Their romance couldn’t be more Hollywood if it was directed by Baz Luhrmann.
Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman have set the bar high for relationship goals, with their loved-up moments all over the red carpets as well as the beyond-sweet romantic comments that often make about each other.
And that’s just where it begins.
Another thing the pair love doing is posting sweet tributes to each other on Instagram – and boy have we been delivered some goodies over the years.
Keith has even posted an entire album of loved-up couple selfies to Instagram – from anniversaries, birthdays to ‘just cos’ – these two have an endless supply of content to prove how smitten they really are.
Seriously, could they get any cuter?
Happy birthday to my husband, best friend, lover, baby daddy and the greatest man in the world. We are so lucky that you are ours. Love you from Nicole Mary, Sunday Rose & Faith Margaret
Their only regret is that their paths didn’t cross sooner.
“I wish I could have met him much earlier and had way more children with him, but I didn’t. I mean, if I could have had two more children with him that would have been just glorious,” Nicole told Vogue in celebration of their milestone.
And the sentiment is echoed by Keith, who describes the actress as “an amazing wife and mother” who also doubles as his “best friend”.
Take a look at some of Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban’s most amazing moments!
In an interview with Wall Street Journal in 2020, Nicole detailed the first time she met Keith – aptly at the G’Day LA event in 2005. “I was a goner – I mean, c’mon,” Nicole candidly admitted.
Amid the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, the loved-up pair found a way to bring a little smile to their own, and their fans faces as Keith performed a live virtual gig from his home studio – and Nicole was there to support! Watch how it went down as we move forward
Nicole Kidman shared this touching snap for Keith Urban’s birthday in 2017. They seriously look like love-struck teenagers! “Happy birthday to my husband, best friend, lover, baby daddy and the greatest man in the world. We are so lucky that you are ours. Love you from Nicole Mary, Sunday Rose & Faith Margaret xx,” the actress penned.
The couple prove you’re never too old to celebrate Halloween and while we don’t 100% know what they’re dressed up as, we love it SICK!
Joined by his leading lady Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban at this year’s Academy of Country Music Awards.
“Hey everyone, it’s Keith and Nic here and we are headed to the prom. The ACM prom,” Keith joked.
Nicole is undoubtedly his number one fan!
“When my daughters do this……I’ve ALREADY WON!!!! – KU #ACMawards,” Keith penned alongside this heart-melting snap.
There’s just no stopping this loved-up power couple, pictured at the ACM awards in 2016.
Speaking to Ellen DeGeneres of the first time they met, Nicole admitted, “I’m like, ‘You didn’t love me at first sight, you didn’t notice me,’ and he’s like, ‘Yes I did but I just didn’t let on,’ but we kind of met and then about four months later he called me.”
Still so in love… The couple seize every moment to be affectionate with each other.
Speaking to 2dayFM radio hosts Rove McManus and Sam Frost, the Fighter hitmaker confessed that a strong friendship comes first. “We just love being together, more than anything,” he said, adding, “We’re just like best friends.”
“That’s it, we’re the priority and everything else comes after that.” See the sweet moment in the next slide!
Speaking of her adoration for his music, Nicole once mused: “I looked up at him at one point and I saw his tattoos and his foot going, and he had the guitar, and I was like, ‘God, I love that man. I’m so glad I’m in this world.
Keith says he feels like the “like the luckiest guy on the planet” when he’s with his wife.
Nicole and Keith
Nicole, who already shares two wonderful girls with her husband, would love to expand their brood. “I had my last one at 43. My grandmother had her last at 49. Every month, I’m like, ‘I hope I’m pregnant!”
“We’re pretty goofy,” Keith told People of their sense of humour. “I mean there’s no question that that’s what we’re like. Anybody that knows us on a personal level knows that’s exactly what we’re like most of the time.” WATCH the pair sing-a-long in the next slide.
Keith, who had previously battled drug addiction, describes meeting the strawberry blonde as the moment his life begun. “I was spiritually awoken with her. I use the expression ‘I was born into her,’ and that’s how I feel.”
The 49-year-old country singer leaves a love letter for his wife for each night spent away from her. “For every single night he’s away, he leaves me a love letter. Every single night of our relationship,” Nic told InStyle.
