The couple celebrated their 45th anniversary on June 5 this year. 'Just being in the same vicinity feels wonderful,' the actor said of his relationship.
The Iron Man star first met his wife, Susan Geston, in 1975 while shooting Rancho Deluxe in Paradise Valley, Montana. She was a waitress on a ranch in Chico Hot Springs, where the film crew was shooting a hot tub scene. She had a broken nose and two black eyes at the time, which—as he would later learn—was the result of a car accident. "Something about her beauty and disfigurement kept me riveted," Jeff Bridges told in Good Housekeeping in 2014. His eyes would seek her out from amid the crowd and she would catch his gaze every time. But when he asked her out, she turned him down twice before throwing him a bone saying, "it's a small town; maybe we'll run into each other later." Her words proved prophetic. "One night in town we danced, and I fell in love," Bridges shared.
Jeff Bridges and Susan Geston are goals 👌🏼 pic.twitter.com/VSau2VHRkF— Annie Gonzalez (@annie_g4) November 30, 2015
He still remembers looking for real estate with Geston the next day. "That was our official first date," Bridges revealed. Although some part of him knew right away that she was the love of his life, the fear of declaring it to the world and losing his freedom stopped him from asking Geston to marry him until 1977. Reflecting on getting over his fear of commitment, he noted: "Thank God I finally got with the program. It's true, you close one door, but the door you open is a long hallway lined with more incredible doors—like children, grandchildren, deeper intimacy with your wife, and so many other things that would not be available to you without marriage. Frightening as it was for me, there was also the sense of deeply opening my heart."
Bridges and Geston's relationship is one of mutual kinship and communication. The Big Lebowski star shared that his wife shows him a new way of thinking. She knows his fears and pushes him to move past them with grace, he said, and he does the same for her. The point of contention between them, however, has always been a matter of understanding the other person. "We do have one ancient war, which runs: You just don't get me; you don't know me; you don't understand. It's true. I don't entirely know Sue; I never will, and she won't know me, really. But with each battle, we come closer to realizing that this 'not knowing' is what we have in common. We know we'll experience our stuff, have tough times, but we're doing it together," said Bridges.
The past year and a half has felt like a bizarre dream. But, I started taking baby steps and with that came more strength and more hope. Hear more about my journey and my upcoming series #TheOldMan over at @People: https://t.co/0BB9JTEmXS https://t.co/Q7P3CWjO2W— Jeff Bridges (@TheJeffBridges) May 26, 2022
Speaking to PEOPLE in 2020, the 72-year-old revealed that the secret to his then 43-year-old marriage was that they have mutual respect for each other. "We are quite different as people, and we celebrate that rather than making it drive us apart. I respect her wisdom, and I’m sure the girls do too," Bridges said. "I’ve really been blessed." The "girls" Bridges mentions here are his three daughters Isabelle, 40, Jessica, 39, and Hayley, 36. All three of them have high regard for their parent's long-lasting relationship. "They love each other, but they like each other, they spend time together. They make an effort to ask each other questions about what the other is interested in," said Isabelle.
Earlier this year, the Hell or High Water star stated that he and Geston are still in their honeymoon phase. "We don't have to do much. Just being in the same vicinity feels wonderful," he remarked. However, their paradise hasn't been without trouble. In October of 2020, Bridges was diagnosed with Lymphoma. After they had received the news, Geston revealed, "we were kind of numb. We just immediately went through the steps of doing what needed to be done." A month after he had started chemo, in January 2021, the celeb tested positive for COVID-19. Unfortunately, this was before the vaccines became available. Speaking of that difficult time in his life, the Crazy Heart star recounted: "I had no defenses. That's what chemo does—it strips you of all your immune system. I had nothing to fight it. COVID made my cancer look like nothing."
I’m profoundly grateful for the love and support from my family and friends.— Jeff Bridges (@TheJeffBridges) October 20, 2020
Thank you for your prayers and well wishes. And, while I have you, please remember to go vote. Because we are all in this together. https://t.co/6sAU4MYixl
Thankfully, the actor has recovered completely now and has also recently released a show called The Old Man which is on the television network FX. His health scare has led him to certain epiphanies, mainly that the time he has with his wife is to be treasured. "It's all like a bad dream now," Geston said of the year and a half her husband was sick. "And now's the good dream part."
Cover Image Source: (L): Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris | Getty Images (R) Photo by Frazer Harrison | Getty Images