Valentine’s joy for Golden couple
Tuesday, 12 February 2013
IT'S the most romantic day of the year on Thursday - and one Newry couple who this month celebrate their golden anniversary have lifted the lid on the secret to a happy, fulfilling and long-lasting marriage.
Sean and Joan McConville will be married 50 years next Wednesday.
They will once again exchange Valentine cards this week and revealed their secret to happiness - but also warned young couples not to fall into the "money trap".
“We understand one another, we share, and we never got bogged down in money problems, which is very, very hard not to do now," said Sean.
“Starting off in our life you put your money away; you didn't ask for credit. You saved up your money to buy what you needed.
“You may not have had your rooms carpeted or furnished for a few years, now it comes too easy and I think that's a problem for some young couples.
“At this moment in time people have got themselves into debt and hardship because maybe they've lost their jobs.
“In our day, Joan stayed at home and looked after the kids, now it takes both parents working because they have to buy your house. When we started off we had a rented house. It's entirely different now."
The couple first met when Joan, now 72, visited the home of her friend Maureen who was in bed sick.
Maureen's brother was in the house and was heading with his friend, Sean, to The Savoy picture house in Newry to catch the latest film.
Joan gave the boys a lift to the pictures and the following weekend Maureen told Joan that Sean wanted to take her to the pictures - and the rest is history.
“We saw one another for about two years and then decided to get married," said Sean.
The couple travelled to Belfast and picked an engagement ring and they got married in Newry Cathedral in 1963.
“We got married the year of the big snow, but despite it being February, we got a lovely day for our wedding, the weather was great" said Joan, who admits that Sean was, and still is, very romantic.
The reception was in the Ballymac Hotel near Dundalk before the newlyweds headed down to Dublin and Cork for their Honeymoon.
Fifty years later, the pair, who have four children, have their own bit of advice for anyone considering popping the big question or currently in a relationship.
Joan said: "Confide in each other and share. Trust is also very important. And never row in front of children."
Sean added: "If you have a little riff, just have a little kiss and make up. If you have a row before you leave in the morning, make sure yous kiss before you leave because you don't know when you're coming back."
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