Mr P and I have been together for 5 and a half years. We often get asked the secrets to a lasting, loving relationship. Our union often gets held up as an example of the perfect romance (which bugs me but more on that another time). Neither of us profess to be experts in the love olympics but the answer, I think, is simple: mutual respect.
I come across warring couples quite a lot of the time and am amazed by the lack of respect they show towards each other. Take my sister, the Redhead. Her fella, B, had bought a new truck. To pick it up, he had to take an 8 hour coach ride, collect the car and drive it back on a 4 hour journey. He got back at 9:30pm on Saturday night and met the Redhead down the pub. She was already pissed; he was stonily sober – and that combination mixes together about as well as Coca Cola and OJ. Not only did she ignore him for most of the night but she upped and left him as well, skipping off merrily to our friend J’s house where B would later join her.
Maybe this doesn’t seem like such a heinous crime but, as Mr P pointed out, he would be livid if I treated him in the way, especially after a knackering day on the road for 12 hours. This is where I think relationships fail. People rarely think about how their actions will affect their partners. They should take the time to stop and consider how they would feel if the situation was reversed, if the shoe was on the other foot.
One of my workmates, KC, speaks to her husband several times a day. The tone of her voice when she answers the ‘phone to him is flat, lifeless, loveless. She will then moan at him for something or other (probably leaving socks on the floor or the toilet seat up). This is the man who works away all week in order for her to live in a nice, big house and go on super expensive holidays three times a year. If I spoke to Mr P like that, he’d be out the door, no questions asked.
It’s hardly rocket science and yet, so many people get it wrong. So that’s the “secret”, folks; the “magic formula” – be nice. Easy.