Having recently celebrated our first wedding anniversary I have been thinking about posting a ‘love’ themed post for a while. But love is something which is extremely personal and difficult to put into words, so until now I couldn’t put my finger on what I wanted to write about. A few weeks ago we had a magical and romantic ‘couple shoot’ in Hyde Park, shot by the amazingly talented Rebecca Carpenter, and the stunning photography that came out of it inspired me to create this post. The images she captured seem to encapsulate how happy we are and how, a year on, we are feeling stronger and more in love than ever. Being in love is the most wonderful thing, here is some of my best advice for maintaining a strong and healthy relationship.

Say I love you everyday. I know it sounds cliché, but even after four years we still make sure we say those three little words every single day. It becomes habit after a while, but a little text after you’ve left in the morning just to tell your partner how much you love them will really make them smile. Of course, it’s easy to say ‘I love you’. But the fact that you make a point of saying it every day means that you really feel it too, and they’ll know that.

Decide that you don’t argue, and then don’t. Let’s face it, most of us hate arguments right?! Especially with the one we love the most. It’s so upsetting and hurtful things can be said that are not easily forgotten. Paul and I don’t argue, and some of our friends can’t fathom this. When they ask me, ‘How can you possibly live together, be married and not have fights?’ I always answer the same. Because we have made a commitment not to. The very action of declaring that we don’t argue prevents us from doing so. Sure, there are occasions when we could easily have a flaming row; one of us is snappy or tired, disagreements over chores, all the usual, but whenever we find ourselves on the brink of an argument one of us says, ‘Hang on a minute, we don’t argue – let’s sort this out.’ The situation is diffused and the prospect of argument has disappeared. If you agree to commit to a no argument policy then you will sort issues quickly and have much more time in each others company for happiness and laughter!

Make real time for each other. Sometimes, with our busy lives and trying to squeeze social lives around work I think we can forget to pencil some time into the diary for our other halves. Occasionally I feel like I haven’t seen Paul for ages, sure – I see him every day, but I don’t really feel like a work night evening spent in front on Eastenders is really quality time together. By making sure we make time for proper date nights and time for each other in our weekends/days off we can keep our relationships strong and happy.

Be grateful. We can all get on each others nerves sometimes but, at the end of the day, if you’re lucky enough to have found your soulmate then you should be super grateful for every moment! It’s the little things that matter, and I cherish every day. Life always gets in the way sometimes, but just taking a step back and thinking ‘wow, I am so GRATEFUL to have this special person in my life’ can really help put things into perspective, and ultimately will increase happiness levels and sense of contentment.

 

Compromise. I know, this one is so annoying because sometimes we just don’t wanna compromise godammit! We want our own way! But learning to compromise is so key to a happy relationship. It’s easier to do when you imagine that your compromise is genuinely going to make the love in your life happy. If ordering a Chinese instead of the curry you want is going to fill them with joy then it’s worth it – right?!!

So there you go. I’m not by any means saying that my marriage is perfect, but it’s perfect for me.

Wishing you love and happiness in your current and future relationships.

 

Today I’ve decided to write a little post on my thoughts about ‘wifeing’. I am now a wife, I have been for nearly four months now.  ‘How’s married life?’ and ‘Have you got fed up with him yet?!’ with a wink and a nudge are questions that now come up often. When you get married, you’re relationship seems to change in the eyes of others. Yes, you have moved from ‘girlfriend’ to ‘wife’, but does that title and a legal document really make a difference? For us, no. We were already living together and behaving as if we were married, so there is no change at all really.

I am a wife, and I’m enjoying it! I’m getting used to it now. Wife is now part of my identity, but by no means does it define me. I think the term ‘good wife’ often comes with connotations of  baking apple pies and darning socks. Now, this may be you of course and there is nothing wrong with that at all. But it’s not me and by no means will I be morphing into the ‘super wife’ just because I’ve got a ring on my finger.

So, for those of you who are married, getting married, or just plain curious here is what being a ‘good wife’ means to me.

Respect.  Number ONE always respect your husband as he respects you. Appreciate him and love him just as much as you did when you were dating/first got engaged.

Romance. Keep it alive! Yes, it’s unrealistic to keep up hearts and flowers indefinitely but occasionally just doing something really nice for him will make a difference.

Love him to bits. I love my husband so much and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Love him to death because HELL you are so lucky you have married the love of your life.

Let it go. Husbands are not perfect just like you and everyone else on the planet. Don’t get annoyed about nothing. Let him make little mistakes and just breath it out and let go of it, it’s not the end of the world if he forgot to do something he promised or spilt coffee on the carpet (in our case this is more likely to be me..).

Back him up. There might be times when hubby really needs your support.  Be his rock when things are tough.

Enjoy your time together. Just because your not ‘dating’ anymore doesn’t mean you can’t still go on dates! Do fun stuff on your days off together, take each other out, surprise each other with day trips, try new things.

Look hot. This one may be a bit vain and trust me my husband sees me at my absolute WORST on a daily basis when I wake up in the morning but I always make an effort to look my best when we go out or are seeing friends or his family.

PAY FOR STUFF. Unless a wife is a stay at home mum or earns a hell of a lot less than their husband I really don’t see why he should pay for everything. We spilt virtually everything down the middle and I never expect to be paid for. I think that’s just common sense.

Do your bit. Around the house I’m talking. I’m certainly not an obedient wife who does all the housework but it’s only fair to do half.

No shouting. Again another personal one because I know some people love getting their frustrations out with a good old row but I hate it so I never, ever raise my voice. Paul’s never heard me shout and I want to keep it that way.

Say sorry. It’s not always his fault! Be fair and if it’s yours then just say sorry.

Teamwork. We are a TEAM. Like all solid couples Michelle and Barack, Posh and Becks, Brad and Ange we work together on everything and do everything together. Best mates and partners in life, his happiness means as much to me as mine, if not more.

Never go to sleep on a fight, be faithful and loyal (goes without saying), say ‘I love you’ every day and kiss him in public (although not with tongues, yuk PDA) and if he reeeeeally wants you to bake apple pie then buy it from M&S ask his mum for the recipe and make one. ONLY OCCASSIONALLY though you don’t want him to get too spoilt.

People may disagree on the ins and outs of what being a good wife entails, but these things are what I promised in my vows and I plan to hold up my end of the bargain.

What do you think it means to ‘be a good wife’??

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