Hugh Jackman has revealed the secret to his happy marriage with Deborra-Lee Furness – and it is so simple. The Greatest Showman actor, who has been married for 23 years, revealed he and his wife made a pact before they had children together to safeguard their relationship.

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Hugh Jackman and his wife, Deborra-Lee Furness, have been together for nearly 23 years — and they’re still one of the most inspirational couples in Hollywood. They met on the set of Correlli, aTV series in 1995 and tied the knot less than a year later in 1996. They have been together ever since. The photo above pictures them in 2001, 5 years after they got married. Along the way, they’ve adopted 2 children — Oscar Maximilian and Ava Eliot — and watched Jackman’s career take flight.

In the beginning of their relationship, the couple reached agreements to keep it strong – to not spend more than 2 weeks apart and to not work at the same time if they didn’t have to financially and to always be there to support each other, shared Hugh in an interview. So they have maintained that for 23 years so far!

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In an extract from The Father Hood: Inspiration for the New Dad Generation, published by WHO magazine, Hugh wrote: “Before we had kids, Deb and I made a pretty simple but powerful choice to look each other in the eye at every crossroads in life. Those crossroads are sometimes big, sometimes they’re small, sometimes you don’t even realise they’re crossroads until you look back.”

Hugh continued: “But at those moments, we said we’d ask each other, ‘Is this good or bad for our marriage?’ Or, now that we’ve got kids, ‘Is this good or bad for our family?’ And as often as possible, we do the thing that is good for our family.”

The 50-year-old actor met Deborra while on the set of Australian drama Corelli in 1995, and previously said he knew within two weeks that they would be together for the rest of their lives, and proposed just four months later.

Hugh often praises his wife in interviews, and has spoken about how lucky he feels to have met her before his successful film and TV career began. “I really think it helps that we were together before any of that,” he said on the Today Show in 2018. “So we’ve been on this unbelievable journey, places we never thought we’d go to and we’ve done it together.”

As well as making their pact, the couple have also established some other rules to always ensure their marriage stays strong, including never spending more than two weeks apart, and never going to sleep on an argument. “I think relationships, you gotta be yourself, even the bits you don’t love, the bits you’re embarrassed about or things you did wrong. If you’re in a situation where you can be yourself and really be honest, that’s a good start,” Hugh said.