monifa & will sims*Sustaining a marriage is no easy task (just ask Kim Kardashian who is already on husband number three).

The journey is full of twists, turns, ups and downs, bumps, scrapes, surprises and—karaoke? Apparently, butchering classic oldies is more than just a pastime for drunkards during happy hour. In the case of Will and Monifa Sims—who will celebrate their 12 anniversary in July— singing together means staying together (at least for now).

A video of the happy couple harmonizing for free gas at a Costco in Burbank was recently featured live on the Jay Leno Show, one of late night television’s most popular programs. It wasn’t long before the recording went viral, causing a stir among the viewing public, and giving hope to helpless romantics everywhere. The performance has even garnered ubiquitous radio play around the country.

During a recent interview with ESSENCE, the signing duo shared some of their secrets to a healthy, prosperous, lasting marriage.

ESSENCE.COM: Your video became an overnight success. What has that been like for you?

MONIFA SIMS: It’s been a blessing. The things that really stand out are all the really wonderful comments and things people have said. Things like, “I was having a really bad day and you made me smile.” Or, “I start off my day watching your video because it makes me laugh. That is really awesome and amazing for us.

WILL SIMS: I like the comments that tell us that we make marriage fun and there should be more couples like us in the world. They say, “I wish my marriage was as fun as yours.”ESSENCE.COM: It’s like the newlywed phase for you two never ended. What’s your secret?

WILL: When we got married, the pastor told us that the best thing you can do for your marriage is take a vacation.

MONIFA: He told us to take time for your marriage no matter what and we’ve really lived by that in our marriage. It’s astonishing when we talk to other couples who are married and they don’t vacation much. You have to take the time – whether it’s three days or a week – where you go away from your children and everybody else and it’s just you guys. It gives you a chance to connect and that has bee our saving grace. We look forward to it. When we’re not on vacation and we’re home we act like we’re still on vacation.

WILL: It can just be getting a hotel. Get a Groupon for two days –whatever you need to do. Start saving for those days to yourself. Just relax and connect with your spouse.

For access to the entire interview, visit