Suzanne Somers has had many incarnations — sitcom star, pop icon, ThighMaster creator, best-selling author, diet expert, alternative health advocate. Her latest role: love guru. Her new book Two’s Company: A Fifty-Year Romance and Lessons Learned in Love, Life & Business is a passionate ode to her husband Alan Hamel, 81. It’s also a memoir of their long life together and a kind of self-help manual with tips for readers on how they, too, can maintain the romantic flame (hint: Lots of sex helps).
Somers, 71 and most famous as the ditzy blonde Chrissy Snow on ABC’s Three’s Company from 1977 to 1981, can get a bit gushy on the topic of her hubby. “He makes me smile before I fall asleep and wake up happy in the morning,” she writes in Two’s Company. “I don’t like being away from him.”
They haven’t spent a night apart in 37 years. And, she says in a phone interview, “Every morning the first thing he says to me — and it’s not true, and I don’t care — 'You’re so beautiful.' ”
She adds that their love “is what poets write about. From the moment I saw him there was some magical chemistry.”
C’mon. Doesn’t anything about him ever annoy her after so many decades of marriage? “No,” she says. “He just doesn’t bug me. We have such fun, and he’s kind, and he brings me coffee, and he’s funny … I really can’t think of anything.”
Somers met Hamel on the set of a game show when she was 19 and a struggling model and actress — “a small-town girl from San Bruno, California,” as she puts it — who had grown up with an abusive, alcoholic father. She was a single mother and divorced (from her son’s father, Bruce Somers). Hamel was a dashing Canadian television star and talk show host, divorced with two children. They eventually blended families; 40 years later they have six grandkids and, she says, "I feel like we were meant to be."
What are her secrets to their long and happy life?
Focus on the good
“Every morning I get up, and I do a meditation of gratitude for the love I have in my life, my wonderful husband, my wonderful children, the work I get to do, the country I get to live in,” she says. “I think happiness is something you can choose.”
Put energy into staying healthy and active
She does lots of yoga and keeps them on an entirely organic diet that’s high in fat, protein and veggies — with no processed food. They follow a vigorous hormone-replacement regimen, which she believes adds to the vavoom in their bedroom.
"We don’t fight anymore. It’s such a waste of time to fight. If you’re a couple that bickers, step back and listen to yourselves. Did you start out like that? What are you fighting about? At this stage of life, why? It’s not worth it."
Set aside time for romance
“We make sure we date a couple of times a week. That doesn't that mean going out all the time. We have a bar in our house, and I call it Big Al’s bar — my husband’s Big Al. We listen to a jazz pianist called Beegie Adair and dance, or we sit and talk in ways we don’t during the day because we just focus on each other. And then I cook him a great dinner with candlelight.”
Have sex every day — sometimes twice a day
Every day? “Once in a while I’ll say I need a day off."
Somers hopes her readers understand that a marriage doesn’t need to be perfect — and hers isn’t — to be wonderful. “People have to know that all has not been easy,” she says. “But what a beautiful, beautiful experience this has been.”