• Bride and groom signing marriage register on wedding day

Secrets of the world’s longest married couples

After a failed relationship, it’s easy to become jaded about dating and wary of getting your heart broken once again.

But long-term love is more than achievable, even in today’s cynical world. Prepare to melt at this honest and frank relationship advice from some of the world’s longest married couples. All together now….awwwwwww!

Okie & Esther Towers

Now 94 and 90 respectively, this Alabama couple have been married for an astonishing 72 years. “If you want to stay married a long time, always have the last word,” advises Okie, before promptly adding that those last words should always be “Yes, dear”. Luckily, Esther has a sense of humour, and maintains that good old-fashioned love is the real reason for their continued relationship. “You couldn't stand it without being any love. We still are in love,” she said (to which Okie replied “Yes, dear!”)

The pair grew up in the same neighbourhood and Esther caught Okie’s eye with her strawberry blonde hair that “glistened in the sun”. “I just showed up at the door one day with a ring and stuck it on her finger, and she assumed I was wanting to get married, which I was,” he said. Challenges came when Okie went into the military and Esther was left at home to raise their children alone. “It wasn't easy. I figured if I could make that work, I could make anything work,” she said.

Zelmyra and Herbert Fisher

Married for 87 years until their deaths at the age of 105 in 2013 and 2011 respectively, this remarkable couple had plenty to say about love and commitment, even taking part in a Twitter Q&A about their relationship! Here is some of their most revealing reflections on their extraordinary marriage:

“We grew up together and were best friends before we married. A friend is for life; our marriage has lasted a lifetime.”

“Remember marriage is not a contest, never keep a score. Agree that it's okay to disagree, and fight for what really matters. Learn to bend - not break!”

“Respect, support, and communicate with each other. Be faithful, honest, and true. Love each other with ALL of your heart.”

“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.”

“My Mr Right was just around the corner! He is never too far away, so keep the faith - when you meet him, you’ll know.”

John & Ann Betar

As one of America’s longest married couples, John and Ann, admitted - on the occasion of their 81st wedding anniversary - that Ann was actually destined to marry another man: Her father had arranged an engagement with an older boy next door. But John - who lived across the street - had been secretly giving Ann lifts to school, and as the unwanted wedding loomed, they decided to elope, driving full-pelt to New York City, leaving a trail of destruction behind them!

Fourteen grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren later, they say their marathon relationship isn’t down to a “lovely-dovey thing” but is all about communication and compromise. “You learn to accept one another's ways of life, agreements, disagreements,” said Ann. John claims that in a lifetime together, there’s only one thing they continue to argue about - who’s doing the cooking! Ann had other ideas however, and promptly responded: “That’s what he thinks!”

Image: picjumbo.com

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Author: Rebecca

Rebecca lives in London with her husband, daughter and dachshund. She hopes her dating blogs for Flame Introductions will inspire you to seek out the best London and UK locations for brilliant dates, and discover some tips along the way to help you find your perfect partner.