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World's Longest Married Couple Has the Secret to Lasting Love - Which couples in your life give you relationship inspiration?

Posted by on Apr. 19, 2012 at 11:43 AM
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1 mom liked this

World's Longest Married Couple Has the Secret to Lasting Love

Posted by Janelle Harris on April 18, 2012 

Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher
Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher
Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher have had what may very well be the best reason to be on the books at Guinness World Records: The North Carolina couple went down in history for having the longest marriage. For 86 years, 9 months, and 16 days. That’s eighty and a six. Years. That’s a lot of laundry, dinners, dishes, and—goodness gracious—bills. A lot of learning how to kiss and make up and enjoy each other and be a partner. Granted, they got hitched back in 1924, when folks stayed together out of a sense of duty as much as they did for love. But what an inspiration, particularly because there are more folks treating divorce as flippantly as a high school breakup than there should be.

Mr. Fisher passed away in February at a remarkable 104 years old, leaving his 101-year-old wife for the first time in almost nine decades. But the precious pair with the priceless story shared some relationship advice for their admirers and marathon marriage wannabes to mill over. On Valentine’s Day a few years ago, they took to their Twitter page (yes, they have a Twitter page) to share their secret for building a long marriage.

More from The Stir: How to Keep Your Marriage Strong at Every Age

The secret is there is none, according to them. No a-ha discovery. You just have to be invested in it and make it work the way you need to make it work. Here’s a little of what they said:

What made you realize that you could spend the rest of your lives together? Were you scared at all?

H&Z: With each day that passed, our relationship was more solid and secure. Divorce was NEVER an option—or even a thought.

What is your advice to someone who is trying to keep the faith that Mr. Right is really out there?

Zelmyra: Mine was just around the corner! He is never too far away, so keep the faith—when you meet him, you’ll know.

What are the most important attributes of a good spouse?

Zelmyra: A hard worker & good provider. The 1920s were hard, but Herbert wanted & provided the best for us. I married a good man!

At the end of bad relationship day, what is the most important thing to remind yourselves?

H&Z: Remember marriage is not a contest—never keep a score. God has put the two of you together on the same team to win.

Does communicating get easier with time? How do you keep your patience?

H&Z: The children are grown, so we talk more now. We can enjoy our time on the porch or our rocking chairs together.

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But above all else, they said, you have to be willing to stick it out. Well, that’s obvious. I’m pretty sure Mr. Herbert plucked Ms. Zelmyra’s nerves somewhere along the line just as much as I’m certain that Ms. Zelmyra rubbed Mr. Herbert the wrong way in 86 years. That’s a mighty long time to know a person, much less to grow and cohabitate with them. But 5 kids, 10 grandkids, 9 great-grands, and one great-great grand later, they made it work and stick. That’s the program I’m trying to be on. So along with my grandparents, Wayman and Mildred Harris, my pastors, Revs. Harold and Kellie Hayes, and Cliff and Claire Huxtable, I’m adding the Fishers to my inspiration list.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how different couples operate their love, how they make it last, how they grow together, even through life’s changes and challenges. Last year, I interviewed Niecey Nash (who is cute as a button, by the way) before she strolled down the aisle, and she had one of the best pre-nuptial ideas I’ve ever heard. Instead of having the standard bachelor/bachelorette shindigs—and probably all of the drama that goes along with them—she and her fiancé decided to host a dinner party with couples who had been married 20, 30, 40 years.

I let her know, at the end of our conversation, that I would be stealing that idea when it comes time for me to be a bride. I’m willing to sit at the feet of any older person. They’re so full of hard-earned wisdom, especially when it comes to matters of the heart.

Which couples in your life give you relationship inspiration?

by on Apr. 19, 2012 at 11:43 AM
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Replies (1-10):
ShannaBee
by on Apr. 19, 2012 at 11:47 AM
My grandparents.
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findingserenity
by on Apr. 19, 2012 at 11:52 AM
My parents... Yup..they sticking out together out of love duty and commitment to their vow and family
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mom27g
by on Apr. 19, 2012 at 11:54 AM

Wow - my parents give me inspiration. They got married at 17 (mom was pregnant with me) and almost 40 years later are even in more love than when they got married. 

Due9
by on Apr. 19, 2012 at 11:57 AM
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"when folks stayed together out of a sense of duty as much as they did for love" 

I love this line. I wish we, as a society, could get back to this thinking. My husband and I wil not always see eye to eye on every little thing, but I would never divorce him because I do feel like marriage is a commitment for life. And it is a duty not only to my husband but our children.

ShesALady
by on Apr. 19, 2012 at 11:58 AM
My paternal grandparents. Thy are the best couple I've ever met.
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Mrz.Anaya
by on Apr. 19, 2012 at 11:59 AM
1 mom liked this
My grandparents. My grandmother is really sick so in a nursing home, my grandfather sold their house and bought the house across the street from the nursing home. He feeds her breakfast and dinner every day he says he wants to be the first and last person she sees everyday :')
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cole679
by on Apr. 19, 2012 at 12:03 PM
Mine too.

Quoting ShannaBee:

My grandparents.
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kLynch315
by on Apr. 19, 2012 at 12:05 PM
My great grandparents RIP and my in laws. My ggparents were married for over 50 years when paw paw passed away. My inlaws have been married 25 years and have been through some intense trials, bit they always overcame.
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Apple1
by Bronze Member on Apr. 19, 2012 at 12:12 PM

 

My parents, they have been married for over 32 years now and they never gave up on eachother when they easily could have...my mom was sick in and out of the hospital for 3-4 years of my younger years and my Dad had three back surgeries.  A lot of hard times, but they came through it together, and still going Strong....

JennPearce
by Jenn! on Apr. 19, 2012 at 1:10 PM
My aunts & uncles have all been married a long time & seem to be happy. My grandparents have been married for 60 years now too. :)
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