No matter how much they have to grit their teeth, they say "I love you" to one another before going to bed.
Pulp Fiction, Die Hard, Rules of Engagement - Samuel L. Jackson has become one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood and his fame continues to skyrocket. But his hard work and perseverance aren't limited to his movies. It extends to his family life where working hard to keep the family together has been the Jackson family's motto for a long time. And the story that Samuel L. Jackson and his wife, LaTanya Richardson share is a unique one - one that they've shared for almost 50 years.
The two first met in 1970 when they were studying in colleges that were close to each other. When she first saw him, LaTanya found him to be "flamboyant, self-involved, and emotionally detached", according to CBS News. But she was able to see below that surface and see that there was a goldmine of potential within him. It is for this reason that after almost four decades of marriage that Samuel's first priority is his wife.
For a while they got separated but once they got back together, it was the start of their journey together. Hitched in 1980, according to the Insider, their married life was nowhere near smooth, but that only meant they worked harder to beat all the odds stacked against them. When asked what it was like to be married to the 70-year-old actor, LaTanya responded saying, "Oh God, oh God. It's a ride. It's been a ride. It's fun. It's sad. It's happy. It's creative. It's a conversation."
Of course, they weren't without their battles, one of which required Samuel to bring his life back on track. He was at his worst and the one person who stood by him throughout was none other than his wife, LaTanya. She watched him at his worse, pulled up all the strength in her and took him right to rehab. "I credit her because she could have just taken Zoe (their daughter) and walked out and been done with me. But she didn't," he said. "That's a greater love than I will ever know. Because I don't know that I would've done that."
Tough times for them didn't mean they gave up. "No matter what: don’t let the sun go down on your wrath," Latanya Richardson told Essence. And no matter how angry they might have been with each other, they would still grit their teeth and say, "OK goodnight, I love you. I love you."
And those words weren't for nothing. LaTanya never lost faith in their love for each other. "When I think about what love is I think about when he’s away and when I think about him my whole body smiles; when I look at my daughter and she’s okay or just watch Sam and see how he really works to take care of me and her even still at 26 years old."
Samuel might have been emotionally detached at one point but when it comes to his wife and daughter, he's a marshmallow. LaTanya has nothing but faith in her husband's ability to be the best version of himself and never hesitates to push him to that level. "I’ve always had my wife LaTanya, who’s my harshest critic," he told The Guardian. He also believes that the two of them have an unbreakable connection which has kept them going for 39 years.
The secret? LaTanya says, "The secret to our success? Well, I guess we still love each other." For Samuel, he told Us Weekly, "We understand the bond we have, the commonality of experiences, the commonality of joy of the theater and of our lives and of our daughter’s life, so it’s easy for us to stay connected."
LaTanya truly understands patience as she took the time to understand the man she married and the nuances he has. And it has ensured that they are forever embedded in each other's hearts. When talking about making their marriage work, LaTanya explains exactly what it is that keeps them going strong. "You have to have a big heart and the Lord. You can’t do this without the Lord. You’re going to have to turn to somebody, something — because men, they are different. They’re cut from a different cloth."