Accidental Wisdom


Valentine’s Day 2003 was a particularly depressing occasion for me. I’d just been dumped on my backside from a great height. The beau concerned had made no attempt to sugar coat the matter with any “its not you its me” explanations. I was left with no illusions as to whose side of the ledger was deficient. He said and I quote ” YOU do not excite me and YOU do not motivate me to become a better person”. It was truly a WTF moment. I had no idea that motivating him to become a better person was in the job description. If I’d known that I’d have bailed sooner. Motivating him to become a better person is a bit like climbing Mt Everest. Its possible but many people die in the attempt. I simply was not up to the job.

Of course I was devastated in the most melodramatic sense. I was thirty two, clucky and desperate to settle down. In my mind I was staring down the barrel of eternal spinsterhood. Anyhow all is well that ends well. Eighteen months later I’d gotten off my sorry butt and on to RSVP where I had the remarkable good fortune of meeting Dadabulous. Now with five years of marriage under our belt and a gorgeous family, my ex’s words still ring loudly in my ears. In a round about way it was the best relationship advice anyone has ever given me.

Let me explain. Marriage is like a job in many respects. The contractual obligations include respect, consideration, communication and putting out on a regular basis (NB: I’m talking about the garbage here). However look in the fine print and you will NOT find keeping your partner in a constant lather of excitement or spurring them on towards self improvement. In fact if you expect your better half to keep you in a perpetual state of stimulation you’re setting yourself up for a huge disappointment. Similarly motivation can only come from within. Expecting someone else to provide it is like presuming your husband will happily sit through a bonnet drama starring Judy Dench on DVD nights.  It just ain’t gonna happen.

I could be arsed for Dadabulous.

I could be arsed for Dadabulous.

Marriage is essentially an unexciting proposition. It’s difficult to wake up day after day after day with the same person for the rest of your life no matter how reasonable they are. Actually their very reasonableness would in itself become irritating after a while. If you can do this marriage thing for years on end and still actually like each other, that’s quite an achievement. If you still excite each other, I’d love to know what you are taking.

I am not insinuating that Dadabulous is a dull person and that I’m bored in my marriage. I am continually impressed by his ingenuity and touched by his kindness. His acceptance and companionship have made me a better, more confident person. However my heart doesn’t skip a beat every time I see him. I’m guessing any cardiologist would tell you this is a very unhealthy state of being anyhow. Nor am I saying that married life has to be a featureless stretch like a lifetime spent crossing the Nullabor plain. Its up to the both of you to create that excitement. One can’t expect their spouse to bring it with them.

Marriage doesn't have to look like this.

Marriage doesn’t have to look like this.

Nowadays whenever I find myself yearning for the heady rush of new romance I remember my ex and the wisdom he unintentionally imparted. I thank my lucky stars he freed me up to find the most wonderful husband in the world. If that fails I go and look at the larger singleton blogs  like City Kat ( and All Men Are Liars ( because nothing makes you appreciate your cosy wicket more than a glimpse of the jungle that is the dating world. Oh the horror, the horror. My marriage mojo rarely needs a tickle after that but if it does I Google Fassbender. This does nothing whatsoever for my marriage but does provide candy for my eyes.

What’s the best marital advice you’ve ever had?

Get yourselves loved up this Valentines Week.

Have a sweet Valentines Day.

Have a sweet Valentines Day.


photo credit: pixelhut via photopin cc

photo credit: podchef via photopin cc

I wonder how James feels about having a day dedicated to his good self?

I wonder how James feels about having a day dedicated to his good self?

27 thoughts on “Accidental Wisdom

  1. There’s nothing accidental about this wisdom. I love it. Thank you Agony Aunt Brenda.

  2. I wasn’t in it to be stimulated and encouraged to be a better person. These have been a by product of my relationship. I wouldn’t be writing if it wasn’t for my husband. He’s always encouraging me and supporting me and I have become so much better in myself. I don’t think my heart skips beats either, but we’re a great team. Link this up with my Valentines linky on Thursday if you like. 🙂

  3. Firstly, that guy sounds like a dick! (the boyfriend, not husband)
    Secondly, that road photo looks positive to me, like an endless adventure (which clearly says more about me as you were meaning to project an image of boredom?)

  4. Fantastic post Brenda. I sometimes tire of reading the mushy posts about heart-thumping, loin quivering marriages that make me wonder if there’s something I’m doing wrong. I think I need to get on and read those singleton blogs.

    • Hey Kelly. It just isn’t possible to keep all the heart thumping and loin quivering up over the years. We’d all be exhausted and nobody would get any work done. And nothing makes marriage look more attractive than the singleton blogs – particularly the comment sections.

