dating

Robin Bailey and Bec Sparrow share why their first marriages were big mistakes.

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Bec Sparrow‘s parents will celebrate their 52nd wedding anniversary this year.

Let that sink in – over half a century of marriage. It’s by no means a small feat.

According to her dad, the secret is “It’s not about love”.

“He said ‘What it comes down to is I made a commitment. We took that commitment really seriously so you understand that just because somebody annoys you or you have days of going ‘I can’t believe I’m with this person’ that you ride it out’,” Sparrow recounted on the latest episode of The Well podcast.

Listen: Bec and Robin discuss divorce. Post continues after audio.

“‘Overall there are going to be great days and bad days, days where they irritate the hell out of you and others where it’s terrific. I don’t know, it’s as simple as going I’m seeing this through’.”

But what happens when your marriage doesn’t work out like that? Or when you realise the person you married isn’t someone you want to spend the rest of your life with?

Both hosts know that feeling well and spoke about why both their first marriages were big mistakes.

“When I got married the first time it was so stupid. I married a really good mate and I married him because I thought, we were working together and then we would hang together travelling Australia working, which is a really dumb ass idea to get married,” said Bailey.

Bec-Sparrow-Robin-Bailey-marriage-feature
Image: Supplied

"And he's still a great mate of mine and we just looked at each other after 18 months and went 'That was dumb!'".

Sparrow reckons her first marriage "out-dumbs" that.

"I married my American boyfriend in Las Vegas! Don't talk to me about dumb!," she started.

"I was a travel writer at the time. So we got married secretly in Vegas and didn't tell people, and then I said 'Bye" and was going to come back to Australia so we could get the green card so we could live in the states together. And then I didn't see him for seven years or whatever."

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So what changed?

"I woke up to myself and realised 'What the actual hell?' He was more like a brother to me," Sparrow explained.

There was a pivotal moment when she realised she hadn't made the right decision.

"I'd quit my job as a travel magazine editor, I'd given up my furniture in my share house, moved back into my parents' house and my childhood bedroom complete with Georgie Michael in Wham! posters and Hello Kitty pillows and my gut instinct for the first time told me 'Do not go to the United States, you've made a mistake'. And for the first time in my life I listened to that voice," she said.

"I thought 'We've made a mistake, we've done this as a way to try and repair a relationship that cannot be repaired and I thought to myself 'If I go, and go through with all of this and have a life with him, we have children and we break up, he will never let me leave the United States'.

"And so I thought 'Don't do it'. So I broke up with him over email and didn't see him for years."

Fortunately it had a happy ending.

Rebecca Sparrow. Image: Supplied.

"Brad and I [my second and current husband] went to the states about 10 days before we got married, we had to go to New York for some work for me and we caught up with him and we all got on famously. And that was the first time I'd seen him since," Sparrow said.

There was one big lesson that relationship taught her - and it's one she continually passes on to the teenagers she speaks to.

"Yes, I was in love with him but just because you're in love with someone, doesn't mean you have to spend the rest of your life with them," she said.

"No wonder the divorce rate is so high - how are you supposed to work that crap out?," responded Bailey.

What do you think?

Thanks to our brand partner Twinings and their new Twinings Feel Good Infusions Range.

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