Doris Day Discusses the Harmony that Faith in God Brought to Her Marriage
By Movieguide® Staff
Note: This story is part of our Faith in Hollywood series. For similar stories, click here.
Hollywood legend and singer Doris Day, known for songs such as “Sentimental Journey” and movies like THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH, revealed that God’s love helped her maintain harmony in her earthly relationships.
“About eight years ago, just before I became Mrs. Martin Melcher, a man I once knew well, phoned and asked to see me. I hadn’t seen John in a long time, and didn’t want to now,” Day recalled in an article from 1958.
Day recalled the conversation with her soon-to-be husband:
When Marty said I ought to, I argued back: “But he always works so hard at being a character; he’s in the hell of constant failure and he drinks too much.”
“All the more reason why you should see him,” Marty reproached.
I did. It was the best thing that ever happened to me.
John always had been tense, mixed up, going nowhere, and in a hurry to get there. But now, he was calm and sure. He’d stopped drinking. There was a strange, new peace in him.
“Say, you’re different,” I finally said. “What’s happened to you?”
“I’ve discovered that none of us can do anything alone,” he said.
At first I didn’t get it. “Who’s the fellow who helped?”
“God,” he said simply.
I stared at him, and then begged: “Tell me. I need the same thing.”
“In finding a faith in God I found myself, new friends, a new life. I’ve just started living. I wasn’t before.”
Day said that she never forgot what John had told her that day. It also caused Day to reflect on her fears and wonder why she left unsatisfied, despite her successful career.
“I came back from meeting John and told Marty all about it. I think I was not very clear, but the wonderful thing was that Marty understood. Probably because we both needed what John had,” Day said. “So what we were both searching for alone we began to search for together. When we were married, Marty adopted Terry legally. That’s when I think I became a mother, a wife, and a grown-up girl for the first time.”
She continued: “We joined a church and began attending regularly. Together we discovered a harmony and a sense of peace we didn’t know before. Then we tried to apply what we found to our daily lives. For instance, we taught ourselves not to think of yesterday or tomorrow. So we never have any regrets or expectations. We just believe in ‘nowness,’ of what we can do best today. It was no great, blinding flash of light. We muddled it through, slowly, sometimes painfully.”
Day shared that her faith instilled harmony in their marriage and with those around them.
“Our new-found faith also taught us that whatever we do individually should in some way benefit someone else. Harmony is not a solo. So we try never to quarrel with directors, writers, a contract, or with any role I am assigned,” she said. “Marty and I are both pretty strong-minded. There are differences between us. Bound to be. But when we clash our faith helps. Helps? Faith is the only way a marriage really sticks. Everything else in it depends on what you believe.”
“In forgetting harmony we were losing the only real way to communicate with each other. But soon we were able to do so by putting God between us, and using His love,” she added. “No one can fight that. Try it. It makes your heart sing.”