My husband and I have been together 17 years, married for 12 of those.
We have had lots of ups and downs over our years together, but are happily partnered and probably more committed now than we have ever been.
I think one of the reasons we are so content at this point in our relationship is that we are really honest about what we want and need from our marriage.
About a year ago, we admitted that we would probably always have to sleep in separate rooms.
I’ve written about this here, but to summarise, my husband has a chronic illness and sleeping separately allows him the best sleep possible, plus I like to binge watch shows and read late into the night and sleeping separately lets me do this without disturbing him.
I used to feel so ashamed of this. I worried so much what people would think about our relationship if they found out we sleep separately, and was too scared to tell anyone.
Nobody speaks to women like Mamamia. Post continues after video.
But last year, after lots of chats with my husband, my best friend and my psychologist, I realised this was nonsense - that sleeping separately was the best thing for our marriage and other people’s judgements were irrelevant.
Sleeping separately means we both get the sleep we need, which with two young children and a big life, is essential.
I stopped being ashamed of our decision and started owning it; I recognised that we have shaped our marriage in a way that works best for us.
Plus, I realised how important it is to share honest stories of real partnerships, and the different ways people 'do' them.
So I put the word out to the Mamamia community asking people to share their relationship stories that don’t fit the traditional mould, but work best for the people involved.