The Secrets To A Happy Marriage?

Shutterstock / Khongtham © marriage

If you’ve ever wondered what goes into making a healthy, happy and lasting marriage, Bupa Care Homes have some hints!

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.


Photograph courtesy of Bupa Care Homes.

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 him being unwell. Thankfully, Beryl and Allen still managed to marry that day and it hasn’t brought them any bad luck in love.

The Freers moved to Macclesfield in 1967 after Allen became a Senior District Inspector, with special responsibilities for English, in Manchester

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.


Photograph courtesy of Bupa Care Homes.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Happy and healthy, too?

A healthy, happy relationship has a few surprising health benefits, too.

“Every marriage is different and there will be ups and downs,” Caroline Harper, Specialist Mental Health Nurse at Bupa UK, said. “But an important part of any companionship is how you deal with these disagreements.

“Commitment, trust, and respect are all important parts of a healthy marriage. Focus on the positives and be patient with one another.

“Overall, a successful partnership can leave you feeling happier, healthier, and more satisfied with life. They can also help to reduce the chance of developing mental health problems and help you to live longer, too.

“Research also shows that people in unhappy or negative relationships are less healthy than those who feel isolated or have no relationships at all.

Along with the above, positive relationships can help you to feel valued, reduce stress and encourage healthy choices, like eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly.”

So, this Valentine’s Day, why not take advice from our lovebirds and try these tips with your significant other?

For more health hints and tips from “The People’s Friend”, click here.

Iain McDonald

Iain is Digital Content Editor at the "Friend", making him responsible for managing flow of interesting and entertaining content on the magazine's website and social media channels.