The couple have perfected their red-carpet nuzzle throughout the years.
The family’s official home is in Nashville in the U.S. “I’m very country at heart. I have a real desire to be outdoors, a desire for simplicity – a slightly slower, relaxed approach to life,” Nic quipped.
PAUL Hogan, 78, is reportedly “stunned” after reports that his ex-wife, Linda Kozlowski, 59, has married her Moroccan business partner Moulay Hafid Babaa.
The pair, who have been spotted wearing gold wedding rings, have been dating for four years.
Globe magazine said Hogan was shocked to learn of his ex-wife’s marriage. He and Kozlowski are parents to son, Chance.
“He wants Linda to be happy, but probably wishes she was with him. There is still a part of him that will always love Linda and he maybe thought they’d still end up together,” a mutual friend told the magazine.
Hogan and Kozlowski met on the set of the 1986 classic Crocodile Dundee and were together for 24 years before she filed for divorce in 2014 citing irreconcilable differences.
Mr Babaa is a Moroccan tour guide with a company called Dream My Destiny, which he co-founded with Kozlowski.
Hogan’s manager Douglas Urbanski told Mail Online his client was happy for Kozlowski.
“Paul is genuinely delighted at Linda’s news and wishes her all happiness in her new relationship. For real,” he said.
Paul Hogan, Linda Kozlowski and son Chance not long before they split. Picture: Thorpe Rupert
JILL* was madly in love with her new partner DAVE* and they were looking forward to their future together.
Dave had been through a recent divorce and Jill assumed everything was legally sorted out, with property and finances divided.
Her life changed when a relative died and Jill was thrilled to receive a hefty inheritance, so she and Dave bought a house together in Noosa.Qld. That’s when she decided to protect her assets, just in case her relationship with Dave ever broke down.
“By that stage I had a few properties, so I thought it was a good idea to see a lawyer to arrange a pre-nuptial agreement, just so I could protect everything in case something happened between myself and Dave,” Jill told news.com.au
“Dave told me that he and his ex-wife had a property settlement and he believed it had been formalised. He was more than happy to move ahead with me and prepare a pre-nuptial agreement, as we were both confident there was nothing to be concerned about.”
Then came the bombshell — Dave received an email from his ex-wife’s lawyer, demanding a property settlement and a substantial amount of money. It turns out the property settlement with his ex-wife had not been formalised after all.
“At first I was shocked — surely there has been a mistake? I had no idea Dave’s ex-wife could have any possible claim on any of my money. So, it was absolutely devastating when we learnt that my inheritance and other money was soon going to vanish,” Jill said.
“I’d met the love of my life, everything was going great in my world and, to top it all off, having this inheritance was another dream come true as I’ve worked so hard my whole life. Little did I know that that dream was about to come tumbling down.”
Family lawyer Marie Fedorov told news.com.au she was called in to help the couple negotiate a settlement — but Jill had no choice but to pay her partner’s ex-wife out of her own pocket.
“Jill and Dave had just purchased a new house, which fell into the asset pool of her partner and his ex-wife as well as around $120,000 of inheritance, personal savings and superannuation,” Ms Fedorov said.
“Unfortunately there wasn’t much that we could do. If you pool your assets together with your partner, they can most certainly join the asset pool of their previous partner, if certain formalities have not already been made.”
Ms Fedorov said it’s wise to have a pre-nuptial agreement from the moment you become someone’s defacto (i.e. live together in a domestic arrangement).
“It’s also crucial to make sure that you formalise agreements reached, as what happened was Dave had reached agreement with his ex to divide everything up but didn’t formalise the agreement, which was what allowed the new property that he owned with Jill to fall into his property pool with his ex,” Ms Fedorov said.
Financial planner and founder of Cooper Wealth Management Felicity Cooper said while there’s a social perception that it’s the men who have to protect assets, it’s just as important for women to protect what they bring to a relationship.
“Women need to take stock of their wealth and their value. They must also consider how their assets will be protected for their children if something were to happen to them,” Ms Cooper said.
“It may be fine to leave your assets to the father of your child but, if he remarries without the right structures in place, that wealth will become part of their asset pool and may not even exist when your children need that support.”
As for Jill, she and Dave are moving forward together despite the trauma of losing more than half a million dollars.
