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Chris Meloni Reveals the Key to His 28-Year Marriage with Wife Sherman Williams

The Law & Order: Organized Crime star also opened up about being an empty nester, as his youngest child Dante just left for college.

By Jackie Manno

Chris Meloni's family just celebrate a major milestone: his youngest child, Dante, recently went to college. 

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In a recent interview on TODAY, Meloni opened up about how he's been adjusting to the absence of his 19-year-old son.

"You take the steps necessary, and everything is great, and then you get home, and you feel as though you hear the wind whistling through the hallway. Tumbleweeds. I mean there's an emptiness. It's tough. I'm dealing with it right now. It's a real thing," he said. 

However, there in a new upside to being an empty-nester: He gets more time to spend alone with his longtime wife, Sherman Williams.  

"Every night has the potential to be date night. You get a little closer, and you walk a little closer and slower," he said. 

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Meloni also sweetly disclosed what makes the relationship between him and Williams so strong after 28 year. "What has been great is that the longer you're married and you go through all the things that you go through as a married couple, and if you can tough it out and you can find the reasons why you love them and you were attracted to them in the first place, and those just grow. And the feelings, and the strengths of the other person solidify. It's great."

Christopher Meloni with his wife Sherman Meloni

"You have to stick it out through the tough times, if you come out the other end, you go: 'Oh, this is why we are what we are,'" he said insightfully. 

Chris Meloni and his family

Meloni and Williams also share 22-year-old Sophia.

“I think my kids would call me a little crazy. I’m very physical, very affectionate. I’m also very disciplined and focused on education. That’s one thing that was instilled in me, one place in life where there’s no compromise,” Meloni said in a 2014 interview with USA Today of his parenting style. “What works for me is empowering my kids. I remember not having any power when I was growing up. Power helps kids mature, and it requires critical thinking on their part. They feel engaged in a decision, which makes them feel engaged in the family process.”

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The actor also explained to People how Sophia and Dante's personalities differ. "I always knew I wanted kids, as did my wife. My mother always used to say to me, 'I've learned so much from you kids,' and I didn't get it. Now I get it," he said. "One is more of an old soul. I never used that term until they came out of the womb and I looked in their eyes. I was like, 'Holy cow, look at you. You're here to teach me.' As well as the other one, who's a young soul. It's ever-evolving and a complete fulfillment of my life."