39 Relationship Secrets from Married Celebrities
Your favorite happily-married famous duos reveal relationship advice that works.
Whether you're famous or not, you know that relationships aren't easy (yes, even the best ones require work!). Throughout your dating, engaged, and married life, you're bound to hit some bumps in the road as a couple (but hopefully, they'll make you stronger). That's why it takes a certain special something to make any marriage last. For celebrities, the pressure can be even greater. Their romances are often closely followed and idolized by fans and haters alike, meaning their intimate moments become fodder for the public eye to chew (and comment) on. With all this in mind, we scoured celebrity interviews in order to get the secrets to some of your favorite celebrity spouses' marriages.
Are you as obsessed with Chrissy Teigen and John Legend as we are? Are you wondering how power couples like Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds keep their love alive? Whether you like to 'ship certain Hollywood pairings, or you're genuinely looking for some insight before your wedding day, these high-profile partners have shared words of wisdom worth reading. Some guidelines are serious, others are funny, but one thing's for sure: All are adorable. The length of these relationships range too, so you can get perspectives from people in different stages of their love lives.
Ahead, we've complied candid snippets of advice from happily married celebrity couples. Each set of stars has managed to keep the spark alive—even while in the spotlight. Here, get their tried-and-true relationship advice, from the importance of laughter to communication. Take their comments to heart or leave them—but if they worked for them, they might work for you, too.
Michelle and Barack Obama
During their time in office, Barack and Michelle Obama superseded their political roles—they gave (and continue to give!) an entire country a model for an honest, thriving marriage. The duo is the first to acknowledge that their bond is the result of hard work and that even the best of relationships sometimes need help. "Marriage counseling, for us, was one of those ways where we learned to talk out our differences," she told Good Morning America
, adding that taking ownership of your own happiness often encourages that joy to spill into marriage life. "What I learned about myself was that my happiness was up to me and I started working out more, I started asking for help, not just from him but from other people."
Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi
Ellen DeGeneres says that the best part of being married to Portia de Rossi is being completely understood. She cites working towards finding mutual understanding—which is predicated on respect—as the foundation of their love. "Portia understands me completely," Ellen told Good Housekeeping
. "In our vows, she recited a quote—'It is good to be loved. It is profound to be understood'—and to me, that's everything. What 'I love you' really means is 'I understand you,' and she loves me for everything that I am," she added. Overall, their love revolves around two things: "She supports me and makes me happy."
Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban
Veteran duo Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban always make decisions with the other in mind to ensure that their marriage remains number one on the priority list, the actress revealed to People
. Kidman also explained the trick that helps her apply this ideology regularly: "I think it's knowing that you have to keep contributing to what we call the 'us.' You go, 'Does this work for us?' When you make an us, it's yours together—that's what you create. Nobody else has that. It's just between the two of you."
Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth
Miley Cyrus learned this poignant piece of marriage advice from her parents, Billy Ray and Tish Cyrus (they've been married for over 30 years!)—and likely applies it to her and Liam Hemsworth's relationship. "Nothing and no one stays the same," she told Cosmopolitan
, adding, "Grow, evolve, change with each other, and celebrate your love's journey!"
Amy Schumer and Chris Fischer
You can't rely on your significant other to complete you, says Amy Schumer—instead, search for someone who complements you. When describing her relationship with husband Chris Fischer to Catt Sadler, Schumer said, "We don't complete each other, we complement and support each other. He makes me laugh and feel supported and has his own life going on. I love that weirdo."
Mandy Moore and Taylor Goldsmith
Mandy Moore, who tied the knot with musician Taylor Goldsmith in December 2018, says to remain open to meeting love online—a particular salient piece of advice, especially in this digital age. "We have a modern kind of love story," she explained to InStyle
. "But if someone would have told me three years ago, 'That's your future husband, and you're going to meet him through Instagram,' I would have thought that they were absolutely bonkers. It proves that you have to stay open-minded because you just never know. We shouldn't have any judgment about what helps people find one another."
