Pat Neely Kept New Marriage Private Because “For Once In My Life, I Would Love A Little Privacy”

October 25, 2018  |  

Pat Neely

PHILADELPHIA, PA – APRIL 14: TV host of Food Network’s Down Home with the Neelys, Pat Neely speaks on stage at the 2014 Philadelphia Book Festival at the Free Library of Philadelphia on April 14, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)

Pat Neely might be opening up about his new wife and family now, but he was mum for so long about his marriage to Tamika Parks because he’d learned a lesson about putting your relationships out their for public consumption.

Of course, the 54-year-old was very public with his marriage to Gina Neely. The two were stars of the Food Network hit, Down Home with the Neelys, and were known for showing off PDA. But when they divorced in 2014 and the whole world found out, Pat regretted it. With that in mind, when he entered into a relationship with Parks in 2015, he decided to go a different route. He proposed on Christmas Eve in 2016, and they wed last October. But if you check out Pat’s social media, you won’t find a picture of his wife, and she hasn’t shared much of him on her own, aside from his profile:

“I just felt like for once in my life, I would love a little privacy from a personal standpoint,” he told PEOPLE in a feature coming out this week on newsstands. “My personal life had been so public, and I wanted to give Tamika time to adjust to me and for us to adjust to one another, and not just display her in social media.”

“I wanted to give her a chance to warm up to my career and not just thrust her into a bunch of stuff,” he added.

But don’t confuse wanting to keep his family out of the public eye (aside from this feature in PEOPLE) with Pat keeping them on the hush-hush, not being proud of, or being unhappy with the life he has now. In fact, he said he is overjoyed by the impact Parks, their daughter Eriel, and her son Eijah have had on him.

“I am the happiest that I have ever been as an adult right now,” he said. “I can’t believe it took 54 years to get here. There was a point in time when I didn’t know if I would ever reach this place, because divorces are always devastating.”

“As a matter of fact, it’s been just the most exciting thing because I love the excitement and the noise,” he added when speaking on having a full house again. “I walk around here singing with a smile on my face.”

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