I force myself to ride his motorcycle and even watch Jeremy Clarkson… my marriage works by putting my husband first

With nearly half of marriages destined for divorce, Samantha Brick, 52, says it’s time women stopped putting their men last.

Here she reveals how far she will go to make her husband happy.

Pascal and Sam have been married for 14 years

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Pascal and Sam have been married for 14 yearsCredit: Alamy
He's a petrolhead and adores everything Jeremy Clarkson has to offer - so I'll check him out too

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He’s a petrolhead and adores everything Jeremy Clarkson has to offer – so I’ll check him out too

‘Massage oil and relaxing music. Check. Candles lit and fairy lights hung in their usual place—absolutely.

This isn’t a spa night with the girls. It’s all for my husband Pascal, 61, and I go through the same ritual every night.

When he gets to bed, it’s my job to help him relax. I give him a head and hand massage with his favorite lavender oil because it lowers his blood pressure and helps with insomnia.

Friends think I’m crazy. But here’s the thing. . . According to the Office of National Statistics, 42 per cent of UK marriages end in divorce – but after 14 years I’m still married when most of my friends aren’t.

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I’ve been called a submissive and a Stepford wife, but when I say I’m happily married, I really mean it.

It’s because of the effort I put into making my husband happy. He’s at the top of my list of priorities, not at the bottom of the lawn that needs mowing and the elderly parents that need a visit.

Unlike some, I don’t treat my husband like a hired hand. If the bins need to be emptied I will do it and I don’t have to yell and yell just to make a point.

At the weekend I enjoy making Pascal breakfast in bed.

He loves a cup of tea and a croissant that I lovingly warmed up.

I manage the household accounts, look after our seven dogs, do some DIY chores and do most of the housework – Pascal has no idea how to operate the heated clothes dryer we bought and I wouldn’t ask him to either.

Plus, I do it all with a smile on my face.

Putting my husband first means we are equals in our relationship because I don’t see him as a complement.

He’s not just a provider, nor is he a plus-one on social dos or someone who checks up on why the car alarm goes off at night.

We have no children together, but I have a stepdaughter in her mid-thirties and a stepson in his early twenties.

During the turbulent teenage years, we not only survived, we thrived.

I took on what some would see as thankless grunt work—homework, school runs, and freshly made meals.

It meant Pascal could focus on his grueling, physically demanding job as a carpenter while maintaining a decent relationship with his children.

why did i do it I’ve seen the consequences of treating your man like a nuisance on the sole of your shoe.

A friend who is married to a builder forces him to remove his work clothes before he can cross the threshold of their porch.

She sends the wrong message to her three kids: Daddy may be the breadwinner, but he’s no higher in the pecking order than her.

Then there’s the girlfriend who has separated from her husband, but only shouts about important things: her youngest needs new sportswear or the landlord has to clean up the damp spot in the kitchen.

No wonder they now live in separate houses with one child each.

Not to mention another friend who refers to her husband as “daddy” in front of her children and extended family.

It’s as if she forgot at first that he was her husband.

I am not perfect. I confess that I was wrong about my first husband, whom I married in my early thirties, and who came last in my life and in our marriage.

I had worked hard for the brilliant career and curated the perfect circle of friends while he was somewhere near the bottom of my list.

back of his Yamaha

We had known each other for years before we got married.

I figured I didn’t have to put in any effort during our two year marriage because of course he “knew” that I loved and respected him.

When he went out with the boys, I reluctantly drove him to the pub.

When I go out, it’s only with my friends.

We were like ships passing by and I never stopped to consider if he would like me to spend time with him and his friends.

Although we enjoyed the occasional meal together, I had my work phone on the table.

During the holidays, I focused on getting a tan—and my book.

I was so caught up in my own life that I forgot to give any meaning to what we were meant to build together.

No wonder we became more like brother and sister.

Only during the phases of the divorce did I try harder to be nice to him.

Only then did I have “should have, should” thoughts.

When I married Pascal at the age of 37, I was determined to do better.

While he loves motorcycles, they fill me with fear.

But I force myself to accompany him on the back of his Yamaha. I can’t say I’ll ever really love it, but I know it makes him happy.

He’s a petrolhead and loves anything Jeremy Clarkson has.

I forced myself to be interested in getting to know his shows and it turns out I love him now too.

Thanks to Pascal I am also expanding my own interests.

As for my looks, I refuse to let myself go because no husband wants to see his wife drooling in a onesie.

I’m the same weight as when we first met, and while I haven’t succumbed to botox or fillers, I look my best every day.

I style my hair, wear makeup, and buy nice clothes because, ladies, if you don’t keep trying for your partner, someone else will.

Nothing screams “I love you” to a man like putting an effort on his looks.

It is also my duty to help other women put their men first.

I stopped one friend from wearing fleeces and sweatpants around her partner, and pestered another from getting her hair cut regularly.

Some might argue that I belong in a pinny tied to the kitchen sink — but I disagree.

My marriage is working, and if that means putting my husband first, then so be it.”

I style my hair, wear makeup, and buy nice clothes because, ladies, if you don't keep trying for your partner, someone else will

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I style my hair, wear makeup, and buy nice clothes because, ladies, if you don’t keep trying for your partner, someone else willCredit: Rex Features

https://www.the-sun.com/lifestyle/5495449/i-watch-clarkson-to-show-husband-i-love-him/ I force myself to ride his motorcycle and even watch Jeremy Clarkson… my marriage works by putting my husband first

Jessica MacLeish

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