Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher have been married for 86 years, and are the world’s longest-married living couple. Now, they’re sharing the secrets of their success on Twitter for Valentine’s Day.
If you and your partner have been together for a while, you may be concerned about how to keep that spark of romance alive. And while there’s no shortage of books, magazines, and TV shows claiming to have the answers, espousing everything from tango classes to regular therapy sessions, we’d prefer to take our relationship advice from people who know what they’re talking about.
Like Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher. These lovebirds from North Carolina got married in 1924, back when a dozen eggs cost a quarter and Calvin Coolidge was president. In 2008, they received a Guinness Record for being the world’s longest-married living couple. Today, they’re still going strong, even at the ripe old ages of 104 (Herbert) and 102 (Zelmyra).
Zelmyra still remembers what Herbert was like when she first married him. “He was not mean; he was not a fighter,” she told the New Bern Sun Journal. “He was quiet and kind. He was not much to look at but he was sweet.”
The Fishers, who are African-American, were poor when they got married, but they worked hard to create a good life for their family, despite the difficulties caused by segregation and racial discrimination. They had five children, and raised enough money to put them all through college. At last count, they have ten grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
Though they’ve spent many decades together, the pair take care to give each other space: they attend separate churches, and Zelmyra is always happy to turn over the TV to Herbert when the baseball comes on. They claim to never fight.
If you want to know their secret, you’re in luck: in honor of Valentine’s Day, the Fishers are planning to answer 14 relationship questions, via Twitter. Have something to ask them? Just tweet in your question to @longestmarried by February 13th, and you might be selected. We’re sure they’ll have better advice for you than Dr. Phil.
“Love at first sight is easy to understand; it’s when two people have been looking at each other for a lifetime that it becomes a miracle.”
– Amy Bloom