How To Celebrate Your 20th Wedding Anniversary

Will and Kate may just have celebrated their first wedding anniversary, but more excitingly we too have a major wedding anniversary looming. One that could test the very foundations of our marriage, as inevitably we share very different views about how best to celebrate it.

Hayman Island by df1hx at

It’s not that I’m worried about the old man remembering the date – he only has to look at the massive tattoo on his chest inscribed with the words ‘17th JULY’ – my gift to him on our first anniversary.

I just know innately that I’m going to be disappointed. I can’t decide whether to accept that for what it is, suck it up, and focus on all the things he is wonderful at.


I think that ‘hoping’ is where I always go wrong. Hope is dangerous and a little foolish after twenty years together. Logically, leopards do not generally change their spots.

But, I argue in my head, this anniversary is more special than the others, so maybe….


My argument is that we need to celebrate that I have put up with him for twenty years and lived to tell the tale. It’s an achievement that needs to be celebrated with more than a bottle of sparkling white wine, a curry and a quickie.

His arguments are characterically, ‘cost’,  and some bullshit about ‘not needing to prove his love with false public demonstrations of love.’

It’s not like I’m expecting anything REALLY special, like friends of ours who set the bar unrealistically high by flying to New York and doing romantic stuff like ‘spending time together’. (You know who you are!). Just a step up from a Chicken Korma and a kiss on the cheek, say.Nilgiri Chicken Korma courtesy of Sailajag at

I’ve bandied around the idea of a weekend on Hayman Island, which was met with what I can only describe as a guffaw from the old man’s camp. Is that a positive reaction or am I reading too much into it?

I foolishly thought that if I aimed high, he might actually ‘read the cue’ that I’m serious about him treating this anniversary with a little more than the usual skepticism.

But there is a fundamental problem with us going to Hayman Island, (were there even the remote chance in a billion that he would ever to take my suggestion seriously), in that I am terrified of the ocean. I’ve always had difficulties with the whole breathing technique of snorkeling and usually end up a spluttering mess on a bed of those hideous-looking Sea Cucumber things at the bottom of the ocean – (Ever question God’s choices when he decided what to create?). Frankly, I can only tolerate living fish if they stay in their own zone or are in tanks.

Snorkelling courtesy of Jenchiblu at

So I was hoping that he might come up with a counter-suggestion along the lines of a weekend in Noosa or Port Douglas maybe, even Melbourne, or worst case scenario, some fancy-schmantzy hotel in the city. But I haven’t spotted him furtively researching any holiday or hotel websites recently and I’ve checked his search history and there’s nothing there apart from questionable bodily function symptoms.

I made him promise years ago that for my fiftieth birthday we would go on a tour of Italy together and he’s even having second thoughts about that now. Last night he offered me a change of plan and suggested that I go (with a few girlfriends) on an all-expenses-paid trip (by him) around North Korea.

So it doesn’t bode well.

My husband has many talents but organization and ‘giving’ are not two of them. He has surprised me once during our marriage – at our wedding reception, when he introduced my speech to our guests – the one that I had no idea I was making and had to deliver after at least eight glasses of Champagne.

The other problem we face, of course, is that we are not sure if we can leave Kurt Cobain (the ADHDer), the Spoodle and Nerd Child on their own and in the same house, for a whole night.

Nerd Child has been having a bit of a crisis as a result of Kurt’s recent antics at Darling Harbour. She has come to the conclusion that our house is a mental asylum and I admit that I have noticed that she stays at friends’ houses more and more regularly as Kurt becomes more and more sociopathic. I’m envisaging more therapy bills for the old man to tut about.

In fairness, she has offered to ‘babysit’ our sixteen year old for vast sums of money, but these are the conditions:

  • Kurt is not allowed to walk around the house naked
  • He is not to emit his Tourettes-like howls before 8am in the morning
  • He is not to steal money from her purse to buy cigarettes
  • He is not to climb out onto his roof to smoke them
  • He is not to wake her up in the middle of the night, singing
  • He is not to take the television apart
  • He is not to play his electric guitar at full volume using his Big Muff distortion pedal before 8am
  • He is not to wear his bunny onesie or Thunderbird costume in public
  • He is not to terrorise the Spoodle by any of the following means: a) the blanket game b) the bladder game or c) dressing up in aforementioned onesie.

Unfortunately, Kurt will not agree to conditions 1 and 8, so it looks like we could be back at Blue Ginger’s curry house for our 20th wedding anniversary after all.

What did you do to celebrate your 20th Wedding Anniversary?

Hayman Island by df1hx at

Snorkelling by Jenchiblu at

Nilgiri Chicken Korma by Sailajag at

22 thoughts on “How To Celebrate Your 20th Wedding Anniversary

  1. Our 20 yrs is in October this year, and while Husband is up for a trip somewhere special, it’s the abandonment of children, including one dong his HSC, that is the issue. Plus at that time it’s winter everywhere I want to go. Fingers crossed you get a lovely surprise. Maybe get the kids to go into bat for you? But all their own idea naturally…


    1. I think it’s better to resign myself to low expectations to avoid disappointment. Husband laughed when he saw this post. No guilt, unfortunately. I’d probably lose respect for him if he suddenly went all ‘new man’ on me. Had a look at your website and it’s great. Following now.


      1. You’re probably right, expect less. Not that my husband is any different about anniversaries and things, but he is fine with me organising everything. Thanks for the follow.


