If you’ve ever wondered what goes into making a healthy, happy and lasting relationship, look no further.
Ahead of Valentine’s Day, we spoke to two couples from Bupa’s care homes. With nearly 140 years of happy marriage between them, the couples shared their secrets to a successful relationship.
Alongside their tips, they’ve also disclosed their heart-warming love stories and their favourite things about each-other.
Allen and Beryl Freer – residents at Bupa’s Mount Hall Bupa Care Home in Macclesfield - have been married for 65 years. When asked their secret to a long, happy marriage, both Allen and Beryl said: “To love each other, have common interests and to be patient.”
The pair reminisce fondly over a funny moment during their wedding service, when the Rector asked the congregation if anybody objected to their marriage and then suddenly ran out of the church! Although the couple were both left at the altar, it turns out the Rector’s sudden disappearance was down to the Rector being unwell. Thankfully, Beryl and Allen still managed to marry that day and it hasn’t brought them any bad luck in love.
The Freer’s moved to Macclesfield in 1967 after Allen became a Senior District Inspector, with special responsibilities for English, in Manchester and he was in the role for 17 years. Allen and Beryl moved to Mount Hall Bupa Care Home in 2018 and now spend their days together reading, reminiscing, writing and enjoying classical music, regularly singing to one another.
Our second couple – Tony and Sylvia Domett – have been married for 73 years and live together at Bupa’s Norewood Lodge in Bristol. They met one afternoon when Tony went for a walk with some friends. Tony mentions that he was wearing his “navy” uniform and a young, beautiful lady touched him on the shoulder. It was believed that touching a sailor’s uniform would bring you luck, and it definitely did! The happy couple have been inseparable ever since.
Alongside revealing the secrets to their happy relationship, they’ve shared their favourite things about one another. Tony mentions that he loves Sylvia’s kindness, how helpful she is and how she’s always been a great wife. She’s also an amazing cook too!
Sylvia shares similar trends for Tony: his kindness, how helpful he is to her and how much he loves her. She also mentions that he’s an amazing husband and dad to their children.
Whilst every relationship is different, here are the basics our couples claim will help you form a strong bond with your significant other.
1. Always be there for one another
There’s lots of uncertainty now, so concentrate on your partner’s needs, especially if they need a little pick-me-up.
2. Give and take
You cannot expect your partner to be there for you if you don't offer on your own turn. It’s all about balance in a relationship and making sure your significant other is happy.
3. Sharing all the problems
A problem shared is a problem halved! It can be a huge relief to share something that’s been bothering you with your partner. You can then face it together.
4. Go on holidays together
Whilst this may not be possible right now, it’s important to take a break together to switch-off from our everyday lives. You can both create happy memories together and explore the world.
5. Always have fun with the children when they’re young
Bringing up children is chaotic at the best of times. Focus on fun and always have a laugh with your family. They grow up far too quickly!
6. Stay together as a family
Even if times get tough, it’s important to work at the relationship. Make sure you spend time together both as a couple and a family.
7. Share moments with all the family
Shared experiences create moments and can make you feel like you belong together. No matter how small, it’s important to capture new memories together.
8. To love each other
When you truly love someone, you love them for who they are. Don’t underestimate the importance of making your partner feel loved.
9. Have common interests
There are always one or two things a you enjoy doing together. From dancing to playing board games, find a hobby that both of you enjoy – you can create happy memories together.
10. To be patient
Patience will show your significant other that you value and respect them. Life can get overwhelming, so take time to be patient with your partner and always help them if they’re struggling.
A healthy, happy relationship has a few surprising health benefits, too. Having strong positive relationships is good for you, both physically and mentally: helping you to be happier, healthier and more satisfied with life. So, this Valentine’s Day, why not take advice from our lovebirds and try these tips with your significant other?