15 Secrets of the Longest and Happiest Celebrity Marriages
Living under the spotlight can have its benefits, but it can also be a burden, especially when it comes to romance and marriage. Lack of privacy and constant attention can put a strain on any relationship, but some celebrity couples seem to have learned how to overcome the pressure and make their marriages last for decades. What’s more, they managed to keep their relationships happy and fulfilling, making the public wonder what their ’’secret recipe’’ is.
We at Bright Side got intrigued by these successful relationships, so we decided to explore and try to discover the secrets that have kept these couples together for such a long time.
1. Portia de Rossi and Ellen Degeneres
Despite the 15-year gap and constant public attention that can put a strain on even the strongest relationship, this Hollywood power-couple has been standing the test of time since 2004. The pair have been married for thirteen years and are still devoted to each other: “Our priorities are each other. If we had kids, then I’m sure they would be, but we are.” Ellen once said.
They follow certain rules to make their relationship work. For example, they have a strict “no lies” rule that they never stray away from. The two won’t even tell minor, white lies to one another. The pair also keeps their relationship lighthearted by pranking each other: ’’She always makes me see the fun in things I would generally take seriously...she always makes me laugh’’ De Rossi revealed on Instagram.
2. Matt Damon and Luciana Barroso
2022 marks 17 years of wedded bliss for Luciana and Matt. One of the most important rules for them is to always put family first. Because he didn’t marry an actress or another celebrity, Damon believes he can live a quiet life without exposing his family to the media. He also claims that dates with his wife tend to be sporadic, but they always look to spend a night together after picking up their daughters from school.
“We have a 2-week rule,” Damon once said, “I don’t go out for more than 2 weeks. I think you need to be with the person you love as much as possible. My wife is my soul mate. I don’t like to be separated from her.”
When asked about her secret to a strong marriage, Barroso said she has ’’no idea.’’ However, they both still feel incredibly thankful for their lasting connection. ’’I just know we both feel, really, really lucky to have met each other, so we don’t take that for granted. It’s life and marriage, so there’s ups and downs. But overall, it’s easy, and it’s fun.’’
3. Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks
The couple, who tied the knot back in 1988, looks just as in love now as they did 34 years ago: “The success of our relationship was a matter of timing, maturity, and our willingness to have an intimate connection,” Hanks explained.
“Our relationship isn’t magic — the way it’s shown in movies. In real life, our connection is as concrete as me sitting here.’’ And regardless of life’s challenges, Hanks believes their marriage can survive it all: ’’But we both know that no matter what, we’ll be with each other — and we’ll get through it,” he added.
4. Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart
Ford and his wife, Calista Flockhart, are nearing their 12-year wedding anniversary, but they’ve been together for nearly 20 years — a milestone that’s hard to see among Hollywood couples. And while some might frown at their age difference of 22 years, Flockhart assured in an interview that it was always a “non-issue” in their relationship. “The truth is, I sometimes feel very much older than Harrison,” the former Ally McBeal actress said.
Ford has learned a few golden rules about wedded bliss along the way. When asked about how to maintain a happy marriage, he jokingly said, “Don’t talk. Nod your head.” Even after all these years, their relationship still seems fresh and playful: “Harrison and I laugh a lot, and humor is everything to me,” Calista revealed.
5. Jamie Lee Curtis and Christopher Guest
The couple who have been married for 37 years surely knows the reality of a long-term marriage, with its ups and downs: ’’Chris and I have a wonderful, complicated, imperfect life. And a very real marriage," the actress once confessed.
And when it comes to making it work, Jamie has the best, yet simple answer: “Don’t leave. That’s really it — two words. Because you will want to. If you’re telling me anybody who’s married for a long time hasn’t thought ’I hate them, I want out,’ of course they have! I believe if you stay on the bus long enough, the scenery will change!”
6. Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr.
The couple started as friends, way back in 1997, and 22 years later, they’re still happily married and have two kids. Sarah Michelle recently shared what she thinks is the key to a successful relationship: ’’It takes work to have a good friendship. And most people aren’t willing to put that work in,’’ she said.
’’We live in a very disposable society and people don’t want to have to work. They want immediate reactions, they want immediate responses.’’ But Sarah believes that any kind of relationship, be it a marriage, friendship, or business, takes work: ’’you have to put the time, if you want to see the results,’’ the charming actress added.
7. Denzel and Pauletta Washington
Denzel Washington and his wife Pauletta have been married for nearly four decades, which makes them quite a rarity in Hollywood. The couple has four kids together, and they stayed together through thick and thin.
When asked about how they make it all work, the actor said, “You have to work at it. Not give up on each other. It’s a commitment. It’s not all the honeymoon, it doesn’t last forever, so you work at it. And hopefully you’re good friends first, that might help!”
Denzel added that they “go through ups and downs, like any couple” before stating that “we live in a time — and it’s not for me to judge anyone — when people give up too easy.”
8. Elton John and David Furnish
After more than 25 years together, Elton John and his husband David Furnish have become role models of a successful, long-lasting, same-sex marriage. Their union has stood the test of time and one of the things that helped them achieve that is the ability to freely express themselves and communicate effectively: “Every Saturday we gave each other an anniversary card, because we met on a Saturday,” Furnish says.
