Ok, so there is still time for a late divorce, but your Dad and I have been together for 27 years this December. No, no applause please – after this length of time Stockholm Syndrome would have set in sooner or later anyway.
Following the recent royal wedding now seems like a good time (from a marketing perspective at least) to impart some tips for a successful (or at any rate, lengthy) marriage, so here goes nothing.
Firstly, never take each other for granted. Life as a couple involves a certain amount of shared work and admin; renewing the car insurance, mowing the lawn, pretending to like each other’s friends. Remember to thank the other person for all that they do.
Secondly, there’s an old saying “compromise means neither side getting what they want” and there is nowhere that applies more than marriage. However when any two people live together, whether they be room-mates or the love of each other’s lives, compromise has to be involved, otherwise you end up with a relationship like Grandad’s.
Constant compromise doesn’t work either, you can’t go through life painting everything magnolia because you can’t agree on a colour – although we do paint every thing magnolia but that’s because we both like magnolia, and anyway it’s called Antique Cream so shut up.
To avoid the resentment that can build up from day-to-day compromises, make sure you both regularly get your own way over something. Even if that’s just by eating a whole Toblerone to yourself, whatever floats your boat.
Thirdly, communicate, don’t point score. You are team mates, not opponents. Discuss everything, listen, find out details and talk towards resolution of any disputes. If you find your discussions contain phrases like “Yes, in your face!” or “told you so” then you’re off track.
If your discussions contain gossip, and irrelevant tangents, it’s probably a good sign that you are friends first, right? Right?! Friends with ADHD yeah, but still friends.
For more detail on communicating see my earlier post Tell Them.
Lastly, and most importantly, ignore everything I just said because there is no magic formula to relationships. Perfect people don’t exist, it’s how they fit together that counts.
ALL people will drive each other crazy sometimes, and in their own unique, special, individually awful ways. You know you’ve found the right one when you realise you can both put up with all that crap, in exchange for keeping the other one around.