The correct answer to the first part is another question: who knows? I’ve been beavering away at the marriage coalface for 31 years, but with two men. So, I’m never certain if that means I’m good or bad at it.
What I do get is that change is the only constant. Some years you can’t get enough of your spouse, some years you can’t abide them. It’s the Rolling with it that counts.
It’s certainly a daring idea, promising no matter the fluctuations in credit ratings, hairline or waistline you’ll share pillows with that person forever. A tick under 79,000 Australian couples signed up in 2020. Yep, even in a Pandemic year nearly 160,000 people took the leap of faith. Huzzah, and Hang in there.
As how you make yours last, again, the jury is out as to whether I’m the best person to ask. But since the jury is busy with the six-week Depp and Heard televised trial, I will anyway. Like carpet laying, all care and no responsibility.
In my checked experience, the biggest marriage killer is lack of appreciation followed by boredom. Then – irony of irony – giving advice. Don’t tell your beloved what to do. You’re pretty much standing over them and saying they can’t run their own lives.
It’s like Inspector Javert being married to Jean Valjean. No good.
Be proud of each other, for little and big things. For being a parent who listens, an adult child who takes elderly us and dads to the doctor or wineries. For being first on the dance floor. Last to take offense.
Have expectations that fit with your budget. New kitchens are Soulless, PS. If your spouse says something doesn’t feel right, trust them. Say “I love you” all the time and when your beloved’s tinted eyebrows make her look like a Muppet, kiss her neck and say, “my beautiful wife.”
Look across the party and rescue your person if they’re stuck with the bore. Don’t become a cyclist – you’ll be tired and thingy about carbs. Shop together. Take separate holidays. Block off Sunday afternoons for sex. As my penpal Christine tells me after reading Ann Patchett’s thoughts on marriage, make sure your spouse makes you a better human.
And go to bed at the same time, even if it’s to do Wordle.
Kate Halfpenny is the founder of Bad Mother Media.