Inside J.J. Watt's Marriage

Football fans know J.J. Watt for his brick-wall defensive style, shutting down just about anything and everything that comes near home on the football field, as well as his good looks (hello swoon-worthy smile), and his underdog swag style. This sports phenomenon has traveled a long and winding road to get to where he is today. After all, the Arizona Cardinals player almost completely missed his big shot at the ball thanks to a rocky college football experience and a stint as a pizza delivery guy. Over time, Watt has proved that hard work, determination, and staying the course even when that course looks mighty uncertain really can lead one to achieve greatness as well as their wildest dreams. 

Thankfully, Watt did indeed stay the course and turned his football dreams into a reality. But the football field wasn't the only place that Watt rolled the dice. He has taken chances in his personal life too, and those too have paid off in a major way. One chance he won't ever regret is saying yes to a date with a soccer superstar — Chicago Red Stars midfielder, Kealia Ohai Watt. A random setup turned into a sweet romance, and that little spark is now one of professional sports' happiest love stories. J.J. and Kealia are both at the top of their athletic games, are looking forward to new and exciting challenges, and are clearly living their best life as husband and wife, as proven by an inside look at their marriage. 

Their romance started out slow and quiet

While the professional sports careers of J.J. Watt and Kealia Ohai Watt were on the up and up when they met, their personal lives each lacked their other half. Enter Brian Cushing, J.J.'s former Houston Texans teammate, friend, and part-time cupid. The linebacker is married to one Megan Cushing (née Ohai), and he helpfully set up his pal with his gal's little sister — Kealia. The Watts can thank their now brother-in-law for setting aside his linebacker talents for match-making genius.

After being introduced, the sports power couple enjoyed a private, low-key relationship for a year before making their romance public. In January 2017, sources close to the couple told People that they were happily dating while maintaining their hectic professional sporting obligations. J.J. confirmed his interest in the power forward to the outlet, saying, "We're both very proud of each other and what we both do. We have a lot of fun together." Meanwhile, Kealia also confirmed the romance on an episode of the podcast, "2 Up Front" (via Heavy), where she revealed that they'd actually been friends for a long time. 

After news of their romance broke, the football star covertly showed up for his girl by rocking a jersey sporting a number two on the back — her Chicago Red Stars jersey number. Adorable, committed, and smitten? They certainly seemed to be.

Kealia wasn't J.J. Watt's first proposal

J.J. Watt eventually asked his girl for her hand in marriage, in the most incredible and romantic way (an oceanside setting followed by a champagne breakfast? Yes please). However, the proposal wasn't technically his first — that honor belongs to a then-six-year-old girl. Breanna Bartay went viral in an innocent video wherein she was shown crying over the fact she was too young to marry the handsome football star. 

The video caught Watt's attention and he turned to Twitter to ask for help tracking down the heartbroken darling in hopes he could take her tears away.  He did exactly that by planning a dream day for his little fan. Per ABC News, the star connected with Bartay's mom, and the whole family was invited to tour the Houston Texans Reliant Stadium. Little did the kid know Watt was waiting for her on bended knee. And while he explained that they couldn't really get hitched, he insisted on a pretend ceremony in which Bartay sported his jersey in place of a wedding gown. She rocked a ring-pop set of jewelry and enjoyed their first dance to Justin Bieber's "As Long as You Love Me."

Bartay's mom told ABC News that the star was a class act with parents who had raised him to be the gold standard in gentlemen's manners. Watt, too, cherished the moment, telling John Granato and Sean Pendergast of Yahoo! Sports Radio, that the experience was priceless.

A beautiful Bahamas wedding

J.J. Watt and Kealia Ohai Watt became man and wife in 2020, saying their "I Do's" at The Ocean Club, a Four Seasons Resort in the beautiful Bahamas. Family and friends gathered in the stunning tropical space, dripping with florals, to witness the beautiful couple pledge forever to one another. The newlyweds took to social media, sharing the news of their big day with the world, with J.J. posting a picture of himself and his beautiful bride on Instagram. "Best day of my life. Without question," he wrote in the caption. 

Per People, the event included a photo booth and a large band as well as a hopping poolside afterparty. When the festivities came to a close, and real-life resumed, J.J. took to Facebook to show some love to fans and loved ones alike for their continued support of the newlyweds. Pairing his sentiments with a black and white photo of the couple on their wedding day, he wrote, "We want to say thank you to everyone who has sent congratulations the last few days.‬‪ We couldn't be happier and are truly grateful to have such incredible family, friends, and fans to share our lives with.‬" He then jokingly added that at this point, he was fairly sure he had exceeded the wedding photo limit, hence he was done.

We'd be lying if we said we had had enough of the pics. 

J.J. and Kealia Ohai Watt's impressive real estate profile

Since their wedding in 2020, J.J. Watt and Kealia Ohai Watt have been building their marriage, their fur family, and their real estate portfolio. Per American Luxury, in 2016, J.J. purchased a five-bedroom Texas mansion for $4.5 million. However, following his deal with the Arizona Cardinals, the pair put the sprawling 7,7706 sq. foot home on the market, then reduced the price to just under $5 million. As of March 2022, the five-bedroom 7,7706 sq. foot mansion was pending sale.

