Happy 75th anniversary Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter – you did it!
Whether you’re talking about living or loving, 75 years is a long time by any measure. July marks the longest marriage in U.S. presidential history—our 39th president and his wife, our beloved Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, have reached that amazing milestone.
No matter what kind of president you think Mr. Carter was, there’s no argument about what kind of humanitarian and statesman he is, always with Miss Rosalynn by his side. They are beacons of light and hope with their Habitat for Humanity work and more importantly, their adoration for each other.
Legend has it that he knew from the beginning that she was the one. She called him the “most handsome young man,” she had ever seen; thus, their fates were sealed. With all the sad and horrible news coming from around the world, I think it’s important that we stop, recognize this incredible feat, and thank God for them and their commitment.
Every year can’t have been fun and games especially with so many of them spent in politics and the glaring view of the public. Even with children and multiple generations now, they’re still standing strong into their ninth decade.
I’ve only known two other couples who’ve reached this milestone though a few others have gotten close. With divorce being so prevalent, it’s easy to see why this is such a big deal.
As far as I can remember, there were no scandals, extramarital affairs, or inappropriate behavior from the Carters. In 2021, with a 24-hour news cycle, and more couples choosing to live together without the legalities, this is worthy of note.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, “figures show that fewer than 6 percent of marriages endure 50 years, and no statistics exist for marriages that make it to 75, because the incidence is so rare.” Basic incompatibility, infidelity, and money issues top the list of reasons couples get divorced, and in that order, according to the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts. President Carter emphasized that finding the right person is what makes the difference.
Many couples grappling with infidelity never find their way back to wholeness and too much debt, differing financial goals and habits, and uneven money management can doom even the best of intentions.
During the creation of our book on marriage, I Do…Everyday, Words of Wisdom for Newlyweds and Not So Newlyweds, Roger and I loved working together and learning about each other. Though we had been married more than half my life, writing, collaborating, and compromising brought us closer.
Our “honey-do” lists offered an opportunity to “fix” whatever needed fixing so I’ve included some of our favorites:
- Write down five things you love about your spouse, and leave the note in a prominent place tonight;
- Understand, celebrate, and appreciate all you’ve overcome and become;
- Discuss where your important papers are kept—vehicle titles, deeds, insurance policies, wills, etc.;
- Record your conversations with your spouse today. Listen for tone, volume, and intent, and see whether in your efforts to be “honest,” you could be more helpful by including kindness;
- Listen without interrupting;
- Make a sacred time daily for devotion and prayer; and
- Talk with and to each other about your health concerns and develop new habits to improve your health.
My last words of wisdom: Live today to its fullest whether you’re married, single, never married, widowed, divorced, or somewhere in between. Love yourself first and best and the rest will be easy. Happy anniversary and blessings to the Carters.
Looking for inspiration, empowerment, uplift, straight talk, an encouraging word to brighten your day? You’ve arrived! Meet Dr. Cynthia Ann Bond Hopson, best-selling author, educator, inspirational speaker, sistergirl–she’s all that and more. All the way from Stanton, TN (you can’t get there from here) to 50 states, six continents and everything in between, she’s wise, witty and altogether wonderful. She enthusiastically invites you to slow down, sit a spell, and share a giggle or two.