The Secret to Love

Times Online Via Jezebel, in the Times Online

The secret to a long and happy marriage is a little argument every day, according to the couple who should know best.

Frank and Anita Milford, aged 101 and 100 respectively, celebrated their 81st wedding anniversary yesterday. The couple married in 1928 after meeting at a YMCA dance in Plymouth, where they still live. In eight months' time, they will beat the record of 81 years and 260 days for the longest British marriage.

They say that they still have daily squabbles. “Not big rows, just the odd cross word,” Mrs Milford said. “As far as I’m concerned, it’s healthy.”

However, as well as a little argument, “a little romance” is also essential. “It’s our golden rule,” Mrs Milford said. “Couples these days don’t last long because they often don’t take enough time for each other. There isn’t enough respect — love is about give and take. Our advice to young couples would be to make time for a little romance every day.”

Mr Milford, a retired dockyard worker, said: “To win over your sweetheart you need a dose of old-fashioned chivalry and don’t let your standards slip.”

The couple’s two children, five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren celebrated the occasion in Plymouth. Their son, Frank Jnr, 74, said: “They spend most of their time together, with Dad almost completely deaf and blind, so it’s difficult for him. Mum is a chatterbox and nothing has changed there.”

The record for the longest marriage was set by Thomas and Elizabeth Morgan from Caerleon, Wales, who were married from 1809 to 1891.