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Wednesday 11 December 2019

10 things you only know after 14 years of marriage

Sharon Horgan and Jeremy Rainbird arrive for the House Of Fraser British Academy Television Awards 2016 at the Royal Festival Hall on May 8, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/Mike Marsland/WireImage)
Sharon Horgan and Jeremy Rainbird arrive for the House Of Fraser British Academy Television Awards 2016 at the Royal Festival Hall on May 8, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/Mike Marsland/WireImage)

Shane Watson

You may have seen that Sharon Horgan, writer of the TV series Catastrophe (about marriage and early motherhood), Motherland (later motherhood) and Divorce (the end of the relationship) is getting divorced after 14 years of marriage.

This is big news because Horgan has a gift for observing what makes real relationships tick - not the TV-drama sort where people wear skirt suits and five-inch heels and have sex in the shower - but ones like our own.

So it stands to reason that if you've been married for about 14 years (nearly 14 in our case) you might think, "Maybe two times the seven-year itch is the new crisis point?" and feel compelled to take a long hard look at all the things you know you can't get away with after 14 years of marriage...

1. Looking horrible

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You are in a Horganish marriage, a warts-and-all, no-pretending sort of marriage, but roughly 14 years in (I have noticed), what was cute is suddenly not so - and often, the opposite. You might want to buy a dressing gown at this point instead of wandering around in an old Barbour and pants.

2. Wearing clothes they dislike

Similar but different. You think you look pretty cool in your cropped white cowboy boots; he thinks you look ridiculous. Once there was a time when you could not give a stuff but that's because you needed much less input from your clothes. Man Repellers are for women who couldn't repel a man if they tried, not the regular sort.

3. Nagging

We know this word is only ever applied to women, and therefore demeaning - but women are also the only ones who nag. We nag because we are attempting to avoid something far worse than being accused of nagging and we aren't wrong. But after 14 years it is time to acknowledge: They Don't Listen Unless They Want To. And, also, silently sorting out your own problems (yes, I do have a pension, thank you; yes, I did book the train...) can be very effective.

4. Your sad bed

Year 14 is the time to get a new bed. It's roughly when you're meant to, wear and tear-wise, and it demonstrates the right attitude: your bed must not be allowed to go any further down the path of animals-children-laundry-to-be-sorted dump.

5. Ducking boring duty stuff

There is more boring duty stuff and sometimes both of you will think: Do I Actually Have To? But the answer is yes, you do. Less supportive equals less lovable, it's simple.

6. Drinking too much and then having an argument in a restaurant

Also only for passionate young marrieds. Equally important, are the things you can get away with, as of now:

7. Showing off about impressively attractive love conquests in the past

Previously this was considered not on and rude. Now it's fun, and proves that once upon a time you had it, if that is not immediately obvious any more.

8. Bigging each other up

In the early years, showing off about your partner's achievements and talents is nauseating. It sounds like couple-bragging. Past the 14-year mark it sounds like appreciation and it's preferable to eye-rolling and making yawning gestures whenever the other one speaks.

9. Spontaneous gestures

For at least 13 years of marriage, all big and medium-sized decisions not discussed and agreed upon (aka cleared by Us) are perceived as acts of treason. Now the spontaneous plan is the marital vitamin B injection. Whisk us off for the weekend we knew nothing about… suddenly lovely. Note: independent purchases of eg. TVs? Still a bad idea. Or clothes for us - no clothes. Or jewellery, unless green-lit by a close friend.

10. Going away on your own

Pre the 14-year mark you want to be on holiday with mates or your family or both. Now you might head off a deux, or even by yourself. Different times.

Telegraph.co.uk

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