Longest Married Couple


If you and your partner have been together for a while, you may be concerned about how to keep that spark of romance alive. And while there’s no shortage of books, magazines, and TV shows claiming to have the answers, espousing everything from tango classes to regular therapy sessions, we’d prefer to take our relationship advice from people who know what they’re talking about.

Like Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher. These lovebirds from North Carolina got married in 1924, back when a dozen eggs cost a quarter and Calvin Coolidge was president. In 2008, they received a Guinness Record for being the world’s longest-married living couple. Today, they’re still going strong, even at the ripe old ages of 104 (Herbert) and 102 (Zelmyra).

Zelmyra still remembers what Herbert was like when she first married him. “He was not mean; he was not a fighter,” she told the New Bern Sun Journal. “He was quiet and kind. He was not much to look at but he was sweet.”


 The Fishers, who are African-American, were poor when they got married, but they worked hard to create a good life for their family, despite the difficulties caused by segregation and racial discrimination. They had five children, and raised enough money to put them all through college. At last count, they have ten grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Though they’ve spent many decades together, the pair take care to give each other space: they attend separate churches, and Zelmyra is always happy to turn over the TV to Herbert when the baseball comes on. They claim to never fight. 


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Meet Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher of North Carolina. They have been married 85 years (86 in May) and hold the Guinness World Record for the longest marriage of a living couple and get this…. Zelmyra is 101 years old and Herbert is 104.



The happily married couple answered some relationship questions. Check out their take on finding love, getting through hard times and more.

1. What made you realize that you could spend the rest of your lives together? Were you scared at all?
H & Z: With each day that passed, our relationship was more solid and secure.  Divorce was NEVER an option – or even a thought.

2. How did you know your spouse was the right one for you?
We grew up together & were best friends before we married. A friend is for life – our marriage has lasted a lifetime

3. Is there anything you would do differently after more than 80 years of marriage?
We wouldn’t change a thing. There’s no secret to our marriage, we just did what was needed for each other & our family.

4. What is your advice to someone who is trying to keep the faith that Mr. Right is really out there?
Zelmyra: Mine was just around the corner! He is never too far away, so keep the faith – when you meet him, you’ll know.

5. What was the best piece of marriage advice you ever received?
Respect, support & communicate with each other.  Be faithful, honest & true.  Love each other with ALL of your heart

6. What are the most important attributes of a good spouse?
Zelmyra: A hard worker & good provider. The 1920s were hard, but Herbert wanted & provided the best for us.I married a good man!

7. What is your best Valentine’s Day memory?
Zelmyra: I cook dinner EVERY day.Herbert left work early & surprised me – he cooked dinner for me! He is a VERY good cook!

Herbert: I said that I was going to cook dinner for her & she could relax – the look on her face & clean plate made my day!

8. You got married very young – how did u both manage to grow as individuals yet not grow apart as a couple?
“Everyone who plants a seed & harvests the crop celebrates together” We are individuals, but accomplish more together.

9. What is your fondest memory of your 85-year marriage?
Our legacy: 5 children, 10 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great grandchild.

10. Does communicating get easier with time? How do you keep your patience?
The children are grown, so we talk more now. We can enjoy our time on the porch or our rocking chairs – together.

11. How did you cope when you had to be physically separated for long periods of time?
Herbert: We were apart for 2 months when Z was hospitalized with our 5th child. It was the most difficult time of my life. Zelmyra’s mother helped me with the house and the other children, otherwise I would have lost my mind.

12. At the end of bad relationship day, what is the most important thing to remind yourselves?
Remember marriage is not a contest – never keep a score. God has put the two of you together on the same team to win

13. Is fighting important?
NEVER physically! Agree that it’s okay to disagree, & fight for what really matters. Learn to bend – not break!

14. What’s the one thing you have in common that transcends everything else?
We are both Christians & believe in God.  Marriage is a commitment to the Lord.  We pray with & for each other every day.

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