Harlem couples, do you need a renaissance in your relationship? Meet Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher of North Carolina. They have been married 85 years (86 in May 2011) and hold the Guinness World Record for the longest marriage of a living couple and get this… Zelmyra is 101 years old and Herbert is 104. They have 5 children, 10 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great grandchild.
The happily married couple teamed up with Twitter to answer some relationship questions – their take on finding love, getting through hard times and more.
What made you realize that you could spend the rest of your lives together? Were you scared at all?
H & Z: With each day that passed, our relationship was more solid and secure. Divorce was never an option – or even a thought.
How did you know your spouse was the right one for you?
H & Z: We grew up together and were best friends before we married. A friend is for life – our marriage has lasted a lifetime.
Is there anything you would do differently after more than 80 years of marriage?
H & Z: We wouldn’t change a thing. There’s no secret to our marriage, we just did what was needed for each other and our family.
What is your advice to someone who is trying to keep the faith that Mr. Right is really out there?
Zelmyra: Mine was just around the corner! He is never too far away, so keep the faith – when you meet him, you’ll know.
What was the best piece of marriage advice you ever received?
H & Z: Respect, support and communicate with each other. Be faithful, honest and true. Love each other with all of your heart.
What are the most important attributes of a good spouse?
Zelmyra: A hard worker and good provider. The 1920s were hard, but Herbert wanted and provided the best for us. I married a good man!
What is your fondest memory of your 85-year marriage?
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 she could relax – the look on her face and clean plate made my day!
You got married very young – how did you both manage to grow as individuals yet not grow apart as a couple?
H & Z: “Everyone who plants a seed and harvests the crop celebrates together.” We are individuals, but accomplish more together.
Does communicating get easier with time? How do you keep your patience?
H & Z: The children are grown, so we talk more now. We can enjoy our time on the porch or our rocking chairs – together.
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.
At the end of bad relationship day, what is the most important thing to remind yourselves?
H & Z: Remember marriage is not a contest – never keep a score. God has put the two of you together on the same team to win.
Is fighting important?
H & Z: NEVER physically! Agree that it’s okay to disagree, and fight for what really matters. Learn to bend – not break!
What’s the one thing you have in common that transcends everything else?
H & Z: We are both Christians and believe in God. Marriage is a commitment to the Lord. We pray with and for each other every day.
They also closed out the Q&A with one last message: We wish we could answer more questions! Thanks for your support and interest in our story – we are overwhelmed. … God bless you all, Herbert and Zelmyra.