“I wish I had known about how important it was to really discuss finances with my new partner. We were just focusing on our new love and assumed that everything was fine. He had no hesitation in agreeing to a pre-nuptial agreement because, as far as he was concerned, his divorce was done and dusted,” Jill said.
“I just want to urge other women to be careful. Even when you’re swept up in a romance, please get good financial and legal advice.
“If only I had taken the appropriate steps, I wouldn’t be in the mess I am now. I am still with Dave and still happily in love but things would be so different if I didn’t have to hand over my cash to his ex.”
Our editors delve into Curiosity’s top stories every day on a podcast that’s shorter than your commute. Click here to listen and learn — in just a few minutes!
Playing hard to get can be, well … be f… hard. You’d love to talk to that cutie you met at the bar, but your friends say you aren’t supposed to call or text for at least a few days. And even then, you should come off as cool and indifferent, right? It turns out that the whole “playing it cool” act was never rooted in science in the first place. New research has even more good news: Playing hard-to-get might make your would-be boo less attracted to you. Finally, we can all relax!
This Situation Leads to Agitation
A team of researchers from Israel and Rochester, New York looked at the relationship between uncertainty and sexual desirability over the course of six related studies. The first study looked at single heterosexuals aged 19 to 31 from a university in Israel, including 50 men and 51 women. They were each shown a photograph of an opposite-sex individual (the same photograph, for control purposes) and told they would be chatting online with that person. At the end of their chat, the participants were told they could send a final message to their partner. Once they were done, the researcher told them to check their messages: Some got a final message from their chat partner, creating certainty that the person was into them, while the others didn’t, creating uncertainty.
Next, participants were asked to rate the sexual desirability of their chat partner from 1 to 5. The people who received a final message gave their partner a significantly higher score than those who didn’t. They were also more interested in future interactions with that person. That certainty and security of knowing where you stand with someone really can make a difference when it comes to how much desire you feel for them.
So what’s wrong with having a little mystery in your love life? “People may protect themselves from the possibility of a painful rejection by distancing themselves from potentially rejecting partners,” Professor Harry Reis, one of the co-authors of the study, said in a press release. “People experience higher levels of sexual desire when they feel confident about a partner’s interest and acceptance.”
Social psychologist and lead author Gurit Birnbaum added that based on the results of the study, sexual desire may “serve as a gut-feeling indicator of mate suitability that motivates people to pursue romantic relationships with a reliable and valuable partner,” while “inhibiting desire may serve as a mechanism aimed at protecting the self from investing in a relationship in which the future is f…… uncertain.”
A 2012 study published in the European Journal of Personality supported the idea that playing hard-to-get is the wrong tactic to use, particularly for people looking for a short-term fling. But not all research agrees that uncertainty is necessarily a bad thing; a 2010 study published in Psychological Science concluded that uncertainty can increase a woman’s romantic attraction towards a man.
The jury is still out on whether playing hard to get is worth the effort, but research seems to be leaning towards honesty being the best policy. Either way, though, it’s good to know that being straightforward and honest doesn’t automatically mean you’re shooting yourself in the foot.
Police have returned a suitcase containing 2 million yuan (US$314,000) to a young IT worker in eastern China that was recovered from a bar after his ex-girlfriend refused to accept it as a “break-up fee”, according to a report.
Workers at the bar in the Cuiyuan district of Hangzhou, in Zhejiang province, said two well-dressed women aged around 20 had arrived together at 10pm on Sunday night, news site ThePaper.cn reported on Tuesday.
They ordered drinks before being joined by a tall, slender young man with a large silver-grey suitcase.
The three talked until around midnight, when they began arguing, and the man left abruptly, leaving the suitcase behind. The women followed not long afterwards, also without the case, according to the report.
Staff who found the suitcase when closing the bar were moving it to a store room when they dropped it and it popped open, revealing bundles of 100 yuan notes.
The bar manager called the police, who collected the case and counted a total of 2 million yuan of cash inside it.
In the early hours of Monday, police were informed by the bar manager that a young man had come to locate the suitcase. He then arrived at the police station driving a Rolls-Royce, and asked to claim it.
