I’ve been married for a little over two years now. As a matter of fact, my wife and I just celebrated our anniversary not too long ago and thus far, it’s been pretty much the same as the day we both said, “I do.”
But I’m definitely not saying it’s been easy.
The one thing I can say that has brought me marital success has been the fact that I treat my marriage like I do with my music and anything else that I’m working on, and that’s no matter how successful I think I am, I always strive to do better and I continuously work at it.
I put it like this; when I did “Papers” for Usher, that turned out to be a pretty big hit for me, gave me platinum status and was my first No. 1 hit, but instead of sitting back and eating off that check, I still woke up everyday like I hadn’t ever made one chart-topping single. It actually made me want to go even harder because I want to stay perfecting my craft.
With my marriage, I handle it the same way—we both do. My wife is a hairstylist and we met while I was in barber school, so I think that connection has helped. Well, that and the fact that we give each other space to be the individuals we were before we got married and the ones we are now. Other than that, church and family keep us grounded, as well.
We do a lot of things as a family and I don’t mean just me, her and our two kids, I mean my family, her family, all of us. I also include my wife in a lot of what I’m doing professionally. She recently came with me to L.A. where I got my first big honor, which was from BMI for the Billboard No. 1 Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Song. We turned that trip into a mini-anniversary celebration, hit up Mr. Chow (and Carl Jrs.), did a little shopping and, as much as we love ‘em, just enjoyed being kid-free.
You hear about a lot of marriages breaking up in this business and in general and I certainly don’t claim to know it all, I just know what works for us. My family reminds me of the scripture John 15:5 and to summarize: My family is the vine and I’m the branch. If I stay connected to them and they stay connected to me, we will be successful but apart from each other, we can’t do anything.
My family keeps me grounded and gives me a greater purpose than just making hits and stacking checks, although that’s still cool because I gotta feed us. But I keep in mind that anything worth having is worth fighting for and my marriage is definitely one of those things.
What are you willing to fight for?