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That electrifying feeling you get when you meet someone and fall in love is one of the most perfect moments in this life. The first blush may not last, but it can grow into a different kind of love – one that offers more subtle joys. It is possible to have a vibrant and long-term relationship in a world where many couples are giving up on their relationships. Some couples have found a way to keep their relationship interesting and passionate. They’ve remained supportive friends and lovers even through difficult times. 

Brother and sister, Gillian Pierce and DJ Pierce were inspired by their grand-parents’ 74-year love story. They created the Global Glue Project to honor and celebrate our unions. 

Gillian and DJ have been interviewing couples in fulfilling long-term relationships to learn how they make it work. The result is a website that features interviews with couples off all ages, races, sexual orientation or religious backgrounds. One thing we learn from watching these interviews is that love is a crazy kind of glue and if you are bonded in the right way, you will never come apart.

First Wives World had the pleasure of speaking with Gillian and DJ about the inspirational stories of love that they share through the Global Glue Project.

Your great-grandparents were married for 74 years. How inspiring that must have been for you. Were they the inspiration for the Global Glue Project?

DJ:Our great-grandparents were in fact the inspiration for Global glue Project. They represented a dying breed, a pastime we seldom see anymore: a true life-long relationship.

My sister and I used to visit them in West Virginia when we were very young. Even though they were in their 90's, and married over 70 years, they seemed to still be happy and very much in love.

It is our search for how they did it, through capturing the wisdom of many other couples that defines the very purpose of GGP.

Through the years, and through my own relationship struggles, I have thought about them and have become increasingly fascinated by their success as a couple.

Even though the world is changing, the principles behind The Secrets of Sticking Together remain the same.

Where did you find these amazing couples? What I noticed is that as individuals, these are all people I would like to know. They have beautiful and true smiles and they exude warmth.  Do you think that is one of the reasons that they have been able to build a strong relationship, or did you get the feeling that because they were loved, the other person helped them to become the person that they are?

Gillian: The first part of this question is easy: so far all of the couples are either people we personally know, or have found through word of mouth. In that way, their community selects the couples. We ask folks we know to ‘nominate’ couples that seem to have a healthy and happy relationship. Then we ask the couple if they both feel that their relationship is happy and healthy, and if they are willing to share their wisdom with us. The more candid a couple is, the better. 

This second part is a great question, and really difficult to answer. I think individual happiness is key to a successful relationship. Whether the person was lucky enough to know happiness throughout their lifetime or if they had to work on happiness within the context of a relationship is hard to know. Those couples that talked about unhappy childhoods and the work they did on themselves within their relationship are in my mind incredibly fortunate. Those people found supportive partners who did in fact offer emotional security and a strong foundation, from which both partners can flourish. Again, I think those people are extremely fortunate, since the likelihood of a successful relationship is higher if both people have a secure foundation to work from. It is of course easier to have a healthy relationship if you have had healthy role models, and not all of us have had that. We hear over and over again that individual happiness and self-love must come first. 

People are hungry for love stories in a world where there is so much negativity. These couples all have gone through difficult times, but their love has grown stronger. Those of us who haven’t been able to make it work want to know what the glue is that holds people together. Did you discover what that glue is, or is it a secret recipe that each couple must make on their own?

DJ: It is true that every person on this earth wants to be loved. And therefore we all care about finding it, or making it better. But the question is, are we all willing to do what it takes to have it?

So many of us - myself included - have often thought that there is some magic thing that will happen one day and it will all fall into place and I will never look back.

But what is so clear about successful relationships is that relationships are not "easy." They require a desire from both members to work at love - to communicate with each other, to cultivate trust and compassion toward each other.

It is evident that those who have that special thing we all want have found ways to find it again and again through their commitment to the relationship itself.

Has interviewing people like David and Christopher, Sharon and Jermaine, Helen and Sydney and all the other wonderful couples given you hope? How have the couples you’ve interviewed enlightened you and what is the most surprising thing you have learned about making love last?

