From high school sweethearts to celebrity power couple, Ron Howard and Cheryl Howard have come a long way since the first moment they met. In fact, the 65-year-old filmmaker credits his 44-year-marriage to Cheryl to the way they communicate.

“People say, ‘How’d you do it?’ There’s no technique. There’s no tactic other than communication is really important. You have to learn to communicate and have difficult conversations in constructive ways,” he explained to People about their secret to wedded bliss. “Beyond that, there’s an element of luck because people either grow together or they don’t and I don’t think you can force that.”

Ron and Cheryl, also 65, have been together since they attended John Burroughs High School in Burbank, California. “I met her, and there was never anybody else,” he recalled about their first encounter.

The Oscar winner also told the Huffington Post he was sure the relationship with Cheryl wouldn’t last because they met at such a young age. “I felt really lucky when we met. It’s crazy,” he recalled. “We were teenagers, it shouldn’t have worked. We got married young, that shouldn’t have worked either, and yet it really and truly has.”

To this day, Ron and Cheryl don’t regret sharing their life together and welcoming their adult kids — Bryce Dallas Howard, 38, Reed Howard, 32, and their 34-year-old twins, Paige Howard and Jocelyn Howard. All their children have pursued acting.

“[Cheryl] has made so many good things possible, and so many difficult things manageable,” Ron previously gushed about her via Instagram on May 10. “I’m forever grateful.”

Ron and Cheryl have been married since 1975 and are currently grandparents to their five grandchildren. “She’s unbelievably supportive and always has been,” Ron added. “Our compatibility has endured through all kinds of experiences.”

It’s nice to know that some relationships in Hollywood really do last forever!