close up of holding hands
Chantel Brink
Chantel Brink
March 31, 2024 ·  5 min read

Their Marriage Broke A World-Record, But Their Secret Is Simple

Imagine enduring the trials of the Great Depression, World War II, and the Civil Rights Movement, only to witness the historic moment of the first African-American president of the USA, President Obama, sending you a signed commendation in 2010! This marriage saw it all.

Meet the extraordinary couple, Zelmyra and Herbert Fisher, who etched their names into the annals of history by shattering The Guinness World Record for the longest-lasting marriage. Their union began on May 13, 1924, and by 2008, they had achieved the remarkable milestone of 84 years of marital bliss.

In an era where many marriages seem fragile and short-lived, with a staggering 41 percent of first marriages ending in divorce, 60 percent for second marriages, and 73 percent for third marriages, the Fishers’ enduring love story appears almost miraculous. What was their secret, you may wonder?

The answer lies in their resilience through life’s trials and their ability to navigate marital crises. During an interview, this enduring couple graciously shared their wisdom on what it takes to make a marriage last, even until “death did them part.”

Zelmyra and Herbert Fisher had a marriage of 84 years
Image Credit: Straight From The A

Let’s explore what makes a marriage last

What led you to believe that you could spend your entire life together? Were there any fears or doubts?

With each day that passed, our relationship was more solid and secure. Divorce was NEVER EVER an option or even a thought.

How did you recognize that your spouse was the one for you?

We grew up together and were best friends before we got married. A friend is for life, but our marriage lasted a lifetime.

Is there anything you would do differently after more than 80 years of marriage?

We wouldn’t change a single thing. There’s no secret to our marriage, we just did what was needed for each other and our family. (I guess there lies the secret…)

What advice do you have for someone who’s holding onto hope that Mr. Right is out there for them?

Zelmyra: Mine was just around the corner! He is never too far away, so keep the faith – when you meet him, you’ll know for sure.

What’s the best piece of marriage advice you’ve ever received?

Respect, support, and communicate with each other. Be faithful, honest, and true. Love each other with ALL of your heart.

Read: Widower Takes Photo of Late Wife to The Beach Every Day ‘As A Symbol of a Love That Does Not End’

What are the most important qualities of a good spouse?

Zelmyra: A hard worker and a good provider. The 1920s were hard, but Herbert wanted and provided the best for us. I married a good man!

Zelmyra and Herbert Fisher had a marriage of 84 years
Image Credit: Straight From The A

What’s your most cherished Valentine’s Day memory?

Zelmyra: I cook dinner every day. Herbert left work early and 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 and [that] she could relax. The look on her face and clean plate made my day! (This just made my day!)

You married at a young age – how did you both grow as individuals without growing apart as a couple?

Everyone who plants a seed and harvests the crop celebrates together. We are individuals, but accomplish more together.

What’s your fondest memory from your 85-year marriage?

Our legacy: 5 children, 10 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great-grandchild.

Does communication become easier with time? How do you maintain your patience?

The children are grown, so we talk more now. We can enjoy our time on the porch or our rocking chairs – together.

How did you cope during long periods of physical separation?

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.

When you’ve had a challenging day in your relationship, what’s the most important thing to remind yourself of?

Remember marriage is not a contest, never keep a score. God has put the two of you together on the same team to win.

Read: An 80-year-old man insists every morning on bringing his wife breakfast in the nursing home. When asked “Why is his wife in a retirement home?” He replied

In marriage, is it important to have disagreements?

Never physically! Understand that it’s okay to have differing opinions and to stand up for what truly matters. Learn to bend, not break!

What’s the one thing you both share that transcends everything else?

We are both devout Christians and have unwavering faith in God. Marriage, to us, is a commitment to the Lord. We pray together and for each other every day. Even after 87 years, our love remained as strong as the day we were married.

Zelmyra and Herbert Fisher had a marriage of 84 years
Image Credit: Straight From The A

Zelmyra and Herbert’s enduring marriage is truly inspirational, and we are fortunate to glean wisdom from their experience. Even after 87 years together, it was evident that their love remained as vibrant as the day they first said: “I do.

In 2011, Herbert passed away at the remarkable age of 105, and a few years later, in 2013, Zelmyra joined him at the age of 105. At the time of Herbert’s passing, the couple had celebrated an awe-inspiring 87 years of marriage. Their enduring commitment to one another serves as a testament that lifelong devotion is indeed possible, though not without its challenges. Their love story continues to inspire us all.

But how did they break a world record?

According to HandWiki, Herbert Fisher, Sr. and Zelmyra (née George) Fisher hold the current Guinness World Record for the longest marriage, recognized in 2008. While theirs isn’t the longest in history, it is the longest ever officiated. The longest-ever recorded marriage lasted 90 years and 291 days and was achieved by Karam Chand and Kartari Chand, ending on 30 September 2016.

This Charlotte couple was close behind

Keep Reading: Couple who celebrated 79 years of marriage and just turned 100 – ‘We’ve never had a quarrel’


  1. Their Marriage Broke A World-Record, But Their Secret Is Simple. Everyone Needs To Know This.” Daily Positive Info
  2. The Secret to Lasting Love According to World’s Longest Married Couple.” My Modern Met. Jenny Zhang. July 8, 2014
  3. Social:List of long marriages.” Hand Wiki