“Love seems the swiftest but it is the slowest of all growths. No man or woman really knows what perfect love is until they have been married a quarter of a century.” (Mark Twain)
On the way to the event, Donny chatted about a special “20/20″ piece he and his wife, Debbie, had filmed. Its focus was the longevity of their marriage (it aired prior to Valentine’s Day 2012.) He talked about some of the questions they’d been asked, as well as his answers. The comment I remember most was regarding divorce. Donny said something like, “They asked me about divorce and when I told them divorce was not an option, never had been and never would be, they were blown away—absolutely couldn’t believe it!”
Not only talented and a gentleman, but a loving and committed husband and family man, too. No wonder he’s had five decades in the entertainment business and a marriage that has lasted over 34 years. (That, and that he married a wonderful woman and he’s very smart about how he does things. For example, at the autograph signing there was a giant glass bowl of Hershey’s kisses beside him. When I first saw it I thought it was the strangest thing: stacks of photos to autograph (I got that part) and a giant glass bowl of kisses. “Hmmm, interesting” I mused. “Donny must really like chocolate and wanted to make sure he’d have enough in case he gets a craving this afternoon.” (Celebrities can always make their requests, I assumed Donny requested the chocolate to eat.) Until lo and behold, the female fans approached! It was amazing to see women of all ages, breathless, screaming and loving Donny—seeking an autograph, a picture with, or a kiss from Donny. And with every kiss request…Donny grabbed some Hershey’s kisses, put them in their hands with a smile, and obliged! BRILLIANT.)
Yes, there I sat in the limo listening to Donny’s commitment to his marriage and his values regarding marriage, having been divorced myself! Oops.
Some wonder how you achieve that: a marriage that endures. Yes, it does require more than Hershey’s kisses but I love everything about the thought that is behind that effort. And while I’ve been divorced once myself (and although I’m not a fan of divorce, I do believe there are circumstances in which it is the right, even only, choice sometimes) I also appreciate the staying power commitment gives a marriage.
It’s amazing how being committed to your spouse, your marriage, your family and because of your commitment, having a willingness to work together, to resolve issues, to nurture your love and to keep it alive, to put the other person first, to serve one another, to strive to help each other to become better, to forgive, to be united, to support one another, to choose to see the good and stick with the marriage through everything, regardless of anything…really does help you stick with it.
And nothing is more sublime than a great marriage. I believe that. And I’ll see that even more, I believe, in 25 (make that 24!) more years.