The real reason why Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor reconciled

An appearance at the 71st Primetime Emmys on September 22, 2019 outed Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor as an item once again. While Hollywood couples frequently debut a romance on the red carpet, few have the opportunity to come out as lovebirds more than once. Stiller and Taylor appear to be giving their marriage a second chance, and fans are rejoicing.

The duo shocked the world after announcing a split in 2017, after 18 years together. Thankfully, it seems all hope is not lost for one of Tinseltown's longtime unions. Stiller and Taylor were all smiles on the Emmys purple carpet, posing arm-in-arm during their first official public appearance as a couple since they announced their separation. (Stiller was nominated for Outstanding Director of a Limited Series for the Showtime series Escape At Dannemora.)

A unique combination of personal and professional factors led these lovebirds toward reconciliation, giving us renewed hope for lasting love in La La Land.

Christine Taylor and Ben Stiller's love didn't fade

There was enough love in this power couple's marriage to keep them together for nearly two decades, and it looks like that bond has pulled them back from the brink of divorce. Even as Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor's 17-year marriage appeared to end, it was already a triumph by Hollywood standards, where celebrities divorce at twice the rate of non-celebs, and are six times more likely to divorce in their first year of marriage, according to a study conducted by the Marriage Foundation (via the Daily Mail). 

But the Zoolander couple had an instant connection after meeting on the set of a never-aired 1999 pilot Stiller was directing. "My wife came in to audition for the role of the sexy sheriff. She had been in the Brady Bunch movies, and they were pushing her on me. She came in, and she was great," Stiller told Parade. "I turned around one day and said, 'Wow, I'm happy with her. We connect. I'm enjoying being with her all the time!' It just felt right."

Amazingly, the sentiment of mutual admiration apparently continued right up to their separation, as their joint statement regarding the split noted the "tremendous love and respect" they still had for each other after "the 18 years [they] spent together as a couple." Stiller and Taylor clearly created a strong foundation on which to build a future — and it looks like the future for this family is bright, after all.

Co-parenting was always a priority for Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor

Christine Taylor and Ben Stiller have two children, Ella and Quinlin Stiller, born in 2002 and 2005, respectively, and they never let their romantic woes interfere with maintaining a strong family unit. The family served their best "Blue Steel" looks on the red carpet at the Zoolander 2 World Premiere in 2016 (above), and they continued public outings with the kids without missing a beat after they announced their split the following year.

Several sightings of the couple at events around New York City during 2018 and early 2019, usually with one or both of the children in tow, sparked whispers of reconciliation. However, their joint separation statement stressed, "Our priority will continue to be raising our children as devoted parents and the closest of friends."

Ben and Christine took Ella to the 2018 US Open together and were seen with both children at Pretty Woman: The Musical on Broadway. The couple was even reportedly seen holding hands at intermission, which was the first public display of affection between them since they announced their separation.

"Ben's a great dad and spent as much time as possible with the kids during the separation," a source told Closer Weekly in April 2019, noting the couple's children are "both thrilled that their parents are back together."

Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor work well together, on and off screen

While they are among Hollywood's beautiful people, Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor told ET that the secret to their relationship was more than physical attraction. "We all have to deal with what life throws at us, so you got to have a sense of humor about it," Stiller said, adding, "If you can share that, at the end, it makes a huge difference."

For nearly two decades, the Dodgeball duo juggled raising a family with busy film careers. Stiller and Taylor worked together on several film projects, including Meet the Parents and the Zoolander films. With such an exorbitant amount of time working as a team in both realms, they have come to rely on one another. Taylor even helps edit all of her husband's jokes. "We trust each other. We get each other," Stiller told Us Weekly in 2015, adding, "You can't do comedy in a vacuum. You need people to react."

Stiller also told Blackfilm the fun they have on set is good for their relationship. "When you're working, you don't get to do that. And she, we just connect on that level, where we like, we laugh at the same things, so it was actually really fun and therapeutic," said Stiller. Taylor relayed similar sentiments at the 2016 Zoolander 2 premiere, telling ET of the "unspoken connection" they had during their first project together, and that working together with Stiller over the years was "the best."

Did Christine Taylor and Ben Stiller fully commit to a split?

In an industry where any lasting union beats the odds, Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor seemed in it for the long haul. The announcement of their separation took fans by surprise, but neither Taylor nor Stiller legally filed for divorce. The power couple allowed their personal differences to take a back seat to maintaining the strength of their family. With a united front, they proceeded with public family outings to sports events, Broadway shows, and industry events.

A source close to the couple told Closer Weekly that Stiller "never got over her after the split nor was he interested in starting a relationship with anyone else whilst they were separated." The source continued, "Even though Ben has his pick of women, he'd often bring Quinlin or Ella as his plus one to events in a bid to show Christine that family is his number one priority and he only has eyes for her."

Another inside source told Star (via Closer Weekly), "It's telling that neither of them is moving forward with the divorce right now. There's still a lot of love between them, and it's clear the spark never went away. They're just taking each day as it comes."

They avoided a war of words in the celebrity fishbowl

Having been highly visible in the entertainment industry for decades, the Zoolander couple is no stranger to public scrutiny. While celebrity divorces are often mired with accusations and counter-accusations, each partner vying to win in the court of public opinion, Stiller and Taylor managed to keep the details of their marital woes private, allowing them to maintain ownership of their own narrative. 

