BY TRACY HUTCHINS
We all have our own ideas around marriage and our role in the home. As a couple, being best friends is core to our relationship, it was in fact how we fell in love. Both my hubby and I had no intention of getting involved when we first met, in fact it wasn’t even an option. Having both been divorced we were relationship shy. We however were drawn into a friendship once we started talking and realising just how much we had in common. Our conversations have always been open and sincere and we have always been able to laugh at ourselves as well as each other.
We however appreciate that for some, good looks and physic are important and this is particularly common when it comes to our first love. There have to be butterflies at the start of a romance, this will carry us through the first weeks and months while dating, but there has to be more.
Fundamentally you have to connect on another level to sustain a long-term relationship based on love and respect. We were also upfront about a few key issues that were key to us.
We take good care of ourselves
Don’t get us wrong. While neither of us resemble an oil painting we are very deliberate about getting up and showing up at our best everyday. We made a commitment at the start of our marriage to always watch our weight and to take care of our health. We dress for ourselves and our self esteem but we also dress for each other. We don’t hang around in sloppy ware and pride ourselves on our appearance. Does this mean we don’t sometimes slack, absolutely not…..we love pizza and good wine, we also sometimes enjoy a short and tee shirt day but too much of a good thing, is not always a good thing? It’s so easy for a mom to get comfortable in a track suit and sneakers and to put her hair up in a pony but we need to remember that’s not who our husband married. So while it’s fine on the odd occasion it should not become the norm.
We need to take responsibility for our own lives
A great lesson we learnt early on in our lives. In the event that we don’t, we are placing what we should be responsibile for in the hands of others. This means, your partner or family will have to contend with your bad health, your financial irresponsibility and or our bad parenting skills. I have also been very adamant about creating my own income although my husband is a great provider but we have no idea what tomorrow brings. We are both very capable of standing on our own two feet.
Best friends take on the good with the bad
We trust, understand, care for and respect one another. Another great lesson we learnt is that it is inherent that woman need to feel loved and men need to feel respected. We discovered this in a brilliant book titled, Love and Respect. There is no hierarchy in our home but I do regard Martin as the head of our home. We love spending time together and so enjoy each others company. We use each other to serve as a sounding board and we laugh and cry together and we are there for each other through all situations. We have always had a unique respect for one another and have been blessed to have the same values guiding our family.
God serves as the head of our home
This is centre to who we are as a family. Families that pray together, stay together. Meal times and eating at the table are of extreme importance to us. As a couple, we share quite time together each morning and sometimes pray aloud which helps us each understand where our partners are at in their lives.
We enjoy our lives outside of our children
Our family is central to our lives and we cherish spending time together. We however have always appreciated that each one of them would grow up and have families of their own. It is for this reason that we have created a life of our own.
We love travelling together, experiencing new countries and cultures. This is not because we love our family less but has everything to do with the fact that we want to relieve them of the burden of having to worry about us and how we are occupying our time. We also believe it teaches them how to be independent and how to dream.
In short we love our lives because we do things deliberately. We live our dream as a result of focusing on what really makes us happy. We wake up each morning with gratitude knowing we get to spend the rest of the day with our BEST FRIEND. We also never forget three important words, “I love you”