13 Feb Marriage tips: Couples share the secret to a happy relationship
What is the secret to a long and loving relationship? Does enduring love really exist? And is there really such thing as love at first sight?
Who better to answer these questions than couples who have spent over a half a century together or discovered love later in life.
That’s why we asked Uniting’s most romantic hearts to delve beneath the surface of their relationships and reveal their secrets for a long and happy relationship.
Good communication, making the other person feel desired and keeping it fun are some of the ways Uniting couples have nurtured a loving relationship to their diamond anniversary and beyond.
Meet our couples
Sometimes you meet a couple who have that special ‘something’. Whether it’s a natural ease of compatibility or a willingness to stick together ‘in good times and in bad’, some couples are worth looking to for inspiration. Here are their words of wisdom.
Don and Mary: Married 63 years
Communication is the key
93-year-old Don first met his wife, Mary, at a Dance in Broken Hill. They were married for nearly 63 years before Mary passed away at Uniting Mirinjani. For Don, it was the love of a lifetime.
“We never celebrated Valentine’s Day,” remembers the WWII veteran. “Because Valentine’s Day was every day with each other.
“The longer we were together, the stronger our love grew.”
For Don and Mary, communication was the key to over six decades of successful marriage.
“Communication is very important,” says Don. “The biggest lesson I learned about love is being able to communicate, always.”
Ron and Joan: Married 63 years
Go with the spark and stick at it together
For Joan of Uniting Farmborough, there really is such thing as love at first sight. “You can look at someone,” she muses. “And you think, ‘Oh s**t! Isn’t he nice!’”
For Ron it’s the strong sense of partnership he shares with Joan that’s kept their enduring love story alive.
“I think that true love is simply working with one another in all the things that crop up in a marriage,” he says.
Loz and Shar: Together 15 years
Keep it fun
Proving that it’s sometimes OK to ignore the golden rule of keeping work and family life separate, Loz and Shar – who both work with Uniting home and community care on the Central Coast – have been together for 15 years.
After realising their love was the real deal, the couple faced the reality of being unable to marry under Australian law, choosing to hold a commitment ceremony in 2006. In March 2018 – exactly 12 years after committing their lives to each other – Loz and Shar were legally married in front of 80 friends and family.
Loz says that finding love a bit later in life is part of what makes the marriage work.
“I feel that being more mature has helped,” she says. “I’m more open to the fact that everything isn’t going to be perfect all the time, but things will be ok – especially knowing that we can weather it together.”
“I think I’ve learnt to be more easy-going and to allow my wife in more,” she says. “Our secret is to keep the fun in our relationship. We have a joke with each other and have a good giggle together.”
“For me, my feelings keep growing and deepening.”
Juri and Carole: Married 54 years
Know that love is always worth it
Carole remembers the day she met husband Juri. “I saw this handsome person walking towards me, and I just absolutely melted.”
Despite having some huge challenges to overcome in over 50 years together – including Juri being diagnosed with Parkinson’s – the couple are more in love than ever.
“I think I admire him more now than I ever have,” says Carole.
“True love is the greatest blessing that life has to offer. It’s the only thing worth fighting for. It’s the only thing of any real value in life. Everything else you can lose. Love just goes on.”
Get in touch
Find out more about Uniting aged care services and how we can help meet your lifestyle, health and care goals. If you would like to speak to our team of experts call 1800 864 846.
Do you have a tip for a long and happy relationship? Share it in the comments below.