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Some relationships last longer than others in Summer Bay...

It’s Ric and Cassie forever and ever, right? Sorry, I meant Cassie and Macca. Lucas and Matilda are still going strong, though. Oh wait, that’s right, Lucas is with Belle now. Then who’s Matilda going out with? Oh yeah, the Ricster. Hey, wait a sec, wasn’t Belle going out with Drew? And weren’t Jack and Martha married a second ago?

Man, it’s getting hard to keep up with all this partner swapping!

So who’s managing to stay together then? Well, Robbie and Tash will definitely live happily ever after. Leah and Dan have had their ups and downs, but are solid now. Kim and Rachel seem to be on the right track to wedding bells and new lovebirds Sally and Brad are making a good start. And then there’s the always reliable Beth and Tony.

With all these young kids breaking up and hooking up all over the Bay, I think it’s time we had a chat with Jon (Tony), Ada (Leah) and Amy (Rachel) about how their characters manage to hold a relationship together.

So guys, what’s the secret to your characters’ good relationships?

Amy: Communication, care and sensitivity towards each other. I think a lot of Kim and Rachel’s problems have been [due to] not communicating and I know that Rachel has always been at the forefront, saying “Let’s talk about this”.

Jon: I think it’s respect of the individual. You’ve got to respect each other and each other’s differences. You can’t try to get somebody to do what you want them to do, you’ve got to respect what they want to do and if sometimes that means letting them go for a while, then that’s totally fine too.

I’ve always been a believer that marriage consists of three lives: there’s my life, her life and our life and obviously the three of them interact, but there are three distinct circles. If you go giving up too much, even if you do it out of what you think is love and respect, you end up resenting having given up things if you gave up too much.

Ada: The basic stuff like listening and letting the other person have their own life. Leah’s quite understanding, she’s a good wife in the fact that she does a lot for Dan and her whole family and she’s a good mum. And they laugh heaps.

Jon, what do Beth and Tony know about kids and adolescence that they might not know themselves?

Jon: They’ve been there, haven’t they? Both Beth and Tony have got very good attitudes towards their kids. They’re supportive and they’re supportive of the community. I think they are very much aware of the plights of the young.

Ada, what are Leah’s attitudes to raising kids?

Ada: They’re their own people. They’re not just kids, they’re young adults and she treats them that way, gives them responsibilities. I think she's a really good mum like that.

Jon, how do Beth and Tony work through difficulties with their children?

Jon: The way they’ve been approaching it is when, for example, Lucas was in trouble then Beth supported Tony’s decisions associated with that because he’s his son. When it came to Matilda, Tony supported Beth’s decision because she’s her daughter. Now, even though Tony would question what Beth was doing, he was still supporting her. That’s what Beth does with Tony as well.

Ada, how do you think Leah and Dan’s brief seperation affected their relationship?

Ada: They don’t take each other for granted anymore. They’ve ironed out their problems and learnt to trust each other again. I think the second time around it has to be stronger - it just is stronger - they lost so much last time that they’re going to make sure they’re not going to do that again.

By Michael Hugill