Ina was 15 when she first met Jeffrey Garten, and five years later, they were wed. It was a match made in heaven for Ina to find someone who respected her choices while still being himself.
When seen together, Ina and Jeffrey Garten exude an undeniable air of romance that, to the most cynical individuals, may even seem too wonderful to be true or like an act they put on for the cameras.
They have developed into a cultural phenomenon, though. Ina has sold more than 10 million copies of ten different cookbooks in the last two years. To some extent, all of these recipes were influenced by Ina’s life with Jeffrey.
The couple’s marriage is depicted in all of the novels, but even they were taken aback to learn that some individuals were printing “You’re the Jeffrey to my Ina” on letterpress Valentine’s Day cards.
Here are specifics on the couple’s decision not to have children. The couple has already spoken openly about their choice.
During his first year at Dartmouth, Jeffrey got his first glimpse of Ina. In the fall of 1964, she had come to see her brother on university. Jeffrey, who was bored, had been gazing out the library window when he noticed her.
He had asked his roommate if he thought Ina was lovely while they were together, and with all of his focus now on the female, he had turned to the other man.
Her name was Ina Rosenberg, the younger sister of a friend, and he supposedly had dinner plans with her later that night, but sadly the roommate was all too familiar with who she was.
After that supper, the date fizzled out, and Jeffrey began wooing her. His first letter to her included a picture of himself, and Ina had been impressed by his appearance. She uttered:
“I only recall yelling, “Mom, Mom, you’ve got to see this image of this person,” as I ran through the house. He’s really adorable!”
That letter was followed by others in which he stated his wish to see her someday. Jeffrey had also been ecstatic with what little he had seen that day from the library. He once said, “She seemed incredibly knowledgeable and she looked nurturing.” She appeared to be able to look after me.
She was still in high school and 15 when they first met, so Jeffrey had to pick her up from her parents’ house in Stamford, Connecticut. When she was 15 years old, she first met Jeffrey, and she admitted that she instantly knew he was the one.
She had him drive them to Portchester, New York, because she thought a college boy would find a date at a bar cool. However, they were caught by the person at the door who asked for her license. It was a catastrophe, she declared.
They soon moved on to find their entertainment elsewhere, and in her account, they had a blast. The skilled chef would later admit to knowing they would end up together in an interview with TODAY Food.
The fact that the letters continued after their first date indicated that Jeffrey also shared the viewpoint, and Ina was gleefully overburdened. She disclosed:
“He wrote to me almost daily. I was unable to keep up with it.”
She eventually began traveling to see him at Dartmouth, where she quickly won over everyone’s affection. In other words, Ina had won over a group of students, among them a former cabinet secretary and many Rhodes scholars.
“At the time, it was highly popular for men to date women who were enrolled in law or medicine school, but Ina sent me shoeboxes full of brownies and made me sweaters. And all of these men who were interested in those other women would constantly come into my room and inquire, “What did Ina send you this time?””
On December 22, 1968, Ina and Jeffrey got married at her parents’ home, making her a military wife as a result of Jeffrey’s Army enlistment as an officer. She remembered: “The day was ideal for a wedding. The ceremony was in the middle when it began to snow. Although it was lovely and romantic, the unfortunate car parking guys had to dig everyone out after the party.”
He continued to write to her even though he was halfway around the world, so his propensity for letter-writing was put to good use at the time. He once admitted, “I wrote to Ina every single day.”
Ina was glad to be a stay-at-home wife because it gave her plenty of time to prepare meals for her husband. She was happy that she had found the guy of her dreams. But one morning at 11 a.m., Jeffrey caught Ina watching a sitcom. He spoke to her:
“You need to take action, I simply told her. If you don’t, you won’t be content.”
After hearing those comments, Ina decided to put an end to her complacency, go back to school, and seriously devote herself to doing what she loves (business and cooking.)
She and Jeffrey afterwards took a road trip to Paris in 1972, during which time they both realized just how skilled she was as a cook. Ina had to prepare every meal on a gas camping stove because they could only afford $5 a day while they were on the move.