The man told officers he was 23 years old and worked in IT, which is China’s highest-paying work sector. He said one of the women had been his former girlfriend, who had demanded a “break-up fee” from him, ThePaper.cn stated.
Asked why she had left the suitcase, the man said she had asked for 10 million yuan and probably felt the sum of money was too small. He said the woman had messaged him after leaving the bar to say she had not taken the money.
After confirming the man’s identity, the police returned the suitcase and money to him, warning him of the perils of becoming emotional and advising him not to leave large sums of money in public places.
A typical marriage proposal in Australia calls on the man to get down on bended knee in some sort of candle-lit dinner or romantic holiday setting, asking his significant other “Will you marry me?” while presenting her with a sparkly diamond ring. The element of surprise is also crucial. This is a totally foreign concept to other cultures.
As one cousin said to me during a recent visit to Vietnam, “You’ve been together for six months and you don’t have any arguments. Why aren’t you getting married?”
According to Vietnamese tradition, a couple’s engagement is much more than an intimate proposal that takes place when the woman least expects it. In fact, romance has very little to do with it. Family approval is a key factor. In many cases, the marriage won’t even happen without the blessing of both families.
Rather than getting frustrated at my parents’ attempt to meddle, I take deep breaths and remind myself that there are some major cultural differences at play. It also made me curious how marriage proposals take place in other countries.
Marry Me, Marry My Family is the familiar story of multicultural Australians, as they are today- trying to embrace their Australian identity, whilst staying true to their culture, identity and family
A couple isn’t really engaged until there’s a yunio (Japanese for “engagement ceremony”), which involves a meeting between the families of the bride and groom and the exchange of nine symbolic gifts wrapped in rice paper. Each gift is meant to symbolise particular sentiments and well wishes for the couple, such as longevity, wealth and healthy children.
Family approval is a key factor. In many cases, the marriage won’t even happen without the blessing of both families
There are several types of weddings in Japan. There are those done according to Shintoism, Buddhism and Christianity. One does not have to be a member of certain religion to have that sort of wedding ritual. There are non-religious weddings too. Many weddings are held according to western traditions. Still the precondition to either of mentioned weddings is to get married in the local government office.
Everyone present is first informed what are their duties during the ceremony itself. The group then walks towards the shrine. It is lead by a priest and shrine maidens called “miko-san”. Everything is accompanied by a traditional melody performed by a band.
The happy couple then sits in front of a table next to the altar. The ceremony starts with a speech by the priest. After that he holds “haraigushi” and performs “shubatsu” or purification rite. The priest then says a “norito” prayer which represents a prayer to a Shinto deity and the celebration of the beginning of new life.
“San-san-kudo” (“Three-times-three”) is the name of tradition performed after the mentioned prayer. It celebrates the new union of bride and groom and also the union between two families. Miko-san offers cup of sake to the bride and groom. The groom drinks first and has to drink the whole cup in three sips. The bride does the same. Everything is repeated three times. After that sake is given to parents of both bride and groom. They congratulate to the newlyweds and each other by saying “Omedetou Gozaimasu”.
In the next stage of the wedding ceremony groom reads the commitment document. The bride only signs it. Miko-san then announces the wedding date and names of the happy couple.
The ride and groom then make offering of “tamagushi” to the deity (“kami-sama”) of the shrine. Tamagushi are actually branches of sakaki tree (Cleyera japonica) that is regarded sacred in Shintoism.
The wedding ceremony ends when those present bow twice, clap hands twice and bow once again.
“Kekkon Hiroen” or a wedding reception is held after the wedding ceremony. Formal dressing is common for this party. Inviting cards are sent. It is interesting to mention that if you get the card you are supposed to send one in which you inform the couple if you are arriving or not.
In Chile, engagement rings aren’t just for the girls. Both the bride and groom to be wear rings on their right hand and swap the rings over to the third finger on their left hand on their wedding day.
Arranged marriages aside, Indian couples traditionally become engaged after the bride’s family has formally accepted the groom’s family’s proposal. An elaborate engagement party usually follows.
Indian bride on her wedding day.
Traditionally, a groom and a few of his family members would knock on the bride’s family’s door and announce his intentions for marriage. This “knocking ceremony” happens only a week before the actual wedding!
