Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen Had to Fail at Marriage to Find True Love

By | Food for thought, love stories, marriage, profile, relationships, romantic

Ted Danson has had an unbelievable career in comedy. Despite the occasional miss, his roles on Cheers and The Good Place alone have solidified his status as a Hollywood legend. Similarly, his personal life has been a smash hit for the past 20-plus years. But that wasn’t always the case.

As Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen’s bumpy love story proves, sometimes you have to deal with your fair share of drama and heartbreak before being rewarded with unconditional love. 

Here’s what we can learn from Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen’s marriage:

Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen have enjoyed over two decades of wedded bliss, but when the pair first met on the set of Pontiac Moon in 1993, the outlook was anything but promising. That’s because they had both sworn off love for good.

Steenburgen had gotten divorced in 1990 and Danson was having zero luck in the romance department. Not only was he twice divorced, but his second marriage ended in scandal and a historic $30 million settlement

Everyone changes…

Ted Danson’s first shot at love came at a young age. In 1970, at the age of 23, he married actress Randy Gosch whom he had met at Carnegie Mellon University. As their respective careers began taking off, however, they found themselves on different paths and separated in 1975. 

People change with every experience they have and don’t always remain compatible.

It’s a lesson Danson would soon learn for a second time. Unphased by his divorce, Danson said “I do” to producer Cassandra Coates just two years later. Sadly, a major health scare would soon drive a wedge between them. 

And tragedy can change your relationship

The year was 1979 and Coates was giving birth to their first child, Kate, when she suffered a stroke that paralyzed her left side. Recovery was slow and painful, but Danson remained by her side, even sleeping on the hospital room floor for the first three weeks. Unfortunately, the trauma soon took its toll. 

Speaking candidly about their experience, Coates told People in 1982:

For the first month, I did nothing but cry. I gave Ted permission to leave me. I thought I was going to be a wipe-out the rest of my life.

Cassandra Coates, People Magazine

As she noted, they were still “adjusting to the fact that we aren’t the same people we were before this happened.” 

Not only was their intimacy gone — “You don’t think about your sex life when you’re paralyzed,” she told the outlet — but as they tried to find their new “normal,” tensions grew.

As Danson admitted, “There was a huge rift between us — a massive lack of trust” accompanied by a major “sense of sacrifice” on his part.

Sometimes you have to lose everything to find joy 

Despite all of the challenges they faced, Danson and Coates remained a team for the next decade, but their foundation would crumble in the early ‘90s.

Danson was accused of having an affair with co-star Whoopi Goldberg on the set of 1993’s Made in America and the media just couldn’t get enough. That’s when the actor’s life began spiraling out of control. 

His marriage fell apart, he was hit with a history-making $30 million divorce settlement, Cheers was officially over, Made in America was a flop and, when all was said and done, his new relationship with Goldberg just couldn’t withstand the pressure. The couple called it quits after only 18 months of dating, shortly after an embarrassing comedy routine in which Danson dressed up in blackface to roast his girlfriend.

“I was a mess-and-a-half,” Danson told AARP Magazine of that time in his life.

I thought, I’m incapable of being in a relationship. But I was working on myself.

Ted Danson, AARP Magazine

And that’s when the unexpected happened. As he noted, it’s “ironic how life works in those moments. Once you throw your arms up and surrender, a lot of times things come your way.”

True love comes when you least expect it…  

Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen
3/7/99 Los Angeles, CA. Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen at the 5th Annual Screen Actors Guild Award.

When Danson met Steenburgen on the set of Pontiac Moon in 1993, she was in a similar headspace to his. She was a newly single mother of two, having divorced Malcolm McDowell in 1990, and, like her co-star, she had all but given up on love.

“I announced to all my friends — not dramatically, but very seriously — that I was done with relationships,” she told Closer

That all changed one fateful day. The actors, who were tasked with playing a married couple, spent five hours shooting a canoe scene that would alter their lives forever. As Danson told the magazine, “We went out as friends and by the time we came back, we were in love.”

The timing of their encounter, which may have seemed odd at first, was actually perfect, as the pair had similar experiences to bond over.

As Danson explained, “We found each other when I was 45 and she was 40 — we had lived a bit.”

Both of us stared down some demons within ourselves, and it was lucky that we met then.

Ted Danson, Closer Weekly

They soon restored each other’s faith in love and were married in 1995.

True love gets stronger with age 

While Danson experienced his first three relationships crumble over time, with Steenburgen he learned a valuable lesson: True love gets stronger with age.

When faced with hardships, personal growth, and changing outlooks on life, true love doesn’t dissolve. Rather, it’s able to withstand anything you throw at it.

Which explains why the couple is as crazy in love today as they were when they first met. 

“I’m madly in love with Mary,” Danson proclaimed in 2017, gushing, “She’s a remarkable human being so I’m just incredibly blessed. It feels like heaven on Earth,” he continued. “If I were to die, I can say, I know what it’s like to be loved and to love.”

The feeling is mutual. “I’m ridiculously in love with him,” Steenburgen proclaimed in 2018. “I find him endlessly fascinating. He surprises me all the time and most of all he makes me laugh.” 

Ted and Mary’s biggest lesson:

It’s easy to have regrets or second-guess your choices in life, especially when the outcome isn’t the one you’d hoped for, but consider this: If you were to change even a single element of your past, your present might look very different.

This is a truth Danson is acutely aware of. As he told AARP Magazine, “If I corrected my mistakes — which are cringers — would I take them away if it were to alter anything about where I am now? No. Life is messy. The older I get, the more I realize it’s okay to be imperfect,” he noted. “Because you can still grow and make changes in your life.” 

Rather than pondering the what-ifs, use every experience, both good and bad, as an opportunity to learn. Treat failure as a chance to grow and better yourself and remember that your present is the result of everything that came before it, so there’s no time for regret. Instead, trust that you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be or, at least, that you’re headed there.

More inspiring love stories:

How Oprah’s Advice Led Serena Williams To Alexis Ohanian, Her Perfect Match

By | Food for thought, inspiring, Inspiring Celebrities, love stories, marriage, stories

I’ve always seen Serena Williams as an inimitable, dominating force in the world of tennis. After all, she’s won 23 major singles titles—more than any man or woman in the Open Era of the sport–four Olympic gold medals, and the Women’s Tennis Association ranked her world No. 1 in singles eight times. 

It’s no wonder that love and romance haven’t always come easy to her. In case you’ve never noticed, those among us with the brightest lights tend to wane in our power when paired off.