The couple also owns a cozy cabin in J.J.'s home state of Wisconsin. Watt bought the property in 2015 and described how and why he is connected to it. "It basically is who I am. My friends said if we were to look at a house, that's you, [the cabin] is it," he revealed to Chron. He added that the minimalistic, middle-of-nowhere space was exactly what he needed to focus his time and energies. 

As of 2022, the growing Watt family was calling Arizona their home. While we don't know much about the new digs, we do know that desert life has been quite the adjustment for the Midwestern guy. He has already found a rattlesnake in his home, which he spoke about on Twitter. He's also tweeted about his encounters with fence-hopping coyotes. 

There is a better athlete in the relationship

Per Celebrity Net Worth, J.J. Watt was estimated to be worth a whopping $50 million as of 2022. That's thanks to his pigskin plays as much as his high-profile endorsement deals with major companies like Gatorade, Reebok, and Ford. He is one of the sport's most celebrated defensive players and doesn't look to be slowing down any time soon. His wife, Kealia Ohai Watt, is also a top athlete and plays soccer for the Chicago Red Stars.  Per Insider, in 2020 she was paid a yearly salary of $50,000 for her soccer skills. While she might not make as much money for her work on the field, she's without a doubt at the top of her game. 

Money aside, you may wonder who is the better athlete between the two? Well, if you ask All-Pro defensive great, J.J., it is his wife. When asked by People who in the family was the top competitor between them both, the football great jokingly responded, "If I say anything but my wife, I'll get my a** kicked." Good boy! The sports star continued his rationale by explaining that his better half beats him hands down in speed and agility drills. However, he did point out that he has her by a hair in the strength department. 

Food may be key to J.J. Watt's marriage

There is a long-standing saying that goes: The way to a man's heart is through his stomach. Ya gotta feed a man to keep a man, and it seems this concept wasn't lost on Kealia Ohai Watt. The soccer star apparently has skills both on the field and in the kitchen — and she seems to know her way around a pasta maker. In 2020, J.J. Watt took to Twitter to show the world how his wife gets down with a homecooked meal. The footballer posted a video of his wife making some homemade pasta along with the caption, "Finished up my zoom meetings for the night and walked out of my office and straight into Italy, apparently!" He then tagged his lady, pointing out her creative means of hanging her made-from-scratch noodles. In the video, the carb creations could be seen strung from just about every space the soccer player could find.

Perhaps Kealia and basketball wife-slash-food genius Ayesha Curry can team up in the kitchen someday? They both clearly have the cooking skills, plus Curry could give Watt some pointers on how to best juggle a superstar athlete hubby, kids, and a thriving career. In this respect, she is an old pro as she and her husband Steph Curry are raising three young children together.

The couple is generous with their money

You have to love a couple who puts their massive earnings to good use. Kealia Ohai Watt and her husband, J.J. Watt, make an incredible living doing what they love. They have the funds to do just about anything they want, and it seems like the king and queen of professional sports want to do good with their earnings. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged the world, leaving millions of Americans struggling to put food on their dinner tables. The couple stepped in and donated $350,000 to the Houston Food Bank to help with relief efforts. 

On Twitter, the Texas community support service expressed its gratitude by stating how their donation helped them to continue feeding the local area during a time of crisis. The Food Bank added, "Thank you both for helping us remain a safety net for southeast Texas!" J.J. also puts his good name behind his own foundation. The Justin J. Watt Foundation aims to bring after-school activities to middle schoolers, helping to provide them with the equipment and opportunities necessary to learn key skills like leadership, accountability, and teamwork.

Regarding philanthropy, J.J. and Kealia are in good company. Many other good-hearted professional athletes, including quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray, and basketball legend Steph Curry have chosen to spread their wealth to causes dear to their hearts. 

They're building a family

Both J.J. Watt and Kealia Ohai Watt, have watched their dreams unfold into ultimate realities. They make a killer of a living doing what they love, have a beautiful love story to be proud of, and they are now ready to embark on their greatest life adventure yet. In 2022, J.J. took to Instagram to share some extremely loved-up pictures of himself and his wife along with the caption, "Could not be more excited." What was he looking oh so forward to? Becoming a dad! As noted by Kealia in her own Instagram announcement post, their firstborn was due in October

Per The Spun, the couple were reported to be expecting a baby boy. However, some fans were downright shocked that such a high-profile couple chose not to have a big splashy gender reveal. When a fan asked if he was supposed to let the cat out of the bag to announce the baby's gender, J.J. replied on Twitter, "Yes. Was I not supposed to? We didn't do a gender reveal, we just found out and then told people when they asked." Here's to seeing if this sporting twosome will be raising their child with the same low-key, laid-back attitude they adopted for the duration of Kealia's pregnancy.