Huffpost Weddings

'Basketball Wives' Jackie Christie: 10 Things You Don't Know About My Marriage

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Scandal and infidelity may be commonplace in the pro-basketball world, but Jackie Christie and her husband, retired L.A. Laker Doug Christie, are definitely the exception to the rule.

The couple, who wed in 1996, have long been known for their dedicated marriage. For example, before Doug retired from the NBA in 2007, his mysterious hand signals on the basketball court (which apparently meant "I love you" to his wife) caused a major stir among professional athletes -- critics wondered why he was so public about his affections for his wife.

Their close relationship even garnered them a reality TV series -- "Committed: The Christies" -- which ran for two seasons in 2006 on BET. The Christies, who renew their marriage vows every year, and also wrote two books together, including 2007's No Ordinary Love and Luv-Pons: A Fun Variety Love & Romance Guide For Couples, which was released on Valentine's Day last year. Jackie was most recently featured on VH1's "Basketball Wives LA," which wrapped up late last month and highlighted their strong marriage.

HuffPost Weddings spoke to Jackie about life with her husband, reality TV and her 16-year-long (and counting) marriage.

Below, 10 secrets you didn't know about their relationship.

1. My nickname for Doug is "Mr. Man"
We made that name up because people used to say "He's so soft," or "Jackie runs everything," but that totally isn't the case. I always call him Mr. Man because if people knew he was the ultra-man in the house, they would be surprised.

2. We got married just three days after Doug proposed.
When he asked me to marry him, I didn't even hesitate. He even said, "We can get married today if you want," but I said, "We have to contact your agent and get a license," and all of that. After that, we went into the house and talked for hours about the wedding and what we wanted to do ... and three days later, we got married.

3. There were a LOT of mishaps on our wedding day.
We lost the ring. Doug's tux ripped because it was too tight on the inside -- it was rented because his was in Toronto -- so he had to put on a nice black suit at the last minute. And then while we were going down the winding staircase to come to where the minister was, I kept on telling him the entire time, whispering to him, "If you want to, you can change your mind about this. We can still have a party -- you don't have to marry me." And the entire time, he's just looking at me with this weird look. And then finally we get to the bottom, and he says, "Lady, if you don't come on and become my wife ... I dont want to hear another word from you!" It was so cute the way he said it. People were wondering what was up, but I was just overjoyed.

4. We abide by the fifteen-minute rule.
If we get into a disagreement -- if five, ten minutes go by -- we're talking about it. So if I know my husband is in the kitchen cooking dinner, I'm not going to go down to my room and sit down, put my feet up and start reading a book and hours go by and we don't talk. I'll get up immediately, and go down into the kitchen. And it's funny because we'll meet halfway there -- he'll usually meet me in the living room. Or I'll go to the kitchen and he's already standing there with a glass of lemonade for me and a hug. We don't let any time pass when we're angry with each other.

5. Doug still makes my heart flutter.
He'll iron my clothes if he knows I'm going somewhere or I'm doing something. He'll lay my makeup out for me. He still gives me roses, and a lot of times he'll pick them from the yard, if they're in bloom.

6. We still exchange love notes.
He writes letters to me. Just like little notes telling me how he feels. And it's funny because now he has an iPad and I have one, and he e-mails me! It cracks me up. It can be anything from "Honey, what do you want for dinner?" to some other sweet thing.

7. I let Doug take charge in the kitchen.
He's definitely the cook in the family. He cooks every single day.

8. My husband home-schools our son.
He spends a lot of time homeschooling our [nine-year-old] son, Douglas Jr. So the two of them get all of their stuff together over the weekend and do arts and crafts. And then sometimes we make banana pancakes, too.

9. We got a lot of heat for the good parts of our relationship.
When we got married, I just assumed we'd be a family. I'd travel with him here and there, and support him -- but then all of a sudden, the media blitz hit. Everyone was wondering why he was making those [hand] signs [on the court], and what they stood for. And Doug told them: "It's a sign to my wife that I love her and that everything's OK, no matter win or lose. I just wanted her to know that I appreciate her being there for me." And you would think that was a good thing ... but we took hits for that.

10. One of the hardest parts about being married to a basketball star was dealing with all of the women.
There were a lot of ladies who challenged our marriage. But Doug dealt with it. He said, I'm not going to be a disrespectful person to women in general -- if they come onto me or flirt with me, I'm just going to stop it right there in their tracks. And he's done that.

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