Keep making those cups of tea, keep sharing that piece of cake, keep saying “I love you” and never stop showing appreciation for one another. Guys, do the laundry, hoover the lounge and buy her flowers! Girls, sit beside him, make him dinner and watch his shows. Share your day with each other, talk about what you have done even if it’s nothing and, make sure that frying pan stays firmly in the cupboard.
Let’s Sum it Up
So what is the secret to a happy marriage? Well when it comes to your other half you must learn to pick your battles. Listening to and accepting what they say goes a long way to building trust in relationships. In marriage, open communication is vital. Bottling it all up and keeping it inside will do nothing; take it from one who knows. Talk it out and don’t go to bed mad. Never end a day without saying, “I love you.”
Laughter and happiness go hand in hand. Laugh with each other, love each other and share your life with one another. Show that you care for and appreciate one another by continuing to do the little things.
At the end of the day, you are tied to one another, in sickness and in health, for better or for worse, you are in it together. For David and I, we fit together perfectly. He’s the ying to my yang. He keeps me grounded, with my feet firmly planted on planet Earth. Without him I’d probably be floating around near Mars somewhere. In marriage you should always aim to bring out the good in one another, help and support each other and most importantly, lose the frying pan.