The pair revealed some personal details about their relationship in the book “What Makes a Marriage Last: 40 Celebrated Couples Share with Us the Secrets,” which was written by Marlo Thomas and Phil Donahue. Thomas disclosed in her memoir that when she was younger, she had absolutely no interest in getting married or in the concept of marriage in general.
The reason for this was that she didn’t believe there would be enough room for her in a married relationship. She was so opposed to it that whenever the topic was brought up in conversation, she always had a sarcastic retort ready.
Some of the things that Thomas would remark include that marriage is analogous to living with your jailer and being required to please them. Her second reaction to the establishment was just as caustic, and it consisted of the following statement:
“Marriage is like putting a vacuum cleaner to your ear; but, instead of sucking out all of your energy and ambition, it takes them in.”
According to what is said in their book, Donahue had previously met Thomas, and the second time they got together was in the year 1977 in the city of Chicago. At the time of the encounter, the host of the television show was a single parent who was responsible for parenting four boys by themselves.
His fifth child, a daughter, was raised by his ex-wife. She was his daughter. When he met Thomas, the host of “The Phil Donahue Show” was getting used to attending social occasions with a woman who was not his wife. Thomas was the first person he had ever dated who was not his wife.
The next evening, he and Thomas went out on a dinner date, and they continued dating for a total of three years until getting married in 1980. The wedding reception for the couple was a cozy affair with only thirty-five close friends and family members in attendance.
When Thomas’s sister got married, his relatives couldn’t believe their eyes. Gloria was one of the people with whom she had an unspoken agreement, and as a result, she was ecstatic for her when she got back from her honeymoon.
A bridal shower was thrown for Donahue’s wife by Gloria, along with another guest. The two also created some humorous posters in which they included all of the negative things that Marlo had said about marriage. These posters were set up in various places in the room.
Thomas was taken aback when he saw the notes put together, and he concluded that it was “no wonder” that she had no interest in getting married. However, her mother was the one who seemed to be the most taken aback by the news of her marriage, and she kept questioning Donahue, while they were at the wedding:
“How did you get her to cooperate with you?”
On the other side, Thomas’s mother’s father was overjoyed that she had found a decent man and was beginning her life together. When Donahue and Thomas were flying to Greece, Thomas had to get up to use the restroom, and the passenger seated directly in front of them spotted the engagement ring that the bride was wearing.
The woman questioned whether or not Thomas was who she claimed to be and inquired about the actress’s marital status. The unfamiliar person queried the actress, who immediately blushed and affirmed that the day of her wedding had occurred the day before,
“Why? I am really disappointed. Why would you even consider getting married?”
Thomas was taken aback by the question, and she began to worry if she’d made a mistake by answering it. Women on the plane, including the passenger sitting next to her, looked to her to be an independent role model. The actress was concerned that she had failed to meet the expectations of the women.
Nevertheless, once her husband had returned to their seat, she was able to conquer her anxieties. In the book that they wrote together, Thomas admitted that during their ten-year marriage, they had both happy times and difficult times.
The fact that the pair faced each obstacle together, however, helped them to develop solutions that suited both of them, which in turn deepened their bond and drew them closer together. During the time that they were getting married, Donahue was taping his program in Chicago, and his wife was working as an actress.
It was explained to her by one of Thomas’s aunts that what she and Donahue were doing was not a marriage because they did not always reside in the same place. This was one of the reasons why. On the other hand, the actress came to the realization that each individual had their own conception of what marriage included.
In an interview with the AARP in 2012, Thomas was questioned about the skills she gained from her own mother and how she applied those lessons when raising her stepchildren. The famous actress admitted that she had come to the conclusion that she would not attempt to fulfill the role of traditional “mother” to her husband’s children because they already had one.
Instead, she decided to take on the role of their buddy due to the fact that she and her siblings had a similar relationship with Thomas’ mother when they were growing up. The famous actress expressed her gratitude that she always had someone she could debate with, chat with, and fool about with.
Therefore, she applied the exact same strategy to her husband’s offspring and proceeded to form bonds with them. According to the actress, the relationships that she established with the children many years ago are even stronger today.
The celebrity openly admitted in 2012 on her own YouTube channel that being a stepmother was a role that no one ever wanted to have because it was always portrayed in a negative light in children’s stories. The actor admitted that she was hesitant to take on the part when it became necessary.
When his wife [Marlo Thomas] looked back on her life, she admitted that there was no one else besides the television personality that she would have been content to marry instead of Phil Donahue.
Instead, she made the decision to be a nice stepmother and put in the effort to become acquainted with her stepsons. Donahue noted in their book how his wife held chats with the lads and got to know them as individuals as opposed to simply as a group.
Together, he and his wife came to the realization that “trust” was the key to a successful marriage. Thomas emphasized that it was not simply a matter of trusting that one spouse would not betray the other, but also trusting that what was important to one partner was important to the other, and he added:
“Trust may be earned when you become aware that the other person will always have your back.”
Wanting each other was another piece of advice that Donahue provided for keeping a marriage together over the long haul. When Thomas took a step back and reflected on her life, she admitted that there was no one other than the television star whom she would have been satisfied to marry.
The actress mentioned that her spouse was there for her “in every manner conceivable” to show their support. In the year 2022, the couple’s marriage was still going strong, and because they had discovered the keys to maintaining long-term partnerships, it appeared as though their union would be unbreakable.