How do you know that’s not going to happen when you get married.

A girlfriend of mine told a story of motherhood recently, acknowledging her sentimental irrationality she grinned as she explained how she was laying in bed, sobbing into the crook of her husband’s neck as he consoled her. As he held her tightly with great affection he reassured her with the words “you truly are the strangest woman I know.” Another girlfriend and I grinned as she told us the story, I may have let out a squawk of laughter. Her husband so obviously adores her, in his understated way he manages to look across a room to see her, and really see her.

These are the moments of coupledom, the moments that rule out the niggles over finances, a completely different taste in what to watch on the telly, and who’s going to take the bin out on Sunday night. These are the moments of togetherness, I love you even though sometimes I don’t really understand you, but I love you.

The little travellers have reached an age where they are intoxicated by news or discoveries of ex-boyfriends and girlfriends. The fact that G once went out with a dietician causes no end of giggles, Dad who loves food more than anyone else they know. They ask me questions which I am now learning to answer carefully.

“So if Dad went out with a dietician was he really skinny when you met him Mum?”

“No, weirdly he wasn’t? He had a little bit of a tummy”

Fast forward a few weeks to G walking into the room with a raised eyebrow “So I hear I was ‘a chubster’ when we met.” If you want to be scandalously misquoted ask a ten year old.

They want the names and addresses of every ex boyfriend I’ve had.

“That would be LONG list!” I wink at them, “Who has a note book I can borrow?”

There are questions about break ups, fights, why did it end? I explain to the second little traveller that often there isn’t a fight, something just disappears.

“How do you know that’s not going to happen when you get married?”

“You don’t, but you also have to work really hard at it. You have to really want to stay, and both of you have to want it. If one of you doesn’t make the effort, it’s never going to work.”

This morning as I sat at my computer trying to catch up on study while the little travellers took turns in pretending they were folding the washing, G stood at the back window with a container of windex and a cloth. With his back to me he called out pretending to be a tradesman “So umm, does your husband travel much love?”

It’s all part of his routine. For fifteen years G has walked up to me in an airport, usually while I’m surrounded by small children, sometimes with one strapped to my front, and suggestively asked if I’m travelling alone. He approaches me at school functions and asks if I’m married. He joins me at the table of a restaurant and asks if I’d mind if he sat with me until my friends got there. Late on Friday night, after two months apart, G and I went to a party and then decided to check out a new part of the city. I sat in one of the coolest bars I’ve been to in Adelaide waiting for G to return from checking out the drinks menu, he introduced himself upon his return and asked if I’d mind if he sat with me.

“You’re an idiot” I said with a grin.

“Yeah, but you love me Ricey” he grinned back. Knowing the ‘Ricey’ would make me giggle more.

There’s enough space between his proposals that he makes me giggle every time. He’s an enormous dork, ridiculously sentimental and full of Dad jokes – and I adore him for it.

I adore him because he keeps trying. I adore him because there are days that I am very difficult to love. And I adore him because he could have lost interest, he could have stopped trying, he could have simply washed the windows, met me at school and joined me for dinner.

We could have plodded along each day, done what we had to do, and nothing that we didn’t. How do you know that’s not going to happen when you get married? You don’t. We got lucky, and we’ve both got our fingers and toes crossed that it stays this way.

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