What happens if you lose the key to wedlock?

Marriage.

Google this and you’ll find one of the first definitions says, ‘a relationship between married people or the period for which it lasts.’

The period for which it lasts?  Well, that’s depressing.

I realised the extent of my commitment to marriage last night as I watched I Give it a Year and found myself rooting for Nat and Josh.  A couple who have absolutely nothing in common and should never have got married.  Nat and Josh are not an analogy, by the way.

Spoiler coming up, in case you’re ever going to watch it.

Or perhaps I was just a teeny little bit jealous that they could walk away from marriage so easily and so flippantly when it didn’t quite work out the way they’d hoped.  It’s a funny, old ending that’s for sure.  And one which doesn’t translate well when you have children together.

At this point, I should say that I will not be doing a Liz Jones and baring all about my relationship with Daddy Pig.  Not that there is anything to bare.  So Daddy Pig, if this is one of the rare posts you’re reading, don’t worry I’m not leaving you.  Via blog.  Or doing a Shirley Valentine.  

But I do wonder what happens if you lose the key to wedlock.  Do you get another one cut or do you do a Nat and Josh and change the locks?

Let’s face it, marriage is tough.  They say that the first year is the hardest.  I’m not sure I agree with that.  Unless you’ve thrown a child into the mix during that time.

This week alone I’ve heard of two couples (with children) who’ve split up.  And had a conversation where someone has suggested, half-heartedly, that they might. One day.

Because it’s no cliche that once you have children together, it’s really, really hard to find any time for just the two of you.  That is ‘any time’ when you’re not completely shattered or trying to do all the things that you can’t when the kids are in tow.

The other morning Daddy Pig and I had a relaxed conversation which lasted almost a minute, was uninterrupted by children, was not about children and where both of us were actually engaged with one another.  At the same time.  To tick all those boxes is rare.

One minute.  That’s all.

And yet this does not happen as often as it should.

Daddy Pig says that this is just a really difficult time in our lives with two young children.  He says that it will get easier and we’ve just got to ride it out.  I think he thinks we will wake up one day when the girls are older and just pick up where we left off BC (before children).  That would be O’Neills then, where we spent most of our first year together drinking and ‘not dating.’

But I’m not so complacent.  I know we need to work harder than that.  And right now.

It’s not just children that stack up the odds against marriage today.  There’s also iPhones. Facebook.  Blogging.  Tweeting.  Made in Chelsea.  Extreme Fishing.  Not to mention our generation’s culture of eating dinner in front of the TV.  One couple I know have set out to revolutionise this and started eating together at the table every night.  Daddy Pig looks anxious if I even suggest it.  But this couple can make it last a whole hour.  Crikey.  An hour. And here I am celebrating one minute of conversation.

So there it is.  More effort needed.  Because as someone once said to me, ‘Marriage is complicated.  It’s not all about love and sex.’ 

They were right.  Sometimes it’s about laying the table.

And another 59 minutes of intercourse. 

Verbal, that is.

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