Category Archives: Marriage

Never Agree to be Anyone’s Secret

When I was a young girl, I wondered how my life would turn out when I became an adult. I grew up on Chicago's gritty west-side. I had seen many real life Unsung stars. Youth, beauty, talent derailed by drugs, violence and love gone wrong. I did not know how I would make it out but I knew that I would do my best not to end up a statistic. Drugs stole potential, violence ended lives, and love had the power to lift higher or drop you lower that the dirt.

The Secret

I remember asking God to let me learn the lessons from the lives around me. I had no desire to live every experience. I owe my life not to my own strength but to God answering my prayer.

A cool thing started happening. People all around me started opening up to me. I was that friend who listened to everyone else's problems. I could offer advice from a biblical and sometime naive perspective. I listened and learned.

I have concluded that a lot of the heartache women experience come from a crucial misstep at the onset of a relationship. They agree to be the secret. They agree to ambiguity. I have heard it recounted to me a thousand times. He says something like, 'Let's be friends and see where this leads.'  The relationship progresses as follow: The guy calls all of the time. You two go out on dates, watch movies, eat dinner. You are spending so much time together that you assume that it is on the path to somewhere.

If it does not come out of his mouth, NEVER assume.

Eventually, you become intimate. The relationship status has technically not changed but you and your emotions have. After you have given too much and can no longer take it, the conversation happens. What am I to you? He hedges – states that he is not ready for a relationship. He never meant to hurt you. Out of his back pocket he brings out the, 'We agreed to be friends.' line.

 Sherlock Holmes Follow the Clues.

There were clues all around. He never introduced you as his girlfriend. Your quasi-dating was a secret. You put on the face of friendship around others while secretly being physically much more. This is the trick 'nice' guys use to sleep around and still consider themselves to be good people. Dogs do doggish things – lie, sleep around – without apology. 'Nice' sleep around with their friends purposely leaving the relationship ambiguous so that you are to blame for your own hurt feelings.

Almost Doesn't Count

I am writing in second person but I have witnessed this in real-life many times. I was so close to becoming a statistic until I remembered the lesson. I told him I cannot do ambiguity in relationships. I chose to remain celibate. It is my armour against such ruses. No 'nice' guy and/or dog will keep up the charade if there is no physical payout.

Living a godly life requires tough, heart-breaking decisions. It means going against what you feel for what the word of God says is right. Living this life has kept me from many pitfalls. I can see the results of making a different choice in the lives of others.  I can see clearly where the 'let's be friends and see where this leads' thing goes. I saw it on the face of the women recounting their tales of heartbreak. The answer is nowhere. It leads to nowhere.

 

 

 

 

 

Heart of a Woman

A woman’s heart is the most powerful force on the planet. For love, a mother will charge a lion, lift an SUV off of a child. That is the love of a mother. There is another kind of emotion – the love between a man and woman. This, too, is quite powerful. I know of a woman who moved across the country to be with the man of her dreams. A mother’s love is eternal. The love a woman holds for a man has a shelf life.

Shelf life is the length of time that a commodity may be stored without becoming unfit for use or consumption. (Source) What happens to things deemed unfit for consumption? To the left, to the left. lol

I am not simply writing about my experiences. I know so many women who, once they have moved on, get bombarded with tearful apologies and begging all to no avail. So, I am writing this to help a brother out.

Dear men:

You do not hold a woman’s heart captive forever. There is a window of time in which she will make herself available to be wooed. When she has closed that window, it remains closed. You can stand outside tapping on it, throwing pebbles or whatever. You have, in her eyes, become unfit for consumption. In other words – EXPIRED.

It is not about hate or dislike. It is indifference. I liken it to the moment I realized WWF wrestling was staged. It was still the same cast and show but the passion for it had dissipated. I would have to willfully suspend disbelief in order to enjoy the fantasy. As a wise woman once said, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

This year’s forecast is looking quite nice. I am open for a ‘no limits, no boundaries’ kind of year. There is no room for nostalgia of something that never was. There is no room for expired goods on my shelf.