Which is all the more reason to have a look at how she came to meet her husband, internet entrepreneur and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian. My theory: when you find someone who also shines a light, they’re more apt to love and respect yours.

Serena Williams faced many obstacles

As anyone who pays attention knows, Serena Williams has faced consistent (and deeply problematic) body shaming throughout the years from those who feel her muscles and her power make her look masculine.

She’s addressed these upsetting comments many a time, ultimately choosing to stay empowered and ignore the haters, but not without difficulty. “It was hard for me,” she said to Harper’s Bazaar.

People would say I was born a guy, all because of my arms, or because I’m strong. I was different to Venus [her sister]: She was thin and tall and beautiful, and I am strong and muscular—and beautiful, but, you know, it was just totally different.

Serena Williams to Harper’s Bazaar

This is the sad truth in the way the world currently views women who deviate from the norm either in looks or in personality traits. Strong may be sexy, but if a woman gets too strong (or shines too bright), her femininity is in question.

Serena’s strength is both physical but also an integral part of her personality, which has made her a source of inspiration to many. And no, it does not make her any less of a woman.

Another reason to listen to Oprah

There was a time when Williams believed she would never have both a successful career and a relationship. Before she met Ohanian, Williams is known to have dated Common, Drake, Grigor Dimitrov, and Brett Ratner among others, which she told Allure were “mostly great relationships.”

Yet—apparently not the relationship, am I right?

It’s a good thing she found a wise, fairy godmother figure in Oprah. The latter gave her a valuable piece of relationship advice.

Oprah said, ‘Never let anyone dim your light. That really stuck with me. It always was something that I could see in some relationships—my light would be dimmer.

Serena is indeed one of those people whose light shines very bright–even Beyonce cast her for the video of her famous song, “Sorry,” which is coincidentally about being unapologetic about leaving an undeserving partner.

“Now I feel like I can shine really bright and still do everything that I want to do,” Serena said. This is the kind of relationship everyone should strive for.

How Serena met Alexis

Serena and Alexis first met in 2015 at the Rome Cavalieri hotel where they were both staying. Alexis was hung over and sat down at a table next to Williams and her friends, oblivious to the fact that this annoyed her.

After trying and failing to provoke him into sitting elsewhere, Serena told her future husband, “We just don’t want you sitting there. We’re going to use that table.”

Yet somehow, in the course of the conversation that followed, Alexis was invited to sit with them. It was only then that he realized who Williams was. The rest, as they say, is history. 

They got engaged in 2016, and welcomed their baby girl Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. in 2017. Fun fact: Williams, whose incredible list of accomplishments obviously precedes her, often says that her greatest achievement of all is being a mom. The couple got married later in 2017, and these days, Williams says she feels supported—both on and off the court.

The couple’s beautiful daughter, Olympia, reportedly has her mother’s arms, something Williams is happy about. “I knew I was having a girl, because when I was playing tennis in the [2017 Australia Open], I didn’t have one day of morning sickness, no symptoms. Australia is really hot, some days can be over 40 degrees [Celsius], which is insane, but she never complained. I said to Alexis, ‘This is a girl. Only a woman can be this strong.” 

They both break boundaries together

Alexis, the one man who has been confident enough not to dim our protagonist’s brilliant light, began campaigning for paternity leave after Williams was bedridden due to birth complications.

He had to seriously step up and take care of his new family for several months. “To get to gender equality,” he says, “It’s essential that men take as much parental leave as women.” Fittingly, Alexis, like his wife Serena, continues to make his mark by flouting traditional standards whenever the occasion calls for it.

Look for someone who doesn’t dim your light

“Alexis doesn’t dim my light,” Williams says. “He doesn’t try to dim my light. He puts me in the light, even if I don’t want to be. He pushes me to further points I never thought about.”

The moral of the story: take Oprah’s advice. To be fair, it’s probably advice that’s you must already know intuitively. Judge a partner based on how they make you feel. Look for people who don’t dim your light, or who even bolster and strengthen you more. These are the relationships that will ultimately help you to grow and thrive as an ever-evolving human being.

More inspiring stories:

Is Appreciation Deficit Disorder Ruining Your Relationship?

By | challenging, dating, Food for thought, how-to guide, marriage, movie, relationships

Contrary to appearances, Netflix’s hit movie Marriage Story is not a story about divorce. It is, as its title indicates, a story about marriage. More specifically, it is the story of how a good marriage goes bad for one simple reason: Appreciation Deficit Disorder.     

What is appreciation deficit disorder?

While Appreciation Deficit Disorder isn’t a clinical disorder, if it was it would be defined as something like this: a “disorder” characteristic of the character we meet individuals like Charlie (Adam Driver) and Nicole (Scarlett Johansson)– who are in decent, functional relationships, but who are “appreciation-deficient” with regards to themselves, their spouses, and their relationship as a whole.

In fact, the failed marriage between Charlie and Nicole could be considered a textbook example of this as-yet undiagnosed “disorder” because it displays all the classic symptoms of this brand-new, made-up malaise.

Here are the symptoms of appreciation deficit disorder:

1. Physical and emotional withdrawal 

Example: Charlie and Nicole have been living parallel lives for the last joyless and sexless year of their marriage.

2. Criticism 

Example: Nicole repeatedly criticizes Charlie for being selfish, whereas Charlie repeatedly criticizes Nicole for being… Nicole;

3. Contempt 

Example: harlie claims that Nicole hated him during the last year of their marriage, whereas Nicole feels Charlie has been contemptuously ignoring her core needs; 

4. Negative sentiment override 

Example: The spouses are both so flooded with negative emotion that they each accuse one another of rewriting their shared past, as when Charlie insists that Nicole has only decided, after the fact, that she wasn’t happy with their life in Brooklyn, when at the time she was.     

Fortunately, appreciation deficit disorder contains, embedded within itself, its own obvious cure: appreciation. 

Indeed, the renowned couples therapist Terry Real considers appreciation not only the single “most effective” strategy for improving a relationship, but he goes so far as to say, “This one principle is equal to all the others combined.”  As we will see, most of the top couples therapists in the world agree.  

How to avoid appreciation deficit disorder:

Step 1. Appreciate one another

Marriage Story opens with tender and heart-warming expressions of mutual appreciation between Nicole and Charlie. At first sight, it certainly doesn’t seem like they suffer appreciation deficit.

The world’s pre-eminent marriage researcher, John Gottman, would say (with one important reservation) that Charlie and Nicole both have good “love maps,” a term that evokes the amount of “cognitive room” one has for all the little quirks of their spouse’s personality and personal history, as well as the marriage itself.