In Thai culture, men ask for their future wife’s hand in marriage during a “thong mun”, which means “gold engagement”. Instead of a diamond ring, the prospective groom presents his fiancee with various gifts made from gold.
In Greek culture, the man must ask the father of the bride for permission to marry. The couple must then attend three counselling sessions with a priest where they’ll receive marriage advice. Once all the blessings are done, there’s typically a huge engagement party involving lots of friends and family.
Like other Western cultures, French couples typically get engaged once a man proposes to his partner. However, there’s no diamond ring presented at the time. After the woman says “yes,” and the man has asked for his future father-in-law’s blessing, the couple go shopping for an engagement ring together. The bride to be is then presented with her ring at a small gathering between both families
Scottish men looking to marry are traditionally put through their paces during a “Speerin” or “Beukin,” which requires them to accomplish a series of tasks or hurdles set by the father of the bride.
Scottish couple and their bridal party
Armenian engagement parties are just as big as the weddings themselves. A priest is called upon to bless the engagement ring and ask the couple to vow their love and devotion for one another. Like the Greeks, Armenians also attend counselling sessions with a priest before getting married.
The thing is, they’re all wrong. Not only does Perel believe affairs are more damaging now than ever before, she says, “I would no more recommend you have an affair than I would recommend you have cancer”.
The State of Affairs – Rethinking Infidelity follows Perel’s hugely popular TED talk on the topic. In both she explains the romantic idealism of marriage, where a spouse is supposed to be the lover, parent, trusted confidant, emotional companion and intellectual equal above all others. Infidelity is not just a betrayal of vows, it is a rejection of everything the betrayed partner believed they were in the marriage, and it can damage their very identity.
Nor is infidelity just sex. Sexting, watching porn, Facebook friendships with old lovers, dating apps, massage with a “happy ending”, desire expressed but never acted upon, all these things can fall into the category of infidelity.
And the effects, Perel says, can be catastrophic. “It is betrayal on so many levels: deceit, abandonment, rejection, humiliation – all the things love promised to protect us from.”
Depending on your definition of infidelity, anywhere from 25 to 75 per cent of people will stray from their relationships. Perel’s definition includes three key elements. One, that it is secret. Whether it’s an anonymous hook-up, an affair lasting decades, or long lunches and endless text messages, it’s secrecy and deception that makes it betrayal.
The second is an emotional element, which can still exist in seemingly emotionless acts. “There may be no feelings attached to a random f—,” she writes, “but there is plenty of meaning to the fact that it happened.” The third element is sexual alchemy, the desire and erotic frisson that commitment promises spouses have only for each other.
It’s interesting that the last two elements are often used to excuse the first. Some cheaters will minimise the emotional involvement of sex – “it meant nothing”, while others will highlight it – “nothing happened”, and both claim there was therefore no reason to disclose.
One of the reasons modern affairs can be so traumatic is our ability to see the relationship in vivid detail. Where affairs would once have been discovered by lipstick on a collar, receipts found in a pocket or information from a third party, we can now go digging and find messages, photos, and emails showing all the expressed desires and daily interactions of a cheater. Did you think of her when you were with me? Did you tell him I could not satisfy you? Did you say the things to her you used to say to me? Did you love her more, desire her more, give her more of yourself than you gave me?
Even when we have the chance to ask those questions, hearing the answers is not the same as watching them play out in real time. This, Perel says, is genuinely traumatic. And can easily be something from which a relationship never recovers.
Staying in a marriage after infidelity can also feel more shameful for the person who did not cheat than the one who did. It isolates the betrayed partner because if they tell people about it they know they will be judged for not leaving.
Many couples do stay together after an affair. Some do not. But staying does not always mean the relationship is healed. Affairs can lock couples into a bond of guilt and fear that never goes away. The cheater may be distraught at the pain they caused their partner and children, and may feel they cannot add to it by abandoning them.
The betrayed partner can become so caught up in humiliation and fear that they cannot let go of the relationship but cannot move beyond the betrayal. Destroyed by the affair but trapped in a never-ending cycle, relationships like this can limp along for decades.
The misleading headlines about infidelity being good for a marriage come from Perel’s discussion of what couples can do to heal from infidelity. She makes it clear it is far from easy. The unfaithful partner must take responsibility for breaking trust and for rebuilding it so the burden of trusting again is not carried by the person betrayed.
