Advertisement

The 10 golden rules for making marriage last a decade

Marriage takes some rules (Getty)
Marriage takes some rules (Getty)

Yep, you read that right. A woman as youthful as moi has been married for a whole decade. It also means that life has taken its toll on my husband and me. The kind of toll that makes strangers ask ‘are you alright?’ as I sway on the platform at Finsbury Park after three broken hours of sleep with a sick one-year-old. Again. I am mangled by mundanity.

So when it comes round to opportunities to be loved for a day, I am all over it. Bathing like Bacchus in red wine at Aire baths? Give me that UTI. Shopping for fripperies like dried flowers and personalised pen pots to store my love note writing quill in at Coal Drops Yard? I guess I’ll write you a card then (Mean Mail only of course). Cinema trip to watch All of Us Strangers, where I’ll ogle Paul Mescal through my tears? This is indeed my unique love language.

I refuse to be snide about this invented saint’s day, co-opted by card companies and restaurants charging you double for one night a year. I need this.

But here, I crowdsourced some of the top tips for staying married for 10 years. Because once you’ve got to this point, you’re less and less likely to get divorced with each passing decade, until by 40 years, only 0.5 per cent of couples do. So if you were having a mild to moderately enjoyable time, play your cards right and you could get a lifetime extension, for free…

Try mindful commuting

Come together on the platform. Okay, so it’s not actually that mindful, but it’s time for you to have all the chats you’ve been too frazzled to have at home. Only useful if you work on the same Tube line. If not…

Exercise together

Fed up of getting physical in the bedroom? Try sharing the endorphins in a class. Your waistline will also thank you. Which might mean you don’t have to…

Test out radical transparency

A Silicon Valley technique, it doesn’t matter how brutal it is, just lay it on the table. But remember: with great power comes great responsibility, and with radical candour comes radical rows. Which leads neatly into…

Have that row — air it out

There is nothing less romantic than a relationship with no fighting. Where is the frisson? Where is the fire? (Although some might argue, whatever happened to buying your head in the sand?) Just make sure you then…

Play hookie during the day

Take a shared day off, park the kids/dog/mortgage worries with a trusted adult that isn’t either of you, and have a date day. Seeing each other with fresh eyes in the daylight hours, free of responsibility, is the ultimate replenisher. And can lead to…

Laughter

The best medicine for all of life’s woes, but especially any staid patches. Can’t remember why you dated your partner in the first place? Find his grey hair kinda amusing? Just give him a lol and the rest will follow. And if it requires a bit more research…

Give them a performance review

Yes, that’s right, annual reviews aren’t just for the boardroom; apparently some people get off on doing a slide show of their shared values and areas to work on every quarter. Not one to bring back the joie de vivre, but it might lead to a pay rise, or at least you can just…

Give in to the joint bank account

Once you finally give in to the what’s mine is yours, it’s all a bit less combative. Just don’t release yourself to joint streaming accounts, or you’ll be listening to migraine bangers accidentally. Which you shouldn’t need if you…

Don’t divide and conquer

Once you have a child, but especially more than one, it’s tempting to split all arrangements between you both. Goodbye to seeing each other at the weekend. Which makes it hard to…

Tell them you love them

Yeah, you’ve said it before. But why not give it another whirl? It might make them smile. Or feel appreciated. Or give them the chance to remember to say it back. It’s a win-win.

I love you Charlie! (*winks tiredly like she’s having a mini-stroke*)