Being Tyson Blog: Episode 3
Oct 1, 2013 at 11:00p ET
Every week, Mike Tyson's wife, Kiki, will offer her perspective on each episode in her own words.
Marriage isn't easy. It's constant work. Love is the foundation. Communication, understanding, compromise, trust and honesty are the elements that build a solid relationship. If one or more of these components are missing, the foundation will eventually crumble. Mike had an interesting conversation with Jim Brown in this episode. They touched on so many subjects but it was all rooted in the foundation of family and the stability of a good marriage.
When Mike and I got married on June 6th, 2009, it changed everything. We already had Milan, who shared the same birthday of Mike's mother, on December 25th. She was six months when we decided to get married in a small chapel at the Las Vegas Hilton. It was just the two of us. We told no one. We made the decision to get married in a matter of minutes. So after googling, a wedding chapel that would take us after 8pm that night, we settled on the first one that said, "yes". A couple of hours later, there I stood, very unglamorous with wet hair pulled back in a pony tail, no make up and Mike in a brown wrinkled suit. We looked horrendous, opting not to take photos. Yet our better senses prevailed, so we took a couple just to capture the moment.
Mike sits down with legendary running back Jim Brown for a long conversation on life, family and personal relationships.
There were a lot of reasons why we decided to marry suddenly. Yes, we originally planned on having a more traditional ceremony but after the passing of his four-year-old daughter, Exodus, from an unimaginable freak accident a few days earlier, we realized life was too short. Instead of waiting for the right moment, we created it. That's what we do as human beings. We can always conjure up excuses as to why we need to wait to get married or wait to have a baby or lose weight. But in essence, we are blocking our blessings the longer we wait.
Like any married couple, Mike and I have challenges, and ours are often amplified to some degree because of his celebrity factor. If I'm angry, I can't just yell out in the middle of the street to him without a chance of someone hearing and it making news. So I have to pick a more intimate setting to shout at him. No, seriously, our biggest challenge initially was the small stuff that seems major when you merge in a marriage. We were having fights about boundaries and how to establish them in our new union. He didn't understand why I was upset about things because he would always say, "I don't cheat on you! What more do you want?". Like, that was everything a relationship was about.
Mike shares a meal with his daughter, Milan.
What he had to grow into understanding is that a relationship had far more levels of complexity than just monogamy, but for Mike this was new because he had never gotten that far in his relationships. All of his arguments in his prior relationships revolved around the cheating factor. He never evolved past that, so he never got to the next level of the relationship, which was compromise. Now, I'm not going to allow myself to get off easily. I came with my issues and insecurities too from past life stuff, and I had to learn to not transfer them onto Mike... an exercise I'm still trying to master, by the way.
Now we have been married for over four years and we still have our challenges. We argue hard. At times, really hard, because we love each other intensely and immensely. One of the hurdles we have gotten over in our relationship that has helped tremendously is being able to close the door on toxic people in our lives that are detrimental to our marriage. We have both been able to find a balance with friends and family and been able to cut off any influences that aren't healthy for our union.
Mike follows Milan as she pedals her bike down the street.
Having our children has helped us become closer as well. Because of the intensity of some of our arguments and because we both can be hot heads at times, I don't know if we would have made it through some of our silly spats if we didn't have something greater then ourselves tying us together. I am so grateful for that because I would be miserable today if I had allowed pride to get in the way of this amazing love this man gives me. But the thing that binds us the most is our friendship. We genuinely like each other. We like being around one another, and we have a lot of laughter. Laughter has been the ice breaker for many of our ridiculous arguments.
Not that I am a relationship expert, but what works for us is the work. We put in the work. We don't allow too much time to go by without seeing one another or too much time to lapse before saying, "I love you".