Kelly Ripa: “You Work On Your Marriage The Same Way You Work At Your Job”

With their 14th wedding anniversary coming up next year, Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos have one of Hollywood’s longest and, by all accounts, happiest marriages. In a new interview with Redbook magazine the 39-year-old Live with Regis and Kelly host is full of praise for her very handsome husband (“That gorgeousness, those teeth, that jet black hair…”), with whom she has kids Michael, 12, Lola, 8, and Joaquin, 6. The busy mom dishes on everything from dealing with “Mommy guilt” to her golden rule for her kids – and also shares her best advice for a long-lasting relationship.

On dealing with Mommy guilt: “Initially, we would never leave the kids alone with a babysitter. But then Mark would say, ‘We are going out to dinner,’ and I would say, ‘Without the kids?’ And he would say, ‘Yes. Because that’s what grown-ups do.’ It was something he forced me to do, and now I think to myself, The kids will be thrilled. They know the babysitter is going to let them watch TV and eat cookies. So that’s the balance Mark introduced to me. I know there are people who are good at dealing with this stuff, but I think the majority of women feel tremendous guilt.”

On being a work in progress: “There are still nights when, if I’m feeling really guilty about leaving the kids, I’ll pick a fight with Mark over having nothing to wear. Which is a lie. I’m like, ‘I’m not going! My throat hurts! I have nothing to wear!’ And he’ll say, ‘Which is it?’ I’m like, ‘I have nothing to wear and, yes, I think my throat may be hurting soon.’ We’re evolving.”

On making time for marriage: “A date night for us is watching Top Chef. A date night for us is getting our kids asleep before 9:30! It’s really just about checking in, asking how the other person’s day is, and cuddling up. It doesn’t have to lead to anything, although it usually does. But it doesn’t have to. Sometimes, Mark will wake up in Joaquin’s bed, and I’ll wake up in Lola’s tiny bed feeling like a contortionist and saying, ‘I’m in pain and why is there a dog on my head?'”

On being in it for the long haul: “The first year of marriage is so tough, and we fought constantly, these tiny things becoming big accusations. Then we looked at each other one day and said, ‘We’re in this for the long haul, so let’s make it fun.’ It’s not that it’s not going to be work. You work on your marriage the same way you work at your job. But we have friends who have gotten divorced over tiny things that spiral out of control, and no one was willing to reach out, take the other person’s hand, and say, ‘I’m not going anywhere.’ And sometimes it can be that simple. We argue, but we have an allegiance to each other, and we have beautiful children, and from what I hear, divorce sucks. It’s not something I think I have the fortitude to go through.”

On her best relationship advice: “My girlfriends and I talk about this a lot. The more, let’s say, affection – the more you do it, the more you do it. The more you reach out and hold that person’s hand, the more it’s going to happen. The less you do it, the less you do it. That includes everything from intimacy to hand-holding and kissing. I say reach out and grab your husband’s hand every once in a while. Even if he’s wrong and he makes you sick. Because a little bit of that gets you a little bit of a back rub, which gets a little bit of ‘You look pretty today.'”

On never being recognized: “On camera it’s all about glamorous makeup and hair, but in real life I don’t look glamorous at all. And I don’t have an easily recognizable face. I look like most women my age in a ponytail. So I go through my life kind of unnoticed, and it’s great because it allows me to focus on my kids. My husband, he smiles and it’s unmistakable. That gorgeousness, those teeth, that jet black hair…. Whenever I’m with him, I’m like, ‘You’re going to blow our cover!’ I am 100 percent on that bandwagon — he’s so cute and he’s so great, too. But when people do notice us, they’re so kind. My kids are like, ‘People are so nice.'”

On the importance of good manners: “As far as my family, there’s only one rule in my house, and that’s that my kids must be polite to other people. You can get so caught up in your own world that you’re not aware of other people and how you’re affecting them. I’m the biggest offender, but I want better for my kids, so I demand that they are polite. The art of please and thank you never goes out of style. I’ve had thank-you notes made up for them, and when they complain that they don’t have lines on them to make it easier to write, I literally get out a ruler and draw the lines.”

On how her family gives her perspective: “Children teach you really fast that you’re not the center of the universe. And my husband is extraordinarily honest and one of the most direct people on the planet. He handles his life in a way that I find admirable and inspirational. He can make decisions in a snap that are somehow still thoughtful, weighing his options and then saying, ‘We’re going with option A.’ I, meanwhile, agonize over what kind of pasta we’re going to have. Angel hair or linguine? I can spend four hours on that conversation alone.”


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  1. She seem so overly hyper! I always wonder if it’s diet drugs since she usually looks so anorexic. All that manic fast talk of hers, like she can never relax. I don’t watch, she wears me out and it’s a little embarassing, like trying too hard.

  2. I think they are the best couple in the public eye. They are very nice looking, their kids are nice looking and well behaved as well. They just seem to truely be in love and seem to complete each other. I love Regis and Kelli when Mark is filling in. Regis is so grumpy anymore. They should have Mark take over full time..

  3. It is soooo refreshing to see a young couple in the spotlight so dedicated to good old fashioned values, morals & MARRIAGE! They have an amazing family & they are amazing as well. Now these are two people who are wonderful role models!!!

  4. You are so right, anonymous …. that falsetto voice of hers that she now uses in the bank commercial and even on the show is very annoying. Her husband has been having affairs for a long time and I can’t say that I blame him. She is so impressed with herself it makes me gag and I’m quite sure he gets really tired of her bravado. She needs to get over herself. He truly is adorable and appears to be laid back and unassuming. She is very lucky to have him around and she needs to calm down and count her lucky stars.

  5. I can’t believe how rotten some of your comments are…leave people alone…they’ve done NOTHING to earn your disrespect…shame on you with the holiday season…they have children who could be reading your viscious comments….talk about searching to find something to gossip about…you wish you could have what they have…they are such a nice couple and family…and I LOVE watching Kelly every day!!!!! She’s awesome and down to earth!!!

  6. AS a professional psychic who specializes in soul mate relationships these two have a wonderful love betweeen them, like Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, Clint Black and List Hartman, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Ellen & Portia, there is really great love to be found be glad you have examples to strive for, it is hard to find out it but when it is real it is beautiful.

  7. kelly ive watch u since all my children; and you were great and wild on it . i was intriqued by it all . i also seen you in person for the very first time at my city thanksgiving day parade; which, i had thae the pleasure of participating in for several years as a voulunteer. your hair looked so full up on the podium with our channel six guys; your very attractive. and your husband is a nice match. god bless you. well the back of you.

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