It's about the everyday. I think that, that's what people forget when they fall in love with someone and it's exciting," the actress tells PEOPLE

By Mariah Haas
February 06, 2016 12:40 PM

What’s the secret to a lasting marriage?

“It’s about the everyday,” Viola Davis told PEOPLE during a Vaseline Healing Project event. “I think that, that’s what people forget when they fall in love with someone and it’s exciting.”

“You have to get back to the everyday – the taking the garbage out, the cooking, the cleaning – and it’s something that I think really works with me and my husband,” Davis, 50, who tied the knot with actor Julius Tennon in 2003.

“Every day is like a date,” added the actress, who is also mother to daughter Genesis, whom Davis and Tennon adopted in 2011

For more on Viola Davis, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now

The How to Get Away with Murder star also said it’s the “simple things that are very, very special” and that “make a marriage.”

She shares that her husband “just gave me a book. It says, ‘How Do I Love Thee Viola? Confirmations Of Love By Julius.’ I have it in my bag, and I bring it with me every day to work, and each day is another love affirmation.”

How to Get Away with Murder returns Thursday at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.

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