Home About Me Top 5 Misconceptions Around Being Young, Black, Married and Male

Top 5 Misconceptions Around Being Young, Black, Married and Male

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Wooohoooo ... Marriage!

Before we get into today’s topic, let me first shout-out the rest of the SBM staff for bringing me on board. I’m looking forward to contributing and bringing my married man’s perspective to many of the topics we often discuss here. I can be a little long winded at times so forgive me if you’re eyes get tired. Lastly, those of you on twitter can catch me here: @MrSpradley

I am 27 years old and entering my 5th year as a married man, actually, yesterday, March 10th marked the 5th year anniversary of the day I proposed to my wife. Pretty ironic considering SBM’s post on engagement rings. One of the most interesting aspects of being young, black, married and male is that because so few of my peers are also married, there are an abundance of misconceptions floating around about what this life is actually like. From the smaller ones like, the idea that my marriage was the product of an unexpected pregnancy, to the larger ones like the assumption that my marriage is perfect, marriage for many is a mystery and in today’s post, I want to go through some of these misconceptions and hopefully spark some discussion around the gap between expectations and reality when it comes to being married.

1. “Do you guys have kids?”

Invariably, after my wife or I tells someone that we’re married, their next question is always “Do you guys have kids?” or “How many kids do you guys have?” It’s not so much that I mind folks asking this, I don’t, what intrigues me is the subtle judgment that often lays just beneath the surface of what is said when this question is asked. Sometimes it seems like the idea of two (relatively) young people getting married is so foreign, that, folks assume that kids must have had something to do with it. Not that I think there’s anything wrong with getting married to create a stable home for your children or a child that’s on the way – it’s just not my situation.

2. “Love is all you need.”

Another major misconception around marriage is the idea that, as long as you love each other, everything will work out. This is a fallacy. The truth is, love is not only an emotion, but a verb. What I mean is, love is not only something you feel, but also something you do. When you’re married, you can feel all the love in the world for your mate but if those feelings don’t inspire action, they’re worthless. The reality is, sometimes, you’re not going to feel very loving. There are plenty of times where your spouse won’t meet your expectations, will hurt you or disappoint you or make you as angry as you can possibly be. Β In those times, despite how you’re feeling, you still have to choose to love them, and fulfill the commitments you’ve made to them. Β If you don’t have something other than an emotion you describe as “love” as the foundation for your relationship, there’s a good chance you’ll falter with the ebbs and flows of that feeling.

3. “Marriage Changes you, or, you can change once you’re married.”

This idea that a wedding can be the impetus for major change in an individual is one of the bigger misconceptions around marriage. Getting married doesn’t change people, it exposes people. Everything about who you were before you got married gets put under a magnifying glass once you were married. I have a few male friends who hare habitual cheaters, but, they believe in the sanctity of marriage and plan to remain faithful to their wives once they take the plunge. I tell them all the time, marriage won’t make you stop cheating, you’ve got to break that habit before you propose to a woman. If you’ve been unfaithful to your last 5 girlfriends, you’ll be unfaithful to your wife. Break the habit first, then get married. On the flip side, I know plenty of women who plan on allowing their husbands to lead once they get married; problem is, they’ve never allowed a man to lead them in any other relationship. Again – be the change first. Trying to learn the nuances of submission after you’ve already walked down the aisle is almost impossible.

4. “Once married, life as you know it, is officially over.”

This misconception is partly true, but not as true as folks assume. Single dudes always think that once a man gets married he’s retiring from all things that might be considered fun. This is not true. The truth is, marriage is as fun as you make it. All of the things I enjoyed before getting married, like partying, traveling, drinking, going out to dinner, making sweet love, laughing – all that good stuff can be transferred into your marriage. The only difference is that you’ll be doing all that stuff with the same person, for-ev-er, for-ev-er, for-ev-er. If you’ve done a good job choosing a person whose company you never tire of, you’re straight. It’s actually better because you now have a permanent partner-in-crime. Someone who’s always on your team, always takes your side, and always has your back. You develop your own language and signals, you basically communicate telepathically and that sort of connection should enhance the fun you were having as a single person, not hinder it. Now, if you’re the guy who attaches a great deal of value to being with new women, then, this is a larger adjustment.

5. “Finding a spouse is about finding the proverbial ‘soul-mate.'”

