The secret behind Rebecca Gibney’s happy 20-year marriage

“He’s my rock, he’s my everything."
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It’s no mean feat for a relationship to last two decades, but Aussie TV legend Rebecca Gibney, 56, and her husband Richard Bell have almost hit that milestone.

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Just recently, the Packed to The Rafters favourite paid tribute to her long-time love in a sweet tribute post on Instagram ahead of their 20th anniversary in November.

“When you find old pics of when you met your husband and it makes you go all gooey inside. I’m a lucky woman. 20 years married in November to the kindest ( clearly incredibly handsome) gentle giant on the planet. Love you big R,” she penned.

A happy, long-lasting relationship is something the actress, who shares 17-year-old son Zachary with Richard, has been open about during candid interviews in the past.

Rebecca Gibney
Rebecca Gibney (pictured) has enjoyed a happy relationship with her husband Richard Bell for 19 years. (Credit: Getty)

Speaking to Yahoo in 2017, the Wanted star insisted that “respect” was crucial in preventing a relationship from crumbling – as well as regular date nights.

“You must respect each other, it’s having complete and utter respect above all else and obviously love and being willing to compromise which is what we’ve always done,” Rebecca told the publication.

“We are quite lucky because we work together a lot so we are on the road a lot, and quite often we’ll find ourselves in beautiful hotels or amazing places for dinner so it’s easy to keep the romance alive.”

She added that she sees Richard as “my rock, he’s my everything.”

Rebecca Gibney Richard Ball
“You must respect each other, it’s having complete and utter respect above all else,” Rebecca said of the key to her marriage success. (Credit: Instagram)

Doubling down on these claims, Rebecca gushed over Richard in an interview with The New Zealand Women’s Weekly the same year.

“He gets me utterly and we’re each other’s biggest fans. It doesn’t mean we don’t have issues, but we always work through them because I can’t imagine growing old with anyone else. He’s my rock and I think I’m his,” she said.

Almost a decade earlier, the Flying Doctors star also heaped praised on her partner while speaking to The Daily Telegraph in 2009.

“He is the kindest, most wonderful human I know,” Rebecca said of Richard. “And I trust him implicitly with anything and everything.”

Rebecca Gibney Richard Ball
The Packed To The Rafters star describes Richard as “my rock, he’s my everything.” (Credit: Instagram)

Prior to meeting Richard, Rebecca was married to musician Irwin Thomas, who she wed in 1992 before their marriage came to a crashing halt three years later.

She also had a secret relationship with entertainment reporter Richard Wilkins when she was 22, and admitted he “broke her heart” after cheating on her with a flight attendant.

In 2017, Rebecca opened up about her relationship struggles in her younger years and confessed she was “self-sabotaging” some of them.

“In my 20s I probably sabotaged a few relationships because I was searching for someone to validate and take care of me as a woman. Therapists told me I was always looking for a father figure. I would have saved men a lot of hurt if I had understood this earlier in life,” she told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Rebecca Gibney Richard Ball
“We met in 1999, got together in 2000 and married in 2001 and have been happy ever since,” Rebecca said. (Credit: Instagram)

Luckily, her fairytale ending was just around the corner and she crossed paths with Richard on the set of Magda Szubanski’s telemovie Dog Woman, and tied the knot on a Thai beach in 2001.

“I met my second husband, Richard Bell, when I was 35,” she revealed to the Sydney Morning Herald.

“I had dealt with my past and in walks this beautiful, tall New Zealander who happened to live on the same street as me when I was five. We met in 1999, got together in 2000 and married in 2001 and have been happy ever since.”

Rebecca Gibney Richard Ball son
Rebecca and Richard with their son Zachary (now aged 17). (Credit: Instragram)

In 2004 they welcomed their first and only child, Zachary, completing their picture-perfect family.

And after all these years together, the greatest lesson she’s learned along the way?

“Compromise,” she told The New Daily in 2018.

“I’m very blessed in that my husband is my best friend, but we’re not co-dependent. We depend on each other, but we’re both strong individuals who happen to love hanging out together.”

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