blogpic2.jpgIt's been four months since Chris and I got married.

I have no idea whether we still classify as newlyweds, or indeed whether we are still in the 'honeymoon stage', but it seems a good point to reflect on the early stages of married life.

The first four weeks didn't count; we were on honeymoon, which in no way reflects reality. But it did mean that by the time we got back to Madrid, we had already racked up a whole month of marital bliss.

And within two weeks of Chris carrying me over the threshold of our apartment - typically we forgot the first time around so had to re-enact the moment - we had established our routine.

It's really not that much different from life before the wedding (minus, of course, the incessant planning).

I could never have married someone I hadn't lived with first. It might not be the most romantic approach, but when it comes to your life partner, practicality should win out.

So, when I made my vows I already knew I wasn't just committing Chris. No, I was also committing to all the dusting, bathroom cleaning and clothes washing. He, on the other hand, was signing up to a lifetime of cooking and the hoovering - we had to go a buy a brand new Dyson for him to agree to the latter.

As a result, we came into our marriage with clearly defined responsibilities. And with ten years behind us as a couple, there have been no surprises on the relationship front either.

It was not a big shock then, when Chris announced he was going to buy himself a wedding present. He did promise to also buy me a gift, but his was the definite priority.

So within weeks of us getting back, he had proudly come home clutching a Playstation 3; no man can survive on an Xbox, Wii and two laptops alone. In contrast, I received my wedding present about three weeks ago.

Thankfully it was definitely worth the wait. Somewhere in-between looking at clothes and food shopping one Saturday, my husband bought me a hot pink Dior bag.

Actually that's one thing that has changed - ideally I will only refer to Chris as my husband; I love it.

Not much might have altered day-to-day, but the feeling of being married is truly amazing. I have always been incredibly proud of my relationship with Chris, and never more so than I do now.

As for the future? To the bitter disappointment of my in-laws, babies are on the back-burner. We are blissfully happy the way we are, and honestly, far too selfish to give up the life we love at the moment.

No, the next big event in the Strong household is Christmas - our very first one just the two of us. Because of work commitments, we will both be spending December 25th together, and on our own. I couldn't be more excited, Chris definitely could.

In his opinion, Christmas just the two of us will be "really boring". I on the other hand am thrilled, and have been desperately trying to get my goodwill to rub off on Chris - with little success.

Still, I will persevere. At my suggestion (insistence) we will be staying in a lovely hotel, and I am employing a number of tactics to win Chris over. I have spoken to my mother-in-law about 'ways to make the day special for Chris' which seems to work in ratio to the number of presents he receives.

But when it comes to it, I know we will have so much fun together - we always do. That's another thing that definitely hasn't changed with marriage.
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