Greek Couple Married for Over 60 Years PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 14 February 2017 13:04

Love lasts forever. Meet the cutest couple ever. 86-year-old Giorgos and 82-year-old Maria, have been happily married and in love for over 60 years.

Their home is in Peristeri, a neighbourhood a few kilometres outside the busy centre of Athens, Greece.

While Maria busies herself in the kitchen, Giorgos left his village when he was 17 without a penny to his name, moved to Athens and worked hard to become a mechanic.

"We fell in love before I asked Maria's parents for her hand in marriage," says Giorgos.

He signed up for military service and while he was away he'd send her a steady stream of letters. However, he would address them to her cousin, who would in turn hand them to Maria, so her brothers wouldn't find out. "I don't want to blow my own trumpet, but I wrote some cracking letters," he says with a chuckle, before Maria jumps in. "That was how it was in those days. You kids get to enjoy life these days. You talk to girls, you talk to boys. Back in our day, you weren't even allowed to think about talking to a boy."

A few days after leaving the army, George went over to Maria's house and "officially" asked her to marry him. He remembers every single date in impressive detail. They were married on the 3rd of June, 1956, so last year marked their 60th anniversary. To celebrate their anniversary, "every single year I go out and buy Maria a bouquet of red roses", George explains. "I grew up in a very strict household. The one thing I always wished for was to find a person that I could enjoy life with," Maria adds.

Their first few years together were tough. They had no money and had to work hard to get by. Maria worked as a seamstress and spent her days travelling all over the city, visiting rich women in their homes. "The needle is my love, my friend to this very day," she explains, showing me works of handmade embroidery that she has made for her children and grandchildren.

The couple sit in the same spot they sit every afternoon. George in his armchair, with a book in his hand, and Maria on the couch, knitting.

"We have a great time together," says Maria. "We get up in the morning, eat breakfast, go do our shopping and then George helps me with the housework and all the cleaning. When lunchtime comes along we'll eat, then settle down for a nap. George then gets up and reads his books or watches television. I just sit here and knit." George does handiwork around the house and has a workshop he has on the roof.

"What's it like being with the same person for 60 years?" "Look, I'm not going to lie. We do have arguments, but they just don't last long. That's the secret. Couples that hold on to resentment don't last long. We swore to each other that we would marry, but that we would not separate. I sometimes think that 60 years have gone by and they've been full of laughter and joy," Maria replies.

When I ask George about his fondest memories, he tells me about the trips the couple have taken together – to France, the USSR and a road trip that took them across Italy, Switzerland and Hungary. "We never shut ourselves away, like other people do when they get old. When George retired, we started going on trips. We've been everywhere," says Maria.

Source: | Photos by Ioanna Chronopoulou