[MUSIC] Hi everyone. I'm Charli Penn, Relationships Editor at Essence.com. I had the pleasure of sitting down with one of Black Hollywood's hottest couples. To find out how they make it work. Check out with Boris Kodjoe and his lovely wife, Nicole Ari Parker had to say about love, marriage, and everything in between. I think what's important is that you're friends. You really, you like each other. That's, that's number one. You like each other and you have fun with each other and you make each other laugh. And you enjoy each other's presence. And that's a great foundation to have first of all. . So we make each other laugh. You gotta keep it sexy. It's like with everything else. If you wanna be successful at, in a business, you gotta work every, everyday to make that happen. And a relationship is no different. If you want the relationship to be flourishing and great and fun and successful, you gotta put effort into it every day and, and we try to do that for each other and with each other. You know, being married for seven years, we dated about three or four years before we were married. We've been together for ten. Wow. Yeah. I would say that Well, eight and a half. Okay [LAUGH]. Maybe a year and a half I don't know about. Yes, that was more in your head than than reality. Yeah. You were mine from the beginning [LAUGH]. No we're still, we're still shooting Soul Food. Yes. So we were not together during Soul Food. No we weren't. Everybody. Even though people thought we were. Yeah they were like. I loved you from the beginning. Okay. I, okay, so maybe I, I judged you a little bit cuz you were a model. You know how long. [LAUGH]. How years go by and, and the, the perception of what really happened changes completely? [LAUGH]. [UNKNOWN] That's really what happens, yeah. As women, we take a, we passed on a lot of misinformation about how to keep your man, or get your man, or all those things. And, I think, it's really basic. You know, I stopped, honestly, doing a lot of unnecessary things. Like, he didn't need me to show my love by organizing his sock drawer. He doesn't need me to. That's hysterical. You organizing my sock drawer. No, I would do a lot of things. No. I did a lot of things that he didn't even notice. I organize her sock drawer. You know what I mean. He's not gonna notice the new purse. And I stopped thinking that he should. And you know, but when I cook for him, [SOUND] it's Christmas in my house. Wow. When I [LAUGH] That's true. It may, food and you know what else. Yup. [UNKNOWN] And after seven years of marriage, I took a lot of stress off myself, you know, being skinny or this, hair done and make up and going to bed like this and not putting the do-rag on like. [LAUGH] You know, I just stopped a lot of madness. Yeah. And I became very conscious of what he does. And he's very concscious of what I do like. Husbands don't realize this. We start off as the sexy girlfriend. But men, the minute they get married. They don't listen anymore, right? They don't hear you. You say honey, while you're at the store, get the orange juice. And you say it in English. Okay he speaks four languages but English is one of the top. [LAUGH] So I say orange juice and somehow he comes back with 7Up. I don't know how that happened. Look. Nobody in the house drinks soda so. We're problem solvers. The orange juice is not there we take the next best thing. So I didn't, okay I didn't text her and ask for permission to get the, the lemonade. The communication in marriage is very important as you can see. Yes. It's very important that you learn each other's stand steps. And that you learn how to communicate with each other. So, what happens is after a while. So when she interrupts you all the time, in a loving way, because she can't hold her thoughts. Okay. You have to just smile. I forget it. And say I love this woman. I have to say I have to get it out. Go ahead. So, see I forgot it. There you go, that's what you get. [LAUGH]. It's karma, it's called karma. So, we start out as the hot girlfriend who does, says yes to everything, right? And we're cool, and we're fun, and we're spontaneous. But after while when they don't listen you become naggy, now you know, two years into the, into the marriage you're in a do-rag with a spatula in your hand screaming about the orange juice. You're like how did I get here? I do not wanna be this woman. I do not wanna be fussing and fighting, but it happens, so I think you have to constantly in reality, you have to check yourself. Check your tone, check your voice, check your patience, because they are going to push you. It's true. And guys have to be more present. You know we, we as men have to be more present. Whole remote. Yeah. Whole tune out thing. Sometimes we sit there at the table, and we, we read a, read a book or a newspaper, or we, we work on the computer, and when the wife walks in you know, it should be an event. You know, you have to look up, you have to close the computer and say, hey, baby! Wow! You know how long it took for him to put that on? Did you get your hair done just now? And he did. Did you get. Yes. Are those new pants you're wearing? You just have to make sure that you notice things. When he does it. Like forever. I feel like a million bucks. There you go. And then [CROSSTALK] And that's when the food comes. That's when the food comes. That's when the food comes and the other stuff, see? I'm roasting chicken with rosemary and lavender. I don't even know why lavender goes in the chicken but I read it somewhere. It doesn't. And it's just. It's very. Guys it's very simple. It's very simple. Make her feel great. Yes. And you get fed and everything else. When you're married without kids, you can still hang out with your single friends. You can party all night, dance. You can do whatever you can do. But when you have kids. You slowly go into your parenting. You know cuz they understand, you gotta get home. The nanny is costing an arm and a leg. All that. You gotta get up tomorrow. 6 o'clock every morning, gotta get up. Yeah. There's a project due. It's first grade. You know, it's just your priorities change. So we have a lot of mommy, daddy friends. Great friends. Yeah, you compare stories. You laugh your butt off. Oh. You complain to, you vent. But see a lot of people rush, rush to it and especially in this country think that if they're not married by 22 then something's wrong. And, I always tell people don't get married in your 20s, ever, cuz you don't even know who you are. Figure it out, travel, see the world, meet people and expand your horizons and then when you know who you are You'll attract a person that will fit that. And get married if you want to be married. Don't make your man get married, and men, don't make your women get married. Because you have to want to be there. Okay, this is very important. Women, you need to fall in love. Get with the person that is standing in front of you. Not the person, that the person in front of you might become. Not the potential of the person, but if you're in love with the person that's standing in front of you right now. That's when you should go ahead. A lot of people get in trouble. A lot of people get in trouble. They say, well I can change him. I can fix him. He's gonna be okay. If he does this and that, he'll be great. No, you need to be okay and in love and completely comfortable with the person that's standing in front of you right now. Don't fall in love with a potential, fall in love with the person in front of you. Hey everybody. Happy Valentine's day. This is Boris Kodjoe. And I'm Nicole Ari Parker. And you're watching Essence TV.