I have a friend whose father is a marriage counsellor. At a party last year we were talking about marriage and how a marriage changes over the years. I asked if his father had ever given him any advice, and he smiled.
"He says the same thing all the time. And he's right, it's so simple but it's so true".
I was on the edge of my seat.
"When guys come in and say they've fallen out of love with their wives, he tells them 'you're not loving her enough, go back and love her more'. It took me ages to understand it, until I'd been married for awhile myself."
I know that sometimes a marriage is terminal, but I couldn't agree more with the sentiment. Sometimes giving love, is the best way of receiving and falling back in love.
When people used to tell me that marriage required work, I would immediately shut them down. My idea of marriage was love and romance, if it was work, well then surely it was broken?
Fourteen years ago I married a 27 year old man. On the day, I would have told you that G could do anything. He was well travelled, smart, and confident in a crisis. Back then of course, our crises were the house getting broken into, or the car breaking down.
Today we call that, life.
Throughout our marriage G has loved to buy me beautiful underwear. It hasn't needed to be a birthday or Christmas, G would happily make a beeline for the La Perla shop on the way home if he thought there was any chance of seeing me in a matching set of le lacy and le see through, at the end of the day.
In the beginning of our relationship I thought I'd struck gold, the idea of a constant supply of le lacy and le see through was le fantastique. As the years have gone by though, there have been a few le fat, le frumpy and le totally not interested moments that have caused a bit of tension. The mothers day where we had four children under the age of six and I was breastfeeding with a healthy display of post baby weight, was possibly not the best time to present me with a G string that resembled tooth floss.
"I'd look so gross in this right now! These g strings are really starting to get up my bum, and I mean that both literally and physically", it was not the reaction G was hoping for.
We were coming from two different worlds. I couldn't have felt more unsexy, and he was trying to tell me that he thought I was fabulous.
I had forgotten about all about this until over the summer, after a six week stretch of solo parenting, two pairs of beautiful, comfortable, pyjamas arrived in the mail. G had bought them online. I loved the pyjamas, but I loved G more for knowing how much I would love them. I knew he would really prefer to have a pyjama free household. I explained the entire situation in detail to the ladies in the post office when I opened the parcel "this is huge for us, these pajamas would usually come with a g-string" they nodded slowly, smiling at the crazy lady with the Country Road pyjamas in her hand.
The 27 year old man that I married had never held a baby, sat down for a pretend tea party with a three year old, or waited patiently in a hospital with a four year old with a bead stuck up her nose. The 27 year old that I married agreed to look after me, love me, cherish me, but I don't think either of us had factored in how hard that might become once we'd added the entourage, the mortgage and the continued negotiation of balancing careers.
Today G will wake up in Qatar for a birthday without me. He will fill his day with driving someone to soccer camp, baking with ten year olds, entertaining a few extras for play dates and getting Halloween outfits ready for trick or treating. In my eyes he couldn't get any sexier, somehow I managed to marry the most capable man I know.
My birthday present for G will have to wait until December, but until then, thank you G for continuing to love me more, you make it very easy to love you back.