This month my husband and I celebrate ten years of marriage together and to celebrate we had a day out together, child free and dog free.

Our celebration was more about celebrating our commitment together rather than the romantic side of things. We were celebrating the fact we made it through ten years with kids, house moves, job changes, financial difficulties, career changes, business building and so much more. Don’t get me wrong romance is important and has been present through our marriage but commitment and hard work has been the foundations for everything. 

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As a reflection of our marriage I wanted to share 5 things that marriage has taught me and whilst writing this Richard chipped in and gave me a couple of things too, I agree with them all and our reflections are below; 

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5 things I have learned; 

1. Kindness

When two imperfectly perfect people come together they have different views, outlooks and ideas about marriage, life and how to bring kids up. At times, this causes disagreements, friction and arguments and over the years there has been times when we’ve been pretty rotten to one another but, when it all calms down we remember how much we actually love one another and we apologise and move on. Over the years we’ve remembered how important kindness is, even in the heat of the moment.

2. Sharing the same values, outlooks and perspectives 

For anyone that knows Richard and I, you’ll know how similar yet different we are. We share the same values, morals and outlooks about life and want the same things yet we are very different. We are different in the way we communicate, different in the way we make decisions, discipline our children etc. This can cause friction at times but fundamentally we get over it as we share the same outlook about life, we just sometimes go about things in entirely different ways. Remembering we are imperfectly perfect is key, no one is always right or always wrong. 

3. Each person is responsible for their own happiness 

There have been times over the years when Rich was unhappy about his job or something else and vice versa. During this time, the other person’s mood might be low and this can be hard to live with, especially if it goes on for some time. Although we support one another and love each other unconditionally we have learned that each party is responsible for getting their own life in order; work, career, hobbies, friends etc. That way, when they’re happy, they can bring happiness to the relationship and together we can be happy. 

4. Plant seeds 

There have been many times in the past when I’ve been thinking about something life changing like moving house, buying new car, setting up a business etc and Ive reflected on these things for months before bringing it to the table with Richard. I’ve learned that when I do this, I’m at the end of the journey with my thinking and I’m discussing it with him for the first time and expecting him to make a decision straight away and when he doesn’t I’m often left feeling frustrated. I’ve learned its best to plant seeds as I’m reflecting, researching and thinking, that way he is on the journey with me and together we can make a decision together. No shock surprises that way! 

5. Romance is important but committment is even more important 

For many years romance took a back seat as we survived the early years of having two boys a year apart. We experienced financial challenge, hardship, health issues, grief and much more and at times just being there for each other was the only thing we could muster up energy wise. Ten years on weve begun to weave romance back into our marriage and really looking back its always been there, just never in the grand gestures of flowers and/or gifts, its been apparent in the little things and daily grind. 

Romance is important but commitment is even more important. Over the years we have supported one another through thick and thin, we have supported one anothers good decisions and bad decisions and for that I am eternally grateful. 

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Here’s 5 things Richard wanted to contribute, in his words, Richie’s recommendations; 

1. Patience is key 

Patience is critical in every aspect of marriage. Being patient in decision making is important as one person might want to make a life changing decision right away and the other person may need a little more thinking and/or processing time before committing to anything. Patience is when the other person annoys and/or frustrates you and you have to bite your tongue or walk away. 

2. Love is the foundation 

Love is key because if you don’t love that person and aren’t in love with that person then what’s the point?! Marriage is hard at times and it’s worth fighting for and committing to but, only if you can genuinely see yourself spending the rest of your life together with that person. Otherwise the small things could be the things that could tear you apart.

3. Keep it fresh

Be light hearted, have fun together and make the effort for one another 

4. Remember to have a laugh and have fun 

Laughter is important and not taking things too seriously is key. Now we’re ten years into our marriage and the boys have grown, things for us are financially better and everything is a little more light hearted. 

5. Enjoy the journey 

Having dreams and goals is important but, don’t let it take over daily life otherwise you’ll focus on the big things and lose sight of the daily stuff. The little stuff is even more important than the big stuff in the end. 

It’s been really great to share this blog post with Richard and its been nice to get his perspective too. Over the ten years weve been together weve grown so much as individuals and together weve grown as a couple but I’m pleased to say our needs, wants and aspirations have remained aligned. I’m just pleased to say, ten years on we’re stronger than ever and more in love than ever. We’ve shared so much, celebrated we’ve got this far and made it to the top of the hill; everything we’ve strived for, we have achieved and we are so proud to say we made it.

Here’s to the next ten years!

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