Real Married: The Friend That Made Me Me

It was a long time ago when Esme first asked me if I could post her Real Married piece on exactly the 14th May.  I’ll let Esme explain why.  Suffice to say, that these two are so very lucky to have each other, they know it, and they don’t take any of it for granted.  There’s a lesson there for us all, readers.  And oh, this post may make you cry.   Good cry.  

Happy Monday.  Over to you, Esme.  Oh, and happy anniversary!: 

I could write about my best friend, Lucie, who I can talk to about anything and has taught me so much about loyalty, the importance of family and how to do up a second-hand chest of drawers. Or I could talk about the two girls I worked with at my first job after graduating, who suffered with me on long days and stressful moments that I would never like to repeat. And then there is my fantastic group of friends from University, with whom I have had some of the best nights of my life and who have got me through some of toughest times. Or even my friend Allyson, who was right there with me for eight life-forming months in Moscow.

But, really, when I think about the friends in my life, the ones who have helped me grow and develop and supported me through the hard times and laughed with me through the great, there is one person who stands out in my mind. There is one person who has known me as a frustrated teenager, an unsure undergrad, a nervous traveller, a new graduate struggling with the job market and, now, as a young woman learning to become a wife. This person has made me happier than I ever thought possible, improved me as a person and continuously pushes me to be the best that I can be. This person may not be my best friend, but they are certainly the person who I am proud to say is the one who made me who I am, today.

That person is my husband, Tom. And I would like to tell you a little bit about why he has made me, me as a small present to him. You see, it was recently the 10-year anniversary of when we first got together and that seems like a good reason to celebrate, right?

Quite a few people have asked us how we stayed together through going to different universities and a year of living in different countries. Our answer is that we were lucky enough that as we grew up, we grew closer together rather than moving apart. But it’s not really that simple – it’s not that we turned into different people over the years that happen to still like each other, it’s that we’ve both had an influence on the other’s life. We individually discovered things, got new tastes and enjoyed different experiences and then went back to the other person and showed them. We discussed the things that we were learning, debated them and decided what we thought. I hope this doesn’t make us sound like we want to be one person with the exact same thoughts and likes, because we’re not – we truly believe that one of the reasons that our relationship is so strong is because we have our own separate lives and we have always respected that.

I can’t really comment on the influences that I’ve had on Tom – although I suspect they may involve making sure he revised for his GCSEs and introducing him to some of his favourite books – but I can tell you all some of things that Tom has shown me, talked to me about and helped me to experience that make me the woman I am today.


It’s not too much of a shock for me to say that Tom and I love food, eating and cooking. When we first got together, Tom had never really cooked, but once he started, it was obvious that he was a natural. From the first meal he ever cooked me (that he later recreated on the night he proposed), he was hooked and now he loves finding a new recipe, a different ingredient and the right implement with which to cook it. I am a lazy, bung-it-all-in-together cook, but Tom pushes me to try new combinations. Not only is it incredibly sexy to have a husband who can cook and bake, it’s so fascinating to me to hear about this passion of his and get it excited by it myself – and it eat afterwards! I would not have tried a huge number of the foods I now love without him.


Tom is an intelligent man. Always has been, always will be and it does, to a certain extent, define him. He thinks in a different way from me, is interested in everything and he wants to talk about it. Politics, education, history, science, language – these are all topics that regularly come up over our weekday dinner and that is a really good thing. I’m not saying that I’m not intelligent, but Tom pushes me to really think, not to just accept the status quo, to ask questions, listen to the answer and ask another one. If I were not with Tom, I don’t think I would be doing this – he has made me more interested in life and the world and I cannot thank him enough for that.

Comedy and music

My goodness does that man make me laugh. Unfortunately, most of his jokes are stolen from one of the various comedians he likes, so he can’t take credit for them (only joking, darling!). Comedy and music are two of the areas that Tom can truly say he introduced me to – the comedy gigs and shows we watch are invariably ones that he’s discovered, and the CDs we put on are all bought by him. We don’t always agree, but I have to say that he has pretty good taste and there are several of my favourite albums and songs that I never would have heard without him.

And everything else

I could go on forever about all the little quirks that I get from Tom, all the experiences I wouldn’t have had if he hadn’t had been by my side. The truth is that I’m a better person because I met Tom 10 years ago: I’m more passionate, I’m calmer and a bit less of a worrier (alright, stop laughing), I appreciate art more and have read more books, I say silly things sometimes and probably eat more butter than is good for me. He is one half of me and much more, he is my favourite person in the whole world and the man I am going to spend the rest of my life learning and seeing new things with. I love him more than I can say and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank him for choosing me. Here’s to the next 10 and many more after that.

Categories: Friend That Made Me Me, Real Married
13 interesting thoughts on this


  1. Carly
    Posted May 14, 2012 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    Beautiful. *Goes away and reapplies mascara before leaving for work*


  2. Mahj
    Posted May 14, 2012 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Esme and Tom. Tom and Esme. I love you both. There, I said it.

    This was lovely for a Monday morning.


  3. Posted May 14, 2012 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    He cooked the first meal he ever made for you again the night he proposed? Excellent combination if romance and attention to detail. Well done you lovely two, and happy anniversary!


  4. Posted May 14, 2012 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Yep, totally made me teary. Such a lovely piece.

    Happy Anniversary Esme and Tom, you wise lovely marrieds you!

  5. Posted May 14, 2012 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Oh Esme what a bloody lovely anniversary present for Tom!! You always write so beautifully, but this one took it to whole new level (Anna was right about the tears…)

    Hope you both have a lovely day xx

  6. Posted May 14, 2012 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Happy Anniversary
    Beautiful post as always Esme

  7. Esme
    Posted May 14, 2012 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Thanks everyone! I think Tom liked his anniversary present…


    • Posted May 14, 2012 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      Does it count as paper if it’s online?

      • Esme
        Posted May 14, 2012 at 11:17 am | Permalink

        Ha! Good question…

  8. Posted May 14, 2012 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Oh holy flip, I am emotionally unstable enough at the moment, this has tipped me over the edge. What an incredibly lovely message. This is what love is.

    K x

  9. Peridot
    Posted May 14, 2012 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Ahhhhh, lovely.

  10. Helena
    Posted May 14, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    This is what romance is in real life. I don’t even know you and it’s made me feel a bit mushy!

    Happy anniversary!

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  • By An anniversary of sorts on March 5, 2013 at 7:03 am

    [...] had a myriad of different takes on the ‘Friends that made me me‘ series. We had posts about buildings, animals, tv shows, organisations and of course, [...]

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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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