The Secrets of Marlo Thomas and Phil Donahue’s Loving, Lusty Marriage

“You have to listen to each other,” Thomas explained to E!. “It took me about 10 years to figure out that mostly what Phil wanted from me were not solutions, which I was too happy to give.”

When Thomas would offer what she thought was a helpful solution, “I could see his eyes sort of glaze offer,” she said. And when she finally asked him whether he, in fact, wanted her advice, “He said, ‘No, I just want you to listen.’ I said, ‘Wow, well, that’s easy.'”

Not that every dynamic is the same, Thomas acknowledged, “but that’s what he wanted from me. I’m a fixer, and what he didn’t want me to do is fix it. He wanted me to hear it.”

The love part actually comes in handy during arguments, she continued, because it’s helpful to remember you love the person so that you don’t spend all night fighting.

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