Love & Hip Hop Atlanta‘s Rasheeda Frost has money-making imprints all over the south – from her Pressed boutique in Atlanta and Houston, to the newly-opened Frost Bistro & Bar jointly owned with her husband Kirk Frost.

As much as the Frosts are known for their business acumen, they’re also equally known for the issues in their marriage which have played out on TV. Kirk shocked the world by admitting to his wife that he’d fathered a child with another woman. Trust issues that seemed unsurvivable to viewers are all water under the bridge as they celebrate 20 years of marriage.

ESSENCE spoke exclusively with Rasheeda about their recipe for lasting love with Kirk.

ESSENCE: As you reflect on the 20 years that you and Kirk have been married, what are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned?

Rasheeda: The road can get really, really rough. You have to communicate and figure out a way to make sure you’re taking care of each other. Kirk and I have been friends and we’ve been through our ups and our downs. The good times are really good and the bad times are bad — but they’re experiences. We understand each other a lot more, and we’re just making sure we make time for each other when it seems like things are getting kind of crazy.

You and Kirk have really built a strong reputation in business, but how do you create that line of separation between work and romance?

Honestly, we literally have to make the time. It’s about making sure we take those vacations and our little date nights. Even if it’s just dinner at home with our kids as a family, we have to spend more time together instead of always [being engulfed] in growth and being worried about work.

Speaking of business, you recently opened the Frost Bistro & Bar in Atlanta. What made you two want to get into the restaurant business?

So this is something that Kirk always wanted to do. We have vision boards. One that’s still up on the wall from 15 years ago is [opening] a sports bar. I’m big on trying to make sure we make good investments when it comes to real estate. So we finally found a building that we wanted to buy, and I thought, “now is the time.” Let’s go ahead and make this sports bar come to life. I will say [the restaurant business] is super demanding. Kirk and I are extremely hands-on, but at the same time, we’re up for the challenge. Business is good!

I never let anybody’s opinion sway me in any direction. All I did was pray and follow my heart.

It’s no secret that you and your husband have dealt with some very public issues in your marriage, from infidelity to impending divorce. How has it made your relationship stronger?

I think not only has it made us stronger, but it’s also made our foundation stronger. Being on reality television, sometimes you don’t want to share because you’re embarrassed. But on some real shit, everybody’s life isn’t what they [pretend] it is on social media. I’ve met so many people who have been through the same thing and then it turns into a testimony. People say, “you helped me make it through my situation.” It was hurtful, painful, and it was devastating. But at the end of the day, I feel like that’s what I was supposed to do. We were supposed to live our life transparently. That’s what we signed up for, and that’s what we did.

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The young us!! #tb ❤️ @frost117

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Was it ever hard to drown out the criticisms about your marriage and things you’ve forgiven Kirk for?

I’m going to be honest with you — a lot of times, people who speak on that could never wear my shoes. A lot of women haven’t even been in a relationship for five minutes, let alone 20 years. So you can’t speak on the decisions that I make. At the end of the day, it’s my life. And I never let anybody’s opinion sway me in any direction. All I did was pray and follow my heart. And if nobody likes it, don’t follow me and don’t leave any comments [on my Instagram.] Something you deal with might be something I wouldn’t deal with, but it’s not for me to tell you what to do.

What are some changes you’ve seen in Kirk that made you want to fight for the marriage?

One reason our marriage has been able to continue is because he’s made a 360. I went through a real deep, dark period with it, and it wasn’t an easy thing for me.

I haven’t always been perfect and neither has he. We’ve been through our share of a lot of different things, but you’re either going to fight or you’re going to let it go. That’s just the end of it. We fought for ours.

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