Coming from an abusive household and a failed marriage, it seemed like Somers wouldn't get her chance at love - until she found Alan Hamel.
Suzanne Somers is a blue-eyed, blonde-haired beauty who managed to steal hearts across the country with her role as Chrissy Snow on the hit sitcom Three's Company. But for the 73-year-old actress, there was just one person's heart that she wanted to steal and that was TV producer Alan Hamel. And 42 years of marriage later, they still love keeping their passion and chemistry bright and burning.
It was in the 1960s when they were on the set of a game show where Somers worked as a model and Hamel, 10 years her senior, was a host. At the time of their first meeting, the American Graffiti star was just recently divorced from Bruce Somers with whom she had one child and Hamel was separated from his first wife, Marilyn, with whom he had two children. But when they laid eyes on each other, it was "love at first sight", according to Country Living.
“If you want to get really lofty, did we know each other in another life?” Somers said regarding her bond with Hamel to People. “It was that instant.” The actress also told the news outlet that the producer “turned on women and turned on men. Everybody liked him, everybody liked to be around him. I just stood in awe." And there was an instant spark that ignited a night of passion which turned into a decades-long romance.
“I went on my first date with him [and] slept with him on the first date [because] I thought, ‘I may never get another chance'” she added. “It was so incredible. I’ve been with him ever since.” With their relationship starting off with a bang, Somers recalled one particular incident when they made love on bubble wrap.
She wrote in her memoir, Two's Company: A Fifty-Year Romance with Lessons Learned in Life, Love & Business: “There was a big kid inside Alan Hamel. He started jumping on the bubbles, popping them, and then he grabbed my hand. He and I were jumping up and down, falling on the ground, pop pop pop! Soon we were making wild and crazy love on the plastic floor. I was madly in love.”
Even before she met Hamel, the actress had to work through a lot of issues. Living with an emotionally and verbally abusive father, according to People, she opened up about how he used to break her confidence and self-esteem with his words. He had even prophesied that’d she’d “get knocked up" and at age 19, she was pregnant. She married Bruce Somers, the father of her child because “that’s what you did.” They soon divorced, and she was on her own as a broke, teenage mother... until she met Hamel. That was when her life changed.
Yet, it took 10 years for them to tie the knot on November 11, 1977, as they had to spend that much time not only getting to know each other, Somers had to learn to trust another man as well as help blend their families together. And that too wasn't easy. The couple had their fair share of arguments until they figured out a trick to reduce them.
Somers spoke to Today about the most constructive way to deal with arguments. "We argued a lot in the first 10 years, ‘cause we were blending families," she said. "And that’s very difficult because there’s no child who wants a new parent, so we’re trying to put our kids together, and you just have to be patient. The last 10 years, I don’t remember having an argument. We’re so compatible that even a cross tone will hurt one another’s feelings."
She continued, "Many years ago, I had a therapist who taught me how to argue. So here’s what you do: You never start any sentence with ‘you always,’ ‘you never’ or ‘you should.’ That’s like backing the other person into the corner, and they have no choice but to strike. So, here’s how you do it effectively. 'When you do this, it makes me feel that.' Try it — it works every time, and you just won’t fight, because then the other person says, 'Well, I didn’t mean to make you feel like that.' And then you get a real 'I’m sorry.'"
From the 73-year-old mother facing cancer to doing their best to keep the romance alive, there is nothing that the couple hasn't supported each other through. And the actress believes that it's their age gap that helps them too. She said to People, “I think the 10-year difference, he has a perspective that I’ve been catching up with. He’s been a great teacher, as I believe I’ve been a great teacher for him.”
According to Today, Somers revealed the secret to their long-lasting marriage: "Give each other a lot of attention. And in a good marriage, you want to give the other a lot of attention. He takes care of me in the morning. He makes me coffee and it’s really, really great coffee." She also added that "date nights" should also be given importance. "And then at night, we often date. And we’ll share a tequila," she said. "Sometimes we dance. And then I make him a great dinner, and I always light candles, and I just keep the romance in our relationship."
Now, with more than four decades of marriage under their belt, the Nothing Personal actress says that her marriage is "just everything I wanted it to be. Everything.” "Who wouldn’t want a relationship where you laugh, and you are in business together and you have a sexy life," Somers told Inside Edition. The couple has reportedly not spent a night apart in 37 years. "We are together 24/7, and we haven't spent one night apart in over 37 years. It works for us." Looks like one night of passion turned into 52 years worth, 18,980 nights, of love with a lot more to come.