• Nadia Fortune

How I realised I was definitely a ‘smug married’.

Updated: Apr 24

Heard the one about the guy who handed himself into the police for some peace and quiet?

The number of relationship breakdowns skyrocketed in 2020, with several law firms reporting over 100% increase in divorce applications.

But, for me, I came to the conclusion that I actually liked my husband. Even after 12 years together.

Like millions of others, we joined the newly-appointed league of work-from-homers in March last year.

And you know what, we liked it. Immediately. Surreal as it all was.

No more arduous 70 mile-a-day journeys into Manchester for me, tussling with the nobheads on the motorway. As an added bonus, there was a much-reduced weekly fuel bill thrown in.

Although any saving I made there seemed to go straight into Mr Amazon’s pockets, because suddenly I was making firm decisions about all those hobbies I’d been putting off for the last 20 years, and buying all the shit that they required!

A sewing machine, along with mountains of fabric and art supplies (also mountains of), all newly-acquired and vying for space in my already full craft room/office.

His purchases far surpass mine in taking up an RC car building hobby, YouTube vlogging about said hobby, acquiring several new guitars, and finally getting his man cave sorted (you should see the place!). His little piece of guitar/bar/car heaven.

He enjoys it so much that I found him in there one Saturday morning at 6.30, bleary-eyed with a G&T in hand, because he hadn’t realised the time and hadn’t gone to bed yet.

However, I digress.

This is a story about how a husband and wife reconnected, but the mere thought of not having to trudge into the office changed our mindset almost instantly.

We were nicer people in the morning. Ok, I was. He’s always been a chirpy fucker, no matter the time of the day. Me, not so much.

There was no rush to get out the door, arriving pissed off after the hideous work commute and secretly thinking how to get away with murder, having to listen to another person bitching about how unfair life was.

We became lockdown workmates, making the ‘office’ teas in turn and having lunch together outside as the weather became warmer, which was, well, nice. Really nice.

Evenings were spent having life affirming and decision-making conversations, appreciating how privileged we are to live in one of the most beautiful parts of the country and, despite worrying about it at first, our jobs were as secure as they could be.

We had so much to be thankful for, and we were.

And after 5 years of saying we’d do it, and saving so much money not going out – those “let’s go for a quick pint” visits definitely add up, the long-awaited decking became a reality, plus we custom-designed and built our very own awesome envy-worthy garden seating, even if I do say so myself.

All without hardly a snide jab at one another about me using the drill all wrong and him being an arsehole about it.

Seriously, though, we survived because we had our own stuff that we liked doing. Separately, and without feeling guilty about doing it.

We’ve always believed that it’s an intricate part to the survival of our relationship. You simply cannot be everything to each other all the time.

To quote poet Kalil Gibran, “Let there be space in your togetherness.”

And that’s how we got through 2020. Together and apart.

We call it the space between the pillars.

Our sanity and relationship depend on it.


© Nadia Fortune 2021

For all your blog or article requirements, contact me: hello@nadiafortune.co.uk


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