Bonnie Bartlett Daniels opened up about her “open marriage” with William Daniels
The ‘St. Elsewhere’ star shared, “I guess it was a little bit of an open marriage at first, but that was very painful. That didn’t work well.” She added, “And it was a time when people were doing that. It was at a time in New York when there was a lot of sex and a lot of people doing all kinds of things, you know — very free.”
Bonnie Bartlett Daniels shared her husband’s affair left her “devastated”
The 93-year-old married William Daniels in 1951, the actress also revealed that around 1959 she had “an affair that lasted a few months” with an actor who she referred to as “slightly boring.” She added, “I never felt guilty because I never felt tied to fidelity, and neither did Bill.” However, she also mentioned that she was “devastated” after her husband’s affair in the ’70s with a producer. She even mentioned it altered the dynamic of their complex relationship after which she knew she “could no longer tolerate any kind of open marriage.”
How Bonnie and William Daniels worked on their relationship?
Bonnie also shared how she and her husband worked together to slowly but carefully overcome their relationship problems. She shared, “Bill and I have moved forward day-by-day and eventually, the days added up. We’ve been happy together and sad together, and somehow stayed together for seven decades.”
Recalling those early difficult years in her marriage, Daniels shared,
“It was very painful for the both of us. But it was something we had to go through because we never went through it,” she said. “When we got together, I was 18. Bill was my first boyfriend… We just had to go through all that and still, we loved each other very much and always have.”
How Bonnie and William had “three different marriages?”
She explained, “Life is all about solving problems. We had a very good relationship, [but] Bill was an angry young man, a very angry young man. And that was tough… Bill always said, ‘We had three different marriages. We’ve been together for so long, more than 70 years – a long time. I’m 93, and I met Bill when I was 18, so we had to grow up together.”
“When we got together I was 18. Bill was my first boyfriend … We just had to go through all that and still, we loved each other very much and always have. [We] have always been there for each other. That’s what matters — if you’re there for the person and help [them] along in a relationship, [have] respect for them and what they’re doing and being there for them… [You have to] be together on the other side.” Bonnie added while talking about her relationship.
“[We] have always been there for each other,” she added. “That’s what matters – if you’re there for the person and help [them] along in a relationship, [have] respect for them and what they’re doing and being there for them… [You have to] be together on the other side.”
Not too long ago, Daniels opened up about her marriage with Forbes and revealed the secret to their 72-year-long marriage and their “very content” life in Southern California. She shared, “At first, there’s a lot of struggle and there’s a lot of uncertainty of whether you’re in the right business at all when you can’t get a job and you can be difficult — difficult to live with because of all this uncertainty,” She added, “What you really have to do is learn to respect the other person and their feelings and try to be as easy (laughs) to live with as you possibly can. So much happens and you live — the good things, you hurt each other. We’ve hurt each other but you recover and you grow and you change and you adapt. You have to be able to adapt to the other person. You have to think of them first. It doesn’t happen overnight. It took us years to get to a real companionship marriage.”
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