And it's not just marital strife that Stiller and Taylor choose to keep away from prying eyes. The fact that Stiller's battle with prostate cancer remained a secret until he revealed the diagnosis in 2016 is a true testament to the couple's commitment to family privacy. So, it's no surprise that when the inevitable rumor mill chugged to life amid their split — with a salacious tale (via Radar Online) about Stiller allegedly engaging in a "mid-life infatuation ... with a female friend he had met on a movie set"  the pair didn't even issue so much as a denial about the speculation. 

This reflects well on both the couple and those close to them who are privy to details of their private lives and respectful enough to keep mum about it. 

Their kids will be the third generation of really, really, ridiculously good looking performers

You really don't have to look any further than Ben Stiller's parents to find the source of his values when it comes to both work ethic and marital bliss. Ben's parents, Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, frequently worked together as a comedy team throughout their 61-year marriage. Stiller and Meara met in 1953, married shortly thereafter, formed their own comedy duo, and made dozens of appearances together on the Ed Sullivan Show. Meara passed away in 2015. 

Speaking about the dynamics of being a Hollywood family, Jerry told Rolling Stone in 1998, "I think the kids knew that although we were in the business, we were also there for them. Even though they resented moments when we were away and acted out their own anger, they understood that we were, number one, a family." In 2011, Ben told Piers Morgan how he felt fame impacted his famous parents' marriage, saying, "They always have put each other — have — they made each other a priority, which, I think, is something you have to do. And they — I think they also — they always wanted to make it work." Sound familiar? 

Of course, Ben famously cast his parents in his own films, and now, moviemaking will be a three-generation family affair, since Ella declared her own intention to join the biz during her dad's 2019 appearance on Ellen. Family traditions cement loved ones together and die hard.

Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor care about the same causes

Ben Stiller was honored by RTKids for his support of children's education around the world (turns out the Zoolander actor really does help "kids who can't read good"). He and Christine Taylor attended both Rosie O'Donnell's RTKids Gala, where he received the honor, and the 2019 Project A.L.S. Gala together, a longtime cause supported by the couple, with their daughter Ella in tow. 

The Tropic Thunder director has been a supporter of Project A.L.S. since his friend, the organization's co-founder Jenifer Estess, passed away from the disease in 2003. He told People he and Taylor have been attending Project A.L.S. events since they first became a couple, describing it as "an amazing organization."

From refugee awareness to labor issues to education in a post-earthquake Haiti to the dolphin meat trade, Stiller has even seemingly put his career ambitions on hold to remain active in his charitable and philanthropic pursuits, and Taylor remains by his side.

A good work/life balance was a priority for Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor

Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor outwardly appeared to navigate the fabled work/life balance with humor and understanding. "Neglecting your children probably is the key," Stiller told Access Hollywood in 2011 (via HuffPost), adding, "Because that just opens up so much time for your career. And for your marriage too." He was joking, of course, but Taylor told the outlet at the same time, "One of us is with the kids while the other one is working," noting that technology like "Skype" and "email" help them all to remain connected from afar. "And you can take airplanes these days to visit when you're working," she added. First world problems, anyone? 

Stiller later told The New Yorker in 2012 that he "surprised himself" with how much he enjoyed taking "a good chunk of time off" when their son, Quinlin, was born, noting that the decision was part of his and Taylor's "conscious effort to make [their] relationship work."  

Taylor even hinted at that their work/life balance may not have been so even when she told Good Housekeeping in 2016, "Now that my kids are a little older, it's nice to be able to go off to work and have them be OK. I struggled more when I started to go back to work, because I would feel so guilty." However, she added, "It's been pretty easy for me to juggle both because my priorities are always there with them."

Did absence make Ben Stiller's heart grow fonder?

In a 1998 Rolling Stone interview, the year before he met Christine Taylor, Ben Stiller said, "I'm working on that whole happiness-balance issue in life. ... It's important to find happiness outside of your work." He found it in short order with Taylor, but it is easy to take a loved one's presence for granted after nearly 20 years together — especially for someone so career focused. Stiller's hectic work schedule kept him away from the home front, but he always knew there was a busy, loving family waiting for him upon his return home. Sometimes, the stark realization that "home" is now a quiet, empty dwelling can snap couples into appreciating the warmth and comfort of a full house.

To wit, an inside source told Star (via Closer Weekly) that Stiller had been "lonely and miserable" after the couple separated. "They had their problems, but Ben knows he's never going to meet someone like her again. He's started to wonder if he didn't put enough work into the relationship, and he's been kicking himself that he let her go." 

Granted, it's unclear whether Taylor and Stiller ever physically separated, meaning they lived in separate homes, but even an emotional distance has a way of putting the old adage of "you don't appreciate what you have until it's gone" into perspective. 

Being crazy rich helps, too

Everyday people often need two incomes to run a household, making finances a major factor in decisions about marriage and divorce. But Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor have both had illustrious and lucrative careers, which gives them the luxury of allowing love to be the focus in their marriage. And a reconciliation means the couple's $200 million fortune remains intact.

At a Project A.L.S. Gala in 2014, Taylor spoke of their relationship (via People): "It's all change for the better. Right? We're older, we're wiser. I found a picture of us from 15 years ago, and I saw youth. You don't see [the change] on a daily basis. We looked like kids. Now we look like parents." Stiller added, with optimism, "We're hopefully getting better."

Additionally, Stiller's answer to Parade in 2016 about why their relationship works? "Because we both want to make it work. We both love each other, and we also laugh a lot."

Will their love last forever? Will they make their reconciliation official? Only time will tell, but we are definitely rooting for them.