Did you think it was possible to love Channing Tatum any more than you already do? Especially after that Facebook Live video earlier this month, where he danced with a cashier in a gas station quickie mart? Nope; me neither. But this week, he proved us all wrong — this time, by sharing another honest glimpse into his marriage with Jenna Dewan Tatum, whom he met way back in 2006 on the set of Step Up.
In a segment on Radio One’s Breakfast Show this week, Tatum helped a listener propose to his girlfriend. But first, he shared a super-cringeworthy story about his own proposal. Apparently, he feared Jenna was onto him when he was planning to pop the question back in 2008. So in an effort to keep her in the dark, he did what any guy in his right mind would: He lied.
But as it turned out, he went a little too far.
“When I proposed to my wife, I did something pretty cruel because I thought she was onto me,” he shared. “I basically told her I never wanted to get married to throw her off.”
Oof. That had to sting.
But just wait, it gets worse.
“I told her, ‘I don’t believe in the institution of marriage, and I don’t think I ever want to get married,'” Tatum recalled. “She basically broke down crying. I thought, ‘This is not going well at all.'”
Damn, Tatum — you didn’t have to go THAT far!
But in the end, it all worked out for the best. He said the whole debacle led him to propose “sooner rather than later,” and thankfully, Dewan said yes (because duh, it’s Channing Tatum).
Tatum has been pretty candid so far about his relationship with Dewan, even opening up about his deep love and respect for his wife in a heartfelt essay he penned for Cosmo earlier this year. Though its main focus was that he hopes to raise his daughter Everly to be confident and fearless, Tatum’s essay ultimately praises his wife for being all those things and more.
“One day, Jenna just blurted out that she knew exactly what she wanted in life and she didn’t have to look for it anymore because it was me,” he wrote. “She had no idea what I’d say or how I’d react, but that was her truth. I remember feeling this incredible rush — it was the sexiest thing she’d ever done for me. I felt strength, because in that moment, she had accepted every part of me, the good and the bad.
That’s what I want for my daughter — to be expectation-less with her love and not allow preconceived standards to affect her, to ask herself what she wants and feel empowered enough to act on it.”
Still, it wasn’t exactly love at first sight between the couple. As he shared with Elle in 2013, he’d just gotten out of a long relationship when he met Dewan in ’06, and “was in no way ready for another.” In fact, he says he “was trying to run from what I knew Jenna was — not someone I was just going to date.”
But it wasn’t long before one of his friends knocked some sense into him.
“One of my buddies was like, ‘What are you doing, man? She’s dope,'” he said. “That night I showed up at her hotel room with a sombrero on, and that was it … we were drinking at a Mexican joint and I stole [the sombrero] off the wall.”
The rest was history, and the pair married in 2009 and welcomed their daughter Everly four years later in 2013.
“Jenna’s and my thing is checking in with each other all the time, like ‘On a scale from 1 to 10, how much do you love me right now?'” he told Cosmo that same year. “And you gotta be honest, and you’ve got to want an honest answer. I told a friend to do that. He asked the question and it turned into a huge fight, and I’m like, that’s kind of the point. Obviously, something needed to be fixed, he needed to be aware of it, and she needed to get it off her chest.”
Okay, so maybe we shouldn’t take proposal advice from Channing Tatum — but when it comes to marriage advice? I’d say he’s pretty spot-on.