Marlo Thomas confesses her love for Phil Donahue on his 87th birthday & shares nostalgic photo

Phil Donahue and Marlo Thomas, a couple married for over 40 years, have shared their insights on marriage in their book, “What Makes a Marriage Last: 40 Celebrated Couples Share with Us the Secrets.” Marlo, who initially had reservations about marriage, candidly expressed her previous skepticism about the institution, likening it to a vacuum cleaner that sucks out energy and ambition.

Wikipedia Commons / Alan Light

However, Marlo’s perspective on marriage changed when she met Phil Donahue. The couple first crossed paths in 1977 in Chicago, and they dated for three years before tying the knot in an intimate 35-person ceremony in 1980. This decision surprised many of Marlo’s friends and family, who were aware of her previous aversion to marriage.

The book recounts a humorous anecdote about Marlo’s bridal shower, where quotes from her expressing her earlier views on marriage were displayed. Even strangers, such as a fellow passenger on their honeymoon flight to Greece, expressed surprise and disappointment over her decision to marry, considering her previous independent stance.

Marlo candidly reflects on whether she was being hypocritical by getting married after criticizing marriage for so long and whether she was letting down fans who saw her as a symbol of independence.

Despite the initial doubts and surprises, Phil Donahue and Marlo Thomas have made their marriage work. They acknowledge the ups and downs they’ve experienced, viewing these challenges as learning experiences that have strengthened their bond. Their early years of marriage involved periods of physical separation due to Phil’s show in Chicago and Marlo’s acting career.

Marlo took on the role of a friend rather than a traditional mother figure to Phil’s children from his previous marriage. She built strong relationships with them over time, mirroring her own mother’s parenting style. The book emphasizes that Marlo made an effort to understand and connect with Phil’s sons.

One key element in their enduring marriage is trust. Marlo emphasizes the importance of knowing that her partner always has her back. Both Phil and Marlo believe that a lasting marriage requires the desire for it to endure, and they express their unwavering commitment to each other.

Their story serves as an inspiration and a testament to the beauty of a strong and enduring marriage, demonstrating that with trust, commitment, and a willingness to grow together, a lasting partnership is possible.

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