The five most important things my husband ever taught me.

He’s a wise one, Mr K.  A wise owl, hidden under layers of smart-assery and sarcasm.  Hence, Ask Anna and Ant (which, by the way, we need you to send us your insurmountable problems, readers…come on!  Throw something our way!  We promise to solve all your problems, huddled up in our teeny tiny London flat, working by candlelight so you can hop, skip and jump your way through life, worry free).
Here’s the best of.  Sit back!  Relax!  Learn from the master:

Here he is. Solving your problem.
 Love at first sight is overrated.  It’s all about the slow burning. 
No, seriously, it is.  It took me years to realise that Mr K was The One.  Mostly because I’m a div, and can’t spot a good thing when it’s IN MY FACE, and also because I spent years convinced that I was destined to marry a Tortured Poet and most certainly NOT someone who had a reliable career and understood things like mortgages, and the FTSE Index.  Coming to the realisation that I loved someone who was nothing like the fantasy future life partner I had picked out for myself made me understand myself, and what I want, and what I deserve, far more than infatuation could ever have done. 
No-one’s sitting up at night, worrying about your career.  The only one who can do anything about it is you. 
I have always thought of myself as ambitious.  I have worked hard, and have been in paid employment since the day I graduated, over seven years ago.  My only time off has been annual leave.  I never took a sick day until the Great Rubbish Blood Incident of 2011.  I never take a new job unless it will teach me new skills and has a premise that I believe in.  Turns out, I also consider “Fate” a genuine part of my career plan.  I genuinely believe that one day, my big opportunity is going to fall into my lap, because I’ve worked hard, I’ve built up Karma points (more on my K-point theory another time), because I’m destined for something more than a 9-5 job and working for a boss.  Mr K says, to put it politely, rot.  No-one is worrying about how to make me a success.  No-one is thinking “how can I make Anna everything that she deserves to be?”.  I am the only person who can make any sort of magic happen.        
Don’t jump in straight away.  Scan the water, first.
Fact, this is very taxing for me, because I’m an all-or-nothing woman.  Mr K is the opposite.  Take the breakfast buffet example.  I will grab my plate and start piling up all the delicious things I see, sit down, eat, up, repeat, until I am too full to move, or think coherently.  I will then see Mr K will something on his plate that I would go without my right leg to have.  It was down at the other end of the buffet.  The part I never got to.  Mr K, however, spent the first few minutes of breakfast perusing the aisles, checking out the competition, assessing his options.  He then selects the best-of, and has a leisurely breakfast dining on the finest of the fine, whilst his wife looks on in envy with her mangy pastry.  This lesson is not, sadly, confined to breakfast – it goes for all areas of life.  Don’t commit straight away.  Sit back.  Give yourself wiggle room.  It’s not going to go away.     
Stop making weight loss an emotional journey.  Just eat less and move more.   
It’s ok to marry someone who you occasionally want to set alight. 
Call me a die-hard romantic, but I always thought I’d end up with someone like me.  I wondered what on earth I’d have in common with someone who didn’t campaign for Amnesty International, who didn’t wear obscure countries they have visited like a badge of honour, who didn’t quote from the Guardian like it was their own opinion.  What on earth would we talk about?  I wrote a post a year ago about how it’s important to love flaws.  This though, is about more than accepting their bad bits.  This is about marrying someone who knows you so well, knows so intimately what makes you tick, that they can flick a switch and it’s like a red rag to a bull.  Mr K can drive me up the wall with the stuff he comes out with, stuff that takes head-on everything I believe in.  He does it with an elegance that is astounding.  There’s only one other person who was ever able to wind me up as much as my husband, and we don’t even communicate any more, that’s how bad it got.  I know, somewhere deep in my gut, that Mr K does this for comic entertainment.  As angry as I get, I truly believe it’s his way of reminding me of who I am, what I stand for, that I haven’t lost myself in this marriage.   
So wise and amazing, he bought plastic champagne glasses from Poundland and smuggled them to the park on my birthday.  And let me drink it all.   
So, readers.  Any pearls of Life Wisdom to share?  Learnt from your marriage, or by your own hard graft?   Agree with Mr K, or disagree wildly?  They’re wise, those husband-things.      
Categories: Ask Anna, Ant and AOW, Family, Friends and Relationships, Marriage, Money and Career, Written By Anna
11 interesting thoughts on this


  1. amy f
    Posted November 22, 2011 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Mr K is very wise!

