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Denzel didn’t experience love at first sight when he met his wife Pauletta, but a year after the two met on the set of the 1977 film Wilma (in which they were co-starring)–Denzel knew she was something special.

Five years later they were married and built a beautiful family together which included four children who are all succeeding in their own right. Three are currently enrolled in college (Tisch, Yale and U.Penn) and one is a professional football player for the California Redwoods in the United Football League. A strong family unit speaks volumes of the family’s foundation–the parents. Denzel and Pauletta have been able to take the strength of their own 28 year-old relationship and share it with their children. This couple does more than make it last, they endure and thrive.

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Why She Loves Him: Pauletta has no problem dealing with the women that come after her man. She told Essence that it would be senseless to be upset with flirting women because Denzel comes home to her. She even takes the flirtation as a compliment. However, Pauletta knows that Denzel’s appeal is more than his knee-weakening looks. He’s amazing inside and out. Pauletta told Oprah, “I thought he was cute, but I fell in love with his spirit. And then I thought, ‘Hmm, not a bad package.'”

Why He Loves Her: Pauletta’s got the kind of confidence you can touch. When your man is voted by countless magazines, women and even some men as the sexiest man alive, you’ve got to be one of the most confident women alive. Pauletta is just that. Her confidence is as sexy as Denzel’s demeanor and if it’s one thing that Denzel loves, it’s confidence. On an appearance at the Wendy Williams show, Pauletta explained, “I am so secure to who Pauletta is and my mother raised me in a way to know that who I am. She married me for who I am and I’ve always felt confident in who I am and it’s by the grace of God.”

Why They Work: Denzel says that love is a marathon and not a sprint. He prepared to put in the work and focus for a long-term love with Pauletta when the two were dating. These two also keep God at their relationship’s center. Denzel said in an interview that spirituality is his life and it’s reflected on his and his family’s lives.  Denzel told The Washington Post that his family is the base that keeps him solid. He added, “Acting is just a way of making a living. Family is life. When you experience a child, you know that’s life.”

Why We Love Them: Denzel and Pauletta share a balanced relationship that boasts love, commitment and respect. They keep it simple. Denzel told Oprah, “When it comes to the kids, I give complete credit to my wife, Pauletta. Early on, we decided that we wouldn’t drag them around to all the places I go. Pauletta was the consistent one who made breakfast every day and took them to school. She taught them their prayers.” This consummate family unit totally makes us swoon.

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