12 Years Of Success {Relationships}

Author: Charlotte O'Shea

At the end of this month my husband James, Mabel and I are going to the Cotswolds for a long weekend break to celebrate twelve years since James and I first met on a blind date. I know, twelve years.

We have always honoured this occasion in some way or other, even though we have been married for almost 7 years come May, it’s this initial-meeting anniversary that brings out the champagne and the evening of reminiscing. You could say that by agreeing to meet a complete stranger one January night way back in 2004 was the ultimate decision on both our parts in determining the direction of our futures.

I almost didn’t make it.

And then who knows what paths our lives would have taken?

There would have certainly been no Rock My Wedding. Which means there wouldn’t have been a Rock My Style, a Rock My Family…..a Mabel. I just can’t imagine.

Since our daughter was born James and I are closer than ever, she has brought us more joy and laughter than I ever thought was possible. We have very similar views on parenting and share the (many) responsibilities associated with a small ninja-esque tornado equally. This makes for a healthy and happy (if not rather manic and chaotic) family life together.

Of course our relationship is by no means perfect, who’s is? we’ve had our fair share of ups and downs and a particularly rough patch back in 2012 where a whole bunch of upsetting situations were seemingly thrown at us all at once. But we got through it. And now we are tougher and more resilient as a result.

On paper my husband and I are very different in many ways. He loves to play and watch sport and I…don’t. I gave up trying to feign an interest in golf when I endeavoured to assist with a competition he had running at work with bets on the players in a major tournament as to who would win. I read out the list of apparently well-known competing golfers including “Furry K”. It is spelt Furyk…and I was told in between a fit of hysterics that his name was in fact pronounced Fure-Rique.

Whatever. My way was better.

I like shopping and dancing and reading books. James doesn’t. I tried out a new distinctly unimpressive dance class recently and upon telling him that the instructor enthusiastically (and very seriously) told us to “shake our booty” whilst simultaneously doing “jazz hands”, he looked as though she may well have asked us to tightrope walk across a burning building.

He often finds escapism in watching reality television. Where as I can’t stand it.

He is nearly always too warm. Where as I am often absolutely bloody freezing. I am not pleasant to be around when I have a chill in my bones. Or I’m hungry.

I am constantly looking for the next project with regards changing up our home interiors where as it drives him bonkers. “Why can’t you just be satisfied with how it looks now it’s finished?”

What?! Nothing is ever “finished”….If I can just find a kind of cylindrical vase in copper then it might be nearer being ahem, almost complete…

My career is very much built around sharing stories and social media, and from a personal perspective I genuinely love instagram – It’s given me so many ideas, not least for new must-have make-up items. James believes that in the current climate social media is simply a necessary evil, he’s not even on Facebook.

Relationships take work, they require time and effort and a generous dose of compromise. I’m as guilty as the next person of often taking my husband for granted. Or indeed not really considering his thoughts and feelings at all in certain situations. I’m working on it.

There are times when we are both tired and frustrated and we don’t get along so well, or we completely disagree on an important decision or topic. The difference now to say even a few years ago is that we agree to disagree depending on the urgency of the subject, or we try to sit down and discuss the details rather than becoming lost in the fiery midst of a heated debate.

Our relationship isn’t a fairytale but it is a success, twelve years is a long time to devote to someone else. And as we reach this next milestone I’m certain that it comes down to two major factors: love and respect. The latter being of equal significance. We may not like the same things all the time, or agree on everything but we certainly champion our respective choices and goals.

And of course not forgetting the fact we really fancy each other. In the words of Paula Abdul: Opposites attract.

I don’t have any particular points to ask you to make or questions for you to answer in the comments section, but it would be really interesting to hear your thoughts and experiences on relationships, current or otherwise and inevitably begin a thought-provoking RMS type discussion.

Purveyor of short shorts. Make-up junkie. Hopes to grow old disgracefully.
Follow Charlotte on instagram @charlotte.oshea
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41 thoughts on “12 Years Of Success {Relationships}

  1. Congratulations Charlotte & James!
    I too will be celebrating 12 years since the first date with my now husband later on this year in August. It fills me with immense proudness that we’re still in love and blissfully happy at this point in our relationship, especially since I was only 17 when we met! And I guess the fact that we now run our business together, most other couples wince at that fact when I tell them, but it’s always just worked for us.
    My husband can’t quite understand why I insist on marking our first meeting now that we’re married, he thinks we should just celebrate our wedding anniversary. But I like to mark both, as I feel both deserve to be noted and celebrated! Relationships in a modern age aren’t easy, I only have to look at my friends who have struggled to find the one in a society where time is so precious and relationships seem to be based more on convenience than romance (hello Tinder…).
    So whether he likes it or not I shall be marking our first meeting, way back in a sweaty indie club, until I’m old and grey, because why on earth not?!
    (And it’s definitely not because I just need any excuse to quaff champagne…!)

