Hollywood relationships tend to get a bad rap. But, for every headline-making breakup, there are dozens of other celebrity couples out there who are making it work and using the spotlight to show the rest of us how it’s done.
Take, for example, Meryl Streep and Don Gummer, who have been married for over 40 years. Or Jay-Z and Beyoncé, who have proven that love endures, despite its ups and downs. You can also look to Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard, who show us daily on social media what #relationshipgoals really looks like.
These couples—and many, many more—have shown us that the rom-com worthy onscreen love that most of us dream about is possible IRL. Read on as our favorite celebrities share their best marriage advice and uncover the secret on how it's done.
Academy Award winner Meryl Streep has been married to Don Gummer for over 40 years. Her secret to their long-term relationship? "You have to talk about all the issues that arise, even the smallest things,” she tells New Zealand Women's Weekly. "You have to listen to your partner's problems, suggestions, and advice, and accept that you're not always right. Conversation is the key to a successful marriage."
After nearly 25 years of marriage to Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith reveals how bettering themselves as individuals has strengthened their union. "If there is a secret, I would say it's that we never went into working on our relationship," the actor shares in an interview with Entertainment Tonight. "We only ever worked on ourselves individually and then presented ourselves to one another better than we were previously. Really, at the end of the day, it's just not quitting."
Freddie Prinze Jr.
Freddie Prince Jr. and Sarah Michelle Gellar tied the knot almost 20 years ago. The '90s dreamboat has credited selflessness as the key to their commitment. "Sacrifice is something that’s required in marriage," the She's All That star tells Us Weekly. "It’s fun being single, right? You can be selfish. When I was single making movies, I would travel all over the world, and I didn’t have to think about anybody else’s feelings—just my career. So, if you’re in that mode, selfishness isn’t bad. It’s good. It’s how careers get made. But marriages require a step back from that and a bit of a sacrifice. And our sacrifice I think is maybe the biggest thing that’s made our marriage work.”
Victoria and David Beckham are one of Hollywood's longest standing couples. The former Spice Girl explains how being present with her family and prioritizing quality time together has taken them far. "When I get home, I try to put the phone down and spend time with the children and spend time with David," the singer reveals. She also believes that an equal division of labor has contributed to her relationship satisfaction. "I have the support of an incredible husband," she says. "We really are equal with everything we do at home with the children. When I'm away, he's the one doing the school and doing the cooking."
To keep the spark alive in their marriage, Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz love keeping each other guessing. "[We] like surprising each other and going on secret weekend dates,” the Grammy Award winner tells People. "One of us plans it, and the other has no idea where we are going." Not only do spontaneous hangouts give the couple time away from everything else, but they also allow their relationship to grow. "We've found some undiscovered gems and moments to take hikes or walks or just discover new things about life and each other," she adds. "Those are my favorite times.”
As far as iconic couples of our time go, Beyoncé and Jay-Z might just hold the top spot—and for good reason. "I was independent before I met my husband, and we have such a natural chemistry and a genuine relationship. It's based on the things that relationships are supposed to be based on," Beyoncé notes to GQ. "I've seen, growing up, when a woman or a man in a relationship—it doesn't matter which one—doesn't feel confident, they feel a bit trapped. Your self-worth is determined by you. You don't have to depend on someone telling you who you are.”
Jessie James Decker
After almost 10 years of marriage and three children together, Jessie James Decker and her husband Eric Decker go back to the basics: They don't let their romance fade. “I think women sometimes stop flirting with their husbands, and you can’t," the singer discloses to People. "Men want to want feel good. They want to feel like their women love them. When they come home from work, don’t start nagging them with questions. Go up to them, give them a big kiss, and ask them how their day was.”
Ellen DeGeneres cites mutual understanding as the reason her relationship to Portia de Rossi is so strong. "When we got married, Portia's line was, 'It's good to be loved. It's profound to be understood.' And she understands me because that is the best gift anyone could have ever given me," the talkshow host says.
Neil Patrick Harris
No, Neil Patrick Harris's advice is not "Suit up." (Although, we have to admit, that's pretty good advice every once in a while too.) "In our relationship, communication is super important," he says of his marriage to David Burtka. "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."
