Kelly Ripa Says Mark Consuelos Was 'Insanely Jealous' at the Start of Their 26-Year Marriage
"It's very hard being married to somebody who is jealous," Ripa said on the debut episode of her SiriusXM podcast Let's Talk Off Camera with Kelly Ripa
Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos are getting real about the ups and down in their 26-year marriage, including some of the hurdles they've had to overcome over the years.
The couple opened up about their romance on the premiere episode of Ripa's new Sirius XM podcast Let's Talk Off Camera with Kelly Ripa that dropped Wednesday, explaining that they pulled through some of the tough times in their relationship by addressing their issues together.
"It always gets better," said Consuelos, 51. "If you communicate and talk it through, literally, there's nothing that's insurmountable."
That doesn't mean they're not still aware of the bad times said Ripa, 52, recalling how they clashed in the past over Consuelos' jealous behavior.
"My biggest complaint about you over the course of our marriage — and this is not recent, 'cause it definitely changed, and I don't know if I changed or if you changed or if it was some combination of change — but you used to be insanely jealous," said Ripa. "And that was a hard pill to swallow. It's very hard being married to somebody who is jealous. ... It's unattractive."
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She went on to note that Consuelos often got jealous over "a perception of a scenario" that wasn't accurate. As an example, she told a story that happened early on after the All My Children lovebirds secretly eloped in 1996, when a waiter at a restaurant in Boston sweetly called her a "princess" in Italian.
"The waiter was a very cute old man. He was definitely in his 70s, if not 80s," Ripa remembered. "I thought it was so cute that this old man called me a princess. And I looked at him and I gave him my order in a very smiley way. And he walked away and you picked a horrible fight with me."
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Consuelos — who is set to join his wife as co-host on Live next month, replacing Ryan Seacrest — confirmed the story, telling Ripa, "I got upset."
"Look, at age 25, I was pretty insane. But that jealousy thing definitely followed me for a while," he said. "I'm not jealous anymore. ... It's a character flaw. It's ugly. And as ugly as it feels to the person who is on the receiving end of it, it's such an ugly feeling inside. If this is any consolation, you know you're being crazy. The jealous person knows that this is wrong and it's ugly but they can't help it."
Asked "what changed," Consuelos said it was all about self-growth. "I wanted to do some work on myself," he said. "That was one of the major things that I needed to work on, because it was getting in the way."
Ripa, meanwhile, had some things she needed to work on too — specifically, her bad habit of hanging up the phone during a fight.
"You haven't done this in such a long time, but when you're pissed off on the phone, you hang up," Consuelos said, noting that, "Sometimes if the person's like, let's say, in Vancouver, and you don't pick up the phone in a day, a day and a half, it's quite unsettling."
"That's so bad. It's so bad," Ripa admitted on her podcast, after saying earlier that she and Consuelos were "bad arguers" and needed to communicate better sometimes. "That's a byproduct of how I grew up. I come from a family of famous hanger-uppers."
But none of these pet peeves were ever deal-breakers, the couple stressed.
"We have ups and downs; everyone has ups and downs," said Ripa. "It's never just, like, even or flat. I was thinking that's like a heartbeat: If you're flatlining, then it's probably dead."
Related:Mark Consuelos Tells Kelly Ripa He Doesn't Want to Have More Kids: 'I'll Be an Older Dad'
The pair — who are parents to sons Michael, 25, and Joaquin, 20, plus daughter Lola, 21 — have also met with a marriage counselor, especially as they became empty-nesters.
"I'm a lifer; I want to be married forever," Consuelos said. "But I think once the distraction leaves, you are left with the two people, you and me, in a house. And [I wanted to go to counseling so we could] get past some of the things that we've been bumping up against for the past 26 years."
Meeting with a counselor has helped them both beat their bad habits, Consuelos said.
"One of the great benefits of going to marriage counseling — especially when things are good and you want them to get better — is that the old habits and the old behaviors you kind of hung on to, I thought twice about doing them because I knew that within a week or five days, I would be accountable to somebody and that person would look at me like, 'You want to explain that?' " he said.
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Let's Talk Off Camera with Kelly Ripa is produced by Consuelos & Ripa's Milojo Productions, in collaboration with SiriusXM. An initial slate of guests for the podcast includes Anderson Cooper, Andy Cohen, Carol Burnett and Matthew McConaughey.
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