It’s our wedding anniversary today – 25 years. And, because we started dating sometime between May and June 1989 we also celebrate this day as being our together-since-anniversary – 30 years.
That’s why today I thought I’d write a post about how to have a successful marriage. Jokes. I have no idea how we’ve managed to do it, let alone presume to tell anyone else how to. What works for us works for us. We laugh that he’s so change-resistant that he could never be bothered to find someone else and I don’t have the focus required to remember to. Seriously though, I think it comes down to two pretty simple things:
- We still like each other
- We’re far better together than we are not together.
It’s true. We were friends before we started dating and somehow gravitated together before we even noticed that we’d got together – or maybe that should read before I noticed. That doesn’t mean a lot though – he’d been living with me for a few months before I noticed and asked how long it had been since he’d been home.
In any case, we’re still friends and still have plenty to talk about. He is, and this is the biggest compliment I could ever give anyone so an awed intake of breath is required here, still the person I want to travel with. I know, it’s a big call, but I’ve said it.
While we do, as every couple does, annoy each other from time to time, the sum of our two parts is greater than the whole…or something like that. We are, in simple terms, good for each other. And while that doesn’t sound at all romantic, it is practical and it is one of the reasons we’ve not just survived together but thrived together. I make the distinction because a good marriage is not just about staying the distance; it truly is about dealing with all the merde (see Mum, I didn’t use the word I was going to use – I said it in French instead) that life throws at you and coming out the end of it having grown – hopefully together rather than apart…although I’ve grown in width too – I’m not really sure what that says.
I’d like to say that philosophically we’re compatible – and we are to an extent. We’re both very much about enjoying the ride and we do live for now. We are, however, politically very different. Politically, he’s a conservative voter and I’m a green-liberal as in small “l” liberal, not Liberal Party – which is the conservative party here in Australia. No, I don’t understand it either. We’ve had plenty of arguments over the years as a result of this. We are, however, both moderating somewhat as we’re getting older – he’s moved a little further to the left and I’ve moved a teeny tiny bit towards the right.
Our first overseas holiday together was to Singapore – which, even though we’ve been back here in the years since, is the main reason that we’re holidaying here together now. It’s a city that’s been important for us – to the extent that I had Singapore orchids in my hair on our wedding day and Grant had them as his pocket flower (and yes, I know there’s a name for them but I can’t think of it right now). We wanted them on our wedding cake too, but the baker we’d hired to do that went broke a month before the wedding and we had to quickly find someone else who could make a cake in that time frame and he didn’t know what a Singapore orchid was.
It was a bit like the fabric for my wedding dress – it was Thai silk and got stuck on the wharves during the wharfies strike. The fitting I had two days before we got married was the first and only fitting. Lucky. We were also fortunate in the weather. I remember the day as being perfect – blue skies, mild temperatures, and fabulous autumn colour in Commonwealth Park for our photos.
It hasn’t all been smooth sailing over the years, but, to be honest, just how boring would that be? Looking back, I have no idea where the years in between have gone; and I almost don’t recognise the couple in the photos below. For a start, I’m thirty kilos lighter and had my natural hair colour back then. We’re parents now, with Sarah turning 21 this year. We’re both very different, but in many other important ways, we haven’t changed a bit. Most importantly, we still intend spending the rest of our lives together – and after thirty years, I’m thinking that we’re doing alright.
Congrats you two and I love that you’re celebrating this wonderful milestone with an experience and not a thing! I think you’ve nailed what makes a good marriage – it’s riding the rollercoaster of life, enjoying the highs together and supporting each other through the lows. As for the politics, we’re quite different too, i wonder if we’ll meet in the political centre the older we get! I hope you’re having an amazing trip and wish you many more happy years together.
Thanks! We’ve never really done the gift thing – it’s all about the experience…& we’re having a great time.
Happy Anniversary Jo and Grant. I loved seeing your wedding photos, and reading about your similarities and differences. Singapore is one of my favourite places too!
Thanks! We’ve always loved it here & this time is no different.
Happy anniversary, it’s always great to hear love stories like this and I love your photos!! I like to think we’re in the same boat as you. Enjoy your time in Singapore together. By the way ,y mathematician is a Grant too 🙂
Thanks…I truly think it’s about sharing experiences – it’s when boredom hits that the trouble starts.
Yes that’s true Jo, keeping active and with different interest from each other also helps!
Congratulations! Happy Anniversary!
I love that you’re not handing out “how to have the perfect marriage” advice Jo. I always dry retch a little when I read those posts from people who’ve been married 5 minutes and think they have all the answers – really???? I loved how pragmatic your approach to the “secret to success” is and I couldn’t agree more. We’ve had our ups and downs and are quite different people too – but we have the same foundational values and we like each other still – and we both acknowledge that we’re better together too (although we drive each other crazy occasionally!) I’m so grateful for a strong and lasting marriage and congrats on yours too xxx
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