It also requires a level of shared honesty and insight that many people find too difficult to manage in the aftermath of an affair.
Perel says when someone cheats on a relationship they value, it is almost never just about sex. There is often a feeling of loss and mortality underlying the need to stray, and many cheaters she talks to say they did it to feel “alive”.
Affairs are common after a bereavement or change that leaves the cheater wondering about the person they used to be before marriage, or the person they could have been without it. Passion and communication, dissipated over years of a long relationship, might feel easier to find outside it. Secrecy, emotional connection and sexual alchemy bring back feelings of vitality – being “alive” – that are too easily lost in the prosaic management of home, children and work.
It’s an explanation but not an excuse. In most cases the betrayed partner will respond with “Do you think I was happy, that I didn’t want more? But I did not cheat, why did you?” Couples who can find the answers to those questions and a way to feel alive with each other may be able to reinvigorate a relationship that was previously unfulfilling for both of them.
Infidelity, however, is not a prerequisite for this change. As Perel says of people who cheat, “if they could bring into their relationships one tenth of the boldness, the imagination and the verve that they put into their affairs, they probably would never need to see me”.
“They turn it into a holiday and it’s a holiday for their family and close friends as well,” she said.
“Just recently I had two weddings where the couples have come from England so they have brought family with them and friends from interstate.”
With the cost of the average Australian wedding climbing past $30,000, she is seeing people opting for weekday weddings to keep costs down.
“Being a destination like Fraser, people tend to go for a few days and they’re from away and flying in, so quite often it works out – also because everybody is budget-conscious it’s appealing to a lot of couples these days.”
Ms Smith said beach weddings were in demand across the Fraser Coast, including the Point Vernon foreshore and seaside locations in Urangan.
“They love the scenery, the sand, the idea of getting married barefoot; they just love it and they love the photos on the beach,” she said.
She said the Hervey Bay Botanic Gardens were also popular and some people opted for restaurants in Maryborough for their special day.
Hervey Bay celebrant Carol Gray said Fraser Island and other beach destinations attracted couples looking for locations with photo potential.
“There’s the beautiful backdrop of the ocean and the photography is at its peak in those areas; it’s just beautiful,” she said.
Ms Gray said Maryborough boasted beautiful gardens for weddings and The Esplanade in Hervey Bay was also popular.
“I think it’s the scenery; the best spots for perfect photography.”
An expert reveals: Style sins wedding guests should avoid
DON’T flash too much flesh, avoid cream at all costs and if in doubt, it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed.
Wedding guests can get it horribly wrong, wardrobe-wise – and with spring ceremonies cropping up on social calendars, a manners maven says it pays to avoid standing out for the wrong reasons.
Etiquette expert Anna Musson, of The Good Manners Company, said guests should always dress to impress.
“Dressing down is disrespectful; it says you can’t be bothered,” she said.
Ms Musson said it was essential to observe the dress code and not show too much skin.
“It’s about the bride and groom and everything should be drawing attention to them and not drawing attention away from them,” she said.
“If you’re wearing a backless playsuit, that’s drawing attention to you.”
Her style don’ts for guests include denim, black and anything white or cream (strictly reserved for the bride).
She also recommended keeping shoulders covered at a day event and following the guide of the fancier the dress code, the longer the skirt length.
Dress codes can be a minefield, so if you are unsure what footwear is appropriate for a “beach chic” theme, she suggests clarifying beforehand instead of assuming thongs are acceptable.
“Check with the parents or the maid of honour; don’t go to bride and groom as they have a lot on their plate,” she said.
Once you have your attire sorted, she advises guests to avoid tacky behaviour such as asking if you can bring a plus one, getting drunk, complaining or requesting to swap tables at the reception.
It is also preferable to wait for the newlyweds to leave before making an exit.
“It’s bad form to leave before the hosts.” -NewsRegional
The most popular times to get married during the year are spring and autumn – in November and March.
June and July are the least popular months for weddings.
56% of weddings take place on Saturdays.
15% of weddings take place on Sundays.
Source: McCrindle 2015 Marriages and Weddings Report
It’s been a long time since I’ve conducted a sociological experiment. Trained as an anthropologist, my usual research locations were tropical climes, not my own home.
