The Truth About Meredith Vieira's Marriage

What's the truth about Meredith Vieira's marriage? If there's one person who's truly been a staple in the world of television over the years, it's Vieira. Even if you aren't familiar with any of her programs, you probably still recognize the veteran journalist. She was one of the original hosts of The View, and was also a prominent figure on other television shows such as Today and others before she landed her own show, The Meredith Vieira Show. 

Vieira has clearly managed to achieve some pretty big things in her professional life, and her personal life is also pretty impressive. Vieira has been married to her husband, Richard Cohen, since 1986, and the two have shared an intense and incredible life together. And seeing as Vieira and Cohen are both public figures, it would be understandable for them to have a more private marriage — but they've actually both been very candid about their relationship. You see, the truth about Meredith Vieira's marriage is that it hasn't been easy, but it has been worth it.

Meredith Vieira and her husband had similar careers before meeting

Looking back on Meredith Vieira's career, you can't help but notice that the reputable television journalist has always been interested in broadcast news. And if you've ever seen Vieira in action, you know that she's meant to be on television. Interestingly enough, it seems as though her husband had a lot of the same work goals, and the two shared a common career path even before they met. Vieira's husband, Richard Cohen, was a promising young broadcast journalist before their love story began, and that's not the only thing the two shared.

Specifically, according to Good Housekeeping, Vieira and Cohen were both working similar jobs with the same company before they met for the first time; Vieira had been working for CBS News in their Midwest bureau, while Cohen was also working for CBS in New York City, reporting on politics. Clearly, the pair had a lot in common, so it's no wonder they fell in love.

Meredith Vieira and her husband's first meeting was adorable

Because Meredith Vieira and her husband had such similar jobs before they officially met for the first time, it makes sense that when they did eventually meet, it was for a job-related purpose — and that's exactly what happened. As Good Housekeeping reported, the pair met when Richard Cohen had to leave his New York City office to cover the governor's race in Chicago, where he ran into Vieira on her home turf.

As mundane as Vieira and Cohen's first meeting sounds, they actually had an interesting first conversation. Apparently, Cohen said something that was "so obnoxious" to Vieira, as she revealed on The Dr. Oz Show. "I looked at him and I thought, 'you are such a jerk,' and then the next thought was 'I'm going to marry this guy,'" she recalled. "I don't know what it was."

For whatever reason, Cohen and Vieira's first conversation was frustrating, but also clearly memorable. After that, Vieira knew she had found the one.

Meredith Vieira didn't know about Richard Cohen's illness right away

If you were to type "Meredith Vieira's husband" into Google, you'd see hundreds of results pertaining to multiple sclerosis, a condition that attacks your nervous system. Richard Cohen was diagnosed with the disease when he was only 25, but when Vieira first met him, she had no idea.

In fact, Cohen didn't tell her until they were on their second date, as he was quite nervous at the time. He even joked that he was wondering, "Why waste money on dessert?" if Vieira couldn't handle his MS diagnosis. But of course, Vieira could handle it, and did so with grace and empathy. "The future could be a bus hitting us tomorrow," she told AARP

Still, while Vieira learned of Cohen's illness, his work colleagues didn't know about it, or the fact that it had already started to take his vision. "I would get people all the time asking, 'Why would you go out? He's such a snob. I'll walk by him, and he never acknowledges me,'" she continued. "I wanted to say, 'My God, he can't see you.'"

Meredith Vieira and her husband took a gamble having kids

After Meredith Vieira and her husband married in 1986, four years after they first met, they started to think about the next logical step in their relationship: children. Obviously, because of Richard Cohen's multiple sclerosis diagnosis, they had to think about whether or not it was possible that their children could potentially inherit the disease. To that end, Cohen and Vieira actually met with a doctor to undergo genetic testing in order to determine whether their kids could also be diagnosed with MS one day.

Obviously, having children is always a risk, but for Vieira and Cohen, it was a little more of a gamble. "You know as they get bigger, if one of my kids stumbles, I think about it," Vieira revealed to ABC News. "And if something were to happen to one of the kids, I don't know how I would feel having you know, given birth to them, how can you not?" 

Even though Vieira and Cohen didn't know what the future held in terms of his health and that of their children, they knew that they wanted to start a family. 

