The Magazine was Published in the Fall of 2010. I Reviewed the Article in the Fall of 2010.

My “Good Housekeeping” magazine came the other day and I’ve finally had time to sit down and go through it. It’s a magazine with a long, great history and it has done well evolving through its hundred years. It’s usually a quick and enjoyable read, short articles on a variety of subjects.

Sure enough, there was an interesting article on Mariska Hargitay, television’s Law & Order star. Normally, I wouldn’t take the time to read a full 5-page article but I love the show, so my curiosity piqued.

The interview with writer, David A. Keeps, gave some facts about Hargitay’s childhood but mostly centered on her marriage to actor Peter Hermann and their four-year-old son, August. Since my career work centers on helping people with their relationships and parenting, I read on.

Hargitay spoke about five personal, positive life convictions that are right out of the textbooks. Here they are, four about marriage and the fifth about parenting:

  1. She and her husband, Hermann, nourish their marriage by putting each other first.

*** Believe me; when both partners act on this idea, the marriage works well. This isn’t to say you neglect yourself but it is to say that when you marry, you sign up for a partner. You’re no longer a single individual, acting alone. This automatically means that you don’t always get your way.

Partners collaborate. When differences occur, partners listen carefully to each other. They negotiate in good faith and with good will and they each know how to compromise. This process succeeds when each person has the confidence and ability to bend.

  1. Hargitay describes her marriage to Hermann as “the perfect blend of opposites; we’re really different.” She goes on to say that when she and her husband want different things, they talk together about how to get both. They accept their differences without resentment.

*** Acceptance means a lot in a partnership. Just being all right with: not always wanting the same things, with life sometimes interfering with plans, with understanding and agreeing that we have a responsibility to ourselves, each other and the relationship between us, with the fact that life will throw us some curves, and so on. Accepting whatever comes along goes a long way to build a lasting love. Acceptance shows respect.

  1. Hargitay emphasizes that when she and her husband fell in love, they looked for shared values before marrying. As a result, even though they’re different personalities, they trust each other; the values act as a bridge over the personality differences.

*** Over the long haul, a good marriage can’t succeed without trust; erosion of this foundation piece eventually does the partnership in.

4. Hargitay and her husband believe in honest, aloud talk. Thoughts and feelings are “out in the open;” no secrets. She believes that whatever negatives show up, they can be worked out.

*** What she believes is true; any kind of “secret” thoughts or feelings that we deliberately choose not to share with our partner creates a separation that can be felt….and gradually, highly resented.

5. On parenting, Hargitay believes parents must present a united front to their children. If either parent really disagrees with the other, they should talk together in private.

*** This idea is one of the basic foundation pieces in all parenting. Kids of all ages are smart and UNconsciously clever. They can sense any crack between parents and get through it before it’s even noticed.

These five principles are great guides for good living. Thanks to Good Housekeeping magazine, Mariska Hargitay and writer David A. Weeks for sharing. And, thanks to you from me for reading.

Warm wishes until next time,


Author's Bio: 

Joan Chamberlain is an author, therapist, and life coach with over 30 years of experience helping adults, couples, and teens. She has a Bachelor's degree in Business and Finance, a Bachelor's in education, and a Masters in individuals, couples, and family counseling. Her book, Smart Relationships, has helped many people achieve the self-awareness needed to see themselves honestly. Its wisdom has helped them work toward improving their relationships with themselves, their friends, and their families.

To learn more about the ideas and concepts presented in her articles, please peruse her website: