Two thirds of our favorite girl group share their secrets to keeping things happy at home while balancing demanding careers.
SWV is in the house tonight. The animated trio returns with a juicy new season of SWV Reunited (WE tv) packed with more adventures in sisterhood and singing than last time. Although it’s a real treat to watch Taj (George), Coko (Lemons) and LeLee (Lyons) reuniting in song, last season fans also got a taste of just how passionate the ladies are about their families too.
Coko and her husband tied the knot 12 years ago, while Taj and Eddie recently celebrated their 10-year anniversary. Since the cameras roll more when the ladies are handling their business, we sat down with Coko and Taj to find out how their secrets to being happy wives with busy careers.
ESSENCE.com: You’re juggling a lot at one time. How do you ladies do it?
TAJ: I drink a lot of herbal tea, and at night I take magnesium to help me sleep. Facetime is the best thing that ever happened to me since we got on the road. It’s like virtual marriage – we have great FaceTime phone sex.
COKO: I’ve definitely turned things down. I have two kids now and my oldest son is 19. I feel like I missed out on a lot of his life because he was born when SWV was at the height of our career. I didn’t want to do that again this time around with my husband and my other child, so I put my foot down. If I have something to do for my family, I’m going to do that first.
TAJ: [My husband and I] are constantly going in two different directions. When I’m taking off, he is landing. When he’s landing, I’m taking off. We have to tag team with our son, but one of us always tries to be there for him at all times. He’s an only child and I don’t ever want him to feel like we’re not there for him.
ESSENCE.com: What’s your secret to being a good wife?
TAJ: Be the most loving wife that you can be. I think love really does conquer all. When you marry somebody, you know that for better or worse definitely comes. As long as you love them, you’re willing to go through the ups and downs with them.
COKO: My thing is compromise. That’s a big thing. He has my back like nobody else. He holds me down and that’s my ride or die.
TAJ: Communication is definitely key, especially from a distance. When you’re texting someone, words can be easily misconstrued. The emotion behind words can be too. So, good verbal and physical communication is key. And with your kids, you need to be able to hug and kiss them so they know that you love them and that no matter how far away you are, you’re still mom first and that they come first.
ESSENCE.com: What is date night like with the hubby?
COKO: We like to go out to “adult clubs,” like I like to call them, where they play old school hip hop and we can just go out and have a good time. I like to dance and let my hair down. I like to be Cheryl and not Coko. The world knows me as Coko, but when I’m at home with my family and friends, I’m just Cheryl.
TAJ: We are lazy. A fun night is sitting in the theater or at home in bed, or wherever we first sit down when we come in, watching TV. We like movies and when my husband is home he cooks.
ESSENCE.Com: What it’s like letting cameras inside your marriage?
COKO: You don’t really get to see a lot. I show you what I want you to see, so I’m cool. They can’t show what you don’t give them.
TAJ: I can’t complain. We’ve been used to cameras since 1992. It’s not so bad. Cameras have always been around us. What I don’t like is when people criticize my house. They want to judge he decorations and the interior. Some people are really rude about that.
Catch new episodes of SWV Reunited on Wednesdays at 10pm EST on WE tv.