Mary J Blige has been with her husband Kendy Isaacs since 2000. He was married before and brought three children with him from that marriage. For Mary it is still the first marriage and hopefully it will be her last.
Mary has had an eventful life thus far. She had a troubled childhood in the Bronx, witnessed spousal abuse and was molested by a family friend. She has had plenty of problems during the first half of her career, including substance abuse.
She once compared her life to what Amy Winehouse has been through, albeit so much more publicly. Mary felt a kinship to Amy and her struggles, because she had been there herself.
She knows what self-loathing and self-hatred look and feel like. It’s surprising to find out that Mary J Blige is one of the most successful R&B stars in the world and simultaneously suffers from low self-esteem.
Her own husband once asked her why she felt the need to hate herself. It’s a valid question, especially in light of being universally loved by fans and, even more, loved by her husband and step-children.
Mary has spoken candidly about her marriage before. It seems Kendu, who is also her manager and producer, is very supportive of her. She admitted that her marriage has its ups and downs, just like any marriage does. There is, after all, no such thing as a perfect relationship. Anyone who claims theirs is perfect is probably in a relationship with a customized robot.
When divorce rumours emerged in 2011 Mary denied them. Sure, her marriage to Kendu needed work, sometimes more, sometimes less, but a divorce was not in the cards. The two weren’t even broken up.
Over the years there have been news and rumours about troubles every once in a while. Mary allegedly once punched him the face at a record release party.
Of particular interest was the rumour that Mary didn’t allow Kendu to have female friends. She apparently said that he only had male friends and she only had female friends. The reason was simple enough, she said: friendships with people of the opposite sex are a no-no in a marriage. Apparently that sort of thing never works.
Mary later clarified that her words had been taken out of context. Whilst it was true that Kendu was not allowed new female friends, just as she didn’t have male friends, he certainly still has female friends from before Mary and Kendu ever started dating. Those friendships are permissible it seems.
It’s certainly one way to ensure no jealousy rears its ugly head. Given that the couple are nearing their 13-year anniversary, it seems to work for them.
Mary once said that her husband will never have her completely. There will always be a part of her that she will keep for herself. She said it in a way that suggests that he knows that, but that he still wants all of her.
But who do we become, if we give ourselves over to another completely?
Mary wondered what would happen to her, if Kendu ever decided to leave. It’s a valid question and one that rings true for many of us, especially if we’ve ever made the mistake of losing ourselves completely in somebody else. It’s not a healthy thing to do and it causes great hurt when that somebody else decides to leave.
We come to the conclusion that Mary J Blige is fully aware that her marriage may not last forever. It’s probably not something she thinks about all the time and outwardly she and Kendu appear like a very happy couple indeed. Let’s hope she doesn’t have to face those fears.