The Secret To Barbra Streisand's Successful Marriage To James Brolin

Barbra Streisand and James Brolin's relationship started with a blind date when they were both in their mid-50s and divorced. They are still together decades after that fateful date and their wedding in 1998. As for what "the secret" is that gives their relationship longevity, Brolin told Entertainment Tonight in 2018 that he wasn't totally sure. The "Hotel" actor admitted he had been married twice before and that each of those previous marriages taught him things.

However, he shared some insights. Brolin said: "I do believe in counseling. If anybody ever has a problem in their marriage, bring in a referee, talk it over, and I swear to you, it will dispel by the end of the session, each time! Sometimes, in a tough marriage, it's tough to talk, but if you do, it works!"

Brolin also expressed how lovely it is coming home to Streisand, and that, "I'm always welcome when I get home. ... When I get there, there's always something kind of great waiting for me, some plan, and I try to reciprocate." Something else that could hint at why their relationship is long-lasting is that he's understanding if Streisand is busy and unable to drop everything for him.

Barbra Streisand says listening makes someone 'a good actor' and 'a good person'

Barbra Streisand gave her own opinion on the secret of her and James Brolin's decades-long relationship. In an interview with Variety in 2021, Streisand cited listening as the trick.

"The secret is to listen carefully," the "Woman In Love" singer said. "I think to be a good actor, you have to listen. To be a good person, you have to listen. To be a good marriage partner, you have to listen. Hear the other person. Agree to disagree."

Brolin seemed to agree in a 2022 People interview when he said, "I think everybody needs to be a negotiator. Everybody needs to have patience and know when to take a walk." He went on to say that everyone needs to be aware of what makes them angry and that eventually when things are calmer, they can talk things out with their partner.

Barbra Streisand criticized James Brolin as soon as they met — and he loved it

James Brolin also told the outlet something a fellow actor told him that seems to have been influential in his relationship with Barbra Streisand. He and Connie Sellecca co-starred in the television show "Hotel," and Brolin recounted that Sellecca was adamant that couples counseling is something important to do even before getting married. "So that once you're married," Brolin explained, "if you ever need a tune-up, it's not an issue with one of the people."

Streisand's relationship history includes many other notable names, but her relationship with Brolin is one of Hollywood's most iconic. Her memoir "My Name is Barbra" was published in November 2023 and, while being interviewed by Gayle King for "CBS News Sunday Morning" about the book and her life, she and Brolin talked some about their relationship. 

When they first met, Streisand criticized Brolin's haircut — and he loved it. King asked him: "Jim, some people could've been turned off by that kind of directness. You were not. That was attractive to you, right?" He replied: "Very. ... It was instant. It was like a wand went, Bing! Uh, oh, you're screwed." That insult brought Brolin and Streisand together, showing that honesty is another secret to their marriage.