Ryan Michelle Bathe and Sterling K. Brown
According to actress Ryan Michelle Bathe, it's important to recognize the "pitfalls" in your relationship—these often involve smaller things you just can't fundamentally agree on—and avoid them. It works for her and her husband, This Is Us actor Sterling K. Brown (their "pitfall" involves rehearsing lines together!): "Sterling and I have been in the game for a long time. We go back to college. We've learned that there are certain minefields and pitfalls in our relationship. Like a slalom, we just move right past them," Bathe told E! News
Deborah Lee Furness and Hugh Jackman
For Hugh Jackman—who has been married to Deborah Lee Furness for over 20 years—the only way to maintain a long-lasting bond is to have the correct foundation: "You've got to find the right person," Hugh said in an interview with Closer
. "It's powerful, but simple."
Alicia Keys and Swizz Beats
Ask any celebrity couple on this list, and they'll tell you that arguments are a natural part of their relationship (even the most famous ones!). Alicia Keys and Swizz Beats, however, don't allow arguments to escalate. "We've been married seven years and we don't fight, we don't raise our voices," Swizz told Cultured
, adding that "it's all about communication."
Candace Cameron Bure and Valeri Bure
"Put your spouse on a pedestal," advises Candace Cameron Bure, who's been married to her husband, Valeri Bure, for more than 20 years. "Some days neither of us deserve it, but we do it because we honor one another and respect each other."
Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian
Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian haven't been married long, but the Reddit co-founder has already learned the importance of everyday romance and constant support. "I mean, I think if you'd ask my wife, the most romantic things I've ever done for her have been just being there when she needed me," he said in an interview with Access
. According to him, "That's really all y'all have to do."
Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas
Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas are another set of super-new newlyweds, but the actress can easily identify respect as the most important component of her marriage—and advises all couples not to "settle for less" or go without this critical tenet. "Truly this is what worked for me, he has to be someone who respects you," Chopra told People
. "By that, I don't mean makes coffee for you, not that. But someone who respects the hard work you put into your life. Then everything is so easy because you give each other credit for your intelligence, you give each other the benefit of the doubt because you trust each other. There's so much that comes out of that."
Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr.
For longtime couple Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr., the key to making love last is simple: "We still make each other laugh. And we treat each other with respect," Prinze Jr. explained to Us Weekly
Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard
Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard are also major proponents of couples counseling: "We do couple's therapy," the actor revealed to People
, when asked to share the secret to his marriage. "Relationships aren't just perfect." Shepard also noted that prioritizing time you spend together, one-on-one, in the face of crazy schedules, is just as important—and advised putting those moments of potential togetherness on paper to ensure they happen. "If I say, 'Hey, what are you doing Thursday?' It's never going to happen. But if I put something on the calendar, it works out," he added.
Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds
Blake Lively's best piece of relationship advice is unconventional, but it makes a lot of sense—she treats her husband of six years, Ryan Reynolds, like one of her best girlfriends. "In other relationships," she told Glamour
, "if something came up I would call my girlfriends or my sister, and say, 'Hey, this is what he did—what should I do?' Whereas with him, we were friends for two years before we were ever dating. And I treat him like my girlfriend. I'm like, 'Hey, this happened. It upset me. This is how I feel. What do I do?'" she continued. "He does the same for me. He treats me like his best buddy."
Faith Hill and Tim McGraw
After being married for over 20 years, these country stars know a thing or two about keeping your relationship going strong—they do, however, have (hilariously) conflicting ideas of what makes a marriage last. In an interview with Architectural Digest
, Tim McGraw said that the secret to a happy union involves "Just [saying] 'yes ma'am' a lot." Faith Hill's advice—"Not saying 'yes' all the time!"—may be contradictory, but it's just as valid.
Emily Blunt and John Krasinski
Though Hollywood can be taxing on famous couples' relationships, Emily Blunt and John Krasinski have actually grown closer thanks to their shared, public craft—which makes their marriage advice perfect for duos who work in the same industry. "It's an advantage having someone who understands your profession," Blunt told Ok!, adding, "We also try to be very supportive of each other and we know that we always have each other to rely on and make each other feel very loved and appreciated. It's a beautiful thing."
Chrissy Teigen and John Legend
Chrissy Teigen and John Legend's marriage is, at its core, based on the fact that they truly like each other. "We actually really love and respect and admire each other. I think that's the foundation of who we are as a couple and we actually enjoy each other's company," he explained to Today
. Another major relationship tenet? Humor. "My wife makes me laugh all the time. I make her laugh occasionally. Everyone knows she's funnier than I am."
Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake
According to Jessica Biel, the secret to her and Justin Timberlake's marriage is all about "communication, communication, communication." "The ability to be really honest about how you're feeling and what your needs are. Just be able to communicate really honestly with your partner. That's worked for us so far," she told People
. "I would never want to speak on anyone else's relationship, but that's what we do."
Amal and George Clooney
George Clooney has never been shy about expressing his feelings for his gorgeous (and smart!) wife, Amal. Upon receiving an achievement award at the 2015 Golden Globes, Clooney said, "It's a humbling thing when you find someone to love. Even better if you've been waiting your whole life. And when your whole life is 53 years…" he said. "Amal, whatever alchemy it is that brought us together, I couldn't be more proud to be your husband."
More recently he dished on how he makes his marriage work, saying, "We have a rule whereby we are never apart for more than a week." With homes all over the world, the couple is never too far from a place where they can catch up and relax together. "We have a place in London now where it's easy for us to spend a lot of time together and I can work on new film projects—writing, reading scripts," Clooney told Hello! Magazine
. "Or we can go to Lake Como or spend time in Los Angeles when I need to have meetings for my acting work, or hang around with some of my friends."
Julia Roberts and Daniel Moder
's Mario Lopez asked the Oscar award-winning actress about her relationship advice for entertainment couples, Roberts sweetly responded, "I don't think it's exclusive to entertainment couples. I wouldn't even think of us as an entertainment couple, but I don't know. Probably kissing."
Gisele Bündchen and Tom Brady
Gisele Bündchen chatted with CBS This Morning
about her book, her career in modeling, and what it has taken to navigate marital challenges with her husband and father of her children, Tom Brady. "I think we've been through a few tough times together," she said. "I think that's when you know who are your friends and who loves you. My father always said, the quality of your life depends on the quality of your relationships, and I think, no matter how challenging it was, we've always been supportive of one another. I think that's the most important thing you can have in life, you know? A support system and love."
Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks may have been the guest of honor at the Outfest Legacy Awards, where he received a trailblazer award for his work in Philadelphia, but the actor was quick to show appreciation for his wife of 27 years, Rita Wilson. "I wish there was a secret, you know," Hanks said. "We just like each other. You start there … I still can't believe my wife goes out with me. If we were in high school and I was just funny, I'd never have the courage to talk to her."
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West
Reality TV star Kim Kardashian built her career on being open about her life—her marriage to Kanye West included—and West's music features lyrics about his wife and family. So how does life in the limelight affect their relationship? "[I say] a lot of lines other wives would not allow a husband to say, but my wife also puts up photos that other husbands wouldn't let them put up," West told Vanity Fair
following the release of his music video for the song "Famous."
Their secret? "One of the keys to happiness in our marriage is we're allowed to be ourselves. Our life is walking performance art."
Reese Witherspoon and Jim Toth
"I wouldn't say either of us has wildly changed; I just love him more and more," Reese Witherspoon said of her marriage to Jim Toth in one of Glamour
's cover stories. "I want so much for him to be happy, and he wants me to be happy. That's a big part of my day, thinking, 'Is he happy?' And for him, 'Is she happy?'"
Beyoncé and Jay-Z
How do Beyoncé and her hip hop mogul Jay-Z make it work? "We were friends first, for a year-and-a-half before we went on any date," Beyoncé shared during an interview with Oprah, "and that foundation is so important in a relationship."
Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick
Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick keep their private life private, and it works: The two have been married for decades. "The secret is, we don't discuss it. To reporters or anybody else. That's it!" Parker told The Huffington Post
. "We don't hold it up as an example and we don't air our dirty laundry."
That doesn't mean they keep quiet around one another, though: "We really are friends beyond everything else and we talk a lot," Broderick said on the Meredith Vieira Show
. "Keep talking I guess, I know how cliché that is. Too much silence is definitely not a good idea."
Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka
Of what he's learned in his years of dating and marriage to David Burtka, Neil Patrick Harris shared with Entertainment Tonight
: "If you are too rigid about what your expectations are and then suddenly it changes, then you have more reason to want to look elsewhere for stuff. In our relationship, communication is super important. Good friends of ours said, 'You need to talk it out,' and if that means raising your voice, you need to raise your voice. Know what you're talking about. Know where you're standing as opposed to letting stuff build up, I guess."