    1. What a lovely comment Sarah! I shall make sure that we too celebrate our first meeting until we are old and grey….and by then I hope to be having champagne for breakfast, because, why not? 🙂

      Congratulations on your 12 years xxx

    2. My husband and I work together too – I think it’s amazing! People think we’re mad but we are super close as a result, get to cuddle at least 5000 times per day and unlike some couples after a few years, we never run out of things to talk about. Lovely to hear another married-couple-working-together success story :). And congratulations Charlotte & James 🙂 x

      1. I know another couple who work together, literally sat beside each other all day, James and I couldn’t do it but this couple are so close and get on super well. I think it sounds fab if you can make it work x

  2. Congratulations on 12 years you guys! I think it’s important to celebrate these occasions, not least to show each other how important you are to one another. Relationships, whether you’re married, living together, making a go of it long distance, are all based on being a team and that team should celebrate their successes!

    I’ve been married 3 years this years and it marks 10 years since I first got together with my husband – we’re planning on doing something to celebrate (which we haven’t quite figured out yet but we are going to Borneo as we’re both 30 this year – 2016 is going to be quite a year!)

    I love your point around mutual respect – my husband and I often see things differently but we always respect each others’ opinion, those (often wine-fuelled) debates bring about some of the best, and most important, conversations.

    Hope you have a fantastic time in the Cotswolds, you deserve it! x

    1. Thanks so much Clare! the respect thing is so important, the industries we each work in are so different and I don’t think either of us pretend to fully understand what the other one does all the time, but we listen to each other and respect each others choices and desires.

      Borneo! Wow, what an amazing double celebration that will be, have the most wonderful time xx

  3. Ah, what a lovely post to read this morning. One of my fav’s. Congratulations guys! I especially love the line ‘our relationship isn’t a fairytale, but it is a success’. How very, very true. Relationships do take work but it is SO worth it isn’t it?! My boyfriend and I are coming up to 10years-ish at some point this year – we don’t really know when we got together! – but we’re getting married later this year and we’ll definitely have an anniversary to celebrate then! I’m very excited about standing up at the altar and realising how far we’ve come already and what’s to lie ahead, knowing we’ll tackle whatever together and knowing it won’t be perfect but that’s ok! It’s like having the best team-mate by your side always. And that’s definitely worth celebrating. He wrote the following quote in my Christmas card and I think it’s very apt “Marry someone you can see yourself conversing with well into old age. Everything else is transitory”. And I love that sentiment. Congratulations again to the O’Shea’ – have a lovely time in the Cotswolds! x

    1. What a perfect sentiment Sian, and congratulations on your up and coming nuptials! I hope you are going to tell us ALL about it 🙂 x

  4. Aw lovely, congratulations on 12 years!! Also I am really keen to visit the Cotswolds so any tips after would be amazing ?!
    We have been together 7 years in April and married 4 in Feb and I have to say I feel just as excited when he gets home as I did way back when! We have very little quality time together due to long shifts night shifts weekends at work and generally being exhausted due to the above so we really try to at least once a month have a really lovely “us” day, sometime more frequently if we’re lucky! We also are doing our new house up most of the time now too so that’s challenging at times as like you mentioned he doesn’t get my need for faffing a thousand times with where things should go or accessories or the fact that our bedroom has been finished now for three weeks and underway some time before that and I still haven’t picked a dressing table or any major accessories lol!! It’s soooo hard though!!

    I think the best thing about it though is he’s my best friend and at the end of the day we get to spend our fave moments together and make plans for the future. Due to where I work I try to not take for granted that it can all be snatched away at the drop of a hat so to make sure if we fight we always say sorry (he will usually give in first ?) and always have a hug before sleep (even sometimes if it’s a half sulky one cos he doesn’t understand that the nice pillows aren’t for sleeping on they’re for looking pretty!) x

    1. Ha ha hahahaha the pillow comment made me laugh. We’re staying at The Kings Head in Cirencester, no doubt I’ll be back telling everyone about it (it looks lush!) and I’ll take some pictures and whatnot.

      I think James is slightly dreading the point at which we do move house – we’re going quite a bit bigger (fingers crossed) so I don’t think any room is ever going to be “finished” 🙂 x

      1. The paint the carpet the blinds all fine but art work lamps bedside tables….I feel like it’s never going to happen I just want something different!! We are starting the living room in a couple of months and its not pleasing to him I haven’t exactly finished the bedroom off yet ?! And hardly anyone sees the bedroom so god help me with the most used room in the house! X

  5. What a lovely post to read on a Wednesday morning 🙂 Congratulations to you and James.

    I am only 18 months into my relationship, but it is so different to any I have had before and I am pretty sure that in another 10 years time we will still feel exactly the same about each other (*touch wood* though, mean as I can’t shake the superstitious tendencies from my teens)..

