Patty Smyth Reveals The Key To Her 23-Year Marriage To John McEnroe

Tennis legend and notorious hothead John McEnroe has always seemed like a tough man to get along with. How has Patty Smyth, his wife of 23 years, managed to make it work? Ahead of a new Showtime documentary McEnroe, let’s learn about their marriage.

Who Is Patty Smyth?

Growing up in the Brooklyn music scene, Smyth was the lead singer of the rock band Scandal. Jon Bon Jovi was briefly her guitar player. They scored a top 10 hit in 1984 with “The Warrior.” After internal strife, they broke up in 1985.

History could have been a lot different if Smyth didn’t get pregnant. Eddie Van Halen had asked her to replace David Lee Roth, but she didn’t want to relocate with a baby on the way. Instead, she became a successful solo artist. Her single “Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough” with Don Henley reached number two on the charts.

Her Relationship With John McEnroe

Patty Smyth met John McEnroe in 1993, so their love story has been going for nearly 30 years. The two sat with People to discuss the secrets of their relationship. Smyth matter of factly revealed the thing that makes their relationship thrive: “Sex… you’ve got to keep the sex going!”

The hexagenarians haven’t lost their spark. McEnroe and Smyth have raised six children together, four from previous relationships and daughters Anna, 24, and Ava, 21, together.

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Upon meeting, their careers were in flux. Smyth was a single mother and McEnroe was preparing to retire. Smyth credits their low profile for their success: “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.”

After all these years, Smyth is surprised and grateful at how well their relationship has gone. “Twenty-something years later, I’m like ‘Wow, I still have these feelings when I see him…Never did I think that I would ever be with somebody for this long. … I think we got very lucky.”

The New Documentary

From documentarian Barney Douglas, McEnroe explores the life and times of one of Tennis’s greatest players and loudest mouths. McEnroe was never shy about cussing out referees, and his immense skill made him one of the most popular and successful players of his era. 

The documentary debuted in the United Kingdom in July and comes to Showtime for the United States on September 4.

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