Gottman’s research shows that having good love maps is the very foundation of the seven-story “sound marital house” that constitutes a strong, sustainable relationship. His research also shows that having good love maps is a necessary prerequisite for building the next level up in the sound marital house, “fondness and admiration.”

Step 2. Be grateful for the things you appreciate

Researchers like Sara Algoe, Amie Gordon, Emily Impett, and Samantha Joel would also be impressed with the way that Charlie and Nicole express gratitude for how their partner invests in their relationship– a tendency that functions as a “booster shot” for relationship commitment and overall happiness.  

For instance, even when Charlie complains about Nicole’s untidiness – “It’s not easy for her to put away a sock, or close a cabinet, or do a dish” – he nevertheless expresses his gratitude for her effort and attributes it to her fondness for him: “but she tries for me.” 

Likewise, Nicole peppers her appreciations of Charlie with generous expressions of gratitude, singling out, for example:

He takes all of my moods steadily, he doesn’t give in to them or make me feel bad about them.

As the marriage historian Eli Finkel explains in his widely-praised book The All-or-Nothing Marriage, “In the long run, people who experience elevated levels of gratitude also experience stronger relationship commitment and are less likely to break up.”

But if Charlie and Nicole are so good at appreciating one another in all of these ways, then why do they break up?

Step 3. Express your appreciation 

While they feeling appreciation, Charlie and Nicole don’t express their appreciation out loud to one another. When we finally hear Nicole’s appreciation of Charlie articulated out loud, we come to understand that one of the main factors that causes both their marriage and their divorce to unravel is the unwillingness to give voice to appreciation. 

Most of the top couples therapists in the world – John Gottman, Sue Johnson, and Terry Real – emphasize the crucial importance of not just appreciating our partners but expressing that appreciation. 

For instance, Terry Real writes, ”When I speak of cherishing, I do not mean just feeling warm and fuzzy inside. I mean doing something to let your partner know what you are appreciating.”

Gottman makes the same basic point:

When you acknowledge and openly discuss positive aspects of your partner and your marriage, your bond is strengthened.  

Why is expressing appreciation so important?  Perhaps for the same reason that it’s so important not just to appreciate a house plant, but also to water it.    

Step 4. Appreciate one another’s life dreams

Why does Nicole refuse to read her appreciations out loud to Charlie?  While there are many answers to this question, they all ultimately boil down to another, more fundamental symptom of ADD.

Nicole is both hurt by and angry at Charlie because he has failed to listen for and appreciate her deepest needs and most-cherished longings.

According to Gottman, whenever there is a gridlocked conflict in a relationship the thing to do is dig down to what he calls the “dream within the conflict.” 

By “dream” he means the hopes, aspirations and wishes that are part of people’s very identity and that give purpose and meaning to their lives. In Gottman’s experience, the best way to drill down to the dream beneath the conflict is to explore the underlying symbolism of the surface-level desires at play in the disagreement. 

If he had taken me in a big hug and said ‘Baby, I’m so excited for your adventure and of course I want you to have your own piece of earth’ then we might not be getting divorced.

The marriage researchers Shelly Gable and Harry Reis have shown that when partners communicate and celebrate their individual successes with one another they both feel greater positive emotions and mental health, and also experience increased feelings of trust, intimacy, and satisfaction in the relationship.

As Eli Finkel explains, “Enthusiastic responses are beneficial because they convey the listener’s shared joy in the event and appreciation of the personal significance of the event for the discloser.”

Step 5. Appreciate (or, at the very least, accept) your partner’s influence

In Marriage Story, Nicole complains that all of the furniture in their apartment was Charlie’s taste. She bemoans the fact she didn’t even get to pick their apartment but just moved into his.

More generally, and perhaps most significantly, she remarks that during their marriage:

It would be so weird if he had turned to me and said ‘And what do you want to do today?’

In their long-term study of 131 newly-wed couples who they followed for nine years, Gottman and his fellow researchers found that even in the first few months of marriage, men who allowed their wives to influence them had happier relationships and were less likely to eventually divorce than men who resisted their wives influence. 

“Statistically speaking,” he writes, “when a man is not willing to share power with his partner there is an 81% chance that his marriage will self-destruct.”

Marriage Story Adam Driver Scarlett Johansson

Step 6. Appreciate and assert your own needs and dreams

It seems fair to say that Nicole also fails to appreciate her own dreams and assert her influence in a way that Charlie can understand.

She says, “I made noises about wanting to move back to LA, but they came to nothing, but “making noises” is a far cry from clearly and insistently articulating your dreams and desires. And unfortunately, as Terry Real writes:

You cannot create an extraordinary relationship unless you’re willing to do the hard work of identifying what it is that you want and pursuing it.

It is for this reason that, out of the many possible forms of appreciation that exist, Real prioritizes the cultivation of self-appreciation. 

“First and foremost,” he says, “I want you to cherish yourself.  I want you to value your own wants and needs. I want you to value your voice.”

Real has a confrontational way of encouraging people to appreciate and express their own wants up front. He invites them to swallow this bitter pill:

You don’t have the right to complain about not getting what you never asked for.

Step 7. Appreciate relationality

If Nicole had discerned and appreciated her own dreams more fully, she might have been able to summon the courage to not only stand up for herself but to speak up for herself and ask for more out of Charlie and for more out of their marriage. 

This is the very essence of what Real calls “fierce intimacy” or “daring to rock the boat.” Grabbing your partner by the collar and saying, ‘Such-and-such is really important to me. You better take it seriously. I’m not kidding.”  

Unfortunately, because Nicole doesn’t fully appreciate her own needs, she cannot articulate them to Charlie, let alone roll up her sleeves and fight like hell to make sure he meets them. 

Rather than moving from disempowerment to what Real calls “relationship empowerment,” she moves directly from disempowerment to what he calls “personal empowerment.”  

In Real’s view, “traditional femininity” teaches women disempowerment (i.e. “shut up and eat it”).  In contrast, third-wave feminism teaches women “personal empowerment” (i.e. “speak out and leave it”). But the next step is what he calls “relationship empowerment,” which encourages women to “stand firm and mean it.”

Marriage Story appreciation

What is real “relationship empowerment”? 

Something like this: “How are we going to be together in a way that works for both of us? How are we going to negotiate our needs? This is what I’d like. Tell me what you’d like.  And tell me what you need from me to help you deliver.”

