‘Law & Order: SVU’: The Gift Mariska Hargitay Received From Peter Hermann That Made Her Cry

Law & Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay says she and her husband, Younger star Peter Hermann, went through a rough patch or two before finally tying the knot in 2004. During their first date after getting back together, Hargitay says Hermann bought her a special gift that made her cry.

Mariska Hargitay and Peter Hermann broke up a few times before getting married

Peter Hermann and Mariska Hargitay | Neilson Barnard/Getty Images
Peter Hermann and Mariska Hargitay | Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

One of the breakups between Hargitay and Hermann took place around Thanksgiving. Hargitay says she made an elaborate dinner and invited a large group of people. She was upset when Hermann was the first person to leave because she had put so much effort into the event. Hermann says he was trying to find a way to let Hargitay know he needed some space and time to think about where the relationship was headed.

“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.”

The gift that made Mariska Hargitay cry

Hargitay and Hermann reunited and went on a Valentine’s Day date. During the date, they exchanged gifts, and to her surprise, they gave each other the same gift, a book by artist Andy Goldsworthy. This held great significance for the couple, and Hargitay couldn’t hold back her tears.

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.

Mariska Hargitay, What Makes a Marriage Last

Hermann told Donahue and Thomas that he felt peace about the relationship after realizing they were on the same page. When asked what he was feeling at the time, the actor says he felt calm.

“It was like more and more news was arriving that this was something to be greatly at peace about,” said Hermann.

Mariska Hargitay explains her tears

This wasn’t the first time Hargitay cried during a date with Hermann. She also cried during their first date while they were at a church service. Hargitay says she was moved to tears because she realized that she had met the one. She says she was also emotional because she felt God had put them together.

“Why was I crying in church about him?” asked Hargitay during her interview with Thomas and Donahue. “It can’t be physical. Yes, you’re attractive, but I don’t cry over handsome people, so what was that thing that I knew? Grace. That God had put me here. I’m constantly reminded—and there have been these reminders all along the way—that this is right. Stay in. Do the work. The payoff is huge.”

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