The Truth About Bill & Hillary Clinton’s Marriage

Bill and Hillary Clinton may be the closest thing we have to royalty in America. After all, they have been in politics for literally decades, and Bill Clinton was president for eight years. Hillary Clinton herself was a heartbeat away from the presidency. And even though they are out of politics now, the Clinton name holds immense power and political pull.

As with actual royalty, it seems like “the Clintons” have been around forever. However, neither of them would have been the force they are today if they hadn’t gotten married way back in 1975.

How did the two meet, and what made them fall in love? How did they navigate everything from intense political affairs to the dirty laundry of an affair? Keep reading to learn the truth about Bill and Hillary Clinton’s marriage!

How Bill met Hillary

Like many married people, Bill and Hillary Clinton met while attending college together. Both of them were students at Yale studying law. And they ended up having the kind of “meet cute” that is right out of a romantic movie!

Bill Clinton has always had an eye for the ladies, so it may not be a surprise that their relationship kicked off because he was staring at her in the Yale law library. As Yahoo! Reports, Bill recalled the hilarious details during a 2016 Democratic National Convention speech. “She walked the whole length of the library, came up to me and said, ‘Look, if you’re going to keep staring at me and now I’m staring back, we at least ought to know each other’s name. I’m Hillary Rodham, who are you?'” he said. “I was so impressed and surprised that, whether you believe it or not, momentarily I was speechless.”

Fortunately for Bill, Hillary didn’t seem to mind the attention, and the two soon began dating.

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Qualities of Hillary that made Bill fall in love

We now know it was Hillary that really took the initiative and helped kick off their relationship. But why was Bill staring in the first place?

As Elle reports, Bill said in that same 2016 DNC speech what attracted him to Hillary. “She had thick blonde hair, big glasses, wore no makeup, and she exuded this sense of strength and self-possession that I found magnetic.”

These are the same qualities that would help Hillary launch her own very successful political career. And these qualities helped her catch the attention of the man who she would marry. Of course, she made him propose multiple times!

Multiple proposals before Hillary said “yes”

The two began dating and really hit it off. They went to museums together and soaked up the local culture. And when the two worked together on George McGovern’s failed campaign for governor, it helped bring them even closer together.

Eventually, the two took a trip to England. This was when Bill proposed to Hillary. Her answer? She said no, but clarified she still loved Bill very much.

Bill proposed again a year later and got the same response. Why did Hillary keep saying no, though? As Mic reports, she once admitted to a fear of losing her own sense of self. “I was terrified about losing my identity and getting lost in the wake of Bill’s force-of-nature personality,” she said. Given Bill’s political ambitions, she suffered from “the worry that I wouldn’t necessarily know who I was or what I could do if I got married to someone who was going to chart a path that he was incredibly clear about.”

Bill reassured her that he wouldn’t ask again until she was ready to say yes. Eventually, he asked once more and she finally said “yes,” allowing the two to plan their wedding.

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A simple wedding

These days, the Clintons are wealthy and live very opulent lifestyles. So it may surprise you to learn that these two future movers and shakers had a very simple wedding ceremony.

In 1975, the two got married in the living room of the home they shared in Arkansas. The only other people in attendance were select friends and family.

Sure, it may have been a simple ceremony, and Bill might have had to propose three times. But he was quite happy at how it turned out. As Yahoo! reports, he recounted his feelings at the time during the 2016 DNC speech. “I married my best friend. I was still in awe after more than four years of being around her at how smart and strong and loving and caring she was and really hoped that her choosing me and rejecting my advice to pursue her own career was a decision she would never regret.”

Welcoming a baby into two very political lives

At this point, Bill and Hillary Clinton’s lives began moving very fast. Hillary Clinton joined the Rose Law Firm, where she would eventually make partner. And in 1978, Bill Clinton became the governor of Arkansas. He was governor long enough to accrue the political capital necessary to successfully run for president in 1992.

Despite all these career and political achievements, Bill and Hillary Clinton still found time to start a family. In 1980, they welcomed their one and only child into the world, Chelsea Clinton.

Once the Clintons were living in the White House, Chelsea became something of a household name. But she didn’t have to worry about too much media scrutiny. That’s because her dad was busy generating all of the scandalous headlines!

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An international adultery scandal

As president, Bill Clinton began an affair with a White House intern, Monica Lewinsky. When details of the affair went public, it kicked off impeachment proceedings against the president. This ended up causing immense strain on the Clintons’ marriage. Not only was their “dirty laundry” the stuff of international news, but Hillary had to put on a brave face and defend her husband in public while their marriage almost fell apart behind the scenes.

Newsweek reports that Hillary was later very open about how all of this made her feel. “I defended and stood by him because I thought the impeachment process was wrong, but that wasn’t the necessary answer to what I would do with my marriage,” she said in a Hulu documentary. “It was not—to me—the same. I still had to decide whether I wanted to stay in the marriage, whether I thought it was worth saving.”

In one of the most human moments of their relationship, it ended up being Chelsea Clinton that helped them stay together. And in a way, her desire to keep her parents together was captured in a famous photo of her between Bill and Hillary, holding their hands. “That was not anything other than her just trying to keep us together,” Hillary said in the documentary. “When she did that, ‘Oh my gosh,’ I thought, That’s just so incredible—so strong and so wise.”

Still together after all these years

So, after all the years and scandals, how is the Clintons’ marriage holding up? Pretty well!

In 2020, the two celebrated their 45th anniversary of marriage. As People reports, they exchanged very sweet messages online. Bill tweeted out a cute picture of himself and Hillary with the caption “October 11th was a beautiful day 45 years ago. Still is. The bride was beautiful too. And still is. Happy Anniversary, Hillary. I love you.”

As for Hillary, she took to Instagram to post a picture of her wedding day. “Forty-five years,” she captioned. “Never a dull moment, and you’re still my best friend. Love you, Bill.”

Both are sweet messages, but it looks like Hillary’s is more prescient. For better or for worse, there will never be “a dull moment” for someone married to Bill!

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