Imagine surviving the Great Depression, the Second World War, the Civil Rights Movement, and ultimately seeing the first African-American president of the USA. They even received a letter of praise from President Obama in 2010!
The Guinness World Record for the longest marriage was broken by Zelmyra and Herbert Fisher. Having been wed since May 13, 1924. With 84 years of marriage, they already broke the record.
Given the environment we now live in, this seems like an impossible task. Most marriages break up even before they start!
According to research, first marriages end in divorce at a rate of 41%, second marriages at a rate of 60%, and third marriages at a rate of 73%. So how did this couple manage to break the world record by remaining together for so long? What’s their trick?
They were interviewed about their strategies for enduring difficult times and handling marital crises. These are the straightforward responses from the couple who actually coexisted until “death did them apart”:
1. How did you come to the conclusion that you could live together forever? Did you experience any fear?
Every day that went by made our bond stronger and more secure. Never once was divorce a possibility or even an idea.
2. How did you know your spouse was the one you were meant to be with?
Before being married, we were great friends since we shared similar childhood. While a buddy is for life, our marriage lasted forever.
3. After being married for more than 80 years, is there anything you would do differently?
We wouldn’t change anything, not even a single thing. Our marriage is not a secret; we just did what was necessary for our family and ourselves. (I think that’s where the secret is…)
4. How would you counsel someone who is clinging to the hope that Mr. Right is truly waiting for them?
Zelmyra: Mine was only a few steps away! Keep the faith because he is never too far away; when you meet him, you’ll know for sure.
5. What marriage advice did you ever get that you felt was the best?
Respect each other, assist one another, and interact. Be loyal, truthful, and honest. Love one another from the bottom of your hearts.
6. What qualities make a good partner?
Zelmyra: A hard worker and responsible parent. The 1920s were challenging, but Herbert wanted the best for us and gave it to us. I wed a good man.
7. Which Valentine’s Day memory is your favorite?
Zelmyra: I always make dinner. Herbert surprised me by cooking dinner for me when he left work early. He cooks quite well!
Herbert: I told her she could unwind since I was making dinner for her. My day was brightened by the smile on her face and the empty plate! (This has brightened my day!)
8. You were married at a young age; how did you two manage to develop as individuals while being a couple?
Everyone who plants a seed and harvests the crop joins in the celebration. Although each of us is unique, we work better together.
9. Which is your favorite memory of your 85-year marriage?
Five children, ten grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild. They are our legacy.
10. Do communication skills improve with time? How do you maintain your calmness?
Now that the kids are older, we chat more. We can spend time together relaxing in our rocking chairs or on the porch.
11. How did you handle having to be physically apart for an extended length of time?
Herbert: When Z was taken to the hospital with our fifth kid, we were apart for two months. The most trying moment of my life was then. I would have gone insane if it weren’t for Zelmyra’s mother helping me with the house and the other kids.
12. What is the most crucial thing to remember at the end of a bad day?
Keep in mind that marriage is not a game; never keep score. God has combined the two of you to form a winning team.
13. How significant is fighting?
Accept that it’s okay to differ and stand up for what actually counts. Discover how to bend, not break!
14. What is the defining characteristic you share with everyone else?
We both consider God to be real and are Christians. A commitment to the Lord is marriage. Every day, we pray together and for one another.
We are fortunate to receive Zelmyra and Herbert’s advise because they had a wonderful marriage. After 87 years, they were clearly as in love as the day they married.
Herbert died in 2011 at the age of 105, while Zelmyra died a few years after at the age of 105. The couple had been married for 87 years when Herbert passed away.
Lifelong commitment is difficult, but it is possible! Every bit of guidance and assistance is always welcomed! If you find part of this insightful love advice useful, please share it with your friends on social media. This story should be known by everybody!