The moral of this post is to value the people in your life, now. Never take them for granted. You never know when your time will be up.

 

Felicia

Dating Married Men, Really?

A weird thing happened at the grocery store last night. I am placing my things on the conveyor belt when I over hear this conversation between a young women and a slightly older guy.

They guy must have paied her a compliment and this girl start flirting. . .HARD. So, the guy is speaking in a barely audible voice and this girl is loud enough so that the coonversation gets my attention.

I look at the guy suspiciously because he was acting weird. He finally says, "Well, I'm not single. I'm married."

This should have been the end of the firtatious encounter, right? Right?

WRONG.

The girl says, "We can still hang. I mean, I just like to now what it is."

Really?

I should have been minding my own business but the virtuous woman in my gave him the ugliest look. I paid for my groceries and left. I am not sure how the encounter ended but I know how it affected me. I was saddened. This girl seemed really young, like 19 or something. This guy had to be in his early 40s. She was so brazen and shameless.

Is it really that hard out here? Really?

Your thoughts.

 

Would I Marry Me?

I was watching RNB Divas LA (don't judge me) and Chante Moore introduced an exercise to the ladies. She asked them if they would marry themselves and why or why not. Later on in the episode, the ladies flew to Vegas to get married to themselves. Part of this exercise was to write vows to yourself. Tears ensued. I love this version of RnB Divas. These women actually uplift one another.

First,  I think this idea is pretty ingenious. We as women think that love is putting someone before yourself. The problem is not everyone feels this way and reciprocity never occurs. I have learned the hard way (still learning) that people will take and take until there is nothing left of you!

1. I vow to make me the priority!

I missed yesterday's abs workout. I was just so friggin' tired. I almost left work early, I felt so bad. I took some time to recuperate – and you know what? It is okay. I have to learn to put me first even when it comes to me.

2. I vow to forgive myself, learn from my missteps and start again. 

I really think that I give more in relationships (of all kinds) than I receive.This always leaves me with the short end of the stick and my little feelings hurt.

3. I vow to make people earn my affection.

I have always been an absolute sucker for a compliment, fishing for them when not freely given. That need for validation was anchored in insecurity not vanity. I have evolved.

4. I vow to compliment myself daily.

To sum it all up.

 5. I vow to love me without apologies.

 So, to answer my own question, would I Marry Me? Heck Yeah!

 

Pilar Sanders, Porsha Stewart and Pretty Princesses Everywhere

I am Four Weddings watching David Tutera fanatic. I love corny 80s love songs. *hums Lionel Richie's Hello* lol. Although, single, I love, love. I want to see couple, especially fabulous ones, succeed.

 It always bums me out when people who seemed so happy divorce. Pilar and Deion Sanders; Porsha and Kordell Stewart.

It amazes me the capacity of men, who deem themselves good, Christian men, to hurt. These type of men demand obeisance and any spark of personality, or dreams outside of HIM and he will spare nothing to leave you high and dry.

I don't know Pilar or Porsha (or their husbands), but I loved the idea of them. I liked the idea of the sista being treated like a pampered princess for once. Then royalty discovered reality. . .shows that is. It became evident that these type of men are threatened by the humanity of their princesses. When they cease to behave like objects, they are dismissed.

Zora

But enough of celebrities. Truth is I don't know them and everything I just wrote is pure speculation derived from an edited television show.  What about a girl like you, a friend or even me?

 I know women, who marry grown kids. They essentially have to be the most responsible person in their relationship. If they are luck, their child-man holds down a steady job and only plays with his friends on weekends.

Harsh? Maybe.

In Zora Neale Hurston's novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, the grandmother 'Nanny' has been a slave and her heart's desire was to see her grandchild up on a pedestal, free from the hard labors of life. She arranges a marriage to a land-owning older man for Janie, her granddaughter. Nanny laments, "De (colored) woman is de mule uh de world so fur as Ah can see."

The black woman is *insert stereotypical adjective here*. Most would say strong. She can do what no other woman can. But can she? Can she be . . .carefree.