People often assume that finding a person to spend the rest of your life with is about finding a soulmate. In reality, soul-mates are made not born. It’s not that there’s one single solitary person out there aimlessly wandering the Earth waiting for you to find them. Therefore it’s not really a good idea for you to wander the Earth aimlessly waiting for some kindred spirit to discover you. There are plenty of people who could be perfect for you, and you might be the perfect partner for more people than you could possibly fathom. I always tell people, my wife is not special. I’m not special either. We had great chemistry together, enjoyed each others company and became good friends. We used that friendship as the foundation for our relationship. But, she would have made a great wife for lots of guys. She’s that dope. And I would have been a fair-to-middlin husband for lots of women because I think I’m pretty ok myself. The point is, be productive with yourself in the time that you’re alone. Don’t approach life as if you’re waiting to find someone or for someone to find you, just be productive, make yourself the best person you can be. The relationship that grows into your marriage will be a direct reflection of the work you’ve put into being the best “you” you can be.

So there you have it folks. These are some of the things I’ve noticed in my time being married. What sort of expectations do you guys have around marriage? What do you look forward to? Β Are there things I haven’t addressed above that you’re curious about or have questions around. Feel free to ask in the comments section.

For those of you who join the discussion, I’ll see you shortly, as for the lurkers, I hope you enjoyed my first post here and I’ll catch you in two weeks.

Until then – stay low and keep firing.

Comment(200)

  1. I know I'm going to get judged by the ladies for seizing on THIS…

    " I know plenty of women who plan on allowing their husbands to lead once they get married; problem is, they’ve never allowed a man to lead them in any other relationship."

    ….but quite frankly my dears, I don't give a damn. I'll return tomorrow to comment further.

    1. I saw THAT, and I said to myself

      I am tired of banging on women, especially the ones who are American & have darker melanin, ride on the "S & I" Ship,

      I rather think about the positives now…

    2. @WisdomIsMisery

      LOL. Continue to seize because the statement is true for many women. I explained this concept in the past to a former roommate. She gave me an attitude and I proceeded to give examples as to why she can’t maintain healthy romantic relationships with men. Can’t tell these kind of women a damn thing. Oh well…more good, yummy men for me.

    3. Its true though. Or… we pick men who are incapable of leading us and then get frustrated when they can't live up to expectations. I did that a lot in my early 20's.

      1. Hmmm also an interesting point. I purposefully left this open to see what people would say but in general, I'm usually all for women being more controlling in, at minimum, their life decisions concerning men. Although, like Most said if they've never conceded to a man, how will they suddenly do so when married? I'll admit I never looked at it that way.

        Note, he also made a good preceding and counter-point about men who cheat. Anyway, I need more room so I'm going to cliff rope down to the bottom to comment some more.

        1. This is what I mean about being single TOO long. After spending years in the single life, it’s hard to switch up all of a sudden to be a husband/wife.

          I had a lot to learn and I got married in my late 20's. What was okay while I was dating would not translate well in my married life.

          So there goes the theory that playing house prepares you for marriage…because it doesn't. It actually does the opposite.

          http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/03/us/03marry.html

          "Couples who live together before they get married are less likely to stay married, a new study has found. But their chances improve if they were already engaged when they began living together."

          Some will say no way, this can't be true. Well, look at the divorce rate, it is obvious that this recent phenomenon of shacking up has not created strong marriages. Further more, it hard to change a mindset once it’s created. A bf/gf arrangement is not like marriage. I have to keep repeating that because it is SO TRUE!

        2. @ Beef Bacon

          You stated this…

          "So there goes the theory that playing house prepares you for marriage…because it doesn't. It actually does the opposite."

          I semi-agree with your stance on how playing house doesn't prepare you for marriage because you certainly learn a lot. I'm not with the person I shacked up with anymore but living with him open my eyes to so much. I think because of that year I lived with him, I am more equipped for marriage.

          Although shacking up may not prepare you to get married with your current mate, it can give you some of the tools needed to prepare you for marriage in the future. I think it's the whole learning from your failures thing. Now would I shack up again? H E double hockey sticks NO.

        3. @ TellyLongLegs

          "Although shacking up may not prepare you to get married with your current mate, it can give you some of the tools needed to prepare you for marriage in the future."

          Those tools won't be the right tools though and that is my point. You can find out what you will and won't accept w/o living with a person btw. It does not take waking up to someone every morning to get to know that person. If you pay attention on dates, while spending time together, etc. You will learn everything you need to know without living together.

