With a second chance at love, Real Housewives of Atlanta star NeNe Leakes shows that once you’ve found The One, you should hold onto him — even if you’re not rich and famous and he’s your ex-husband.
In her spin-off series I Dream of NeNe: The Wedding, reality TV’s favorite platinum blonde welcomed the cameras back into her world as she chronicles her days leading up to saying “I do” (again) to ex-husband Gregg Leakes. We’ve seen the couple rise, fall, and rise up again, and now we can use this show as a good guide for any couple looking to tie the knot.
Here are five facts we’ve learned so far from the Leakes on their journey to becoming man and wife once more:
1. NeNe’s not a girl to make the same mistake twice when it comes to marriage. After 15 years of marriage and enduring a public divorce displayed on both seasons 3 and 4 of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, NeNe was determined not to bring any negative energy into this reunion of love. In the opening scene, NeNe takes a trip down memory lane with Gregg, going through memorabilia such as their 1997 wedding program, her first wedding dress, and a home video of their marriage, reliving the moments leading to their first happily ever after. As the couple watches the video of their wedding, Nene makes a mental note of what she’s not going to do the second go-around: getting married in a church, having her father walk her down the aisle, and the lack of communication. This time, NeNe’s taking the bull by the horns and addressing the issues she encountered in a previous marriage, vowing to not take the same problems into this one. Way to go, NeNe, although it’s a great feeling to be in premarital bliss, it doesn’t hurt to have a couple of checkpoints before you tie that knot.
2. Although NeNe’s well off, she still checks in with her family. Don’t let the new money fool you: NeNe’s still a down-home southern girl who values the opinions of her elders. Who knew? Continuing their nostalgia, NeNe and Gregg trek down to Athens, Georgia, to revisit old landmarks from their earlier days as a married couple. The couple pass the church where they first tied the knot on their way to see NeNe’s Aunt Nena and godmother Bessie. It was a pleasant surprise to see Linnethia Monique (her birth name) seeking the approval of her loved ones at age 45. It’s a stretch from her in-your-face persona as the “realest” housewife. It’s also nice to see NeNe seek the advice of her Uncle Mel and rekindle the relationship with her father Curtis, inviting him to the wedding (even though he’s not walking her down the aisle) — although he went MIA when NeNe found out he wasn’t her biological father in season 1 of RHOA.
3. When you marry for the second time, always have a prenup in mind. NeNe has taken the phrase “once bitten, twice shy” to a whole new level with her new marriage to Gregg. After the couple parted ways in 2011, the newly engaged Leakes returned to her lawyer Randy Kessler with a new outlook to maintain her “very rich” status, inquiring about the proper steps to get a prenup. Was that the right move? In my opinion, yes. Love hurts, and sometimes it can really hit you in the pockets, where it really hurts. Even one of her RHOA co-stars Phaedra Parks said on the season 3 reunion: “Every smart businesswomen should have a prenup.” It’s not like Gregg is desperate for change himself, and since NeNe knows how Gregg fights in the courtroom, it doesn’t hurt to have the disclaimer “what’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is yours.”
4. NeNe’s not the blame for your lack of communication. Getting married the second time around, Ms. Leakes is determined to not be the root of the problem when it comes to the estranged relationship between Gregg and his five adult children. Wow! Who knew Gregg had five children? Confronting her beau for her scarred relationship with his children from another marriage, NeNe suggests the two go to therapy to help Gregg become a better communicator. When NeNe brought this up, I thought, “Couldn’t they have done this earlier? Why now?” But I have to commend Gregg for stepping up to the plate to try new things.
5. Gregg is determined to fix his problems with his children and his family, his way. Gregg Leakes is on a mission to get his family back together, but he doesn’t need your input on how to do so. That was the case during a session with relationship expert Dr. Jeff Gardere, when NeNe chastised her husband-to-be for not bridging the gap between her and his children and Dr. Gardere’s approach struck a negative chord. While I thought it was a bit much for Dr. Gardere to point the finger at Gregg, it was nice to get a little rise out of the often mild-mannered Gregg. How can Dr. Gardere come at Gregg as someone who doesn’t communicate effectively with his children? Did Dr. Gardere watch any seasons of RHOA? Did he see how NeNe and his children Brentt and Bryson lived more than comfortably? Gregg’s a good example of a stand-up father with an old-school mentality. Sure, he may have been stubborn in his ways, but I felt that Gregg was right in his response to Dr. Gardere. He doesn’t know Gregg well enough to make any assessment about his family life. In the next episode, Dr. Gardere is scheduled to do another session with them, this time with Gregg’s children and Nene in the same room, so it will be interesting to see how this turns out. If you think Gregg had some reservations about Dr. Gardere, imagine his children — especially with NeNe in the room.
Holding us over until the season 6 premiere of Real Housewives, it will be quite the interesting ride to see NeNe and Gregg in real love again. As an avid RHOA fan, I’ve missed the working yin and yang relationship the two possessed in front of the lens in past seasons. It’s nice to know that they’ve finally found love with each other again, and I can tune in each Tuesday night on Bravo at 9 p.m. to see how they document their way down the aisle — this time with more bling and a few more dollars.