Great Love Stories

We are traveling this week.  As we were thinking about a post Rita came across a story titled The 40 Greatest Love Stories of All Time. We think it is an addition to what we wrote last week.  She found it interesting that those love stories included biblical people, Adam and Eve and Jacob and Rachel, movie roles and literature couples such as Jane Eyre and Rochester, Rick Blaine and Ilsa Lund, Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara and Romeo and Juliet.  There were presidents included, John and Abigail Adams, Rachel and Andrew Jackson, Ronald and Nancy Reagan and Harry and Bess Truman.  Other real live lovers such as Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly, Antony and Cleopatra.  Hollywood celebrities such as Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, George Burns and Gracie Allen and Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy.  Check out the URL above to see the entire list.

Of special note were some of the qualities that they had in common.

Many of them wrote to each other often during the length of their relationship, including Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O’Keefe, Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Harry and Bess Truman.  It reminded us of the 25+ years that we wrote to each other every day as part of our daily dialogue technique.

Some suffered great tragedies:  Jane Eyre and Rochester, Romeo and Juliet,Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier and Jacob and Rachel.  We have been blessed to have had a wonderful life together relatively free of hardship.

Many spoke of the support they were to each other in times of difficulty. Jackie and Rachel Robinson as he made his way through major league baseball facing bigotry and harassment, was the target of insults, death threats and violence on the field.  He credits her with keeping him sane.  Nickie Ferrante and Terry McKay in “An Affair to Remember.” She loses the use of her legs in a car accident and doesn’t want him to know but he finds out and love triumphs.  This has been one of the things we work at the most in our marriage.  Whoever is working at a project, is most stressed, or needs a little encouragement, the other is there for him/her as his/her biggest cheerleader and fan.

Others worked together Robin Hood and Maid Marion who as sword wielding companions stole from the rich and gave to the poor.  Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez (yes, we know they divorced) wanted to be together and formed the first independent production company. Their relationship, as seen on TV, is still spoken of.  George Burns and Gracie Allen worked together for 40 years as entertainers.  We like working together and it is one of the reasons we write this blog each week.

Pierre and Marie Curry.  He was willing to give up everything including his love of science to follow her back to Poland.  They didn’t go back and worked together with great results. Duke and Duchess of Windsor. King Edward VIII of England gave up his throne to marry “the woman I love.”  As we reflect back on our 47 years of marriage we don’t think we’ve given up very much but instead we have gained far more than we thought on the day in August when we said “I will.”

There are other things we could draw from the list such as age differences or different preferences but in the interest of brevity we stop.  An amusing comment came from Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy who, after 60 years of marriage, grew tired of being asked their secret.  When Mike Wallace asked the question during a “60 Minutes” interview, Tandy gave a deadpan answer that surprised him: “I don’t think this is really the time to announce this, but we were thinking of splitting up.” Cronyn added: “Jessie has got another fella, and I want to play the field.”  We, Bob and Rita, hope we can have at least 60 years together and live with that kind of sense of humor and fidelity.  Read the complete post here.

We would be remiss if during Holy Week we didn’t acknowledge the greatest love story of all time.  God sending His Son to us and His Son, Jesus dying for us.  Let us remember the greatest love in our human lives, each other, as we celebrate the joy of the Resurrection this Sunday.

Thoughts and comments are appreciated.


Today’s scripture readings, reflection and prayer:

Living Together in the Word

Bob & Rita’s book:  Forever and Day:  An Invitation to Create a Marriage That Lasts a Lifetimeis available on or by contacting us.  Also available for Kindle and Nook. Make a retreat with your spouse, at home, on your time.  Readings, relationship tips, questions for discussion.


About Rita & Bob Boeke

Rita Boeke has experience teaching scripture and with her husband Bob has experience in enriching marriages through workshops and retreats. They post a weekly blog at and co-authored Forever and a Day: An Invitation to Create a Marriage that Lasts a Lifetime.
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