He's not my girlfriend, he's my husband.

Written with love, by Marie Haverly – Isabella Weddings

There’s a huge difference, I know that sounds obvious but how many times we try to talk to our husbands like we do our girlfriends. They might both be our best friends but they offer very different qualities and the secret to a happy marriage, for me personally, lies in knowing this.

Indulge me for a moment and see if I can explain my thoughts a little better. I am a wedding planner in the UK where we are very careful with our emotions and try to be non-fluffy as much as we can. We don't like to share our feelings and most of the time we like strict tradition. As a new wife (and true romantic), 10 years ago I thought my life would be like a Hollywood movie, especially as I was a wedding expert. Surely I was destined for the rom-com special with bells on! However, my life isn’t filled with hours of pillow talk and joint tears at emotional outbursts, so surely I should feel cheated? After all there are many husbands who are like this on a daily basis.

Now before you think I'm not happily married, I am. I am truly and utterly blessed to be married to the most amazing man and we have just celebrated 12 years together. We have found our rhythm and our marriage is very solid, having overcome tragedy and enjoyed the sheer bliss of starting a family. There's a reason for my article title though (and the reason my marriage is so brilliant) and that's because a few years ago I realised my husband wasn't my girlfriend -- he is my husband. These are two very different roles in life and for me my understanding of this simple fact has fine-tuned our energy so that we have fallen into step perfectly and will do until the wrinkles show in our smiles.

hes not my girlfriend, hes my husband - marriage advice - marriage blog

You see, for years I wondered why he didn't get that I could possibly be tired, why didn't he second guess my hints at feeling blue, why didn't he surprise me with chocolate when he must have known my day with a toddler was fraught. Why? Because he's a man and not a girl. I don't mean that patronizingly at all, more the fact that I myself was getting it wrong. I expected him to act like a girlfriend, guess my mood and repair it without judgment, to pop home early with chocolate or text me a reassuring poster of a mum coping. However, his role in our life isn't to chit-chat over thoughts. His role is to love me, to support me and protect me. And my role is to love and respect him for what he provides for us and we in turn meet in a very secure, loving place.

For years I didn't respect him enough -- I wanted more but didn't give back. Maybe this has something to do with society now and the way us girls want to rule the world leaving the poor guys further down the hill. Only now do I feel I have matured enough to feel safe saying that I don't have to be on top, or be the leader, we can both do that together. I no longer demand but instead show him I am grateful for his love and in return he shows me how much he adores me. It's a rhythm that many young couples haven't yet reached. It isn't a battle, after all a lifetime takes a long time to establish and you have to settle into marriage.

As a professional wedding planner I should have known better, but I'm glad I know now as I'm the happiest and most blessed I have ever been. Plus I have a handful of awesome girlfriends who do come running with chocolate and wine when needed...I'm a lucky girl!