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Carrie Preston on the 'Old Adage' That Became a Mantra in Her 25-Year Marriage to “Lost”'s Michael Emerson (Exclusive)

The 'Elsbeth' star tells PEOPLE about the ways she and Emerson keep their near-three-decade marriage "fresh"

<p>Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic</p> Carrie Preston and Michael Emerson

Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Carrie Preston and Michael Emerson

Carrie Preston and her husband Michael Emerson have adopted a simple phrase that rings true in their near-three-decade marriage.

As fellow working actors, both Preston and Emerson understand how long hours on set can keep them away from each other for extended periods of time. Despite their busy schedules and hectic lives as television stars, the couple have been married for 25 — going on 26 — years and Preston exclusively tells PEOPLE of the mantra that's keep their hearts warm after all these years.

"We have to, because of work, spend a lot of time apart," explains the actress, who stars as the titular character in Elsbeth, CBS' latest spinoff of The Good Wife. "I think he and I, maybe more than some other couples who are together all the time, we really appreciate the time that we do have together."

Noting how the distance "keeps things fresh" in her relationship with the Lost alum, she adds, "I do think there is something to the old adage, 'Absence makes the heart grow fonder.' I really do think that is true."

<p>Roy Rochlin/Getty</p> Michael Emerson and Carrie Preston

Roy Rochlin/Getty

Michael Emerson and Carrie Preston

Related: How Carrie Preston Went from The Good Wife 'Side Dish' to Making Elsbeth 'a Full Meal' (Exclusive)

Preston explains that she and Emerson "try not to take for granted any time that we are given to be together," knowing that there may be a "long stretch" of time before they're able to see each other again.

When the couple is finally able to reunite, the actress shares how they're able to keep their spark alive in their relationship.

Preston recalls how Emerson surprised her with a bouquet of her favorite stargazer lilies after considering how "hard" she's been working on the project and how much she's "invested" in the success of her new "dream job."

"He knows I've been working these long hours. I came home the other day, and there were the lilies, these gorgeous bouquet of stargazers sitting on the table," she gushes. "It's little things like that."

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<p>Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic</p> Carrie Preston and Michael Emerson

Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Carrie Preston and Michael Emerson

Related: 'Lost' Cast: Where Are They Now?

Emerson doesn't come up short when it comes to thoughtful romantic gestures. The actress shares another instance where he surprised her with a homemade breakfast on her one day off of work.

"I came downstairs after waking up, and he made French toast and had blueberries, and he's heated up the syrup. That kind of thing is the kind of things that we like to do to surprise each other. It's the small gestures," Preston smiles. "We both have our romantic sides for sure."

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Elsbeth airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.

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Read the original article on People.