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Jay Leno and his wife Mavis are childless by choice and going strong after 37 years of being husband and wife

By Nina Steele 

Jay Leno and his wife MavisBeing married for 37 years is quite an achievement for any couple and even more so, when it is a celebrity marriage. And the more I read about Jay Leno and his wife Mavis, the more I like them as a couple. That they are still very much in love is quite remarkable, considering male celebrities propensity for trading older partners for younger ones. As a couple, they have struck gold. Not only do they share the same values, they also agree on all the important issues that have the potential to cause trouble in a relationship. One such issue was children. By the time they met, Mavis had already made up her mind. She didn’t want children, and Jay Leno accepted her choice wholeheartedly.

Mavis, a lifelong feminist, already had a strong sense of what kind of life she wanted for herself, from a very early age. As a child, her opinion was shaped by watching the 1950s sitcom “The Honeymooners”. She didn’t like the fact that women were portrayed in the show as being inferior to men, even when they were clearly smarter.

In a 2014 interview for the Washington Post, she said this about the impact the show had on her: “I would see a young woman who was very attractive, and a thousand times smarter, and she’s living in this little tenement hovel with her husband, Ralph, and then this Ed Norton, who has an even hotter wife. These men spend all their time talking about what a drag the wives are and asking how they can get away from them. It’s perfectly obvious the women are the ones trapped. I remember telling my mother when I was 7 or 8 that I was never going to get married or have children. To me, this is the way women get caught”.

That her marriage to Jay Leno is going from strength to strength is a vindication of her decision to follow her heart. In a past interview, Mavis said this about what made her change her mind about marriage: “I was insanely in love with him, but I had had a long relationship before and never for one minute thought about marrying that guy. My belief was that I was a voyager, that I was just going to spend some time on this island and sail along and spend some time on that island. But with Jay, I realized all this time I’d been sailing, he was the destination”.

As for Jay Leno, talking about the success of their marriage, he said this, in a 2015 appearance on The Today Show: “I’m in show business, which is a selfish profession, so I married a woman who works very hard for women’s rights and other issues like that and it balances out. You marry the person you wish you could be”. Long may they continue to be happy!

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