“So, I’m gonna say right here that I, Jeannie Mai, going into my marriage, I want to submit to my man,” the 41-year-old said while cohosting The Real on Wednesday, September 7. “Let me explain. When I hear this definition … submitting has a negative connotation. It means that you are less important, you are lower than that person that you’re submitting to. It usually can be like, you know, referenced as somebody who works lower than you and that’s not what I’m referring to here.”
The Dancing With the Stars contestant said she’s “a very dominant woman” who runs her own business and teams. Since she makes “the decisions” in her career and other areas of her life, she likes the idea of coming home to a man who “leads” their household.
“That doesn’t mean that in this case Jay makes all the decisions for us. That doesn’t mean that when he says, ‘How are we spending our money?’ or ‘Where are we moving?’ that I just say, ‘Yes, sir’ or ‘Yes, your honor,’ Like, it’s not that,” she said. “It’s a, ‘You know what? I think that we would do best here, I want to do this,’ and he takes the decision. He formulates it with our overall vision, and he leads us and I like to submit to that.”
The How Do I Look? host continued, “I don’t want to lead in our household and in our marriage. I want him to lead, and I have all the essence of what I bring as a wife to make that decision, but that I love that my husband will be the man that leads. I like that structure in a marriage and I look forward to that because, girls — it’s tiring being the boss of me. It’s tiring leading all the time in my life.”
Mai then acknowledged that her family upbringing has played a part in her overall decision. She explained how her mother was “a very strong force” and “took over a lot of decisions in the household,” while her father allowed her mother to lead. However, the TV personality said that this dynamic “caused a wedge” between her parents and she can “have that tendency” to take over the decision-making like her mother did.
“I saw in my living space, I would all of a sudden just wake up and go and make decisions without asking and checking in,” she said. “So, I am the fault that can cause an inequality because I am pulling in my habits from my old household to how I run my business today. And that is not OK, and I’m careful and aware of that today.”
In May, Mai teased the engaged couple’s plans for their wedding. “Honestly, right now that’s not at the top of our lists,” she told Entertainment Tonight. “We’re so happy we’re able to celebrate an engagement right now.”
Mai was previously married to actor Freddy Harteis from 2007 until they announced their split in 2017. Their divorce was finalized in December 2018.