Today Essence ran a story on Arizona Cardinals player Adrian Wilson renewing his vows with his wife of 10 years, Alicia. The photos and the intro to the piece really did have the makings of true bridal bliss, as the feature title suggested, except for one teeny little detail: Adrian was just seen on this season of “Khloe and Lamar”dating “ATL” star Malika Haqq.
Now of course we know these shows are taped in advance and there’s some chopping and screwing going on when it comes to editing, but the explanation Adrian gives for his brief stint with Malika and his sudden vow renewal leaves a lot to be desired. Here’s a bit of what he said about what was going on with him and his wife at the time:
“We were separated for six months. That’s what everybody doesn’t understand. We were separated for a while. Getting back together was something that we had to talk about for a very long time. We talked sometimes all night long and into the next morning — talking about what needed to change. We realized they weren’t really big things; they were just things we needed to work on as a couple. There were things we needed to do in our marriage individually to make each other feel comfortable again and recognizing that I’m responsible for how she feels, and she’s responsible for how I feel. That communication was one of the main things that got us back to the point where we are now. I tell my wife more now than ever before, and she does the same for me.”
Adrian adds that he and his wife were nearly in the final stages of divorce although both realized that wasn’t what they really wanted and so they worked their way back to the love story Essence shared today. But Adrian is still getting a lot of side-eyes because although he’d like to act like he just had dinner with Malika and cameras miraculously showed up, from footage of “Khloe and Lamar,” these two were in some form of a serious relationship, with Malika finally calling things off because she didn’t feel right dating a married man and even asking Khloe to send Adrian’s belongings back to him. If you’ve got keys and belongings, that ain’t casual. But of course Adrian blames the bad rep he’s gained on the show.
“The whole episode attacked my character, and it was shown in a way that reflected the opposite of who I really am,” he told Essence. “But that’s cool; that’s what they do. Am I mad? Sure. But at the end of the day, that’s not what is most important to me. It’s no longer on my mind. I told my wife all about it and about everything that happened before the show even aired. She was well-prepared for everything — for the backlash and all that stuff. It wasn’t what it should have been, but that’s on me. It’s not on anyone else but me. But being able to get through that, and be where we are now, makes me think the experience helped us out tremendously. I think it made us stronger.”
If Adrian wants to be mad at anybody it should be himself, not only because he was with another woman but because he’s trying to cry foul on the network like every other reality TV star does when someone doesn’t like their actions. This wasn’t a hidden cameras show dude, don’t try to act confused like you didn’t know there would be repercussions within and outside of your marriage when you allowed yourself to be taped involved with someone other than your wife. Not only is it disrespectful, it’s dumb. Which brings me to my question, why are you dating while you’re separated in the first place?
I get it when it comes to couples who aren’t married. At this point you’re not sure if the other person is the one, so it makes sense to take a little break, see what else is out there, and either call the relationship off or get back together. But when you’re married and separated, you’re still married—and not single. In my mind, opting for separation rather than divorce suggests effort will be put in to repairing whatever’s broken in the marriage. How can you do that while you’re involved with another person.
Looking at celebrities like J. Lo, who is the poster child for moving on before you sign papers, you’d think this was normal behavior, and for the most part it sort of is—as far as normal meaning common. You see this among non-celebrity couples all the time as well. When you can’t get that straight yes or no out of someone when you ask point blank, are you married, you know there’s some shady dealings going on. And both the married individual and the other partner are essentially asking for trouble if they get involved. Not only do you jeopardize the marriage that you may be able to fix, you start your new relationship off with this potential partner on the completely wrong foot. Just because you’re honest about being married doesn’t mean you still aren’t bringing some baggage that you most likely need to unpack before you move into someone else’s space. If after nine years or so being married to someone, you could hop into something with another woman so quickly, it sounds like Adrian checked out of that marriage a long time ago, or is using separation as an excuse to have his cake and eat it too.
Apparently Alicia can look past Adrian’s actions, twitter beef with Malika, and the public’s general disgust of her husband, but most stories like this don’t usually end with a seemingly happy ending. According to Adrian that’s exactly what this is.
“I don’t think there’s anything like true love. I’ve known my wife since middle school. I don’t think there’s anything stronger than knowing the other person the way we know each other. My wife did her thing; I did my thing. We were apart. Whatever. It was never really about any other person, it was about us individually. We were able to come back together and make it work, and that was the most important thing for us. The love that we’ve always had for each other is still there, and that’s a beautiful thing. That love is never gonna break.”
My advice? Don’t try this at home.
Does Adrian’s separation/vow renewal seem a little suspect to you? Do you think it’s OK to date while separated as long as both parties know what’s up?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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