The SECRET to Our 16-YEAR MARRIAGE
Still going strong! Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr. tell Us they’re more in love than ever
When Freddie Prinze Jr. was 15, a girl stood him up and broke his heart. He remembers telling his mom what happened as she cooked at the stove one night. “Mom said, ‘You’re a teenager, and teenage girls want to date jerks,’ only she didn’t say, ‘jerks,’” he recalls. She assured him that when he grew up and started dating women, “‘they’re going to want a guy like you. And there are only going to be six or seven of you left on earth, so you’re going to have your choice.’ I stayed a nice boy.”
Six years later, he met the woman he’d marry. Freddie, now 42, became friends with Sarah Michelle Gellar first — he was her ride to the gym when they were shooting 1997’s I Know What You Did Last Summer. But a few years later, that friendship turned into more, and now, two decades and two kids later, they’re still madly in love. “Communicate. That’s the [key],” the Buffy the Vampire Slayer actress, 41, tells Us, explaining why she thinks she and her
Scooby-Doo costar, whom she calls her “best friend,” are still going strong 16 years after their wedding. “It’s about being present. Listening is the most important thing.” Having a sense of humor doesn’t hurt either. “We still make each other laugh,” says Freddie. “And we treat each other with respect.”
WORKING AT IT
They also don’t pretend marriage is easy. Sarah half-joked last year that the secret to their success is separate bathrooms and
separate credit cards for her shopping and his video game addiction, but she and Freddie both admit it takes effort. “It’s fun being single — you can be selfish,” Freddie tells Us.
“But marriage requires a step back from that and a bit of a sacrifice.”
They especially love making food together and eating meals as a family (Sarah has a no-phonesallowed-at-the-table rule) with Charlotte, 9, and Rocky, 6. Freddie cooks breakfast for them just about “every single day,” he says.
Sarah knows she got lucky — but so did Freddie. He knew she was the woman for him “from like two weeks in. I’m telling you, from the first time we kissed, I didn’t go on another date. It was just Sarah. That lesson my mom taught me in front of the stove was bang-on — I got to pick the best.”
“We were at the right placein our life when we met,” Freddie tells Us of falling in lovewith Sarah.
For Sarah, “the kitchen is the number one” place she likes to spend time with Freddie and kids Rocky and Charlotte.