Judge Judy Says This Habit Is “Deadly” to a Marriage

By: Alyssa Miller | Published: Jan 30, 2024

Judge Judy knows how to settle disputes inside and outside of the courtroom. In a new interview, Judge Judy, whose real name is Judy Sheindlin, revealed the secret to her 47-year marriage to husband Jerry Sheindlin.

The court-show arbitrator spoke about her long-lasting marriage to E! News, and we think this advice makes sense.

How Did Judy and Jerry Meet?

According to the 81-year-old, spending all hours of the day with your significant other can lead to suffocation. “You don’t spend 24 hours together because that’s deadly,” she told E! News in an interview.

Judith "Judge Judy" Sheindlin and husband Judge Jerry Sheindlin pose backstage at the hit comedy "The Performers" on Broadway at The Longacre Theater on November 10, 2012 in New York City.

Source: Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)

“Jerry just celebrated his 90th birthday, and I still like to look at him when he walks into the room. That’s a key,” Judge Judy says.

Love at First Sight

According to the Los Angeles Times, Judy and her husband met in a bar. “I just finished trying a murder case as a defense lawyer. [Judy] was a prosecutor,” Jerry Sheindlin recalled of their first time meeting.”

White Motor Scooter Near Open Door

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“There was a reporter from the New York Post there at the bar, and I was speaking to him about the case,” Jerry says. “Judy came walking in and put her finger in my face and said, ‘And who is this?’ I said, ‘Lady, get your finger out of my face.’ We’ve been together ever since.”

Judy and Jerry Marriage Wasn’t Always Perfect

However, the relationship between the couple is a reminder that marriages have ups and downs. Judy and Jerry Shiendlin, who later became an arbitrator on “The People’s Court” from 1999 to 2001, briefly separated in 1990.



According to Biography, Judy and Jerry divorced as a result of the stress and struggles that Judy felt after her father’s death that same year.

Judy and Jerry Missed Each Other After the Divorce 

Almost immediately after the divorce, Jerry shared in Marlo Thomas and Phil Donahue’s book “What Makes a Marriage Last: 40 Celebrated Couples Share with Us the Secrets to a Happy Life” that he missed his ex-wife. “I missed her presence the very first week that we were separated,” he shared.

Judy Sheindlin and Jerry Sheindlin at the Susan G. Komen New York City Race For The Cure 2009 held at Central Park in New York, New York on September 13, 2009.

Source: Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic

“It was the first time in years that we didn’t get to see each other every single day. It was such a strange experience,” Jerry said. Judy said something similar, writing, “I like being married. I missed him.”

The Couple Remarried a Year Later

However, the couple reunited and remarried at the chambers of a New York Supreme Court justice, who officiated the ceremony, in 1991. “To me, he says, ‘Do you take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife forever—in good times and bad, in sickness and in health?’ I said, ‘Yes.’” Jerry wrote (via People).

Two Gold-colored Wedding Bands on Book Page

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He continued, writing: “He looks at Judy and says, ‘Do you take this man to be your husband?’ She says, ‘Yes.’ He says, ‘In good times or bad?’ And she looks right at him and says, ‘In good times or forget it,'” Jerry wrote.


Jerry Was a TV Arbitrator for “The People’s Court” 

Judge Judy’s husband had a temporary stint in court show reality TV as a television arbitrator. Jerry told The Los Angeles Times in 1999 that his wife, whose series “Judge Judy” began in 1996, encouraged him to take the job.

Television reality courtroom star Judge Judy Sheindlin receives the 2304 star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, poses with her husband Judge Jerry Sheindlin on February 14, 2006 in Hollywood, California.

Source: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

“She is the one who told me I should do it. If she had any reservations at all, I wouldn’t have done it,” Jerry said.


Judge Judy Says This Also Helps a Marriage

This isn’t the first time that Judy has shared her marriage advice. In 2021, Judy told People that she believed one of the key aspects of a happy marriage is being physically attracted to your partner.

Judge Judy, Judith Sheindlin, poses for a portrait on February 14. 1997 in Los Angeles, California.

Source: Donaldson Collection/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

“We’re both very surface people when it comes to that,” she said at the time. “You know, if you fall instantaneously for somebody, that means there’s a physical attraction.”


Staying Fit Is a Choice

Even in their later years, Judy says that physical attraction is still something that she and Jerry find very important. “People age, people they change, you can either do it gracefully or you can say ‘I give up,’’ Judy said to People.

Woman Wearing Black Bra and White Tank Top Raising Both Hands on Top

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“And I, for myself, I said, ‘I choose to not give up; I choose to stay fit,’” she explained. “So don’t even think about anything but staying, looking as good as you can possibly look at this stage in your life.”


More Advice From Judge Judy

Backed by over 50 years on the bench, 27 of them as TV’s longest-reigning judge, Judy’s got a treasure trove of wisdom to share with anyone who’s ready to listen. “It’s been sort of easy. I grew up with, you do the right thing, the right thing happens [and] take responsibility,” she said.

Judge Judy Sheindlin and The Bad Idea Bears during Judge Judy Visits The Bad Idea Bears Backstage at "Avenue Q" on Broadway - September 15, 2004 at The John Golden Theater in New York, New York, United States.

Source: Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

While life has changed drastically over Judy’s life, she says that there is a remedy for problems people face.


Judge Judy Believes This Will Make Your Life Better

“If you tell the truth you don’t have to have a good memory. Try to keep good friends and keep your enemies closer until you find out you can annihilate them,” the judge said on Good Morning America (via ABC News).

Judge Judy Sheindlin on the set of her television show, December 2, 1997 in Los Angeles, California.

Source: Bob Riha, Jr./Getty Images

“I just stay in my own little world, I say, ‘This is right and this is wrong,'” she said.


Where Is Judge Judy Now?

Judge Judy is still seeing court on her newest show, “Judy Justice,” which streams on Peacock. Judy and her granddaughter Sarah Rose continue the legacy established by Judge Judy, with Judy on the bench and Sarah as the law clerk.

Television reality courtroom star Judge Judy Sheindlin poses with her family as she receives the 2304 star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, poses with on February 14, 2006 in Hollywood, California.

Source: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Sarah is a recent graduate from New York Law School where Sheindlin presented her with her law degree.