‘Law and Order SVU’: Mariska Hargitay’s Husband Explains Why He Broke Up With Her Before They Were Married

Law & Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay recalls the time she and Younger star Peter Hermann decided to part ways before they got married. Here’s what Hermann had to say about why he broke up with Hargitay.

How Peter Hermann let Mariska Hargitay know the relationship was over

Mariska Hargitay and Peter Hermann | Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images
Mariska Hargitay and Peter Hermann | Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Hargitay says she invited Hermann over to a big Thanksgiving dinner. She put a lot of effort into the dinner, so she was disappointed when he was the first person to leave.

“I remember it was Thanksgiving, and he came to my house,” says Hargitay in the book What Makes a Marriage Last, by Marlo Thomas and Phil Donahue. “I had all these people over–it was beautiful and a very big deal—and he was the first to leave. I thought, Wait, what? Are you in or are you out? I’m in, but I’m only in if we’re both in. I was in love and ready to really move forward.”

Why Peter Hermann broke up with Mariska Hargitay

Hermann says he cared for Hargitay, but he needed to take a step back. He says he knew he was about to open his heart to her, so he wanted to make sure he was in the right space before he fully committed.

“There was this process going on that involved learning what it meant to actually open yourself up to somebody,” Hermann told Donahue and Thomas. “There were certainly fireworks going off, but for me, the next step after the fireworks was full alert. I think that’s the best way of saying it.”

Hermann says he takes relationships seriously, so he wanted to do things the right way. “It’s a serious endeavor,” he continued.

Mariska Hargitay loves that Peter Hermann is so serious about relationships

Hargitay says she was heartbroken over the breakup, but she admires Hermann’s approach to love and relationships. She admires his depth and how much thought he put into their future.

“It is a serious endeavor, and this is what I love about Peter,” said Hargitay. “He’s so thoughtful and there’s nothing surfacey about it. If you ask him a question, there’s no skating over the top. But I will say that we were in different places, and I love how seriously he took it. I’m a much more instinctual human being.”

Their first date after the breakup

The couple’s first date after their breakup was on Valentine’s Day. Hargitay says the date was emotional. She cried when she realized they were finally on the same page.

So, we went out to dinner on Valentine’s Day, and we both gave each other the exact same gift. It was so crazy. We both gave each other a book by Andy Goldsworthy, who was our favorite artist. It’s called Time. We’d seen a documentary on him called Rivers and Tides.

It was about making art for the sake of the moment, having no attachment to it. So, when we went to this restaurant in Tribeca, I was so excited to give him this book for Valentine’s Day. And then I saw him pull out the same book and give it to me. I just started crying. And, again, I just knew.

Mariska Hargitay, What Makes a Marriage Work

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