It’s been 82 years of marriage for 103-year old D.W. Williams and his wife, 100-year-old Willie Williams. They’ve been together since they were teenagers, watching everything from the Great Depression, the Second World War, and the Civil Rights movement unfold before their very eyes.
It’s amazing to think of everything that the couple has experienced together, but it’s even more incredible to think about how much they’ve endured to reach eight decades of a lasting relationship.
While celebrating their respective birthdays in March, though—the pair turned 100 and 103 just seven days apart—they reflected on the surprisingly simple method they’ve followed to remain in love over the years.
People may think that the pair have some huge secret to reveal in order to explain how they’ve managed to survive more than four-fifths of their lives together. But the Williams duo insist that it’s nothing special or complicated—the secret to their happiness is just kindness.
On Sunday, D.W. Williams, 103, and Willie Williams, 100, celebrated their birthdays and 82 years of marriage 💜
— ABC 13 News – WSET (@ABC13News) April 1, 2019
The couple were asked how they’ve stayed together this long, and Willie didn’t take long to come up with his answer.
“I don’t have no secret for that; just be nice to each other,” he said, speaking to WSOC TV in Charlotte.
They’ve proven an inspiration for their granddaughter, B.J. Williams-Greene, who insisted that there is a secret to their happiness—it just isn’t all that complicated.
“It’s communication and loving each other and working together. They are each other’s best friend,” she said.
There may be something to what she’s saying. After nearly a century of togetherness, it’s hard to imagine that a bond could last that long without communication as the pair change and grow. The person you are at age 18, the age that Willie was when he married his then-21-year-old wife, is far from the person that you’ll be when you hit the centenarian mark.
As they sat in a giant room full of balloons and tables for their birthdays, though, surrounded by friends and family gathered to wish them well and celebrate another year, it’s clear that they know each other as much as any two people possibly can.
Of course, there may be some other factors involved that simply didn’t come to mind as they celebrated their milestone. A similar couple in Japan, who celebrated their 100th and 108th birthdays in 2018, joked that patience was the key to the longevity of their own 80-year marriage.
“I am so glad. It’s thanks to my patience, really,” said Miyako Matsumoto with a laugh, courtesy of an interview with Reuters last year. Like the Williams couple, Miyako and her husband Masao have endured everything from war to prosperity as they’ve watched their family grow over the generations—and like their American counterparts, they’ve endured and embraced it all side by side.
It may seem daunting to think about 80 years of patience and learning. But judging by how happy these couples look, it’s clear that the kindness and mutual respect required to reach these kinds of milestones pay off in the long run.
Wow! Alive and partying at 100 and 103– plus married for over 80 years?! Amazing
Posted by FOX23 Jackie DelPilar on Monday, April 1, 2019