Everything Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick Have Said About Making Their 22-Year Marriage Work
By Antoinette Bueno
Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images for AFI
Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick are still going strong after more than two decades of marriage.
The couple is celebrating their 22-year wedding anniversary on May 19, and share three kids together -- 16-year-old son James Wilkie as well as 9-year-old twins Marion and Tabitha -- but have dealt with their fair share of tabloid rumors. On Wednesday, 54-year-old Parker called out The National Enquirer on Instagram for preparing a story on a supposed recent "screaming match" they had.
"Just like clockwork. Over a decade of the same, untrue, disgraceful nonsense," Parker wrote. "As usual, days ahead of our anniversary on May 19th, The National Enquirer is making its annual best effort to fabricate and undermine, this time a blissful four days with my husband in London."
"There was no 'screaming match' as alleged in a restaurant or on the street," Parker continued. " ... Hey, National Enquirer and your sister publications, why not celebrate a marriage of 22 years and relationship of 27 years? Because, despite your endless harassment and wasted ink, we are nearing three decades of love, commitment, respect, family and home. There's your 'scoop' From a 'reliable source.' #tabloidharassment"
Parker and 57-year-old Broderick have remained intensely private about their relationship since marrying in 1997. The two met in 1991 through the Naked Angels Theater Company -- which two of Parker's brothers, Pippin and Toby, founded -- when Broderick was directing a play. The Ferris Bueller's Day Off star described meeting her for the first time in an interview with the YES Network in 2012.
"I do remember first meeting her… we went to a movie together," he recalled. "And I still remember very clearly seeing her walk down the street toward the movie theater … it's very unique, because I wouldn't remember most people the first time I saw them come down the street. [But] I remember it as clear as day … She was [a huge Yankees fan so] we both got into the Yankees in those years."
In a revealing 1996 New York Times interview with both Parker and Broderick about starring together in the Broadway revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying at the time, Broderick admitted it took him a while to make the first move after their meeting at the movies.
"My memory is that literally months passed when I didn't ask her for a date," he recalled.
"Your memory is correct," Parker added, naming the date as Feb. 1, 1992. "Then he left a very charming, very self-effacing message on the machine. You know, 'Hi, it's Matthew Broderick.' You had to use your last name."
"I had to give her my credits," he then quipped.
The outlet described Parker as "almost dewy-eyed in her affection" of him, "habitually tugging on his shirt or taking his hand as they sit in the dining area of her apartment in TriBeCa."
Parker also acknowledged that their relationship came before her career.
"I can't imagine fighting with any actor about anything, and certainly not Matthew," she said. "I'd rather have him as a boyfriend than fight about whether I upstage him or not. I'll be happy to be upstaged."
Meanwhile, Broderick was as hesitant as ever to open up about about their personal relationship, telling the Times in the same interview more than two decades ago, "The part that takes some adjusting and is a little uncomfortable for me is I have a slight feeling of dangling our couplehood around Times Square."
When they married one year later, Parker memorably wore a black wedding dress. But during her Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen appearance in 2016, she expressed regret over the bold choice.
"Oh, I wish it was because I was badass," she said. "I just was too embarrassed to spend any time looking for a wedding dress. There was a store that I liked that I knew, and I just went and got whatever they had hanging."
Although Cohen was complimentary of the decision, Parker said, "No, I would do it differently."
More milestones in their relationship came later, when the couple welcomed James Wilkie in 2002, and Marion and Tabitha via surrogate in 2009. In a 2010 Vogue interview, Parker got real about some of the more trying aspects of welcoming their twin daughters.
"We couldn't talk about the fact that we were having children to anybody for soooo long," she recalled. "All the stuff that matters is secretive and worrisome. You can't talk about how you feel about the woman who's carrying your children; you can only talk about it to your husband. And he just doesn't want to talk about it as much as you do."
Parker and Broderick have continued to put their kids first. In another interview with Vogue a year later, she talked about both of them being very involved when it comes to their children.
"We don't have any live-in help," she revealed. "We're pretty hands-on parents. That’s something that’s important to both of us, and we don't shirk it, because what's the point in having a family if you're not going to really participate in it, you know?"
