What makes a good relationship…….great?

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Very often when I get to know new people either through work, my class at university or through other social gatherings such as sports – I often get a surprised look when I tell people of firstly how long I have been married and secondly, how long the relationship has lasted.

We got together at the end of our teenage years, which looking at that now seems very young. It certainly doesn’t feel like we have been together for nearly eighteen years, as we still enjoy each others company immensely. As we have matured from the love-sick, sweet nineteen year olds we still enjoy spending quality time together and are still the best of friends.

I never take anything for granted, my relationship included. Often I think I am really lucky to have found the perfect person for me. We are like two peas in a pod, but he made a comment about our relationship last week which summed up to me what makes a good relationship great.

He had been talking to his work colleagues and telling them about the training schedule that he has for his sport. It generally takes him out of the house four evenings a week – with two of those being late into the evening. It’s never been an issue for me, he was that person when I met him and I have never tried to change that person. After all – that is one of the reasons I was attracted to him in the first place.

So, the work colleague was amazed that he “was allowed out four nights a week” and “doesn’t your missus try and stop you”.  My husband responded to that by saying that we don’t have that sort of relationship where we would ever stop the other one from doing anything.

And I think that is what makes our relationship not just good, but great! In the eighteen years that we have been together we are both really supportive to each other.  As a collective we have undertaken undergraduate degrees, coaching qualifications, run sports teams, played competitively in our chosen sports and currently postgraduate study.  Did I mention that we have two children too?

That is what makes our relationship unique. We both have our other interests, circle of friends and careers which we agree are extremely important to uphold. After all the relationship would be really boring if we never had anything but the kids to talk about. I think the reason a lot of relationships break down are through over protective partners (either male or female) although in my experience it is usually the woman who does this.

And why? Well for some women once they become mothers they think that their lives are over. They do their living through their children, and then find that their lives are dull, meaningless and they lose their identity. I have kept up with all of my outside interests, as just because I became a parent doesn’t mean that my life grinds to a halt. After all, a child has two parents so my children have both their parents raising them, and not just a miserable mother fetching and carrying for them.

It is also really important that the relationship is still exciting and loving. Obviously in the early days it is tough to do this constantly when we are busy changing nappies and all the other caring duties that come with a new born baby. But, now that the kids are older we try and spend a lot of time together as a couple and often go out – just the two of us.

Husband is participating in the Movember moustache growing exercise for a cancer charity, and although I did try and put him off doing it he has grown one. So in my supportive role I spent a huge chunk of Saturday night painting his face so he looked like Gene Simmons from Kiss.

After all, for a relationship to survive you need trust, patience, the wife rolling her eyes and facepaint.

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