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Secrets of their success

My Life

Secrets of their success

As love swells in the summer air this February, we chat to four Sunshine Coast locals to find out what Valentine’s Day means to them.

Love as a noun is a “profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person”. But as our Coast couples highlight, love really does have a different meaning for everyone. As revealed by our four pairs, what’s important is having shared values, trust and knowing when to give in to each other – to ensure a long, prosperous and loving relationship.

Ken & Margaret Appleton of Buderim – married 52 years

What is the key to making your relationship strong?
Firstly, we’re both committed Christians, so our marriage is a threesome with God as a central part. Related to that is how we honour and esteem each other. We both work hard to keep our friendship and relationship strong. As we get older, jobs get more demanding, and then retirement comes. It’s easy to drift apart as we change, so it takes work to ensure this doesn’t happen.

What do you class as a successful relationship?
When we are both comfortable with each other, have similar interests and goals (as well as some personal interests), and are the best of friends. In our early years of marriage, it wasn’t as easy, because we were still getting to know each other. When things became strained, it came to making a deliberate choice not to hold offence or punish each other. To forgive and to compromise.

What’s the one thing that drives you crazy about your partner?
Ken: There isn’t really anything. Margaret has an aversion to learning some of the intricacies of using technology, which does frustrate me. Margaret says it’s my reluctance to do handyman stuff when she wants me to do it.

What do you love about your partner the most?
Ken: Margaret is the most wonderful woman I know. She is clever and talented in so many ways, is caring and considerate, and will readily sacrifice herself for others. Margaret: Ken is highly intelligent, caring and considerate. This makes a great relationship as we are both flexible and considerate of each other’s needs and interests.

 What are your plans for Valentine’s Day this year?
We were thinking of a quiet lunch somewhere. A grandchild arrives in the evening to spend the weekend with us, so we will enjoy that precious time together.

 

Geoff & Helen Hinds of Parrearra – married 53 years

What is the key to making your relationship strong?
Relationships are a journey together that require a stubborn commitment to do what is right with time-tested ideals of love, trust, loyalty, fidelity and forgiveness.

What do you class as a successful relationship?
A successful relationship is one that endures, remains strong and adds increased dimensions to the people involved, knowing they can depend on each other, no matter what crosses their path.

What’s the one thing that drives you crazy about your partner?
We don’t allow things to drive us crazy. We committed really early on to sorting out the differences, weaknesses and strengths we both had and accepted that together, with a firm, consistent faith in God, we would succeed together.

What do you love about them most?
A willingness to support each other and stay faithful to each other, in both the good times and the not so good times.

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day this year?
A very low-key, quiet dinner with family in Brisbane. It is an opportunity to reflect and be extremely grateful for a blessed life together.

 What is the key to making your relationship strong?
Communication, support, being equal, having fun and accepting each other.

 

Megan Jeffrey & Ben Hodgson – together three years with a baby on the way

What do you class as a successful relationship?
Being positive, being honest, communicating and appreciating each other. Having a laugh at the end of the day is also really important to us.

What’s the one thing that drives you crazy about your partner?
Megan: His bushman’s hanky. Ben: Everything.

What do you love about them most?
Megan: His humour, friendship and his cuddles. Ben: Her hugs and cooking. She is a generous person who helps others.

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day this year?
Megan: Usually celebrating my brother’s birthday. I might be lucky to have Ben cook me a lovely dinner at home. Ben: Having a baby – Megan is due!

 

Geoff McDonald & Grant Smith – together two-and-a-half years

What is the key that makes your relationship strong?
Honesty and understanding for each other as well as communication. You need to be best friends first and foremost. Quality time together and knowing each other well is really important.

What do you class as a successful relationship?
A successful relationship should be filled with happiness and loved ones; having beautiful friends around you also makes it a success. You need love to be strong. Always improving your relationship and working together is something we value above all else.

What’s the one thing that drives you crazy about your partner?
Grant: There is nothing that drives me crazy about him; we enjoy a lot of the same things. Geoff: His snoring. We even invested in an air purifier – it improved it but didn’t solve it!

What do you love about them the most?
Grant: I love how Geoff makes me smile. He makes me laugh and makes me feel more loved than anyone else in the world, which is an amazing feeling. Geoff: How he makes me laugh and smile.

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day this year?
We will most likely do a nice dinner. We aren’t so much about the gifts, but more the quality time together.

How long have you both been together?
We have been together for just over two-and-a-half years. We had known each other for over 10 years. The beauty of that is we knew each other so well before we got together.

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