Of course, there’s no guarantee that if Nicole and Charley had had the guts to have this kind of conversation they would have been able to work things out. But it certainly would have upped the odds. And it certainly would have been better than either staying in a marriage plagued by Appreciation Deficit Disorder, or complaining after the fact about never getting what neither of them ever asked for. 

By identifying the problem and addressing it maturely with these tools, you’re well on you’re way from moving from “appreciation deficit” to “relationship empowerment.”

Where to go from here:

Matthew McConaughey and Camila Alves’ 14-Year Romance Started With One-Sided Love

By | Food for thought, inspiring, love stories, marriage, stories

Matthew McConaughey and Camila Alves are one of Hollywood’s happiest (and most beautiful) couples and, rather fittingly, their love story reads like a rom-com script. 

While the Oscar winner was instantly smitten, the Brazilian model didn’t even recognize him at first. Alves wasn’t impressed by his movie star status and McConaughey had to put in some work to prove his worth.

As their attraction strengthened, it eventually gave way to a lifelong connection. But none of that would have ever happened, had they not been at the right place at the right time one fateful night in 2006… 

What we can learn from Matthew McConaughey and Camila Alves’ relationship?

There are two sides to every story  

If there’s one thing that Matthew McConaughey and Camila Alves’ first encounter proves, it’s that love at first sight can be one-sided. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. 

It was 2006 when McConaughey, who’s adamant that he’s “not a club guy,” was enjoying a guys’ night out at “Joan’s, a club on Sunset Boulevard.” He was “making margaritas at the table” when he first set eyes on her. And the way Matthew describes his first impression is nothing short of cinematic.

Out of the corner of my eye, this aqua green figure went sort of floating across the frame about 20 feet in front of me.

Matthew McConaughey to PeopleTV

As he tried to get the mystery figure’s attention by waving, it hit him: “This is not the kind of woman you call over across the room.” Making the wise decision to walk over instead, the actor invited the Brazilian beauty and her friends to join his table.

She eventually did, but it was clear she wasn’t starstruck. Deciding to keep it real, she spoke her native tongue, Portuguese, and immediately put him to the test.

McConaughey didn’t miss a beat. He responded in both Portuguese and Spanish and, as he joked with PeopleTV, “I understood Portuguese better than I’ve ever understood her in our nine years of dating!”

However, when you ask Camilla about that night, her take of their first meeting is completely different. As she recalled, “We met at Hyde, of all places. We had two interactions at the bar. The first interaction, I did not know who he was. At the time he had a really long beard, and he had this rasta hat. He was all covered up, and I didn’t really realize who he was,” she confessed.

It didn’t click until McConaughey’s pal, Lance Armstrong, intervened, albeit with an undesirable effect. “Lance came to talk to me,” she continued. “You knew they were always together, so I’m like, ‘OK, I’m outta here. I’m going to the other side of the room!’”

Timing is everything

As perfect as the couple’s love story may seem, it wasn’t their connection that made it a success. Rather, it was all about timing. As McConaughey explained in 2017, “It’s gotta be the right person but it has to be the right time.”

How many people in your past have you met where you go, ‘Ooh, if I would have actually been hanging out with them at the time I was ready, would they have been right?’ I don’t know the answer.

What he does know is that “it was the right time for [him].”

Part of that certainty came from the fact that he was itching to start a family, but he was by no means searching for love. A distinction he made clear during an interview with Cigar Aficionado: “The clock was ticking — I was about to be 40 and my plan was to be married and have kids by that age. But I didn’t want to play the game of starting to feel anxious because, with too much anxiety, you can’t find a mate. And then you make a hasty decision.”

Matthew assured PeopleTV that he was in no way unhappy with being single, which proves that love manages to find you when you are not looking.

“I was not looking,” he said. “I was very happily single. And healthily single, so I was not looking. I was sleeping well, I was spiritually sound, I was good with hanging with me.”

When you know, you know

That was certainly the case for Matthew McConaughey. As the actor told PeopleTV: “We went out on our first date three nights [after meeting at the club] and I knew then that the next night after that I wanted to go on another date. And the next night after that, I wanted to go on another date. And I’ve been wanting to go on a date with her for the last nine years. And not with anybody else.” 

Reminiscing about what made him feel so certain, he revealed it was “the self-respect she had for herself” and “the way [he] understood her and her relationship with family” and “the way she respected [him] but never took anything for granted.”

The feeling was mutual and, in July 2008, the lovebird had their first child, son Levi, then welcomed daughter Vida in January 2010. Son Livingston followed in December 2012.

They grew into marriage 

Deciding to do things their own way, McConaughey and Alves had two children before getting engaged on Christmas Day 2011 and saying “I do” the following June in a secret at-home ceremony in Austin. It wasn’t the conventional order of things, but there was a very specific reason for it. 

During an interview with People in 2012, Alves admitted to being surprised they got married at all.

I think it’s something that we evolved to,” she told the magazine. “I was never the girl that grew up saying I want to get married. I actually told my parents to not expect me to get married.

Camila continued, revealing how she was proven wrong: “The main thing for me is to make sure our home is peaceful, that it’s healthy, that the kids are good. I didn’t know how important [the wedding] was, and how really truly special it was, until I went through the ceremony.”

McConaughey further explained their thought process to GQ in 2014: “I had to get to the point where I saw it as more than just the thing to do. I wanted to really want to.”

He revealed that they “did a lot of reading and talked to a lot of people that had been divorced, a lot of people that had been happily married.”

They also spoke to their pastor, before finally reaching an understanding that marriage was “not a destination” but “the beginning of an adventure that [they] are taking together.”

They’re a team on all fronts 

Whether it’s something as simple as decorating or something as life-changing as raising kids, McConaughey and Alves are a team on all fronts.

For example, when they first got together, the actor decided to sell his home so they could buy a property together. Noting that they could have simply moved into his place, he told Esquire the reason behind his reasoning.

I thought, ‘I found the woman I want to do it with, the woman I want to make a family with, hopefully live our life out together, [so] she needs to have 50 percent of that’. I mean, it’s a lot easier for me to be at 100 percent. I’d always been 100 percent. It’s braver for me at 50 percent.

They’re also 50-50 when it comes to parenting and their outlook on life. As the actor once told People, “The main thing is that my wife and I, Camila, we have a similar moral bottom line.”

It’s the little things

Over the years, both McConaughey and Alves have repeatedly been asked about their secret to a successful union and, as it turns out, it’s the little things that really count. As Alves told Us Weekly, they do “a lot of staying at home, cooking together or getting a hotel room that is 10 minutes away from the house.”

