Bette Midler has been a Hollywood icon for over 50 years, but there’s one thing that’s stayed constant through it all: her marriage to performance artist Martin Von Haselberg. The couple has been together for almost 40 years, making their union one of the longest-lasting in Tinseltown. But what’s their secret?
According to Midler, it all comes down to one thing: their daughter Sophie. In a recent interview, the Wind Beneath My Wings singer revealed that she and Von Haselberg had a rocky patch early on in their relationship. But when they decided to start a family, they made a pact to stay together and work things out for the sake of their child.
“We never wanted to hurt that kid in any way and we stayed together until it got better, and it did get better and it was really fascinating,” Midler shared in an interview with Good Morning Britain. “And both of us, we both look back and we just like wipe our brows and say, ‘What the hell was that?'”
But it’s not just about staying together for the sake of their child. Midler credits Von Haselberg with being her rock throughout their long relationship.
“No, he really is the wind beneath my wings, he has looked after me for many, many years, he’s sacrificed a lot,” she shared with Good Morning Britain. “We used to fight bitterly, we came to the conclusion that we wanted to raise a child, we wanted to raise a really wonderful child.”
And it seems that approach has paid off. Sophie, now 28, is a successful actress in her own right, starring in off-Broadway productions like Billy & Ray. Midler couldn’t be prouder of her daughter, and credits both herself and Von Haselberg with raising such an accomplished young woman.
“I didn’t do it by myself,” Midler told People in a 2014 interview. “My husband is probably the greatest father who ever lived. He’s fantastic. He picked up the slack when I was on the road. He taught her a foreign language. He taught her to cook.”
It’s clear that the key to Midler and Von Haselberg’s long-lasting relationship is a combination of hard work, compromise, and putting family first. And while their path may not have been easy, it’s certainly been worth it.
As Midler put it in a recent interview with People, “I think the secret is giving each other a lot of lead and a lot of room and not being in each other’s faces all the time.” With almost 40 years under their belt, it’s safe to say that approach has worked for them.