The Secret Acronym Jimmy And Rosalynn Carter Have Used To Express Their Love Since The 40s

Their children also use the sweet phrase as a term of endearment.

There’s a lot we can learn from Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, particularly when it comes to marriage. After all, the former president and his longtime love have been married for an impressive 76 years.

Following the news that 98-year-old Jimmy had entered hospice care, People recently revisited a sweet joint interview with him and Rosalynn from 2014. In it, the 39th president and his wife explained “ILYTG,” the acronym they’ve used as a secret term of endearment since before their wedding. 

Jimmy Rosalynn Carter

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"'I love you the goodest,'” Jimmy Carter explained. “That's what my mother and daddy used to say back and forth, and I picked it up with Rosa."

"Now all our children do the same thing – ILYTG on the phone or in emails,” he continued. “They generally just put the initials. And sometimes they change the initials and make you guess what they're talking about."

The heirloom acronym is even inscribed on a compact he gave his future bride for Christmas in 1945. The silver compact is currently on display at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum in Atlanta.

The Carters, who first met as youngsters in their native town of Plains, Georgia, have been married since July 7, 1946. They share four children, 11 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren.

In a 2021 interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Jimmy Carter said that his love for Rosalynn has only increased in the decades they’ve spent together.

"We have grown closer to each other. We’ve learned from each other. And we have learned to accommodate each other’s idiosyncrasies," he shared. "And we’ve learned how to give each other plenty of space. We can each do our own thing and the other one absent."

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