Marlo Thomas and Phil Donahue are the authors of the marital guidebook.
In their book, What Makes a Marriage Last: 40 Famous Couples Share with Us the Secrets, the long-married couple divulges intimate secrets about their union.
Marlo makes the most surprising revelation when she says that, despite having been married to Phil for more than 40 years, she never really wanted to get married.
Marlo Thomas and Phil Donahue wrote the book on marriage.
The couple, who have been married for quite some time, opens up about the ups and downs of their relationship in the book What Makes a Marriage Las: 40 Famous Couples Share with Us the Secrets.
Marlo’s revelation that she never wanted to be married as a kid is the most intriguing since it explains why she has stayed with Phil for so long.
The book claims that the first time they met was in Chicago in 1977, and that Phil brought along his four kids. His ex-wife and her mother were taking care of his daughter, his fifth child.
After dating for three years, Marlo and Phil finally tied the knot in 1980 in front of a modest 35-person guest list.
It’s no surprise that Marlo’s loved ones were taken aback by the actress’s about-face. A humorous anecdote from Marlo’s bridal shower is recounted in the couple’s book. At the shower, visitors hanged statements from the bride-to-be that exposed her previous views on marriage.
Throughout the narrative, Marlo’s mother is shown asking Donahue, “How did you get her to do this?” She is even more startled than the guests.
It has been claimed that strangers, among other reactions, have voiced amazement at the celebrity social activist’s decision to settle down. While Phil was in the lavatory, a passenger on the flight to Greece for their honeymoon voiced displeasure to Marlo about how she had given up her prior independence.
Thomas openly acknowledges in the book that this conversation planted the seed of doubt in his mind. Is it hypocritical of her to get married after spending so much of her life against it? Had she let down the people who held her up as the model of self-sufficiency?
Although they’ve had the usual ups and downs over their long marriage, Donahue and Thomas have managed to make it work. They look back on those times as bonding events that taught them valuable lessons.
Since Phil taped his program in Chicago and Marlo pursued her own acting career, the couple often spent time apart even in the early stages of their marriage.
Thomas had a better understanding of the varying definitions of marriage when his aunt commented that the couple’s union was unlawful because they weren’t fully cohabitating. Thomas and Donahue’s marriage survived the distance between them. When Marlo married, she received something even more valuable: children.
Thomas reflected on her experience of helping Phil raise his children in a 2012 interview with AARP, adding that she did it with the understanding that she was not there to replace their biological mother.
Marlo instead claims that she began treating Phil’s children more like friends after observing her own mother do the same. She continues by saying she loves them more today than she did at the beginning of their marriage.
Thomas, as Donahue points out, did invest as much time as she could have in the conversation into getting to know his sons and figuring out what they were like as characters in the novel.
Marlo’s close bond with Phil’s children and their mutual trust in one another are credited as contributing factors to the longevity of the couple’s marriage. Trust is developed when one realizes that the other has one’s back, as explained by Marlo.
Even after more than 40 years of marriage, they still have more stories to tell each other.
Phil elaborates by noting that if a couple wants their marriage to last, that’s all that matters. Marlo concurs, adding that she has no interest in any other status other being married to her lover. Donahue has benefited her “in every manner possible,” as she puts it.
When two people truly commit to one another in marriage, the resulting bond is even more lovely.
Everyone can take a cue and find motivation from this dynamic combination. Every couple should strive for a partnership as satisfying as theirs.