Not just love: Ariel Rivera reveals secret of his 25-year marriage to Gelli de Belen
Love is a given in many long-term relationships. But for Ariel Rivera, the real secret to his 25 years of marriage with Gelli de Belen is “respect.”
“You know what, people always say that at the forefront [of their relationships] is love, love, love. But to each his own. For me, it’s respect. You respect each other’s views, you respect each other’s ways. From there, love comes. That’s it… There are a lot of factors, but for me and Gelli, that’s the root—respect,” he said in a recent virtual conference for GMA 7’s afternoon series, “The Fake Life.”
The saying, “happy wife, happy life,” also seems to ring true. “I just listen to my wife. That’s it. That’s the secret to life!” Ariel said. “You have to be understanding of each other.”
At this point in his life, Ariel puts more premium on spending quality time with his family. That’s why he isn’t so keen on joining a weekly variety show even if his singing is missed by many. “I don’t like working on weekends. That’s basically what it is. The time is for myself, my wife and my dog,” said the singer-actor whose two sons, Joaquin, 23, and Julio, 21, are currently studying in Canada.
The 55-year-old singer-actor has been more visible in teleseryes as of late. But he still makes sure to balance work and personal life by setting healthy boundaries when it comes to his schedule. “The Fake Life” gave Ariel his first taste of being in a taping bubble, which, he said, has its pros and cons.
“The good thing is you get to concentrate on your work. You’re able to really focus on your character and lines… But cabin fever is real,” pointed out Ariel, who plays Onats, a successful bee farm owner who realizes that he has been living in a web of lies spun by his wife, Cindy (Beauty Gonzalez) and her childhood sweetheart, Mark (Sid Lucero).
“Our first cycle lasted some 45 days and then 30 for the next one. I don’t mind being locked in for two to three weeks. That’s OK. But I don’t think I will be able to do a month or 45 days [of locked-in taping] again. I have realized that it’s too long for me. It was a hard adjustment,” Ariel admitted.
Still, he looks forward to continuing pursuing acting and doing more projects, especially now that he’s back in GMA 7 after five years. “I have always loved GMA 7. I have a lot of friends here. I hope we have future plans. I like the atmosphere here—who the staff are, the people I work with. They’re down to earth,” he said. “I’m very happy to be here.” INQ
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