A COUPLE celebrating 65 years of marriage have revealed what it takes to sustain a happy and healthy relationship.

Don and Janet Deaney are looking forward to the big day on Friday, although lockdown restrictions mean the couple will unfortunately be celebrating on their own.

The Witney duo met at a dance in Filkins while Mr Deaney was on leave from the Army.

A fortnight after meeting, Mr Deaney went to Egypt with the Forces and didn’t see Mrs Deaney for 18 months.

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“I wrote to her every day although she didn’t so it was a bit one-sided really,” the 87-year-old quipped.

“When I came back, we met up again and got together shortly afterwards.

“There’s a lot of give and take, I give and Janet takes.”

Witney couple Don and Janet Deaney are celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary. Picture by Ed Nix

Witney couple Don and Janet Deaney are celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary. Picture by Ed Nix

Mrs Deaney, 88, added: “It’s remarkable how long we’ve been married, it all comes down to trust, caring for each other and acknowledging that you won’t always agree.

“I couldn’t manage without him and I hope he couldn’t be without me.

“We haven’t planned anything for this year, Don is shielding and you’ve got to be careful.

“Maybe later on in the year, everyone can come together again and we can have a party to celebrate.”

The couple has spent the vast majority of their marriage in the same family home, moving to Witney in March 1965.

The passage of time has given them three children – Chris, Mark and Katherine – as well as nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

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The family has been able to stay in touch over the past 12 months, not least due to Mrs Deaney’s computer skills.

Son Mark Deaney said: “Like all married couples, it’s accepting the person for who they are and not trying to change them.

“They’re both very giving people, but the biggest secret is that they just keep going, they never sit still and they’re always doing something.

“They’re both very good at technology so we’ll all see each other on Zoom for the anniversary.

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“My mum takes great pride in how good she is with the technology.

“We’ll be able to see them when restrictions do start to loosen so we can look forward to that.

“They’ve been very cautious and stuck to the rules rigidly.”

In 2012, Don was awarded Citizen of the Year by Witney Town Council.

The award followed more than 20 years of welfare work that Mr Deaney undertook for the Royal British Legion.

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