If you’ve ever tried to find the secret to marriage, you know it’s not easy to pin down into one concept. It can really be anything, from good communication to not going to bed angry. Still, most long-term couples will give you similar answers, that is unless you’re actor Jeff Daniels. His secret to marriage is simply shutting up.
The Dumb and Dumber actor married to his wife Kathleen in 1979. While the two weren’t exactly high school sweethearts, they did meet as teenagers and are from the same small town in Michigan. They now have three kids and three grandchildren with another one on the way. Their marriage has stayed strong through his decades in Hollywood, and Daniels jokes it’s all due to him know when to stop talking.
When Carson Daly asked him what the secret to his marriage is, the actor told the Today show host that it’s all about “understanding that mansplaining is a real thing. And that it probably qualifies as a disease and that you should get the suitable medication.”
“Mansplaining” is a term that refers to how some men tend to explain concepts to women that they already thoroughly know. It’s popular online as some men will try to, say, tell a female doctor they know more about a disease than she does. And the cure, Daniels says, is simple.
“That’s the kinda key to mansplaining, is just don’t speak as much and you’ll probably last longer,” he joked.
It seems to have worked for Daniels. The two are happier than ever, and a lot of it is thanks to their decision to move back to Michigan as Daniels’ career started taking off. The move, the actor said, was “to create as much a sense of normalcy as possible” for their family.
“It was a very dramatic move in 1986 to move to Michigan, but that was to keep the family number one. And that worked,” Daniels told People Magazine in 2019. ““Kathleen’s permanent. The family’s permanent. Careers are job to job, you’re hot, you’re not.”
Daniels might joke that talking less is the secret to his long marriage, but we think his commitment to his wife and kids is what actually did the trick. Either way, it’s clear he knows how to keep his marriage strong!