    We just have so much fun together, we listen to each other and we spend time together as often as we can (without living in each others pockets). I certainly hope that in 12 years we are as happy as you and James are, whatever life may throw at us. Enjoy the Cotswolds, such a beautiful part of the world! xx

    1. I find it’s about having fun when you are not having to “do” something in particular so to speak, which we do – we have a similar sense of stupid humour.

      Yay to 18 months and a long and happy future 🙂 x

  6. Congratulations Charlotte and James! How lovely to look back at all you’ve achieved both together and separately during your 12 years – have a fabulous time in the Cotswolds.
    Completely agree with your point about love and respect. I’m about to celebrate my six month weddingiversary with my hubby and I was thinking the other day about what made me sure he was the one I wanted to marry. I think a big part of it is that, if I think about him ‘impartially’ (if that’s poss), he’s far and away one of the kindest, nicest men I’ve ever met. The only other man I know who is as kind is my Dad, so I thought that was a very good sign!
    Relationships are difficult and I’ve had enough crap ones to always be able to step back and remember how lucky I am to have my hubby – even when he forgets to take the rubbish out or make the bed, hah! Yay for lovely other halves. xx

    1. I am the same Kate, it’s so easy to focus on slightly annoying things (like forgetting to take the rubbish out ha!) when there are far more significant things to be appreciative of x

  7. Congratulations on 12 years! This is such a lovely post. I’ve been with my husband five years and married for two and a half. Life hasn’t always been easy but we’ve come through things together as a team but it has taken work. I don’t see that changing any time soon particularly as we face the next chapter in our lives with our first baby due in May. In fact I’m sure we are going to need to work more on our relationship once our baby is born.

    PS I’m also not pleasant to be around when I’m hungry. In fact if I get grumpy my husband’s first option is to feed me!

    1. ha ha hahaha! I am the worst when I feel I really need sugar and there are no biscuits in the house (my fault, I don’t buy them otherwise I eat them!). Congratulations for May! It”ll change your lives forever but you will learn so much more about each other too – it really is the most amazing journey x

  8. I had to think for a second how many years it’s been for us!! It’s also 12 years come June and married for 6 in August. Yikes…I have no idea how that happened. I met my husband when I was only 17 on holiday. He was 20! Like you Charlotte, we are quite different – he’s good with numbers and I’m terrible. He’s a great cook and me…not so much. Etc etc…But that’s why we are so good together. It just works. I often feel extremely lucky to still feel so in-love (cheesy I know) with him especially as I’ve already seen a few of my friends marriages end only a few years later which is really sad. We’re a good team and now with a little 2 year old, we’re totally content.

    Congrats to you and James on your 12 year anniversary!

    PS: We went to the Costwolds in July last year. It was just beautiful! Hope you enjoy! x

    1. Congratulations Sarah! And goodness, 17 is really young – so lovely to hear how happy you both are.

      Content – that’s a perfect way to put it x

  9. Ah – what a lovely post Charlotte! It sounds like you and James have such a solid relationship and I bet you are both setting such a good example about the importance of team work, respect and love to little Mabel.

    My husband and I got married last May and in our wedding vows we said “I promise to remember that love is both a feeling and an action and that love will be present in everything that I do”. I loved that line because it reminds me that all of the little (maybe sometimes more unnoticed) things we do for each other on a day-to-day basis (e.g cooking dinner when the other person is late from work, remembering to take the bins out, going to see the in laws when you aren’t in the mood) are as fundamental to our relationship as telling each other we love each other…if that makes sense?! It also reminds me to show him that I love him all the time and even if we have a disagreement (usually about the bins or whether or not Made in Chelsea kills brain cells) or argument love is still present.

    Congratulations on your 12 year milestone! X

    1. Love that line Ellie – and so true. Thanks so much for your thoughts, I completely agree – it is showing respect/love in the every day small things as much as “saying” it all the time x

  10. Congratulations! Rob and I will celebrate 10 years together in the summer. It wasn’t planned for this reason but we will be on holiday across San Francisco, Seattle and Vancouver at the time (off hand, absolutely no idea which place it will be on the day) but I’m glad we will be somewhere exciting for this milestone. Our second wedding anniversary is only 10 days after the anniversary of us getting together.

    We are have always had shared interests but I feel like we have become more similar over the years. As yet we have never had a proper argument, just niggles, and its because we both find it better to just sulk it out instead of reacting and making a mountain out of a molehill. He usually comes round first – armed with chocolate to make peace. As much as we tell each other how much we appreciate and love each other there it’s the little unprompted gestures that I love – coming home to find he has run me a bath, or buying little presents such as favourite childhood sweets. Who says romance is dead!

