Most celebrity relationships don’t last. And even when star studded lovers exchange vows, divorce almost always seems inevitable.
It’s not easy juggling a life in front of cameras while maintaining a relationship.
But there are always exceptions. And what a breath of fresh air they are.
Denzel Washington and his wife, Pauletta Washington have been together for four decades. That’s a huge milestone for any couple, and more so for anyone connected to Hollywood.
The proud parents of four are still very much in love with each other.
Denzel and Pauletta are able to juggle their acting and family time. That’s a tall order but there’s always a way. How do they do it?
They met in 1977 on the set of Wilma. Denzel shares the story.
“The first movie I ever did — TV movie — was about Wilma Rudolph and I played Wilma Rudolph’s boyfriend. Pauletta was one of the track stars. I met her then, but I didn’t meet her then. I saw her then.”
Denzel Washington recalled on Live with Kelly and Ryan in 2018.
Life dealt its cards.
When shooting wrapped and everyone went their separate ways, Denzel had no idea he would run in to Pauletta in a few months time.
Pauletta narrated the encounter to Oprah in 1996,
“A mutual friend of ours, who was also in the film, had given a party. And Denzel and his friends came at the very end of the party. We spoke again. We were reintroduced. The next night, I attended a play,”
Her version of the story was that she arrived late which meant she had to sneak in and take her seat.
When the intermission came and the lights were on, she saw Denzel sitting next to her.
Her husband had a slightly altered version.
“I had talked at that party, I talked about going to see a play. I went to see the play and at intermission the lights came up and she was sitting [there]. She said she just happened to go see the play, but… I’m getting in trouble as I speak!”
These two versions are a constant point of teasing between the two. Denzel and Pauletta are always teasing each other without anyone getting hurt. That’s one of their secrets.
Being able to constantly laugh with your significant other is priceless.
Denzel and Pauletta’s first date happened back in the 70’s but they still remember every detail. In fact, they like to argue and tease each other about it!
Denzel says he took care of the bill but Pauletta begs to differ.
“I paid for the cab ride, we went to a party [so] there was nothing to pay for after we got there.”
Denzel argued that he meant to pay, “but then I’m watching the meter and I’m running out of money!”
Pauletta laughed, “He turns to me and says, ‘I have no money!’” To which Denzel shot back with, “I didn’t say that!”
Now younger couples like to argue about money and who pays for what, but these two used it as a foundation for what was to become a rock solid relationship.
And what about the story of their engagement?
Pauletta revealed that Denzel proposed to her three times!
Naturally, Denzel had a different version claiming that he only proposed twice. But his wife wasn’t having it.
Pauletta confirms that it happened three times. That’s not something any woman will forget.
The wedding took place in 1983. Pauletta knew Denzel was the one for her.
“I thought he was cute, but I fell in love with his spirit, really. That I saw first. And then I thought, hm, not a bad package, you know?”
They had their first child, son John David, in 1984. Daughter Katia arrived in 1987 and, in 1991, they had the twins, Olivia and Malcolm.
Denzel says that it was his wife who solidified the family as a unit. He gives her full credit, saying Pauletta was the consistent one.
It wasn’t all rainbows and flowers.
Rumors of infidelity and divorce plagued the couple in 2013 but instead of giving up, they chose to work on their relationship.
Denzel and Pauletta stayed true to each other, fighting through with commitment and love for each other.
Denzel denied all cheating rumors and in 2002, the couple renewed their vows in South Africa.
There’s no such thing as a perfect marriage and yet Denzel and Pauletta work as a team, working hard, keeping the peace, and making sure the family is provided for.
“You can buy a house, but that doesn’t make it a home – and not to say a man can’t make a home a home, but my wife has made our house a home, and raised these beautiful kids and protected them and sacrificed for them, she did the heavy-lifting.”
So learn from the Washingtons. There will be problems down the road. It’s how you two take on those challenges that will define how successful the future will be. Lots of sacrifice, hard work, and laughter. Where there’s laughter, there is love.
For more on Denzel and Pauletta, watch both videos below, including how Pauletta turned down his first three proposals!
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