Truth teller: Everyone’s loving the “perfect marriage” secret this mum shared

Blogger Nikki Pennington

Blogger Nikki Pennington is part of the reassuring new movement of tell-it-like-it-is mums and her recent update drills down to what makes a successful marriage tick.

Jer and I have been together since we were teenagers. After thirteen years of being together and eleven years of…

Posted by Nikki Pennington on Saturday, 19 August 2017

The secret of Nikki’s success

Nikki, who blogs at Grief to Hope has racked up over a decade of marriage to hubby Jer, and has noticed that she’s entered the kind of long-term territory where other people ask her what her marriage success secret is.

“Jer and I have been together since we were teenagers,” Nikki explains. “After thirteen years of being together and eleven years of marriage I’ve had people ask me, ‘So, what’s the secret to a successful marriage?’ I usually laugh.”

Making the rules

The usual advice and oft-touted adages just don’t cut it with Nikki – and let’s face it, they probably haven’t been super practical for any of us!

“I know the typical responses from the ‘Don’t go to bed angry’ or the ‘Always say I love you when they leave’,” Nikki writes.

“You guys, do you know how many times in eleven years Jer has taken residency on the couch prior to us having kids because we were mad?”

“Do you know how many times he’s left without us saying “I love you” because kids and life? His way of saying ‘I love you’ some mornings is letting me sleep in when he leaves and everyone is still asleep.”

Breaking the rules

Nikki admits that she and Jer have broken every rule in the matrimonial handbook in their efforts to push on and keep their love alive.

“All the “secrets” we’ve broken them! The secret to a long lasting marriage is there is no secret at all.”

This mum says pushing through, hanging on and trying is the key to staying together:

“It’s a get up and try again over and over every damn day,” Nikki writes.

“It’s staying up all night in tears with your first newborn child because you both are overtired, overwhelmed and scared to death but you are in it together.”

“It’s about knowing that nothing is going to turn out perfect, that your marriage won’t be a highlight reel because that’s not real life.”

“It’s about being deep in the trenches of so many obstacles that life could throw you and getting to look over and know that you aren’t alone and that your best friend is walking it with you.”

“It’s about knowing that you can never be prepared for the burdens you might have to help your partner carry but you do know you are willing to be there when they need rest from the burden.”

Just hang in there

Hanging in there, through the tricky times and the triumphs, is what’s kept her marriage together, she says.

“Just try every single day, in the trenches and on top of the mountains don’t ever stop.”

“Because stopping, that’s one thing that isn’t a secret, it will make you fail,” Nikki says.

Of course, hanging in there is not always an option if your partner is not on the same page. It’s also important to note that there are no “failures”, because every relationship is a lesson learned. That said, we love Nikki’s throw-away-the-rule-book approach.

It recognises that marriage (and long-term relationships) are not always peachy and she puts her finger on the real truths of long-lasting marriage – kindness and persistence.

Nice one, Nikki!


Does Nikki’s post resonate with you? What do you think the secret to a happy union is?

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