The pair feels that by making their choice, they now have more time for one another.
Years later, the two relocated to Washington, where Ina could display her culinary talents at the gatherings they hosted.
Ina started her food company in 1978 when Jeffrey persuaded her once more to purchase the modest Barefoot Contessa gourmet food shop in Westhampton Beach, New York. Before she published the first edition of “The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook,” Ina ran the company for more than two decades.
The book was a significant bet, but Jeffrey’s faith in her never wavered, so when the first 5,000 copies sold out and more copies were requested, he was not overly surprised.
She has innate skill, but it’s supported by so much effort and so much dedication, said Jeffrey, an educated man who was a Dean, so he knew she could pull it off.
His assistance is undeniable evidence of his love for Ina. As expected considering how safe she feels even while they are away, the cookbook author is also confident in her connection with him.
Ina once disclosed the method used to create that security, saying: “No matter where he is, I always know that nothing in his life is more significant than me. We offer each other a great deal of leeway to do anything we want, yet we remain the anchor.”
Because the pair has remained together in their happiness despite everything that has happened to them, Ina and Jeffrey’s love story has inspired many others and continues to do so. Jeffrey had previously shared his best life experience with her.
He had taken a taxi to an apartment that Ina had refurbished without ever showing him a single photo. It was May 2002. He trusted me, and that is the key to a great marriage, said Ina. I wanted it to be unexpected.
When he finally arrived to their apartment, which was on the fifth floor, his heart was at peace. “She had created everything to be cozy and lovely. I felt like I had been there a lifetime after only five minutes “said he.
For the benefit of their admirers, Ina and Jeffrey have been open about many aspects of their long-lasting relationship. One is to offer rather than demand attention. She once made a joke: “By providing attention, you receive attention back as opposed to demanding it. Actually, it’s easier than you may imagine.”
Ina thinks that cooking is a wonderful way to express affection. Here is what she had to say: “Finding out what they like — not what you like, what they like — and making it for them, in my opinion, is the best way to show someone you care by cooking for them. And they will feel fantastic.”
Of all, even the smallest acts mean a lot; as Ina has observed, “Jeffrey doesn’t really cook for me, but he makes coffee every morning and gets me the newspaper, and I’m very appreciative.” Although his kind deeds melt her heart, they are not the only factor in why this couple has remained together for so long.
Ina once shared one of their fantastic moments with her followers when she appeared with Katie Couric on Instagram Live to give advice and respond to queries about her go-to recipes and successful marriage.
When asked how she and Jeffrey manage to stay attached despite having to spend time apart, Ina said the solution is “very simple.” They are always tuned in to each other and feel connected.
She admitted that they communicated frequently by text, and that once, by mistake, he sent a message to a person in California he knew. When Jeffrey recognized his error—which was hardly a sext—he apologized right away, but the problem persisted.
Ina revealed to Couric what the man said after they later learned that the lady had shown the text to her husband, probably out of envy: “She then displayed it to her husband, perhaps feeling a little envious, and said, “Look at the text that Jeffrey writes to his wife.” And he responds, “Oh, no one texts their wife like that. He was ashamed to tell you that it was for his girlfriend, though.”
While Ina thought it was all amusing, Couric was more appreciative that it stayed out of the tabloids.
The peculiarity of Ina and Jeffrey’s marriage is that they both chose early on not to have children. In a recent episode of the Katie Couric Podcast, she discussed it in detail and revealed the following: “We made the decision not to have kids. Although we will always be close to friends who have children, I genuinely respect that others do. However, I made that decision very early in life.”
She continued, “I genuinely believed that I would not have been able to lead the life I have. So, it’s a decision, and I made that one.”
When Couric brought up the stigma associated with couples who choose not to have children, Ina said she had never experienced it. She uttered: “The main thing we miss, in my opinion, is the fact that many people’s friends are also the parents of their children’s friends. We therefore never had the network of relationships with other individuals that I observe. However, I never felt judged by it; perhaps others did, but I wasn’t aware of it.”
The pair feels that their choice has improved their relationship because it has given them more time to be together. They might therefore be onto something here.