I understand that princesses are the stuff of fairy tale fantasies. Life is about working hard for and being grateful for all that you have. Michelle Obama is the epitome of this – smart, successful, wife and strong. Mrs. Obama is a hero of mine but so are my pretty princesses.

In all  honesty, and on my blog I MUST be honest, I would love a man to take charge of the heavy lifting and let me be dainty. I could finally grown my nails out lol.Until that magical moment, I stay on my grind.

Am I alone?

 

 

 

Why Would Anyone Want To Marry You?

The idea of marriage and finding the man of destiny that God has chosen for us, is a revisited conversation topic for me and my single friends. In fact, yesterday, I had quite an interesting conversation, in which a friend said that marriage is not your ministry when I have heard the message preach that marriage is exactly that – a ministry. Given the current environment of conflicting ideas and expectations, I was unexpectedly challenged in my idea of what a marriage mate is by an article someone posted on Facebook from Relevant Magazine, "You Never Marry the Right Person."

Yes, sometimes Facebook actually yields something thought provoking.

The gist of the article is that we expect too much from another person. We want someone to be perfect and fulfill our emotional/sensual needs while never expecting much from us in return. That person should just be perfect while accepting our crusty flawed selves. Yes, I mean crusty.

Another idea posed in the article is that it is impossible to find the perfect mate because marriage fundamentally changes who were are. When you enter into a marriage, you are learning to love a new person and therin lies the rub. 

I was talking to a guy and he was detailing what he expects/likes in a woman. What he wants is not unrealistic but did have a tinge of I want you to be more wholesome than I have to be. Having just watched an old Eddie Murphy stand up, I shied away from the knee-jerk reaction to snap my fingers and roll my neck all the while yelling, "and what about you?!" lol

The author of the article actually articulates in an analogous to the Bible sort of way how we need to love like Christ loves us. We are epically flawed yet eternally loved in Christ, right? Why cannot we love another flawed individual without the expectation of perfection on their part and not ours?

Interesting idea, no?

 

 

In Dating – I Want A Little Magic

A chance encounter. A fateful event. Something to indicate that we (whoever that other part of we is) are destined to be. Is that crazy?

Don't answer that.

A friend of mine jokes that I am like the character Sara Thomas in the movie Serendipity. She is all like, Felicia, the stars have to align and the heavens open as sign that he (whoever that he is) is the one. Ok, really? I get her point. I am not so delusional as to think the stars will literally align and the sun shine down on the forehead of my intended but I do have to admit, I want a little magic.

I used to be really bad at the Lord-is-this-a-sign-itis. I would literally, mid-conversation- stare intently at a guy and ask – Lord is he the one. I am sure all of those guys thought I was crazy. lol Maybe I am a little bit. I mean, I was a smart kid. I paid attention in school. Completed my MBA – yada, yada, and the yada. So, I am capable of learning. Yet, no one has ever taught me how to date. I truly suck at it. I always, always, always get my signals crossed. If I project friendship, I get love letters. If I project interest, I get the "you're the bomb.com" line from Just Wright.

Serendipity

I blame my mother! lol Isn't easy just to blame our parent(s). I distinctly remember a guy that would come by and visit me when I was like fifteen or something. It was so very benign. We would sit on my front porch and chat. Well, one day my mom was out there and this guy gets the courage to ask my mom if he could take me to the movies. To which, my mom replies, "I don't think she is ready for that." Point. Blank. Period.

I was MORTIFIED. So much so that I told him he should probably stop coming around. Overreacted much? You betcha. I have always been a bit emotional but the guy I did end up with, never asked her squat. He just would sneak around when she was at work.

Parents, smh.

Fast forward today and I am still mentally on that porch waiting. Wow, that was like the saddest line I have ever written, lol. I have to get off of the stupid porch, for heavens sake! But, how? Be more practical, I guess.

I am not saying that I am growing cynical;  maybe a little more, dare I say it, practical. Even as I type this, I still hope – just a bit – for a little magic.

I Don’t Wanna Be Joan!

