Saskatchewan·Photos

Humour, patience and compromise: Seniors offer their advice for long-lasting relationships

If you’re looking for advice on how to make a relationship last decades, let alone years, it helps to ask those who’ve lived it: seniors. CBC Saskatchewan sat down with three couples in Regina to see why they think their partnerships have stood the test of time.

‘I don't believe in a perfect marriage … I think every marriage you have has to be worked on’

CBC sat down with three couples to see why they think their partnerships have stood the test of time. 3:28

If you're looking for advice on how to make a relationship last decades, let alone years, it helps to ask those who've lived it: seniors. CBC Saskatchewan sat down with three couples at the College Park Retirement Residence in Regina to see why they think their partnerships have stood the test of time.  

June and Lloyd Harker met at a dance hall in rural Saskatchewan during their younger years. Waltzing and square dancing brought them together, and the two tied the knot in 1956. 

"He was pretty good looking then," June said before the two started laughing. "He was nice. He was kind."

What is your secret to staying together for so long?

"You have to be patient with each other and, you know, don't slam the door every time something doesn't suit you," June said. 

"You have to take the good with the bad — just live with each other and things seem to turn out," Lloyd said. 

"I don't believe in a perfect marriage ... I think every marriage you have has to be worked on," June said. 

Waltzing and square dancing brought Lloyd and June Harker together. (Heidi Atter/CBC)

Ruth and Ken Edwards are 79 and 88, respectively. The two have been together for 62 years. 

"She chased me all over town," Ken said with a laugh. 

"I couldn't," Ruth corrected, "You had a car." 

Ruth Edwards, 79, lives with her husband, Ken, in Regina after farming in Nokomis, Sask., most of their lives. (Heidi Atter/CBC)

The couple farmed near Nokomis, Sask. Now the farm is being taken over by their grandson, while Ruth and Ken live together in Regina. 

What is your secret to staying together for so long?

"You've got to be really nice to her and do whatever she tells you," Ken said, laughing. 

In contrast, Ruth said, "Sometimes you have to give into things that you don't like doing but you can't always be right." 

Ken Edwards has been married to his wife, Ruth, for 62 years. (Heidi Atter/CBC)

Henry and Bernadette Reis worked as a teacher and nurse, respectively. They met in Regina. Henry jokes Bernadette's steady income was a bonus in choosing to go steady with her. 

They were married in August 1955. 

What is your secret to staying together for so long?

"You have to love each other," Bernadette said. "You have to be ready to give in, lots of times."

And, she added, "you have to be able to put up with a lot of stuff about [your partner] that you don't like that much." 

Henry Reis married Bernadette in 1955. (Heidi Atter/CBC)

Humour is a big part of their relationship. 

"It makes things go easier," Henry said. "We raised one girl and four boys — you need humour."

Bernadette Reis worked as a nurse, something her husband, Henry, jokes was a bonus because of her steady income! (Heidi Atter/CBC)

About the Author

Heidi Atter

AP/Journalist

Heidi Atter is a journalist working in Regina. She started with CBC Saskatchewan after a successful internship and has a passion for character-driven stories. Heidi has worked as a reporter, web writer, associate producer and show director so far, and has worked in Edmonton, at the Wainwright military base, and in Adazi, Latvia. Story ideas? Email heidi.atter@cbc.ca.

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