Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen Reveal the Secrets to Their Happy 25-Year Marriage

The lovebirds are featured on one of this week's covers of PEOPLE's first annual Love Issue

After 25 years of marriage, Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen know what it takes to make their relationship work.

Currently starring on NBC in Mr. Mayor and Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist respectively, Danson, 73, and Steenburgen, 68, sat down with PEOPLE for one of this week's cover stories and opened up about their marriage.

"Everyone I've ever loved has taught me so much, but I feel like my life really began when I found him," says the actress. "I think love is just really listening to your heart."

ted danson and mary steenburgen
Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen. Denise Crew

They also shared some very simple rules when it comes to keeping the peace. "Just tell the truth. The only time I get really angry with Mary is when I'm wrong," says Danson. "But he's wrong a lot," teases Steenburgen. Adds the actor: "I am. It's only when you're being defensive or fearful that you get angry."

When it comes to dividing kitchen duties, Steenburgen insists she's the bigger cook. "But he makes lunches and breakfast much more than I do," she allows, prompting Danson to respond: "So we are going to have to go with me."

Watch the full episode of The Love Issue: Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen on PeopleTV.com or the PeopleTV app.

2/22/2021 cover
Denise Crew

As for who's the first to want a date night, "I think me," says Danson. "We have a lot of date nights; we don't have dumb nights together."

Steenburgen laughs. "Are you kidding? We watch dumb crap on TV all the time."

For more of Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen's exclusive interview, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday, or subscribe here.

Emmy Couples
Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen at the 71st Emmy Awards in 2019. VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty

If they ever disagree, Danson says he's the first to apologize. "But 'stop being mad' is usually the first five minutes of my apology," he adds, smiling.

The couple, whose romance blossomed after costarring in the 1993 film Pontiac Moon, insists the last 25 years have only been filled with gratitude.

"If you keep being grateful for your life, your heart gets bigger. The bigger your heart, the more you get to love," says the actor. "Part of being human is to experience loving and being loved. I have that every day. When that kind of circle of love and being loved gets going, it's truly divine."

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