Your wedding day is the very beginning - it’s the first day of the rest of your lives. We chat to three married couples who share their advice for staying strong and happy through good times and bad, in sickness and in health.
Your wedding may be the best day of your lives but your marriage is for a lifetime. And let’s be honest, it’s not always going to be smooth sailing. So how do you harness that magic of your wedding day and make it last throughout the years? It’s not easy (no-one ever said it would be) but with persistence, awareness and humour (laughing always helps!) it is most definitely possible.
No doubt there will be challenges in your life as a married couple but remember, there will be extraordinary joy, too. When the going gets tough remember the rules for a happy marriage - talk, listen and laugh.
J O & N A T H
Married for ten years.
Jo and Nath married in celebrity-style on Channel 9’s Today Show after winning a competition. Eleven years later and they are busy parents to three young children.
We met through our best friends and within a year of our first date we were engaged. Five months after he popped the question we were walking down the aisle with a TV crew filming every moment.
Almost eleven years later and life is very full! We’ve got three children - Mia Pearl (7), Evie Rose (4) and Jake Blaze William (1) and sometimes it really is chaotic. When you’re in the midst of the crazy moments and emotions are running high you honestly just have to laugh! We really do try to keep the mood light and we always have each other’s back.
We sneak away on dates as often as we can - even if it’s just a quick walk on the beach - it’s always worth it!
We truly believe that speaking kind words to each other is key to a lasting, loving marriage. Sex is also important in our marriage, it helps keep us connected and seems to make the relationship more peaceful.
Challenge always arises in relationships and when you’re in the thick of it remember to keep going. Seek advice from a third party if you can’t work it out for yourselves. And always, always support each other. - Jo
S U Z A N N E & C O L I N
Married for 25 years.
Suzanne and Colin have always juggled night shift, work and raising their kids but even in the early years of parenthood they stayed strong. They firmly believe that humour is an essential part of a lasting marriage.
The one thing that we have always done to ensure we’re on the same page is talk. Good communication in marriage is vital. I also think it’s very healthy for your children to witness you discussing all manner of topics - values, beliefs, opinions.
Whenever we have been in a challenging phase we’ve made sure that the conversation just keeps on going. I know some people aren’t good communicators and when tempers are flaring it can be difficult to get to the bottom of the issue. But walk away, come back after a few hours and really try to listen to what your partner has to say. It works wonders!
Now that we are ‘empty nesters’ we’re enjoying trips away just the two of us. And to be honest, it’s the simple things that matter most. We’re grateful to enjoy our jobs, to eat great food, to watch our kids be happy and healthy, to travel to world.
It’s never about the big house or the fancy car. Work at your marriage, have a close circle of friends, enjoy a red wine and laugh. That’s our advice. - Suzanne
F R A N & C H A S
Married for 40 years.
It was love at first sight for Fran and Chas who recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. These baby boomers are still dedicated to sharing an uninterrupted meal every night.
We have five children aged 38, 35, 33, 30 and 26. We navigated our marriage through the early years of parenthood by always being in total agreement on our parenting values and the way we disciplined and rewarded the children. We were committed to being hands-on together as a team.
Romance is and always has been a high priority for us. Even when the kids were little we had a weekly date night and did our best to get away for a weekend together every couple of months.
We highly value the impact of a shared evening meal. What a hilarious daily experience it was when there were seven at the table! Around our table the conversation was noisy, full of laughter, robust and always supportive. The phone was put on the answering machine, the TV set was off, no electronic devices at the table and communication about the day unfolded. Everything was discussed, support given and solutions contributed. There we learned to listen, talk positively and honour one another.
When it comes to challenge don't be too proud to admit you are struggling and could use some help and advice. Be humble enough to ask a couple whose marriage you admire to be mentors to you.
A successful marriage isn’t so much about maintaining that new in-love feeling... it’s got more to do with commitment, connection, kindness, forgiveness and passion. - Fran
Introductory image credits // Photography Lost in Love Photography Hair Rhiane Schroder Makeup Helen Samaryan Flowers Francis Floristry Groom & Groomsmen's shoes Golden Shoes Location Gledswood Homestead and Winery Gown Q'nique Jewellery Pandora Suit Montagio Custom Tailoring // Illustrations Alexandra Nea