John McEnroe and Patty Smyth secretly wed in 1997
The tennis legend and the "The Warrior" singer first met in 1993, though neither was really looking to date at the time. Smyth was raising her daughter Ruby and finding her footing as a solo artist following the disbandment of her rock group Scandal; McEnroe was nearing the end of his pro tennis career and had just separated from his first wife, actress Tatum O’Neal, with whom he shares three children.
However, the pair began dating in 1994 and quickly fell in love. In 1997, they secretly wed in Hawaii, blending their two families in the process. They later welcomed two more daughters together.
Now, over two decades later, their love for each other is just as strong, which even surprises Smyth.
"Twenty-something years later, I'm like 'Wow, I still have these feelings when I see him,' " Smyth told PEOPLE in 2020. "Never did I think that I would ever be with somebody for this long.”
She added, “I think we got very lucky.”
"One woman, 26 years,” McEnroe said in response to his wife’s sentiment, to which Smyth countered: “One man, 26 years. That’s insane!”
So, who is John McEnroe’s wife? Here’s everything to know about Patty Smyth and their decades-long marriage.
She is a legendary rockstar
Smyth was a founding member and the lead vocalist of the ‘80s rock band Scandal. The group peaked in 1984 with their chart-topping hit “The Warrior,” but their success was short-lived following the band’s breakup in 1985. Smyth went on to pursue a solo career and released her self-titled album, Patty Smyth, in 1992.
In the midst of navigating a divorce from her first husband and finding love with McEnroe, Smyth took a break from music for 16 years before dropping her 2015 Christmas album, Come On December. With her kids grown and out of the house, Smyth found herself returning to her rock roots. She released her first full-length album in 28 years, aptly titled It’s About Time, in October 2020. The record includes a love song inspired by her and McEnroe’s marriage.
She and McEnroe met in 1993
In an interview with AARP The Magazine, Smyth revealed that she and McEnroe grew up less than 20 minutes from one another, but their paths didn’t cross until they were both in their mid-30s.
The pair met at a Christmas party in 1993, and initially, Smyth had no interest in getting to know McEnroe on a romantic level.
“I did not believe in love or marriage. I wasn't interested,” she told the outlet. “I had a great life. I thought I might adopt a child because I only had Ruby and she kept telling me one wasn't enough. There were no guys I liked. I was like, forget it, it's not going to happen, and I was all right with that.”
Eight months after their first interaction, Smyth and McEnroe went on a proper date. The “No Mistakes” singer said from that day forward, they knew they had something special.
“When John and I went out on a date, it was like I knew him. It was familiar and exciting. He knew it was something to hold onto sooner than I did,” she said.
She and McEnroe had a secret wedding in 1997
Smyth and McEnroe kept their relationship "so underground" during the early stages, as Smyth told AARP The Magazine, noting that she "almost went too far."
The ultra-private couple rarely did interviews, and they even wed in secret in 1997. “We got married in Hawaii on the day of the Oscars so nobody would notice," she told the outlet.
“It was such good luck to have met each other. But it did not come without a price tag. No one will ever know the stuff we had to go through,” she added of the pressure of dating in the public eye. “The odds were so stacked against us.”
She and McEnroe have a blended family
Prior to McEnroe, Smyth was briefly married to punk-rocker Richard Hell in the mid-'80s. The pair welcomed a daughter together named Ruby. In an interview with Stereogum, Smyth revealed how becoming a first-time mom had “an adverse effect” on her career.
“I don’t have to think about that now because [my kids are] grownups, but there was a moment when I had to choose — and I chose my kids. That’s what I had to do,” she said.
Smyth also recalled her days as a single mom and not having “anyone who could step in” to take care of Ruby when her solo career took off. Smyth said, “My mom was helping me but my oldest daughter needed me … I couldn’t take another phone call from my kids.”
All that changed, though, when Smyth met McEnroe. Together, the couple welcomed two more daughters: Anna and Ava. McEnroe also shares three children with his ex-wife O’Neal: sons Kevin and Sean and daughter Emily.
She and McEnroe have shared the secret to their long-lasting romance
While promoting her album It’s About Time in 2020, Smyth shared with PEOPLE the key to keeping her and McEnroe’s romance alive for nearly 30 years: friendship, compromise and privacy. The fourth pillar of their marriage is “the most obvious one,” the tennis champ added.
“Sex,” Smyth said in response to her husband’s cue. "You've got to keep the sex going!"
Elsewhere in the interview, Smyth acknowledged that the best “gift” in relationships is being able to establish a deep level of intimacy between each other.
"If you get to know somebody and get really intimate, it can get more exciting and just more of a real journey,” she said.
She and McEnroe keep their marriage out of the spotlight
On the topic of nurturing their decades-long marriage, Smyth told PEOPLE that maintaining their privacy is very important to them.
"For me, it was a superstition thing. I didn't want to be like, 'Hey, look at us, we're this happy couple.' I just thought if I kept it on the down-low, I had this gut feeling that we would stay together — if I threw it out to the world, that we wouldn't — because I've seen that happen so many times," Smyth explained.
The rockstar added that soon after their wedding, she and McEnroe were presented with the opportunity to star on their own reality TV show. Though an enticing offer, Smyth said they ultimately decided not to go through with it out of respect for one another and their marriage.
"That probably would have broken us up, I bet you,” she said.
For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!
Read the original article on People.