A lot of people ask if my wife gets angry at the things I write in this column.
Or, more accurately, how we’re still married. Putting aside the fact I mock
myself far more than I make fun of her, I could answer that it’s all about love,
communication and trust: that our passion and intense feelings for each
other override any minor disagreements. And while all that’s true (though
sometimes she assures me the ‘intense feelings’ are of an “intensely want to
throttle you” manner), I think for us the biggest thing is the ability to laugh
with each other. We don’t easily take offence and it’s quite common to have
each other in stitches by throwing each other’s words back or highlighting
habits in a playful light.
It’s about maintaining our sense of humour in the face of very busy and
stressful lifestyles. We celebrate our differences rather than let them become
points of tension. And no matter how close a couple is there are always points
of difference. For example:
I don’t care about accommodation as long as it’s clean and hygienic; Sandra
prefers five-star. I love Queen; she prefers Madonna. She’s very driven
(Anthony: *cough-workaholic-cough*) whereas I’m quite laidback (Sandra:
I’m very maternal and nurturing while she’s… umm… not so much.I know how
to cook. She knows how to order in. Or tell me what she wants. She owns a
Kenny G CD and I try not to hold it against her. And while I like intelligently
written, layered TV shows, she religiously watches the Crime Channel – in
particular, the shows where a wife murders her husband. Which I’m sure is
completely unrelated to her recently making sure my life insurance policy is up
to date. Hmm…
Anyway the point is that life isn’t a rom-com or a fairytale. It’s never seamless
or perfect when people interact. Relationships can be hard and they need
to be worked on. And when kids come along there are even more pressures.
Despite what The Beatles told us, love isn’t all you need.
Since becoming a parent I often find it very difficult to not put the kids first
so there are times when ‘couple-time’ is hard to come by. We all know it’s
important to find ‘me-time’ even if it seems impossible. And it’s just as
important to remind your partner they’re still loved and to find time for the
two of you to remember why you fell in love.
So in 2016 I’ve made a pledge to spend more time with Sandra and do more
things we – and she – like to do. So we can laugh with each other even more.
Right after I have the crime channel removed from our Pay TV package.