Omari Hardwick prioritizes respect and communication in relationships. In fact, the actor tells PEOPLE both traits are major keys in his 11-year marriage to Jennifer “Jae” Pfautch.
The outlet recently interviewed Hardwick, touching base on factors of a healthy relationship. In response, he broke down the word “relationship,” comparing a romantic partnership to the operation of a ship.
Omari says the vessel sinks if the people operating a ship or boat don’t perform their duties. He says things aren’t so different in a “relation-boat,” adding that “it’s a ship.”
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“If it’s romantic, you’ve got to really be about the ship, and the best way to relate to each other on the ship is to communicate so those nights you don’t want to do that or those mornings you don’t want to do that, you get a bit of a hallway or bathroom pass if you will. You get a pass because you’ve done it enough. You’ve tallied up your numbers at communication enough.”
Hardwick and Jae married in 2012, but they had been dating for several years–losing their first child in a stillbirth death in 2008. After marrying in April, the couple welcomed another child–a daughter named Nova–in November 2012. Their second child, a son named Brave, was born in March 2015.
Omari Says Communication And Respect Are ‘Next-Door Neighbors’ In A Relationship
The actor, whose latest film Mother is streaming on Netflix, says communication and respect allow you leeway in a healthy relationship.
“You can probably get away with it as long as communication and respect would be next to it. Respect is the next-door neighbor,” Hardwick told PEOPLE. “You just got to really respect the person you’re in that relationship with. Once that’s gone, it’s really hard to get that back.”
Omari’s comments follow another married couple’s perspective on lasting marriage. Kirk and Tammy Franklin recently dismissed the label of “perfect couple” in an interview with Essence. Making a marriage perfect “makes something that is outside of the context of reality,” Kirk said. Tammy added that there’s also a modern obsession with the “length of a marriage as opposed to the health.” For them, their 27-year marriage runs on faith, friendship, therapy, and being proactive rather than reactive.
In April, Omari’s wife Jae gave her advice on dating and marriage, listing growth as “one of the most important things.” She spilled in a captioned selfie of her and hubby Hardwick.
“Constant, perpetual, continual GROWTH in all facets. Look for someone who is always evolving. They aren’t going to magically fall in love with growth once you’re married, so look for it when you’re dating someone. Marry someone who loves to grow, get better, learn, and progress. If they strive for growth in their own life, they’ll nurture your relationship towards growth the saaaame way. See, change is inevitable, but growth is optional. If you marry someone who is always striving to grow…sh*t! Best partner ever! Ps. Don’t be out there lookin for a “grower” when you’re still living stale, stagnant, and full of excuses why you haven’t changed, grown, gotten better, or met your goals, because they won’t be havin it or you. Growth is always sexy.”
At the time, Omari reaffirmed his wife’s loving message in the comments.
“We are all just rock kickers trying to get from today to tomorrow. Many are comfortable just kicking it along a flat road. Most try to avoid the rocks entirely. & SOME dare….to kick, push, carry, drag, pull the rock UP a mountain. THAT sh*t. Maaaan. Forever grateful beyond [Jae] for you being THAT! I love you,” he wrote.
Meanwhile, another special someone in Omari’s life caught the attention of folks online this week. His lookalike brother, Jamil, had the innanet girlies in a chokehold when his photos went viral.
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