Power duo Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake have to agree. "Communication, communication, communication," the actress shares with People. “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. I would never want to speak on anyone else’s relationship, but that’s what we do.”
A tip from Timberlake? Never stop taking your significant other out on date nights. "That's always my rule," the singer explains. "Even when you get married, you have to keep dating. It's just the difference comes when you have kids, and you have to actually schedule the date. So, when you say you're going out at 6:30 p.m., you need to go out at 6:30 p.m."
Wondering how John Legend and Chrissy Teigen manage to stay so in love all of the time? "You just have to make time for each other," the "All of Me" singer remarks. "Go on little trips like we did for her birthday, and go to dinner just the two of you sometimes. You still have to have romance time."
For Teigen, a little bit of space helps too. "Travel away from each other a lot—that helps," she adds. "We're not together 365. It's nice to be able to really be like, 'Oh my gosh, I miss you. I miss you so much.' That works for both of us."
For Kristen Bell, who has been married to Dax Shepard since 2013, letting your guard down is essential for a thriving marriage. "Vulnerability always begets connection and intimacy," The Good Place actress wrote on Instagram. "Stay vulnerable with each other. In 10 years, when the dopamine has waned, remember: Life is a crazy ride. It’s a privilege to go through it with a partner. Take necessary separateness. It will make your marriage better. Loving someone despite their faults, failings, or other character defects is the most powerful, loving thing you can do. Rejoice in what makes the other person happy, and allow them their individual interests. Know that everyone is doing the best they can with what they’ve got. So, get a bigger emotional toolbox to fix your problems."
Sarah Jessica Parker
While Carrie Bradshaw's onscreen romances were usually up and down, Sarah Jessica Parker's relationship with Matthew Broderick in real life has remained steadfast for 25 years. "I know this sounds nuts, but we have lives that allow us to be away and come back together,” Parker expresses on Girlboss Radio. “His work life takes him here, and mine takes me there. In some ways, I think that that’s been enormously beneficial because we have so much to share in a way."
As the epitome of a Hollywood power couple, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson note that marriage can be effortless, depending on the person you choose to spend the rest of your life with. "People say, 'Jeez, it must be hard to stay married in show business,'" Hanks reflects. "I think it's hard to stay married anywhere. But if you marry the right person, it might work out. We give each other a natural sense of support for whatever the other wants to pursue. Our marriage doesn't require vast work."
After Nick Jonas slid into Priyanka Chopra’s Twitter direct messages in 2016, the rest was history. The most important component of their marriage? “He has to be someone who respects you,” Chopra reveals to 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."
Not only were Michelle and Barrack Obama political powerhouses during their time in office, but they also modeled a healthy marriage. And, building that happy relationship took work. “Marriage counseling, for us, was one of those ways where we learned to talk out our differences,” the former first lady vocalizes on Good Morning America.
Although it was love at first sight when Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban crossed paths in 2005, the duo asserts that their burgeoning marriage is due to more than just pure attraction. "I think it's knowing that you have to keep contributing to what we call the 'us,'" The Undoing star illuminates. "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."
For Salma Hayek and François-Henri Pinault, who wed in 2009, hanging out with one another more often than their larger social circle has been pivotal. “We support each other in everything we do,” the Like a Boss star says. “We want the other one to strive. [It] makes you happy when the other one strives. And you know what, we don’t have a very strong social life because we really like to spend time together. So, we do spend a lot of quality time together."
Samuel L. Jackson
Over 40 years of marriage has taught Samuel L. Jackson and LaTanya Richardson Jackson that empathy is key. “Marriage changes the dynamic of how we perceive ourselves because we have to start thinking of someone else,” the actor notes. “The selfishness of who you are has to be subjugated."
Even though Hollywood relationships don’t always end in happily ever after, Emily Blunt and John Krasinski believe their careers have actually helped progress their marriage. “It’s an advantage having someone who understands your profession,” Blunt tells OK! “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.”
Everyone’s favorite country music couple, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, are still madly in love with each other after more than 25 years of marriage and three daughters together. Although the superstars work with one another to record hit tracks, they also prioritize their alone time. “We both have our daily routines, and we have our own dressing rooms,” Hill points out. “We each have our own space to retreat to, so we do get time to ourselves.”