Catherine Zeta-Jones: marriage ‘wouldn’t be normal if there weren’t ups and downs’

Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary last November. Catherine and Michael have a 25-year age gap. Age differences can cause a stir at the start of a relationship but once a couple passes the 15-20 year mark, we tend to overlook them. Catherine recently participated in the Wall Street Journal’s My Monday Morning series. Since her marriage has survived 20 years in Hollywood, they asked her the secret to their success. Catherine said it’s having a sense of humor and the understanding that a relationship is going to have ups and downs. The WSJ article is behind a paywall, so I am using an excerpt from Just Jared.

Catherine Zeta-Jones is opening up about her marriage.
The 51-year-old actress revealed the secret to her successful marriage to Michael Douglas in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.

“First of all, we have a lot of fun together,” Catherine said. “My husband is 25 years older than me; that’s not a secret. With any relationship, it wouldn’t be normal if there weren’t any ups and downs. The constant is love and respect. We’ve never, ever lost our sense of humor, and we enjoy each other’s company.”

She added, “My husband and I spend a lot of time together because, unlike so many couples, we’ve never had a 9-to-5 job where it’s consistent. We’re either on or we’re off. I’m really working 16 hours a day, or I’m not. He’s doing the same, or not. So we’ve had in our relationship huge amounts of time where we’ve been just us. We lived on the island of Bermuda for 12 years bringing up our kids. We respect each other’s space, and our humor is just long-lasting.”

[From Just Jared]

I laughed a little at Catherine’s casual reference to “ups and downs” because her marriage has had some pretty major ups and downs. Their relationship emerged from the explosive end to Michael’s marriage to Diandra Lurker. However, I’ll bet if most married folks looked back on their relationships, we’d find that we went through a lot more crap together than we thought.

I whole-heartedly agree on the humor part. It doesn’t work for everyone, but it works in my family and it sounds likes it’s working for Catherine and Michael as well. I think the same is true about Catherine’s comments on the amount of time she and Michael spent together – it’s couple specific. I know a (childless) couple who travel for work separately. They spend maybe half their year together and couldn’t be happier in their situation. I know another couple that hates it if they are kept apart for more than an average 9-5 work-week. In the end, Catherine and Michael have had some wonderful ups and some devastating and scary downs. They fought through them and came out the other side. They’ll celebrate their 21st anniversary this year, defying most naysayers’ odds about them as a couple. They’ve stood by each other during critical health issues and seem happy. Good for them.

Photo credit: Instagram

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12 Responses to “Catherine Zeta-Jones: marriage ‘wouldn’t be normal if there weren’t ups and downs’”

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  1. smcollins says:

    I’ll never forget the story of how he introduced himself to her. According to CZJ he walked up to her at some industry party and told her he wanted to father her children. A little too creepy for my taste but apparently the line worked because here they are. Mazel Tav, you crazy kids.

  2. Izzy says:

    He treated his first wife like garbage. Hopefully he’s been better to CZJ.

  3. Alissa says:

    that article with his ex was so strange. it never went into why she feels entitled to money from the sequel or what the agreement was in the divorce. she alludes to a lot of dark stuff and secrets but then says she won’t touch any of it. she alludes to the fact that their sons drug addiction is partially Michael’s fault but doesn’t go anywhere with it. it was like an in-depth interview that actually didn’t get in depth in the slightest. I didn’t know anything about her so I was interested in hearing her side but she didn’t really say much of anything.

    • equality says:

      Maybe the money is to buy silence and she can’t talk in-depth.

    • smcollins says:

      IIRC her issue about the sequel was because per their divorce agreement she was forever entitled to a piece of the residuals from all the films he made during their marriage. Since the original Wall Street was made during that time she felt it’s sequel should be included since it was a continuation of the original story/film, even though they were long divorced when it was made. I kinda see her point but it also seemed like a petty money grab at the same time. As far as their son I guess she needed to blame someone so why not the ex-husband who’s remarried with his “new” family? Contentious doesn’t begin to describe their divorce (now *that’s* some vintage gossip).

    • Izzy says:

      It had been written into their divorce settlement. She was legally entitled to it. Just because it seemed like a remote possibility at the time of the settlement, doesn’t nullify the contract clause later.

  4. India says:

    Love Them

  5. Anna says:

    What stood out to me is that they have the same birthday so there was a significant connection initially through that.

  6. Blairski says:

    Maybe it’s a sign I’m getting old, but I find him hot, even at 76. Then again, Helen Mirren has still got it at 75, so maybe it’s not that surprising!

  7. chimes@midnight says:

    IS that Michael and not Kirk in the tuxedo photo? I am not being shady. He looks *exactly* like his father.

  8. molee says:

    She isn’t kidding about having a sense of humor! Like CZJ, I also live with Bipolar Disorder, and I LOVE that she said her marriage has “ups and downs.” Ha! I’m totally stealing that for my own personal use.

  9. Orangegirl says:

    They look perfect for each other. He’s hot, and she looks happy.