It’s also imperative to love and appreciate one another for who you really are. As he told InStyle, Matthew elaborated, “neither one of us have really tried to change the other one…If anything, she pushes me to be more of myself and I hope I do the same for her.”

Yes, timing is everything but their relationship teaches us more

Matthew and Camila are proof that timing is an integral part to the success of any relationship. Once you feel ready for love, you need to be open to the possibilities. This does not mean that you need to be frantically searching.

When someone special does present themselves, remember to be true to yourself. Because when you find your perfect match, they’ll love the real you, without any question or doubt. So yes, timing is important but so is being true to yourself.

More inspiring stories:

Why Will Smith’s Jealousy of Tupac Shakur’s Bond With Jada Pinkett-Smith Is A Learning Moment For Us All

By | challenging, Food for thought, Inspiring Celebrities, marriage, stories

Insecurity and jealousy seems to be such a basic human emotion that we can often think that someone who is rich and successful not be likely to feel them. However, it turns out that Will Smith dealt with the very human feeling of jealousy, when it involved his now wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and her relationship with rapper Tupac Shakur.

Will has no problem admitting it now

In an interview for the radio show at Breakfast Club Power, Will Smith spoke to Charlemagne tha God with his costar Martin Lawrence, while promoting their new film. He was then asked the ultimate question: had he ever been jealous of the love Jada had for the now-deceased artist, Tupac?

Oh f— yeah. Oh my god. That was in the early days and it was like, that was a big regret for me, too, because I could never open up to interact with Pac.

Will Smith

Smith confessed him and Tupac “had a little bit of a thing” over their shared love for Jada, who was childhood friends with Shakur.

His insecurity ran deep

Will recognized the special bond that Jada seemed to share with Tupac. After all, the two had grown up close to each other. Jada and Shakur met as kids on the first day of high school in Baltimore and remained very close until Tupac’s lifestyle got too dangerous for her and she created some distance.

Jada herself admits that both her and Tupac “were an anchor for each other,” which did not go unnoticed by her husband. “So any time he felt like that anchor was threatened… Oh my God,” she continued.

Will felt he could not compete with that bond, but also with Tupac’s drastically different image.

“Pac had a little thing on that but she just loved him, like he was the image of perfection, but she was with the Fresh Prince, you know?” He said.

At the time, his jealousy was so pronounced, that he could not even address Tupac, if they were in the same room together.

I couldn’t speak to him, and he wasn’t going to speak to me if I wasn’t going to speak to him.

They were two different characters

Charlemagne, the interviewer, was surprised at Will Smith’s answer. After all, as many people may have thought, the two seemed to have a lot in common. Both Will Smith and Tupac Shakur were popular and successful rappers. Even Jada recognized their similarities.

That’s what Jada would say all the time: ‘I’m telling you, y’all are so similar, you would love him.’ And I just never… that was a huge regret of mine, I couldn’t handle it.

Will Smith went on to say that he was “deeply, deeply insecure“ and “wasn’t man enough to handle that relationship.” But what exactly caused that insecurity? After all, to all of us, Will Smith is the picture of confidence. He is handsome, charming, a great actor and father and a hilarious human being.

Smith confides that a lot of it had to do with a lack of self-esteem and confidence he had that time in his past. He unconsciously compared himself to Tupac, whose appeal was on a different level.

I was the soft rapper from Philly and he was Pac.

Will’s insecurity had a lot to do with public identity

Smith admits that a lot of it had to do with a lack of self-esteem and confidence at the time. Tupac’s rougher life was in direct contrast with Will’s ‘Fresh Prince’ image, which made him look a little less fascinating. The former’s music expressed the realities he had lived, the truths of a brutal world that Will was not entirely privy to.

Therefore, there was an unspoken competition, which had much to do with the way Will viewed himself and his position in the celebrity world.

This conflict of identity, of the way he viewed himself from the perspective of the outside world, left room for jealousy to seep in. But now, the actor has learned his lesson. With time, the Smiths have managed to distinguish themselves from the image projected on them by the outside world.

He now understands that being a public figure requires a “certain amount of pretense and inauthenticity to hold up the character.” His identity as Will Smith has been defined by decades in an industry that requires him to maintain a reputation. Much of his success, as he admits, depended on him being able to play this character.

Will now has a more fleshed out understanding of himself as a person and a celebrity. Now, his question is, “are you gonna have the courage to live as who you really are?” He and Jada have also been able to apply this to their own marriage and refuse to let the world define their relationship for them.

“Me and Jada talked about this a lot…in our marriage and how people want us to be married versus how we’re really married,” Will confessed. They were able to reach a point where they let go of “the characters people want to see” in order to thrive together, on their own terms.

What can we learn from Will’s raw admission?

Will Smith’s refusal to engage with Tupac remains one of his biggest regrets. However, there is much to be learned from his willingness to open up and share the reasons behind his decisions at the time.

First of all, he recognized that much of it was due to insecurity, which is a universal sentiment. By admitting his regret, he teaches us a valuable lesson.

Perhaps, we have also been guilty of shutting out certain people and missing out on connections because of fear and insecurity. If we take some time to analyze our motives and emotions, we can trace the root of certain tensions we feel. As Will Smith’s story shows, he was struggling with accepting his authentic identity in a world that valued image over everything else.

When we let go of the characters we feel obliged to play in our daily lives, we can reach a truer version of ourselves. This version worries less about the way it is perceived by others. Furthermore, by being at our most authentic, we can also read our motivations better and understand the root of certain emotions when they arise. In doing so, we find better ways to process them.

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RuPaul and Georges Lebar Reveal the Open Secret to Their 25-Year Relationship

By | Food for thought, inspiring, Inspiring Celebrities, love stories, marriage, stories

RuPaul Andre Charles needs no introduction. The singer-songwriter and pop culture icon is a six-time Emmy winner who has brought drag performance into the mainstream with his show, RuPaul’s Drag Race.

But what many of his fans may not realize is that, as outlandish as RuPaul can be on TV, he’s actually got an incredibly stable (and understated) personal life. In fact, he has been in an unshakeable relationship with Australian rancher Georges LeBar for over 25 years.

Their secret? Playing by their own rules and doing so unapologetically.

Here’s what we can learn from RuPaul and Georges LeBar’s relationship:

RuPaul had absolutely zero doubts 

When RuPaul first saw the love of his life in a New York City nightclub in the 90s, he had absolutely zero doubts that he needed to talk to him.  

