Posts Tagged ‘Marriage’

Nomalanga:What we can learn from Martin Lawrence’s Divorce

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

It is being widely reported that after less than three years of marriage and 13 years “together” , Martin Lawrence and his wife, Shamicka Gibbs are getting divorced. Apparently, the couple had been together for 13 years and had two daughters together before they decided to tie the knot in 2010 and now it’s all over!

This is a very interesting trend that I have noticed does not only plague Hollywood couples. We see it all the time; two people who date for a very long time and are seemingly happy together decide to get married and end up getting divorced soon after-the relationship that they had before they got married lasted longer than the marriage.

I was just having a Facebook discussion in which I suggested that the lesson that can be learned from a lot of these unfortunate “train wrecks’ that they call marriages is that when people get married, especially after dating for a long time, it is important not to suddenly come up with a new set of expectations.

The way I put is was this: When people get married they change their expectations but the truth is you can’t live with a “dog” for years and then hope that after the wedding it will stop barking and start purring like a cat. It is a dog and it will continue to bark. If you wanted a cat, you should have married a cat.

Now, just to be clear, I’m NOT saying men are dogs-okay? What I am saying is that when you date a person, the time that you spend getting to know them, should also be time spent setting up realistic expectations for a long term relationship. Obviously, there will be small, maybe even major changes after you get married. A great example is that you will start to live together, assuming that you were not already. These kinds of changes in expectations are normal and reasonable. You cannot, however expect that a person will morph into a different and maybe more “responsible” life partner just because you both said “I do”.

Maya Angelou has been known to say, “When people show you who they are, believe them”. So, when you date a person, this is the time that they will show you who they are and that is the behavior upon which you should set your expectations. If their behavior while you are dating is unacceptable, marriage will only compound the degree to which you find their behavior unacceptable.

Again, the lesson is simple; if you want to marry your “honey”, understand that the way your honey is when you’re dating is basically the way that honey will be when you’re married.  If you marry him (or her), don’t ask him (or her) to change and certainly, don’t expect them to.

It would not surprise me to find out that this is precisely what went wrong with Martin and Shamicka. I reckon that Shamicka married Martin and thought that when they got married, he would change and she was disappointed to find out that he didn’t and probably wasn’t going to. And now…Divorce.

Kevin Hart’s message to “Strong Black Women”

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Funny man, Kevin Hart, has allegedly  taken to cartoon illustrations to get his message across to black women about their attitudes. In the cartoon, he shows a group of black women rejecting a black man’s friendly greeting and then goes on to show the same black man walking with a white woman. The funny part is that the same black women who rejected him are then angry to see him with the white woman. The following words are written at the top of the cartoon: Being a “strong black woman” does not mean have an attitude.

What is interesting about this cartoon is that even though Kevin hart is being funny, there is an element of truth in his joke. I have often heard the angry ramblings of black women when they see a black man who has chosen to date or marry a non-black woman. He is often accused of hating himself or hating black woman or some variation of a negative opinion of his choice of partner. Of course, not all black women are angry or even care when they see black men with women of other races but it can’t be said that Kevin Hart is entirely wrong for pointing it out.

What Kevin Hart’s cartoon did fail to illustrate, however, is that there are black men who have such a deep seeded loathing for black women that they will date anyone except a black woman! Most of these men do not date non-black women necessarily because they have been rejected by black women, but instead because they have taken the worst stereotype of black women and draped it all over ALL black women.

At the end of the day, we can keep accusing each other of “selling out” or suffering from self loathing but the numbers still speak louder than any of us can. There are too many broken homes in the black community and a lot of our children are not being raised in happy, healthy and functional two parent homes. An open dialogue needs to take place about how we can begin to bring those statistics down and maybe people like Kevin Hart, although doing it through humor, are doing their part in opening the doors to the dialogue that needs to take place.

Do We Sometimes Seek Out Abusive and Disappointing Relationships?

Monday, April 9th, 2012

In the video below, Dr. Boyce Watkins and Nomalanga Mhlauli-Moses ask whether or not many African Americans are using the wrong formula to build their relationships.(The audio on my end has an echo but is still audible).

Originally posted at Your Black World.

Why the Pastor who says married people should have sex seven days a week may be right

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

I just read an article about a pastor, Pastor Mike Scruggs who has brought a stripper pole, along with a bed, into his church, the Light of Word Ministries in White Oak, Ohio, as part of his new sermon series all about sex. Under normal circumstances, I would find this type of preaching over the top but in this particular instance, I find it quite appropriate.