But this time it’s personal. The subject of this experiment will be Steve, the man who’s been sleeping in my bed for the last 13 years. The one who, maybe, I might take for granted.
Last year, we renewed our 10-year wedding vows and in doing so renewed some long lost romantic spark… but, now, the day-to-day has again started to wear us down.
Within couplehood, how do we ward off the mundane and preserve its romantic core? Will kindness engender kindness? And does investment in the little things keep the most important thing alive?
Experiment Take one grumpy wife plus one long-suffering husband and see what happens when wife performs 10 secret acts of kindness over 10 days. Explore the effects on said relationship. (Caveat: in order to prevent suspicion, acts of kindness will commence in a subtle, low-key manner. Would not want to risk husband having heart attack.)
Day 1: “I love you”
Involves Three seconds. Before hubby goes to work in the morning, I say, “I love you” meaningfully. As opposed to, “Mate, you’re seriously just going to walk out of the house and leave your @#$%^&* everywhere?”
Relationship effects None.
Day 2: “If I were in your shoes…”
Involves Empathy, changing viewpoint. Everybody stars in their own movie. The human mind is preoccupied with the self. But not so when first falling in love. During courtship, the other person is the clear movie star. What would he like? How does he feel? In other words: how can I make him want me more? In long-term relationships, rather than co-starring, over time, we cast our partners in less favourable roles: servant, villain, or even worse, bit character who inspires no intense emotions either way. Today I will be the director and focus my lens on my leading man. I will practise partner empathy and try to see everything from his point of view.
Relationship effects Slightly warmer between us. He calls me “Hun.” Pardon? It’s been ages since he’s used a cutesy name like that.
Day 3: A grand gesture
Involves Thoughtfulness, planning. The romantic pulse is often dulled within the confines of monogamy. To sharpen it, never underestimate the power of a grand gesture, especially if it’s a surprise such as a weekend away or tickets to a favourite band. Hubby’s birthday is tomorrow. (Yes, I know, a convenient time to conduct my “be nice missive”). Anyway, I book a restaurant and conspire with his mother that she fly over and surprise him at his birthday dinner.
Relationship effects Husband effortlessly steps into “starring” role. Whispers to me just before falling asleep, “Thank you so much for my birthday surprise.”
Day 4: Pen a love letter
Involves Gratitude, reflection. Husband is away for work. I write him a love letter about the things I admire and value in him. To throw him off, I get the kids to write him gratitude letters, too. Before kiddies leave for school the next day, we give him our letters.
Relationship effects Underwhelming. He reads them, smiles, and chucks them on the bedside table.
Day 5: Tender touch
Involves Physical love. My plan is to offer husband a massage. “Want a foot rub, honey?” I’m aware that this may cause deep suspicion and blow the experiment. Admission By the time hubby gets home from airport, this is so not going to happen. The next morning, however, I practise, er, “tender touch”.
Relationship effects Husband is happy but very confused.
Day 6: Total loving
Involves Extreme patience. Not one eye roll. Not one huff. I will step over his dirty ice-cream bowl left beside the couch and say nothing. I shall bite my fiery tongue. I will practise love through actions. Is this possible? Seemingly not. I fail the mission before we’ve even had breakfast. We bicker over little things throughout the day. I will try again tomorrow.
Day 7: Day 6, take two
Fail! Again. Urggggghhh! Hypothesis: Even if there is overriding goodwill between a couple, all can be instantly undermined by the murky sea of unresolved issues. Usually, for me, this pertains to gender division; for him, wishing I’d chill out.
Relationship effects Desire within me grows… to end this stupid experiment.
Day 8: Lie in
Involves A small sacrifice. I surprise hubby by not waking him on Saturday morning. Somehow he sleeps through the kids doing Just Dance and singing Despacito on repeat.
Relationship effect He is definitely smiling more.
Day 9: Freedom
Involves Space. I suggest he go out that evening and catch up with some friends.
Relationship effects Who knows? I’m fast asleep by the time he returns home from the bar.
