Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.
Tim Nudd
April 16, 2015 11:50 AM

In the year since they reconciled following a brief separation in 2013, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones‘s bond has only strengthened.

But it hasn’t been easy, he says. Both of them had work to do – after their marriage buckled following several difficult years that included Douglas’s 2010 cancer battle and Zeta-Jones’s struggles with bipolar II disorder.

“It can’t be a one-way street,” the actor, 70, says in an appearance Thursday on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. “But I’m crazy about her. And yeah, I think every couple has their difficult times. The only problem is, as you well know, we’re all in the public eye, and it tends to get a little more exposed than most.”

But all the work seems to have paid off.

“We’re back stronger than ever,” Douglas says.

It’s a good thing he visited the show this week, too. Douglas tells DeGeneres that her staff backstage congratulated him on his upcoming 15th wedding anniversary – saving him from some embarrassment with his wife, as he thought it was their 14th.

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