I have a confession to make. When a couple I know and didn't think were right for each other break up, I say something like, "Well, they're another statistic".
Some couples are destined to break up. That's not only my opinion, legitimate stats back me up. Ten years on and after some trial and error, here are some of my tips for a lasting marriage.
Don't disclose everything
I advocate for honesty in relationships, but you needn't tell your partner everything. Case in point: I didn't tell my husband I had Botox and he spent the next three months telling me I didn't need it and that my skin looked terrific. Eventually I told him I looked like that because of the Botox and boy did we laugh. By this stage it was wearing off, so it actually did look like I was laughing.
But they don't need to know everything: that snarky MIL comment, that you're fantasising about the Duke of Hastings morning, noon, and particularly night, or that you don't think their supposedly famous roast chicken is all that good. These things should be kept to yourself or given significant thought to the repercussions before voicing them.
Learn to manipulate
Don't look at me like that, we all do it. Heck, no marriage would be successful if there wasn't manipulation. Just as we grease the wheels to get a promotion, see the movie we want or to get the kids to tidy their rooms, so too do people across gender and sexuality spectrums manipulate within a healthy relationship.
By the time you are married you should know the best way to get a positive response. You pick your battles and you choose your time. You plan your pitch and do it in a way that doesn't create discord and leaves everyone feeling happy, or at least neutral.
Don't listen to the naysayers
If the relationship feels right to you, then go with it. Don't listen to the people who say you won't last for some trivial reason. To some, my own relationship is unconventional, sparking Lorraine to bet $50 that we won't last, but here we are, 10 years on and happy.
The only people who know what a relationship is like are the two people in it. We embrace the "try before you buy" theory, and most people have, in my father's words, been around the block enough times to know what's right.
Choose your love and love your choice
Taken from a fortune cookie circa 2010, I still carry this note. New Zealand doesn't subscribe to arranged marriage and unwed mothers are no longer shunned in the street, so we have a choice as to who we wed and choose to spend our life with.
Some relationships just don't work out, but while you can, love your choice. Alternatively, chalk your first marriage up to experience, drunk analyse the break up obsessively with anyone and everyone other than a trained therapist, and then move on with your life.
My parents have been married 55 years and I think one of their tricks is to laugh heartily with each other and at yourself. We all know it's good for you but laughter is still underrated.
Laughing at yourself in a tricky or embarrassing situation can also help you take the power back, so if you accidentally let one slip in bed at night, proudly fluff those covers while laughing hysterically instead of pretending the proverbial elephant isn't in the room.