Jeannie Mai surprised her TV co-hosts when she revealed that she wants to be submissive in her marriage to rapper Jeezy.
Mai, 41, admitted on Tuesday's episode of The Real that she understands the idea has a "negative connotation," but to her, doing so would be a welcome escape from her busy career.
"I want to submit to my man. 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," Mai told her co-hosts Loni Love, Adrienne Bailon Houghton and Garcelle Beauvais.
"I'm a very dominant woman. I own my business, I lead my teams, I played my own manager, my own publicist, my own lawyer when I didn't have money to have those people," Mai continued.
"So, I make the decisions in my life," Mai said, adding, however, that: "When I come home, I like the idea that my man leads us."
Benny Lozovsky, BFA Jeannie Mai and Jeezy
"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.' It's not that. 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," Mai explained.
"I don't want to lead in our household and in our marriage," she continued. "I want him to lead, and I have all the essence of what I bring as a wife to make that decision, but I love that my husband will be the man that leads."
She said she came to this realization because "it's tiring being the boss of me."
"It's tiring leading all the time in my life," Mai said.
Mai explained that she also desires to take more of a submissive role after assessing her parents' marriage, which ended in divorce.
Courtesy Jeannie Mai Jeannie Mai and Jeezy
"My mom ... she has a very strong force, and she took over a lot of decisions in the household, to the point that my dad, unless it was always going to be a fight, he was like, 'You know what? Go ahead.' And that caused a wedge," Mai shared.
"I can have a tendency to follow like my mom, 'cause it's what I grew up in and I saw it. And 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, so I am the fault that can cause an inequality because I am pulling in habits from my old household to how I run my business today. That is not okay, and I'm careful and aware of that today. I'm just telling that to anybody else who didn't tell me that when I could have learned that before," Mai added.
Mai further explained her perspective during an appearance on the Tamron Hall Show after she received backlash from fans.
"I am 41. I don't care what kind of pushback I get from other women. This is my life," Mai told Hall. "Coming out of divorce and also making a major decision to marry again after finding such a beautiful person, I want to be very clear and open about how our life can be so we can make sure our vision is aligned and that we both are empathetic to each other."
Mai shared that she feels the biggest mistake couples make is "not communicating what you want."
"Jay is my king, so I want him to understand what I look forward to in the role and he has to honor his queen," Mai added.
Jeezy, 43, popped the question to Mai on March 27, PEOPLE confirmed.
The rapper/philanthropist had originally wanted to propose to Mai sometime in April during a previously planned trip to Vietnam. However, due to the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which has restricted travel around the globe, he decided to surprise her with a proposal during a special date night at home in Los Angeles.
The couple, who met on the set of her daytime talk show, began quietly dating in November 2018 but didn’t take their romance public until the following August, when they walked the red carpet at a gala for his non-profit, Street Dreamz, arm-in-arm.
“We both went through enough in our life to connect on the understanding that love should feel safe, honest, and pure,” Mai told PEOPLE in last November. “Immediately that was a magnetic attraction. We are very attracted to each other’s passions to serve. So because we have a mutual joy of having purpose, we’re going to find a way to do that together.”