Love advice from grandparents
Nothing makes you go ‘awwww’ more than the sight of an elderly couple in love. But these days, many marriages last only as long as a block of Cadbury Top Deck. So how does a couple manage to maintain a healthy and happy relationship for decades? We asked grandparents for their best advice …
“Laugh often. You have to have a sense of humour. My husband Jack can be very – how can I say this nicely? – trying. But over the years, I have learned to laugh more easily at these things and don’t get so annoyed!” Sandra, married to Jack for 41 years.
“Put each other before the children. Not many people nowadays would agree with that, but you must focus on having a strong marriage, for the sake of the children. They will see the love you have for each other and feel secure and happy.” Margaret, married to Phillip for 52 years.
“Support your husband. I was always there to listen to my husband so when he had a bad day, he wanted to come to me, not go to the pub. We were really there for each other, for big things, and small things. We were each other’s greatest supports.” Ann, widow, married to Paul for 49 years.
“Learn how to cook his favourite dish. We have been happily married for 41 years and I still make him his favourite spaghetti bolognese and he is so happy when I put it down on the dinner table. That makes me happy.” Patricia, married to Douglas for 41 years.
“Understand he’s not perfect, but you’re not perfect either. Don’t spend a lifetime trying to ‘fix’ each other. Enjoy each other’s quirks.” Mary, married to Colin for 35 years.
“Don’t go into debt. I saw so many of my friends’ relationships turn sour because of money. We never really had much and I was always a bit sad when I couldn’t get a new dress or hat, but we have chosen to spend our money wisely and I think we are happier because it saves a lot arguments.” Dorothy, married to Jim for 62 years.
“Don’t scare easily. If you want a long-lasting marriage, you have to be prepared to put in the effort with things get tough. Don’t just give up! It might take a year to fix, but you will get through it if you’re both prepared to put in effort.” Julie, married to Don for 55 years.
“Marriage is hard and most people don’t realise how hard – they’re too busy with butterflies and engagement soirees in the beginning to worry about that. But I’m glad I hung in there because the hard times are what makes it interesting!” Carol, married to Christopher for 47 years.
“Hold each other’s hands. We take a walk to get fresh bread and milk every other day, and hold hands the entire way.” Joan, married to Walter for 61 years.
“You can fall out of love with someone but it’s harder if you’re constantly showing them you love them. Do nice things for your partner without asking. Don’t worry about small things. Tell them you love them every day.” Peter, married to Annie for 29 years.
“We take a weekend away every year for our wedding anniversary. When we were first married, we didn’t have much money so we would camp in the bush. Now, we save for a hotel near the beach, which makes Kath happy!” Mike, married to Kath for 40 years.
“I remember we had been married for just a short time and things were not a fairytale, not like how I imagined at all. Then one day we decided to stop arguing and instead be a team. We would tackle our problems together, rather than separately. Then everything changed. 35 years later, we are still a team.” Dot, married to Richard for 35 years.
“Forgive each other and don’t hold onto things. You will fight – it is normal – but you must forgive each other quickly and not keep hold of negative feelings.” Barbara, married to William for 53 years.
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