You never really know how you’ll react when you find “the one.” For Mariska Hargitay, it came in the form of some unexpected waterworks while on her first date with her husband, Peter Hermann.
The actors met on the set of Hargitay’s long running series, Law & Order: SVU, back in 2002. After they’d finished filming one day, they decided to attend a church service together. While sitting in the pew, Hargitay suddenly burst into tears — but it wasn’t the sermon that caused the emotional response. Instead, it was a sudden sense of knowing she was there with the man she would marry.
“I just started sobbing,” she told PEOPLE in 2019. “Peter thought I was crying because I was so moved by the service. No, it was because I was just overwhelmed, realizing he was the one.” Hargitay described the feeling like being “hit with a lightning bolt.”
It might sound like a scene from a sappy romantic comedy, but after 16 years of marriage, there’s no denying her reaction was the real deal! The couple tied the knot in 2004 and share three children, August (14), Amaya (9), and Andrew (8).
Hermann shared his own sweet sentiments about Hargitay in a 2019 video where the actor fielded a rapid string of questions while simultaneously making a batch of scrumptious pancakes. Along with a few strang revelations — like the fact that he loves ironing clothes but hates wearing PJs (we can imagine both are nice marriage perks for Hargitay) — he was quick to drop her name.
When asked what makes him laugh no matter what, it barely took a second for him to respond, “My wife.” Later, when prompted about what makes him feel his happiest, he immediately repeated, “When Mariska makes me laugh.”
We’re sure Hermann has shed a few happy tears himself while laughing with Hargitay and their kids. Here’s hoping the adorable pair continue to share their heartwarming stories with the rest of us!