Amy is the head of news for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Editorial: Couple know spousal secret

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Frank and Joyce Bethell.
Frank and Joyce Bethell.

Being married for 60 years or more is an achievement well worth celebrating - especially in this day and age where divorce is so common.

I'm always inspired by the tale of couples like Frank and Joyce Bethell who yesterday celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary and are this weekend holding a ceremony to renew their commitment to each other.

Read more: Renewed vows for 60th anniversary

My husband and I have been married for a year and I look forward to eventually celebrating our 60th anniversary " assuming we both make it to the age of 86.

It's exciting to think of everything we will have done together and the memories we will share by then.

Often we brush off advice from older married couples as old fashioned but they have a wealth of knowledge we should treasure.

I was particularly inspired by Mrs Bethell's commitment to her husband. Every day she made sure the kids were settled, the house was clean and she was looking good when her husband arrived home from work.

"He came first," she said. It's great advice but certainly challenging to do.

Times have changed and for many families it's not possible to be a stay-at-home mum so it might not be possible to have the house looking spick and span and the dinner on the table by the time your husband walks in the door like Mrs Bethell. But the principle should be the same.

In marriage, your spouse should always be more important than yourself. If both parties are always putting the other person first there should be little to argue about.

Easier said than done, I know.

I'm lucky both my grandparents and my parents have been a great example of that and have already celebrated big milestones in their marriages. It's a challenge I too will gladly accept.

Hopefully by my 60th anniversary I'll be able to echo Mrs Bethell who said: "We didn't have to work at it. We just went along together."

What an inspiration that is.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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