We’re still learning
21 Jun 2011
We’re still learning
Men don’t get the last word very often but, as he’s a Norfolk treasure, we’ve let Bryan Gunn
have that honour. Married for nearly 21 years to Susan, now almost as famous for her art as Gunny is for his football, he has the last word on marriage…
We married after a whirlwind romance. Susan was on her best friend’s hen weekend in Spain, I was visiting a friend. Our paths crossed and the third evening I asked her to marry me and she said yes.
We loved each other, it was right for us. We married the following June in the church at the bottom of the lane where she lived.
I had told her I was a joiner, it seemed a sensible thing, not like saying you’re a footballer. Sometimes, when she needs a handyman, she says she wished she had married that joiner.
We’re still learning about each other. Lots of things have happened to us over the years, some of it good, some of it bad, and heartache as well, and as a partnership, those things have made us stronger.
Who gets the last word? We’re both quite strong people and we have our opinions. I think I’ve got to the stage now that, after 20 years, I know she always wants the last word. I wouldn’t have let that go in our earlier stages, but now I have the wisdom and that’s fine. It’s not giving in.
Who’s always right? Unfortunately, I am always right!
It may sound obvious, but in marriage, it’s important to get on with each other and take an interest in what the other one is doing.
Our marriage is a partnership and we do a lot of things together. Not having a close-knit family nearby, we do tend to look after each other and have a group of friends that we see regularly, in and outside the football circle.
Susan is a fantastic cook and there is no sense in me going in there [the kitchen] at all. I’ve tried my hand at coffee and boiled eggs, and made scrambled eggs once for a Mother’s Day surprise.
She does tell me off. She doesn’t like me “jigging”, as she calls it. I sit there moving my feet in time to music; she keeps telling me to stop that. She doesn’t think it’s in time.
Oh, and she doesn’t like me picking my toenails...
She does nothing wrong at all, of course. But she is a typical woman; she is never ready – ever.
There’s always a rush into the car. I’m always ready five minutes before we need to go, she’s a minute after. And it never works telling her an earlier time that we’re leaving.
We don’t get annoyed, we find our own formula for doing things. It’s just about being happy together and finding your way together.
For those thinking of getting married, there’s a lot of learning, and a lot of fun out there; there’ll be lots of good times and some bad times, and you need to come together for all of that. Every day brings a different challenge.
Remember the anniversaries, and birthdays, and Christmas, and Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day. They’re important.
And... enjoy one another.
Scotland international Bryan Gunn’s goal-keeping career with Norwich City Football Club lasted from 1986-98. He also managed the club in 2009. The couple set up Bryan Gunn’s Appeal in 1993 in memory of their two-year-old daughter Francesca, who had died from leukaemia the previous year.