The Secret to Staying Married....

to have and to hold

We have just returned from celebrating my parent's 60th wedding anniversary in Adelaide, which is a rather amazing achievement.

They are utterly devoted to one another, and never seem to run out of things to discuss over endless cups of tea.

They celebrated their 50th anniversary with a huge party in the Museum, where we had fairy lights illuminating the dinosaur fossils, a jazz band by the mummies, and cocktails amongst the ancient relics.

But this time, they wanted a smaller family gathering at home. Although, with 5 children and 10 grandchildren, with all the partners, the family isn't exactly small. So it was afternoon tea of butterfly cakes and chocolate eclairs, ribbon sandwiches and tiny veggie tarts, amongst much celebration and merriment.

We flew in early Saturday morning, and my children and I cooked the feast, as our gift to them, while my parents were not allowed in the kitchen, so had to be kept at bay chatting to us over the kitchen table instead.


ballroom dancers 1935

I once asked my father why he thought they had been married so long.

He replied with a twinkle in his eye: "That's very simple. Whenever I meet somebody, I always introduce your mother as 'my first wife'.It keeps her on her toes!"

And perhaps it truly is as simple as having a shared sense of humour. It gets you through the good times as well as the bad.

I am only up to 22 years, which seems small compared with 60, so I think there may be a lot of wisdom in his wit.

Whenever I see an older couple walking hand in hand, or busily chatting in a cafe, with no loss of words, it's a charming sight.

paris lovers

So sad then, to see couples sitting silently in restaurants, each checking their phones and ipads instead of talking to each other. And it seems to be more and more common.

What do you think is the secret to staying married? And can any of us in a younger generation have a hope of making it to 60 years?

ballroom dancers // a kiss in paris