In December 2003, Mary and Kendu wed in an intimate ceremony at her New Jersey estate. She chose to surround herself with the support of loved ones—not the people in her life who had offered negativity and cynicism. "So many people ... 'hated' on us," Mary says. "They were saying to [Kendu], 'You ain't the first, and you ain't going to be the last.' They didn't believe that I could [stay married].
Mary discovered that the wedding was another step in her journey of self-discovery, not the final destination. At first, she says, she was disappointed that the marriage alone didn't heal her insecurities. "I was looking to my husband to make me feel good about myself," she says. "'He's not the one to make you feel happy,'" Mary says she soon realized. "You've got to feel good about yourself in order for this to work."