Last week, Bob and I celebrated our 42nd wedding anniversary. Countless times, I’ve been asked: “What is your secret to a happy marriage?”

“It’s all in the eyes,” I say, before explaining further.

The weekend before our anniversary, we had lunch at an elegant tea room. Right next to us was a party of about 30 people.

I saw a strikingly handsome man named Afshin, holding a tiny box in his hands. Soon, he was joined by a strikingly beautiful woman named Amen.

Not wanting to miss a thing, I got out of my chair to see better.

Straining, I couldn’t hear their words, but that didn’t matter. What I saw, instead, was how they looked at each other — exactly the same way Bob and I looked at each other on the night we were wed. (When the rabbi pronounced us “husband and wife,” I forgot to lift my veil and left a big, red kiss mark on the white lace.)

I am reminded of the Dusty Springfield song, “The Look of Love”:


The look of love is in your eyes,

a look your smile can’t disguise.


There’s something you should know, I think. And that is that tons of times every single day, I see the same look in Bob’s eyes that he had 42 years ago when our marriage was first pronounced.


You’ve got the look of love.

It’s on your face

a look that time can’t erase.


At the engagement party at the tea room, I was taken aback when Amen said, “I’m so sorry we inconvenienced you.” Apparently, she thought I was standing because of the amount of space the large group needed, causing me to have to leave my table.

But that was far from the case. I was standing to get a better view. Still, the family was convinced they had disrupted us, and without even telling us, treated us to our lunch.

When we stood in the parking area to have Bob take our picture for this column, I said, “I hope your marriage will be as happy as ours has been,” to which Amen said, with eyes brimming, “Oh, thank you. That means so much.”

Afshin said, “I knew when I first saw her that I wanted to marry her.”

I told him that it was “love at first sight” when Bob and I met too and explained, “I was teaching a college class, and he was my student,” to which everyone laughed.

“Thank you so much for putting us in your column. We are honored,” Amen said.

“I’m the one who’s honored,” I said. “You made us feel like a part of your celebration.”

On the day of our anniversary, Bob and I went to another elegant restaurant. While Maggie, the gal who took care of us, took our picture, Bob whispered, “I love you this moment the way I’ve loved you through all of these years.”

I looked up at him; I was so smitten I was speechless.


And what my heart has heard,

well, it takes my breath away.


Maggie truly captured a timeless moment.


The look of love is saying

so much more than just

words could ever say.


And so, this is what I wish to Amen and Afshin: that you both look at each other the very same way you have today, always.

Afshin, when you’re sick, Amen will comfort you.

Amen, your happiness means more to Afshin than his own.

How do I know all of this about you both?

Because I saw you, sharing your love for each other, not just with your words or deeds, but above all, with the look of love in your eyes.


Award-winning, nationally syndicated columnist Saralee Perel can be reached at or via her website:

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