  5. Single-dom was hard, I have no idea how I survived it. Same goes with marriage, some days I wonder where and who the hell I am. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

    I’m glad a dated all those frogs {cough-ahem-dicks} in order for me to realise what I valued and wanted in a partner. I don’t take my family days for granted, same goes for the days where I want to pull the hair out of my head for some of the most idiotic things he might say to me, I realise that I care about this person enough for him to affect me like that.

    Great post. Valentine’s Day also happens to be the day my poor mother pushed me out of her va-jay-jay, my birthday in other words.

    Hope you have a lovely V-Day. xx

    Luisa from The Motherhood Herald

    • The double whammy. Hope you have a wonderful day on Thursday. PS: You’ve got to forgive the man for saying some dumb arsed things. Sometimes they are missing a sensitivity button – I dont think they mean to hurt alot of the time.

  6. Ok your ex sounds like a douche. I’m never sure of the etiquette when saying things like that – I always feel like it’s kind of saying something terrible about the person for having the bad taste for falling for a douche, I obviously don’t mean it like that, I’m sure the reasons you fell for him hid the douche-factor until after the fact (we’ve all been there!).

    The 18th is my 7 year wedding anniversary and the very best advice regarding marriage I received on the day of my wedding from my great grandmother (who had 15 kids so I guess she knows what she’s talking about), she said (I’m paraphrasing here) that marriage is like having a comfy pair of slippers, often boring, rarely glamorous and sometimes you need to work to keep the threads together but you love them, feel comfortable in them and would be lost without them. Seven years down the track I’m thinking she’s spot on and if I ever miss that first rush of crazy romance amongst the comfort all I need to do is send hubby away for a week and the first week back is guaranteed to catapult us back to that first flush of love… for a week or so anyhow, then we get tired and routine settles in and it’s back to normal. But I love normal (most of the time) so that’s ok.

  7. The thought of having to date nowadays sends a chill down my spine – but yes this marriage gig ain’t easy – and can be boring, hard work, annoying, full of compromise, disappointment, (hang on a minute why are we married again?!) Wouldn’t it be nice if that steamy feeling of when you first meet was there all the time?? I do.

  8. Was reading back through some old journals the other day and it makes me shudder. Marriage is easier than dating even if marriage can be bloody hard work!

    So nice to read a realistic post about marriage.

  9. I have never ever dated. I met hubby when I was 14 and have never looked back. So the whole idea of dating is TERRIFYING to me. The only advice I give myself on marriage is don’t share every thought that comes to your head, woman. Use the ‘edit’ button before it comes out of your mouth.

  10. I feel very blessed that after the number of years my soul mate and I have been together, I do still find that sheer excitement. I love just being together and our endless laughs each day. And I’m not taking anything – I’d probably be allergic to it. 😛
    My advice is to have some regular time to yourself each week. No matter what. xxx

  11. Isn’t it strange the turns out lives take to get us to this point. I have to say, the doldrums of looking after 2 kids under 3 doesn’t leave much room for marital excitement. But give us both enough sleep, and we can find sparks in the day to day. When we’re sleep deprived however, we’re still on the same team, but the flint is hiding…

    • With two kids under three I’d take sleep over marital excitement any day. Anyways if you can survive having a baby and a toddler without killing each other you are in for the long haul.

  12. Sounds like Valentines day 2003 was one of the best valentines you could have hoped for at the time. Hope this Valentines day is a memorable one for the right reasons x

  13. I wouldn’t say this was the best marital advice, but akin to your kick up the butt, shoved off the ledge experience, I was told in my early 20s by my boyfriend (who I eventually let go of a few years later) that I was “depressing to be with”. Boy was that the wake up call I needed to stop navel gazing and start looking at the positives in life!

    • I bet that was painful to hear but worth it if it led to positive changes. It was great to meet you last Saturday (albeit briefly). Hopefully we’ll be able to catch up again soon.

  14. Excellent post and points Brenda, I couldn’t agree more. Sometimes, when I feel a lack of ‘excitement’ in my relationship, for lack of a better word, I’ll spend a bit of time remembering the feelings I had when I first met Dave and when we first started dating and it really is enough to spark me up again and remind me why it is that I wanted to marry him in the first place.

    Sure, our relationship isn’t the same as it was 10 years ago, but I wouldn’t want it to be. We are constantly growing and changing and every now and then Dave does something that takes me by surprise and I am reminded again of all those first initial feelings and why it is I fell so in love in the first place. I hope he can say the same about me!

  15. Gorgeous photo – and I ROFL’ed at “I’m not talking about the garbage here”!

    Glad that your Valentine’s Day 2013 is guaranteed to be 100% better than 10 years ago 🙂

  16. I think you need to be best friends. The rush of being in love fades and wanes but friendship will hold you steady throughout

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