Making it work

Christie candidly reveals past marital issues with wife Mary Pat

Chris Christie and his wife Mary Pat. (Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

In a new book, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey admits that he and wife Mary Pat underwent marriage counseling to deal with what he calls “really challenging times” in their relationship. They also waited seven years to have children, to ensure they “definitely liked each other,” and to this day retreat to a walk-in closet in order to avoid arguing within earshot of their children. The new book, American Governor, by Matt Katz, a reporter for WNYC, a public radio station, chronicles how Christie and his wife married in 1986 in their early 20s, and struggled to reconcile their expectations of marriage with the reality of it. As they sorted out their relationship, they waited seven years before having children. “We didn’t want to bring children into a world and a relationship that we didn’t think was good and stable,” says Christie.

The marriage counseling proved so helpful, says Christie, that he still recommends it to friends. The Christies still fight, but have vowed never to do so in front of their children, as Mr. Christie’s parents did when he was growing up. So instead they argue in a walk-in closet in their suburban home, far from their children’s bedrooms. Politicians often portray their marriages as idyllic, but Christie’s candid testimony is a reminder that marriage, and children, are hard work for everyone.

Read the full story at at The New York Times.

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