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David and Tamela Mann have been married for 30 (count ’em!) years. They’ve raised kids together. They’ve worked together. They’ve sung together. They’ve done it all, including making a marriage work for three decades, which is no small feat. That makes the famous couple the perfect team to write a book sharing advice on how to build a strong relationship and family. They are doing just that with the upcoming project, Us Against the World: Our Secrets to Love, Marriage, and Family, available this fall from HarperCollins publishing. We received an excerpt of the book, and in it, Tamela says having their own interests and hobbies, but also making sure to enjoy things together, helps them be better independently so they can be stronger as a unit.

“Commitment to one another doesn’t mean you have to do everything together. Nor does it mean you can’t have a life of your own,” Tamela writes. “David and I enjoy doing life together, but his hobbies are not my hobbies. What gives him joy is not always what gives me joy. I like to get my hair done. I like to go shopping. I like to hang out with my girlfriends from time to time and talk about girly things. David enjoys being outside. He enjoys working on things until he’s figured it out. David can stay up all night until he’s figured out how to work a gadget. I don’t have the patience for that, but that gives him joy. We both like to sing. We both like to go to church. But we have different passions for different things.”

“My personal commitment to enjoy what I enjoy never trumps my commitment to honor and love my spouse,” she added. “There is so much power in honoring your commitment, keeping your promises, and remaining true to your word. The more faithful you are to keeping your promises, the more secure your spouse will be.”

We can’t wait to check out all of the advice they have to offer when the book comes out this fall. Until then, check out nine other long-haul couples, together 20 years or more, talking about what it takes to make their relationships lasting ones.

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