The Carters celebrate 75 years of marriage

The Carters celebrate 75 years of marriage

Needing a date one night while home from the US Naval Academy, Jimmy Carter’s sister paired him with a family friend who already had a crush on him, and would become his future wife.

Nearly eight decades later, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter are soon to be celebrating their 75th wedding anniversary in the same tiny town where they were born, grew up, and met on that first outing.

Over the years, the pair have travelled the world as naval officer and military spouse, American president and first lady, and more recently as human rights and public health ambassadors.

“It’s a full partnership,” the former president told the Associated Press during a joint interview ahead of their anniversary.

The couple are the longest-married presidential couple in American history.

Carter, now 96, is also the longest-lived of the country’s 45 presidents.

Despite the countless decisions he has made as head of state, commander in chief, or executive officer of a nuclear submarine in the early years of the Cold War, Carter has often said the most important decision he ever made was falling for Eleanor Rosalynn Smith in 1945, then marrying her the next summer.

“My biggest secret is to marry the right person if you want to have a long-lasting marriage,” Carter said.

The couple offered a few other tips for a long-lasting marriage.

“Every day there needs to be reconciliation and communication between the two spouses,” Carter said.

“We don’t go to sleep with some remaining differences between us,” he said.

Rosalynn Carter, now 93, stressed the importance of finding common interests.

“Jimmy and I are always looking for things to do together,” she said.

But, Rosalynn said that comes with a caveat: “Each [person] should have some space. That’s really important.”

The Carters plan to celebrate their marriage milestone with a party in Plains after their anniversary, but have mixed feelings about being in the spotlight.

“We have too many people invited,” Rosalynn said with a laugh.

“I’m actually praying for some turndowns and regrets.”

Image: Jimmy Carter National Historical Park / Instagram

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