Logie Naidoo, left, and Jeevie Pillay. Picture: Supplied
Durban - When Logie Naidoo spotted his now wife, Jeevie Pillay, at the La Mercy Hotel on the North Coast in 1991, he thought she was “hot” and “innocent”, and Pillay thought he looked similar to South Indian actor Rajnikanth, who was popular back in ’90s.

After two years of dating, the former eThekwini Speaker popped the question while seated in his car at a traffic light near her home in Greenwood Park. The couple wed at the Tongaat Town Hall among about 750 guests.

Fast forward to 2018, they have two children, Priyanka, 22, a law student and Prenushlin, 20, who is studying computer science and programming.

They share their secret to a successful marriage . . .

* What is your favourite part of your marriage?

Logie: Doing things together like gracing functions and everyone praising my wife.

Jeevie: Learning from him about world events. He is good with history and politics and obviously a few years older than me.

* What is your best memory of your dating years?

L: Our first date. It was at a Mexican restaurant where guests enjoyed a water fight with the paper menus. We were ducking the water bombs.

J: Gosh, we only dated for six months but I waited a year for that to happen, so I guess learning to be patient for that first date.

* What do you both do to make each other feel more respected?

L: I am always boasting about her cooking, dress sense and that she is my stylist.

J: Give him the space to be who he wants to be. I don’t restrict his whereabouts and his friendships. Trusting him to be committed to our marriage.

* How do you handle an argument or disagreement?

L: We are normal people. We pull our faces for a few hours.

J: This is work in progress. He doesn’t like confrontations or being called out, whereas I prefer to talk things through and know the disagreement is resolved.

* What is your view on couples with children taking time out to have a date night and how often should it be done?

L: We rarely enjoy date nights as we are out at functions too often. However, we do go out on special occasions, like birthdays and anniversaries, and enjoy quiet dinners. Keep in mind, we are on our second honeymoon, as we have an empty nest at the moment.

J: I am supportive of this because I believe once your parental duty is over and the children become independent, you as a couple will only have each other to contend with, so as often as the opportunity presents itself. Romance in a relationship should always be kept alive, even if you cannot afford extravagant ways of demonstrating this. Simple things like holding hands, going for walks on the beach, etc.

* During the holidays, how do you balance spending equal time with both sides of each partner’s extended family?

L: It’s tough doing the balancing act, but we try to spend equal time with each side of the family.

J: My family is very small and have since our marriage moved to the North Coast. It’s not always easy to balance time with them, but we prefer to have celebrations or events at our home, so both families can be together with us.

* Careers for both men and women are demanding with longer hours and more travel. How do you balance having a career and being married?

L: Being in the public life is difficult. The demands take up too much of your time. Fortunately, Jeevie and the kids were most understanding.

J: I had accepted years ago that my career working hours had to be altered because I prioritised being a mother to the children, while allowing Logie to pursue his public life. I completed my Masters while the children were in pre school. Since the kids became independent, I have refocused on my career.

* Finances are an important part of a marriage. How can couples prevent money from ruining their marriages?

L: Money must not disrupt marriages.

J: Couples need to discuss these issues prior to getting married, and there has to be a compromise when it comes to financial issues. We have an understanding of who is responsible for what in our relationship and therefore try not make money become a stumbling block in our relationship.

* What is the key to effective communication?

L: We accepted that we both have our shortfalls and on that understanding, we deal with disagreements and achieve good communication. Diary of the week helps to programme our lives.

J: Both partners are equal in the relationship. Resolve your differences first before requesting outside assistance.

Trust, understanding and respect is key to communicating effectively. Pillow talk is also an effective way to communicate.

* What are the common mistakes that lead to the breakdown of marriages?

L: Allowing others, family and friends, to interfere in your marriage. Resolve your own differences and always enrich your marriage through different activities.

J: Lack of respect and trust, infidelity, women or men viewing the other person to be in a position of power and taking advantage, naivety of women and men. Extended family interference and gossiping.