How to have a long and happy marriage…


This week my parents celebrate 30 years of marriage. Quite how they made it there I’m not 100% sure –  almost polar opposites; he’s the diamond in the rough from the North East that struck gold with the most well spoken woman to come out of Croydon; (Purley way don’t you know) they were probably never destined to meet but when they did it was love at first sight with my dad popping the question that very same day. I still find this quite hard to fathom as my dad is the least romantic person ever but I guess a gorgeous thing like my mum can make even the most hardy hearted man melt.

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Aren’t these two the cutest!

So yes, thirty years on and they’re still together and I’d like to think they’ve taught me a few things about relationships and marriage and therefore I thought I’d share what I think helps make a marriage last (apart from the obvious love, trust etc etc) and the memories that go with them.

1. Buy each other thoughtful gifts…

My mum has the most ridiculous sense of humour, the sillier the better for her! She’s always been a fan of Wallace & Grommit too so one Christmas or Birthday…

wallace-and-grommit-characters…I forget which (I was like, eight!) my dad bought her a Wallace & Grommit t-shirt. (!) lovingly wrapped in NEWSPAPER and secured it with stickers from Texaco where my he used to work. Talk about waste not want not. I’m pretty sure since then my sister and I have been in charge present buying for my mum in the guise of my dad. In this case it was definitely the thought that counted.

2. Tell each other your fears…

On a Eurocamp holiday in France my dad and I took a walk from our tent to the communal toilets, on the way back we found the most enormous toad EVER.

toadNaturally we picked it up and took it back to the tent, unbeknownst to me that my mother was terrified of them. Like ‘stand on a chair and scream at her husband over and over’ terrified. I can’t help but think my dad might have been aware of this toad-phobia.

3. Understand each others differences…

If you head to a supermarket with my dad he will be in the bargain aisle picking up the bashed tins and almost out of date sausages. He also still has a scarf from 1973.

sunderland-fansMy mum on the other hand has a new wardrobe every week. She just splashed out on a hot tub for the garden (that I reckon will get used once a year) and gets her hair cut in London and coloured in Dorset, dahhhling. Still my dad just lets her get on with it…like she lets him disappear to the pub to watch the football when he’s pretended to pop to Tescos for some milk (conveniently the pub is located right next door to Tescos and even more conveniently he always bumps into someone who simply insists on buying him a quick pint.) They’ve been together so long now that I think they know what they’ve both signed up for.

4. If in doubt, get the same hair cut…

Speaking  of haircuts, I unfortunately take after my dad when it comes to my barnet – wild and curly, he’s always rocked a bit of a white-boy ‘fro. And back when I was around 3 or 4 my mum came to pick me up from Nursery after having had a perm – they were all the rage back then.

As a 3 year old I couldn’t quite comprehend what a perm was and proceeded to ask my mum why she was wearing daddy’s hair. I doubt very much whether she’d said, make me look my husband when she went into the hairdressers that morning but who know’s maybe they liked each other more when they looked similar?

5. Have children…

Preferably one girl called Samantha and then follow her up with twins, one boy and one girl and name them Jack and Harriet. That way when you catch yourself thinking ‘what the hell are we still doing together’ you can look at these amazing human beings, remember you and your husband/wife created them and therefore you must work pretty well together or at least your DNA does.

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On really difficult days I’d look at your youngest twin girl, she’ll reassure you the most as she really is something special, beauty & brains and incredibly modest with it. She’ll also probably grow up to write incredibly funny and intelligent blog post in which she will lovingly refer to you every now and again.

6. Travel…

The couple that holidaaaays together staaays together. You definitely learn a lot about another person when you’re in another country. I obviously don’t know what my parents jolidays were like before I arrived on the scene but I know that every year they’ve ventured somewhere outside of the UK and I can only imagine those experiences have made them stronger. I think cheering my dad on from the sidelines as he beat a fellow, German holiday maker to the last seat in a rather lively round of musical chairs on year in Corfu must have been a particularly proud moment for my mum.

barbados-beachPlus these two have been to Barbados for the last couple of years so even if they can’t stand each other now at least they have a lot of Rum and a helluva a view to look at.

7. Make an effort for each other…

It’s very easy to let yourself go after such a long time together. Your partner has seen the good, the bad and the very ugly. My mum however has always made an effort with her appearance although she has been known to buy animal themed onesies to wear around the house even suggesting my dad get one too.

Not sure what the neighbours would think if they peered through the front windows and saw two giant Pandas sitting on the sofa.

Happy Anniversay Mum & Dad – here’s to the next thirty years!!!

Harry xx

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