“I met Georges right on the dance floor at the Limelight disco at 6th Avenue and 21st Street on his birthday in 1994,” he recalled in a 2019 interview. The first thing that caught his eye was LeBar’s height — “He was 6’8” at 12-years-old,” the TV personality quipped — and as he watched him “dancing like a maniac,” he was pulled towards him. 

I had to go over and say, ‘Who are you?’ What are you doing?’ ‘Can I put my arms around you?’ Because I’m tall, I’ve never been able to put my arms around someone’s shoulders who was taller than me.

RuPaul to Vanity

Despite their 13-year age difference –RuPaul was 34 at the time while LeBar had just turned 21– there were no doubts on either side. What they had experienced was more than a dance floor fling — it was pure magic. Magic that would lead to a lifelong romance. 

They’re open about being open

RuPaul has always been true to himself and over the years, he’s spoken publicly about finding  the right relationship formula that works for him and LeBar, even if it may seem unconventional to some.

As the Emmy winner told The Guardian back in 2018, their winning formula is all about trust — and freedom. “If [LeBar] needs to do something else somewhere else, I’m fine with that,” he said.

“He and I know that on this planet where there are millions and millions of people, the person I have found on this planet that I like the very most is him. And I know that for him the person he loves the most on this planet is me. I know that; there’s no doubt in my mind.”

He further explained:

I love him too much to try to put shackles on him. Love is free.  

RuPaul to Vogue

LeBar has his own successful career

Rather than fostering any sort of jealousy or resentment towards his partner’s massive fame, LeBar is happy staying out of the spotlight and pursuing his own career. As RuPaul revealed in 2017, his husband “doesn’t care about show business at all.”

He could care less. Most of the time, he’s on the ranch.

Rupaul to Marie Claire

That ranch is a 60,000-acre property he manages, which spans across Wyoming and South Dakota and is the reason why they spend much of the year apart. “We see each other about every three weeks,” RuPaul, who works in Los Angeles, told Interview. He continued, “But, you know, we’re adults. We can handle it.” 

But while they’re each wholeheartedly pursuing their individual careers, they never forget to support one another’s passions. When RuPaul’s Drag Race took home the Emmy for Outstanding Reality Competition Program in 2019, LeBar was on-hand to cheer on his hubby. As RuPaul once noted, finding “someone you know is going to be looking out for your best interests, no matter what — that’s really key.”

They continue to play by their own rules

Asked about marriage in 2015, RuPaul told Buzzfeed: “I don’t stand on ceremony, I never want to conform to anything… I never want to be like everybody else.”

Based on that bold statement, it sure seemed like a walk down the aisle would never happen. Jump to 2017 and the couple said “I do” in a secret ceremony on the 23rd anniversary of their first encounter.

Explaining their change of heart, RuPaul admitted it was primarily a business decision, proclaiming, “that paper don’t mean nothing… if you’re devoted to a person, nothing’s going to change that.” 

We can all learn from their unconventional relationship

It’s that unfaltering devotion to one another, combined with their refusal to follow the status quo, that has resulted in over 25 years of bliss. They’ve made the decision to be with each other. “There isn’t a person on this planet I like being around more than him,” RuPaul told Interview — and to not let anything, or anyone, stand in their way. 

When building a strong foundation, it’s okay to shut out the rest of the world and decide what works best for you, even if it goes against the norm. Listen to each other, trust each other, and you’ll be able to rest assured that your relationship will withstand the test of time. 

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High School Sweethearts Get a Second Chance at Love When She Sees Him Front Row at Her Concert

By | Food for thought, heartbreak, love stories, marriage, news, stories

Lots of young lovers have connected over conversation and steaming cups of coffee. It’s the perfect first date for many couples, and the perfect breakup for one couple in particular.

In 1992, the Dunkin’ Donuts on Grafton Street in Worcester was the site of a conversation that led to years of broken hearts… and finally, a happy ending and even a wedding, years later.

But it took decades to get there.

Why did they get married at a coffee shop?

“It had to happen here,” the groom Jason T. Roy explained in an interview with the Telegram.

“We think it’s an absolute riot,” said his new wife singer and actress Valerie agreed. “Has anybody been married in Dunkin’ Donuts before? Maybe we’ll start a trend.”

Dunkin’ didn’t even close their doors to the public during the wedding, which took place over the December holidays at 1 p.m. on a Friday afternoon.

Guests lined up and cameras clicked as regular guests at the franchise stopped by to order donuts and coffee!

One customer was confused by what was happening in the middle of their coffee run: “A wedding?”

Yes, a wedding.

Why they broke up

The couple had originally met at a house party at the house of one of Valerie’s friends in Grafton. Jason was attending the party with a mutual friend of theirs.

“He walked into the room, and he said to me, ‘You have the most beautiful eyes,’” Valerie recalled. “We went out for a while… We were madly in love.”

But it wasn’t meant to be– at least not back then.

Jason is “very old school,”  and when they had that 1992 coffee date, he wanted to make a concrete plan for the future where they could both succeed.

His plan? Jason was going to join the Navy. “He would acquire skills and provide a good life for us with many opportunities,” said Valerie, while she focused on developing her career in the performing arts.

But it was too much, too soon for the young Valerie, who was less sure of what she wanted.

 “I felt like I didn’t know what to make of his decision,” Valerie said. “I was flattered and overwhelmed by his commitment, but equally felt he was placing a burden on himself in taking care of me.”

I said the wrong things. ‘Why are you putting so much pressure on yourself?’ I kind of crushed him. I felt awful. If he had said ‘Let’s elope’ … It was just the way he presented it.

Valerie’s uncertainty about commitment clashed with Jason’s regimented idea of what their life together would look like, and they felt they had no choice but to break up.

It was 25 years until they found each other again

Jason did join the Navy, and went on to get married and have three children. Meanwhile, Valerie focused on her career and was briefly married.

“We led two very different lives,” Valerie said. “I wouldn’t want to change a thing that happened. Jason has three beautiful children who he adores. I had a different way to give to the world through music.”

“Everything happens for reason,” Jason agreed.

But when people are meant to be, they ultimately do find each other again.

Jason and Valerie were finally reunited in February 0f 2018 when Valerie performed in a Valentine’s Day show in her hometown and there Jason was in the front row watching her performance!

He caught her eye from the front row

“I saw him sitting on the front row. I looked out almost like a deer in the headlights. I thought ‘Oh my goodness,’” Valerie said.

“When I got there I was shaking, I was so nervous,” Jason said.