Gillian: Absolutely, Glue interviews have given me hope about what is possible. I think the most enlightening thing is that it isn’t rocket science. We all want to know the ‘secret,’ when in fact the ‘secret’ is pretty basic: communication, compromise, kindness, and commitment. One of the key words here is commitment. Even the happiest couples go through their ‘stuff’ and consider leaving at one point or another, but the key is knowing that all relationships go through cycles, and even when it is difficult you have to choose to come back to your partner. All of us are capable of doing that.  

Watching couples kissing is especially wonderful. We all need that comfort and physical intimacy. Did you find that the couples, even if they were older and maybe not as sexual as they used to be, still had that physical affection that is missing in couples that end up divorcing? How to keep that alive seems to be a big problem for people, did you gain any insight into this?

Gillian: The kissing was DJ’s idea and Gillian questioned it when she was in China. It did not seem culturally appropriate to ask the Chinese couples to kiss. In the midst of their debate to keep the kiss or not, Helen and Sydney’s interview settled it, the kiss stays. Helen and Sydney’s kiss scene is priceless, after DJ asks them to kiss Helen has a HUGE smile on her face and DJ says, “How does that make you feel Helen?” Helen replies, “It makes me feel really good. We haven’t done that in a long time, so thank you, DJ, for suggesting it.” DJ then says, “How about one more” and Sydney confesses, “I want to, I want to kiss you all the time, but you got to let me.” It appears that their physical intimacy has dwindled, but this scene captures how important physical intimacy is, even just a kiss.

In terms of keeping it alive, Laurie and Will talk about the critical need to design and schedule your sex lifeGillian wrote a wonderful article about scheduling sex called Sex on the Calendar for Elephant Journal. 

Tommy and Kia. Photo courtesy of globalglueproject.com 

You not only make beautiful documentary films, but the entire website is such a pleasure to spend time on. The way that it is formatted and the navigation is brilliant. How did this all come together?

DJ: Thank you. Saying and acknowledging this means a lot.

GGP has such big dreams. We believe in the value of this content and in making a lot of it.

But since our goal is not to merely entertain, but to become an inspirational resource for couples, it was important to design a user-friendly experience that makes finding a short piece of specific content quickly and easily.

This means not only having multiple search tools, but most importantly, editing the content to be "web-ready" - rather than just being a video online, every Glue Film is broken into color-coded chapters to make sorting through them rewarding- even in very short periods of time.

We set out to make globalglueproject.com an original, fulfilling place. And with more time and funding, it will only get better.

How can people get involved with the Global Glue Project, either as a couple who want to share their story, or in some other way?

Gillian: Beginning with our Kickstarter campaign, we are covering our travel and shooting costs by asking the couple or their family or their community to sponsor their Glue Film. Pricing starts at $1,500 including our travel. We also have a “how to” crowd funding sponsor packet, which is a great way to get your entire community involved and invested in your Glue Film. Currently, there is a couple in California who lost their four-year-old daughter last fall, and their friends have come together to fundraise for a Glue Film for them in hopes that their Glue Film will help them heal, as well as celebrate the amazing Glue they have shown through their loss.

Last month we sold out a screening at an independent theater in Boulder, the response was overwhelmingly positive and the feedback included the benefit of watching the films with community and conversation. We will continue the Boulder screenings every other month. We would like to offer in person screenings in other locations, so if anyone has a connection to a local independent theater in your area and can help us get the word out, we would love to come do a Glue screening! 

Thank you, Gillian and DJ, for sharing these stories of love.

Please check out the Global Glue Project and their Facebook page and share your stories in the comment box below.

