She’s the break-out star from hit realty show Braxton Family Values and an artist ready for her chance at career success. He’s one of the top music executives in the industry and the husband who's trying to help his wife make it all happen. We’re talking about no-nonsense newlyweds Tamar Braxton and Vince Herbert, who are presently starring in Tamar and Vince, a new spin-off show on WeTV, which gives fans (or “Tamartians,” as Braxton calls them) a closer look at the day-to-day happenings of their marriage. Their seemingly love-hate connection keeps viewers mystified, but what their fans really seem to want to know is: How do they make it work? Well, we asked 'em. Here’s what the couple had to say.
ESSENCE:com Has marriage been harder than you expected?
TAMAR BRAXTON: It has definitely not been a breeze. Nobody set me aside and said, “Tamar, marriage is hard; marriage is work.” It is work. You are constantly working at it. You get into these spots where sometimes you’re extremely happy; sometimes you’re questioning yourself or questioning your spouse. Sometimes you can’t seem to communicate or things are working out perfectly and then they’re not. It’s just really hard to balance it all.
VINCE HERBERT: You can’t be selfish. I cannot express that more to a man or to a woman. With your mate, you have to want them to feel as good as you feel everyday. That comes when you can sit there and be honest with yourself. Like with Tamar and I. I want to have a baby, and she wants to have a baby, too, but just not right now. She’s trying to have her career and her moment, and I would be very selfish if I said, “Well, you know what? If you’re not having my baby, I don’t want to be with you.” That sounds stupid.
ESSENCE:com: Keeping it real, no matter what, seems to work best for you both.
BRAXTON: It’s one of the reasons we wanted to do the show. We really wanted to convey to people that although being brutally honest can sometimes be very hurtful to the other person, it’s still very important for your spouse to know exactly how you feel. This is someone you’re going to spend the rest of your life with.
HERBERT: And, if we’re gonna do it, we’re gonna be real about it. While Tamar and me are having disagreements, and the cameras are rolling, that just happens. That’s why when people are like, “Vince, is Tamar like that all the time?” I’m like, Tamar has been like that since I met her nine years ago. That’s her personality and that’s who she is. I wouldn’t want her to be any other way. Does she get on my nerves? Yes, 100 percent. Do I get on her nerves? Yes, absolutely. But, do we love each other? To the death of it!
ESSENCE.com: You’re still technically newlyweds so you’re learning from experience each day. What advice do you have for other couples who are new to marriage, too?
BRAXTON: You can’t lose your patience. You can’t give up. If it’s really worth it, you can’t give up and you have to work at it. Marriage is not easy. It’s a 24/7, constantly changing job, and it’s never gonna be the same.
ESSENCE.com: You both seem to like to keep things exciting at home. Is that a challenge when you’ve been together so long?
BRAXTON: Sometimes people have a lot to say about us not being so affectionate, but I’m like, you know what? We are affectionate. But, when you’re over the top with it, there’s some fakeness involved. We’ve been married for three years and together for nine. If we were to be all over each other like that, something in the milk ain’t clean.
HERBERT: We do get all over each other.
BRAXTON: Just not 24/7.
HERBERT: Our relationship, our sexiness and our “cool” works for us. I’m a very private, laid-back person. I didn’t grow up seeing my mom and dad slob each other down in front of people. Do we get together and have our moments when we’re alone? Yes! We get together and have our moments, and they’re very sexy.
BRAXTON: You can’t become complacent in your relationship. You’ve gotta keep it hot; keep it spicy. Keep it together, girls!
HERBERT: Tamar is a sexy girl, period. She’s a beautiful woman and we do everything together. Sometimes we’ll just be eating and it will turn into sexiness.
Watch new episodes of Tamar and Vince, on WeTV, Thursday nights at 9 p.m.