          The issue with living together is this: although you may care/love that person, you still realize that YOU ARE NOT married and that will bring about un-married like choices. Also, you learn habits from that relationship that you WILL take into a marriage. Those habits won’t work well in a marriage. For example, If I am a smart person, living with you doesn’t mean I am going to give my all in every area with you (buying a house, pooling finances, closing my options to other suitors.). So when I get married, I am still trying to maintain that independent status because this is what I am used too and it will be hard to relinquish those independent ways.

          If I am just living with someone, I know that at any moment I can walk away with NO consequences (divine or earthly). That mindset won't go away simply by saying I DO.

          Living together is what a lot of people believe will prepare them but in reality is teaches you habits that are hard to un-learn and habits that are just not beneficial to a marriage.

        4. I'm totally in agreement with Beef Bacon on this cohabitation thing. Something I've learned from talking to several couples on both ends of the spectrum.

    4. I’m still responding to the bolded quote above:

      This was put into context for me recently actually. A woman I was talking to said she didn’t see me as an “Alpha male.” Not as an insult or at least I didn’t take it as one.

      We’re products of our environments. My folks have been married 29 years and I would consider my mother an “independent woman.” Not like the non-independent women who run around screaming about independence while depending on everyone for financial, physical and emotional support. No, truly independent.

      However, as I’ve gotten older and I’m learning more about my parents as people, not parents, my mom was telling me how all these years we’ve been moving around it’s been because of my dad’s job. She was always willing to move and support him for the betterment of the family. This is only one example but for length, I’ll focus on this. Essentially, I realized that while I had the perception my mom was “independent” she was, in fact, submissive in this regard and I never even realized it.

      See, I’ve never felt comfortable “leading” a lot of women because I would not like to be lead (what I perceive as being told what to do) myself. I’m perfectly fine being a leader in my own life; it’s how I got through school and have advanced in the ‘corporate world,’ among other accomplishments.

      It’s telling another grown ass person what to do that admittedly I’ve struggled with. Additionally, I find a lot of women claim they want to be “lead” then fight men on every decision they make. That doesn’t make sense; either be lead or don’t.

      My general take on life is I’m going to do what I want to do and I’m not going to do what I don’t want to do. Thus, if you make a decision and it’s something I can go along with, I don’t see the need to have an in-depth discussion about it. My silence is a statement of my agreeing, because trust me if I didn’t, you would hear about it. Further, if I make a decision and you disagree, I’m probably going to do it anyway if I feel it doesn’t hurt anyone and in the long run it’ll be better for me, and as a result, you. However, as Dr. J pointed out to me on another blog, I do need to improve my view on marriage being a ‘union’ of two people working towards a common goal.

      I think a lot of men and women – self included – project many of their own personal experiences on others and thus, judge them when they don’t act the way we would act or we expect them to act, completing neglecting the fact that this person is not us.

      With all this said, good write-up Most. Got me thinking and I don’t like to think on Fridays. It’ll be good to have the perspective of a married man amongst the bloggers.

      1. It’s telling another grown ass person what to do that admittedly I’ve struggled with. Additionally, I find a lot of women claim they want to be “lead” then fight men on every decision they make. That doesn’t make sense; either be lead or don’t.

        I am from the cloth THAT "I don't want to really LEAD, but if I did, I really would know WHAT TO DO…"

        Women like that are not HONEST like "BerriBlk" & need to be screened & cut loose…

      2. Here's the thing Wis. Leadership in marriage is rarely about decision making. As far as decisions go on a daily basis, they get split pretty evenly. It's not like my wife is saying "I want chicken" and I'm like, "No, we having lamb chops!" That's not leadership. Leadership is setting an example, submission is the recognition that an example has been set (whether that recognition is conscious or unconscious) and then following that example.

        So, if my wife and I get into an argument, and she raises her voice at me, I have a few choices:

        1) Raise my voice back and let the discussion devolve into a yelling match.

        2) Let her have her way because she got loud.

        3) End the conversation and then revisit it when cooler heads can prevail.

        Choice 1 is the immature man's move. Choice 2 is the simp's move, and Choice 3 is what a leader of the household would do. Choice 3 is the tougher choice because if she's yelling, and I tell her the conversation is over, she's not going to just then shut up and be quiet. She's gonna keep going, maybe even throw a few low blows. But being a leader, you gotta just eat those and know that only 1 person in the house is allowed to be guided by their emotion and that person is not you.

