Credit: NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images, Jill Johnson/JPI, Paul Skipper/JPI, Getty Images
When an amnesiac John Black first showed up, Marlena (and everyone) thought he was her beloved Roman Brady returned from the dead after tumbling over a cliff during a fight with Stefano. He’d supposedly had plastic surgery, so Marlena married him and the two lived happily ever after! Until it was Marlena’s turn to die in a plane crash.
Double the Fun?
A few years later, Marlena returned from the dead, but so did the real Roman (played at the time by Wayne Northrop). It turns out that John was an imposter programmed with Roman’s memories! And Marlena and John’s marriage wasn’t valid. Whoops.
Love, Death and Affairs
Marlena reconnected with Roman, which left John to move on with his new love, Isabella Toscano. The two married, but it wasn’t long before Isabella died of pancreatic cancer. John turned to Marlena for comfort and the two began a passionate affair behind Roman’s back!
She Did a Bad, Bad Thing
The first person to figure out the affair? Sami! And she was not happy about it! She switched Belle’s paternity results around to make it look like Roman, and not John, was the father, then tried selling her sis on the black market. Luckily, John put a stop to that, and when Roman found out Belle wasn’t his, he put a stop to his marriage!
The Devil Made Her Do It
John and Marlena were too guilt-ridden to pick things back up, but he was there for his beloved Doc during her first demonic possession! At the time, John thought he was a priest, even though he wasn’t (don’t ask), so he performed her much-needed exorcism.
The Scheme Queen
After leaving the priesthood, John moved on with Kristen (originally played by Eileen Davidson). But there was no denying the pull between him and Marlena. Kristen, as she usually does, hatched one too many schemes to keep them apart and John eventually got fed up and finally reunited with Marlena for real!
Together At Last!
The happy couple married in ceremony number two and lived happily ever — OK, we’re not even going to try. Turns out, this marriage wasn’t valid either. But more on that after…
The Princess and the Pawn
During one of Hope’s Princess Gina phases, Stefano had her kidnap John, brainwash him into the Pawn and make love to him. OK, that last part wasn’t Stefano’s idea. But when she got pregnant shortly after, a now-clear-headed Hope believed the kid was John’s. But it wasn’t!
A Killer Story
Marlena, meanwhile, decided to run around dressed in matching hoodies with Tony André during the infamous Melaswen saga. At first, we thought half the town was murdered by Marlena. But then the show suffered a crippling case of “Whoops, maybe we shouldn’t have done that,” and made it clear that no one had died, and Marlena had just been brainwashed by André into thinking she’d killed everyone. Death, you see, means nothing in Salem.
We Promise, It’s Not Roman
Nearly being a serial killer wasn’t enough to end their marriage, but Marlena’s believed-dead first husband Alex North (Wayne Northrop) showing up alive was! But that was all sorted after his drugging and brainwashing of Marlena was discovered and John tossed him over a cliff to his real death. (Again, it was not Roman.)
Third Time’s the Charm?
Marriage number three was their first legal ceremony now that Alex was actually dead. And it lasted about point five seconds before John was shot and put into a coma for months during one of Stefano’s attempts to take him out. You win some, you lose some.
John may have recovered, but if there’s one thing Stefano believes it’s, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” He soon faked John’s death, brainwashed him into being his Pawn again, and wiped his memory. Having no recollection of your wife is kind of a bummer, so the two divorced. Again.
Best Decision They Made
Eventually, John got his memory back, so they remarried again. And this time, they did the smart thing. Before anything else could happen, they hightailed it out of Salem for a couple years!
Worst Decision They Made
If leaving was their smartest move, returning was definitely not! John and Marlena came back for the dedication of the new Horton Town Square, only for John to be framed for embezzlement and corporate fraud, earning him an unheard of 50-year sentence. Please. Everyone knows the legal system never punishes corporate criminals… Anyway, Carrie and Rafe proved he was innocent. No harm, no foul.
Stefano Strikes Again
So, funny story. It turns out, neither of John and Marlena’s last two marriages were legal either because he was still technical married to Hope from when Stefano had brainwashed them together… It’s at this point that we just about threw our hands in the air in utter defeat.
Scheme Queen’s Return
After finally getting a divorce from Hope, John and Marlena settled down and — no, no they didn’t. Kristen showed up to wreak havoc on their lives, driving them apart once again. She went after Brady, she went after Eric, she went after John. Marlena and John never stood a chance.
Fast forward a few years, some ISA stuff, some more Gina and the Pawn stuff and John and Marlena were finally married and — wait, nope. Kristen (now Stacy Haiduk) showed up at their wedding ceremony, shot Marlena and put her in a coma.
At Long, *Long* Last
After some shenanigans where Hattie was switched out for Marlena, the real, legal, final wedding took place in the Horton Town Square. It was a small ceremony surrounded by loved ones, but dear Lord, it was long overdue.
The Devil Made Her Do It (Again)
Marlena’s second possession put her and John’s relationship to the test (choking him and chaining him in the DiMera crypt didn’t help), but thankfully it didn’t break them. We don’t think we could handle another wedding at this point.
A Heavenly Sendoff
And here we are now. After being poisoned by Orpheus and cured briefly, Marlena finally succumbed to the toxin when Kristen withheld (then lost) the cure. And now she’s gone up to join Kate and Kayla in heaven, leaving John and her family to mourn… For now!