“Lasting Love”: Marlo Thomas and Phil Donahue’s Journey to 40 Years of Marriage

The Marital Manual was actually written by Marlo Thomas and Phil Donahue.

This married couple of many years share their personal experiences in their book called “What Makes a Marriage Last: 40 Celebrated Couples Share with Us the Secrets.” In the book, Marlo reveals that she wasn’t very interested in getting married when she was younger. She even had a negative view of marriage, comparing it to a vacuum cleaner that sucks away your energy and ambition.

She used to think being married was like being a prisoner. However, all of this changed when she met Phil Donahue. Phil Donahue became famous for his TV show “The Phil Donahue Show,” which later became just “Donahue.” Marlo Thomas was a guest on his show, and that meeting changed both of their lives.

According to their book, they first met in Chicago in 1977, and Phil had four children with him. His fifth child lived with his ex-wife and her mother. They dated for three years before getting married in 1980 in a small ceremony with 35 guests.

Marlo’s change of heart surprised her friends and family. There’s a funny story in the book about her bridal shower where guests hung up comments she had made in the past about not wanting to get married.

Marlo’s mom was very surprised and asked Phil, “How did you get her to do this?” Even strangers on their honeymoon flight expressed their surprise and disappointment that Marlo was giving up her independence by getting married. This made Marlo question her decision.

Despite the challenges they faced in their marriage, including spending time apart due to work, they made it work. They saw these challenges as opportunities to learn and grow together.

Marlo gained children when she married Phil, and she didn’t try to replace their biological mother. She treated the kids more like friends and feels closer to them now than when she first married Phil.

They believe their long-lasting marriage is built on trust and faith in each other. They think a successful marriage requires both partners to be committed to it.

In their opinion, marriage is a beautiful union that becomes even more beautiful when both people are genuinely dedicated to it. They hope others can learn from their experiences and have a fulfilling relationship like theirs.

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