Imagine going through the Great Depression, World War II, the Civil Rights Movement and eventually living to witness the first African-American president of the USA. President Obama even sent them a signed commendation back in 2010!
The lovebirds Zelmyra and Herbert Fisher broke The Guinness World Record for the longest marriage. They were married since May 13, 1924. Back in 2008, they broke the record for longest marriage at 84 years.
This looks like mission impossible in the world we live in today. Most marriages end before they even truly begin! Researchers estimate that 41 percent of all first marriages end in divorce, 60 percent of second marriages end in divorce and 73 percent of all third marriages end in divorce. Then how come this couple stayed together for so long to broke the world record?! What’s their secret?!
They were interviewed about their secrets to withstanding through harsh times and managing crisis in marriage. Here are the simple answers from the couple that truly lasted till “death did them apart”:
1. What made you realize that you could spend the rest of your lives together? Were you scared at all?
With each day that passed, our relationship was more solid and secure. Divorce was NEVER EVER an option, or even a thought.
2. How did you know your spouse was the one for you?
We grew up together and were best friends before we got married. A friend is for life; but our marriage lasted a lifetime.
3. Is there anything you would do differently after 80+ years of marriage?
We wouldn’t change a single thing. There’s no secret to our marriage, we just did what was needed for each other and our family. (I guess there lies the secret…)
4. What is your advice to someone who is trying to keep the faith that Mr. Right is really out there for them?
Zelmyra: Mine was just around the corner! He is never too far away, so keep the faith – when you meet him, you’ll know for sure.
5. What was the best piece of marriage advice you ever received?
Respect, support, and communicate with each other. Be faithful, honest, and true. Love each other with ALL of your heart.
6. What are the most important attributes of a good spouse?
Zelmyra: A hard worker and a good provider. The 1920s were hard, but Herbert wanted and provided the best for us. I married a good man!
7. What is your best Valentine’s Day memory?
Zelmyra: I cook dinner every day. Herbert left work early and surprised me; he cooked dinner for me! He is a VERY good cook!
Herbert: I said that I was going to cook dinner for her and [that] she could relax. The look on her face and clean plate made my day! (This just made my day!)
8. You got married very young – how did you both manage to grow as individuals and not grow apart as a couple?
Everyone who plants a seed and harvests the crop celebrates together. We are individuals, but accomplish more together.
9. What is your fondest memory of your 85-year marriage?
Our legacy: 5 children, 10 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great grandchild.
10. Does communicating get easier with time? How do you keep your patience?
The children are grown, so we talk more now. We can enjoy our time on the porch or our rocking chairs – together.
11. How did you cope when you had to be physically separated for long periods of time?
Herbert: We were apart for 2 months when Z was hospitalized with our 5th child. It was the most difficult time of my life. Zelmyra’s mother helped me with the house and the other children, otherwise I would have lost my mind.
12. At the end of bad relationship day, what is the most important thing to remind yourselves?
Remember marriage is not a contest, never keep a score. God has put the two of you together on the same team to win.
13. Is fighting important?
Never physically! Agree that it’s okay to disagree, and fight for what really matters. Learn to bend – not break!
14. What’s the one thing you have in common that transcends everything else?
We are both Christians and believe in God. Marriage is a commitment to the Lord. We pray with and for each other every day.
Zelmyra and Herbert had an inspiring marriage, and we are lucky to have their advice. After 87 years, it was clear that they were as in love as the day they were married.
In 2011, Herbert passed away at 105, and a few years later in 2013, Zelmyra followed at 105 years old as well. When Herbert passed, the couple had been married for 87 years.
Being committed for life is not easy, but it can be done! We all can use every help and advice we can get! If you treasured a bit of this profound love advice, please pass some of it on to your friends on social media. Everyone should know this!