Guest post by Susanna @A_Yorkshire_Girl
My husband and I met across a crowded bar in Leeds. We locked eyes with each other and smiled. That might seem like the start of a Mills and Boon novel, but it is exactly how it happened.
I had been divorced for a number of years and was happy as a single mum of three beautiful daughters. Tony was also recently divorced and the proverbial weekend dad of two children.
We had both gone out into Leeds on a social evening with our respective friends. Ironically neither of us had been to this bar before and it was unusual for me to even be in Leeds.
After our initial furtive glance at each other, we eventually found ourselves chatting about life, work and our families. At the end of the night Tony and I exchanged numbers as we had arranged to meet up for a game of tennis which was a sport we both loved.
On returning home I phoned my best friend to tell her about my interesting night in Leeds. At the end of the call I told her that I had just met the man I was going to marry. While that might sound dramatic, I remember being absolutely certain that I would marry Tony. I certainly had no inclination to find a new partner that night or any night. I was blissfully happy living my best life as a single mum with three children.
So why then ? And why Tony ? Well, I can only presume I had fallen in love at first sight. I knew then and still believe it now, that I had met the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. We seemed to be at ease and comfortable with each other. We had the same interests and thoughts on life. It was as though we had known each other all our lives. It was as if it was meant to be.
Our relationship blossomed quickly and within six months we were engaged and exactly twelve months after we had first met we were married in front of our families.
That was sixteen years ago and we are still happily married. Of course we have had ups and downs like any married couple, especially as we both had children from previous marriages which is never easy for anyone. Second time around marriages bring so many difficulties and stresses which are never truly appreciated until you are part of it.
The trick to dealing with the inevitable stressful issues are compromise and patience. Compromise is the answer to most difficulties. Taking time to step back and understand that we may not always have the same point of view as each other. Accepting that we may not be always right is key to a happy marriage. Yes, we have to stand up for what we believe in, but if our partner does not agree with our viewpoint, then that is ok too.
I believe what makes our marriage tick are our differences AND our similarities. While that may sound an odd statement, it is in fact really important in keeping our marriage healthy and alive.
Tony and I love doing so much together creating special memories. That can be playing tennis together, walking the dog or spending time at the gym. Conversely we also like creating our own memories away from each other. Tony loves to play rugby which is not something I am interested in. I love writing and watching Midsomer Murders, something Tony is not that keen on.
Having interests away from each other is so important in keeping the spark in a marriage. We cannot possibly live in each other’s pockets all the time, sharing everything at every minute of every day. I believe that having shared AND separate interests is crucial to a happy marriage.
Finally, marriage is not easy and has to be worked at, but when it works, marriage is just amazing and can bring such joy to both parties. Love and commitment really are the cornerstones of life.