Omari Hardwick Reveals Secret to His 11-Year Marriage: 'Communication Is So Key' (Exclusive)

·3-min read

The Mother actor tells PEOPLE that respect is also important in a relationship because "once that's gone it's really hard to get that back"

John Salangsang/Variety via Getty Jennifer Pfautch and Omari Hardwick
John Salangsang/Variety via Getty Jennifer Pfautch and Omari Hardwick

Omari Hardwick's keys to a lasting marriage are respect and communication.

The actor, who currently stars in the hit new Netflix action movie The Mother with Jennifer Lopez, recently celebrated 11 years of marriage with wife Jennifer "Jae" Pfautch, a publicist.

Hardwick tells PEOPLE that "communication is so key" and "definitely" the most important component of a healthy relationship.

"Imagine all of the tasks and the responsibilities and duties. People who man a ship, a boat, imagine if they don't do their job. Then that boat is just done — it capsizes, it sinks, it's out of here. So that word is really dope and we don't think about it enough. It's a really a 'relation-boat. It's a ship."

Related:Celebrity Secrets for a Happy Marriage

He continues, "If it's romantic, you've got to really be about the ship, and the best way to relate to each other on the ship is to communicate so that those nights you don't want to do that or those mornings you don't want to do that, you get a bit of a hallway or bathroom pass, if you will. You get a pass because you've done it enough. You've tallied up your numbers at communication enough."

"You can probably get away with it as long as communication, and respect would be next to it. Respect is the next-door neighbor," he says, adding, "You just got to really respect the person you're in that relationship with. Once that's gone it's really hard to get that back."

Matt Baron/BEI/Shutterstock
Matt Baron/BEI/Shutterstock

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Hardwick and Pfautch share two kids, daughter Nova, 10, and son Brave, 8. In an Instagram post in April, Pfautch offered her own dating and marriage advice, explaining that "growth is always sexy."

"One of the single most important things, in my opinion, is growth. Constant, perpetual, continual GROWTH in all facets," she wrote alongside a photo smiling with Hardwick. "Look for someone who is always evolving. They aren't going to magically fall in love with growth once you're married, so look for it when you're dating someone."

Related:Omari Hardwick Says Jennifer Lopez Was 'Perfect Humble Force of a Woman' on The Mother Set (Exclusive)

Ana Carballosa/Netflix Omari Hardwick in <em>The Mother</em> (2023)
Ana Carballosa/Netflix Omari Hardwick in The Mother (2023)

"Marry someone who loves to grow, get better, learn and progress. If they strive for growth in their own life, they'll nurture your relationship towards growth the saaaame way," she added.

Pfautch wrote that "change is inevitable, but growth is optional" and advised her followers that "someone who is always striving to grow" is the "best partner ever."

The Mother is now streaming on Netflix.

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