Our silver wedding anniversary

Twenty-five years ago today, this is what we were doing.

Malcolm and Deborah, 20 January 1990

A friend commented that unlike unlike most brides and grooms we both look as though we know exactly what we’re doing.

The consensus of the people in the photo is that we had no idea whatsoever what we were letting ourselves in for. Back then, we were both young corporate warriors, and we had not thought of changing our directions entirely as we did just a few years later. These days, we’re both academics, I’m deeply involved in politics, and we are parents to three wonderful girls whom we adore. We’re also still quite fond of each other.

But that’s by good fortune as much as hard work. A couple of years ago, I spoke at a big family celebration for my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. I chose my words very carefully, thinking about the nature of relationships. I pointed out that as always with a big crowd, there were people there who had been married for many years, people who had married and separated once or twice or more, people who had been involved in a succession of shorter terms relationships. Those relationships all worked for a time, and they were successful relationships. People achieved things within those relationships: careers and children and personal growth. And then sometimes, for whatever reason, relationships stopped working and the partners moved on. But they had still been successful relationships. We were there that day to celebrate one of those successful relationships, one that was still working well after 50 years. I know my parents worked hard at it, I know that there were significant ups and downs, and I suspect that times, they only stayed together through sheer bloody mindedness. For whatever reason it had happened, an enduring marriage was worth celebrating.

As my beloved husband and I are celebrating today. So far, we’re doing well. Or at least well enough, due to a mix of good luck and hard work and sheer bloody mindedness. I think that what makes the difference, for us, is that we’re each other’s best friends. We have good fun, talking, walking, sharing books, watching the same television shows and movies, being fascinated by science and history and politics, supporting each other’s projects, all together.

Here’s to the next twenty five years. And then the twenty five years after that. And then some more after that too.

(We did keep some secrets from each other before we got married. Notably, we only found out that we both really enjoy Star Trek *after* we’d said the vows.)


7 comments on “Our silver wedding anniversary

  1. Daleaway says:

    Many congratulations, Deborah and Mr Deborah.
    Long may your friendliness continue.There’s a lot to be said for stability!

  2. Amy Johnson says:

    Your picture brings tears to my eyes. This is how I remember the two of you. Congratulations on this milestone in your relationship, and all my very best wishes for your future and that of your wonderful daughters.

  3. homepaddock says:

    Congratulations. To help you with the next 25 years and beyond may you continue to have, in PInky Agnew’s words: Enough love to give each other trust, Enough trust to give each other faith,
    Enough faith to give each other strength, Enough strength to give each other courage,
    Enough courage to give each other freedom, And enough freedom to give each other love.

  4. rayinnz says:

    Nice picture and well done both of you. I like the theory of marrying your best friend (or shacking up with) certainly worked for us
    Mind you I married a Taranaki girl who was said to be “difficult” ie was independent
    It seems to be working so far ( 38 years)

  5. violet says:

    with us it might be mostly sheer bloodymindedness as he’s a Star Wars fan while I’m a Trekkie, he smokes and drinks while I am keener on bush walks, he’s a night owl and I’m not…
    anyway congratulations (it’s my first comment on your blog)

  6. Wogglebug says:


  7. Unmana says:

    Congratulations, Deborah. You look so beautiful in that photo. (And there’s a lot to be said for being married to your best friend.)

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