What I’ve learned in 10 years of marriage

What I’ve learned in 10 years of marriage


Where do I start as I think about the relationship that my mother in law once called “loves young dream” ? T

he one that started with monthly gifts (yes, every month a different gift) bought from him to me. Not just flower gifts – a stereo, tickets to the theatre, fun dinners. For seven months he swooned me and hit the nail in the coffin (for want of a better term) by proposing on one knee while we painted the bathroom of his new house.


I was head over cookie for my man and after swearing to myself and my friends during inter railing in the Summer of 2001 that I didn’t want to meet anyone during my final year at University, there he was, my hairy knight in shining armour ( a maroon hoodie to be exact) at a rugby game.

And so, we married the following year and the fun began.

As with most of my posts, there is uncharterered wisdom involved so take all my findings and advice from my ten years of marriage, with a pinch of salt.

  1. It is always someone’s job to put the bins out.

Simple, I know. When discussed in our marriage classes prior to the big day I was blissfully ignorant/innocent in my  “Let’s not discuss chores, those will happen naturally”. But they DON’T. Nobody frigging does it because they think the other is doing or has done it. Decide who is taking the bins out or unloading the dishwasher and stick to it.

2. Communication is key

It really flipping is. I have learned so much about communication with all of the jobs I had growing up (see this post- a nod to all the jobs I’ve had) and especially now in my own business. Communication means “the imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing, or using some other medium”. Who would have thought it!? So…when we communicate we MOVE FORWARD. Stuff gets done and fun things happen.

3. ‘Date night’ works

It really does. I mean, we don’t have a date night once a week (unless you call the Indian takeout we devour in front of the tele on a Saturday night a “date”). A cheeky coffee date set aside for just the two of you really helps all concerned. Wait for it – it helps communication which therefore means that someone knows they’re putting the bin out AND (heaven forbid) you feel all fuzzy and warm and happy after a date. Unless of course you fight, in which case you may need to re think your interests and find common ground in another activity!

4. Travelling together is the best.

It goes without saying, travelling is like one big date where you fight about directions, eat too much food, drink mimosas at nine am and change your perspective on life as a whole. For the better. Honeymoon is a good place to start . The planning, the booking, the packing, the arriving, the exploring and the departing. Sharing a packet of revels and coffee in a paper cup on the last leg. All of this is great for your marriage, do it!

5. You get a whole other family, the minute you marry someone

For some of you this may not be your favourite bit about marriage (!) but for me, getting involved with my husband’s family was such a cool part to our relationship. Perhaps it was growing up with a very different family dynamic because my dad died when my brother and I were so young. It was fascinating to see the fun Mike’s family had together, and also to see the similarities in the table humour and general banter within both of our families. Embrace the quirks and differences, they shape you.

6. Box sets become life.

They do. I don’t share the exact same interest as Mike in movies or tv series but we find a few good box sets and that becomes one of the best parts of our day! When we get to sit and watch them, together, with wine or chocolate, or both. In fact when I’m on the “clean eating” wagon we eat hummus, carrot sticks, crackers, cheese slices and tomato. Like you needed to know this.

7. The washing doesn’t wash itself.

Sorry to air our dirty laundry in public, darling, and to spout another household marriage related rant. But this is ongoing, even three children in. Two sporty persons under one roof makes for a whole lot of dirty washing. He prefers to hang it on the line, I can’t be arsed and would rather let it sit in the basket until it’s half dry then shove creased items on the radiators. Grounds for argument at every turn!

8. You get a best friend.

Soppy, but true. I adore my girl friends and can’t wait to share the latest happenings with them. But nothing beats a bestie who lives in the house with you (most likely one you set the plans for over cups of tea and paper plans. or a flat you searched high and low until it was just perfect for you), lies beside you in your fluffy onesie and goes on long car journeys to foreign lands with you. That friendship gets better with time.Pure gold.

9.Laughter is  key.

I hope he doesn’t mind me sharing (like he has a choice!) that we have had two major fights in our marriage. Just two where one or both of us felt uncomfortable, let down and we let it linger or fester so it just wasn’t nice to think about ever again. Besides that, we just bicker (ask our friends!) and wind each other in jest. Ninety eight percent of the time we can resolve our issues with laughter.  The looniness of marriage, even more loony when you add in some sprogs, has to be enjoyed and giggled through.

10. Playing the ‘blame game’ gets you nowhere.

Exactly as it says in the title- you ain’t winning no debate if you point the finger and put the other person down. Speaking from experience as someone who is well gifted in the blame game department- it’s not worth it. Accept when you have done wrong and know that nothing is too big to be discussed together. All in the name of love because, after all, you chose to love them for better or for worse because they are worth it.

I could go on but you will find your own path and discover your groove. It’s my favourite journey to date and I hope it will be yours too.

We have so many engagement presents bought through my shop that I am including a some faves below for you with links to each item on the store. See full range here.


A4 orr A3 MUSSENDEN TEMPLE– engagement spot in NI! £35 -£45

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A6 ENGAGEMENT PACKAGE– can be two prosecco or two Guinness upon request. £20.

castle leslie

A5 CASTLE LESLIE – a popular venue. £25

golden gate bridge_

A3 SPECIAL EDITION GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE– popular honeymoon destination

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A4 TEMPLE OF THE WINDS– the most beautiful location for an outdoor wedding £30