My Seven Secrets To A Lasting Marriage

rose-petals-693570_1920Apparently, marriage is back in fashion and as it was our anniversary yesterday – hence, that time of the year where I selflessly dedicate twenty-four hours of my time to be nice to my husband in return for a slap-up meal – I’ve decided to share the reasons behind our unmitigated happiness and unbridled passion.


Is marriage what I expected when I stood at that altar all those years ago?


Perhaps. It would have helped if either one of us had been grown ups or I hadn’t been looking through the rose-tinted glasses of a bride, more concerned about whether the wedding favors matched the flowers, or where I could smoke in a marquee. But a warning about the shit stains in the loo, the money worries and the curse of children wouldn’t have gone amiss, so my first secret is tolerance. Because whenever the old man fucks up, I always try to remember that no-one is perfect, even though I come pretty close.


I do miss being able to do exactly what I want to do all the time. Last Sunday was the perfect example of where compromise sucks. NC and I decided to watch the first season of a new series together and after a six-hour mammoth session of over-achievement, the old man dared to demand the tv room back, so while she sloped off to watch the rest of the series in her bedroom, I was left to sulk and invent new forms of torture for him. You spend a lot of time planning your partner’s death in marriage.


Communication and mutual interests are hugely important, which is why we continue to drink copious amounts of wine together. I did invite him to hot yoga with me – normal yoga during the menopause – but that was obviously never going to happen. “Walking” together clears the cobwebs and eases the tensions in neutral territory where we can discuss important shit without access to crockery to throw. Who knows, this time next year we could be gardening together.


Admittedly, I never thought we’d make the twenty-four-year mark and having realistic expectations has helped. I carried the stigma of being the first child of a divorce at school – please refer to scarred by my parents – so I was skeptical about marriage. But so far, we’ve weathered the near cyclonic storms with minimal damage – both the ones I’ve created because I like the sound of my own voice as well as the ones that life has thrown at us, such as the loss of loved ones, career disappointments, money lost through investment and that murky bag of smaller, miscellaneous disappointments that form part of the fabric of life. So you need backbone and commitment to keep going, as well as something that comes later in life for me – an appreciation of the little things.


Trust is a huge part of marriage. I admit that I am one of those stupid women to entrust my husband with our money – mainly because I am useless with it and we would be living on the streets if I managed it for us. A ‘running away’ account is currently being negotiated because we I am very open like that. In much the same way, he has entrusted me with the organization of our social life, because he is useless with people and would become a hermit somewhere in the Snowy Mountains if allowed. 


And my last secret is that you need to cuddle. A lot. Now, I’m not a natural cuddler – see ref. above about being screwed up as a child – but the old man is like a big teddy bear that needs to feel loved. Some might call him “needy.”


Twenty-five years might be pushing it if the old man’s rabbit in the headlights expression was anything to go by when I said we need to do something amazing next year – please refer to realistic expectations above.


Here they are again:



Mutual Interests









Perfect Wife Or Perfect Bitch?

Perfect Wife Or Perfect Bitch?
Found on at

It’s possible that I have acquired the reputation of being a bit of a bitch to my husband on this blog.


Or perhaps that’s just the old man whining again.


But having recently devoured Gillian Flynn‘s novel, Gone Girl, from cover to cover and in record time, (so I can see the film on cheapie Tuesday), I beg to differ.


Don’t get me wrong, I’m no Amy Elliott Dunne, but I have to admit to a secret respect for the protagonist of the book and her cunning logic when it comes to husband management.


In the old days, we used to cut men’s ties in half or bury prawns under the rug to get even (didn’t we?), but setting your husband up for your murder is a fairly radical move.


Not that anything is impossible when it comes to the fracture of love and relationships.


I won’t spoil the plot for those who haven’t read the book, seen the film or bought the tee-shirt yet, but since I finished it I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m either way too soft on the old man or plain stupid when it comes to dealing with the daily disappointments that pertain to my husband.


OR it could be that I’m the perfect wife.


Here’s why:


After 21 years of marriage, I don’t actually care enough to waste valuable time plotting revenge for the old man’s inadequacies.


English: Brad Pitt at the Toronto Internationa...
English: Brad Pitt at the Toronto International Film Festival 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

These days I do allow him to make love to me provided a) I can pretend he’s Brad Pitt b) I can turn the lights off (so I can pretend he’s Brad Pitt) c) I’m allowed to read my Kindle at the same time and d) I don’t have to pretend to orgasm anymore, which is just so exhausting.


I only nag him these days when he needs to be nagged – is it really my fault that he can’t follow simple instructions from one hour to the next?


I always ask nicely for my morning cup of tea in bed.


I am very tolerant of his few friends and sometimes even invite them to the house.


I dress him, in terms of selecting his clothes, in what I see as a public service.


I feed him from Monday to Friday in return for one paltry dinner at the most expensive restaurant I can find at the weekend.


I listen to him (without yawning) while he drones on and on about his deathly boring get-rich-quick and money-saving schemes. It’s quite sweet that he still truly believes that he can educate me about the value of money, but it’s also why I’m sometimes forced to operate in an uncharacteristically clandestine manner, and withdraw wads of cash when he’s not paying attention.


I try to stay as physically beautiful as I can within the limitations of my age and the third-world level of cash I am allowed to siphon from our bank account indulge on myself without him finding out sulking or having another dull domestic on the subject of money.


Are you under-appreciated perfect-wife material too?


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The Importance Of Defining Roles In A Successful Relationship

Chaise Rocker (1 of 3)
Chaise Rocker (1 of 3) (Photo credit: Stewf)

I’ve discussed the absolute necessity of defining roles in relationships before.


Many of us slip into these roles quite naturally – where each partner takes ownership of particular ‘jobs’ in the household that are more suited to their own particular skill base.


For example, the old man is very good at taking out the rubbish at our house, and I know that he might deny it, but he is very adept (and I am certain finds it personally fulfilling) at sifting through bin juice, recycling and destroying cardboard boxes. He also does the gardening and much of the financial management.


I do everything else.


And in the past, I have been one of those lucky women whose husband doesn’t poke his nose AT ALL into the styling of our homes. Because that is my jurisdiction, just as acquiring technology is his.


This is mainly because the old man has about as much creativity as an accountant – perhaps because he is one – and because he also couldn’t give a fuck about the many different shades of white or textures of cushions. I like to think that it is also out of respect for my craft, with my background is interior design.

Trash Recycling with Disposal Containers


So apart from setting the budget, he leaves the furnishing to me.


Or he has done up until now. Because for some reason, he has decided to voice an opinion about which furniture makes the cut to our new apartment.


And it physically hurts me to even commence a discussion about room plans and spatial planning when my husband has as much spatial awareness as a drunk. Particularly when I know that his concerns have nothing to do with aesthetics and how our apartment will evolve, but rather how it will function and at what cost.


In his crazy, mixed-up and distorted accounting mind, life functions better without materialism and spending money – aside from the need for Apple-everything, apparently.


He has already dared to challenge me on various pieces of furniture and accessories, some of which we do not NEED exactly but which will aesthetically create the best ambiance for our new home.


So the next time he gives me ill-informed input about where something should go, I may be forced to cut off his testicles with very blunt scissors, I may have to bite my lip because I can’t handle being told what to do in one of my departments. It is rather like me looking at our annual household spreadsheet and telling him where we could save money.


Which is frankly absurd.

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