Having a successful marriage is hard. Being a famous actor is hard. And when you combine the two? Almost impossible. However, our May cover star Terry Crews and his singer-songwriter wife Rebecca King-Crews make their almost thirty-year marriage look easy, but it’s been a long journey. Here’s what you need to know about the Crews’ marriage.
They started dating in the late 80’s and got married in 1990.
Rebecca and Terry are both natives of Michigan, and according to Terry’s book, Manhood: How to Be a Better Man — Or Just Live With One, they met while he was in college. He went with friends to visit her church, and she was there playing the keyboard.
Initially Terry thought that age (Rebecca is 3 years older than Terry), the fact that Rebecca was a single mom, and his own insecurities would deter a chance of a relationship forming, but after their first date Terry wrote that he “had no apprehensions at all. I knew everything would take care of itself.”
They’ve supported each other through the ups and downs of life.
Terry has been very open about his struggles with depression and porn addiction, and he wrote he detailed his former addiction in his book. And as he told Men’s Health, Rebecca left him in the winter of 2010 after he admitted that he’d gotten a happy ending in a massage parlor nearly a decade earlier.
While this trying time could have ended in a permanent separation, Terry’s commitment to putting in the work to change himself re-strengthened their marriage.
“My wife was literally like, ‘I don’t know you anymore, I’m out of here,’” Terry explained on his Facebook page when he went public about his addiction. “That changed me. I had to change because I realized this thing is a major, major problem.” The couple also later appeared on Dr. Phil to share their story.
Terry helped develop Rebecca’s stage name, as well as her self-confidence.
Rebecca told Men’s Health that Terry helped her regain her self-esteem. “Well, there were things about me that Terry had to grow me up. I had a tendency to be unfaithful to myself. I would give up on myself, you know what I’m saying? A low self-worth or not extending myself into avenues where I thought I would maybe not do as well. I didn’t jump off the cliff like he would. He’s made me brave. My husband’s made me go after things that I was afraid to do.”
And when Rebecca began releasing new music, she knew she wanted to do so under a stage name. “Regina Madre came about because I wanted to put my music out, and I wanted it to be listened to and to be heard without judgment,” Rebecca told PopCulture.com.
Rebecca explained that her family helped her come up with the name. “I hate to say it was almost a joke, but my kids call me ‘Madre’ all the time. And I don’t remember which one started it, and they’d be like, ‘Hey, Madre, hey Madre.’ I was like, ‘Ooh, I think that’s going to stick,'” Rebecca said. “So it really was just this kind of coming together of words that had significance in my life.”
Terry also helped Rebecca learn to treat herself.
As Rebecca explained to Men’s Health, she used to be solely focused on her career. “Being an NFL wife, you see everything, okay? I had friends who couldn’t get a credit card in their own name ’cause their husbands were so controlling of their money, okay? I had friends who were slaves to their marriage. Husband had the nice car, she had a beater. I was always treated well. My husband always gave me the best car. He always bought me things. I was a frugal, Scrooge-y penny pincher because my family handled money differently. Even though there was a degree of wealth, we were just tight. He would make me buy things for myself. He was like, ‘Honey, you deserve it.’ He treated me like his little queen. He was generous, magnanimous. ‘Let’s go to dinner. Let’s have fun.’ He was very addicted to fun, and I was just work, work, work, work, work.”
And their support for each other came in handy when Terry was assaulted in 2016.
After Terry got into a fight with an aggressive fan in 2006, Rebecca remembers telling him that he needed to learn to walk away. “Our baby’s money for college is gonna go to some idiot in a bar. You have got to learn to just chill,” she told him.
10 years later, when Terry was assaulted by agent Adam Venit, he remembered his wife’s words. “I remembered my promise. This is after we built our lives together and went through all this therapy. ‘I gotta do what she wants here.’ I got in that car and I was gonna rip the steering wheel off. She just kept saying, ‘I’m proud of you, Terry.’ It saved my life. I wouldn’t be here now if I’d have done it. Who would have believed me?,” he told Men’s Health.
They have five children.
The couple loves having a big family and they’ve even talked about adopting a sixth child. “I keep saying, ‘We’ve got to wait until we’re ready,’ but we weren’t ready for our own kids. It’s weird. You’re never ready … Literally, one day we’re just going to have to do it!” Terry told Us Weekly, while Rebecca said, “It’s something we discussed back when we were first married. “It was something that I always felt kind of called to do. I would see ads in magazines, and I would just stare at them like, ‘I’m going to do that one day.’”
The family-of-seven used to have a reality show.
The Crews family starred on their own show, The Family Crews, for two seasons, and Rebecca served as a producer on the show. She initially had reservations about the show, but she said that the family’s experience in Hollywood would actually help them adjust to being on a TV show.
“As the mom, of course there is a protective instinct. I guess the best way for me to address that is that we’re already a show business family. My husband’s an actor. He’s already famous. We have gone to events together. People know our family. We are not strangers to the entertainment business.”
Humor is one of the main parts of their marriage.
You don’t make it to 30 years of marriage without having a good sense of humor. Terry and Rebecca often playfully rib each other online, like when Rebecca made fun of Terry for looking like “Johnny Appleseed,” and the time when Terry posted a photo of his wife cheekily grabbing his butt with the caption “The only one allowed to touch my junk.”
For more on Terry Crews and Rebecca King-Crews, read our exclusive cover story here.