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Jill Johnson/JPI, Howard Wise/JPI, Aaron Montgomery/JPI

They “met at a time in our lives,” she says in her autobiography, “where the stars were aligned for us.”

The Young and the Restless’ Nikki could learn a lot about keeping a relationship intact from portrayer Melody Thomas Scott, who on October 12 is celebrating her 36th wedding anniversary with husband Edward J. Scott, once Young & Restless’ EP and now a supervising producer at sister soap Bold & Beautiful.

“A marriage is two people who love each other, obviously, and respect each other enough to both be caretakers of the unit they’ve created,” the actress told Soap Opera Digest in 1995. “It’s swallowing your pride about something if it makes your partner feel better.

“It’s hard sometimes,” she added, “but I very firmly believe that when you write down a list of priorities, your mate should be No. 1, because a family is based on the bond between the parents.”

And from the start, the bond between the Scotts was tight. “Sometimes life is about timing, and Edward and I met at a time in our lives where the stars were aligned for us,” she wrote in her memoir, Always Young & Restless: My Life On and Off America’s #1 Daytime Drama. “That’s the best way to describe it!“

More: Soaps’ longest-married stars — in order [PHOTOS]

Since then, the couple has come to regard themselves as, to borrow a phrase from Rick Astley, “together forever. That seems to be our deal.”

Though Scott was hitched twice before saying “I do” to the love of her life — those unions lasted six months each, Digest reported — she told the magazine, “In my heart, this is my only marriage.”

On your way to the comments to congratulate the couple on reaching their romantic milestone, stop off at the below photo gallery, a collection of images of other Young & Restless actors and their real-life loves.