Rachel Maddow and Her Girlfriend Give Up TV on Weekends

04/06/2010 at 01:00 PM EDT

Rachel Maddow and Her Girlfriend Give Up TV on Weekends
Rachel Maddow and Susan Mikula
Michael Edwards
Rachel Maddow doesn't bring her work home with her.

The MSNBC host, 37, and her artist girlfriend Susan Mikula spend each weekend at their quaint home three hours north of New York in Western Massachusetts, and it doesn't have cable – or even a television.

"We realized that the two of us have the TV Disease," explains Mikula, 52. "Rachel can't have one because she'd watch it all the time!" Instead, they enjoy the solitude and home-cooked meals Mikula prepares.

Maddow does have a small TV in their tiny New York City apartment, but Mikula only uses it "so that I can watch her on Friday nights before I come pick her up."

The couple met in 1999, when Maddow, who then worked odd jobs, was hired to do yard work on Mikula's property in the Berkshires.

"It was very Desperate Housewives," jokes Maddow of how their relationship began.

For more on Maddow, Mikula and their weekend home, pick up this week's issue of PEOPLE magazine

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