Strange Things About Joy Behar's Marriage To Steve Janowitz

Joy Behar has been with Steve Janowitz since the early '80s but they only tied the knot in 2011. Despite its longevity, there are plenty of strange things about their relationship. Those include the reasons Behar waited so long to get married. For one, the talk show host had no interest in joining another family. "I waited until all the parents were dead ... 'Cause marriage is mostly about in-laws, I find. They always want you to visit them and come for lasagna" she said on "Rachael Ray" a few months after their wedding (via People).

She also had another more morbid — and practical — motivation: she needed someone to make medical decisions for her later in life. For most of their relationship, Behar actually considered herself to be single. She met him a year after her divorce was finalized  and had no intentions to jump into a serious romance so soon. "I met Steve in 1982, basically in 2002 we moved in, so that was 20 years single — loved it!" she said in a December 2022 episode of "The View" (via The U.S. Sun).

However, these are far from the only weird aspects of her marriage to Janowitz, who's a retired school teacher. From their age gap to her doubts about marrying him and breaking off a previous engagement, Behar and Janowitz have been an unusual pair from the moment they laid eyes on each other. (Spoiler alert: He was in his birthday suit.) Thanks to "The View," we've gotten good insight into the marriage. 

Joy Behar is much older than Steve Janowitz

It may not seem like it, as Joy Behar looks super youthful, but she is actually several years older than Steve Janowitz. "My husband is seven years younger than me," she revealed in a March 2024 episode of "The View." That is just her preference, and the octogenarian has her reasons. "He drives at night, he does the heavy lifting. He's sharp as a tack. If I get old, depressed and decrepit, which I am already almost, he'll wheel me around instead of I'm wheeling him around," she explained.

Behar also made the case for women dating younger men in general, arguing that they live on average six years longer than their male counterparts. "So if you go with a guy who's younger than you, you probably die at the same time. So that's good," she said. This wasn't the first time Behar defended her preference for younger partners. In October 2021, she once again argued that choosing a younger partner was a smart long-term plan.

Because many women partner up with older men, they end up carrying a heavier load in their senior years, and there's no reason it shouldn't be the other way around. Thanks to the smart decision she made back in the '80s, Behar is now reaping the rewards. "At this point, it's really paying off, because carrying the bundles — I'm not wheeling anybody around. Let them wheel me around!" she told her "View" co-hosts (via HollywoodLife).

Joy Behar had a somber reason for marrying Steve Janowitz

Couples choose to get married for several different reasons. Some of them are more romantic and others are more practical. Joy Behar falls in the latter category. In a September 2023 episode of "The View," the co-hosts were discussing their experiences being bridesmaids when Whoopi Goldberg revealed she doesn't attend weddings. Her revelation caught Behar by surprise because Goldberg was present when she tied the knot with Steve Janowitz.

Goldberg explained she made an exception for Behar because her motivation for marrying was genuine. "I loved the reason you got married, not just because you were in love, but because you guys wanted to make sure that you have somebody in case somebody had to pull the plug," she said. Behar confirmed this, muttering, "That's right," and nodding along. "Isn't that what you said? And I thought, you know, love is great, but practicality is everything," Goldberg quipped.

Behar was 68 when she said "I do" to Janowitz, and the realities of old age started to lurk in the back of her mind. In a 2009 interview with CNN's Larry King, she recalled the experience of a same-sex couple she knew who went through a heartbreaking experience when one of them got seriously ill. "The other woman could not come into the room and give the doctor her opinion of what should be done because they were not married," she said. Her friends' situation completely changed her views on marriage. 

The secret to Behar's relationship? Not seeing Janowitz much

Joy Behar and Steve Janowitz get along great. After more than four decades together, they still have a blast playing Scrabble and role-playing that they're Ronald and Nancy Reagan. The secret to all that fun they have with each other lies in her busy schedule. "We've discovered the key to a happy marriage. I'm out of the house 14 hours a day," she told HuffPost in 2011. It sounds like they really make the best of those 10 remaining hours.

Regardless of whether she was exaggerating, Behar is plenty busy and has been for a long time. Despite being in her 80s, she has no plans to retire. "People like me don't retire. I'm a creative person ... I'm a writer. There's no such thing as retiring," she said on "The View: Behind The Table" podcast in November 2023 (via The U.S. Sun). That month, she also revealed plans to release a new nonfiction book, People reported.

Behar has no intention to stop putting her gray matter to good use. That's just how she likes it. "I am busy. I'm busy. I like to be busy," she said on CBS' "Sunday Morning" in 2010. "What else is there to do in life but be busy?" In fact, she believes that's the key to happy aging. "You fill the days up with a lot of stuff," she said in a special celebrating her 20th anniversary on "The View."

Steve Janowitz was in the nude when Joy Behar met him

Joy Behar's husband left nothing to the imagination when his path first crossed with hers, but she couldn't hold it against him. At the end of the day, she went to a nudist colony of her own accord. But while Steve Janowitz was fully nude when Behar met him, she had better sense. "He was nude, I was dressed," she clarified when her "The View" co-hosts joked about the situation. She had on a proper, modest outfit. "I don't wear bathing suits in public," she retorted when they probed for details about what she was wearing.

They didn't interact much then. He was off in the distance enjoying whatever the nudist resort had to offer, and Behar was engaging in her fully-clothed activities. They properly met later that day. "He was far away naked. And then at night, there was a movie playing, and then I saw him fully dressed," she told then-presidential candidate Andrew Yang on "The View" in a March 2020 episode (via The U.S. Sun). "But I remembered him from the daytime."

Behar never embraced Janowitz's carefree lifestyle. "For a man to see me naked, I have to be included in his will," she joked to Us Weekly in 2016. But after that is said and done, she becomes a lot more comfortable with nudity. "We're really romantic; we like to sit on the floor naked, eating cannoli, and watching 'Hoarders,'" she said in the HuffPost interview.

Joy Behar broke off engagement two years before her wedding

Joy Behar and Steve Janowitz quietly tied the knot in August 2011, but she had intended to do it two years earlier. She announced her intentions in March 2009, but the engagement was short-lived. Three months later, Behar shared the plans had changed. "I'm getting my own talk show on HLN, so I don't have to get married anymore," she joked at an event in June 2009, the New York Daily News reported. "Actually, I got cold feet again, so I don't know what I'm going to do. It's off the table."

That didn't mean she and Janowitz had broken up. "What'll happen is, when I decide to do it, I'll do it, and then everybody will know I did it. I can't make up my mind," she shared. Behan was still open to getting married, but not right then. Janowitz was ambiguous and wanted her to do whatever she thought was best. "Steve is fine," Behar told the outlet. "He says, 'Do whatever you want.'"

While she was increasingly worried about the implications of being unmarried in case of illness or other unfortunate circumstances, she also valued her freedom. "I just feel claustrophobic in a marriage," she said in the CNN interview. Behar has previously discussed how marriage stunted her career. "I don't think that I'd be sitting here if I stayed married," Behar said of her first husband, Joe Behar, on "The View" in February 2024 (via Decider).