My faithful readers know that I love the now defunct TV show Girlfriends. I wrote a post about. Like to read it? Here it go.

Well, someone today compared me to the main character Joan Clayton and not in a good way. This person – who shall go unnamed because she does not want to be mentioned on my blog – said that, like Joan, I was beautiful, successful, and possessed the inability to find a man due to my unrealistic standards and overall craziness. Can you believe that?

Arnold

I am totally capable of self-analysis and I can admit that I can be a bit dramatic at times but I do not believe I have unrealistic standards.

Okay, truth moment, I do need a lot of attention. I expect a guy who wants me to really show it. I want to come first. I want him to be God-fearing  diseased free, heterosexual, intellectual, financially responsible, over-the- moon about me, love-his-momma-without-being-a-mommas-boy, no-baby-momma-having, Laz Alonso look alike.

Too much?

Okay, I'll take or leave the Laz Alonso part but ugh! Why must I be antagonized for wanting something good? Does not the Bible say that no good thing will He withhold from him who walks upright?

I was watching this episode of Girlfriends on YouTube – don't judge me! In it, Joan messes over a super nice guy and a super fun guy for the exciting guy who was not all that in to her. She went too far and gave too much only to be let down in the end.  I had an epiphany. Oh gosh, I am Joan!

Is not admitting that you have a problem the first step to recovery? I am just still learning how to accept someone's imperfections without accepting less than what I deserve.

 

Don't judge me. Help me! lol

 

 

HIV: Pregnancy Is Not the Worst Thing That Can Happen to You

I was watching this PBS documentary about HIV rates among African Americans and was taken aback by the reasoning of women and young men regarding sexual activity. A lot of African Americans:

a. Don't talk about sex and HIV transmission and

b. Have an antiquated view of sex/HIV.

Seriously, pregnancy is not the worst thing that can happen to you.

I am going to shift this discussion in a slightly different direction. I believe that that there is a direct correlation between the breakdown of married two-parent households and the alarming HIV rates among heterosexual women. Hear me out.

According to USA today, 80% of babies born to black women (first time) are born out of wedlock.  Babies are born when two people (not married) have unprotected sex. HIV is transmitted primarily through unprotected sex. Is anyone, besides me, seeing a correlation?

In this PBS documentary, this young, beautiful educated black woman was saying that she had met her 'prince charming' and fell head over heels. This older guy one day stated that he did not have a condom. She rationalized that she was in love and the worst thing that could happen was that she would get pregnant. She then stated that was okay because she wanted to have his baby. No marriage, no courtship, no pre-marital blood test, just 'have his baby'. He gave her HIV.

I used to work in social services. So many young girls and their young friends would have baby after baby with guys who cannot take care of them or the children and who will not marry them. Yet, they are offering their very bodies to these guys for a bit of companionship.

How can we teach our young women and ourselves that we are worth the wait?

When I feel weak in my flesh, God will send me a reminder that celibacy is his perfect way. If you find your 'prince charming' he should be gentleman enough to wait for you and man enough to get tested with you.

I'm just saying.

 

Learning to Love Your Spouse

As part of our seemingly endless conversations about relationships, a friend mentioned the idea of marrying someone with whom you are not in love. As evidence, this friend mentioned a woman who says that she married a man because everyone else told her that he was such a "good" man. It was when their child turned two years of age that she looked up one day and realized that she loved him. Now she is head-over-heels, over-the-moon in love.

Is this even possible? Think about it. You date, court, become engaged, plan a wedding, marry and have a child all the while waiting for love to blossom. The uber romantic in me says, posh! The faithful side of me thinks that this is possible. Maybe the man/woman that God has as your destiny mate is not the cat's meow in your eyes right now.Maybe the way someone loves you can transform them from frog to prince.

Bride

There is another side of me, the cynic. The cynic thinks what if after two years and a child, you look at your wonderfully devoted husband and get the sudden urge to run out of the front door and never come back.

Extreme?

I need more evidence. Can any of you attest to this love comes after phenomenon? Please leave a comment or two.

 

Thanks.