The Most Unexpected Secrets Behind the Longest Celebrity Marriages

Melissa Herwitt/E! Illustration

Celebrities have acquired a reputation for rapid relationship turnover, the fame game not always conducive to maintaining a stable love life.

Then again, if you've met Mr. or Ms. Right, it's going to take more than crazy schedules, dueling egos and temptation, everywhere, to break a couple up.

"People say, 'Jeez, it must be hard to stay married in show business.' I think it's hard to stay married anywhere, but if you marry the right person, it might work out," Tom Hanks, who's been married to second wife Rita Wilson for almost 32 years now, mused to The Spec in 2016.

But regardless of how meant to be any two people are, relationships take work and efforts have to be made to make sure that minor issues don't turn major and the spark that brought them together doesn't fizzle out entirely. If you look at some of the most enduring couples in Hollywood, you figure that they all must have certain things in common, yet of course the specifics of what those commonalities are—values, sense of humor, energy level, faith, etc.—are uniquely theirs. It's once those things are squared away that couples have to get creative.

"We were friends for two years before we ever went out on a date. She knew what kind of guy I was, what my morals were, what my priorities were, and vice versa," Freddie Prinze Jr. told E! News about falling for his wife of now more than 17 years, Sarah Michelle Gellar. "We already knew all the faults about the other person."

There are quite a few common ingredients when it comes to the secrets of the longest relationships in Hollywood—many of them having to do with how couples fight, actually. Listening is usually pretty key, as is making each other laugh. Oh, and liking each other! The simple act of still really liking each other comes up a lot.

"We were friends first," Beyoncé has said of her and Jay-Z, together for close to 18 years now and married for 12.

But there are also definitely some quirkier additions to the mix that you might not have expected to be so essential to lasting love. Because, as Barbra Streisand, who's been married to James Brolin for almost 22 years, put it when they hit their two-decade milestone: "Twenty years in Hollywood is like 50 years in Chicago."

Here's how these longtime couples have kept it together:

Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze, Jr.


Rita Wilson, Tom Hanks, 2014 SAG Awards

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Bono, Ali Hewson

Francois Durand/Getty Images

David Beckham, Victoria Beckham

Karwai Tang/WireImage

Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, 2017 Oscars, Vanity Fair After Party

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Ben Falcone, Melissa McCarthy, SXSW

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SXSW

Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker

Taylor Hill/GC Images

Candace Cameron Bure, Valeri Bure

Craig Barritt/Getty Images

Catherine Zeta Jones, Michael Douglas

Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

Faith Hill, Tim McGraw

Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Wedding

Salvatore Laporta/Getty Images

Keith Urban & Nicole Kidman, 2017 Emmys, Candids

John Salangsang/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images

Governors Awards 2016, Annette Bening, Warren Beatty

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Kelly Ripa, Mark Consuelos, Tribeca Film Festival

Mike Coppola/Getty Images for 2016 Tribeca Film Festival

Hugh Jackman, Deborra Lee Furness, 2017 Met Gala, Couples

Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell

Stewart Cook/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Jamie Lee Curtis, Christopher Guest, 2016

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Kyra Sedgwick, Kevin Bacon

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

But not so fast, Kevin Bacon. You never know where you might pick up a wellness tip when it comes to marital longevity.

"We do not have separate bathrooms," Cameron Bure told E! News, having a chuckle over Sarah Michelle Gellar's revelation. "I like that."

(Originally published Dec. 5, 2017, at 6 a.m. PT)

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