Marlon Wayans Says He Never Got Married Because He Didn't Want His Mother to Be 'Jealous of Another Woman'

"I never wanted my mother to feel second to any woman," the 51-year-old actor and comedian explained

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Marlon Wayans
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Marlon Wayans

Marlon Wayans is sharing the surprising reason why he's never walked down the aisle.

The 51-year-old actor and comedian told The New York Times in an interview published on May 4 that he worried that his potential wife would make his mother, Elvira Altheia, feel slighted.

"I never got married, because I never wanted my mother to be jealous of a woman. I never wanted my mother to feel second to any woman," he explained to the outlet.

Wayans said his mother's death in 2020 at the age of 81 hit him hard and made him realize she was his whole world.

"My mother’s death broke me," he told The New York Times. "It shattered me into a million pieces, because that was my girl."

Marlon Wayans/instagram Marlon Wayans and his mother Elvira Alethia
Marlon Wayans/instagram Marlon Wayans and his mother Elvira Alethia

Related: Marlon Wayans Opens Up About Losing Nearly 60 Loved Ones and His ‘Real-Life Pain’: ‘I Live Differently’

The Air star went on to describe Altheia as "very needy" — and said that they discussed his single status in their final moments together.

"I told my mother on her deathbed, “ 'I never got married because I always wanted you to be my No. 1 girl.' Those were my last words. I said, 'Take that to heaven with you,' " he recalled.

Wayans also lost his father, Howell Wayans, in March 2023, along with 58 other loved ones in recent years, according to the outlet. The experience, which he described as "biblical," inspired his latest comedy special, Good Grief — set to premiere on Amazon Prime on June 6 — and helped him stretch his comedic range, he said.

"I think as a comedian, I’m getting to the good stuff," the White Chicks star told The New York Times. "When you talk about real-life pain, like parents passing, and you can get through that set and you can still be irreverent, edgy, crazy, silly, thought-provoking and vulnerable, I think that’s growth.

He continued, "I miss my parents dearly, but I’m a different human with my parents gone than I was when they were here. Now I’m a man. I don’t have parents anymore, so I live differently. I understand the quality of life."

Monica Schipper/Getty Marlon Wayans
Monica Schipper/Getty Marlon Wayans

For Wayans, that means limiting his time on his phone, walking and praying more, which he said helps him feel closer to his mother and father in spirit. "When I pray I feel like I’m speaking to my parents and that they’re listening. I let them know what’s going on," he shared.

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Related: Marlon Wayans' Kids: All About His 2 Sons, Kai and Shawn

While Wayans never married, he was in a long-term relationship with Angela Zachary from 1992 to 2013. The pair shares two children, sons Kai and Shawn.

In a 2021 interview with Essence, Wayans hinted at the time that he was becoming more open to the idea of marriage. “Yeah, I probably got one in me. Just one," he said, before elaborating on his hesitation to make that kind of commitment.

"I like things to bend and not break, and I feel like when you get married, you have to get divorced in order to either be separated or together," he explained. "I like friendships because you just learn each other and you just grow and you just get better."

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