‘I’m the only person who does anything in this house!’ I groaned, frustration welling up as I looked at the sink full of dishes and the dirty benches.
I’d just arrived home from the gym and the kitchen was just as messy as when I’d left. After I’d made dinner, I’d expected my husband Tom to at least clean up.
‘I know, I’m sorry,’ Tom said mildly, stepping up behind me to start filling the sink.
As we met eyes, my anger evaporated and we both burst out laughing.
Because Tom did loads in the house. Easily as much as me. I knew it and he knew it.
And I also knew that he hadn’t just been watching TV or scrolling through his phone while I’d been out. He’d got our two children, Theo, five, and Immy, three, bathed and into bed – no mean feat.
But still, even when I was being completely unreasonable, tired and irritable after a long day at work, Tom would never disagree with me.
I never thought that Tom and I would have anything in common with football legend Peter Crouch and his wife, the beautiful model Abbey Clancy. But when they admitted in their new book, The Therapy Crouch, that Abbey is always right in their relationship, I realised we were more similar than I’d imagined.
Because I was always right in our marriage too. It’s been a running joke between me and Tom for the whole time we’ve known each other.
You see, Abbey and Peter are right – it does make a happy marriage.
Before you think that I am an awful, awful person who has brow-beaten her husband into a quivering wreck who is too frightened to voice an opinion, let me explain.
They say opposites attract and that is definitely the case with me and Tom. He is lovely and laid back. Nothing ever phases him, he never gets jealous and he definitely never argues.
On the other hand, I am far more fiery and have stronger opinions. I feel passionately about most things – big and little. I’m quick to shout (although, in my defence, I’m quick to apologise too).
When I first met Tom, nearly 10 years ago, he was also the complete opposite to my last boyfriend – and that suited me down to the ground.
Because in that relationship, me and my ex clashed over everything. Both convinced we were right, we argued non-stop. It was emotionally and physically draining.
So when Tom and I got together, it was far more relaxed – groovy, he would say. Because while I took the driving seat in our relationship, Tom was always happy to come along for the ride.
I could spend all day daydreaming about getting in my PJs and scoffing down duck pancakes or looking forward to getting dolled up in heels and a new dress and visiting the newest bar round the corner from work.
Tom, well, he just wasn’t as bothered. He’d fit in with anything. ‘Yeah, you’re right, that sounds great,’ he’d say to any of my suggestions.
He is also far more hesitant than me, never one to rush into plans, preferring to think things through. Then think them through again. While I was always two steps ahead, pulling him along with me.
It didn’t make either of us wrong or him any less of an equal partner in our relationship. It was just the way we were – and it worked. It was what made us click.
So it was me who suggested where we went for dinner, what we did on dates, where we went on holiday. Tom just smiled and nodded. And when we moved in together, it was me who arranged for us to view houses.
‘Let’s go for this one,’ I exclaimed when we came out of a tiny two-up two-down. ‘It’s so cute, isn’t it?’
‘Are you sure you don’t want to see any others?’ Tom asked hesitantly. But I was full-steam ahead.
‘It’s only rented,’ I insisted. After another look around the garden, he nodded. ‘OK, we’ll go for it.’
Turning to the estate agent, I beamed. ‘We’ll put down the deposit now.’
Cut to a month later, I was looking around the living room, shaking my head. ‘It’s tiny,’ I gasped. ‘There’s nowhere to put… anything.’
‘It’s fine,’ Tom said, wrapping his arms around me. ‘You were right, it is cute. And it’s only for a few months until we buy somewhere.’
And that is exactly why I love Tom. Even when I am wrong – and persuade him to be wrong along with me – he never gloats or makes me feel bad. We’re always in it together.
And, by allowing me to make these mistakes, it allowed me to learn from them. So when we did come to buy our first flat, I made sure we viewed far more properties before we finally put an offer in on one.
When we moved in together, Tom quickly adapted to my way of doing things. ‘That’s totally the wrong way to wrap presents,’ I exclaimed, seeing him put Sellotape on lengthways, rather than across.
Or ‘Don’t leave the sponge in the dirty sink water.’ Or ‘Don’t put the wok on top of the frying pan in the drawer, it’s bigger, so it just doesn’t look right.’
‘I was thinking about putting this picture up here,’ Tom mentioned one day. ‘Really?’ I frowned. ‘I think it would look better on the other wall.’ You can guess where it went…
Because he was always too laid back to care about these things, Tom was happy to fit into my little quirks and ways. And because I was always right, I was always happy too.
It was win-win. We literally never argued.
Whenever I’m angry or cross, Tom is the perfect person to moan to. ‘Do you think I was in the wrong?’ I’ll ask, after I’d bickered with my mam. ‘Of course not,’ he’ll reply immediately.
But after maybe half an hour, he’ll casually mention how upset my mam might be feeling and maybe it’s worth giving her a call to sort things out. By then, I’ll have calmed down enough to pick up the phone.
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But knowing he’ll always have my back and be 100% supportive – and don’t get me wrong, I’m the same with him too – is what makes our relationship so special.
Ever since we’ve had Theo and Immy, I am even more in the right. Tom just doesn’t have the energy to argue anymore!
‘I’m not sure those leggings go with that T-shirt,’ I’ll frown when Tom dresses Immy in multi-coloured stripy bottoms with a spotty top. ‘OK,’ he’ll say, returning to the wardrobe.
And the number of times, we’ll agree that they have absolutely enough toys, then I’ll come home from the shops with another bag. ‘You’re right, Theo really does need another Black Panther figure,’ Tom will laugh.
Over the summer, after spending weeks looking after Theo and Immy, I was itching to get away somewhere – anyway – for a night or two.
‘It’ll be expensive to go away at the last minute,’ Tom began, but seeing my face – and the countless tabs open on my laptop – he gave a sigh and sat down next to me. Within half an hour, we’d booked a spa hotel and train tickets.
By that afternoon, we’d been shopping, taken the children to a medieval castle and, after having a swim, were eating room service in our hotel bed, watching Casino Royale. Theo and Immy were sleeping peacefully in the adjoining room.
‘It’s been a great day,’ Tom sighed happily. ‘You were right to suggest we come away.’
And, scooping up another mouthful of sticky toffee pudding, I nodded contentedly. You see? I am always right.
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