“Dirty Jobs” Host Mike Rowe Posts His Mom’s “Secret Of A Happy Marriage” Of 60+ Years
Dec 06, 2022 by apost team
Mike Rowe is a television celebrity who isn’t afraid to tackle anything. He is the host of the Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs” after all. Though he’s perhaps best known for climbing through sewer pipes with sanitation crews and getting up to his neck in some of the world’s stinkiest places, Rowe also takes time to hose off his boots, hangs up his googles, and shares more than just unfortunate employment statistics with the internet.
In November 2022, Rowe shared a heartfelt message written by his mother, Peggy, via Facebook. The couple would soon be celebrating their anniversary, and she had taken a moment to write down some of the lessons they’d learned in their incredible 60-plus years together.
He wrote, “Mom will be 85 in January. Dad will be 90 on Monday. Today, they’ve been married 62 years. They’ve learned some things over the years…” He attached Peggy’s note, which went on for paragraphs about her beloved husband, John, and included two darling photographs, one of the couple and one presumably of their wedding cake topper.
While the internet may know her as Mike Rowe’s mom, Peggy has crafted a career for herself as a published author. However, as her note would go on to explain, “the three sons we had in five years were our focus and more than an expression of our passion.” The writing came later. Clearly, motherhood was important to her, and it was, as she explained, part of what contributed to her long marriage to her adorable GI-turned-teacher hubby.
Peggy opened her anniversary note with a casual apology “for the length of this post.” Then she cheekily reminded her readers, “It’s your fault--those of you who ask, ‘So Peggy, what’s the secret of a happy marriage?’”
The proud mom then admitted that “on the occasion of our 62nd wedding anniversary, I’ve attempted an answer.”
She told her audience that it all started when her husband “John was 28, just out of the Army, and taking advantage of the GI Bill.” Peggy herself “was 22 and busy living a privileged life.”
She added honestly that her own “mother had no doubts that this ‘joyless’ soul, who was from a dysfunctional home and light years more worldly than I, would break my heart.” Despite their attraction to one another, Peggy admitted that they “had absolutely nothing in common, after all.” She wrote, “I’d had a passion for horses my entire life, and John’s only interest seemed to be ‘history.’”
However, the couple learned to live with their differences. Peggy said that “in no time, our lives were intwined.” Their bond was strengthened by the fact that they were “both teachers.” With each other by their side, they “formed mutual friendships, joined a church, and figured it out together.”
On raising her boys, she wrote, “In those days, mothers stayed at home with their children, so with my teaching career on hold, I nurtured our sons– and loved every minute of it. At least that’s how I remember it… though I’m sure there must have been moments…”
She continued, “Like other couples, we’ve navigated our marriage raft through some white waters—emerging with scrapes and bruises but wiser for the experience. We’ve disagreed and fought and said hateful things we meant in the moment and apologized for later.”
Peggy then stressed the importance of those three words in her marriage, writing, “We’ve said, ‘I love you’ more times than I’ve lowered the toilet seat—and meant it each and every time.”
While the couple has enjoyed decades together, they’ve also faced their share of hardships. Peggy reflected on their battles, touching on their health as well as a few family tragedies, writing, “Through the years, we’ve buried our parents and five of John’s siblings, who died too young. We’ve experienced our own terrifying brushes with heart problems and breast cancer, and bladder cancer.”
Despite these challenges, Peggy and John stayed strong. She continued, reflecting then on how perhaps not obvious their love is. “My husband and I are not outwardly romantic. Although we can be seen holding hands in public, especially when we walk. Lately, it’s more a matter of support. I can’t think of another human being with whom I would rather share my thoughts, my mealtime, my writing, and my bed.”
She ended the note, “I can’t imagine how any couple can navigate the sometimes rocky terrain of marriage without a whole lot of love.”
Peggy’s writing left her readers in tears, inspired by her frank and open reflections on what it takes to make it to 62 years. Her post is truly a gift. We wish them many happy years together.Mike Rowe (2022), (Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)
What do you think the secret to a long marriage is? Let us know — and be sure to pass this article on to friends, family, as well as any fellow Dirty Jobs fans!