The Sunday Independent
Why Rodney kept his two-year relationship a secret
AHEAD of the second season of Lifetime’s Marrying Millions, I was offered an interview with African-American couple Rodney (Foster) and Desiry (Hall). Of the six couples featured in the reality dating series, they are the most volatile.
Little did I realise when I agreed to a Zoom chat that I would also be a sort of default buffer-cum-therapist. Not that I minded much. They are both great.
The problem is that their opinions are not aligned.
Rodney, 51, is a successful wine entrepreneur while Desiry, 55, runs a non-profit business. The couple were introduced by a mutual friend.
Desiry was the first to respond to why they agreed to do the show.
She said: “I wouldn’t say that we had any guidelines, I needed to get on that show like yesterday because Rodney was keeping me a secret and I needed to know as much about this man as I possibly could. So it worked out for me and I discovered a lot.”
A calmer and soft-spoken Rodney added: “Well in the beginning when Desiry brought it to me, I was not like okay, let’s do it. I’m a very private person.”
However, after discussions with his family and friends, he was comfortable with inviting the cameras into his mansion on the East Coast.
When quizzed on his reluctance to introduce Desiry to his family and friends despite their two-year courtship, he explained: “Desiry didn’t want to move to the East Coast. At the time, I was not interested in moving to the West Coast. I needed to make sure that she is serious about this relationship before I introduced her to my family and friends because there were a lot of things she didn’t want to give into.
“There was just a lot of back and
forth. I was just like, let me think about it even though it was for two years.”
She interjected: “I just want to say, to that last statement, poppycock. It doesn’t matter the distance we were having, whether you are 3 000 miles or 10 000 miles. It’s what’s in your heart.
“Love can work anything out. It doesn’t make sense for me to move with this man if I know nothing about your life. I don’t even know your mom, your dad ... never met a cousin, I’ve never even met a roach. So why would I move 3 000 miles to be with this man? That makes no sense.”
Then I broached the subject of compromise. “My level of compromise is not always what the other person wants to do. We have to come together and make a decision. At the end of the day, my friends and family are not the ones in the relationships. It’s just about you and me. If I’m making sure you are good, then there shouldn’t be any issues,” Rodney pointed out. Desiry was hearing none of it. She retaliated: “That’s why I say I don’t know this man, because if he acted just like he’s talking we would have the perfect relationship. If you watch the entire show, he is concerned about what his mother is saying.
“He is concerned about what his assistant says, what his friends say. He asks for everybody’s opinion. So if that was true, which is that it is supposed to be about him and me and our relationship, all the exterior voices and noise wouldn’t matter, we would be married today.
“If you are going to be with a person for two years and you don’t know that person by then, there’s something clearly wrong. For me, I believe a relationship takes compromise, sacrifice, selflessness and a willingness to put the other person first. I’m supposed to treat him Christ-like. And if he’s treating me Christ-like, we wouldn’t have problems. I’m going to treat him like a king and I expect to be treated like the queen that I am,” she revealed.
He tried to balance her comments by pointing out that “no relationship is perfect” and that he kept their relationship a secret because she knew those close to him would have strong opinions about it.
“Their opinions don’t matter,” she responded. “My mother, my father and my sister can’t tell me who I can marry because, at the end of the day, I’m going to have to live with you.”
Despite their issues, especially after learning of Rodney’s indiscretion, they are still together.
She explained: “Rodney to me was the perfect gentleman. I’m a Christian, and I don’t believe in sex before marriage so I put that on the table. He was like, ‘Wow, I’ve never had someone who wanted to save herself’. I saw that he was a real man.
“I had no idea this man was a millionaire. As the relationship grew, he disclosed that to me. This man offered to do things for me. I never asked him to do anything for me. This man was loving and very endearing before the show started. Once he got on the show, he changed.”
Although the couple are currently in counselling, they appear to be doing it for different reasons..
♦ Marrying Millions 2 airs on Lifetime (DStv channel 131) Tuesday at 8.05pm.