Monday, September 27, 2010

Marriage: From The Mouths of Men

Obviously, I'm not a man. As a woman, I don't believe that we can think for men nor should we try and vice versa. I believe we should do the best we can to have clarity in our own relationships. That's about it.

That said, I wanted to know what some of the men I know think about marriage. Most are single and dating while another is engaged. Finally, I know a man who's been married 18 years and to hear him speak, they're like newlyweds. These are THEIR words, only edited for brevity (but not ruining the integrity of what they've said) and grammar. Its their truth. It might get a little lengthy but there's some good stuff here & might spark another post later. SO the question was: Do you want to get married? If so, why?

M.O.B, mid-20s: No time soon...would be nice to eventually get married but probability of it happening the correct way is not in favor. Ducks must be lined up and everything fall into place beforehand. So to answer your question, don't think so. *Clarity to ducks must be lined up* Both must compliment each other somehow. Finances are #1, admit it or not. Trust, security, respect, and health.

G, early 30s: Yes, I would like a family and if I were to have children, it would be by my wife.

Kane (engaged to one of my SisterFriends/Wondertwin), mid 30s: I look at Lucky and I love her like Neo and Trinity ("The Matrix"). I would fight to the end for her. Even though we're different in some ways, she helps keep my Universe balanced. I loved her from the first time I saw her and thinks she's just as beautiful as the first day I saw her. As far as getting married, I can’t see myself with anyone else. She holds me down and my two boys. Well OUR two boys. We have great conversations and talk about anything. One great thing is she makes me laugh so much. I love coming home to her. It’s nothing like working all day and she's at home and I get to see her beautiful face. I kiss her when I leave and when I come home - that’s the best part of the day. At the end of the day it is no option for me whether I would be marrying her. I always knew that. Almost instantly. I would be playing myself if I don’t. It’s all love

Bread, early 30s: Not really but I will have to because I don't want my kids to possibly feel weird or under-served. I would get married if we could have regular threesomes or I could have a random sex partner outside the marriage every now and then. I like sex too much and I usually get bored with one person after like a year. I don't believe in the feasibility of monogamy...I think it goes against nature, but society forces us to do it...thus a 50+% divorce rate.

Aston, late 20s: I think I do. I don't see it happening or want it to happen any time soon. I assume later on I would want to. After I'm stable with a career, maybe a condo or house and traveled a few places then I would evaluate again how I feel about marriage. Why do I want to get married? Honestly IDK...but I know why I wouldn't: (1) I'm worried that the relationship would get stale/boring and (2) If we're not legally married then there's no ugly divorce process and paperwork - both of us can just leave. I have no problem spending the rest of my life with one person so that's not a reason why I wouldn't get married.

FP (paraphrased - it was late when I heard this so please don't kill me. This was the gist of what he had to say), early 30s: Yes, I would like to get married to the right person when the time is right. I've been in fulfilling relationships in the past with women who've had great qualities and so I know what its like to be with someone who satisfies you on different levels. A person who shares your ideals and where there's a mutual trust and respect are some of the basics for a successful type of marriage. I'd also like to have children and I'd like to do that with my wife.

Lion (married 18 years), early 40s: I was always taught to respect women and put women on pedestals. I can count the number of relationships I've had on one had from my late teen years through my early 20s before I started dating the wife. I knew her for awhile before we started dating. Oncee we started and fell in love, we realized how much we had in common. It didn't take us much longer before we had "the talk" where we discussed our intentions, desires and future plans. So, the short answer to why did I get married is: we decided together that we were ready to take that step since we were in love, serious about our commitment, and were ready to move on and put in the work to make the union last forever.

Let's Discuss.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Who's Mad?

"I may sound bitter/I’m a little bitter/ Just a little bitter/because you were with her..."

Well that's putting it mildly, Marsha. I don't know if you've heard this song by Marsha Ambrosius (former member of Floetry *le sigh*) but the title "I Hope She Cheats On You (With a Basketball Player) has become a little topic of discussion in certain circles. Why? Marsha is...bitter. It seems as though one of two things happened here: (1) the man left her for another woman or (2) they broke up and she's found out that he's with someone else now. I'm going with the former because otherwise, is there a real need for the song? Plus, it just makes a better story.

Before I go on, let me also say that this topic also has to do with me having just finished reading Getting To Happy by Terry McMillian. It revisits our four friends from Waiting To Exhale and goodness, one of them is bitter. Not to ruin the book for anyone, that's all I'll say.

Moving on.

When a break-up occurs, especially when an outside party is involved, there's lots of anger. Seemingly even more anger than a break-up where two people have outgrown each other or some other reason. One party (or maybe, both) has chosen to avoid the issues and instead, go out to have some fun with someone else which results in extra problems. When the truth comes to the light, the cheated on person usually says something like "You're gonna get what's coming to you. Its called karma, muthaeffa!"

So to hear Marsha say "I hope she cheats on you with a basketball player," is saying "I hope she does to you what you did to me but with someone who is hotter than you." Is it bitter? Perhaps. Is it honest? In the moment - definitely. The reason is because they want you to feel the pain even worse. They want your pride and your confidence to be broken down in a way that you have never known. They want you to remember when you did it to them and to realize, "Maybe I deserved this."

How long do you let this go on though? Do you write a song? A book? A letter? Poem? Do you cry it out? Or even more dreadful, do you put yourself through the pain of keeping in contact with the person just to say angry things to them (no matter how true) until you're over it? And further, what if you have more than one relationship that ends because of infidelity? Do you have that bitter feeling for every failed relationship? Or worse, do you relive the old bitterness and add it to the new bitterness?

Questions I ask as I listen to songs like this. Let's Discuss.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Calling Me Out My Name

There aren't many neighborhoods in Brooklyn that aren't very active. Mine is no different. My particular block is split in half - one half of the block is extremely loud and the rest is pretty quiet. On the more loud end (and subsequently, the rest of the neighborhood), the conversations can be quite colorful and more often than not, no one is trying to hide what is being said. Even on the quiet end, the "entertainment" often reaches right in front of my window to give me everything tv can't at the moment.

But there's always a problem with the conversations I pass and hear on an almost daily basis: the disrespectful words that come out of some mens' mouths when they're talking to their wives/girlfriends/shorty.

Even worse is how the women allow themselves to be spoken to and treated. I have seen men say (and do) things that have been so cold and disgusting that no apology or "talking it out" could ever really make it better. But the women are always running behind the man to cry and say "Why would you say that to me," "Let's talk - you're just upset" and variations of the sort. Now I don't condone a woman being called out of her name or being treated like she's the bottom of her man's shoe and I recognize that some harsh words are spoken during arguments right in the moment. However, when a man can continuously speaking to his woman like she is the scum of the earth, it is time to turn it around and ask: Why keep blaming him?

It sounds good and plausible to see a situation where a guy is being disrespectful to his girl and always label him a dog or a jerk. He's probably both. As women, we do it more often than not and especially when it comes to defending our friends and the shenanigans of theirs significant others. But if we're being true friends, is it not important that we also help our friends (and OURSELVES) realize that we are continuing a trend in our relationships by allowing someone to disrespect and berate seemingly on schedule? There comes a time (and that time should be all the time) when you have to realize that you cannot change any other person but you can change your REACTION to how a person treats you.

So in addition to asking, "Who you calling a bitch," we should be asking ourselves, "Why'd I let you call me a bitch."