The sweet reason this wife has taken a bite of her husband's lunch each day for 40 years

sandwhich bite
But maybe this trick isn't a good one to try with a partner who doesn't like to share food. Photo credit: Facebook/Tracy Howell.

A US woman has revealed what may be the secret to a long and happy relationship - and we're guessing it's probably not what you'd expect. 

Texas woman Tracy Howell has packed her husband Clifford a lunch every working day they've been together. 

But before putting Clifford's sandwich in a plastic bag, Howell has an unusual ritual - taking a small bite out of it.

In a Facebook post which has racked up over 95,000 shares, Howell explained it's not just because she's hungry - it's so he feels like she's there having lunch with him.

"He made the comment once that lunch tasted better when you share it with someone you love," she wrote. 

"While fixing his sandwich one night, I took a bite out of it before putting it away.'  

"When he got home (long before cell phones), he commented that someone took a bite out of his sandwich. I told him that since I couldn't join him for lunch, I took a bite so he knew I was joining him." 

Howell said she continues to "frequently" take a bite - "unless it's tuna or pimento cheese". 

"He still says, 'saw you joined me for lunch today and it sure was good'." 

Commenters couldn't believe the sweet gesture, congratulating the pair on making it so long. 

"'This is so special. You have a role model marriage," one person commented. 

"I can see how your love has stayed strong for 41 years, happy anniversary," wrote another. 

That is the most beautiful thing I have ever heard!!" gushed one newfound fan.

In the comments, Howell wrote she was "speechless" at the response her post received.

"I had no idea this post would get so much attention!" she said.