Friends to lovers! Jason Bateman and his wife, Amanda Anka, knew each other for a decade before they started dating — and they say their long friendship is one of the reasons their romance has lasted.
“Our marriage has defied the odds and works really well,” the Arrested Development alum told Redbook in January 2013. “We are really aware of our boundaries. We know how to bug each other and not bug each other. If you don’t get along, it’s garbage. With a girlfriend, you get into a fight, you drive away. With us, we learn to fight quickly or not at all. I wanted to marry a friend. Friends last longer.”
The duo met in the mid-1980s when they were both just 18 years old, but they didn’t start dating for another 10 years. Though they’ve since become one of the longest-lasting couples in Hollywood, they’ve still weathered their share of ups and downs.
Bateman, who got his start as a child star, has been open about the fact that he struggled with alcohol and drug abuse when he was younger. “It was like Risky Business for 10 years,” he told Details in July 2009. “My parents were out of town, they left me a bunch of money, the car, and the house, and I didn’t know when they were coming home. I’d worked so hard that by the time I was 20, I wanted to play hard. And I did that really well.”
The Ozark actor hadn’t fully calmed down by the time he married Anka in July 2001, and at one point, his behavior nearly cost him his marriage. After he came home late one night, his wife gave him an ultimatum. While spending Christmas alone because Anka had taken a planned trip without him, he decided to attend an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.
“Do you want to continue being great at being in your 20s, or do you want to step up and graduate into adulthood?” he told Details, recalling what he asked himself at the time.
The duo eventually got past that rough patch, welcoming daughters Francesca and Maple in 2006 and 2012, respectively.
After racking up wins at the Golden Globes, Emmys and Screen Actors Guild Awards over the years, Bateman has no regrets about leaving his party days in the past.
“There are certain things you do at certain ages in life which are appropriate for the times, and right now it’s appropriate for me to be a father and a husband and a guy with a career,” the told the Daily Telegraph in October 2014. “Those are the three things I’m focused on.”
Keep scrolling for a look back at Bateman and Anka’s complete relationship timeline: