Having reached our seven year wedding anniversary I cannot help but reflect on the well known adage of the seven year itch: the idea that couples will be unfaithful after seven years of marriage. For myself I can’t quite believe that I have been married to the monkey man for seven years today! Thankfully Mark and I couldn’t be further from this idiom and without getting all soppy on you, our relationship has definitely become stronger over the years.
The only reason I am able to write this actually on our wedding anniversary, is that running our own business often means that client needs come above our own. Mark is out de-rigging a tent after a beautiful wedding in Kent, and although it would have been nice to spend today together, it really doesn’t matter. And herein lies the key. We obviously became aware that we had a booking some time ago, so were able to arrange things around it. It may be a rather boring comparison, not to mention a cliché, but compromise and going with the flow is important, not just in marriage but in life too. Nobody would get very far by digging their heals in and kicking up a fuss when things don’t go as you would have liked. We had a lovely lunch date yesterday in St Albans enjoying good food, each other’s company and a few stolen hours without the children.
I feel incredibly lucky with the life I have and by no means feel an authority to counsel on marriage, but if a friend ever asked how we do it I would probably say…
Find time anywhere – working as we do, we try to find time to spend together wherever and whenever we can. This often means us all piling in the car to meet a client for a site visit or, teaming a tent hire with a weekend away. It’s the little things that count.
Be best friends – we laugh, cry and share everything with each other. I have never been able to relate to couples who don’t talk about their feelings. To me that would result in a very lonely world and ultimately lead to unhappiness and a breakdown of the relationship.
Respect the fact you are different – even though we do a lot together and are similar in many ways, we are definitely our own people. I believe this is true of everyone and no matter how many years we are married, this should never be forgotten. You can’t stop someone being themselves and shouldn’t (in my opinion). We all need time to be ourselves, whether that means doing things with friends that you know your partner wouldn’t enjoy, or just having a little alone time. I think what I’m trying to say is you can’t change someone. If you don’t love watching rugby and he doesn’t love shopping don’t neither of you should do these activities: it will only cause friction.
Be in it for life – the most important. Mark and I got engaged after just six months of knowing each other and were married within a year. It is easy to get caught up in a whirlwind of romance and feelings, being head-over-heels in love. Embarrassing to say, but it’s happened to me a couple of times. Luckily for me though, when Mark came along I knew it was for life. Marriage these day can sometimes be taken for granted. With online divorce now an option, it is all too easy for people to step in to such an important commitment without longevity in their minds. It may be easy to undo things, but it will hurt and stay with you far longer than an unmarried split. So don’t do it unless you are happy to put up with their quirks for 30, 40, 50+ years.
Here are a few shots from our blustery wedding day back in 2008. We opted for a simple day surrounded by the ones we love. Organised in three phone calls, the vicar, a minibus firm and restaurant. Job done.
All photographs were taken by Richard Stow, photographer and director. My big claim is that he postponed Heidi Klum so that he could be at our wedding.
If you fancy a night in snuggled up on the sofa together, why not try the 1955 romantic comedy The Seven Year Itch, staring Marylin Monroe and Tom Ewell. It’s a classic!