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21 comments

  • Comment Link JPMorgan Saturday, 22 March 2014 01:16 posted by JPMorgan

    Reading this brought tears to my eyes... As a 39 year old woman who was married for 14 years it gives me hope. I always imagined that our love would last forever. Sadly, I think that there are so many more obstacles in this day and age that prevent this from happening. I think that people get married on a whim these days, and are quick to divorce for reasons which are minor and even petty. I don't think people take their marriage vows seriously anymore, and look at their relationships as disposable. One of the things that is so sad about this is how their children are affected by the divorce process. In addition to being traumatic for them, this teaches them that it's acceptable and even normal to divorce. This was a truly beautiful read which I hope may inspire couples who may be on the brink of divorce to reconsider why they fell in love to begin with, and to make a genuine effort to stay together and grow their love!

  • Comment Link Matt Friday, 21 March 2014 22:31 posted by Matt

    It is inspiring to know there are still committed couples out there. Thanks to this brother and sister team for putting this project together. Today's culture focuses too much on feeling or emotion to determine their love. Love is a commitment and not a momentary feeling. There are moments when I don't feel like loving my wife, but I choose to love her with what Gillian calls "communication, compromise, kindness, and commitment." We could integrate more of this in our lives. Thanks for this uplifting project.

  • Comment Link Mercedes Friday, 21 March 2014 22:29 posted by Mercedes

    As a hopeless romantic I really loved this article and the idea that DJ and Gillian had. I think it is beautiful for them to commemorate the love of their grandparents in such a way. I hope that with this many young couples can have hope to have a relationship like these. 74 years is so amazing and the love shown in the video with the other couples brought tears to my eyes.

  • Comment Link Rachel Friday, 21 March 2014 22:24 posted by Rachel

    Awesome, inspiring video! What a worthy mission for Gillian to be taking on! It's very easy to forget that relationships can indeed last for decades, especially in today's world. I think that preserving these stories will make it easier for all of us to see that it can be done and it HAS been done. The "glue" part really spoke to me. I wonder if that glue is different for everyone, or if it is really global. Any thoughts on this?

  • Comment Link BrianAlfieri0 Friday, 21 March 2014 22:21 posted by BrianAlfieri0

    This makes me think of the motto "Make love not war". This insightful article and video serves as a reminder that love can be a beautiful thing. It's great when you can create a video and/ or movie based on love which is positivity. I enjoyed this video very much. I find this love concept to be very inspirational.

  • Comment Link Ana Friday, 21 March 2014 21:45 posted by Ana

    I think that this is an amazing project. With such a high divorce rate I feel like this project will help those with struggling relationships. My parents have been married for 40 yrs, 41 in a month and I personally look up to their relationship. I'v seen them fight but they always work through their problems and communicate with one another. I feel as though most people nowadays jump into relationships too quickly and not making enough effort to truly know their partners or become emotionally stable for a relationship. I think this will really motivate couples to work on their relationships.

  • Comment Link Roxane Mozden Friday, 21 March 2014 19:44 posted by Roxane Mozden

    This is an amazing video, amazing story and amazing article excellent actually. I am so emotional it made me cry watching and reading this people should read and watch this especially those who are having a problem in their relationship right now the one who is in the middle of divorce or shall I say this story is for everyone who is in a relationship, married and trying to be in a relationship. You will get learn a lot from this and it will make your relationship more loving, caring and desirable and I agree that the love will last only if you have what it takes to make it last.

  • Comment Link Peter Friday, 21 March 2014 19:42 posted by Peter

    It's great to see someone making an effort to gather positive stories. I'm not sure that good examples are rare, it's just hard to find anything but bad ones in culture. From pop songs using the word "love" to mean quick, impersonal encounters that show a fear of intimacy to cynicism in comedy to celebrities' serial commitments to phony, happily-ever-after-ideals, it's hard to find encouragement when you really believe in staying together. How nice! Thank you.