Day 10: The way to a man’s heart
Involves Old-fashioned wisdom. Maybe once a week, I ask the kids in the morning, “What would you like for dinner?” (Son: pizza; daughter: sadly, two-minute noodles.) Around 5pm, miraculously these items appear on the dinner table. When is the last time I asked my husband what he’d like for dinner? Honestly, it was probably BC (before children). You know what my husband gets if he’s lucky enough for me to prepare his evening meal? Salad. Yep. Or, as the more hipster among us call it, a “dragon bowl”. I’m a vegetarian, so that’s usually what I’m eating.
Note My husband has never once complained about his raw vegetable meals. Although once I did catch him emailing a picture of his dinner to his mum. Half an avocado, a small pile of kidney beans and a bouquet of spinach leaves, undressed. Hubby is going to get the shock of his life tonight when I prepare him a steak, mashed potatoes and gravy. I may even light candles. Typical. Although husband said he would be home early, he is not. So dinner ends up being served the way he’s used to getting it – cold.
Relationship effect Despite lack of heat, he appears full and content. Me, as I do the dishes afterwards, not so much.
In conclusion, during this experiment, although there were many wonderful moments, the same unresolved issues kept cropping up. To be really happy, we must dig further, beyond kindness and sweet gestures, and fix the deep underground stuff.
Over the past 10 days, my husband’s perspective and his happiness were at the forefront of my mind. When I was kinder, he was kinder. The mood between us has shifted. It’s now more playful, more patient, more loving. Marriage is not a single experiment but a long-term one that takes continuous effort from both parties.
Dance like no one’s watching? How about, love like you’ve never been married. Why not see what happens if you put your relationship to the same 10-day experiment? Feel free to write in and share your experiences.
Imagine a cool breeze, warm water and golden sand. You are walking in the midst of this beauty watching the sunset over the ocean. Beaches seem to be an ideal place to tie the knot, in addition ceremonies there don’t require difficult planning, huge budget and stress.
The decor is already created with the sand, sun and surf. If you want to plan the perfect beach wedding, the following tips are just for you.
1. Choose your beach. Public places are more accessible than private resorts. Choosing the last one you risk to spend a good chunk of change on it. So if you want to save money, pick a public beach, but remember that on a busy holiday weekend there will be prying public eyes or lots of wedding crashers.
2. Don’t forget about a permit. So if you have finally decided to have the ceremony on a public beach, try to make sure whether you need a permit for a wedding-sized gathering. Laws concerning open-containers and noise ordinances must be studied very carefully to avoid any potential trouble.
3. Make it intimate. You can save money on food, drinks and favors as well as increase the likelihood of obtaining a permit from the local authorities, if you keep your ceremony small.
4. Restrooms have to be close. Make sure that bathroom facilities are not far from the place of the ceremony so that your guests do not have to hike several miles in beautiful clothes to use the restroom.
5. Install a good sound system. Undoubtedly ocean is an awesome backdrop for your wedding, but the combination of waves and wind can make the sermon and vows sound too quite. The solution is a great sound system and musicians who play loud instruments like saxophones or guitars.
6. Rent a tent. Tents or canopies may protect your ceremony from possible rain or wind, provide shade and make the wedding more private.
7. Provide practical services. You can never predict Mother Nature, so keep all guests prepared for insects and useful elements of the wedding favors, as fans, bug spray, little bottles of sunscreen, or beach-themed anchor paperweight if you need to hold menus and name tags when wind picks them up.
8. Organize safe seating. It may be a complicated task to choose chairs, as you will place them at sand. So it’s better to pick heavier wooden chairs which won’t blow away.
9. Keep the casual style. Heavy wedding gowns usually cause a lot of troubles at a windy and hot seaside ceremony, so try to dress in a simpler clothes made of a light and comfortable fabric.
10. Control lighting. Choose a time of day with the best photo opportunities and don’t forget about the natural golden-hour gleam during sunset. Setting up cute hurricane lanterns for the evening should be also considered.
11. Forget about the shoes. If you don’t wear shoes, you don’t have problems! Full beach effect is achieved if you are barefoot, furthermore you save money on expensive heels. Perhaps your guests would like to be shoeless as well, so don’t forget about a special basket at the entrance where they can leave their footwear.
12. Consider changing a place for the reception. Having alcohol at a public place may cause unwanted issues so you should consider moving to another place after the ceremony.