Yesterday Big Friendly and I celebrated our 8th anniversary. It’s not a lot, compared to the many marriages out there that have lasted a lifetime, and we did only find each other later in our lives, but it has been the best working part of each of our lives these last eight years.
Last night (I felt flu-ish and feverish all day) over a quiet meal at one of our favourite restaurants we chatted about how lucky we were, with each other and for each other (I know. If anyone was listening it sounds like a Mills and Boon ending in real life), but we also spoke about why it worked and why we were so lucky. Here are some of those thoughts and reasons.
We support each other. We support each other when things are not going well for each other, but more importantly, we support each other when things are going brilliantly. I am utterly convinced that Big Friendly’s support is a large part of the success I consider I have achieved in the last eight years; professionally, socially and psychologically. I have a husband who delights that I am going to New York and Australia and will be away for a month and a half, and will do anything to help. Yes, we will miss each other, but we want the best things for each other, and will help each other have them.
We champion each others’ causes. In very different ways. Big Friendly is loyal and elephantine in memory. He does not forget a hurt I feel, and feels it long after I have recovered. I am the talk machine of support. I will talk a thing through and through, and listen to it from every angle.
We have our work around the house and Big Friendly does things for me, and me for him, with love.
I hear him when he says he doesn’t really like going out, and I go out without him, often. And then, sometimes he does come with me, to be with me. And sometimes I just stay at home, to be with him.
We have suffered the loss of animals deeply and painfully, and our love of them has brought us closer.
We are proud of each other. Glowingly proud. We show each other off when we talk about each other (but not necessarily in front of each other; Big friendly would die). Big Friendly tells everyone about my work all the time, doing publicity for me with such sincere pride in my achievements. The result is that he validates them for me, and when I have moments of doubt, they can, and are assuaged by the one who believes in me.
We recognise each other’s weaknesses but don’t use them against each other. We don’t store old hurts and bring them up to hurt each other. We generally make a big effort not to cause each other pain or anger. And we try very hard not to blame each other. This last one is not easy, for both of us, but we work on it, and get it mostly right.
We hardly ever fight. We have had maybe four big fights in our relationship of nine years. This is a personal miracle for us because I am queen of confrontation and Big Friendly is emperor of the cold war. We decided not to fight and haven’t.
Of course there are niggles. And moments of irritation. And the one time (out of twenty) that we don’t get each other, or agree. And then, we are more surprised than anything else, because there is so much we do completely see and be eye to eye on. And for those of you who know us in real life, you must know I don’t mean that literally. It’s a size thing.
It also helps that we find each other hilarious. And that we send each other pictures of animals all day.
I am getting up now. I want to make Big Friendly lunch to take to work. He is making my coffee. Life is good.