The secrets to a happy marriage

11 Feb 2021

10 secrets couples use to keep their relationship strong 

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Image gallery

Main image: Getty 

If you’ve ever wondered what goes into making a healthy, happy and lasting relationship, look no further. Ahead of Valentine’s Day, Bupa Care Homes spoke to two of their couples. 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.   

secrets-to-a-happy-marriage-2Allen and Beryl Freer have been married for 65 years

Allen and Beryl Freer – residents at Bupa’s Mount Hall Bupa Care Home in Macclesfield - have been married for 65 years. When asked the 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.  

secrets-to-a-happy-marriage-3Allen and Beryl Freer on their wedding day

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 tMount 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.  

secrets-to-a-happy-marriage-4Tony and Sylvia Domett have been married for 73 years


While 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. 

  1. 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.  

  1. 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.  

  1. 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. 

  1. 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! 

  1. 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.  

  1. 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. 

  1. 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.  

  1. 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. 

  1. 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. Here – Caroline Harper – Specialist Mental Health Nurse at Bupa UK – shares her thoughts:  

“No relationship is perfect; there’s bound to be times when you’ll disagree sometimes, but it’s all part of navigating through a healthy relationship with your significant other. Commitment, trust, and respect are all important parts of a healthy marriage.  

A strong marriage can leave you feeling happier, healthier, and more satisfied with life. Research also shows that people in unhappy or negative relationships are less healthy than those who feel isolated or have no relationships at all. If you’re part of a healthy, happy relationship, you may have fewer mental health problems and you might even live longer, too.  

Loneliness can play a huge part in how we feel mentally right now. Having your significant other to talk to and ask advice from can help to reduce a low mood and feelings of loneliness. 

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

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