        Eventually she'll calm down and you can come up with some sort of compromise that addresses the situation. So then, not only have you solved the problem, but, you've set the example that 1) Yelling will never be tolerated. 2) Yelling won't get you you're way 3) It's not about me vs. you, it's about us vs. the problem.

        You do this for years and years and years, and overtime, you see your wife grow and mature and get better and you grow and get better too.

        That's leadership. It's not about decision making, it's about example setting.

        1. WOW…This is my 3rd favorite post of the day…

          Where did you learn THAT from…?

          I learned "Energy Flows Where The Attention Goes"

          I learned that in behavior training that IF you want to encourage behavior, you give attention to it… GOOD or BAD…

          If you want to discourage behavior, you show INDIFFERENCE…

          Men NEED to MASTER this…

          This is GOOD for parenting as well…

          #ManCrush

        2. Hmmm, interesting analogy. I'm still struggling with this so I'm probably not as clear or definitive as I would prefer. Clearly, I've had successful and long lasting relationships but I haven’t been married – my fault/choice, as I very well could be to some great women.

          Anyway, in short, I need to find a woman that compliments me – as it seems you have. Women who are looking for a 'father figure,' I believe, will not like me. I don't believe in telling someone what to do and I don’t think that'll ever change. You’re my woman, not my child.

          Women who are looking for a good man, I think, will be perfectly content with me. In fact, I believe many women fail to recognize that their boyfriend/husband/SO is just that, not their fathers. I prefer women who can submit or whatever term you (or anyone) chooses to use but I find I can't be with women who need that direction, as in they can’t function or make sound decisions on their own. As a result, they often wait for others to make them for them and assign the blame to everyone but themselves when things don’t work out. For the record, men are guilty of this too in some cases but that’s not today’s subject.

          It's easy to assess blame when you have no dog in the fight and you have the benefit and clarity of hindsight on your side. As you referenced in your post, I need a “partner-in-crime” not someone that’ll flip on me as soon as “the plan” doesn’t go exactly to plan, as it often does not.

        3. This post was an excellent read and it was written very well.

          The TheMostInteresting blessed us with this saying in his response above: "But being a leader, you gotta just eat those and know that only 1 person in the house is allowed to be guided by their emotion and that person is not you."

          The homie is on fire!

  2. Good Morning Sir Most…

    – Love your presentation… I can only imagine how many hours you have dedicated to get your writing to come off that smooth…

    – Even though I TRULY doubt I will be doing the DANCE of the married life, I know for a FACT that I do want HIGH QUALITY relationships with "DOPE" women… So, in some respect this post applies to me…

    The only two ways I SEE me getting to that point in USAIN BOLT's speed is

    – Changing ME to fit the kind of person that these women would be attractive & compatible with

    – Picking the RIGHT women & avoiding the WRONG women

    Just like the , the LOTTO WINNER, the "A" CELEBRITY, & the UNICORN… The Young Black Married Male IS A UNICORN in that respect, and you seem to handle it quite well…

    1. So I've read your comment like three times to be sure I understand everything at work within it.

      What about yourself do you feel lends you to not being able to being married? I noted that you said you would have to change yourself to fit that mold (paraphrasing) of what women would want. I believe there has to be something out there for everyone so that said, why couldn't there be a woman out there capable of bringing that out in you? Also, I see you believe you will have quality relationships… does this mean you could be that guy that has been with the lady for like 30 years just not with that piece of paper?

      1. So I’ve read your comment like three times to be sure I understand everything at work within it.

        WAVY!!! & Thoughtful

        What about yourself do you feel lends you to not being able to being married?

        As A MALE, I hate divorce law… Plain & Simple… KILLS MY INCENTIVE

        Women don't complain about Divorce Law In Western Society (Cause It Benefits THEM, in the same way MEN don't complain about "The Double Standard")

        From a purely incentive standpoint… A Marriage License doesn't do it for me…

        I noted that you said you would have to change yourself to fit that mold (paraphrasing) of what women would want. I believe there has to be something out there for everyone so that said, why couldn’t there be a woman out there capable of bringing that out in you?

        There are ALOT of physically attractive women out there, FACT… But mentally NOT there… And it would be NICE if I can find a woman, who can motivate me to be better (& HEALED) AND call me out when I'm not at my best… That would be a MIRACLE find among NYC BW , but I have to be the one to builld myself… End Of Story

        Also, I see you believe you will have quality relationships… does this mean you could be that guy that has been with the lady for like 30 years just not with that piece of paper?

