How Katey Sagal and Kurt Sutter Kept Their Marriage Intact Working Together on “Sons of Anarchy”: We Needed 'Boundaries'

The couple also opened up about their goals to have regular date nights and why it's been difficult to commit to their efforts

Katey Sagal (left) and Kurt Sutter
Katey Sagal (left) and Kurt Sutter

Katey Sagal and Kurt Sutter came to a few important conclusions about their working relationship in order to keep their marriage intact on Sons of Anarchy.

On the April 30 episode of their joint podcast, PIE, the couple, who married in 2004, revealed the specific ways they learned to keep their professional and personal lives separate while filming the FX drama series. Though they were "actively looking for something to do together," Sutter, 63, shared that he had never planned for his wife to become a permanent fixture on Sons of Anarchy.

"So we were in the throes of full time working together. We had to create some boundaries," he explained, before sharing an example of how they were able to enforce those boundaries.

"I think there was something that was not clear to her or she didn't understand or felt like there wasn't, you know, things weren't being addressed," recalled Sutter, the series' creator. "I remember clearly in that moment going, oh, this is going to blow us up, right? And so what we learned is we love what we do."

<p>Fx Network/Kobal/Shutterstock</p> Katey Sagal on 'Sons of Anarchy'

Fx Network/Kobal/Shutterstock

Katey Sagal on 'Sons of Anarchy'

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"In terms of problems or issues or concerns, there is a crew of people who can navigate and take care of those things who are not me," he explained. "And that was sort of our first lesson."

Before understanding how their work issues could bleed into their personal relationship, Sutter revealed that they sought out a therapist who told the couple that they "need some boundaries." Eventually the two were able to find "the groove of the show" and fell into rhythm with their working styles.

"Then I think it became easier and even to the point of enjoyable," Sutter added.

"I think we did pretty well with this once we started," Sagal, 70, agreed. "As people that have come from being broken toys, as I like to say, to putting the pieces back together, we know what our priorities are, ultimately. Our priorities are mental health and recovery, and then our priorities are our children and taking care of them. Our priority is our marriage."

<p>Tara Ziemba/Getty</p> Kurt Sutter and Katey Sagal with their children Sarah Grace White and Jackson James White

Tara Ziemba/Getty

Kurt Sutter and Katey Sagal with their children Sarah Grace White and Jackson James White

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With Sagal currently accompanying him on his latest Netflix series, Sutter said that his wife has been able to understand how his "cup gets filled up pretty quickly" and why "there's a lot of s--- to do" running a production.

The Married with Children alum shared how "amazing" it's been to see her husband at work. In fact, not only has the sight been impressive, Sagal said that the experience has allowed her to "realize how hot he is."

In terms of their journey working on Sons of Anarchy, Sagal said that once the "initial excitement" of being on set together died down, she worked on "keeping everything right sized and in balance" as well as "learning to keep my mouth shut."

"That was still my struggle, but I'm trying to learn how to not have a thought and let it come out of my mouth immediately, especially when I'm talking to the boss," she laughed. "He's the boss, which is kind of hot too.”

<p>Barry King/Getty</p> Kurt Sutter and Katey Sagal

Barry King/Getty

Kurt Sutter and Katey Sagal

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Now that the couple's gotten their work-life balance in check, Sagal revealed that the duo has tried their best to enforce date nights, though their efforts have proved to be fruitless.

“Here's my feeling. I feel like the pandemic bought me date night for the next three and a half years," Sutter joked, noting that the couple spends most of their time together. “Here's what I'll say to all the guy folk listening. Date night is probably a very valuable tool in a relationship. One that I do not pick up often enough."

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Despite the importance of connecting with your partner without distractions or devices, Sutter admitted that scheduling intentional time could be tough at times with their busy schedules.

Even then, the director noted that the gesture "doesn't have to be a lot" and partners can feel appreciated by simply making an "effort" so that "people know they matter."

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