Everyone knows that being in a long term relationship comes with its challenges. Put two people together who have their own individual hopes, dreams, baggage, wants, quirks, and dislikes – and you’re going to come up against some challenges. Quite honestly finding the toilet seat left up yet again is really darn annoying.
We got married in 2018 and along the way we’ve had our fair share of disagreements (ha that sounds nice and polite doesn’t it ;)). We’ve also found a few things that, while completely random, have really helped our marriage. So here are five random things that have helped our marriage, maybe they’ll help you too.
1. Our BedJet
From the very start we knew we liked very different sleeping arrangements. I slept with at least 3 blankets all year round. And I would only get a fan out from storage to use on the very hottest nights of the year. Where as Bradley could easily sleep with no blanket at all and had been using a fan all night long for years. The white noise and air on his face helped him sleep. But I couldn’t stand the feeling.
At first our compromise was Alexa controlled plugs. This meant I could turn the fan off without getting out of the bed when I got too cold, but that would result in Bradley waking up too hot. I’d be piling on 3, 4, 5 blankets to try to stay warm while Bradley was pushing them off all night and begging for a thinner duvet.
The bedroom battle continued for a few years. Until Bradley spent some time researching and found the solution: a BedJet. The only problem was at the time they only sold them in the US. Over a year of impatient waiting and continued bedroom wars later our BedJet finally arrived.
And we could never look back. We couldn’t live without it. We each have our own remote control to control the BedJet that pumps air into our side of the bed. Meaning we have our own separate zones where we can set the temperature and air flow speed. It’s incredible. We can’t recommend it enough. Check it out for yourself here: www.bedjet.com
In any relationship it’s good to know your strengths and weaknesses. One of our biggest shared weaknesses, and causes for much drama, is deciding what to have for dinner. At one point we hit an all time low of rotating between just three meals that we were both sick of. But we couldn’t think of anything else.
Enter SimplyCook [this is an affiliate link – you get a free box and so do we].
If you’ve not heard of it, it’s very similar to HelloFresh. In that they send you meal cards with easy to cook, really tasty meals. Except rather than also sending all the ingredients they just send you 3 spice pots and you have to buy the food ingredients yourself.
There’s usually only a handful of ingredients you have to buy for each meal as they really are simple. And oh my gosh we have not tried one that hasn’t been a tasty flavour explosion.
We LOVE SimplyCook and long gone are the days where we argue over whose turn it is to think of something to have for dinner. Let alone who was cooking it. SimplyCook is simple, tasty and one of our most favourite things. We prefer not receiving all of the ingredients as it means we can get them when we need to and just for the meals we need – essential when you do lots of travelling like we do. And we love cooking together. We get to eat so much variety now and it’s always amazing, they haven’t let us down yet. It’s worth trying out if you haven’t before, we really do love it!
3. The Enneagram
The hardest thing about being in a relationship? You’re two different people who can’t actually mind read. (Alhough sometimes it really does feel like Bradley can read my mind so I forget this one a lot!)
I could do a whole separate post about The Enneagram alone. But to summarise “The Enneagram is a system of personality typing that describes patterns in how people interpret the world and manage their emotions.” – Truity
Essentially it’s a personality typing tool similar to the likes of Myers Briggs. But it’s different in that rather than focussing in the way people behave (their actions) it looks at the reasons behind the way people behave (the why). When Bradley and I dug deep into the Enneagram something just clicked into place. And we finally understood why we found it so hard to resolve our disagreements. I’m a type 6 (the loyalist) and Bradley is a type 2 (the helper).
The Enneagram isn’t just surface level and it has many layers to it that we have really only begun to understand. But every time we learn more it helps us to understand ourselves and each other more. It’s given us language and words to be able to explain to each other why we act the way we do, our thought processes. And be able to appreciate the differences in how we experience the world. There’s lots of great tools for learning about The Enneagram, I’d recommend Ian Morgan Cron’s book The Road Back to You and his podcast Typology.
4. Sharing a Car
When Bradley and I first started dating I owned my own car but Bradley hadn’t learned to drive yet. After I encouraged (forced ;)) him to learn and he passed his test I got him insured on my car. We soon realised it was more economical to just share. Particularly as at the time I was mostly working from home so my car was sat on the driveway most days anyway.
We’re 5 years on now and we still share a car. There have been occasions where we’ve thought about getting a second but 99% of the time we have no issue sharing and the other 1% it makes more sense to hire a taxi or catch a train.
But how has this helped our marriage? I feel like we just spend so much more time together because we share a car. Many of our best and deepest conversations have happened driving along – both on long trips and just around town.
And personally, it’s helped me to be more patient and learn to compromise.
I’ll always love driving through the Peaks together on a blue sky day with one of Bradley’s summer playlists playing and the air con keeping me cool.
5. Working Together
Bradley and I worked together before we started dating. And I think we always knew we wanted to work together once we were married. Creating Keeley Wedding Films has been the making of us. We make such a good team, our strengths and weaknesses balance each other out.
I always wanted to have my own business and I’ve worked for myself for years, but being able to work alongside my best friend is a dream come true. I love that even when we’re travelling for work we get to spend time with each other!
Working together isn’t possible, or even a good idea, for some people, but I guess the real benefit to us is finding something we love doing together. And running this business – investing our love, time and finances into it – has been the best thing for us. It’s not always sunshine and roses, of course it isn’t, but we figure it out together. And we love it, we really do.
What has really helped our marriage?
These things are completely random and I can’t imagine them appearing on a list next to each other in many other places on the internet. But the thing they have in common is that they’ve helped our marriage. And I guess that’s the main thing we’ve pursued: finding things that help our marriage. We’ve paid attention to the pain points, or the things that keep coming up again and again and we work on them. Whether that’s investing in our bed, or working hard to understand how each other thinks, feels and processes the world. I hope it’s something we’ll always prioritise.
What’s something random that’s helped your marriage?
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