    1. Wow what a trip Claire! I am very jealous indeed. I don’t think James has ever run me a bath at home….only when we’ve been away, I think I might have to drop hints, maybe I should request chocolates bought to me whilst in the bath? 🙂 x

  11. Loving all the love today! Absolutely cheered me right up in the middle of a crap week.
    In May, I’ll be celebrating 10 years with my favourite person. I would say that we are both similar and wildly different in various regards but we are always, always in synch and a team.
    Ps. My husband *jokes* that the scariest words he could ever hear me say are “I’m hungry”. He knows that unless he gets me fed asap, the beast will be unleashed!

    1. Oooh thanks for the tip Kate! We have been to Cirencester before but not some years, I remember it being very pretty indeed x

  12. I love this post! Huge congratulations on 12 years. Everything you said really resonates with me. Me and hubby will have been together for 10 years this year and could not be more different. He works outdoors, is so laid back he could fall over and says exactly what he thinks. I have a desk based job, control freak organisation and am a worrier! I think that’s what makes it work, we balance each other out. There have been some very difficult times but we have always been there for each other. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not perfect (I have literally just told him to leave me alone for at least half an hour as I’m exhausted and he’s driving me crazy!) But it works and I am super proud of how far we have both come as a couple. Sorry for the huge comment! 🙂 xx

    1. Emma never apologise, it’s so nice to hear about everyone else’s situation. And sometimes it’s lovely just to hear about all the…. love and positivity you know?! Interestingly James is the worrier where as I am more seat-of-your-pants, neither is ideal but we meet somewhere in the middle most of the time 🙂 x

  13. What a lovely post, congratulations! My husband was the best mans at his brothers wedding and in his speech said his advice for a successful partnership was passion, laughter and teamwork. He really summed up what was important for me and I hope we still have all three of those traits when we are grey and old. Have a fantastic trip away to celebrate xx

    1. Love your husbands thoughts on partnership Ella, I hope we are laughing as much when we’re 90 as we are now x

  14. Huge congratulations Charlotte and James! Mr H and I have been together 10yrs in Nov and married for 5yrs in September so we want to do something special to celebrate (no idea what yet though), we always celebrate the date we got together too.
    The start of our relationship was unconventional, we had known each other a couple of years before we got together. He was basically my best friend, so becoming a couple was both obvious and terrifying. I’m so glad I took the plunge the day I agreed to be his girlfriend though. He is still my best friend, but he is so much more than that. Whatever life has thrown at us so far I know he has my back and I have his, we’re in it together. We don’t argue that often, but we do bicker, I think it proves we still care. We’re not perfect and at times we’re so similar we drive each other mad, but I wouldn’t change our relationship for anything, there is nobody I would rather grow old with. Xx

  15. Congratulations to you both! My husband and I have been together for 15 years in February, and married for just over a year. At the ripe old age of 27, nobody can quite believe that we have stayed together through all the various stages of our life, but I do thank my lucky stars and I feel very lucky! I always think of my nan and grandad when I think about how a relationship works, they always say that you can compromise on some things, but you must always be passionate about what you both believe in and they’ve been married for 62 years so they’ve done very well 🙂

  16. What a lovely post, Charlotte – congratulations on your 12 years! Your daughter is beautiful and you look so happy.

    My husband and I celebrated our 12 year meet-a-virsary just before Christmas. We always celebrate it, and on the 10 year anniversary went back to the same place. Our story is a little different to yours as, although we met 12 years ago, we’re only just coming up to being 9 years a couple and 5 years married (our wedding having been shared by yourselves…. http://www.rockmywedding.co.uk/beach-boho-part-1/)

    I’m sure we will never fathom why that someone turns out to be ‘the’ one – I know that me and my husband shouldn’t work on paper, but cannot imagine my life without him and still believe as I did the very first night I met him…that he is the other part of me. Hopefully this year will be the year that we can add to our little family. X

  17. What a lovely story, congratulations on your 12 years together and your beautiful daughter! I too will be celebrating 12 years with my fiancé this year (2004 was obviously a magical year)and we are finally taking the plunge to get married in May, I can’t wait! We met in high school so childhood sweethearts as they say 🙂 nothing in life worth having is easy but always so rewarding! I feel so lucky to have someone who I’ve grown up with and a best friend to be my forever. I always love celebrating when we first met, i hope you both enjoy your break away!

  18. Congratulations! I’m not sure how close it is to Cirencester, but Daylesford Farm Shop in Kingham is incredible. Amazing food, it’s home to Bamford Spa and it’s impossible not to spend a small fortune in the shop ? It’s v close to Stow on the Wold X

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