I was filled with both sadness and happiness while listening to the story of Geoffrey Holder and Carmen de Lavallade with Elizabeth Blair on NPR this week and hearing about their 59 years of love, partnership and marriage. You might remember him from the Roger Moore, James Bond days playing the villain in “Live and Let Die” or 80’s 7UP commercials and she has been a dancer for most of her life, dancing with Alvin Ailey, the Metropolitan Opera and on Broadway.
Mr. Holder passed away earlier this month on October 5th. He was 84 years old. Ms. de Lavallade spoke to Ms. Blair about going on with the show, she has a one-woman event at the Kennedy Center called “As I Remember It” where she is dancing and reminiscing about her life and a little bit about her life with her love. I was really touched by this quote from the story;
“De Lavallade says she wasn’t counting the years they were married, but she’s pretty clear on why they stayed together for so long.”
“He allowed me to be myself,” she says. “He was my champion, he was my biggest fan, and I was the same way with him.“
The story had me reflecting, as I approach my 25th wedding anniversary early next month, on what has kept me and my husband together and what I love about my him in no particular order;
- He always let’s me win – just kidding – we know when to compromise
- We never go to bed angry
- He tells me I’m pretty, even when I am feeling anything but pretty
- I cook the food and he cleans the kitchen or vis-a-versa (I usually cook) – we share the responsibilities around the house
- We enjoy a lot of the same things – travel, food, reading, etc
- But we don’t enjoy all the same things – and that’s ok – having our own interests keeps it interesting
- I can talk him into things he thinks he won’t like – and then he does like them – our sweet puppies are top of that list – 3 years to talk him into one, now he can hardly stand to be away from them
- We allow for each others bad habits – his for leather jackets(sorry to my vegan readers) and mine for bed linens – we both have enough for two lifetimes.
- I know he has my back and I know I have his back
- We make each other laugh
- He drives and I navigate – it works – we get where we need to be in our car and usually in our life.
- We love each other no matter what!
Have you been married or with your significant other for a long time – what are your secrets to marriage longevity?