Hollywood couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are following the 5:2 marriage. The latest relationship craze is like the 5:2 diet but with no calorie counting. Brad and Ange, who married last August, simply spend five days together as husband and wife and then two days apart. Most girls would back slap themselves daily waking up next to Brad Pitt every morning. Even with his greying, serial killer-esque goatee.
The Sun newspaper asked me and my husband Jim to follow the rules of the 5:2 marriage to see could be the key to a happy, content marriage.
We’ve been happily married for 3 1/2 years but I have to admit this new relationship plan felt pretty exciting. At the start of the week I was cheerily planning my days off, calling friends and making arrangements, although panicking slightly about the mess our house would be in when I return. Usually as a couple we spend a lot of time together, especially over the weekend. We have a large circle of joint friends and usually just hang out together. However, the thought of having some proper time on my own, being selfish, doing whatever I wanted felt good. During our five days together Jim went to work each day as normal and I worked from home. We spent the evenings together cooking dinner, watching TV and just chilling out. At the end of the week I packed my overnight bags and decamped to my parents, as they were on holiday.
TWO DAYS ALONE:
On Saturday my first day alone, I went to the gym for a 90-minute yoga class and then chilled out in the steam room and Jacuzzi. I met some friends for coffee and spent the afternoon at the hairdressers. Following a long lie-in on Sunday I met friends for lunch at the pub and went shopping all afternoon. It was blissful, I felt relaxed and happy. At home I constantly tidy up after Jim, so it was nice not having to deal with dirty clothes on the bathroom floor, moaning at him for wearing muddy shoes on the lounge carpet or telling him for the 5th time to shut the flipping fridge door. No hen pecking for 48 hours felt so therapeutic. For him too, I’m sure. I usually end up watching what Jim wants on TV, something blokey about River Monsters or documentaries about serial killers. So having time out to do my own things, stress free, felt good.
Jim really enjoyed having a weekend away from married life too, although he admitted he hated having to clean up after himself and couldn’t be bothered to cook so ate a Pot Noodle both nights. The fact he noticed I’d gone away for two nights was a good start. He told me: “It was nice to have a break. The time apart made me feel free and happier. I liked having no time limit to get back home, I felt less constricted. I was also interested in what you had to say when you arrived home, as you’d done things we could chat about.” He has selective hearing most of the time, inadvertently answering, “OK yeah” to questions like, “what shall we have for dinner?” so being interested in listening was quite novel.
It felt refreshing to spend uninterrupted time just being you and not having to think about anyone else. We didn’t miss each other as such but we were looking forward to seeing each other again and were a lot nicer when we chatted on the phone. We both agreed following the 5:2 plan every weekend might be a bit much as you rarely get to spend quality time together during the working week. Every other weekend or once a month would be prefect, giving you both time to do your own thing. In the long run I think the 5:2 plan would probably benefit couples, stop you getting frustrated with each other’s annoying little habits and help you not take each other for granted.