Entertainment

From Writing Letters for Six Months to Raising Four Kids: Ricky Martin and Jwan Yosef’s Relationship Timeline

Singer Ricky Martin, 51, and his Syrian-born Swedish painter husband Jwan Yosef, 38, announced their divorce on July 6.

The heartbreaking news shocked many fans, with one Twitter user saying, “True love is dead.” Others went hard on the crying emojis, while another saw the silver lining: “Ricky Martin’s divorce album is coming.”

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So yes, a lot of perspectives on the sad news. Meanwhile, Martin announced the divorce on Instagram, writing, “For some time, we have considered transforming our relationship, and it is after careful consideration that we have decided to end our marriage.”

The “Livin’ La Vida Loca” singer said they are proceeding with “love, respect, and dignity” for the two children they share: Lucia, born in 2018, and Renn, born in 2019. Martin also has two more children, twins Matteo and Valentino, 14.

But what happened before Martin and Yosef’s unfortunate divorce announcement? Well, they actually had a beautiful eight-year love story that started with their shared love of art. Here’s everything we know about how it all began— and their quadrilingual (!) household.

Ricky Martin and Jwan Yosef’s love story began through their shared love of art

In November 2016, Martin shared all the details of his meet-cute with Yosef during his appearance on “The Ellen Show.”

During the interview, Martin said he had met Yosef one year prior, dating their chance meeting to 2015.

The “Vuelve” singer described, “[Yosef] is a conceptual artist and I’m a collector. So I started looking for art, and I saw his art and I went crazy because I really love what he does. Really original. And I contacted him.”

Of course, Martin didn’t exactly know Yosef… well, looked like that.

He recalled, “I had no idea what he looked like, and then I saw what he looked like, and I [was] like… yeah.”

Martin also told Andy Cohen on Radio Andy in 2017 that he actually contacted Yosef about his art on Instagram.

He explained, “I’m scrolling and I see this beautiful piece of art and I’m like, ‘Whoa, how cool! Who’s this?'”

“And then I wrote to him,” he recalled. So, the old, trusty sliding-in-the-DMs move? Not exactly.

Martin assured, “We were talking for like six months without me hearing his voice… We talked about art— nothing sexy.”

“It was all about art and life in general,” the Puerto Rican singer explained. Still, Martin described how they finally met after he traveled months later to London, where Yosef lived.

As per Hello!, Martin said in 2020 that he experienced love at first sight.

“When I met my husband, I saw him and said, ‘I’m going to get married,'” he recalled. “During the, ‘Hello, pleasure to meet you,’ I thought, ‘This is the love of my life.'”

About his side of the story, Yosef told My Kali Mag that Martin contacting him on Instagram felt “surreal.” He said, “It was like a modern day Jane Austen story in a way, we spent six months talking strictly about art, life, creativity, music, but nothing sexual until we met.”

Yosef said that once they did meet, “It was like meeting a soulmate.”

“It was a very classical form of meeting, exchanging letters for six months. I’m not necessarily a romantic person but this was very romantic,” he said.

The couple’s adorable engagement story was a bit chaotic because Martin was “really nervous”

By the singer’s 2016 appearance on “The Ellen Show,” Martin and Yosef were already happily engaged.

“I proposed,” Martin explained on the show. “I was really nervous. But I got on my knees and took out… a little velvet pouch.”

However, even if the singer has quite the way with lyrics, he struggled with words during the proposal. “Instead of saying ‘Would you marry me?’ I said, ‘I got you something.’”

Martin then added, “I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” Swoon.

Still, Yosef kept waiting for the magic question. The singer finally asked, “Would you marry me?” the painter replied, “Yes.”

During the super-cute interview, Martin also expressed how Yosef was already a part of the family. He described how his then-fiancé and kids Matteo and Valentino “loved each other.”

By January 2018, the star confirmed to E! News that he and Yosef had secretly tied the knot.

“I’m a husband, but we’re doing a heavy party in a couple of months,” he revealed.

“We exchanged vows, and we’ve [sworn] everything,” Martin happily shared. “We’ve signed all the papers that we needed to sign, prenups and everything.”

The “Tu Recuerdo” singer smiled as he described how “amazing” it felt to call Yosef his husband. “I can’t introduce him as my fiancé. I can’t. He’s my husband. He’s my man.”

While not much is known about their eventual big wedding, Martin told the outlet it would be epic.

“The typical three-day party, the dinner, the rehearsal, the party and the recovery.” Yep, a Boricua wedding!

The couple had a multicultural household and brought up their children with (at least!) four languages

San Juan, Puerto Rico-born Martin is fluent in both English and Spanish, so of course, he made sure his kids were equally bilingual. However, Martin and Yosef actually made sure their kids were quadrilingual.

According to Huff Post, Martin revealed in 2013 that he was teaching his children English, Spanish, and French.

He told Ellen Degeneres that year, “We speak Spanish at home, but they also speak English and French.”

“I want them to be exposed to everything,” he explained. The star also revealed that his kids went to a French school.

But that’s not all. The singer’s husband Yosef has quite a multicultural background: he was born in Syria, but as per his website, he is Swedish-patriated. He also has both Kurdish and Armenian heritage.

Of course, it was also important for Yosef to teach his kids about his own heritage.

The artist explained to My Kali Mag, “The way I bring up my babies is that I focus on Arabic rather than English or Swedish.”

“I taught my kid how to count to ten in Arabic and she’s only 2, which is wonderful,” he explained.

Yosef also described how important it was for him to have children. He said he always imagined himself becoming a father, saying, “I always wanted kids.”

The artist explained, “It’s like a dream having kids. I have two beautiful step-kids and my two babies, and it’s a full-on Syrian house.”

Still, he said fatherhood takes its toll: “With my babies, I aged 20 years these past 2 years. It’s the best job in the world but you have to want it.”

And how about the moment Martin and Yosef’s families met? Well, it was “super fun, cute, and awkward.”

As the painter put it to the outlet, “The truth is, he’s Puerto Rican, I’m Arab, our families are very much alike: we’re loud, all over the place, we’re in each other’s business. It’s a pretty easy translation to make.”

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