Or Where I’ve been Lately!
You may have wondered about the slow pace here at The Crafty Mummy lately. I haven’t written a lot of posts or shared all that much crafting. I even snuck some tropical island pictures into my social media a couple of weeks back!
That’s because I went to a beautiful tropical island and celebrated 20 years of marriage to my lovely husband. This amazing man secretly organised for us to go back to the island we went to on our honeymoon – without our kids! – and only told me a couple of weeks before we were due to leave. We had almost a week away from home while my wonderful parents stepped in to look after the children.
It was bliss!
The island is Orpheus Island and it is off the coast of Townsville in north Queensland. The resort there is small and special. It only caters to about 30 guests at a time and you fly in via helicopter. But what makes it truly special is the staff. They are friendly and relaxed – you feel like you’ve just joined this little family for a few days! The meals are all prepared by amazing chefs who will cater to individual requests. The pool is beautiful and every night they feed the sharks and other fish off the end of the pier. You can do all kinds of water activities if you have the energy, or be dropped to a deserted beach for the day with a picnic lunch and snorkel gear. The rooms are individual bungalows that look out over the beach, as does the restaurant and bar.
Enough! I could go on for days but you can check it out on their website here.
Twenty years seems a long time to be married these days. So I thought I’d indulge in my top tips for keeping your marriage strong. Every partnership has its ups and downs and we’ve had our share but we must be doing something right.
1. Commit for the long haul
Right up front I decided this was the man I wanted to be with and I committed to that future. When things get tough, I don’t wonder how I get out of this relationship. Instead, I wonder how I can change things to make it work again. In my mind leaving is just not an option. Of course, if he suddenly started abusing me then that would be different, but I’m not going to leave because his job suddenly requires longer hours or he forgets my birthday.
2. Accept that Things Change
We married when I was 23 years old. We were young – although we didn’t think so at the time. Of course over the years, we have both grown and changed in the way we think and act. That’s normal. Don’t expect that this person is always going to be just like they are when you meet them or marry them. Just as you won’t remain the same either. In fact, you should be encouraging each other to grow and learn. I have supported him through years of study and he has encouraged me to continue this blogging business because we both saw that it was something the other needed to do and enjoyed.
3. Work it Out
Part of being in it for the long haul and accepting that things will change as you grow up means you have to be ready to work it out. Both of us would prefer to be alone and overthink things when we’re upset, but we’ve learnt that making ourselves talk – even when the talking also involves tears or yelling or both – will resolve things much quicker than thinking alone and blowing things out of proportion. Sometimes we agree to disagree but at least we’ve tried to see the other side of the story and tried to explain our own viewpoint. We always seem to be able to find some compromise given enough time and patience.
4. Communication is key
As in all relationships, communication is key. These days communication doesn’t only need to be face to face either. I’m slightly jealous of a very good friend who communicates with her husband throughout the day via text. They often send each other little messages and jokes and I love to see how this constantly draws them into each other’s world. For us, there is always communication in the morning and at night. The kids have recognised naturally that when Dad gets home, we need to talk about our days and hopefully we are modelling that this is part of a strong marriage. Sharing the good and the bad is really important.
My 4 tips are only a start. I’m sure there are many more tips that you would share.
In fact, tell me in the comments:
What would be your top tip for a strong marriage?
Step Back in Time
Check out my wedding dress and my wedding gift to us all those years ago