A Typically Private Method Man Opens Up About What’s Kept His 20-Year Marriage Solid
James Devaney/GC Images

You may not see Method Man and wife Tamika Smith together on red carpets or at events, but the very private couple are thriving.

The rapper and actor, who rarely talks publicly about their relationship, briefly opened up about what it takes to make their marriage work during a visit to Red Table Talk. The now 50-year-old MC was there to celebrate Jada Pinkett Smith joining the big 5-0 club and was asked about their union.

“I’ve been with her 29 years,” he said. “We got married in ’01, so we’re 20.”

“It’s work,” he added, playfully admitting that “I’m a handful” when Adrienne Banfield-Jones (aka, Gammy) said his wife would probably agree that marriage is arduous.

When asked what advice he would give to others about marriage, the Wu-Tang Clan member briefly noted that “Respect is first and foremost.”

Method Man, born Clifford Smith, Jr., reportedly met his wife Tamika when she was his personal assistant in the late ’90s. The couple share three children together, whom he credited for a change in his image after acting in the How High films. When asked about that image in 2011, he said, “When you get older and you’ve got kids and your kids are going to school and you know [their] teachers…and they see how active you are and concerned [you are] with your kids’ education or well-being, it’s hard to sit there and be taken seriously if people are always talking about ‘he’s always high’…which is totally not the case,” he said.

He added at the time, “I have to use more discretion because of my kids. This is not for me; everything I do is for them now, so I use a bit more discretion and I don’t put weed as a forefront anymore.”

He’s also fiercely protective of them, and especially of Tamika. After Wendy Williams revealed on her then-radio show in 2006 that his wife was battling breast cancer, which wasn’t shared yet with some of Tamika’s family at the time, he sought to keep her away from the public. He went as far as to ask plead with a blog in 2016 to remove an image of her that leaked before quitting social media when they wouldn’t. To this day, he continues to be as protective as possible of his partner of nearly 30 years while, occasionally, celebrating her publicly.

“My wife is one of the strongest people on the planet,” he said in 2006.