Parents of NBA star Dwight Howard celebrate 40 years of marriage

Photo courtesy of Howard family

Valentine's Day is Wednesday, February 14 and many people want to know the secret to a successful, long-lasting relationship.

Atlanta's Dwight Howard Senior and his wife Sheryl, parents of NBA star Dwight Howard, recently spoke with CBS46 about being married more than four decades.

The couple tells CBS46 it was young love, but despite their age, the Howard family still had big dreams.

"Our expectations from 11th grade wanted to be married," said Howard Sr. " We said that we wanted to be married, have a whole lot of children. She wanted to play basketball [and] I wanted to be a professional basketball player. That was part of that dream."

The Howards say they separated less than a year after being married. But both credit their faith in God for keeping them strong and keeping them together.

"Through the grace of God we have sustained," said Sheryl. " Without God we wouldn't be sitting here talking to you now."

The couple even faced tough times just being parents to an NBA superstar.

"Yes it brings its own challenges," said Howard Sr. " Just trying to assist a high profile person causes you to take your emphasis on your spouse."

Giving back is also very important to the Howard family. For more information about their foundation Hope on the Hill, click here.

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