Things I have learned from 25 years of marriage

This week on 23rd April marked my silver wedding anniversary, 25 years of marriage and still standing.

I know its totally cliched but I really do not know where the time has gone, I mean 25 years sounds a long time and we have done lots in that time, but it does feel as though it has shot past us in the blink of an eye.

This is us taken recently on our trip to Dublin

So how did we celebrate and mark this momentous occasion. Well our eldest also turned 21 recently so we decided a little while ago that we would combine the 2 occasions and have a family trip away in Dublin. Somewhere we all have wanted to visit but I really wanted the boys to be of legal drinking age before we went so we could all participate in all the typical touristy things. We chose to do this instead of having parties as we have rarely been able to afford to take the boys on holidays while they were growing up and we thought this would be money well spent as an experience rather than a party.

Therefore, the actual day on our anniversary was a quiet, chilled affair. My youngest was at school all day and then went to work and my eldest was revising for his impending exams for uni. So we knew we had the day to ourselves…………so what did we do? We booked into the Flashback cinema to see The Wizard of Oz on the big screen as its one of our all time favourite classic films!! I bet you wasn’t expecting that little bundle of excitement.

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Fifty shades of……………….what exactly?

Ok a bit late to this one but I am still seeing all sorts of ‘anti’ 50 shades stuff over social media.

Firstly,  I will admit that I am going to go see this film ( this week hopefully) and I have read ALL of the books ( my views on these you can see here) so you can judge me right there if you like.

Secondly, I DO get the ‘domestic abuse’ issues/ angle totally and can only imagine what a living nightmare it must be to find yourself trapped in that situation.

However, that said I am a 44 year old woman who has been married for almost 21 years, I have two teenage boys and feel that I am sensible enough and have enough ‘life’ experience to be able to separate a so called ‘romantic fantasy’ from an actual real life ‘loving relationship’.

I know there are people who will see these books and film as being what ‘real’ romance or relationships should be like. The ‘excitement’ and ‘obsessive control’ being mistaken for what love is. But surely that’s where we come in as parents ( for our teens at least). As I mentioned I have teen boys aged 14 and almost 17 years old. Surely one of my parental roles is to show them what a ‘normal’ loving relationship should be like. So, whether married, or in a long term relationship, same or different sex it doesn’t matter in my eyes provided the relationship is stable, consensual, equal, respectful and loving. I think that’s what’s important here.  Obviously there are those who like to live unconventional situations in which BDSM is part and parcel of their normality and again that is great providing it is consensual and no one is in danger obviously. Let’s face it the world would be pretty Stepford Wives and boring if we all liked the same things, had the same opinions and lived the same way.

So with my boys I will aim to teach them that they should take a responsibility to practise safe sex when the time comes for them both, covering both unwanted pregnancy or STD’s for either party. Also I think it’s important that we teach them that what they may see in pornography films or magazines is a far cry from what a real loving relationship is like. I will as the only female in the house impress on them to respect the opposite sex and treat others how they would want to be treated themselves. They will experiment as they get older I am sure but hopefully they will learn to see what they are comfortable with and what they need from a relationship.

With all the talk around this film at the moment I will make sure my eldest is aware that your average old married’s do not all have a hidden ‘red room of pain’ locked away in the house somewhere! Let’s face it Hollywood will romanticise anything from war or sex to relationships or jobs to bloody vampires and zombies and everything in between. But I can see also how teenage girls could be taken with the ‘excitement’ of someone who ‘loves’ them so much they are almost stalked and totally controlled. I don’t have girls but I know my close friends with girls would be making sure they didn’t allow them to fall into the trap of perceiving Hollywood romance to be what’s expected in everyday life. I adore the horror genre of films but I do realise that vampires and zombies are NOT real ( although in saying that I would be EPIC in apocalypse- just saying).

I do not want to seem flippant in any way about domestic abuse which I have been very lucky never to have experienced myself or know of any of my friends who have, however, I do not think that’s what the film/books are fully about. Yes they are graphic in what they take part in but surely one of the main threads is that Christian Grey actually starts to change and become reliant on her love over what he had experienced on the lead up to their meeting.

