At one point or another, a conscious decision is made in a relationship to get married, break up or stay together without official nuptials.
Hilarie Burton said she and her new husband, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, met those crossroads in their 10-year relationship before secretly wedding earlier in the month. This week, the “One Tree Hill” actress explained her decision to finally go all the way with Morgan, who plays Negan on the long-running "Walking Dead" series on AMC, in an interview with People.
“We had built this life together,” said Burton, 37, who shares 9-year-old son Gus and 19-month daughter George with Morgan, 53. “We’d had kids together. I think there comes a point where you just don’t want to go another day by being inauthentic about it.”
The former “White Collar” actress said her choice was heavily influenced by the couple’s decision to move out of Los Angeles to a farm in upstate New York, where she wrote her upcoming book about the experience.
“I have a book coming out in March with Harper One called ‘The Rural Diaries,’ and it really is about the choices that we made leaving L.A. to go live on a farm in upstate New York,” she explained at a press day for Lifetime’s upcoming Christmas films. “It’s not a convenient lifestyle, certainly for our business, but those choices that we made to create that life have really forced us to be, yeah, more authentic with our choices, like the animals have to be fed, the wood has to be chopped, and so we wanted to be a concrete truth, like those things.”
Morgan and Burton got married this month in a covert ceremony, although the pair were long believed to already be hitched.
“This past weekend was the best of my entire life. There are dozens of thank-yous I need to make. So bear with me over the next week as I gush over the amazing group of people who gave us this beautiful moment,” Burton captioned a black and white photo of her and Morgan embracing. “But before we do any of that, Jeff and I just want to put it out there that WE GOT MARRIED! For real.”
“We’ve lived as husband and wife for a decade. We’ve built a family, and a farm and found our community. For years, publications have reported that we got married in 2014 or 2015 and that I’ve been married and divorced before. All untrue.”
“WE knew our truth. So it felt silly to try and correct anything. Here’s the God’s honest fact: From the moment I met @jeffreydeanmorgan , he was my husband. Rather than make vows right out of the gate, we lived them. For over ten years. The good times and the bad,” Burton wrote in her post. “Standing up there with our children at our sides - celebrating all that has been - was bliss. I love you Jeffrey. I love our intimate group of friends and family who joined us. I love the various circles of loved ones who have supported us over the years.”
She concluded: “It was private and magical and everything I dreamed. So yeah. I’m Mrs. Morgan. 10.5.19.”
According to Us Weekly, the two met in 2009 when they were introduced by Morgan's “Supernatural” co-star Jensen Ackles, who also officiated the lively ceremony along with ‘Walking Dead’ co-star Norman Reedus.
Burton told People during her interview that planning the lifetime occasion took “a couple months,” but that “it wasn’t a big deal. It was like nothing.”
Fox News' Tyler McCarthy contributed to this report.