Strange Things About Julia Roberts' Marriage

Julia Roberts became known as America's Sweetheart after starring in a string of blockbuster hits, including Pretty Woman and Erin Brockovich. As one of Tinseltown's most beautiful bachelorettes, she had her pick of leading men to choose from. There was Benjamin Bratt, Liam Neeson, and Dylan McDermott. There was also the scandalous broken engagement to Kiefer Sutherland which infamously came to an end three days before their wedding (and concluded with Roberts jetting off to Ireland with Sutherland's good friend, Jason Patric.) 

After a failed marriage to country singer Lyle Lovett that ended in 1995, the world waited patiently to see which high-profile star the actress would date next. Surprisingly, she didn't have her sights set on a big-time Hollywood celeb. Instead, Roberts found love on the set of the 2001 film The Mexican when she fell for cinematographer Danny Moder. Their relationship was offbeat long before their wedding in July 2002. From rumors that they live in separate homes to Roberts describing falling in love with him as a "horrible" feeling, here are the strange things we just can't ignore about this superstar's marriage.  

She believes she was 'born to be his wife'

Although acting is her main occupation, Roberts apparently doesn't believe she was destined to star in films on the big screen. Instead, she thinks her purpose in life was to become Mrs. Moder. 

"I was born to love and to be the wife of this man," she told ABC News, while fully acknowledging that not everyone would ooh and aah over that statement, particularly considering the way their relationship began. You know, there was that whole four-year relationship with Bratt that circled the drain right before she met Moder, who was married to makeup artist Vera Steimberg Moder at the time. 

The actress said she doesn't expect others to understand. "People don't know anything. People assume. People decide. It is not for me to ask anybody to assume or decide or feel differently," she said.

Defining one's entire identity according to Moder feels a bit strange, don't you think? Nonetheless, Born to Be Your Wife sounds like a great title for her next motion picture. Hollywood, let's make it happen!

She bought him a multi-million dollar surf shack

When you have an endless amount of cash at your disposal, dropping a few million dollars on another piece of property is no big deal. Just ask Roberts, who is the proud owner of multiple parcels, including a beachfront home in Malibu and an estate in Taos, N.M. where she became Mrs. Moder on the 4th of July.

According to InTouch, Roberts went on the hunt for a new home to add to her real estate portfolio in 2016, and she didn't have to look very far. She reportedly plopped down $3.9 million for a Malibu ranch just down the road from her family's main abode. So why would she need two houses so close together in the same ritzy neighborhood? 

InTouch claimed Moder, an avid surfer, was spending too much time chasing waves around the globe and too little time with his wife and three kids. Roberts reportedly purchased the second pad so her hubby could hang ten at a private surf spot called Little Dume. 

"She's hoping that the purchase of the most expensive surf shack in Malibu will help her marriage by keeping Danny from going away on extended surf trips," a source told the tab. "Julia is hoping that by giving Danny his own incredible surf spot, it will stave of any talk of divorce." 

Let's hope it was worth every penny.

Do they live in separate homes?

In addition to the aforementioned surf shack, Roberts also purchased a home across the street from the family's primary digs. According to InTouch, that $6.84 million house was acquired "so that nannies and visiting family members could have a place to stay," but became "a refuge" for Moder, "especially when the two were fighting." 

The National Enquirer (via Express), claimed Moder was actually spending most of his time in the guest house. "Moder now resides across the street," a source claimed, adding that Roberts "barely spends any time with her husband any more."

A married couple needing space isn't unheard of; neither is sleeping in separate bedrooms. But sleeping in separate houses a stone's throw from one another? That's a bit out of the ordinary.

Did she force him to be a full-time dad?

In terms of who brings home the bacon, Roberts is definitely the breadwinner in this relationship. Forbes magazine listed Roberts as the 8th highest paid actress in 2017 with a $12 million haul, and her net worth is an estimated $190 million. Moder is a successful cinematographer in his own right, but rumor has it, she'd rather he focus on being a stay-at-home-parent. 

