General Hospital Relationship Timeline: Michael And Willow

Soap sweethearts Michael Corinthos and Willow Tait's relationship has been one to root for during their tenure as one of the fan-favorite couples on "General Hospital." Expertly portrayed by Chad Duell and Katelyn MacMullen, respectively, Michael and Willow have come a long way from the first time they entered into each other's orbit. Their chemistry rivals other "General Hospital" favorites, including Josh Swickard's Detective Harrison Chase and Amanda Setton's Brook Lynn Quartermaine.

Daytime Emmy-Award-winning actor Duell celebrated his 12-year anniversary on the popular soap opera in April 2022 and is now a seasoned pro, per SheKnows Soaps. MacMullen has matched his energy since her debut in 2018 and was also nominated for a Daytime Emmy, as reported by Soap Central. But Michael and WIllow have also been tested over the years. Their relationship has been plagued with a lot of tension and a lot of outside influence since the beginning.

Willow and Michael formed a strong bond after facing loss

The start of Michael and Willow's relationship is as unconventional as it gets. In 2018, before the pair connected romantically, they started off as friends. Michael and Willow crossed paths at Kelly's Diner after their grief support group, where they open up about their shared loss. At the time, Michael's son Jonah was believed to have died at birth, and Willow gave up her son Wiley for adoption. This loss helped them form a strong connection.

Though their relationship was purely platonic, the universe kept bringing them together. Feelings stirred when Michael ran into Willow at Port Charles Elementary where she worked as a teacher. Per Soaps in Depth, before their friendship could turn into something more, Josh Swickard's Detective Harrison Chase arrived on the scene and tossed a wrench into their dynamic. Michael wasn't the only one who had chemistry with Willow. Not only did Chase's presence shake up their dynamic, but he also became an integral part of their storyline going forward.

Willow and Shiloh's complicated history was revealed

Willow's tragic background helped endear her to Michael. Her arrival in Port Charles was fueled by her need to escape from Dawn of Day cult leader Shiloh Archer (played by Coby Ryan McLaughlin) and her mother Harmony Miller (played by Inga Cadranel) to start over. During that time, Chase and Willow also gravitated toward each other. There was tension at the 2019 Nurse's Ball when Chase pulled Willow on stage and kissed her after his passionate performance, as Shiloh watched on jealously, according to Soap Dirt

Shiloh eventually found out that he fathered her child, according to SheKnows Soaps. This revelation led to a huge confrontation between Shiloh and Willow, per Soap Hub, and Michael came to her rescue. For Michael-Willow fans, this scene planted the seed for a future love connection as he was in a relationship with Sasha Gilmore (portrayed by Sofia Mattsson) at the time. 

This upsetting moment helped build Willow's trust in Michael. Their bond continued to grow after Michael's sister Kristina fell into the cult's orbit and he confided in Willow about her involvement, Daytime Confidential reports.

All hell broke loose after a baby switch-up

Things came to a head when Shiloh kidnapped Wiley, per Soap Hub. After he was safely returned with the help of Sam Morgan, who is portrayed by Kelly Monaco, Michael and WIllow grew closer.

Then, the big secret finally came out. In February 2020, it was revealed that Wiley is not Willow's son — he is Michael's son with resident baddie Nelle Benson (Chloe Lanier). In classic soap opera fashion, Nelle orchestrated a switch-up between Wiley and Jonah with the help of Parry Shen's Brad Cooper, which led to the sad truth that Willow's birth son passed away after he was born. This heartbreaking storyline set the groundwork for Michael and Willow's current relationship.

Willow was completely devastated when Chase broke the news to her, according to SheKnows Soaps. Despite the reveal, Michael made it clear that Willow would still be a part of Wiley's life, per Daily Soap Dish.

A love square brewed between Michael, Willow, Sasha, and Chase

Nelle, who was sitting in prison for killing her ex-fiance, stirred up trouble again once she was released, according to Showbiz Cheatsheet. After the baby reveal, Nelle sued Michael for custody. In a counter move, Sasha and Chase devised a plan to get Michael and Willow full custody of Wiley — a plan which involved tricking the pair into thinking that they were having an affair, per SheKnows Soaps

Soap Hub reported that this plot line didn't go down well with fans, but relationship shake-ups are par for the course on "General Hospital". This was the catalyst for "Millow" falling for each other. Sasha and Chase were heartbroken, but took a step back for the sake of keeping Wiley with his family. Michael and Willow went through with the wedding in May 2020 and were granted custody three months later.

Chase became ill, which sparked what felt like the longest love triangle ever

Michael and Willow found out the truth about Sasha and Chase's fake affair and got their marriage annulled, but according to Soaps in Depth, feelings were already involved by then. The couples couldn't rekindle their spark. Michael and Sasha went their separate ways, and right when Willow was going to break up with Chase, he was poisoned at the worst time ever.

Chase proposed to Willow, who hesitantly said yes because she didn't think he had much time left, but she was still in love with Michael, per SheKnows Soaps. Michael and Willow agreed to wait out her marriage until Chase got better. In an act of true love, Michael watched from the sidelines as Willow stood by somebody else.

Chase eventually found out about Willow's feelings for Michael and that they slept together on their son Wiley's birthday, according to Showbiz Cheatsheet. To get back at them, he faked his paralysis even after he healed and was able to walk again. The truth came out, a confrontation between the trio ensued, and Chase agreed to end their marriage.

Tension mounted between Michael and Willow as a result of Nina's actions

In August 2021, "Millow" finally pursued their relationship — publicly, this time — and eventually ended up moving in together in the gatehouse. After they faced many challenges being together, they were in a good place. However, their happily ever after was short-lived. 

Enter Nina Reeves, Wiley's maternal grandmother. Since she found that the late Nelle was her long-lost daughter, Nina tried to be a part of Wiley's life, according to Soaps in Depth. But her history and animosity towards Wiley's other grandmother Carly Corinthos made this almost impossible. Even worse, Nina hid the fact that Carly's husband Sonny Corinthos was alive, suffered from amnesia, and was living in Nixon Falls — and that she fell in love with him.

Per Soaps in Depth, after Sonny regained his memory and returned home, Willow overheard a shocking conversation between him and Nina about their relationship back in Nixon Falls, but didn't immediately tell Michael. Nina's deceit had already sparked a vicious battle between her and the Corinthos family. Michael used his connections to press fraud charges against Nina, according to Soap Dirt. Willow and Michael disagreed on his methods as she feared it would force Nina to fight for visitation rights. Willow's fears came true, as Soap Opera News reported that Nina decided to sue for visitation after all in April 2022.

Carly found out that Harmony isn't Willow's mother

Since her return to Port Charles, Harmony's relationship with Willow has been strained. The mother-daughter duo were slowly getting reacclimated with each other, but in a shocking twist, it turned out that Harmony lied about Willow being her daughter. 

"General Hospital" took a layered approach to revealing the secret. Michael surprised Willow with a trip to Paris. Willow, who grew up on the commune and has never left the country, desperately searched for her birth certificate only to come up empty handed, per Soap Hub. Harmony told Nancy Lee Grah's Alexis Davis an elaborate lie about why she didn't have her birth certificate. Her original story was that Willow's birth mother was someone from the commune, according to Soaps in Depth. However, while on her death bed, Harmony revealed to Carly that Nina is actually Willow's mother, making the drama between her and the Corinthos family all the more complicated.