What is the secret to a good marriage?
On Monday, I am 30 years married. I know. Impossible.
Marrying John Hutchinson is the smartest thing I ever did.
We met on March 8 1988, in a class at the Australian Film Television and Radio School.
Early days, I don’t really remember him. I had just moved into a house with six other students and we were too busy getting drunk and watching a new show called Home and Away to notice the rest of the class.
Pretty soon John became mates with the blokes in my house and we all hung around together, but neither he nor I remember any attraction. At Easter time, I flew home to WA to see my mum and when I flew back John picked me up from the airport, not because he liked me, because he is nice.
I walked out of the arrivals gate to see him awkwardly waving and suddenly I noticed him.
Two days later he kissed me on the side of the road outside the Oaks Hotel and the next night he took me to the movies. We have rarely spent a night apart since.
So what makes a good marriage?
I think before you walk down the aisle, you should agree on most things. If you disagree about the kind of wedding you want, guest lists, family or honeymoon destinations. Give up now.
You are signing up for a lifetime of frustration and heartache.
You should really admire each other. John is smarter than me, he reminds me to be kind and he can fix absolutely anything that breaks in our house. He could probably build a whole house if he had enough time and Bunnings credit.
I know he thinks I am a great mum and really good at smoothing troubles. He trusts my judgement and likes that I bring the fun.
In a marriage, everyone is the boss. There are things I won’t compromise on, if I want to do it, it’s happening and John just has to smile and come along for the ride. And the same goes for John, if it’s important to him, then it’s important to me too.
I don’t mess with his tool shed and he doesn’t mess with my kitchen. That might be round the other way in your house, but everyone needs their own space.
It hasn’t been 30 years of bliss, there was a very rocky patch about seven years in but we agreed to stop fighting, talk more and try harder to be loving. It worked.
I recommend you like the same things. We like peanut butter on brown bread and red wine.
Put each other first, stick up for each other and never miss an opportunity to tell them how much you love them. Happy anniversary Hutchinson.