Bryce Dallas Howard and Seth Gabel did not plan to have children until their 30s, but the actress got pregnant a week after their wedding. Although she experienced severe postpartum depression, her husband stayed by her side through it all.
While studying at New York University, Bryce Dallas Howard met her husband, Seth Gabel. As cliche as it sounds, it was love at first sight for the "Jurassic World" star, who wrote about marrying Gabel in her journal that very day. However, it was not the same for the director.
Howard pursued Gabel for months before eventually calling late at night and asking him out on a date. Fortunately, he agreed, and their love story began. It would later take 20 years for him to admit that he fell head over heels in love after their first date.
TYING THE KNOT
It turned out that Gabel told one of their friends, "The tables have turned. I am so nervous she doesn't like me anymore, and I really like her." However, Howard's feelings never stopped and instead grew stronger as time passed.
Her love was so strong that she couldn't stop thinking about him even while at work for "As You Like It." Before she left for the production, their engagement significantly contributed to her thoughts while acting a romantic scene. She recalled imagining Gabel as she said her lines:
“It’s right after the courtship scene, and she says, ‘’O coz, coz, coz, my pretty little coz, that thou / Didst know how many fathom deep I am in love!’ So I just remember when I said ‘I am in love!’ just being like ‘I do love him.’”
Seth Gabel and Bryce Dallas Howard during Paper Magazine's Last Supper Party on December 11, 2005. | Source: Getty Images
The pair officially became husband and wife in June 2006 and spent their honeymoon in Greece with Howard's parents, actor Ron Howard and Cheryl Howard. The Hollywood icon's daughter said:
“It was actually a family reunion, and it was idyllic. If it were up to us to organize our own honeymoon, we would just have gone out to dinner.”
Seth Gabel and Bryce Dallas Howard during Paper Magazine's Last Supper Party at Acme on December 11, 2005. | Source: Getty Images
Initially, the pair planned to enjoy life without a child until their 30s, but things didn't go as planned. Just seven days after their wedding, Howard found out she was pregnant. Nevertheless,having their firstborn
was a "delightful surprise."
BECOMING A MOTHER
Howard embraced pregnancy with open arms and loved every moment she carried life inside of her, up until her ninth month when she weighed over 200 pounds. But following her son Theo's birth, everything spiraled out of control for the "Twilight" actress.
Bryce Dallas Howard and Seth Gabel during the Sundance Institute at The Theatre At The Ace Hotel on August 11, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images
Then 25, Howard became numb and experienced postpartum depression. According to Howard, breastfeeding was the worst because she felt incompetent. She forced herself to exhaust all efforts so that Theo would consume only her milk without supplementation. She recalled:
“Occasionally, I drifted off for a few minutes, but that decision to ‘feed at all costs’ left me no room for recovery, no space to explore my feelings, no time to rest.”
At one point, she referred to her son as "it" instead of Theo. Howard ended up sobbing in the shower while watching everything fall apart. At that time, Gabel was shooting for a show and came home to his wife screaming expletives at him at night.
It was a behavior Gabel had never seen during their years together. But even when he offered help, there was nothing that could be done. "I've hit the wall and gone through it," Howard said. "And I feel I am expected to go further." In an interview, she recalled:
“I was crying in the shower all the time, not feeling like myself, not feeling connected to my son or to my husband – certainly not to myself – not being able to make decisions.”
THE BEST HUSBAND
Despite her many breakdowns, Gabel never left his wife's side and was a supportive husband and father. He would change Theo's diapers, nurse him, and whisper in his ears, "Anything is possible."
Although they are hands-on in their kids’ lives, Howard and Gabel continue to make time for themselves and keep the romance alive.
Seth Gabel and Bryce Dallas Howard during the Ron Howard Star ceremony on The Hollywood Walk Of Fame held on December 10, 2015 in Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images
With all she witnessed, Howard was left in awe of her husband. "He was really generous and selfless, and he was 24 when we had our first kid," she said.
Howard is so grateful for her husband's support that she never misses an opportunity to praise him in her social media accounts to remind everyone how great her husband is as a father. In one post, the actress wrote:
“My hot husband is juggling it all (kids, pets, moving, new schools) all while I’ve been filming in the UK. This is our cat Bruno balancing on his back — it’s a new thing.”
Howard knew she married the right man with all that they have been through. They knew that their relationship could surpass even the strongest storm, so after a few years, they grew their family and welcomed a daughter, Beatrice Jean Howard-Gabel.
Howard and Gabel have since decided to keep their family life private with occasional photos of their children posted on social media. It is said that Theo takes after his grandfather's physical appearance and shares similar interests.
It seems that the couple's parenting style raised well-rounded children, and although they are hands-on in their kids' lives, Howard and Gabel continue to make time for themselves and keep the romance alive.
Recently, the pair celebrated 21 years together with a sweet Instagram photo. The 40-year-old star paid tribute to her husband as she commemorated their first date anniversary while he posted about his "gorgeous, hilarious, and brilliant" wife.