Relationship advice learnt over 67 years of marriage
Noel and Ella Allington met on a train in 1949 and have been inseparable ever since. They share some simple relationship advice they’ve learnt over 67 years of marriage.
Ella: We met on the train while travelling to a regatta in Ngaruawahia. Noel came along with my cousin. I had a boyfriend at the time but it wasn’t too serious. It took a lot of perseverance on Noel’s part, but he managed to crash my relationship. It was his handsome looks (he’s still very handsome) and his impeccable manners that won me over.
Noel: I knew straight away Ella was the one for me. When I first saw her, I knew I needed to know her. After only six months of dating I travelled by train then taxi to visit her father near Dargaville and ask for her hand in marriage.
Have realistic expectations
Noel: Don’t expect too much from marriage. It’s not perfect; it’s not a bed of roses. It’s not exciting all the time. But you love each other and you married for a reason. People can expect too much of marriage and of each other.
Ella: Be kind to each other and treat each other with love. Both sides need to feel loved.
Nurture the simple things
Ella: Family, friendship and love are our foundations in life. We’ve kept those foundations strong the whole way through our marriage and they’ve served us well.
Noel: Look after yourself. If you haven’t got your health, it’s difficult to have a good lifestyle.
Don’t be too stubborn
Noel: Give and take. You have to compromise. Stick to your guns on things that are important to you, otherwise learn to let it go.
Ella: We’ve only ever been very cross at each other if the other has really misbehaved. Otherwise, we let it go. You should let each other misbehave a bit.
Have a hobby
Ella: Painting has always been my creative outlet and it’s how I enjoy my own special time. Whatever stage I’ve been at in life, I’ve loved being able to study nature and paint what I see, even if it’s just out the window. I even entered a few competitions, so it’s something that’s given me confidence and new-found friendships.
Noel: When the kids were little, most of my time was spent working, building our house, then building our bach. After that, I got into golf. Every Saturday afternoon was my time to play a round then have a beer with my mates.
Noel: If you have a goal, work hard to get there. I learned a trade from my father, worked hard as a bricklayer, bought a section and built us a house. We lived in a garage for two years with no drainage or bathroom with our two baby girls while I was building it. I wanted to give my family a home.
Ella: After having the two girls (Lyn and Noeline), we had a boy (Rex). Noel was working and building most of the time, so looking after our three wonderful little ones was my job for quite a while. When things are hard, sometimes you need to accept ‘it is what it is’ and do the best you can.