According to Express, Roberts wants to be the "sole breadwinner" in their family, but Moder may not feel the same. "They are having a crisis because she wants him as a full-time dad," a source told the tab. "He has always been hell-bent on pulling his own weight but Julia feels they are financially set." An insider added, "Danny does not feel like they have a true partnership. It is her way or the highway. There has never been more strain on their marriage than there is now."

That sounds very odd when you consider the way Roberts envisioned married life while talking to ABC News years ago. "I guess if I were to cast a wish, I would wish that we, that we as a pair, as a team, as a couple, as partners on this planet would wake up every day with a fair amount of joy and just a little bit of giddiness and go to sleep with a sense of having been understood," she said in 2002.

She said falling in love with him was 'horrible'

Some people describe falling in love as a feeling equivalent to a gazillion butterflies simultaneously dabbing and doing the Macarena inside their tummies, but for Roberts, it was anything but pleasant.

When Winfrey asked the Notting Hill star what it felt like to fall in love, Roberts responded, "It was horrible." Say what?

"You don't want to lose your friend," Roberts explained. "Or what if he doesn't love you? You start playing out all these crazy scenarios." She also described playing a constant game of cat and mouse with Moder. They would talk on the phone, and Roberts would play it cool by saying: "I'd love to chat, but, you know, I'm just out the door."

But soon enough, it seems they both played it straight and those terrible feelings faded away.

They rarely attend events together

While most celebrity couples walk the red carpet together, Roberts usually flies solo at major events.

According to the Daily Mail, Moder even skipped Roberts' mother's funeral in 2015. Betty Lou Bredemus passed away following a battle with lung cancer, and the actress reportedly held a invite-only gathering at Bredemus' grave site in Georgia — sans her hubby.

Why is he so rarely her plus-one? Is he catching a wave? Watching the kids? The notoriously private couple has not directly addressed the issue. 

According to E! News, when they made a rare appearance together at Oprah Winfrey's Wisdom of Sundays Gospel Brunch in 2017, Roberts reportedly told attendees that it meant a lot to "...to have my beloved husband here who is really the man that taught me what it means to give, and who inspires me each day to manifest my own creative destiny. And I really, deeply appreciate that."

So what's stopping them from manifesting more joint appearances? We may never know.

They got 'brave' or 'idiotic' tattoos

Plenty of lovers commemorate their affection by inking up their bods, but we find it shocking that Roberts and Moder tattooed one another's initials on their bodies before they wed, particularly since Moder's divorce from his first wife, and his marriage to Roberts, all happened within the same year. That's a lot of big life changes in a compressed block of time. 

The actress admits that was a risky decision. "We were brave or idiotic because it was before we got married," she said during an episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show

Roberts admitted to having multiple tats, including her children's names, but she wouldn't discuss locations on camera. "Some things I can tell you the answer to, and some things I'll tell you later," she told DeGeneres. That leads us to believe the ink is definitely hidden in places where the sun doesn't shine. Oh la la.

He 'fixes' her problems

Talking to Winfrey in 2003, Roberts gushed that she was "happier now than ever" and that "a huge part of it" pertains to her marriage ... and her husband's college major. 

"Danny is such a great listener and a great communicator," she said. "He majored in psychology in college, and I remember saying to my sister one time that he can basically fix all my problems. Perfect!"

Roberts reportedly wanted to study veterinary medicine at one point in her life, so perhaps she takes the lead when it comes to walking their dogs. That seems like a fair trade, no?

Their union began under very messy circumstances

In Roberts' eyes, her relationship with Moder was a whirlwind romance that was meant to be, but to others, particularly his ex-wife, that love story is no rom-com. 

In an interview with Britain's Sun (via the New York Post), Vera Steimberg Moder said she was still legally married to Danny when Roberts began "courting him." Vera added, "I'll never be able to forgive Julia — she's a husband stealer."

Based on Roberts' past as a real-life Runaway Bride, Vera was convinced that her ex-husband's new marriage wouldn't last. "[Roberts] will be looking for a new husband within a year," she told the tab in 2002, "Danny has a roving eye ... and he won't change."

Vera surely wasn't the only one who thought the union was doomed, but Roberts and Moder have managed to beat the odds and are reportedly still going strong, so hey, who are we to judge?