Marty on ‘The Circle’ talking about Love

What I Wish I Knew about Love

A couple of years ago my marriage was coming up to that year they call the ‘Seven-Year-Itch’. Being madly, desperately (okay, sometimes a little too desperately) in love with my wife, Allie, I decided I’d start reading every book I could find on love to make sure this was the best year of our married life, not the worst.

But I found that every single book on love and relationships had the same three enormous flaws:

1. They’re all just one person’s opinion – which means either a male or female bias

2. They’re all incredibly preachy and holier than thou. “Do as I say, or your relationship is rubbish.”

3. Most importantly for a bloke, they’re all at least three or four hundred pages long (some longer!). Now, I’m is a big girly man by objective standards, but I wouldn’t read 80,000 words on footy, let alone the mushy arts of love. Why has no one ever summarised this stuff? Where’s the cheat notes?

So I decided to write my own book that women could give their men as a great conversation starter.

I spent the first half of my seventh year of marriage interviewing almost 100 people who were in great relationships about what makes their love life tick. I asked them “If you could go back and give your younger self one piece of advice about love, what would it be?” to get people to look back over their lives and work out what works and what doesn’t, what’s important and what’s not. Then I put each person’s piece of wisdom down next to a superbly daggy photo of them as they were at around eighteen – complete with paisley flares, shoulder pads and really nasty mullet – just so all this wisdom doesn’t seem to smug.

Although I’d love to trot out a line like “this is the book I wish existed a year ago” but then I wouldn’t have experienced the profound effect that writing What I Wish I Knew about Love had on me and my relationship with Allie. Now I understand on a much deeper level that it’s totally okay that men and women don’t think the same, that in a relationship it’s he who gives the most wins, and that you can get through anything when you believe in soul mates. Allie and I are more deeply in love than ever, and the rest of our years are bound to be the best of our years.