In a 2013 Harper's Bazaar interview, Parker said she was still madly in love with Broderick and the family they created together, but also addressed dealing with rumors about their marriage. In 2008, a Star magazine report alleged that Broderick had an affair with a 25-year-old woman.
"Yeah, I didn't comment on it," Parker said. "People have asked me about my marriage, 'How do you make it work, and I say, 'We don't talk about it.' That's not really true. It's sort of a nasty response."
Parker noted she and Broderick never thought they would have to deal with the "trappings" of being actors.
"Matthew and I come from a different time and place," she explained. "When we were young people, all we ever wanted was to be good working actors. We didn't think of fame or money because, honestly, money was never part of the dream. It was to work in theater, to be around those people whose work I was in total awe of. I never saw the trappings; nobody talked about being a celebrity. So when our marriage came up in conversation, it wouldn't occur to us that we were obligated to respond to allegations or gossip. You have to be a bit circumspect, but you also have to take up a position, and you have to stick to it."
"There's also the reality of your life," she continued. "I love Matthew Broderick. Call me crazy, but I love him. We can only be in the marriage we are. We're very devoted to our family and our lives. I love our life. I love that he's the father of my children, and it's because of him that there's this whole other world that I love."
Broderick also had complimentary words about his wife during a rare 2015 appearance on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen. Broderick praised Parker as being "very unbi**hy" when a caller asked what the "bi**iest thing" about Parer was, noting, "She’s pretty level-headed and very kind."
Although he later joked that "everything" he did around the house annoyed his wife, he noted, "Anytime I talk about my wife, I want to make it, like, you know, the battle-ax, and I always do that bit, but it’s not true. She’s a very positive person."
But through the years, Parker has especially has been candid about the work it takes to keep a marriage intact.
"There is an enormous amount of discussion and dissection and introspection about it," she acknowledged to The Telegraph in 2016. "We have common interests and we still really enjoy each other's company. We are suited to each other ... At least for the time being."
"I know it sounds dreary and not sexy, but I think the most important part of it is companionship," she continued. "For me, it’s about asking myself: who do I want to sit with, in Ireland? Who do I want to see those ruins with? Who is still the most challenging to me? Who do I like best?"
As for coming up with the concept of her HBO show, Divorce, and her character, Frances, having an affair, Parker commented, "It’s very normal to be interested in other people. But it doesn’t mean you have to follow through."
“Listen to her. You know, that helps," he said, adding that "communicating" and not going to bed angry are vital to a healthy relationship. "Give her a little present every now and then. Just be kind to her."
"I know this sounds nuts, but we have lives that allow us to be away and come back together," she said during her chat on Girlboss Radio hosted by Sophia Amoruso. "His work life takes him here, and mine takes me there. In some ways, I think that that's been enormously beneficial because we have so much to share in a way... anytime that any relationship is hard, it's the point in which you're deciding, is this worth the investment getting through whatever that thing is?"
"Relationships are hard," she continued. "I always felt that I wanted to invest more. I love him, and I think he's brilliant. I'm sure I annoy him. He annoys me sometimes. I'm enormously proud of the person he is. I think the longer you can last, the more invested you just are."
"He didn't tell me that part," Parker said with a laugh of him playing Laurie Metcalf's love interest on the comedy. "He told me he got to work with Laurie Metcalf. He loves Laurie Metcalf. We all love Laurie Metcalf. We've loved her for years, not that she's a hundred years old, but her entire career is something to admire. But we don't talk about work much."
Further explaining the situation, she shared, "How he told me is, 'I have to go to Los Angeles.' And in fact, the trip was so fast that my son, when he was back and when we were in the kitchen, my son was like, 'What are you talking about?' And my husband was like, 'I was in L.A. yesterday.' And my son was like, 'You were?' But my son is so busy," Parker recalled. "He was like, 'I told the girls.' But James wasn't home when he said yes and got on a plane."
Clearly, Parker and Broderick's focus remains on their kids. The Sex and the City star described their "musical" household to ET.
"You know, I sang as a younger person on Broadway, and my husband did, and does as well," she explained. "And there is music, a huge amount, in our house. It's changing, the music that we're listening to, because our children aren't dictating that much more. And their tastes are different than ours. But it's democratic in our house."
"Music is a huge part of our house," she continued. "And the children are playing musical instruments. We hear it a lot. And it's nice background noise. It's nice to have that."