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William H. Macy loves his daughters Sofia, 8, and Grace, 7, dearly, but he makes spending time alone with wife Felicity Huffman, 46, a top priority.

“We schedule it out,” the actor, 59, whose DVD The Deal is out now, tells me. “We force ourselves to do it. There’s always an excuse for a couple not to take time for themselves, but it’s really shortsighted.”

William
shares with all his friends, costars and Felicity’s Desperate Housewives castmates just how important it is to make couples time.

“When my pals have kids, I look at them and say ‘look, these kids are almost bullet proof. They can take anything, but I tell you what’s on the critical list: your relationship with your wife.’ So the first thing you’d better do is make a date as soon as that baby comes. There’s a couple things you’ve gotta do: You have to get used to this phrase: ‘I’m sorry, honey. I’m a cad. I can’t believe I even thought the thought, much less said it. You’re right, I’m wrong, what can I do to win your forgiveness?’ You’d better practice that phrase.”

He continues, “You’d better make a date and take your wife out within a month – whether you want to, or not – and you can’t talk about the kid. And you’d better have a romantic weekend within two months because it tears couples apart, these babies do. Felicity and I have been really good about finding time. We’ll go away for two days – for one day, even – and we try to do it four, five, six times a year.”

What was the last romantic meal he cooked for Felicity?

“It wasn’t the last one, but it was one that she just loves. We went camping – this was many, many years ago before the children, before we were married – and I told her, ‘oh, I can cook a great hamburger steak over the coals, I’ll show you how I do it.’ She still laughs about that. It was inedible. It was almost cremated, I cooked it so much. And I was so pleased with myself.”

He adds, “My wife can really cook, and she has great taste and discerning taste. When there’s a bad meal, it offends her. Me? I eat everything. I’m Lutheran, I just shovel it in — I’ll eat anything. And I always say the same thing, ‘mmm, this is quite good.’ I have no taste. But she still laughs about that meal from my Boy Scout days.”

William
and Felicity wed in 1997.

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