Sex & Relationships

How to Not Screw Up Your Marriage: Advice from Famous Men

Illustration by LiSun Francisco

If you’ve ever been unsure about what makes one long-term relationship more successful than another, you’re not alone. The Plunge asked a diverse group of relationship experts – Hollywood stars who repeatedly fall in love on screen – what makes their relationship to their real partners off-screen work. The general consensus: Happy wife, happy life. 

Who: Lin Manuel Miranda


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Famous For: The song and dance man who created and starred in Broadway sensation “Hamilton” and who is set to appear in HBO’s series adaptation of Philip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials.”

His Partner: Since 2010, Miranda has been married to his high-school friend Vanessa Nadal, with whom he reconnected years after graduation.

His Relationship Advice: Check in frequently

“I’m doing my best, like everybody else, and I check in as much as I can,” says Miranda. “Every decision is a joint decision. Everyone asked me, ‘How quickly did you say yes [to “His Dark Materials”]?’ It was after I checked with my wife. Because you have children and you have responsibilities and it’s a life you’re agreeing to live together and you want to grow in the same direction.”

Who: Orlando Bloom


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Famous For: Bloom rose to fame in the “Lord of the Rings” and “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchises and returned to his high fantasy roots in the new Amazon show “Carnival Row.” 

His Partner: After a cheeseburger at the 2016 Golden Globes brought Bloom and multi-platinum artist Katy Perry together, these two are now embarking on the journey of a thousand meals.

His Relationship Advice: Learn to trust

“You have to do the ground work together,” he says. “Create the feeling of trust and safety so that you can spend time apart and do everything that you need to do, and still feel tethered to that person, so that you can go on a journey together.”

Who: Kyle McLachlan


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Famous For: McLachlan turned in some iconic performances in David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks” as well as the director’s “Blue Velvet,” Oliver Stones’ “The Doors,” and others. He’s currently returned to television with the workplace comedy “Carol’s Second Act.”

His Partner: McLachlan has been married to Emmy-winning TV producer and “Project Runway” co–creator Desiree Gruber since 2002.

His Relationship Advice: Funny is forever.

“I’m with somebody that I really love, care about and I get a big kick out of her,” he tells us. “We have a lot of fun together still, and I think we both have a lot of patience with each other. And humor!” 


Who: Scott Wolf


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Famous For: He battled alcoholism and accidental parenthood on “Party of Five” and aliens on the “V” reboot and will next star as Nancy Drew’s dad on The CW.

His Partner: Wolf and life coach Kelley Limp have been married since 2004. The couple, who reside in Park City, Utah, have three children. 

His Relationship Advice: Stay focused

“Listening, paying attention and communicating – because there’s noise everywhere, especially with three kids in the house. If you don’t put your attention on those things, then other things can happen,” he cautions. “I’m very lucky that Kelly is an incredible communicator. She’s brilliantly intuitive. She knows when we need to check in. She knows when we’re off track. She knows when we’re not talking about something that needs to get talked about. I wouldn’t even try and take credit for that.” 

Who: Donald Faison


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Famous For: Best known for playing Turk on “Scrubs” and Murray in “Clueless,” the actor’s next role is as the still-very-present ex-husband of Allison Tolman’s character on the upcoming ABC show “Emergence.”

His Partner: Since 2012, Faison has been married to CaCee Cobb, former assistant and current BFF to Jessica Simpson.

His Relationship Advice: Try humility 

“My wife is probably the biggest ball buster in the history of ball busters. Anytime I feel like I’m on another level, she knocks me back down, and you have to be willing to receive the criticism from her when she does,” he tells The Plunge. “I wish I could do the same with her, but I don’t have that skill. It comes out wrong and all of a sudden I’m in the dog house.”

Who: Al Roker


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Famous For: “The Today Show”’s number one weatherman and TV host has been waking up America since 1996.

His Partner: Roker and fellow journalist Deborah Roberts have been a power couple since they married in 1995. 

His Relationship Advice: Compromise

“I don’t even know if it’s something you’re aware of, it’s something that develops: What’s most important to you, what’s most important to your spouse, and adjusting to that,” says the television personality. “At the end of the day, it’s not the big stuff. It’s the little things that you find common ground with. We’re traveling a lot, but we’re able to make the time. Grab the moments when you can. It’s not always going to be great. It’s a lot of work. So, get ready for work and enjoy the good times.” 

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