Viveca Paulin and Will Ferrell
In a 2013 tweet, Will Ferrell offered this simultaneously wise and hilarious piece of marital advice, perhaps based on findings from his own longtime union with Viveca Paulin: "Before you marry a person you should first make them use a computer with slow Internet to see who they really are."
Lauren and Aaron Paul
Has there ever been a couple more adorably in love than Aaron and Lauren Paul? "Tell her you love her. Tell her you miss her. Tell her you can't live without her. Love love and cherish life. Also, just eat the cake," Aaron once tweeted.
Leslie Mann and Judd Apatow
"She has always [made me weak in the knees]," producer Judd Apatow revealed to Closer Weekly
about his wife, actress Leslie Mann. After years of marriage, Judd claims "it has never stopped … Every day is like a first date. I never can believe she's there in the room with me."
And the secret to making that feeling last? "Both people wanting what's best for the other person," said Judd.
Lauren Conrad and William Tell
Lauren Conrad, like so many other newlyweds, learned a lot during her first year of marriage to William Tell. "The hardest is compromise," the Hills alum and designer behind the Paper Crown bridesmaids' dresses line wrote on her blog. "You always want to be considerate of each other. It's not just about you anymore." This tenet is clearly effective—the couple is still going strong four years later and now share a son, Liam.
Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas
"I love Catherine as much, more than I ever have, and hopefully the feeling's mutual," Douglas told The Daily Mail
. But it hasn't always been easy: Their relationship has survived despite struggles with cancer and separation. "We worked things out," Douglas said, offering this takeaway: "If both people want to work something out and make it better, you can do it. You can't do it if it's just one person."
Luciana Barroso and Matt Damon
Matt Damon, who met his wife while filming a movie, told E! News
, "She's hung in there with me for 10 years, so she deserves a medal or something." The couple renewed their vows in 2013 and have three daughters together—plus another from Barroso's previous relationship. Their secret to making love last? "I think marriage is insane," the actor said to
. "It's a crazy idea but I love being married to my wife. So I wouldn't tell anybody else about their relationship. But I'm lucky I found my wife. And I guess maybe, if there's any secret … it's to feel lucky."
Jamie Lee Curtis and Christopher Guest
Congratulations are in order for actors Jamie Lee Curtis and Christopher Guest, who have been married for over three decades. So what's their big secret? The Scream Queens star puts it simply: "Don't get divorced," she recently said recently on Today
, smiling. "It's a fascinating thing. I could write a book on marriage called Don't Leave."
Cameron Diaz and Benji Madden
The actress shared her relationship secret with Cosmopolitan: "You have to find someone else in the same place as you are. Timing is everything. If you get into a relationship where you want something the guy doesn't want, it's never gonna work. You're never going to get him to be in that place ... No matter how old you are, finding the guy who's in the same place as you are and wants to show up is the only way a relationship works, period."
Behati Prinsloo and Adam Levine
When Jordan Smith, winner of The Voice season 9 got engaged, he looked to his coach, Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine for marriage advice. "Listen to the woman, man," said Levine, who married Victoria's Secret angel Behati Prinsloo in July 2014. "She's always right. Even when you don't always think that's the case, make her feel like it is. Trust me."
Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade
When Gabrielle Union was asked in an interview about the key to her and basetball player Dwayne Wade's marriage, she simply said, "We have fun together." The happy couple has been together since 2014—and welcomed their daughter, Kaavia, in 2018—so clearly, it's working!
Barbra Streisand and James Brolin
The legendary actors tied the knot in 1998, but they've been together for decades. As Barbara Streisand puts it, "20 years in Hollywood is like 50 years in Chicago." Still, things are "great," she said in an interview with Extra
's Mario Lopez. The trick? "Kindness," she said. "The Dalai Lama says, 'Give truth with compassion ...' I used to use truth as a weapon years ago, actually, 'Well, you look fat 'cause you're fat ... I'm telling you the truth.' Truth with compassion would say it a different way—I don't think you can take each other for granted."
- A Slice of Princess Diana and Prince Charles' Wedding Cake Is Up for Auction 40 Years Later—It Might Sell for $700
- Five Reasons Why You Should Talk to Your Friends About Wedding-Related Stress
- Soft Summer Tones and Beautiful Florals Abounded at This Family-Centric Celebration in Texas Hill Country
- Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Daughter, Lilibet Diana, Has Been Added to the Royal Line of Succession