David Burtka Shares the Secret to His Successful Marriage With Neil Patrick Harris

The actor’s advice is applicable to all relationships.

David Burtka and Neil Patrick Harris

Michael Loccisano / Getty Images

After two decades together and eight years of marriage, David Burtka and Neil Patrick Harris are still going strong. In an exclusive interview with E! News on November 21, 2022, the Celebrity Dish host opens up about his long-term relationship with the How I Met Your Mother star and the habits that help strengthen their union. Even though the duo has had a successful partnership, Burtka isn’t afraid to admit that even the happiest marriages have struggles. “Every marriage hits rough spots, and that’s just the way it is,” he reveals.

Whenever the couple experiences setbacks in their relationship, the Broadway star credits one very important quality to helping them overcome these tough times. “Having open lines ofcommunication is super important in your marriage,” he shares. To help facilitate that conversation, Burtka believes couples’ therapy is very beneficial. “Going to see someone to talk about your issues as a couple—there’s nothing wrong with that,” he tells the publication.

The Dance-Off actor says “marriage is work,” and once couples stop putting in the effort, that’s when relationships start to decline. “You have to take care of your marriage,” he advises. “You have to go on dates. You have to see someone, if you can, to talk about it.” Putting in that work is what helps the couple maintain their flame. 

He also notes that arguing with your partner isn’t a sign that your relationship is flawed; instead, Burtka sees it as an opportunity to communicate and resolve your differences. “Being able to fight and being able to make up is really important,” he shares in the interview. “And having your kids see that you fight and seeing that you’re able to make up is important. I think all of those aspects are important to a happy marriage.” The actors share twins, Harper and Gideon, together, and they normally patch up disagreements in front of them to teach them about the importance of open communication, attentive listening, and understanding one another’s perspective.

Their relationship with their children is another important part of their marriage—as a couple and as parents. Burtka also applies the quality of raw and real conversation to his parenting style. “Any time spent with your family is valuable time,” the actor says. “Having a conversation with your kids is so important. Talking to your kids as normal human beings, not having the baby talk, it makes your kids feel like they’re equal with you."

It all started back in 2004 when the two met on a street corner, according to People. Although their relationship was platonic in the beginning, Burtka and Harris confirmed that they were dating in 2007. Three years later, the couple took their partnership a step further and welcomed twins via surrogate. Once New York legalized gay marriage in 2011, the pair announced their engagement. They finally tied the knot in a private ceremony in Italy in 2014.

Throughout their many years together, Burtka and Harris have been each other’s number one supporters. “I’m simply amazed by this awesome man,” the Glee actor wrote on Instagram in 2021. “David is the glue that holds our family together, the constant provider of meals and compassion, and the funniest, most loving man I know.”

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