Man writes love letter to his wife every day for almost 40 years
(ABC) -- Noah, the main character in the film "The Notebook," wrote a love letter every day of the year to win Allie's affection, but a real-life New Jersey man has outdone Ryan Gosling's beloved character.
Toms River resident Bill Bresnan, 74, has written a love letter every day to Kirsten Bresnan, 74, his wife of almost 40 years, and there are more than 10,000 of them filed chronologically in 25 boxes at their home.
And he continues to write them to this day.
"All the letters are signed, 'I love you, my darling' with an infinity sign," Bresnan told ABC News today. "They're essentially a love diary. For example, I could pick out a day in 1982, and it'll begin with the restaurant we ate in or a movie we saw and then a reaction to that."
The daily expressions of love began as notes scribbled on napkins and small pieces of paper he gave to his wife over coffee while commuting together shortly after they met, Bresnan said. They met while he was teaching a class to license students in the security industry.
"She was this beautiful Northern European woman who struck me like a bolt of lightning," he said.
Their relationship blossomed. They had a simple wedding in the city and have lived happily ever after since, he said.
"We've never had a fight once in almost 40 years of marriage," Bresnan said. "We might disagree on something, but we talk about it rather than argue."
Bresnan's never a missed giving Kirsten a card, he said. Even when they're away, he makes sure to send postcards or write letters in advance.
"My biggest fear now, given my age, is forgetting -- but luckily I'm still pretty sharp," he said.
One of his favorites out of the 10,000-plus letters were a series of 50 cards, one for each of the 50 days before her 50th birthday, he said.
The daily cards are part of Bresnan's recipe for making a relationship last, among other things, he said.
"The key to any relationship is that you both have to work at it every day," Bresnan said. "And never go to bed mad. Talk about everything. Everything should get resolved before your goodnight kiss."
The couple continues to keep the romance alive through little things they do together in their daily routine, such as playing 'Boggle' over breakfast and having candlelit dinners with wine, he said.
Bresnan also goes big once in a while.
"We once reenacted the Katherine Hepburn movie 'Summertime'" Bresnan said. "I took Kirsten to Italy. We sailed across the Mediterranean, took a train to Venice, wandered the city, had pizza at San Marco Piazza and literally did everything in that movie together."
He also gave her a friendship ring featuring hieroglyphics he saw during a trip to Egypt that were an expression of a pharaoh's eternal love for his son.
Despite the countless good times, the couple has weathered many a storm together, as well, he said.
"When the doctor told me I had cancer a few years ago, Kirsten was right next to me holding my hand," Bresnan said. "It wasn't, 'You have cancer," it was, 'We have cancer.' And I did the same thing for her when she got cancer a few years later."
Bresnan hopes that their love story will hope inspire younger couples, who seem to be more in love with their gadgets, he said.
"I see youngsters at restaurants sitting across from each other buried in their screens but never talking or looking at each other," Bresnan said. "I want them to enjoy the time they have with each other and treasure it."
Though Bresnan has already sent his wife plenty of Valentine's Day cards before the date, he said they'll still do something simple to celebrate.
"We'll probably have a nice dinner, a special bottle of wine and a piece of chocolate," Bresnan said. "We're past the craving for jewelry and expensive nonsense. We just enjoy simply being together."