The Story of Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas That Proves Love Has No Age

When we start on our quest to find that special person that’s supposed to make us feel butterflies in our stomachs and have us fall more and more in love each day, we usually have some requirements that we hope they will meet. Sometimes, one of those has a similar age to us. Actually, for many people, this is an important factor, but for others, it’s really not a thing at all.

The latter is the case of Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas. Age never mattered to them. Douglas is about 25 years older than his wife, and to this day, they’re one of the most stable couples in Hollywood.

Despite prejudice in Hollywood, their love story is still going strong 20 years after it started, and Bright Side wants to tell you how they became the best example of why a large age difference can’t stop love.

Catherine Zeta-Jones was born on September 25, 1969, and began her career when she was just 15 years old. She became popular in her home country, the United Kingdom, in 1990, on the TV show The Darling Buds of May. But the world came to know her name in 1998 after her role in The Mask of Zorro alongside Antonio Banderas. The success of that film not only gave her instant fame but at an event where she was promoting the film, she met the man who would become the love of her life, actor Michael Douglas.

Interestingly, he was also born on September 25, but 25 years earlier. As the son of the popular actor, Kirk Douglas, he spent his childhood between film sets when he visited his father during his vacations. He lived with his mother, as his parents were divorced. Following in his father’s footsteps, he began to love movies and chose acting as a profession, despite his father’s refusal. He debuted in 1966, and years later created his own film production company, Big Stick Productions.

In 1997, the life of the actress took a turn. She moved to the United States to immerse herself in Hollywood and, after many auditions, landed the role of Elena in the masked swordsman movie.

Not only did she reach new heights professionally, but her future husband was just around the corner. Douglas, who was already a heavyweight in the industry, wanted to meet her after seeing her in that film, although she thought it was for work purposes: “I was going to a film festival. I thought Michael Douglas wanted to meet me for work because I knew he was a producer as well as an actor. I genuinely thought that because I was in work mode and I was going to a film festival, and that’s where film deals are made. So I never thought, ’Oh my God, he wants to date me.’ [...] And within hours of meeting me, he told me he wanted to father my children. So I presumed this was not for a job.”

Although she was not too convinced by his proposal, Douglas insisted and they become friends over the phone, as their busy schedules did not allow them to be in the same cities. However, the friendship was strong and later developed into a romantic relationship.

They said “I do” in November 2000, in a grand wedding at the Plaza Hotel in New York, where they not only celebrated and sealed their love forever but also started their family, as 3 months earlier she had given birth to their first child, Dylan. The little boy joined the family made up of the 2 of them and Cameron, the actor’s eldest son from a previous marriage. Years later, in 2003, the family portrait was completed with the arrival of their second daughter, Carys.

But in the best love stories, there always comes a moment of conflict, and unfortunately, this is no exception. Their happiness was interrupted when, in 2010, the actor was diagnosed with throat cancer. Fortunately, he was able to beat it. Zeta-Jones was shaken from Douglas’ condition and was struggling with her mental health. Later, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, for which she chose to be hospitalized for some time.

Those turbulent years were challenging for both of them, so they decided to spend some time apart to evaluate things and work on their marriage.

But love can overcome any obstacle, and their separation was just a way to make them stronger: “It took work on both our parts,” Douglas said. “I don’t think there’s much chance of fixing a relationship if one of you is already out the door. I think we’re both mellower and wiser”. He also said that they are in a very open relationship and that transparency is a very important factor for their family. “We share everything around the table [...]. I think that way you clear the air and everyone knows what’s going on,” he said.

Maybe that’s one of the secrets to keeping the relationship and the family going, with children that are now young adults, and the eldest already providing them with 2 grandchildren.

Last year, they celebrated 20 years together, and she admitted that the older she gets, the more similar they become, as she feels the 25-year gap between them is getting smaller and smaller.

Even though they are 2 and a half decades apart, that was never a problem: “Historically, older men and younger women have been together. But suddenly you get to a generation where it becomes strange. When my mother talked to me about men and things in life, she never really emphasized age. And it’s so funny because Michael and my parents are the same age, and when they see us together, they don’t even question that there’s a 25-year difference,” she said. She also added that her husband never made her feel that disparity separates them.

Their Instagram accounts are responsible for showing us their wonderful relationship through the things and events they dedicate to each other, such as their shared birthday, special dates, and important events in their lives. Their family continues to grow and their love is as strong as in the beginning, serving as a faithful example that after the worst storms the sun always comes out, and that age is just a number when there is affection and understanding in between.

What do you think is the biggest challenge for a couple that has an age gap? What are the characteristics that your ideal partner should have, even if they’re older or younger than you?

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