Marriage secret: ‘the wife is always right’

Gerald and Margeret Durell celebrated 50 years of marriage last week.

It was love at first sight for Gerald John Durell when he saw his future wife Margeret at Heathfield station over 50 years ago.

When Mr Durell, 76, first saw his wife, at the station he knew that he had seen the woman he’d spend the rest of his life with and to this day the two still make each other giddy.

“I used to stand at the station shop and saw her with her mini-skirts and I used to watch her go up the steps all the time but I never made a move and I only knew her by sight. That was until one day when I met her at my uncle’s house and I realised this was the woman I had been watching all the time and then we started talking,” he said.

Ms Durell, 74, said he caught her eye because he was “such a handsome fellow”.

The two got to know each other a bit better and at some point Ms Durell asked him to fix her watch.

“I used the watch as an excuse to see her and every time I would tell her it wasn’t fixed yet but it was in my pocket – fixed. I just wanted to have more dates with her. From there we started our relationship and we’ve been inseparable since,” said Mr Durell.

They married out of the Dutch Reformed Church in Sixth Avenue, Retreat, on March 7, 1973, had four sons and four grandchildren and raised them in Seawinds where they have lived for 38 years..

Asked what kept her in love with her husband for 50 years Ms Durell said his sense of humour played a big role.

“He’s always been able to make me laugh and we’ve always had good times together. Even through the bad times we stuck with each other and through prayer we were able to make it last and of course his money,” she said jokingly.

Mr Durell said his love for his wife grew over the years because he realised the treasure he had.

“She would take care of me and she was always there for me. I get my coffee on time and my sandwich in time to take my pills. I love her for that, I just love her very much.”

Mr Durell said the secret to making a marriage last is understanding.

“Being married for 50 years is not a joke because women can be very difficult but you must abide by the rule which is the wife is always right, even when she’s wrong, she is right.

“There will always be fights but it is important to get back together and to make up. We skel and then we talk it out and the other very important thing is to be honest because you made a vow to each other to stick together through thick and thin.”