Singer Michelle Williams and her fiancé, sports pastor Chad Johnson, are keeping it as real as possible when it comes to sharing their love with the fans.
For their new OWN series, Chad Loves Michelle, which airs on Saturday nights, the couple made a brave move and decided to let cameras inside their pre-martial counseling on their path to the altar.
Since the couple began dating in the summer of 2017, their road to happily ever after has had some bumps and road blocks along the way. After meeting Johnson at a spiritual retreat and falling in love, in early 2018 Williams fell into a deep depression, and in July news broke that she had voluntarily checked herself into a mental health facility to receive professional treatment. Throughout her treatment and her recovery, Johnson never left Williams’ side, but she later revealed that despite his unwavering support, she called off their engagement more than once because she didn’t feel worthy of his love.
Fans have applauded the couple for their openness, and during a recent interview on ESSENCE’s Yes, Girl! podcast, Williams and Johnson sat down with hosts Cori Murray and Charli Penn to discuss their journey as a couple thus far, what the root of their biggest relationship hurdles truly were and how they healed together. They also opened up about their decision to wait until they get married to have sex—a decision that was actually Johnson’s.
“When we started dating, he said sex is not an option, and it was such a breath of fresh air because it was like, oh, so you’re not one of those men who feel like okay, we have to have sex,” Williams shared. “I don’t have to have sex with you to keep you. You know, and so, that was pressure off of me, like, thank God.”
For Williams, it was a welcomed change of pace.
“I just wanted to do something in a relationship for me that had not been done correctly, or what I deem correct,” she added. “In order to get different results, you gotta do something else, and I got a ring. But, I don’t want anybody to feel ashamed if they didn’t wait but they still got married. But for me, I was like, okay, I’ll honor this, and this is what we have agreed on and we’ve stuck to that.”
For Johnson’s part in the decision, it was all about his desire to please and Williams and God.
“Of course, [the decision] is faith-based first,” said Johnson, 40. “But second off, I wanted her to feel like the wedding day was gonna mean something extra special. And, then I also felt like it was an expression of my love for her—that I can wait and you don’t have to do anything extra to win my love. I can be 100-percent attentive and available still.”
Patience is something Williams, 38, revealed she had to learn to practice as a single woman before she found true love.
“Once I focused on God and career and my family, I meet Chad, and I’m like, oh, okay,” explained the Destiny’s Child singer. “So, I’ve started to tell young ladies, you know you sing that sad song, ‘When is it going to be me? All of my friends are married with children!’ But, instead start celebrating what you see and stop having the pity party because one day soon that could be you. I had to start literally focusing on other things and not on a relationship.”
Now Williams and Johnson are focused on honoring their promises to each other, and God, and starting their marriage off on the strongest foot possible. She revealed their secret for staying the course throughout the turbulence they’ve faced: “Knowing that, okay, we know we want this relationship and we know we are pursuing marriage together and looking at this journey, like, we know it’s not perfect but it’s a necessary one to kind of, um, just get some stuff corrected at the root so that it should not rear its ugly head in the future, but if it does, we can quickly cut it.”
Listen to the rest of Chad and Michelle’s podcast interview in the player above and catch new episodes of Chad Loves Michelle Saturday nights at 9pm EST on OWN.