Meredith Vieira and her husband love to laugh together

When you fall in love, get married, and decide to start a family, it can be pretty exciting, as it was for Meredith Vieira and her husband. But there were also scary times, as Richard Cohen's multiple sclerosis had already started to deteriorate his vision, and much more. With that said, it would be understandable for the couple to lose hope, and not want to do much of anything. 

But as it turns out, Vieira and Cohen learned to smile through the pain. In an interview with People, Vieira explained that she and her husband had learned how to laugh at adversity together. "Richard is a very funny person, and I have a good sense of humor," she explained. "So that's sort of our thing." 

Additionally, in an interview with ABC News, Vieira explained how important humor is to her and her husband. "We always found something to laugh about," she revealed. "We just made jokes. And we still do. It's what gets you through." As the saying goes, the couple that laughs together...

Meredith Vieira and her husband struggled with infertility

Meredith Vieira and her husband have gone through a lot together, including struggles outside of Cohen's health issues. Namely, when Vieira and Richard Cohen were first trying to try to get pregnant, Vieira struggled with infertility. Obviously, Vieira was eventually able to get pregnant and give birth to three healthy, beautiful babies, but it wasn't an easy journey for either her or Cohen. 

In a 2019 appearance on Today, Vieira revealed that her own battle with infertility was about as difficult as you would expect. "I never had trouble getting pregnant but I always had trouble holding onto pregnancies," she explained. 

Sadly, Vieira dealt with four miscarriages, something that took her years to open up about. But, she decided to talk about it — and to poke fun at her lack of fertility knowledge — in order to bring awareness and a breath of fresh air to the issue. "For those of you going through stuff, know that I have gone through it too," she said.

Meredith Vieira and her husband kept the truth from their children for a while

To say that Meredith Vieira and her husband are like their own team would be an understatement. With health struggles, career changes, and starting a family all under their belt, Vieira and Richard Cohen really became a strong unit, especially when it comes to their kids. For instance, the pair decided together that they would wait to tell their children about their father's multiple sclerosis diagnosis — and what that might mean for them. "We figured, oh, they're so small, they don't need to know this," Vieira told AARP in an interview. 

However, Vieira and her husband were then forced to come clean about Cohen's health when he fell backwards down the stairs; all the kids saw him land on his head, scaring them to bits. So when their son asked what had happened, they were honest. "I realized kids are intuitive; they are sensitive," Vieira continued. "He didn't know what it was, but he knew something wasn't right." After that, Vieira and Cohen were open and honest with their kids about Cohen's MS diagnosis.

Meredith Vieira doesn't think of herself as her husband's caregiver

Meredith Vieira took a break from work in 2011, but as she's explained, it wasn't so that she could be a caregiver to her husband. On the contrary, part of what makes Vieira and Richard Cohen's marriage so incredible is that Vieira has never considered her husband to be much of a burden. "There's so much speculation in the press recently [about] 'poor Meredith with her invalid husband,' and I want to set the record straight," Vieira shared, according to AARP. "My husband, Richard, is in good health, and that's part of the reason I want to leave right now.... I want to be there with him, and I want to have fun." 

Additionally, Vieira explained that she truly doesn't consider herself to be her husband's nurse or anything like that. "Having somebody there would drive him crazy, I think," she continued. "He hates hovering." All hovering aside, no matter how much Vieira might care for Cohen, that doesn't mean she's his actual caregiver, and that's the difference.

Meredith Vieira and her husband love their children

Despite the infertility struggles that Meredith Vieira and her husband faced together, the fact that they were able to have three children together is pretty awesome. And as such, they truly learned to cherish and love their children. Even after their kids had grown up and moved out, Vieira and Richard Cohen remain close as ever to their children.

In an interview with Closer Weekly, Vieira shared that spending more time at home during the COVID-19 lockdown helped her appreciate her home life even more. "I love and I value this space that we've created," she explained. "It's not just a house, it is our home and it brings me a lot of peace."

Vieira also shared that she and Cohen maintained a special relationship with their children in quarantine. "We do Zoom and we talk every day," she continued. However, Vieira also added that they might be talking a little too much. "[My daughter will] call me or I'll call her and say, 'What's new?' And I'll say, 'Nothing, what's new with you?' And she says, 'Nothing, OK bye!'" Sound familiar?

