Posted Sept. 18, 2007 -- We’ve all been introduced to that guy our friend insists we’d like. “I want you to meet a good friend of mine. I think you’d like him. He’s perfect for you.” You know the routine.
You hit it off on the first date. He’s cute, tall and speaks in full sentences. Chat for hours on the phone everyday, and by the weekend he drops the ball. He’s still in love with his ex, living in the basement of his baby mamma’s house or just conveniently forgot to mention his pending divorce. And we’re back … and living single once again.
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It's rare for two people to find true love through a "hook-up." A booty call is more likely the outcome or a long, drawn-out and uncommitted relationship. Either route leads to disaster.
In Jackie Christie’s case, she met her match made in heaven, NBA player Doug Christie, through a mutual friend in Seattle back in ‘93. It’s been a hook-up that has survived haters, other women, long distance and lies. But she did it. Mrs. Christie kept her cool (sometimes), stayed focused and got her man. Here’s how.
You met Doug months before he went on to the NBA. How was your relationship after he entered the league?
It took Doug sometime to commit. When he made it to the NBA, there was a whirlwind of stress and drama. He was young, got all this money and was partying. But, I didn’t push him because I believed in him and in our relationship. I made up my mind that he was the one I wanted to spend my life with.
Did you agree to a pre-nup?
If he wanted it, fine, but we never had a pre-nup and Doug’s agents flipped too.
Your girlfriends must have discouraged you.
I lost two of my closest friends because I married Doug, and it was so hurtful because we had been friends for 20 years. My friends wanted me to give up and said he would hurt me. But I had to follow my heart, and my heart was with him. I know he’s not perfect, but God helped me through it. God is everything to me and Doug. Sometimes you have to tell your friends, ‘I love you, you’re my sister, but I have to make my own decisions based on what I want and what’s in my heart.’
Do you think Doug has ever been unfaithful?
I had indications that he was unfaithful because girls would call me all the time. I knew he was struggling. A player’s ego is very important. I would yell sometimes, but never go off. He hurt me, but the past is in the past. We’re going forward together, and he has been upstanding since day one of our marriage. He’s my husband, my best friend.
PAGE 2 >> Jackie comments on Shaq and Shaunie's recent split.
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How difficult is marriage to an NBA athlete?
It’s very difficult. They’re around women every time they’re traveling. And the women, they’re not groupies. If a groupie finds him, it’s in the hotel lobby. The women in contact with athletes are the ladies who get jobs in the organization. They get their itinerary and it’s her job to take him wherever he needs to go. It’s during those times, when they start developing some type of relationship. It’s very difficult for a woman to feel secure.
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But you’re making it and you’re relationship is still strong…
Communication is huge. You have to sit down with your husband, boyfriend and let them know what you want no matter the consequences. Some of these men just don’t know what their woman wants. You have to be ready to deal with all that’s going to come at you. I’m really involved in Doug’s career, and not because I don’t trust him, but because this life only happens once. Everything he wants to do, I try to be available to do it.
Were you surprised when Shaq filed for divorce from his wife?
I was very saddened to hear that such a beautiful couple was getting divorced. It is very unfortunate for their children, but they seem to be strong and loving parents and will do what's best for their family. I wish Shaq and Shaunie the very best.
Is there pressure being the wife of an NBA player?
There is a very high standard of dress when you’re one of the wives. You’re expected to have all the designer purses, jewelry, and the whole nine. I never fell into that trap. I just make sure my hygiene is straight. I never felt that pressure at all.
You sacrifice a lot.
I sacrificed the things that I wanted to do. Doug is everything to me. I don’t mind taking care of him and putting my career to the side, making sure all of his paper work is filled out, his clothes are ready and his food is prepared, so he can just relax and play his best basketball.
I don’t regret, but I do wonder how my movie career would have done, but I don’t wish it over this. I’d choose this life any day. God gave me something way better.