Hugh Jackman may seem perfect, but he admits he has sometimes stumbled on the road to becoming a loving husband and doting dad. “Back in the late nineties, I made the mistake of saying to Deborra,” who he married in 1996, ‘I think you’re wrong.’ I’ve never made that mistake again,” he reveals in the August issue of Good Housekeeping.
So how do he and Deborra make their relationship work? “We try to have a date night…once a week,” says Hugh. “Usually we go out for dinner and a movie. If the kids are at school, we’ll have lunch together. We’re genuine best friends. We have a lot in common.”
The main family rule is to be together as much as possible. “We’re never apart more than two weeks,” says the actor. “I’ve had to turn down a few things [in my career], but I put my family first.”
That doesn’t mean Hugh and Deborra always see eye-to-eye on how to raise their children, Max, 13, and Ava, 8. “My wife and I differ about raising the kids…all the time,” he reveals. “I’m one of five kids with an accountant father who was incredibly disciplined and orderly. She comes from a single-mom, only-child situation that was very loosey-goosey. When Oscar was born, at first it was like two worlds colliding. We’re drifting closer together, but it’s a constant negotiation. She loosens me up, and I give her a little more structure.”
Hugh has a piece of advice for everyone who looks to him as an example of the perfect parent: “Don’t take any parenting advice from me; just watch Supernanny,” he jokes. “She changed our lives!”