A good marriage. What's the secret?

Over the years, many of my mates have got married... and split up.  The divorce rate is something along the lines of 80%. I'm sure that almost all of my mates stood at the alter that day professing their undying love with absolute sincerity and with all good intentions of being with that person for "all eternity". But it didn't work out. Some hit the rocks because of infidelity, others simply said the relationship just fizzled away.

Why is it that some relationships last and others don't. I would imagine it's been the thesis topic of many a psychology student. I can't speak for other peoples' relationships, but I would like to think that as Nicole and I celebrate our 9th wedding anniversary today, there have been certain key variables that have ensured we continually roll as one.

So often, when you ask someone about the proposal day, they'll say they proposed even though there was a little niggle in the back of their minds that said don't do it. That's a little fissure crack that can only widen as the years go by. Going back to the day I proposed to Nicole, I knew with 100% certainty that this was what I wanted to do. 

Mark & Nicole Pilgrim
We believe in doing the small things everyday. No matter how chaotic the day, we kiss each other when we say hello and say goodbye. We'll sometimes stop in the passage and give each other a 5-second hug in between sorting out the kids squabbling. It helps us maintain the intimacy within the frenetic antics of our daily chores.

Mark & Nicole Pilgrim
There's a few other values we believe in too. Honesty. There are no mind games. We play open cards with each other. If something bugs me or her, we bring it out in the open. Not in an aggressive way. It's a discussion. In the 12 years in total we've been together, we've had only 2 arguments where we've gone off in a huff. Don't get me wrong, we differ in opinions on many subjects, including sometimes on matters that involve parental discipline. But we don't attack each other. I suppose its because we respect each other.

Laughter. It's not a concerted effort to make each other smile. It just happens. It helps that we share the same sense of humour.

Mark & Nicole Pilgrim
We are by no means the poster kids for the perfect couple. We get tired and grumpy. We opt to rather have an early night than romp all night long. We're just a normal married couple that know we made the right choice. 

Someone once said:
"You know you've found your soulmate when you can spend the whole afternoon together not saying a single word, and at the end of the day you still feel like you've had the best conversation of your life".

Happy 9th anniversary to the love of my life! xx
Mark & Nicole Pilgrim

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