  2. I certainly hope he comes through. Avoid reading about whatever sickly sweet lovey/dovey thing Will does for Kate. Maybe settle for a drive with dirty talking studs I blogged about at Keep hoping, after all, sometimes hope is all we got (and 3 crazy kids!)


  3. I love your Kurt! And that he also believes clothing is optional to the horror of his sisters. Amazing to have to remind them not to walk out of their room naked on a somewhat daily basis. Hugs!


  4. We aren’t at twenty years yet…but Hayman island would be fantastic. Will have to wait until those little monkeys of mine are much older monkeys. Love your blog. We are both on iBlog Friday today on iVillage 🙂


  5. Hahaha! Oh no, poor Kurt is ruling the house. *bugger*
    My fingers are crossed for a better outcome! 🙂 At least you made it to 20 years. I only lasted 15. Lol
    Have a great weekend! Hugs Paula. Xxx


  6. Its our 20th anniversary in June also and i got a similar line from my husband… after he has been promising me the Maldives since our 10 year anniversary. Now we are in the middle of a major house renovations to top it off. He thinks i should be grateful for everything i have, which I am..but i would like him for just once to spoil or surprise me with something special for our anniversary. When i suggested maybe he could organise something nice here..his comment was why don’t you organise it!!


  7. So, here I sit, 1 week away from our 20th. I have a 10 year old and a 13 year old to take care of. There is no way I can take here away for a weekend – money and someone to watch them. I feel like a poor sob with no class because I cant take here somewhere special. So, to get ideas I google 20th and came across your site. Its SOOOO refreshing to find out the ladies all over think the same way. “Where can he take me?” “What is he going to do for me?” Bla bla bla. We have been on this roller coaster for a long time now and really? I have to basically prove my love through expensive trips and gifts? My wife’s prized possession is some stupid clay rabbit (that looks like a ball of clay with ears) that my son gave her. Ohhh – so special. But me? Oh Nooooo! because i have a job I better buy here something or take her somewhere. Screw it – Im going to Michael’s right fricken now and buying some building clay. My rabbit will be awesome – and his might have a little “Accident”. (just kidding).


  8. I loved reading this (and the comments) & learning that my husband is not the only inept man out there who cannot or will not plan anything. I’ve been sending out smoke signals for about 2 yrs now as we are quickly approaching our 20th. I am also happy to learn that I am not the only anxious wife who thinks our 20th should be celebrated more exotically than the less previous years, the usual dinner & a quickie (loved your reference to that part). As we have older kids along with younger kids, we have live in babysitters that we trust so the kid thing is not an issue. And since we own our own business that is doing pretty well now in it’s 4th year, for once in our 20 years of marriage, money is not too much of an issue either though we could not afford a super exotic trip. However, the fact that we do own our own business & our oldest kid will be the babysitter only allows for a night or two away, no out of country or even state trips as we will need to be close & available in case one of our techs need to reach my husband. But I too have been watching my husband & see no signs of him looking up trip ideas or even gift ideas… not even a shopping trip to Michael’s thank God. So I have decided that after 20years of marriage, I should know my husband well enough to know that him planning something is just not in our cards so I am going to plan something fun for us (that’s why I am searching for ideas & came across this) and he is going to like it or plan it himself next time LOL. Good luck with your husband’s out there ladies.


    1. You know, in these times of equality I think there’s no reason it should be down to the man to provide the romance, especially if it’s not their strong point. Let’s face it, there are bigger things to get upset over in marriage. Go for it. Surprise him. As they say, giving is better than receiving.


  9. Thank you for your blog. I don’t know any couples married this long except parents, and they didn’t do anything. My man has never been romantic (he go me a CPU chip for our first Christmas), but he’ll go along with whatever. I think I’ll plan something for us and drag him along. The best anniversary present would be a surprise, true, but I don’t think any of us would be married this long if we hadn’t accepted the status quo a long time ago.


  10. Ok, so we are coming up on our 20th Anniversary next week. I am sitting here unsure of what to do or how to feel about it. I have surprised her over the years with trips, concerts and little gifts and many times I have been rewarded with momentary gratitude, occasionally a quickie if I’m lucky and always the bill.

    She has always been a good person, loving mother to 3 children and a wife, in that order. In high school there was romance, college there was attention and marriage there has been duties. I know 20 years is supposed to be special but I’m just not feeling special. I don’t feel loathing, but I’m not feeling the need for another bill just to have something associated with 20 years.

    Please, before you bash me and say maybe it’s this way because of my lack of romance… not helping around the house or being there for her – give me the benefit of the doubt. I do the bills, I do the grocery shopping, I fix the cars, I have had 2-3 jobs to try to make ends meet, I do the laundry, I used to rub her back and feet to get things started, etc. I try never to yell, support those around me and make people smile or laugh whenever possible….In short, I have tried everything I could think of to keep things positive. I’ve lost the desire to do anything special because of someone being too tired or having a headache so often or being too busy with work and kids to reflect any attention back to me.

    So I ask you, has he always been less romantic or did life turn him that way? I can say honestly say that I did not start this way and I don’t like being this way. However, it’s like many of you said, a leopard doesn’t change it’s spots.

    I like having insite from the female mind, and with that being said, what would you do?


    1. I think you need to talk to her, plain and simple and ask her why she feels that you don’t deserve to be made to feel special sometimes. I’m a feminist, so I don’t believe its the man’s job to buy the pressies etc. You’re right – she needs to pull her weight. Don’t be afraid to talk to her. If she is angry because of it, then perhaps you each need to ask some serious questions about where your relationship is going.


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