More than two decades af­ter they eloped in Ve­gas on a whim, the Live host’s ro­mance with Mark Con­sue­los is only get­ting stronger

US Weekly - - INSIDE -

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


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.

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