Marlo Thomas confesses her love for Phil Donahue on his 87th birthday & shares nostalgic photo

Marlo Thomas and Phil Donahue are the authors of the marital guidebook.

In their book, What Makes a Marriage Last: 40 Celebrated Couples Share with Us the Secrets, the long-married couple divulges intimate secrets about their union.

Marlo makes the most surprising revelation when she says that, despite having been married to Phil for more than 40 years, she never really wanted to get married.

The famous person revealed in the book her previous negative attitude on the institution: “Marriage is like a vacuum cleaner: you stick it to your ear, and it sucks out all your energy and ambition.”

Thomas frequently communicates her feelings, likening marriage to having a prisoner one must placate. That is, up until she met Donahue.

Marlo Thomas and Phil Donahue met after Phil Donahue’s first marriage ended in divorce, and they have since become lifelong friends.

The “Phil Donahue Show,” which was later known simply as “Donahue,” was the vehicle through which Phil Donahue first gained notoriety with the general public. The program ran for 29 years and included audience involvement for the first time. One of the guests on his show, Marlo Thomas, radically changed the path of his life.

The book claims that the two initially met in 1977 in Chicago, where Phil had four children with him. His fifth child, a daughter, lived elsewhere with his ex-wife and her mother.

Marlo and Phil dated for three years before being married in 1980 in front of a small wedding party of 35 guests.

Unsurprisingly, Marlo’s family and friends were taken aback by the actress’s change of heart. A humorous story involving Marlo’s bridal shower, when visitors hung notes from the future bride that exposed her previous views on marriage, is described in the couple’s book.

The novel claims that Marlo’s mother was the most shocked and questioned Donahue throughout the ceremony, “How did you get her to do this?”.

Even total strangers apparently expressed shock at the celebrity social activist’s decision to get married, among other emotions. A customer expressed displeasure to Marlo on the flight the couple took to their honeymoon destination in Greece while Phil was in the bathroom, evidently concerned that she had abandoned her old independent streak.

In the book, Thomas is honest and acknowledges that this exchange did sow a seed of doubt. Had she spent so much of her life opposing marriage, was she now being hypocritical by getting married? Had she let those down who regarded her as the model of independence?

Despite the regular ups and downs they mention in the book when discussing their protracted marriage, Donahue and Thomas are nevertheless able to maintain their marriage. They describe these problems as teaching moments that made their relationship stronger.

Even in their early years of marriage, the couple had to spend time apart while Marlo traveled for her acting career and Phil taped his program in Chicago.

Thomas was able to understand how different people define marriage when his aunt said that the couple’s union was illegitimate because they weren’t fully cohabitating.Despite their separation, Thomas and Donahue were able to keep their marriage together. Importantly, when Marlo got married, she also had kids.

In a 2012 interview with AARP, Thomas reflected on what it was like to help Phil raise his children, stating she went into it knowing that they already had a traditional mother and that would not be her role.

Marlo claims that instead, she began to treat Phil’s kids more like friends in an effort to model her own mother’s parenting style. She continues by saying that she feels more connected to them today than she did at the start of the marriage.

Donahue observes that Thomas did in fact devote as much time as she could to understanding her sons and getting to know them during the conversation.

Phil and Marlo believe that their long-lasting union is a result of their trust in one another as well as her deep bond with his children. Marlo explains, “You build trust when you realize that this person always has your back.”

Despite being married for more than 40 years, they still have more memories to make.

Phil goes on to remark that a marriage must have the support of both parties if it is to last. He is right, and Marlo agrees, adding that she would never want to be anything other than wedded to her lover. She claims that Donohue has assisted her in “every way possible.”

When two people sincerely commit to each other, marriage is a lovely relationship that is made even more beautiful.

These two have a lot to teach us and can inspire us all. We ought to all strive to be in a relationship that is as content as theirs is!

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