Estranged Hollywood couple Shirley Jones and funnyman Marty Ingels are getting back together. "We've worked it out," Ingels tells TV Guide Online. "Instead of giving the money to a lawyer, we decided to give it to a brilliant therapist."
The unlikely duo is wrapping up their six-month trial separation, and Ingels says he and TV's Partridge Family mom will be reunited in their Beverly Hills home by the end of the month. He also reveals that he's going to surprise his wife with a $3,000 bicycle-built-for-two with a fringed top a nod to Jones's role in the movie classic Oklahoma!, which featured the hit song "Surrey with the Fringe on Top."
Ingels adds that they plan to celebrate their on-again, off-again 25-year relationship by inviting friends and family to a big party in January. That same month, the couple also will conduct a paid lecture on marriage accompanied by therapist Ron Podell through The Learning Tree in Los Angeles.
But it's not all good news. Ingels says his wife's famous sons particularly TV producer Shaun Cassidy still don't see eye-to-eye with their stepdad. Ingels, who in the past has blamed the kids for driving a wedge between he and Jones, says he's agreed to keep his distance from them as part of the reconciliation.
"In a perfect world, Shirley should say to them, 'I happen to love my husband, that's my life, and you can't have me without having him,'" says Ingels. "But she just can't do that, and I don't ever want to be the one to separate her from seeing those kids and nine grandchildren.
"If they came to the door right now and said 'We did you wrong,' I would hug them and kiss them and start all over again," he adds. "I may be hard to take. I'm learning in therapy that I'm a crazed maniac and I press people's buttons, so I'm learning to be a more sensible person."