“So, we write down, in like a little card that you put next to the bed, ’Happy Anniversary.’ And we write about the week that’s passed and the week that’s coming, and we connect and tell each other you love each other,” he explains and continues: ’’We go through difficulties as much as anybody else does in a relationship, but we sort through it by communication. And one way of communicating is writing down on a piece of paper or a card how you’re feeling.’’
9. Matthew Mcconaughey and Camila Alves
The handsome duo took a less traditional approach to marriage. Before they tied the knot in 2012, the couple already had two kids together. Neither of them was eager to get married, but they eventually decided to give in: “We decided to embrace the ritual of marriage as an opportunity and adventure we’ll take together,” McConaughey said.
In one interview, the famous actor explained how to keep a happy marriage: “Don’t make a straight line crooked,” he said. “If things are going well, keep catching green lights. If they’re not, deal with them soon, so they don’t bubble up and get you later.”
10. Warren Beatty and Annette Bening
Before marrying Annette Bening in 1992, Warren Beatty was known as one of the most wanted Hollywood bachelors and a womanizer, but that all changed when he met the beautiful and talented actress. The couple married in 1992 and have four kids together, two sons and two daughters. ’’Every day she surprises me," Beatty once confessed.
It seems that Beatty never once regretted leaving his bachelor lifestyle behind: “I became a devoted husband and father 25 years ago, and I have to say they have been the most enthralling years of my life, with our four fantastic kids,” Beatty said in 2016.
They are often asked about the secret of their successful union, but the actress says: ’’There is no secret as anyone who’s been married knows." She adds: ’’We have an incredible family, we have beautiful children. We’ve been through a lot. It’s the center of life. It’s the most important thing. It’s everything.’’
11. Lisa Kudrow and Michel Stern
The charming couple has been together for almost three decades. They started dating in 1993, got married two years later, and welcomed their only child in 1998. Lisa once admitted that when they decided to get married, they didn’t “promise to love each other forever, because you can’t do that, but we promised to work through any problems that come up. We are committed to making our marriage work.”
In addition, Lisa also confessed that her secret is independence within their coupledom. She explained that they respect each other’s independence: ’’For example, I don’t like to travel, but if he wants to go on a golf trip, he goes. I think the problems start when couples assume they are a unit, synchronized in everything.’’
12. Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker
Sarah and Mathew’s marriage is one of the most enduring romances in Hollywood. The couple felt an instant connection on their first meeting, which later grew into a very strong bond of love and friendship. When asked about his 23 years long wedded life, Matthew described it as ’’insane’’ as he can’t believe that it has been that long, and it doesn’t even feel like it.
When asked about the “key” to their blissful relationship, he said that there’s no real key to a successful marriage, as far as he’s aware, but Broderick mentioned that his wife is his best friend. On the other hand, Parker once confessed she really likes her husband. It seems that this couple still truly enjoys each other’s company after all these years.
13. Christian Bale and Sibi Blazic
Mutual admiration and respect seems to be the key to these two lovebirds’ happy union. Bale and Blazic have one of the longest-running marriages in Hollywood, and not a lot is known about their personal life. They got married back in 2000 and share two kids.
Bale may keep his private life under wraps, but that doesn’t stop him from absolutely gushing about his wife. It seems that mutual support and understanding is the foundation of their strong union. Bale also acknowledges the fact she was there for him whenever he needed support, be it good or bad times.
“[My wife] likes to be very private. And of course, I want to maintain that...but we have a great private life,” he shared. “She’s probably the most strong woman I’ve ever come across in my life.” The actor admitted that the support his wife provides him is one of his biggest strengths: ’’She’s had to be married to so many different characters over our marriage. I know that it truly would be impossible to do it without her. I owe everything to her.’’
14. Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas
Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas will celebrate their 22nd wedding anniversary this year. According to the gorgeous actress, “love and respect” is the secret to their long-lasting marriage.
Their relationship has a solid foundation to keep it strong and full of humor, which is one of the most important spices for a happy union: “We’ve never, ever lost our sense of humor, and we enjoy each other’s company.” the actress reveals. In addition, spending a lot of quality time together seems to be the key to the success of this blissful couple.
’’My husband and I spend a lot of time together because, unlike so many couples, we’ve never had a 9-to-5 job where it’s consistent. We’re either on or we’re off. So we’ve had in our relationship huge amounts of time where we’ve been just us. We lived on the island of Bermuda for 12 years, bringing up our kids. We respect each other’s space, and our humor is just long-lasting,’’ Zeta-Jones said.
15. Samuel L. Jackson and LaTanya Richardson
The legendary actor and his wife managed to make their marriage last thanks to their wise approach to relationships. The couple met in college and have been inseparable ever since. LaTanya Richardson and Samuel L. Jackson revealed that the secret to their 41-year-long marriage is actually extremely straightforward — they simply decided a long time ago to stay together. ’’We are going to stay together no matter what. We’ll figure it out.’’
Jackson added, ’’It’s two people who respect each other, love each other and look out for each other.’’ The famous actor praised his wife by saying that she gave him the chance to be the man he was supposed to be. It seems that their mutual love and respect don’t fade no matter what, and they are able to keep their marriage strong as ever. “She gave me the chance to be the man I was supposed to be,” he says.
Who’s the longest-married couple you know? Do you think there is a special recipe for keeping a marriage strong and fulfilling for decades? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.