"Before the quarantine happened, we were definitely talking divorce," said the singer of how the lockdown allowed them time to hash out their differences

By Benjamin VanHoose
June 30, 2020 05:30 PM
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Ne-Yo is thankful to have a "stronger" marriage today after he and wife Crystal Renay reached a breaking point earlier this year.

Last week, the "Let Me Love You" singer, 40, opened up to The Talk about how being forced to spend more time with Renay due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown allowed them the time to work on their differences.

“The whole quarantine thing was kind of a blessing,” he said, adding that it "allowed me the time to lock back in with" his wife and kids. Ne-Yo is father to sons Roman Alexander-Raj, 2, and Shaffer Chimere Jr., 4, whom he shares with Renay, and son Mason Evan, 8½, and daughter Madilyn Grace, 9½, from a previous relationship.

In February, the artist revealed that he and Renay had decided to go their separate ways and pursue a divorce — a decision he said they've worked through in the months since.

"Before the quarantine happened, we were definitely talking divorce," he said, "and the quarantine forced us to sit still, block out the noise from the world — you know the world can get very, very loud, and we tend to let the world's opinion mean more in certain situations than it should."

Ne-Yo said he and his wife had "uncomfortable" conversations, hashing out their problems by being "blatantly, painfully, brutally honest." He added that those "difficult" discussions can help or hurt, but in their case, it was productive.

"We're actually stronger now than we were before," said Ne-Yo. "Now we feel like we can really talk to each other."

Ne-Yo and Crystal Renay in 2017
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

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Ne-Yo explained that he and Renay reached an impasse in their relationship, unable to open up to each other and work through their problems together.

"I don't know when it happened, but we got to a place where we felt like we couldn't just say it, you know," he explained. "You're feeling something — something's going on, and you know something's going on, but for whatever reason, you can't just come out and say it."

"We got to that place," he said, "and that almost broke us."

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On Father's Day, Renay paid tribute to her husband, writing on Instagram that Ne-Yo is "truly a blessing to all of us."

"A king in every meaning of the word! We are blessed to call you daddy🙌🏽 We love you for all that you do and all that you are," she captioned a slideshow of sweet family photos. "Enjoy your day because you absolutely deserve it! Happy father's my Chocolate, my love 🖤."

When he spoke about their planned separation in February, Ne-Yo said on an episode of Private Talk with Alexis Texas that he would never "talk bad" about Renay, whom he called a "fantastic woman."

"She's the mother of my children and she's always gonna be that and I will always respect her," he said at the time.