Someone once said, ‘we were born’ to love. And although that 50%-of-marriages-end-in-divorce statistic gets frequently thrown around, there are relationships out there that give us hope and reason to believe that we were indeed meant to share life with someone special. Gala and Mahmoud Daftary, and Michael and Gloria Hubner are two of those relationships, each couple being married for over 40 years. In a short conversation with these two pairs, their adoration and mutual respect for each other comes across immediately, as does a sense of a life filled with big and small beautiful moments.
As part of our celebration of long lasting love, we asked these two duos what’s made their marriages last as long as they have. (If you’d like to say I love you longer this Valentine’s Day, consider getting your special someone three months of flowers.)
We’ve Grown Up Together
“We don’t analyze everything or criticize everything,” says Gala who met Mahmoud when he asked her for a lighter in a club in Madrid. Neither was actually interested in the other, but the lighter sparked a long enough conversation for them to get to know each other. They’d eventually get married and raise two kids together.
“[Over the years] we just kind of accept each other and how we are, and luckily for us we’ve kind of grown up together in the same way,” she adds. “And he agrees with me a lot!”
We Remember to be Good to Each Other
Gloria Hubner met Michael in 1969 through a friend’s brother. “It was a very strong ‘like at first site’ that never got out of my head,” she recounts. “And I was always thinking about him long after I met him.” One of the things she attributes the longevity of her marriage to is being considerate to each other. “We have remembered to be good to each other, to think of each other… to consider each other before ourselves.”
Letting Life Happen
Interestingly enough, both couples independently honed in on one thing in particular when discussing their relationships and it was the fact that they both let life happen.
“We were busy,” Gala shares. “We had children within the first year; we were setting up a practice; we were moving… all we had time to do was to support each other and just keep chugging along in the marriage. We didn’t think about it a lot…” Referring to their marriage nowadays, Mahmoud shares “We kind of go day by day.” He adds, “we don’t think about it too much… Haven’t done anything different from day one until now.”
Similarly, the work that goes into building a life and a family fueled the Hubner’s excitement. Michael explains: “the first five years gave us the chance to have the building blocks of our marriage in place, but what really changed the ingredients was [having] our first child and our second child on the way. So building a family in the midst of careers and in the midst of all the excitement of what our marriage could be and our dreams being fulfilled. It just made us want to keep going.”