Being Married for 37 Years, Jamie Lee Curtis and Christopher Guest Sum Up Their Relationship Advice in Just 2 Words
Marriage is about love and romance, but it also takes commitment and hard work when it isn’t smooth sailing. Jamie Lee Curtis and Christopher Guest have had a long and solid marriage. But even though they have been together for 37 years, they know it takes work to keep a marriage happy. And surely, in their decades together, they have learned a bit about what makes a successful and lasting marriage.
We at Bright Side believe that marriages stay strong according to the decisions both partners make to commit to them. We wanted to share this story so that we can all see that when it’s the right person, all the work a relationship takes is worth it for love and security.
Jamie Lee Curtis knew immediately that he was the one.
Jamie first “met” Christopher when she was 25 years old when she saw his picture in Rolling Stone magazine. She immediately told her friend that she would marry him. As a strange coincidence, her friend happened to know his agent, and told Jamie this. She called and gave them her number in case Chris was interested, but he never called.
Jamie says now that her whole life hinged on a couple of seconds that she didn’t see coming — seeing his picture in that magazine. Showing you truly never know what is around the corner or what chance might bring you.
Their real-life meeting was pure serendipity.
Jamie went on with her life. She even began dating someone else, but it wasn’t serious. She had just said goodbye to him, when she was at a restaurant having dinner with friends. Suddenly, she looked up and saw Christopher 3 tables away. They waved at each other — he must have known who she was.
The next day he called her and they went on their first date. After a month, he had to fly to New York to film Saturday Night Live. But they were already in love.
They got married pretty quickly.
They were talking on the phone while Christopher was in New York, when he asked her: “Do you like diamonds?” Just 4 months after they started dating, they got married in December of 1984 at a friend’s house. It was a quick, low-key ceremony: they were even home by 7:30 pm!
They adopted their daughter, Annie, soon after she was born in 1986. They chose to adopt because they struggled with infertility, but their adoption process was pretty magical. They actually met Annie’s birth mother and when they met her, they knew they could adopt. Having a child really helped her and Christopher feel like a family.
The adoption of their second child was what Jamie called “celestial.” She would have said no to another child because Annie was 9 years old... but some serendipitous circumstances occurred, involving a friend of theirs who had passed away, and they had their second child within 4 days in 1996. Jamie actually witnessed the birth. Their second child, Ruby, came out as transgender in 2021 and Jamie has been very supportive.
They recognize each other’s similarities.
Jamie’s famous parents had a messy divorce in 1962, when she was only 3 years old. When she first met Christopher she didn’t smile a lot as she was self-conscious about her “dull-looking” teeth, which is why she never smiled and developed her famous smirk. Then, on seeing Christopher’s smirk in his picture, she immediately saw him as a kindred spirit. Jamie says she “thought we’d understand each other” when she saw his photograph. “Hidden in that smirk, I think, was a little secret that only I knew.” And they are also both funny — she gets his sense of humor.
They are grateful for the safety of marriage.
For their 35th anniversary, Jamie wrote her husband a song including the lyrics: “I feel safe when I drive up and see that you are home.” Though the thrill and hope of early marriage are exciting, it is the reality and unknown of a long-term marriage, and of life, that is truly magical, including going through life knowing you’re not alone.
They spend quality time together, like Christopher will play in the kitchen while Jamie cooks and their daughter, Ruby, dances. They appreciate the little things like spending quality time together.
She’s a romantic, but also a realist.
Jamie is a realist, but she calls herself a “deep, serious romantic” and he is her “one and only.” She does have a pragmatic view of marriage and she appreciates the security and safety that it gives her more than any big, romantic gesture.
And she has 2 simple words of advice for sustaining a long marriage: “Don’t leave.” She refers to the recovery phrase “Stay on the bus...the scenery will change” as a metaphor for marriage too. Any unhappy moment will pass, so stay on the ride. She respects Christopher and she just hasn’t left.
What long-standing Hollywood couples do you admire? What would your marriage or relationship advice be? When did you know that your partner was “the one”?