  • Comment Link Lucas Miller Friday, 21 March 2014 19:31 posted by Lucas Miller

    This video is truly inspiring. I personally have never been in love, which is usual for people my age (I'm only 18). This project reinforces the idea that successful relationships aren't perfect; they all have issues and difficulties. True, long-lasting relationships aren't forged in one day, they take time. I share this view. I'm waiting for a nice, lovable woman, one with flaws, imperfections, and the usual hiccups that make us human. The key, or the "glue" that keeps partners together must be discovered despite the severity of a partner's flaws. Even a perfect relationship can fall apart, the secret is to find someone who you truly love not only for their good qualities, but for their bad ones as well. This video has inspired me to continue my search for a partner. She doesn't have to be perfect by any means, but she has so be a good match for me. True love can be found in the most unlikely of circumstances, and I believe I'll cross paths with my soulmate eventually. Its only a matter of time.

  • Comment Link JohnCapo82 Friday, 21 March 2014 19:27 posted by JohnCapo82

    Wow,It's amazing and a breath of fresh air every time I read a story like this. All you ever hear about nowadays is how divorces are on the rise and how people are so unhappy with each other. It's refreshing to read an article about how 2 people can fall in love and stay in love for 74 years!

    I agree we all do want to feel loved,It's just many of us don't want to put in the work to make love last. Nowadays everyone wants to love fall in love immediately and when the slightest thing goes wrong they bail on the relationship.

    It's projects like the GGP that remind us all why love is truly worth fighting for!

  • Comment Link Derek Thursday, 20 March 2014 22:05 posted by Derek

    Really inspiring article, I definitely will check Glue out. &5 years of marriage, that is just amazing, that 50 more years then ive been alive. They must have met and married in their teens. I wonder why relationship snow a days don't last as long. Sometimes i think im just acknowledge what i can see, and that relationships probably still are lasting as long, whatever. Definitely going to check that site out, thanks!

  • Comment Link Michelle Thursday, 20 March 2014 20:50 posted by Michelle

    What a sweet, sweet project. I think it is comforting and inspirational to see couples that actually work! I watched the video clip and it gave me chills! It was so beautiful, I wish I lived in Boulder so I could go to a screening! I appreciate the creators honesty in the clip where she talked for a moment about being unsuccessful in relationship herself, it was such a heartfelt human moment.

    I have met so many uninspired and hopeless people who long for the joy of such fulfilling companionship like the example relationships on GGP. A lot of those individuals I know are not very much in Love with themselves, however. They come from backgrounds of abuse or neglect or rejection from their immediately family members. They are so desperate that I think it scares potential partners away. Often if these people do find themselves in a relationship it gets confused and scary so quickly that it soon implodes. Based on this, I fully agree with what Gillian said about individual happiness being a key to success.

    I really look forward to seeing and hearing more about this project as it unfolds.

  • Comment Link S.A.S Thursday, 20 March 2014 20:17 posted by S.A.S

    I think the problem with relationships today is that everyone seems to give up to easy. When I was growing up and my parents would get into horrible arguments about money, infidelity, us kids etc. they always ended up talking things out and not just walking away. A lot of marriages today have minor problems and the easiest answer seems to be divorce. I think back in the day when divorce wasn’t as prominent, relationships were allowed the time they needed to breathe and heal. There is no perfect relationship, we go through periods of sometimes hating the one we are with. However you can’t have hate without love and you can’t have love without some form of hate.

  • Comment Link Tonya Thursday, 20 March 2014 20:07 posted by Tonya

    What an amazing concept. I love this idea, of celebrating couples who have weathered life's ups and downs, and have made conscious decisions to stay together. Our society seems to regard relationships as disposable, so it's refreshing and heartening to hear these stories, and to realize that love, perseverance, and commitment still exist in our world. Kudos to Gillian and DJ on a great project, and kudos to the featured couples for your honesty and willingness to be a part of this!

  • Comment Link James Thursday, 20 March 2014 20:06 posted by James

    My parents were approaching their 50th anniversary when sickness took my mother from us. That was 20 years ago and I know that they would still be together today if it was at all possible. My grandparents were together for over 50 years as well when sickness took her husband from her. Same story there.