    Also, I approach the career ladder in exactly the same way as you. Obviously its all mapped out in the stars or something and we just have to wait for what will be.

  2. Becca
    Posted November 22, 2011 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    I never thought I'd end up with a liberal like TMTMMO. It's been so painful the last few days having to buy the Guardian to take him in hospital. So much so that I have taken to informing the shop assistant 'it's not for me….I always read the Telegraph'.

    Are the shades of Pemberley to be thus polluted….

    In other news I always find the dry croissant in the breakfast buffet. Always.

  3. amy f
    Posted November 22, 2011 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Oh I'm brilliant on a breakfast buffet. I go for a 3 course meal approach: fruit to start, full English for main and pastries for pudding.

  4. mahj
    Posted November 22, 2011 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    When it comes to the important things, my husband is nearly always right. I catch on about a month later!
    And he always finds the pancakes at the breakfast buffet.
    And lastly, my aim for today is to use smart arsery in a sentence.


  5. Esme
    Posted November 22, 2011 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Yes to the 'slow-burning' love (er, that sound dodgey…!). Tom said in his wedding speech that he felt that love at first sight was an insult to what we have. Awww!

    And a huge YES to the weight thing. I know it is more complicated than that in lots of circumstances, but often it isn't.

    My husband has been telling me for years to just believe in myself (so much so I said in my wedding vows that I would believe in myself as much as he believes in me). It's hard, but I really try to do it.


  6. Posted November 22, 2011 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Esme. Man. That is the greatest speech quote ever!

    Becca – I hope your man is getting better. I sincerely hope the Guardian is helping him on his way to recovery. I also hope you are reading the odd article, out of the corner of your eye!

    Amy F – I'm going on holiday with you to a swanky hotel and you are gonig to teach me how to do this three courser. Respect.

    Mahj – know the feeling…however I never actually tell Mr K he is right. I just pretend I always thought that way. Because, you know, I'm 5….

  7. Posted November 22, 2011 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Oh my god I also pretend the Guardians wit is something I have come up with! Have you read the article on Christmas adverts!!!! It made me spit out my chuffing food it was that funny! And true.

    Anna, Mr K sounds indeed a wise owl.

    Mr M is also a bit on the wise front, also knowing which buttons to press (luckily I am learning not to bite). He also brings me back down to earth each and every time I need it.
    I actually feel myself grow each day we are together witht the things he teaches me and his opinions on things.

    Breakfast buffets rule! I tend to be a bit of an Anna and pile everything on my plate and then hide various pastries to take away with me…it's all in the price right! Just cos I am full now doesn't mean I won't want this huge chocolatey invention on the way home non?


  8. Sarah
    Posted November 22, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    I think I may win here in that my new husband's name actually *is* Wise – and therefore I have become Wise by marriage!

    I'm also one for the 3 course breakfast Amy f, even though my husband finds it mortifying that I 'mix' my cereals in public.

    I'm with you on the career Anna, my dream job with perfect benefits, job satisfaction, salary and philanthropy is just around the corner!

  9. Anita
    Posted November 22, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    This probably isn't very Any-Other-Weddingy, but what I learnt from my now-soon-to-be-ex-husband is that if he can't stick around and support you when your mum is dying, he's not worth wasting your effort on so don't lie awake at night crying over him.

    It's a lesson I hope no one else ever has to learn for real.

    Ahem, anyway. Just wanted to say the weight-loss-is-not-an-emotional-journey thing is brilliant ;-)

  10. Posted November 22, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Oh, Anita. I don't know your circumstances and I wouldn't begin to assume I do, but I am so sorry at what you have been through and continue to go through, and my thoughts are with you. I'm so sorry you had to learn this in the way you did. No-one deserves that x

  11. Posted November 22, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    I think Mr K makes wise points.

    Mr M is a gem. He's wise, laconic, down to earth, practical and passionate. He encourages me and supports me. We're really keen to play to our strengths in our relationship and so far it's worked wonderfully. It sounds like you and Mr K have a mix that works for you.

    As for the career thing, K, whilst I'm a believer in karma and lucky breaks, I believe you have to make your own luck. Graft away, stay focussed, take calculated risks, trust your gut instinct, consider the bigger picture, remember the moral high ground usually offers the best views, treat people with respect and aim high.

    I learnt most of this pre Mr M days but knowing that I'm achieving things for the pair of us rather than for me alone keeps me striving for better things.

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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