16 Things 'I Love Lucy' Got Wrong About the Real Marriage of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz

An ad featuring Desi and Lucy wearing I Love Lucy pajamas. Harwood Manufacturing Company – Life magazine, 23 November 1953, page 110 / Wikimedia.

15. Being Separated By Different Careers Almost Broke Them Up

Desi had a reputation as a womanizer and had broken the hearts of Lana Turner and Betty Grable. His studio recognized the appeal that he had with the ladies, so they wrote into his five-year contract a clause stipulating that he could not get married while under contract. That wasn’t the only reason why the relationship shouldn’t have happened – Lucy was already seeing someone, Alexander Hall. They both had their careers, which led to them being frequently separated. Those long separations during their romance nearly ended their relationship. In fact, they were already fighting so much that Lucy looked forward to them as reprieves.

Nevertheless, Desi charmed and wooed her with long love notes that he sent to her while she was out filming and touring across the country. One of those separations may be the reason why they got married. In 1940, Lucy was in Wisconsin giving an interview called “Why I Will Always Remain a Bachelor Girl,” on tour following a particularly heated argument with Desi. She believed that he was having affairs with ex-lovers while she was gone (which he may have been). To put her at ease and try to end their jealous quarrels, he asked her to elope with him. Following a swift and passionate romance, Desi and Lucy got married in 1940 at the Byram Eagle River Club in Connecticut.