Love lessons

Sometimes the key to happiness may be to have less material goods and more time with each other. In the February issue Debbie  Dawson, Karyn Fleeting and Rebecca Greenfield explained how having less money made them happier. And here their other halves, Simon, Jim and Gareth share their views…

Simon Dawson


“Debbie is unrecognizable from the girl I married. More than that, our relationship is unrecognizable too. We’ve grown and changed both as individuals and as a couple but, crucially, in the same direction.

We’re on a huge journey which has included danger, laughter, happiness and sadness, fear and learning – and through it we’ve become as close as two people can get. Despite being married for 23 years, it feels as though I only started to get to know Debbie when we changed our lives from high flying, high earning people to living in the country with hardly a spare penny to rub together.”

Jim Fleeting

LOVE-LESSONS-2“Neither of us cared about having money and nice things as much as we cared about being happy in ourselves. We both foresaw a potentially unhappy future if I carried on in a job I didn’t enjoy. We had to be true to ourselves and do what we wanted with our lives.

Making such a big change has made us stronger as a couple. When we were out in America, and then in Ripon setting up the shop, we were away from friends and family. Being on our own hastened the feeling that we were a family unit, before our son was even born.”

Gareth Burcher

LOVE-LESSONS-3“When Rebecca left her job, I felt relieved. We’d already come to the conclusion that money was not the source of happiness. Despite the reduction in our income, our lives were instantly immeasurably improved. Although I spend less time with my family due to work, I get up with them in the morning, make their breakfast and we chat. Rebecca’s new job has been such a positive change.

The kids love going to see her at work where they are welcomed. They’re growing up in a much more positive environment. Whilst they may not get as many presents as before or go on expensive holidays, I think they’ll grow up to be more grounded individuals, with a greater appreciation of what matters in life.”

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