Mar 7, 2018

Eight years of marriage: or, what I've learned by Clare Connelly

Yesterday was my wedding anniversary, huzzah! And I've realised that there must be something in the air in March, for many of my writerly friends seem to have been celebrating their own anniversaries this past week. How lovely it's been to see all the joyous photos in my facebook newsfeed.

For my part, my husband and I married eight years ago, seven years to the day since we moved in together. We were fortunate to find each other so young- I was fresh out of school and he was being wild and footloose with his mates on a holiday to the Gold Coast. We were reasonably co-dependent from the beginning and so, after a few years of long-distance romance (and very high phone bills, back in those days!) he eventually moved up to the coast.

We were too young to think of marriage. Instead, we shifted overseas, travelled as much as we could, before coming home to settle in Adelaide, South Australia (where he's from). As a side note, I  grew up on the east coast of Australia and thought it the beginning and end of what Australia has to offer. How ashamed I am of that now! I am a parochial and vocal South Australian convert - utterly taken with this wild, windswept peninsula and the rugged beauty it has to offer. Not to mention stunning wineries, world-class food and festivals that make artsy types weep! I am even learning to follow AFL, though in my heart, I'll always be a rugby girl.

I grew up on acreage in the Gold Coast hinterland. Sometime during my childhood, my mum and dad moved a pretty old church to the corner of our block, with the intention of operating it as an art gallery-come-cafe. But from the first day it was placed in situ, couples were begging to be married there and a business was born. This was rather convenient when my own wedding day rolled around - how many brides can be married from a quaint timber chapel in the grounds of their childhood home? As luck would have it, my dad had a big old country pub, just down the road, and so we rolled from the church to the pub, with our nearest and dearest, and danced the night away in the clouds that cling to the side of the mountains.

It was a joyous day, and very meaningful, in many ways. I had been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes only six months earlier, and so the vows: in sickness and in health, took on a a whole new relevance. I was also pregnant - only just! - and feeling awfully ill. I like knowing that our little boy was there with us though, even if it meant I was queasy the whole time - our honeymoon was a crash-course in finding discrete spots in which to lose my lunch/dinner/breakfast/coffee/air in my lungs. Ugh! My husband enjoyed his way through the leftover champagne from our wedding, mind you, so at least one of us had a good time..!

Before we were married, anniversaries were celebrated a deux, usually at fabulous restaurants. Since having children, things have changed - we now celebrate en famille, and it's quite lovely. Tomorrow night, we're having slow-roasted pork belly followed by a chocolate and strawberry ganache cake - I will post photos over on my @clarewriteslove instagram page so if you're inclined to enjoy foodie photos, jump on over and take a look.

What have I learned in eight years of marriage? Love is not necessarily grand gestures, nor is it just what is said and done. It is the pattern of behaviour that makes up the whole. It is nightly foot rubs (ahem, ESSENTIAL, you understand - because - diabetes #silverlining), him patiently rewatching all my favourite period dramas and pretending to enjoy them when I know they're not his caper, it is me baking sausage rolls for important Adelaide Crows games (and even wearing team colours, le sigh). It is showing interest in Fantasy Football and Pokemon Go. It is obsessively championing one another's successes, encouraging through failures, and it is making each other laugh in the grimmest of times.

So, I am curious -- how do you celebrate the special occasions in your life? What's the most memorable way you've ever marked an important event (if it's safe to share, haha!)?



  1. Happy anniversary Clare woohoo

    I got married on my 20th birthday and we will celebrate our 41st anniversary in April so we usually do a family BBQ last year my daughters took me our for High Tea first then we had a BBQ, we don't do heaps of celebrating we are always just happy to spend time with the family

    Have Fun

  2. Congratulations Clare. We don’t tend to celebrate our anniversary mostly because we have so many birthdays to celebrate throughout the year. Our first anniversary is my most memorable because I was allowed a few hours release from hospital to have dinner with my husband. Our first born was premmie and we were still in hospital after his birth.

  3. Our wedding anniversary is March 15h, this year is #38 for us. We don't really splash out for a big night, so we usually just have a quiet dinner at home, or order from our favorite restaurant, as my husband is disabled and it's hard for him to get around.

  4. I adore this post, Clare. Everything from the cute-meet (I'm sure it was!) to your wedding to how you celebrate with love and family rather than grand gestures. *Big happy sigh.* No wonder you write such beautiful romance.

    Oh and Happy Anniversary!

  5. Hubby and I dont generally celebrate our anniversary in a big splashy way. Dinner out somewhere is usually the go. But I've only just realised - and this goes to how low key it is for us - that we're going to be in France this year for our 28th anniversary. So I think that'll be kind of memorable :-)
    PS - love that pic!

  6. I think you've got it so right about what marriage means. Congratulations on your anniversary.
    If we remember on the day it's usually bubbles and steak. But i have to admit we're both hopeless at remembering the exact date. It was NZ Labour day weekend so we kind of celebrate for three days.