Three months later, Valerie moved back home from Florida. Jason proposed to Valerie on New Year’s Eve, 2018 and they ultimately married at the same exact Dunkin’ Donuts where their relationship had ended years before.

What their love can teach us

 “When you’re 18 or 19 years old you don’t understand love until you’ve lived,” Jason said. “I think we’re going to appreciate each other more so much later in life because every day is a blessing. I can’t imagine my life without him. Something led me back.”

If something or someone is meant to be, they’ll find their way back to you. In fact, the time apart made have made you better suited to each other. Never give up hope and never stop trying!

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Viola Davis Envisioned Her Perfect Soulmate and Met Him 3 1/2 Weeks Later

By | Food for thought, inspiring, love stories, marriage, stories

It all started with a prayer and a little eavesdropping. Before Viola Davis became the Oscar-winning actress that we now know, she was an aspiring star who struggled in her beginnings. At the time, she was searching to find her footing in Los Angeles and feeling extremely lonely.

“I was the loneliest woman in the world,” she recalled in 2013. “Someone said, ‘You should just pray for a husband.’” And that’s exactly what she did.

“I said I wanted a big black man from the South who looked like a football player, who already had children, who maybe had been married before,” she continued. That prayer went a long way and soon manifested itself into reality. “Three and a half weeks later, I met my husband,” she revealed. 

Here’s what we can learn from Viola Davis and Julius Tennon’s unbreakable relationship: 

He was ready, but she wasn’t

Davis might have been putting good vibes out into the universe, but she was still feeling alone. Luckily, she voiced her frustrations on the set of City of Angels, which is how her castmate and future husband, Julius Tennon, came to answer her prayers.

“I just overheard her talking to a girl in front of us, [saying], ‘I don’t like LA, I don’t know anybody here,’” Tennon recalled on an episode of OWN’s Black Love. Although he was dating someone at the time, he felt “kind of ready to meet somebody else,” and ended up giving her his card.

But Davis wasn’t as ready for love as she had initially thought. She was apprehensive and looking for excuses: “I didn’t call [him] because I had bad credit; I was struggling with driving in LA.”

It took her several weeks to take a chance and call Tennon. 

Their first date “terrified” her

The pair finally went on their first date a month after meeting and, once again, Davis found herself feeling scared. The date was like nothing Davis had experienced before and as she told Black Love, “I was terrified because he told me exactly who he was ― he was absolutely honest about his past.

His past included most of the criteria she had hoped for. Tennon was an actor, a former football player, and a single father raising two teenage sons from previous relationships.

He was also a total gentleman.

He brought me home and he just said, ‘You are a very beautiful and nice woman, and it was a pleasure spending time with you.’ And he shook my hand.

Viola Davis to Black Love

Twenty minutes later, he called to say he had a great time and to compliment her. And 20 minutes after that, he called again to add: “I just want to tell you I got home, and you are a beautiful woman. I’m about to go to sleep, and I just wanted to tell you to have a good night.”

He made her life better 

The pair fell in love and got married in 2003, then adopted their daughter, Genesis, in October 2011. Davis’ life exponentially improved. Not only did her career take off, but she no longer felt lonely.

After my first date with Julius, my life got better In every way. Anxiety went away. Fear went away. He just made my life better.

That’s something she doesn’t take for granted as, every year, she celebrates their partnership on Instagram, letting the world know just how blessed she feels. 

“My life got sweeter, richer the day I met you. I love you like a big ole dog!!!” she gushed in 2017. A year later, she added: “The best 15 years of my life!! You are my heart.”

When the couple celebrated their 16th wedding anniversary in 2019, she had even more touching words to share: “June 23rd, 2003 is when I married the greatest man!!! Thanks for loving me despite my bad credit! Look at how our life has grown. Love, love, love you Julius… with all my [heart].”

“It’s about the everyday.”

In 2016, People asked Davis to share her biggest secret to marital bliss and her advice was rather simple. “It’s about the everyday,” she said. Viola further explained:

I think that that’s what people forget when they fall in love with someone and it’s exciting. You have to get back to the everyday — the taking the garbage out, the cooking, the cleaning — and it’s something that I think really works with me and my husband.

Viola’s story is proof that we can all take a chance

Viola Davis and Julius Tennon’s unbreakable relationship proves that you truly never know what’s around the corner. In just a few weeks, the Oscar winner went from feeling like the “loneliest woman in the world” to meeting the love of her life. 

While you can never be certain of what will happen next, you can help nudge things along with positive thoughts, or a prayer, like Viola did. However, what is most important is to remember to give new relationships a chance whenever they present themselves. You never know what might happen! 

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Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart’s 18-Year Romance Had an Unexpected Wingman

By | calista flockhart, Food for thought, harrison ford, love stories, marriage, relationships, romantic, stories

When Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart first began dating, their budding romance was met with a large dose of skepticism. First, there was the fact that the Star Wars actor is 22 years her senior. Then there was his not-so-perfect relationship past.

Luckily, Flockhart ignored the critics (and the two-decade age gap) and the pair has since gone on to become one of Hollywood’s longest-lasting couples.

Here’s what we can learn from Harrison and Calista’s romance:

People do change 

Harrison Ford has had no shortage of success — and controversy — in the love department. The Indiana Jones star was first married to illustrator and chef Mary Marquardt from 1964 to 1979 and the couple had two sons together, Ben and Willard.

However, their relationship was anything but perfect. When Carrie Fisher’s memoir was published in 2017, it was revealed that she and Ford had had an affair on the set of 1977’s Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. The infidelity likely played a major role in the end of their marriage, but it didn’t spell out the end of Ford’s quest for love. 

Fast forward to 1983 and Ford was saying “I do” to screenwriter Melissa Mathison. They had two kids, Malcolm and Georgia, and appeared to be absolutely smitten with each other, but unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be.

The pair began living separately in 2000 and, despite reconciling and putting in the work to try to rescue their union, Mathison filed for divorce in 2001.

However, some relationships in life simply don’t last forever and it is important to recognize that. Trying to place blame doesn’t yield positive results and that time is better spent looking forward while learning from the past.

Calista made the first move 

Ford and Flockhart first met at the 2002 Golden Globes after the Ally McBeal actress hatched quite the sneaky plan. Deciding to take fate into her own hands — literally — she reportedly “spilled her drink on him intentionally in order to meet him.” 

The bold move paid off. Plans were made for a follow-up encounter and her next step was to enlist then-costar James Marsden to take on wingman duties.

