Couples share advice for everlasting love

Harry and Jean Wigget have been married for 52 years.

Cupid makes his annual appearance on Valentine’s Day, tomorrow, February 14, and the Echo spoke to three couples at Nerina Gardens to ask what advice they have for young couples today.

Harry and Jean Wigget, both 82, were married 52 years ago. They were both 29.

Harry was a priest at the Pinelands Anglican Church when he met Jean, a junior choir mistress at the time.

Jean is now a retired music teacher. She recalls how her friends speculated she would never get married at 29.

“Do you just want any man to put a ring on my finger?” she told them.

It was love at first sight for the couple and they both share a love for classical music and believe God put them together.

Harry is a firm believer that couples should never go to bed angry.

“Don’t stay angry for long. Say sorry on the day and move on.”

June says it’s important to treat your life partner with respect. “Say please and thank you,” she says.

The couple have two sons aged 48 and 50.

Dirk van Niekerk, 89, met Natalie, 80, his wife of 61 years, at a church fund-raiser in Johannesburg. He
had just returned from an overseas trip and shared a flat with a friend who invited him to the fund-raiser. Natalie was attending art school at the time.

Natalie says you can’t avoid differences in a relationship so you must choose your life partner carefully – one with the same values and interests as you.

The couple believe it is their respect for each other and being patient with each other which have led to their successful marriage.

“You also have to learn how to deal with the differences between you,” Natalie says.

Eric Theron, 79, and his wife of 10 years, Norma, 75, found love after both lost their partners to cancer.

After the death of his first wife, Eric married one of Norma’s best friends. However, four years after their marriage, she was diagnosed with cancer and died.

Norma, who had been widowed for 17 years, called Eric, who lived in Swellendam at the time, to see how he was coping, and they started chatting.

“We would talk for hours on end,” says Norma.

Their relationship gradually grew stronger and Eric moved to Cape Town.

Norma says couples must learn how to compromise and to say sorry.

“Be tolerant of each other. It’s give and take,”adds Eric.

Norma says Eric still spoils her terribly.

“He waits on me, and I sometimes feel guilty. but I also enjoy it,” she says.

The couple have six children between them. Eric has two sons and a daughter from his first marriage and Norma has three sons.

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