Tomorrow, February 14, marks the end of National Marriage Week, “an opportunity to focus on building a culture of life and love and fostering an ever-deeper appreciation for the gift of marriage and the blessings of family life. Yesterday, Super Bowl Sunday, was World Marriage Day.

And while I applaud any effort to acclaim marriage, it’s going to take more than just a week of sentimental plaudits to turn the ship around.

The sad truth is contemporary society is not conducive to the success of the God-ordained union of man and woman.

Almost half of all marriages in the United States will end in separation or divorce. That number climbs up to 60% and 70% for second marriages and marriages after the second. Tragically, this gives America the highest divorce rate in the world. Other data reveals that infidelity is disgustingly high.

But even of those who do not divorce, many couples become discontented with their marriages. Some studies say that as many as six out of every ten couples are unhappy.

They have, as Jane Austen said of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet, resigned themselves to living with each other.

All of this is made more tragic by the fact that marriage is meant to be beautiful. “Til death do us part” should be inextricably linked to images of divine commitment and everlasting love.

Instead, these days, our instinctive response is to envision failed expectations, grief, and brokenness.

Why? Because our perception of marriage has been so thoroughly tarnished.

It is more natural to assume that marriage will be a disappointment than a wonderful blessing because that is what our lived experience has taught us.

But it does not have to be this way.

SEE ALSO: How the West Destroyed Marriage part. 1

Instead of letting abysmal numbers and statistics dictate our feelings toward marriage, let us learn from Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher. Rather than take relationship advice from the not to be trusted “experts” on TikTok and YouTube, we should instead heed the words of a couple with years of experience – 86 years and 290 days, to be exact.

Mr. and Mrs. Fisher currently hold the Guinness World record for longest marriage. Their God-blessed union “withstood the Great Depression, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement, and 15 presidential administrations.” When Herbert passed away in 2011, he had spent more than eight decades faithfully, committedly, and lovingly joined together with his sweetheart, Zelmyra.

As one author rightly noted, they left “behind a beautiful legacy of love and commitment.”

Thankfully, before their long, happy marriage ended in death, the couple had the opportunity to share their best advice with the world. Today, in honor of Marriage Week, eschew Reddit’s recommendations and suggestions and instead sit at the feet of two bona fide marriage gurus.


When asked if the idea of a lifelong commitment daunted them, the couple responded:

“With each day that passed, our relationship was more solid and secure. Divorce was NEVER an option, or even a thought.”

They also recommended being best friends before marriage.

“A friend is for life; our marriage has lasted a lifetime.”


After 86 years, one might imagine the Fishers had accrued many regrets. To the contrary: “We wouldn’t change a thing,” they happily confessed. “There’s no secret to our marriage, we just did what was needed for each other and our family.”

SEE ALSO: How the West Destroyed Marriage part. 2


“Respect, support, and communicate with each other. Be faithful, honest, and true. Love each other with ALL of your heart,” is the best piece of advice the couple said they ever received.

Hard Work

Zelmyra said the most important attributes of a good husband are: “A hard worker and a good provider. The 1920s were hard, but Herbert wanted and provided the best for us.”

“I married a good man!” she added.

Growing Together

One questioner noted that the Fishers had wed at a very young age (18 and 16) and asked, “how did you both manage to grow as individuals yet not grow apart as a couple?

Their answer was simple.

“Everyone who plants a seed and harvests the crop celebrates together. We are individuals, but accomplish more together.”


The loving couple proudly claimed that their fondest memory was their legacy of five children, 10 grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild.


“The children are grown, so we talk more now. We can enjoy our time on the porch or our rocking chairs–together.”

SEE ALSO: The Liberty and License of the American Family

Bad Days

When asked what to do at the end of a bad day, the duo said:

“Remember marriage is not a contest, never keep a score. God has put the two of you together on the same team to win.”


Another questioner wondered if fighting was important, to which Herbert and Zelmyra replied:

“Never physically! Agree that it’s okay to disagree, and fight for what really matters. Learn to bend–not break!


“We are both Christians & believe in God. Marriage is a commitment to the Lord. We pray with & for each other every day.”

Considering their track record, we would be foolish not to give ear to the Fishers’ wise counsel. Indeed, as they believed, marriage is a commitment to the Lord. God is, in fact, marriage’s Author. If we keep that truth in mind and faithfully dedicate ourselves not only to our lovers but to Love Himself, society would be incalculably better off. 

As Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher discovered, marriage does not have to be a chore or source of grief. With a little hard work and faith, it can be one of life’s greatest blessings and joys.

And that – no matter how exhaustively our modern world has stained it – is something worth celebrating.

Jakob Fay is a staff writer for the Convention of States Project, a project of Citizens for Self-Governance.

About The Author