Recalling the incident in a 2013 interview, Marsden revealed, “She said, ‘Come to dinner with me and Harrison.’ I’m like, ‘Me, you, and him?’ It turned out to be a small group of us, thankfully, but I ended up as her wingman.”

The group had dinner, then headed back to Ford’s home for drinks and music. “He was giggly and goofy around her but pretty aloof with the rest of us,” Marsden recalled.

It was then that Ford made his intentions known, as Marsden noted, “We had more drinks, he played more music and then at some point he gave me a look that said, ‘OK, you’ve got to get the f*** out of here.’”

She looked past the numbers

VENICE – SEPTEMBER 1: American actor Harrisson Ford and Calista Flockhart arrive at the Palazzio del cinema at the 59th Venice Film Festival September 1, 2002 in Venice, Italy. Harrison Ford stars in Kathryn Begelow’s film “K-19: The Widowmaker” that will be presented at the festival. The annual Venice Film Festival is one of the oldest and most prestigious cinema events in Europe. The ten day event traditionally sponsors non-Hollywood films and awards the Golden Lion as its top prize. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Not only did Ford’s romantic past not interest Flockhart, but she was totally indifferent about his age. As she once told Hello! Magazine, “It doesn’t faze me. Sometimes I even say, ‘Wow, I keep forgetting that he’s 22 years older than me’. It doesn’t factor into our relationship at all,” she confessed.

“I like the way he looks first thing in the morning. It’s not handsome, it’s more cute. He looks like a little boy,” she added.

Age was also never a factor for Ford. By 2003, he was absolutely head over heels for the actress, telling Hello! Magazine:

I’m in love. Romantic love is one of the most exciting and fulfilling kinds of love and I think there is a potential for it at any stage of your life.

Pointing out that it’s never too late for romance, he added, “I was not surprised that I was able to fall in love, and I wasn’t surprised that I did.”

He became a father to Flockhart’s son

Ford also showed no qualms about becoming a father for the fifth time. In 2001, a year before meeting her future husband, Flockhart had adopted a son. While Ford didn’t expect to become a dad again, he didn’t miss a beat. He happily “inherited” Liam Flockhart because when you love someone, you embrace all aspects of their life.

Speaking with PARADE in 2010, he admitted, “I wasn’t expecting it at all. The unexpected part was certainly true, and the joy part is also true. I think Liam was about 6 or 8 months old when I met him and Calista. We have been together ever since.” 

According to the interviewer, “Ford’s eyes light up when he talks about Liam” and his devotion came through in his answers as well. Fords also added that, because of his age, he’s “much better at [parenting] now.”

“On the weekends, I do whatever Calista and Liam want to do. We’ll take a couple of hours on Sunday morning to go motorcycle riding or go for a hike. I just made a birdhouse with my son.”  

Their relationship keeps getting stronger

Harrison Ford, Calista Flockhart 86th Academy Awards / Oscars Dolby Theater Hollywood, CA March 2, 2014 ©2014 Kurt Krieger

Ford eventually popped the question in February 2009 and the couple said “I do” that June. A decade later and they’re still going strong, enjoying married life and spending plenty of time with their now teenage son. And their bond just keeps getting stronger. 

When Ford was in a near-fatal plane crash in 2015 after a plane he was piloting suffered an engine malfunction, his wife rushed to be by his side.

After the crash, Ford said, “My wife, who is a wonderful lady, understands my passion for aviation, she understands what it means to me and flies with me to this day.”

It’s that understanding and support, paired with Flockhart’s ability to shut out critics and not judge Ford based on his past, that are at the very core of their relationship.

By focusing on their love, rather than outside voices, they were able to put all of their energy into building a strong foundation and nurturing a relationship that has managed to stand the test of time. Their love story is a lesson in never judging a book by its cover and listening to your heart. Aligning our actions with our instincts can strengthen the foundation of the relationships we form in our lives.

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World’s Oldest Couple Reveals the Secrets to Their 80-Year Marriage

By | Food for thought, heartwarming, love stories, marriage, stories

Like many couples, John and Charlotte met through circumstances. They just ended up sitting behind each other in class.

It was in 1934, during zoology class. At the time, John was 21 and Charlotte was 20.

I thought he was just a fine fella, and I didn’t mind his looking over my shoulder

Charlotte Henderson to the Washington Post

It was only a chance meeting at a lecture hall in college, but it had a long-lasting impact. Now at the ages of 105 and 106 years old, they are about to celebrate their 80th wedding anniversary on the December 22 of this year.

Their relationship is a world record

That’s a major testament to their love but it is also a world record. Guinness World Records have recognized John and Charlotte Henderson as the oldest living married couple!

So, what’s their secret?

Well, according to them, it’s waiting until you are sure of your choice, and then sticking to it!

John mentions that it “took [Charlotte] five years to make up her mind” about marriage, even though it was more customary to have shorter engagements at the time.

But this was during the Great Depression, and they took the time to earn some money before they started a home. Charlotte took a teaching job in the Houston area, and John coached football and basketball in Port Arthur, Texas.

A humble ceremony for a long marriage

When they finally got married, the ceremony was tiny. Only two guests were present on Dec. 22, 1939. They spent their honeymoon in San Antonio, and stayed at a hotel that cost $7 a night.

While they have been together for 85 years, they have been married for 80 of those years, which means that they do not hold the record for the longest marriage.

That title, according to Guinness World Records, belongs to Zelmyra and Herbert Fisher, who were tied the knot at the ages of 17 and 19, respectively, and were married for 86 years and 290 days before Herbert’s death in 2011.

The secret behind their longevity

In the time John and Charlotte have been married, they have traveled, and witnessed all sorts of historical and technological developments. But the secret to their longevity is a surprising one.

“It’s living in moderation,” they told The Washington Post. They eat well and don’t drink much. John still exercises at the community gym almost every day. Except for some hearing loss, both are in excellent health.

The Hendersons also never had children. “So, some people have said that’s really why we’ve lived so long!” John joked.

So, after 80 years, do they still argue, or have they figured it all out?

No, they don’t argue, John replied. If you’re looking forward to your relationship being more peaceful in your golden years, they have one more advice: they never argued that much in the first place and have always made a point to settle things before bedtime.

Their advice is timeless

The Hendersons have lived through many a decade, which only strengthens the validity of their advice. However, solving issues as they arise, instead of letting them fester, remains a timeless, tried-and-true approach.

By applying it to our own relationships, we can preserve them better and make for meaningful, long-lasting connections.

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