The Pastor is suggesting that more married couples indulge in one of marriage’s most basic and traditional “rights” and I do not see anything wrong with that. A lot of the issues that we face in Black communities around the country stem from the results of extra-marital sex. Teenage pregnancy, unplanned single parent homes, higher rates of HIV infection and higher rates of other sexually transmitted diseases are among the many issues that ail Black communities.

The Pastor has taken it upon himself to address an issue that many other pastors shy away from. I can remember about seven years ago, shortly after I got married a wise woman sat me down and shared with me, what she thought were the three most critical areas of marriage to pay attention to. The first two were taking care of your finances and communicating well and the third was “intimacy”. The reason why I’m sharing this quick story is of course to highlight the third area that she felt was important. It also happens to be the area that she spent the most amount of time discussing. I remember her suggesting that at times, it is hard for women to keep up with their husbands’ “demands” but she insisted that it was necessary at times to just “take one for the team”. Although the conversation was light and full of humor, I have never forgotten what she said and have gone on to have many discussions with married women who also place a high level of importance on “intimacy”, among other things, as a way of keeping their marriages happy and healthy.

So, here is the bottom line; if you’re married, have lots and lots of sex! Pastor Mike Scruggs thinks it’s a great idea and I’m willing to bet that if you’re a married woman, your husband will agree with the pastor! If you’re not married, refrain from having lots and lots of sex! You may just be protecting yourself from many diseases and if you’re a man, you decrease the chances of sharing your paycheck (read: pay child support) with a woman you didn’t marry for 18 to 25 years!

Walter “BlackBond” Cobb: What Men Like in Women

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Do You have the time is an age old pick up line that is hardly used in this manner any longer, but I think I will start using it when getting to know a woman. Today, women are in the work force accomplishing more than they ever have and many often have to juggle running a home and a family on their own. I commend them for this, but so often they are not making time for life. To me, there are very few traits that are as attractive as a woman having a zest for life. But where has that zest gone??? I hear about women who hit the snooze button a few times in the morning and roll out the bed in just enough time to get dressed and head for work. No breakfast being made. Many just grab some junk in the morning as they hit the drive through for their morning coffee. An even worse phenomenon happens in the evening. Women are saying they don’t have enough time to cook dinner for themselves or their kids as they are putting extra hours in at the office and are too tired to cook when they get home. So take out it is, or even worse, fast food drive through.

Okay, we know this and now you are asking what does this have to do with male/female relationships. When a man starts thinking that he wants to get to know a woman seriously, he considers a lot of things. To me, a woman who cannot seem to carve out enough time in her daily routine for herself, will have you competing for time with her. Even if she likes you! Now I am all for earning your attention but if we have to compete with life we will lose every time. Women always say men have short attention spans and this is a sure fire way to lose our attention. It is endearing to me when I hear a woman telling me how she makes time to hit the gym and take care of herself. It makes me think she will also make the time to take care of me. Right or wrong this is how we think. Read the rest here.

Marriage and the truth about it

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

I generally try to minimize how much advice I give about marriage mainly because having only being married close to seven years, I still feel that in “marriage world”, I’m still a baby and have a lot to learn! That being said, I do love to share good information when I come across it.

I read this blog post this morning and it really resonated with me so I HAD to share! Read it here and let me know your thoughts.

What Weiner, Schwarzenegger and Eddie Long have in common-Marriage!

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

At a glance, it seems that Eddie Long, Anthony Weiner and Arnold Schwarzenegger really only have one thing in common; they are public figures who were publicly disgraced for their alleged and in two of the cases, admitted inappropriate sexual behavior. What has been on my mind every single time one of these stories has flooded all the media outlets is their wives. All these men are married and as such, have not only publicly humiliated their wives but have possibly exposed them to deadly sexually transmitted diseases.

The department of health in Massachusetts recently announced that HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death for African-American women in the state; most of whom became infected by their intimate partners. I bring this up to bring attention to an area of these sensational stories that most media outlets don’t seem to be interested in talking about. Women, especially black women are being infected with deadly diseases at an alarming rate and the people who are infecting them are their husbands and partners.

While the news reports talk about whether Eddie Long should step down from the pulpit or whether or not Anthony Weiner should resign from public office, no mention is made of what they have exposed their wives to. It’s time for us to shift the focus on all these stories! Yes, these men have an obligation to their congregations or constituents but what about the vows that they made to love and protect their wives? It’s time for us to stop asking if they “used public (fill in the blank)” during the course of their affairs and ask if they used “protection” because failure to do so not only put their lives in danger but it put the lives of their wives in danger as well.