Meredith Vieira's husband is so grateful for her

When you've been married for as long as Meredith Vieira and her husband have, it would be easy to forget just how great you have it. After all, you can get so busy and preoccupied that you sometimes don't realize how fortunate you are to be surrounded by loved ones, especially your partner. But for Richard Cohen, that isn't the case at all.

In an interview about how he manages his multiple sclerosis, Cohen explained that when he had days of feeling low and down, he would simply remind himself how grateful he was for his family, especially his wife. "You don't have to be controlled by it," he told Yahoo! Lifestyle. "I look at our three kids, I look at our relationship, I've written four books...what do I have to complain about?" Cohen added that there is a long list of things that he can't do, but he's learned to accept that.

Sure, Cohen could be angry at the world for the MS diagnosis that changed his life, but instead he's just happy to have Vieira by his side.

Meredith Vieira's husband suffered from colon cancer twice

Sadly, in addition to his lifelong battle with multiple sclerosis, Meredith Vieira's husband also faced two bouts of colon cancer, in 1999 and 2000, for which he had to undergo surgery. In an interview with AARP, Richard Cohen explained that he got through the cancer in the same way he got through his MS. "There are so many different diseases, and they do different things to your body," he shared. "But the coping issues that go with these illnesses are remarkably similar."

Cohen's battle with cancer surely put even more strain on his marriage with Vieira, especially when Cohen would be in denial about his health, and Vieira had to pay the price. At one point, Cohen's MS had made him lose his balance, and knock his son onto train tracks, in an accident that could have ended a lot worse than it did. Still, Vieira has always been understanding of Cohen's struggles, even in his denial.

Meredith Vieira and her husband had to fight for their marriage

After Meredith Vieira and her husband faced health battles earlier in their marriage, they really had to work hard at their relationship and their marriage. In fact, during an interview in 2004, Vieira explained that she had to have a stern talking to with Richard Cohen about his attitude while recovering from surgery. "He began to isolate himself," Vieira told Charlie Rose (via AARP). 

While Vieira understood that her husband was struggling mentally, she couldn't let them drift further and further apart. "After cutting him a lot of slack, I thought, 'Now you are going after everything that I care about, and I'm going to fight back,'" Vieira continued. "You're not in this alone." She added that she and Cohen were in the same boat, and that he was the one rocking it.

Indeed, Vieira had to confront Cohen for the sake of her family and their marriage. "I think it was the right thing to do in order to help heal us as a family," she concluded. Every relationship and marriage struggles, but Vieira and Cohen put in the work to make theirs stronger.

Meredith Vieira seriously admires her husband

If there was ever any doubt that Meredith Vieira and her husband have a strong connection and bond, looking at what Vieira admires about Richard Cohen should prove that wrong straight away. Specifically, in an interview with ABC News, Vieira explained that it wasn't Cohen's good looks, or money, or career that she loved and admired the most about him (though she surely does appreciate all of those qualities). Rather, it's the way he is with their children she truly adores. "Well, I think that he's the greatest teacher they'll ever have," she gushed. "If they don't already know it, they will. He's teaching them compassion and strength and dignity, bravery." 

Becoming parents together is truly one of the greatest things that a couple can do, and for Vieira and Cohen, it's allowed them to recognize new and endearing qualities in each other. Though Vieira also joked that Cohen is a "pain in the neck," there's no denying that she's seriously in love with him. 

Meredith Vieira and her husband are still crazy about each other

It's not exactly uncommon for married couples in the United States to get divorced. According to the American Psychological Association, the divorce rate in America is about 40 to 50 perfect. So just the mere fact that Meredith Vieira and her husband have stayed together as long as they have is pretty impressive. But more than that, they're actually both still crazy about each other, and act totally "romantic," as a friend described.

Specifically, one of Vieira's oldest friends, author Priscilla Warner, told AARP in an interview that she's amazed that Vieira and Cohen are still so into each other. "How many people our age would say, 'I'm going to leave and spend a lot of time with my spouse'?" she asked. "You don't give up a very glamorous, stimulating, exciting job to spend time with a spouse unless you have a glamorous, stimulating, exciting spouse." She added that that's exactly how Cohen and Vieira see each other.

Vieira and Cohen don't seem to ever want to be away from each other, and that's sweet for any couple.