It’s that time of year again―hearts and roses and true-blue declarations of enduring love. Valentine’s Day is a bright red splash in a dull month and many a proposal will be made and accepted today. What happens when the chocolates have been eaten, the petals have fallen from the roses and the walk up the aisle has become a slightly blurred memory. On this special day dedicated to love I’d like to take a lighthearted look at the ABC of marriage – and the art of staying in love.
A= Amour and Anticipation brings us hotfoot up the aisle. The aftermath is known as The Period of Adjustment.
B=Bliss in the bedroom usually leads to coping with bottles and burping – which becomes bearable when you believe that your little baby is the best in the world.
C=Complacency and Contentment are often confused in marriage. Contentment is satisfaction with one’s own lifestyle whereas complacency comes from the belief that other couplings different to your own are somehow less worthy.
D=Domination. Are you a little despot in your home? Do you dictate, demand and disagree? Has your devoted dove ever debated divorce? Deliberate on Dat!
E=Emancipation. Equality in marriage is not a new concept. It’s just that some men confuse it with emasculation.
F=Finance. Money has only one failing. It keeps being spent. That’s why fortitude is essential when financial facts are being discussed.
G=Grunting – an unknown form of communication outside marriage. A grunt is normally conveyed from behind a newspaper, iPad or The Sunday Game.
H=Helpful Hints. For harmony in marriage honestly and a sense of humour will ensure that your home becomes a happy haven and the hours remain halcyon.
I=Idiosyncrasies. Everyone has them. It’s only when we marry that they become irritants. Use a little indulgence and they won’t irk or seem so important.
J=Jealousy. When the green-eyed monster has no justification, jettison it. Otherwise, it drains all the joy from your relationship.
K=Knowledge is knowing when it is wise to speak, kinder to stay silent – and how to kindle passion with a kiss.
L=Love. ‘When you are in love you are not wise―when you are wise you are not in love’ is an old saying that tries to sum up this most indefinable emotion.
M=Memory should not be a melting pot for rows and meaningless words. Don’t allow them to magnify and become a magnet for misery.
N=Nostalgia is what occurs when you’ve navigated your way through the notorious twos and narky teens – and the empty nest syndrome has kicked in.
O= Obsession has no place in a marriage. It should be confined to stamp collecting and the football terraces.
P=Partnership is the art of sharing life together without viewing each other’s possessions as ‘his’ and ‘hers.’
Q=Quarrels are essential for the survival of a healthy relationship. But a good quarrel is only successful if the aftermath makes you query what it was all about in the first place.
R=Romance can be defeated by rants, recriminations and rejection. Renew it with a romantic rendezvous in your favourite restaurant. It’s the perfect rescue remedy.
S=Sex is usually confined to the most energy-sapping time of the day. So, switch off the wide-screen television when the kids are slumbering, switch on the atmosphere and leave the bed for what it was primarily designed – to sleep in afterwards.
T=Tolerance takes at least ten years before it tenderises. Then it is replaced by tranquility and the understanding that no one is perfect.
U=Understanding is even better than tolerance but can we really understand another human being who is as complex as ourselves?
V=Versions ―there are two different versions to every row. When we refuse to listen to the other side we create the ‘victim’ and the ‘victor.’
W= Wedlock. Forget Fifty Shades of Grey. Wed-lock is not about chains or handcuffs! It’s the weft and warp of love’s tapestry - and a perfect excuse for making whoopee.
X=Xanthippe was the wife of Socrates- and she had a reputation for being ‘argumentative’. Her name now symbolises the nagging wife. If you suffer from this form of abuse –try a few XXXX’s. You never know- they could add an Xtra spice to your day.
Y=Yuck ―No, I’m not giving my opinion of love and marriage. I have just discovered that yuck means to itch so I’m simply discussing the Seven Year Yuck. Yucking is particularly prevalent among celebrities and millionaires. Since the arrival of austerity it has become an even more remote possibility for the rest of us.
Z=Zest ―A zest for life and love. A zest that encompasses the ups and downs of a relationship, the conflicts and caring. And from this confused hodgepodge of emotions creates a lifetime partnership.
Happy Valentine’s Day!