At the London premiere of Colin Firth‘s new film, The Mercy, he appeared with his wife of 20 years, Livia Giuggioli, on Feb 6. They appeared as solidly together as ever. So it came as a surprise when the Oscar-winning actor and the Italian film producer recently revealed that they’ve been struggling to put their marriage back together following a crisis. “A few years ago Colin and Livia privately made the decision to separate,” their rep said in a statement.

“During that time Livia briefly became involved with former friend [Marco] Brancaccia. The Firths have since reunited,” the spokesperson added. The glamorous pair has one of the longer-lived marriages in Hollywood and Colin, 57, has acknowledged that they work hard at it. “You just navigate things on a daily basis,” he said, adding, “We are crazy about each other.” So while Colin and Livia, 48, have accused Italian journalist Brancaccia of carrying out “a frightening campaign of harassment” (a charge he denies), they are clearly determined to hold their marriage together.

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Colin and his wife, Livia.

“Colin is a very supportive husband,” an insider exclusively told Closer Weekly. And as the actor has admitted, “Every relationship in life you’re going to have to take care of. There’s a marathon factor to it.” The public news about their troubles no doubt added to the pain of the situation for the fiercely private couple, but Colin and Livia have a solid foundation to rely on. They met in Colombia on the set of the BBC series Nostromo in 1995, and Colin has said he “was smitten” instantly.

“I was on the steps of a church in this ancient city, and I saw her coming through the crowd, and it was a bolt to the heart,” he recalled. “I couldn’t move.” They married two years later, and now have two sons, Luca, 16, and Matteo, 14. While neither of them is openly effusive about their love, “Colin and Livia always presented a public state of unity,” said the insider. “Colin has backed his wife in her business endeavors and been there when she has needed him.”

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Colin and Livia in 2015. (Photo Credit: Splash)

And Colin has remained devoted to Livia while away filming movies like the upcoming Mamma Mia! sequel. “It does help to realize that however stunning the person who is fluttering eyelashes at you, she doesn’t do anything to match up to your wife,” he said. At home, the couple is protective of their two boys, another reason they’re trying to make sure their marriage “is going to go on forever,” as Colin said. “Livia loves her sons greatly,” the insider noted.

Colin, who has a third son, Will, 27, with his ex-flame, Meg Tilly, has said being a father “is what makes life most worth living, no question.” And one of the things the family enjoys doing is going to see Luca, a musician, play live gigs. But Colin recognizes that one of the challenges of their family, where both partners have thriving careers, is “time,” he said. “We have to make sure that we spend enough time together.”

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