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Inside Phil Donahue and Marlo Thomas’ inspiring 40-year love story

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How often have you heard the question “Do you believe in love at first sight”? It’s popped up in romance stories and real conversations for as long as one can remember. But what does the question truly mean?

“Do you believe in love at first sight?” is always asked with a bit of a dilemma in the question. If it’s never happened to you, then surely it’s not real. But people who have gone through it will tell you that’s ridiculous since it clearly happened to them.

The reality seems to lie somewhere in between.Love at first sight happens, just not to everyone – but it happened to Marlo Thomas and Phil Donahue.Actress Marlo Thomas has been married to Phil Donahue since 1980. This year marks their 42nd year of being together.

Their marriage is a thing they are very proud of, and it’s been the subject of some interviews and news stories already. I can hardly blame anyone given how sweet the two are.

The way they met was truly love at first sight. Marlo appeared on the show that Donahue hosted.

It was a promising meeting. On the show, Marlo told Phil to his face that she found him “loving” and “generous” before saying “Whoever is the woman in your life is very lucky”. Those are some pretty bold words to describe someone who’s sitting right next to you.

Of course, she was in love with him. You wouldn’t say that to someone you just want to be friends with.

And those meetings on that show led to the love, and eventually marriage, that the two would share for over 4 decades.

Now they’re sharing everything they’ve learned from those 40+ years of being together.

Ironically, Marlo had never intended on marrying before. I suppose meeting the right person is what changed her lifelong perspective on it.

Though this was no simple husband-meets-wife dynamic. Donahue had 5 children from a previous marriage, 4 of whom he had custody over.

So Thomas would be marrying into a family, sort of. It really could make one nervous to marry someone who already has kids. What if they don’t like you?

One piece of advice that the pair really hammered on was the trust and support of your partner.
It sounds very simple and may even make you go “Well, obviously”, but it’s truly not as simple to do in practice. It takes a lot of heart and effort, but it’s worth it.

“And in a marriage, you gotta know that person has your back. This is the safest place I can be, he is going to be my everything — my cushion of life.” – said Thomas

Marriage is a challenge, and one that you should overcome together. Every married couple talks about it – the sacrifices you have to make and the hard work you have to put in.

The pair wrote all their experiences and advice in their book “What Makes A Marriage Last.” It’s a work they’re very proud of, and you can’t say they aren’t experts on the topic.

Their advice is: be with someone who’ll help you overcome things you can’t by yourself. And be that someone for them too.

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