    I have been married for 8.5 years now, and we like all other couples have had our ups and downs. Like the article states: Communication, Compromise, Kindness and Commitment are indeed the areas that both people need to constantly remind themselves of. It takes hard work, but it can be done if you just give it a chance. I hope to grow old in the arms of my loved one...

    Love is the Glue That Bonds Us Together - A truly Great phrase from the Global Glue Project.

  • Comment Link Ashley Zabish Thursday, 20 March 2014 20:02 posted by Ashley Zabish

    I find the Global Glue project to be an incredible inspiration. I feel like it has become such a norm to not get tied down, and society seems to be making people feel like marriage is not a necessity because so many marriages end in divorce society wants people to feel like marriage is not important. I have always loved love and am so excited to see someone showcasing marriages in a good light. Your grandparents being married for 74 years!? That is crazy! So many people do not even live to be 74 years old. This project shows the positive side of marriage which is something the media seems to be leaving out a lot lately. This makes me believe I can be one of those long lasting marriages too one day.
    Thank you for the inspiration and showing us what we do not get to see from real life people every day!

  • Comment Link Leigh Thursday, 20 March 2014 19:47 posted by Leigh

    It's very nice to see the positives in this world. I do feel sorry for people that can't seem to make it work out. And yet, I have been through a couple of relationships before finding what I believe is the lasting one.
    Thinking of all the videos that have been made of weddings that ended in divorce...I'ts great to see a film commemorating these relationships.
    I also think of my aunt who lost her husband 30 years ago and never remarried. She has stuck like glue to her marriage all of these years, and has been a wonderful mom, grandmother, and aunt.
    Very Sweet..

  • Comment Link Meg Thursday, 20 March 2014 19:40 posted by Meg

    This project is really inspiring. The video left me with a light happy feeling and the desire to have a relationship like these people some day. It feels good to know that there are still people out there working through their issues and staying committed (as mentioned in the article interview) and making their marriages work. What is life without someone special to share it with? I think stories like these are so helpful in reminding us that nothing is perfect, but if we work for it and focus on happiness, relationships can be pretty close to brining perfection and goodness to each of our lives. What an overall positive message and vision!!

  • Comment Link Alv Thursday, 20 March 2014 19:39 posted by Alv

    What an interesting and unique project! It is amazing to think this was all spurred by the fact that the entrepreneurs' great grandparents were married for 74 years - not something you hear everyday! I love the name of the project and how well it really ties together the whole idea. I also love the questions that the author of the article asks and the answers the entrepreneurs give. It was particularly interesting to hear that amazing couples were "easy to find." It is hard warming to know that there is positivity out there because, as the author mentions, there is so much negativity in the world. Everyone enjoys a good love story, and Gillian & DJ have really taken that to the next level. This spurs me to get involved in the project!

  • Comment Link Stephen Thursday, 20 March 2014 19:37 posted by Stephen

    relationships now are definately the same as it was in the days of our folks or the generation past. now there is no genuine love in relationships or between couples or marrie people, the fall apart at the slightest storm and this is because there is no understanding and on partner is selfish, or maybe because the law makes it easy to get an abortion now, i would never understand. i am african and i look at my folks and other people from africa, the never get divorced when times are rough, no they stick together and when they get older they find that love is stronger. my folks are more in love now than they were when they first met each other. we need to go back to our roots and find out what they did right but i would tell you one thing i know my folks did right, they knew that it was " for better or worse" they got married. Bonnie and clyde kind of thing.

    i feel that this group can help the younger generation on the right path, if this message can be spread and if more tips and helps can be shared.

  • Comment Link Kristina Thursday, 20 March 2014 19:30 posted by Kristina

    This is really incredible and inspirational. I love the message, it gives you hope ad excitement for the future. Beautiful.