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July 31, 2014

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Celine Dion shares her secrets to a long and happy marriage

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Tom Donoghue/DonoghuePhotography.com

Rene Angelil and Celine Dion arrive at the “Veronic Voices” premiere at Bally’s on Friday, June 28, 2013.

‘Veronic Voices’ Premiere at Bally’s

Remon Boulerice, Veronic Dicaire, Rene Angelil and Celine Dion arrive at the Launch slideshow »

3/15/11: Celine Dion at The Colosseum

Celine Dion's opening night at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace on March 15, 2011. Launch slideshow »

Love is grand! Communication keeps love alive and well!

Celine Dion and Rene Angelil have one of the most tender of love stories and longest of marriages in show business. Their relationship began 26 years ago, and they became engaged 22 years ago in 1991.

To this day, they still smooch, sometimes unabashedly in public with a peck on the cheek or a full-on lip lock. They still hold hands and wrap their arms around each other’s waists. In fact, it was a mutual love tap or gentle pat on their backsides that prompted me to ask Celine a question about her secrets to a happy marriage.

She had an instant, one-word answer: “Communication.”

We were at the premiere night in Bally’s for their new singing discovery, impressionist Veronic DiCaire and her show “Veronic Voices.” I joked with Rene, who is co-producing Veronic’s show, that he couldn’t run off with her because her voice is so incredibly identical to his wife’s.

Their love story is now of legend: Rene and Celine met when she was 12 and he was 38 after her mom sent him a demo tape. That was in 1980, and Celine was 19 before they had a first date. She was 23 when they became engaged. They married in December 1994 and will celebrate their 19th anniversary this December. In January 2000, they renewed their wedding vows here.

After many years failing to conceive, Celine underwent treatments for in-vitro fertilization. Their first son, Rene-Charles, was born in January 2001 and, in October 2010, her fraternal twins Nelson and Eddy.

Celine told me: “Up until seven years ago, we weren’t communicating properly. A very good girlfriend talked to me about the real meaning of communication, the right way to communicate and really properly communicate on an equal and respectful level.

“It changed the way we related to each other. My husband is also my best friend. We trust each other with our lives. We live for each other.”

I complimented the two of them on their obvious long-lasting and intense affection for each other. Celine admitted: “Before my girlfriend taught me fully about communication, Rene and I had our tough times. It wasn’t always easy. We had tension between us. It’s never easy being husband and wife, but add to that we are in business together dealing with all the added pressures of shows, concerts, tours, traveling. It was hard — a lot of hard work.

“I was old school and kept it hidden. Forget about it, and it will go away. I talked about it with my best girlfriend, and she taught me it never goes away. It sits there and gets worse. She taught me how to say things the right way. It’s lessons that every married couple should know to hold their relationship together.”

Celine said that before learning from her girlfriend’s advice, she didn’t realize that things could be said differently — instead of nagging or being accusatory and instead of letting problems or differences fester by sweeping it under the carpet, as we do in England!

“It’s sad that so many people break up, their loving relationships end and divorce happens when, if there was proper communication, they would be able to hold on to the beauty of their early years together. We made it through, so everybody else can, too.”

Celine says as a couple, Rene and she share everything. “We made a commitment to each other not once but a second time here in Las Vegas. Those promises are for a lifetime together, and, because we respect each other, we will keep them forever. Talking openly together about everything might start out as a challenge, but, once you are through it the first time, it gets easier from then on.”

The loving couple spend time at their homes in Lake Las Vegas, Jupiter, Fla., and back in their hometown of Montreal. Celine is now into the beginning of her third year of her second residency show at The Colosseum in Caesars Palace. Rene has said that he has extended the contract through 2019.

I asked Celine for the glue that holds a long happy marriage together. She summed up: “We laugh. We joke. We kid each other. We want our marriage to last forever. Talk over everything, and you’ll find you are still on the honeymoon. We still miss each other when we are apart. We couldn’t imagine life without each other.

“Communication — it’s the most important. It’s the secret.”

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.

Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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