"Just as adorable as our first date and always a reason to celebrate!" she wrote.
Marlo Thomas never wanted to marry but that all changed when she laid her eyes on single dad Phil Donahue on his talk show. Now the couple has been together for over 40 years! As Donahue turned 87 on December 22, his loving wife shared a sweet tribute with two photos of the couple to celebrate his big day. The first showed the couple when they were younger and starting to date and the second was taken more recently as they held champagne glasses. "Today is Phil's 87th birthday! Happy day my sweetheart! Just as adorable as our first date and always a reason to celebrate! I love you, Margaretta," the 85-year-old captioned the pictures.
The That Girl actress was already in her late 30s when she met the single father. While she was not looking for a spouse fate had other plans when the pair crossed paths. In 1977, Donahue invited Thomas as a guest on his talk show The Phil Donahue Show. They later described the meeting as "love at first sight." They got married in 1980 and Thomas became stepmother to Donhue's five children from his previous relationship. The two ended up being happily married together for over four decades. So what was the secret?
According to AARP the Magazine, they came out with a book including tips from couples like Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick, Chip and Joanna Gaines, and Viola Davis and Julius Tennon. “We started to wonder if there really is a secret sauce to a successful marriage. And that’s when we decided to break an ironclad rule of our marriage – for the first time, ever – and decided to work on a project together." “As different as these couples’ stories are, they share a common plotline: that of two people joining hands and stepping up to the most challenging, invigorating, inspiring, infuriating, thrilling, terrifying, delightful, and heavenly job on earth — making a marriage last,” Thomas and Donahue added.
In a video promoting the issue on AARP’s YouTube channel, Thomas said that over time you learn "that everything is not that big a deal, and this isn’t going to break us up no matter what, so you get used to saying, Ok, let’s just talk it out." “The secret of good communication? Screaming helps,” joked Donahue. “At least then you know if whether the person you’re screaming at is listening. Then go in the other room and count to ten.” And one of the most important ingredients to a fulfilling marriage? Donahue shared, “A little humor certainly in a marriage goes a long way.”