So what I am saying is that of those of us who ‘choose’ to go and see the film or read the books should not be hounded, shamed or ostracised as though we do not take domestic abuse seriously. Our choice is exactly that- our choice. We may not be condoning or advocating either side of the discussion but merely happy to escape work, family or stress for 90 minutes of total Hollywood escapism with the gorgeous Jamie Dornan thrown in for good measure. Let’s face it we all adored him in the brilliant The Fall where he was a fecking murderer for goodness sake.

The great thing about the film is that it has us all talking, whatever the views, surely that can only be a good thing raising awareness of domestic abuse but also opening conversations about teaching and educating teenagers of what is considered acceptable or not in a long term loving relationship.

fifty shades

Date nights when you are married? Really?

***Here is your warning that I’m going to go all ‘Katie Hopkins’ about this one and I appreciate some of you will hit the unfollow button but hey ho!

So all over social media I see this on a daily basis, ‘date night with hubby’, or lunch date with OH or even ( scrapes the bottom of the barrel) ‘coffee dates’ with the love of your life.

First of all the actual word tends to wind me right up, ‘date’ surely is one of those americanisms that have crept into our vocabulary and become the norm. Ok I get it if you are single and talk about going on a ‘date’ as it makes sense. But really as a married couple is this the thing we should be doing? Am I missing something about this? I mean I did ‘go out’ with my other half when we first got together, after a while we got engaged and then married. Surely that is generally speaking the whole point.

So why is it now the thing  ( or seems to be from social media anyway) that I should go on ‘dates’ with my husband of 20 yrs. I mean we go out, sometimes have lunch out while the teens are at school, or grab a posh coffee and cake when we are out at the shops and even go out for a meal occasionally either on our own, or with the teens, or even with friends and each time have a great night. I have never, ever considered any one of those times a ‘date’. We don’t pencil a day on the calender to go for coffee or a lunch for fecks sake, we just do it if we fancy it either just for the sake of it or while we are already out for other shopping reasons. But we must be doing something right as we have been married for over 20 yrs and still going strong.

Yes we may plan a night out for our anniversaries, or birthdays etc but they are not ‘dates’ we just plan to go out and do something, cinema, theatre or a meal. We are lucky we both like the same main hobby (fishing- who knew eh?) so during the nicer months we will go out for the day for that purpose, but we don’t make a fishing ‘date'( and please, please, please shoot me if ever I say that crap). If he is off work and we decide to put a film on and have a beer or a bottle of wine I don’t consider that to be a fecking ‘date night’, we just fancy putting on a film that we like and chill out with a drink!

So I have 2 questions………

*Dates- yay or nay?

*WHY?

 

Trouble with the Curve

That’s the title of a newly released (this weekend) film that I had the chance of going to see.

It stars the legendary Clint Eastwood, Justin Timberlake and Amy Adams, and follows the estranged relationship between a father and daughter and loosely based around the sport of baseball.

Have a look at the down loadable link below:

Trouble with the Curve

This is a character based story and is a slow burner that simmers throughout inticing you to want to know what has made these characters how they are!

I like these sorts of films, you are not detracted from the story by loud, unnecessary stunts and noise. Clint Eastwood plays a fantastic ‘grumpy old man’ and actually you can almost feel his frustration as his general demeanor has changed so much from the ‘Dirty Harry’ suave days. Although he is cranky you want to slap and cuddle him at the same time. Amy Adams is a great counterpart to the dad. Successful but lonely striving for success in other parts of her life in order not to deal with the ‘father’ issue. Justin Timberlake, an acceptable eye candy, was a great fun, forward but like able character.

I’ve got to say the dads ‘old cronies’ club that seem to be at every game to are a fab bunch, showing that your sense of humour does not diminish as you get older.

Like I say, sometimes these stories are my favourites. The father/ daughter relationship keeps you captivated and it was nice that when the truth was out the relationship did not magically fix itself, but still kept you guessing if they would ever see ‘eye to eye’.

This is a heartwarming, enjoyable film great for a lovely quiet Sunday afternoon.

Here are some pics from the movie to get you wondering:

Trouble with the Curve

In cinemas now