The Key to Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter’s 70-Year Marriage

The couple offer a revealing interview on the eve of their milestone anniversary

Love is patient. Love is kind. Those words — spoken at so many wedding ceremonies — certainly seem to apply for former president Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn.

The happy couple, who celebrate 70 years of marriage on July 7, 2016, recently talked about what keeps their relationship ticking in an interview with The Associated Press.

Mutual respect, they said, is the secret to their marital success. That means giving one another plenty of space as well as enjoying each other’s company.

Time Together and Time Apart

“Space and doing things together and respecting what each other can do are the things that have made it really special,” the former first lady, 88, told reporter Kathleen Foody.

The Carters both remain active in The Carter Center, the human rights organization they founded in 1982. They maintain separate offices and work hours — both at the Center in Atlanta and at their home in Plains, Ga. — but they are unequivocally each other’s confidantes and consultants.

“I depend on him when I have questions, when I’m writing speeches, anything, I consult with him,” said Rosalynn. That goes both ways.

The two, who met as children, also enjoy active hobbies such as tennis and fly-fishing together.

And this year they have something extra to celebrate. Jimmy Carter, 91, told Foody, that his diagnosis with — and unexpected recovery from — brain tumors nearly a year ago has only brought the couple closer together.

“Maybe we’ll have some champagne,” Rosalynn said.

By Heidi Raschke
Heidi Raschke is a longtime journalist and editor who previously was the Executive Editor of Mpls-St. Paul Magazine and Living and Learning Editor at Next Avenue. Currently, she runs her own content strategy and development consultancy.@heidiraschke

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