"She did all these things when I first came in the picture, right? And she was really testing me. I mean, really testing me,” Alves, 41, said on the Tuesday, August 22, episode of Southern Living’s “Biscuits & Jam” podcast. “She would call me by all of Matthew's ex-girlfriends' names, she would start speaking Spanish with me in a very broken way, kind of putting down a bit. I mean, all kinds of stuff."
Alves, who tied the knot with McConaughey, 53, in June 2012, noted that the women’s relationship eventually changed after a trip to Istanbul, where the twosome got "into this whole other thing that it's not my place to share." While the tension between them escalated during the getaway, they returned home with a fresh understanding of each other. "I'm putting her to bed, and I realized, 'Oh my god, she's full of s—t," Alves quipped, laughing.
"All she wanted was for me to fight back,” she explained. "And then from that day on, that night on, we have the most amazing relationship, and I have so much respect for her. She has so much respect for me. I mean, it can get tricky sometimes, you know? But we always end with a good laugh and a joke."
Alves first met her husband in 2006 at a bar in Los Angeles where McConaughey was mixing drinks for his friends. After initially rejecting him three times, the pair sparked a romance — but the actor was much different than who Alves thought he would be.
"When we first start dating, it was this image of Matthew of getting high, laid back, no shirt, whatever," she said on Tuesday’s podcast. "Which I'm like, 'The guy doesn't even smoke. What is this vision coming from?'"
Alves shared that McConaughey is actually “the opposite” from the laid-back public persona he garnered in the 1990s — and credits many of his type A attributes to his mother. "She's very organized, very minimalistic, very on time, very prepared, and he gets a lot of those traits from her,” she said.
Those personality traits won Alves over and the couple welcomed their first child, son Levi, in 2008. Daughter Vida arrived 2 years later, but McCounaghey was still hesitant to walk down the aisle. Alves, however, pushed him to take that step in their relationship.
“I had to get to the point where I saw it as more than just the thing to do,” he told GQ in October 2014. “I wanted to really want to. You know, I didn’t want it to be a destination; the fun is that we’re on the adventure together. And look, some of it had to do with her putting it on me. It took her going, ‘C’mon, Big Boy, Mr. Easygoing-We’ll-Get-to-It-When-We-Get-to-It. Either s–t or get off the pot.’”
Six months after saying I do, Alves and McConaughey welcomed son Livingston in December 2012. In April 2018, Alves exclusively told Us Weekly that people ask her “all the time” how she and her beau maintain their successful marriage.
“[They’re like], ‘How do you do it?’” she said at the time. “I’m always like, ‘If you have the answer, please share with me because I’m also trying to figure it out.’ … [We do] a lot of staying at home, cooking together or getting a hotel room that is 10 minutes away from the house. Just the fact that you don’t have to wake up to kids screaming for help with something. It already does something to a mom’s brain.”