Mary J. Blige is getting a divorce from her husband, Martin “Kendu” Isaacs, as reported by TMZ. The news of Blige’s divorce from Kendu comes as sad news to fans who have been rooting for the couple ever since Mary opened her soul to Oprah and explained how Kendu helped Blige get away from drinking too much alcohol, as seen in the below video from 2006.
Mary explained that it was just Blige and her husband left when she cleared a bunch of friends out of her life that were bad influences. Kendu and Mary were “weirdos” and “God freaks,” Blige told Oprah. Isaacs and Blige were struggling trying to be Christians “in a world where we’re not accepted,” she said. But Mary was so proud of herself, despite losing friends. Blige has been married for 12 years — since 2003 — and in the below video, Blige told Oprah that she had to learn how even being married to Kendu didn’t mean that her husband was her literal savior.
“I was looking to my husband to feel good about myself. I got the word from God that he’s not the one to make you feel happy about yourself.”
Before long, troubling times between Blige and her husband began to surface. As seen in the below video from the New York Post, Mary and Kendu had an argument during her album release party. The publication stated that witnesses saw Blige hit her husband in the face because Mary thought Kendu was flirting with a waitress. Kendu allegedly left the party with a bite mark on his hand.
Blige must have been concerned about Kendu and his relationship to women, because she did not let her husband have female friends, reported the Daily Mail. Perhaps simply trying to ward off any temptations and to avoid the mere appearance of impropriety, Blige and Isaacs had made a pact not to have friends of the opposite sex.
“All females for me, all guys for him. There’s none of that, ‘Oh, that’s my female friend…Oh, that’s my guy friend.’ No, not in a marriage, I’ve never seen that work.’
In listening to lyrics of some of Mary’s most popular songs, such as “Be Without You,” Google Play Music notes the heartfelt words that describe a woman so deeply in love and committed to a man that she promises never to cheat on him.
“I got a question for ya
See I already know the answer
But still I wanna ask you
Would you lie? (No)
Make me cry? (No)
Do somethin’ behind my back and then try to cover it up?
Well, neither would I, baby.”
In fact, Mary sings about being so in love with the man with whom she’s been in a relationship well past the crazy chemistry of their first meeting — lasting beyond the short “phase” that folks thought the union would last — that she couldn’t sleep without him. Blige sang emotionally about waiting up for him to get home.
“Too strong for too long (and I can’t be without you, baby)
And I’ll be waiting up until you get home (’cause I can’t sleep without you, baby)
Anybody who’s ever loved ya know just what I feel
Too hard to fake it, nothing can replace it
Call the radio if you just can’t be without your baby.”
Therefore, as noted by TMZ, Blige doesn’t want Kendu to get spousal support in the divorce. Blige had both a husband and a manager in Isaacs, a fact that Mary once called a bit of a downside, seeing as though business and pleasure crossed paths in the same man. According to Essence, Blige released the following statement about her upcoming divorce from Kendu, calling it part of a divine plan.
“Ms. Blige is saddened to say [that] it is true that she has filed for divorce, saying sometimes things don’t work how we hoped they would… but, there is a divine plan and a reason for everything. Mary will continue writing and working on her album, which is due out later this year along with her world tour. She thanks and appreciates her fans for their support and love through this very difficult emotional time.”
Now Blige’s “Therapy” song makes all the more sense as news of Mary’s divorce from Kendu breaks.
[Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP Images]