KELLY RIPA: “I CAN’T PICTURE MY LIFE WITHOUT MARK”
More than two decades after they eloped in Vegas on a whim, the Live host’s romance with Mark Consuelos is only getting stronger
The Live host opens up about her 22-year marriage.
If 22 years of marriage have taught Kelly Ripa anything, it’s to ignore the so-called rules. “I love when people are like, ‘Don’t go to bed angry!’ ” says the
Live With Kelly and Ryan cohost, who’s wed to Riverdale’s Mark Consuelos,
47. “I’m like, ‘Well, if I did that, I would never sleep!’ None of that stuff matters.” Instead, the parents of Michael, 21, Lola, 17, and Joaquin, 15, focus on the positive. Adds Kelly, “We’ve been together since we weren’t much older than my son [Michael]. Some people grow apart, but we grew together. We’re really lucky.” The always-candid 48-year-old opens up to Us managing editor Brody Brown.
Twenty-two years is so impressive! What do you tell people when they ask for your secret?
We like each other, so that helps! Number two, I think, in the early stages, it’s easy to let stuff burn out of control. You want to be right or you want to hear an apology. The stuff we used to argue over in our first year of marriage was like, “Are you going to breathe next to me?” Those were inane fights! I can’t picture my life without him.
Ever regret getting married young?
He’s a great guy, and
I knew that when I met him. We were so young that I thought, “This is so foolish of us to run off and get married.” We didn’t tell anybody, because we knew they would say, “Are you crazy?” But it felt right. We believed in each other and trusted each other. He hasn’t let me down.
Do you disagree on anything in particular?
We’re really aligned. Especially because kids will try to divide and conquer. Even if I disagree with Mark, because I tend to be more lenient, I’d never do it in front of the kids because they smell that! Our kids have boundaries, and if they cross the boundaries, they’ll be punished.
It seems like you’re more of the good cop!
If Lola wants to go to a party, Mark will say to me, “You have to call the mom and make sure she’s home!” But my daughter’s like, “You’re ruining my life!” Instead, what I do is email. I’m always walking the line between trying not to humiliate my daughter, which I do with such ease, and trying to be a responsible parent.
So they’re embarrassed by you?
Lola is horrified. She can’t ever read this — I’m going to have to burn the Us Weeklys! Joaquin is also now in full embarrassment mode. But Michael has gotten over it, and he likes seeing me. He came back around!
OK, be honest: How do they feel about PDA?
My daughter and my older son are disgusted. If Mark gives me a kiss, they’re like, “Ugh!” Whereas Joaquin is still like, “Aw, that’s nice.” They haven’t ruined him yet, but it’s coming.
Are they more like you or Mark?
Michael is a lot like me. I’m a homebody. I could never leave my house for 10 years and be perfectly satisfied. Lola is Mark. They can go out to
MARK AND I HAVE WHAT SOME WOULD CALL A BORING LIFE. BUT IT’S FILLED WITH LOVE. WE ARE COMMITTED TO EACH OTHER.” KELLY
five different parties. Joaquin, we’re not sure where he falls yet! But everybody says our kids look like both of us. I look at Mark like, “Do we look alike?” Could you imagine if we found out we were distant relatives?
As they get older, what lessons do you hope they take with them?
I’m constantly like, “Don’t bingedrink. Don’t ever smoke.” I try to instill a sense of fitness in them. Having said that, if my son comes home from college and I go into his room, there will be 13 candy wrappers in his bed. I think, “Why? Why have you learned nothing?” I try to instill in them good values. I also think a lot of kids will blueprint what they see at home.
What example do you and Mark try to set then?
The kids have seen a lot of joy and laughter. They’ve seen arguments. They’ve seen all of it, but for the most part it’s been a little bit like watching paint dry. Mark is frequently out of town because he shoots Riverdale in Vancouver. Once, he said, “What are you guys doing tonight?” And I sent him a picture of me and the kids in bed, watching 48 Hours. On a Friday night, a 21-year-old, 17-yearold and a 15-year-old were happy to stay home and watch old episodes of people being murdered. What is life?
Do you get to spend most weekends curled up with them?
When our kids were little, I remember thinking, “If only my kids would grow up, I won’t be tired anymore. I won’t worry ever again.” Well, that’s ridiculous! All I think about is how it went too fast. Now, it’s all about the holidays, because that’s the time you have with your kids since they’re doing their own thing.
Any special traditions?
We keep it really simple and stick to the basics. We bake cookies and go to midnight mass. I go all out on the tree! But we try to make it more about the holiday because I feel like kids today have enough stuff.
Who is the better gift giver?
This is a controversial answer. Mark is great at giving gifts to me. But there are other family members! So he takes care of me, and then I’m in charge of everybody else in our lives. And I mean everybody! We’ll be at a party and his agent is like, “Thank you so much for that beautiful gift.” Mark’s like, “What did we get him?”
You’ll officially be empty nesters soon! Are you nervous?
I’m not! Because we had kids so young, we’re still going to be young. I mean, not newborns, but young enough to have a full life.
Do you have celebratory plans?
Rob Lowe told me that as soon as your kids leave, you are totally nude at all times. You make your coffee nude,
you make your breakfast in the nude. I’m going to try it!
Mark and Kelly (in 1996) met on the set of AllChildren in 1995. My “We love each other deeply,” Kelly (in April)tells Us.
Kids Joaquin, Michael and Lola (from leftin 2015) “have always had a very strong sense of self,”says Mom.