Women today ate ""too fickle"" to remain virgins

PUBLISHED: 08:43 01 October 2008 | UPDATED: 22:24 15 June 2010

IN a country where at least one in three marriages fail, Colyton couple Betty and Michael Burrett are a shining example of a successful union.

IN a country where at least one in three marriages fail, Colyton couple Betty and Michael Burrett are a shining example of a successful union.The pair, from Springfields, who recently marked their diamond anniversary at Burgh Island, met shortly after World War II when marriages were "for life".Both dismiss the notion of a 'soul-mate' or of any special secret, saying it was just about getting to know each other.Betty, 86, said when she was growing up girls were expected to be virgins until they were married - but youngsters today are too fickle."Girls today get around too much," she said. "They go with too many men and don't give them the chance to get to know them before meeting another."We married a person for life. Divorce was a great scandal, which happened more among the wealthy than the poor."Michael, 84, who jokes he is her 'toy boy', added: "Life was much harder then and you just accepted things. You really did live for the day, because tomorrow you might be under the ground."The pair both served in the army but met in 1947 when they were working at the Hong Kong and Shangai Bank in Kent. Michael first saw her at a cricket match and seven weeks later he proposed.He said: "I fell for her like a fool. When I saw her, I said to a friend 'this is the girl I'm going to marry'. I took her out almost every day over seven weeks and then proposed.Betty, however, did not properly see Michael as she refused to wear her glasses, because of vanity: "The saying was 'boys don't make passes at girls in glasses'."As for the proposal, Michael abandoned tradition. He said: "We were walking, not holding hands, and didn't stop. "I didn't kneel. But my knees went for the first time in my life and I felt as if they'd gone to jelly. I think that's why men kneel because their knees have gone!"I said 'would you marry me?' without even looking at her. She answered, 'yes, when?'"Due to food rationing at the time, the wedding numbers had to be limited and treats, such as a bottle of whisky, had to be saved months before. Betty made her own wedding dress and the bridesmaids'. Over 60 years since they first met, the couple say they have become more in tune with each other.Michael said: "You have to start with a certain number of things you have in common, which makes you become endeared to each other. "But we've got to the point where we don't know what the other is thinking, but we know what they will say in certain circumstances.


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