Through thick and thin.
New Netflix docuseries “My Love: Six Stories of True Love” focuses on six elderly couples around the world, uncovering secrets about what it takes to have longevity in love.
“When this project came my way, it was so undeniably distinct and never done before,” showrunner Xan Aranda, 45, told The Post.
Premiering April 13, each of the six episodes focuses on a different couple — from the United States, Brazil, India, Japan, Korea and Spain — each of whom has been together for at least 40 years.
Aranda learned that the key to long-lasting love is the same in every language.
“I think a lot of people tend to think on two sides of the spectrum — that you either have to endure or give up a lot [in a relationship] or have a certain amount of perfection in the match, where someone has to be your soulmate,” Aranda said. “What I observed here is that there has to be a conscious cultivation of love and happiness for either person.”
Below, tips for cultivating joy in relationships from some of the inspiring couples in “My Love.”
Keep things light — even when life gets heavy
“My Love” doesn’t just feature a pat message about the importance of laughing in relationships. The episode following the couple in Marchenica, Spain, shows how Natividad Melgarejo (a k a Nati) and Augusto Fernández use humor to take the sting out of gravely serious struggles — such as Augusto’s failing health and dwindling eyesight.
“What are you going to do when I’m gone, find another man?” he asks on-screen, making light of his own mortality. When Nati responds “Yes,” he says, “What energy you have!”
“Those two have had a pretty hardscrabble life that’s full of a lot of joy and silliness,” said Aranda. “They’re really an incredible couple. She’s got a very dry humor that he is in full delight of still, and still trying to make her laugh.”
Accept that good things can come from conflict
The Brazilian couple, Jurema Gomes Barreira, 64, and Nicinha Dias Lacerda, 57, is the show’s youngest, since the two women first met when Nicinha was just 14.
They’ve had their share of challenges.
The couple has a huge family — eight children and over 20 grandchildren. Not only did Jurema enter the relationship with four kids, but Nicinha used to cheat on her when they fought. A few times, she got pregnant, and when the pair got back together they agreed to raise Nicinha’s babies together. “I tried not to get jealous,” Jurema says in the show. (Nicinha is faithful now.)
It’s an unusual dynamic that Aranda said “was really important to us to leave in — because not all couples have a tidy straight line,” she said. “We don’t want people to watch this thinking that bliss is only possible when you are in full alignment and full agreement.”
Recognize kindness is more important than convention
Indian couple Sattwa Dhondeeba Mane and his wife, Satyabhama (a k a Satya), are cotton farmers in Maharashtra who were strangers before their arranged marriage 42 years ago. Their episode showcases the pair living and working together in harmony while spending time with their children, grandchildren and aging parents.
They’ve learned how to care for each other; for example, at one point in their episode, Sattwa fetches water from the well when Satya is fatigued.
This is a big deal because, as Aranda explains, “In India, women carry water and men don’t. It’s just how it’s done … [But] you distinctly see him carrying water on her behalf. I think that’s a massive display of being attuned to what your partner needs versus what society wants from you as a gender role.”
Appreciate that relationships go through phases
The American couple, Ginger and David Isham, preside over a family farm together in Williston, Vermont, that they’ve passed on to their oldest son. Their episode follows them through making end-of-life preparations, taking walks together and celebrating their 60th anniversary.
On-screen, Ginger explains, “Somebody asked me the secret to a long marriage … We each had our own role. I was involved with the children, he was involved with the farm. I think when we could get together, it was really special.”
Aranda said the duo illustrates how couples can “walk side by side” together in their relationship, even as they divvied up the tasks of building a life together.
“I think it’s important for all of us to realize that we’re going to live many lives if we’re lucky to live long enough,” she said. “[Ginger] really cherishes this time with David [now when they’re older]. I think a lot of couples come back around to this if they’re lucky enough — once their children are grown, they get to focus on each other again.”