Law and Order’s Mariska Hargitay and Peter Hermann Reveal Their Marriage Secrets

Mariska Hargitay husbandMariska Hargitay and Peter Hermann attend the book launch party for Peter Hermann's "If The S in Moose Comes Loose" at Books of Wonder on March 17, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for HarperCollins Publishers)

Keep it simple, silly! Mariska Hargitay and Peter Hermann have been married for nearly 13 years, and though they’ve faced their share of challenges—haven’t all couples?—their trick to staying afloat is simple: go back to the basics.

“There is no secret,” Hermann told Entertainment Tonight during a recent interview. “We’re all just working through it—whether it’s a relationship that exists in the public eye to some degree or doesn’t. Our son plays basketball and his coach says, ‘Fundamentals, fundamentals, fundamentals,’ and I think when it comes to relationships, the fundamentals, in the end, are not that complicated.”

“That doesn’t mean that they’re easy, but they’re not that complicated,” Hermann continued. “It’s fundamentals—kindness, listen well and fight fair.”

Hargitay and Hermann met on the set of Law & Order: SVU back in November 2001, and married nearly three years later, in August 2004. They share three children: son August, 11, and twins Amaya and Andrew, 6.

Hargitay previously told InStyle that when she first tried to forge a friendship with Hermann on set, her efforts were rebuffed.

“He didn’t think I was funny,” she said. Several months later, however, they were deep into a discussion about religion and Hermann suggested they attend church together. “I just about passed out when I saw him there,” Hargitay said. “I thought, ‘That’s my husband.’”

The pair got married at the Unitarian Historical Chapel in Santa Barbara, Calif., in front of 200 guests, and recited personalized vows to each other.

“I recited my vows so loudly you could have heard them in Oregon,” Hermann told InStyle. “But Mariska’s were quiet and small.”

Even now, years removed from their big day, both Hermann and Hargitay are working to strike a good balance between the two of them, alternately parenting their kids and working on set: Hargitay has a long-running role as Detective Olivia Benson on Law and Order: SVU and Hermann currently plays Sutton Foster’s love interest on TV Land’s Younger. He also recently published a new children’s book, If the S in Moose Came Loose.