Chris Christie Has Never Been Shy About Dealing With Marital Problems

Chris Christie and Mary Pat Christie's relationship started when they met at the University of Delaware. She was a first-year student, the former Garden State governor was a sophomore, and emotions were running high. "I just thought he was funny and interesting," Mary told ABC. "He had great stories. He still has great stories. And he was cute."

The future husband and wife initially connected through politics. While Mary had no interest in the topic at first, she joined the student government at Chris' insistence. During Chris' senior year of university, he ran for president and won. The following year, Mary followed in his footsteps. It was clear that politics had become a central focus of her life. Of course, she had no idea at that time that she'd one day become the real First Lady of New Jersey. 

Decades later, the Christies are still by one another's side personally and politically as Chris hopes to secure the highest office in the land. In fact, Mary is the motivation for Chris Christie's 2024 presidential run. However, Chris and Mary's relationship has not always been smooth sailing. While the high-powered couple has managed to hit a stride in their partnership in recent years, Chris previously revealed that the relationship got bad enough at one point that they decided to undergo marriage counseling.

Chris Christie and his wife needed counseling early on in their marriage

Chris and Mary Christie know all too well how difficult maintaining a marriage can be. The couple tied the knot in 1986, when they were in their early 20s. At the time, Chris was in law school and Mary was a bond trader on Wall Street. While they loved one another and wanted to be together, Chris found it difficult to be the kind of husband Mary wanted him to be and to adapt to his new status as a married man.

Talking to Matt Katz, author of the Chris Christie biography "American Governor," the politician opened up about those early struggles. "I don't know what either one of us thought marriage was exactly going to be like, but what was happening was not what we thought. We had some fairly challenging times — really challenging times," Christie recalled (via The New York Times).

However, Mary and Chris fought to overcome those obstacles. Attending couples therapy at one point — the exact year isn't public knowledge — seems to have helped them settle into a healthier dynamic, and they've now been married for more than 35 years. "It's kind of like a demilitarized zone you can go through," Chris said, adding that having an impartial and objective third party offer feedback and mediation was instrumental in the success of the sessions. 

The Christies waited almost a decade to have children

While many couples are anxious to start their own families immediately after tying the knot, that wasn't the case for Chris and Mary Pat Christie. While they always knew they wanted children, they also felt it was important to ensure their relationship was in a good place before going down that road. That time came seven years into their marriage, with Chris joking in "American Governor" that the couple had to be sure they were in it for the long haul. "Finally, when we felt like we definitely liked each other, then we had kids," he said. "We wanted to be sure, and we didn't want to bring children into a world and a relationship that we didn't think was good and stable."

Eventually, the Christies went on to have four kids — Andrew, Sarah, Patrick, and Bridget Christie. The oldest, Andrew, was born in 1996, and is also involved in politics. 

The political couple still deals with the occasional issue in their marriage like normal couples. However, they work hard to ensure whatever problems they're having remain between the two of them. In fact, their walk-in closet doubles as an argument den, according to Chris. This way, they can have that good fight a relationship needs sometimes without worrying their kids.