Imagine going through the Great Depression, World War II, and the Civil Rights Movement and then living to see the first African-American president of the United States. Back in 2010, Obama even sent them a written letter of praise.
Zelmyra and Herbert Fisher broke the record for the longest marriage in the world. Since May 13, 1924, they have been married. In 2008, their 84-year marriage broke the record for the longest one ever.
In the world we live in now, this seems like an impossible task. Most marriages end before they really get started. Researchers say that 41% of all first marriages end in divorce, 60% of all second marriages end in divorce, and 73% of all third marriages end in divorce.
Then how did this couple stay together for so long that they broke the world record? What are they hiding?
They were asked what helped them get through hard times and handle problems in their marriages. Here are the easy answers from the couple who really did stay together until “death did them apart”:
1. What made you understand that the rest of your lives could be spent together? Were you at all scared?
Every day that went by made our relationship stronger and more stable. Divorce was never even a possibility.
2.How did you know that your partner was the right one for you?
Before we got married, we grew up together and were great friends. We were married for a lifetime, but friends are for life.
3. Is there anything you would change after being married for 80 years or more?
Nothing about it would be different. We didn’t do anything special to make our marriage work; we just did what was best for each other and our family. (I guess that’s where the answer is.)
4. What would you tell someone who is trying to believe that Mr Right is out there for them?
Zelmyra: Mine was right next door! He’s never too far away, so keep believing. You’ll know for sure when you meet him.
5. What was the best advice you ever got about marriage?
Respect each other, help each other out, and talk to each other. Be honest, faithful, and true. Love each other with everything you’ve got.
6. What are the most important things a good partner should have?
Zelmyra works hard and takes care of her family well. The 1920s were hard, but Herbert wanted what was best for us and made sure we had it. I got married to a nice guy.
7. What’s your best memory of Valentine’s Day?
Zelmyra: Every day, I make dinner. Herbert left work early and cooked me dinner as a treat. He cooks VERY well. Herbert: I told her I’d make dinner for her, and she could take it easy. The smile on her face and the empty plate brightened my day. (This really brightened my day!)
8. You got married when you were both very young. How did you both grow as people without growing apart as a couple?
Everyone who plants a seed and brings in the fruit has a party. We are all different, but when we work together, we get more done.
9. What is the best thing you remember about your 85-year marriage?
Five children, ten grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild are our heritage.
10. Does it get easier to talk to people over time? How do you keep your patience?
Since the kids are older now, we talk more. Together, we can relax on the porch or in our rocking chairs.
11. How did you handle it when you had to be physically apart for a long time?
Herbert: When Z was in the hospital with our fifth child, we were apart for two months. It was the hardest time I’d ever had. If Zelmyra’s mother hadn’t helped me take care of the house and the other kids, I would have gone crazy.
12. What is the most important thing to remember at the conclusion of a bad relationship day?
Don’t keep score in your marriage; it’s not a game. God has put you both on the same team so you can win.
13. Is it important to fight?
Never in person! Agree that it’s okay to have different opinions and fight for what’s important. Learn to bend rather than break!
14. What is the one thing you both have in common that is the most important?
We both believe in God and are Christians. Marriage means making a promise to the Lord. Every day, we pray with and for each other. Zelmyra and Herbert had a great marriage, and we are lucky to be able to learn from them. After 87 years of marriage, it was clear that they still loved each other as much as the day they tied the knot.
Herbert died in 2011 when he was 105 years old. A few years later, in 2013, Zelmyra also died when she was 105. They had been married for 87 years when Herbert died.
It’s not easy to be loyal for life, but it can be done! Everyone can use all the help and advice they can get. If you like some of this wise advice about love, please share it with your friends on social media. This should be common knowledge!