Love Lessons

❥ Carolyn & Bran Fanning met 59 years ago. “You know the song ‘Some Enchanted Evening?’” asks Bran. “Well, one night, across a crowded room, I saw Carolyn, and said to myself, ‘That’s the girl I’m going to marry.’” Carolyn recalls of the time: “I’d had several beaus, but none seemed exactly right…until I met Bran.” They were living in Illinois, moved to Tiburon in 1960, and now have three daughters and three grandchildren—all living nearby. Bran has served on Tiburon’s town council and as town mayor, while Carolyn lightheartedly claims, “I was the woman behind the throne.” Bran reminisces about their 58 years of marriage: “We’ve had a lot of fun together; we’ve traveled the world, played a lot of golf and have generally enjoyed each other.” Carolyn’s secret to their bliss is more succinct: “We chose right,” she says. Asked to expand, she states, “We took our time, got to know each other and each other’s families; we knew we were compatible before we got married.”

❥ Sharon and Glenn Lehrer met at a swimming pool over 28 years ago. “I was rooming with a buddy in a house that had a pool,” recalls Glenn, “and one afternoon Sharon came over for a swim.”

Sharon, who admits she’s “a bit older than Glenn,” was drawn to the well-built gem cutter from the start. “I detected his feminine energies and was immediately able to connect with him.” And 30 years later, after they’ve not only lived but also worked together at Lehrer Designs, a jewelry studio on Larkspur’s Magnolia Avenue, that feeling has not changed. “I still appreciate his strong yet sensitive and sensual approach to life,” says Sharon.

Likewise, Glenn, 56, was and still is attracted to Sharon’s “whole package.” Sharon has “taught me humility; how to let someone else be strong, and, most of all, how to listen.” Their secret to making the love last: “Good communication about everything,” says Sharon, “especially the uncomfortable issues.” Glenn has two suggestions: “Great sex and plenty of laughter.”

❥ Amy and Tim Galusha met at a family beach party in 1990 and connected instantly, but their relationship would not develop for years. “I was in my first year at Hastings law school and Amy was a freshman at Cal Poly,” says Tim. “The timing just wasn’t right.” So the couple stayed in touch via letters, phone calls, and occasional visits. Years passed before their stars would align. Amy called to say she’d be in San Francisco and wanted to meet for coffee. Tim had different plans: “I was going skiing at Tahoe,” he remembers, adding, “I wanted to see Amy, but for more than coffee.” Plans quickly changed and, three years later, Amy and Tim were married.

They now have three young children and live in Novato. Tim is an attorney while Amy enjoys her active family life and part-time work as a marriage and family therapist. “I’m still trying to learn her ways,” admits Tim, “but that’s exciting; it’s interesting and it’s a challenge.” Both he and Amy acknowledge the role humor plays in a successful marriage. “I don’t think either of us takes things too seriously,” Tim says. “We’re light-hearted people,” Amy adds. She does offer a serious bit of advice: “We both realize that nothing lasts forever—neither the good times nor the bad—they are both temporary. So we try to cherish what’s really important.”

❥ Tanya Zilinskas Naouri and Daoud Naouri met online. “But it wasn’t an online dating site,” Tanya, 30, quickly says, “It was a social networking page.” To that, Daoud, 36, adds, “we’ve been married a year, but we lived together for almost five years.” So, did marriage change anything? “Not really,” they answer, almost in unison. “It was the next natural step,” they add, again nearly in chorus.

 “First of all, we’re really good friends,” says Tanya, an online retailer. “And we love each other,” finishes Daoud, who’s in telecom sales. Come on, haven’t you two ever had a good argument? “Things got a tad tense when we were renovating our house,” admits Tanya. “It had been neglected for five years,” adds Daoud. Okay, how did they work through it?

“Our typical fight,” says Daoud, “is to explode, then comes silence, then we apologize, then we laugh about it.” After nodding in agreement, Tanya shares her secret to marital happiness: “You have to think—and I mean really think—about how the other person is feeling,” she says. “Daoud’s feelings are just as important to him as mine are to me.”