Ne-Yo and his wife Crystal Renay Smith have been married since 2016 and share three children
Ne-Yo is once again crediting the pandemic for saving his marriage.
The R&B singer and songwriter recently appeared on Good Morning Britain and shared how the COVID-19 health crisis had an unexpected side effect. The pandemic strengthened his union with Crystal Renay Smith.
“The pandemic saved my marriage. We were talking full-on divorce. It forced us to sit down and talk about our problems and re-connect with our kids. There’s only so much FaceTime you can do,” he said on Thursday.
Ne-yo and Crystal Renay attend “GCAPP Empower Party (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for GCAPP)
“In the pandemic, we lost a lot of people, but in my case it helped a lot of instances in my life. We had brutally honest conversations.”
Ne-Yo, born Shaffer Chimere Smith, married Renay in 2016. The couple shares three children: Shaffer Jr., 5, Roman, 3, and Isabella, four months.
Ne-Yo also has daughter Madilyn Grace Smith and Mason Evan Smith, both 10, with his ex Monyetta Shaw.
The 42-year-old entertainer was on the outlet to promote his new single “What If“, a release that delves into past loves and how things could be different. His better half had her doubts.
“‘What If’ is a conversation starter, it’s about a relationship and what could have happened if you did what you were supposed to,” he said.
“[It’s] a very dangerous song for a married man. My wife was like, ‘Is there something you want to tell me?’ ‘Babe this is not about me, I write about other people’s situations too.’”
Ne-Yo joked that his wife told him “Hmm, you’re on the couch tonight.”
Despite her reaction to the song, the couple is in a much better place in their marriage. He announced in February 2020 that the two decided to divorce after four years of marriage.
“It’s not a sad thing, it’s more of us realizing that — long story short, I’m never gonna talk bad about her. I’m not that person. There’s nothing bad to say about her. She’s a fantastic woman. She’s the mother of my children and she’s always gonna be that and I will always respect her,” Ne-Yo explained at the time.
Ne-Yo relayed to GMB that having difficult conversations got them to this new start.
“We’re actually stronger now than we were before,” he added. “Now we feel like we can really talk to each other.”
“I don’t know when it happened, but we got to a place where we felt like we couldn’t just say it, you know. You’re feeling something – something’s going on, and you know something’s going on, but for whatever reason, you can’t just come out and say it.”
Ne-Yo and Crystal Renay attend The Four cast Sean Diddy Combs, Fergie, and Meghan Trainor Host DJ Khaled’s Birthday Presented by CÎROC and Fox on December 2, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for Ciroc)
Ne-Yo added, “We got to that place, and that almost broke us.”
It’s not the first time that Ne-Yo has given credit to the pandemic for saving his marriage. He told Chicago Morning Show host Kendra G. in May 2020 that COVID’s death toll made the couple prioritize better.
He also made similar comments in June on The Talk.
“The quarantine kind of forced us to sit still, block out the noise from the world, you know the world can get very, very loud, and we tend to let the world’s opinion mean more in certain situations than it should,” he said. “We’re actually stronger now than we were before; now, we feel like we can really talk to each other.”
“I don’t know when it happened, but we got to a place where we felt like we couldn’t just say it, you know? You’re feeling something, something’s going on, and you know something’s going on, but for whatever reason, you can’t just come out and say it.”
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