Let’s put the theory aside for a minute. When it comes to having a successful, long-lasting relationship, what has actually worked for couples whose relationships have stood the test of time? In order to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary, Marlo Thomas and Phil Donahue interviewed 40 famous couples in successful relationships, to discover the actual rubber-meets-the-road strategies that they use to navigate life’s challenges. The result - their bestselling book What Makes a Marriage Last -  has such a diverse amount of wisdom in its pages that you’re sure to find something new to add to your relationship skillset. Plus you’ll get a sneak peek behind the scenes into the intimate lives of some of America’s most beloved couples.

Click here to receive the Marlo Thomas and Phil Donahue transcript!

As always, I’m looking forward to your thoughts on this episode and what revelations and questions it creates for you. Please join us in the Relationship Alive Community on Facebook to chat about it!


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Neil Sattin: Hello, and welcome to another episode of Relationship Alive, this is your host, Neil Sattin. What makes a marriage last? We can talk about the research, but in the end, it's where the rubber meets the road that matters most. For today's show, we have a special episode with some very special guests. They recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary by talking to 40 famous couples who all have long-standing marriages. So that we not only get a glimpse into the private lives of well-known people, which is interesting in and of itself, but we also get a sense of the special sauce that has helped them, each of them, stay together and connected over many, many years. There's also a moment in this interview that was perhaps, one of my most challenging as a host, when I asked the tough question that I was afraid might have actually taken my guest down for the count. Fortunately, as you'll hear, he's okay and his wife stepped in with a masterful answer to an important question.

Neil Sattin: Their names are Marlo Thomas and Phil Donahue, and as I mentioned, they have now been married for more than 40 years. Marlo Thomas is an award-winning actress, best-selling author and activist, who has won four Emmys, a Golden Globe, a Grammy and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, among other awards. She's also the Outreach Director for Saint Jude's Children's Research Hospital. Phil Donahue is a writer, producer and journalist whose daytime talk show, The Donahue Show, was honored with 20 Emmy awards. He's also been inducted into the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame and is a recipient of a George Foster Peabody Award. Together, they are the authors of the best-selling book, What Makes a Marriage Last, where as I mentioned, they have interviewed 40 celebrated couples about their relationships and the specific things that help them stay connected through the good times and the challenging times.

Neil Sattin: It's a series of fascinating interviews with people like President Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, LL Cool J and Simone Smith, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Elton John and David Furnish, Michael J. Fox and Tracy Pollan, Sting and Trudie Styler, Deepak and Rita Chopra, Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner. I'm not going to list them all here, but just know that each interview offers some interesting insights that just might help you take your relationship-ing skills to the next level.

Interested in reading the transcript for the rest of this episode with Marlo Thomas and Phil Donahue? 

Click here to receive the Marlo Thomas and Phil Donahue transcript!