        Definitely, and I know alot (not most women) of women don't get that, but in the right state, that is Common Law Marriage…

        I acknowledge that I will lose out on some legal benefits (glad I know…), I can live with that…

        1. "As A MALE, I hate divorce law… Plain & Simple… KILLS MY INCENTIVE "

          What is it about the divorce law that bothers you and other men soooo much?

        2. @Kema Thanks for asking…

          I will size it up like this… I don't believe that a government entity should TELL me or my WIFE, how to divide our assets… Or should be in our affairs in the FIRST place…

          Also… Divorce Law tends to be ONE-SIDED (Most of the Men Lose & Women GAIN, I'm I didn't use #WINNING)…

          Divorce ENCOURAGES bad behavior in WOMEN… Because as Most put it out there… Marriage ebbs & flows… So, as soon as the marriage hits a DOWN moment… Women start sizing up their exit strategy… If their was no incentive to leave (I can take the house, the kids & maybe the car AND he is not in the picture…) you would be surprised how many women would stay and be more willing to work it out… (7 out of 10… Divorces are initiated by women…)

          Am I a bad person for putting this out there…? Am I being an unreasonable human being…?

        3. As A MALE, I hate divorce law… Plain & Simple… KILLS MY INCENTIVE

          Women don’t complain about Divorce Law In Western Society (Cause It Benefits THEM, in the same way MEN don’t complain about “The Double Standard”)

          From a purely incentive standpoint… A Marriage License doesn’t do it for me…

          I can understand your point of view on the divorce law. I think as was already stated you are souring something great before it even started. I don't think that you should start a book by reading the last page either. It sours the moments in between each cover. I don't think you should spoil it so soon.

          There are ALOT of physically attractive women out there, FACT… But mentally NOT there… And it would be NICE if I can find a woman, who can motivate me to be better (& HEALED) AND call me out when I’m not at my best… That would be a MIRACLE find among NYC BW , but I have to be the one to builld myself… End Of Story

          I'll grant that there are a lot of physically attractive women out there. Some of the prettiest in the world are my girls (and you can not tell me otherwise) but I'm surrounded by wonderfully intelligent women. I know that there are some chicken heads and some beautiful women who can't hold water in their heads nor do they give any apparently πŸ˜‰ but just reading this blog daily should show you there are beautiful women with lots to say and brain to back it up. Perhaps, you just aren't ready to allow yourself to SEE what they have to offer you.

          Definitely, and I know alot (not most women) of women don’t get that, but in the right state, that is Common Law Marriage…

          I acknowledge that I will lose out on some legal benefits (glad I know…), I can live with that…

          Alright, so you wanna give her that common law marriage thing… I can't disagree but remember that the same divorce laws that come with regular marriages can often come with the common law ones… following well, common law. Might as well be sure you can get her pension, 401k, etc. right?

        4. I’ll grant that there are a lot of physically attractive women out there. Some of the prettiest in the world are my girls (and you can not tell me otherwise) but I’m surrounded by wonderfully intelligent women. I know that there are some chicken heads and some beautiful women who can’t hold water in their heads nor do they give any apparently πŸ˜‰ but just reading this blog daily should show you there are beautiful women with lots to say and brain to back it up. Perhaps, you just aren’t ready to allow yourself to SEE what they have to offer you.

          My beauty threshold IS VERY LOW <DEL> FAT WHITE CHICK LOW </DEL>

          Obviously what a WOMAN thinks what a GOOD WOMAN is, is different from what a MAN thinks what a GOOD WOMAN is, is different from what ADONIS thinks what a GOOD WOMAN is…

          Stop calling yourself a good sexual partner based on YOUR opinion… Ask the kind of person you WANT to be with sexually, what makes a GOOD sexual partner…

          I applied this to myself in response to Ms. Smart

          Because women keep telling me how many great women are out their SINGLE… That. Is. Not. True.

          I can define myself as a GOOD MAN all day, but if the women I want to DATE don’t agree… I have to roll with their opinion, make some adjustments… I DO trust half the things those women have to say… That is just me…

        5. Mr. Adonis,

          Your beauty threshold is low? Well… then this means you are almost singular looking for intelligence.

          Now, I want to know two things:

          1) What is your definition of beauty?

          2) Do you think you're a good man?

          I said two but there's more…

          3) What is your definition of a good woman?

          I'ma get an answer to another question too.

        6. @ Jaci

          (It is all love babe, I feel like RANTING)

          Mr. Adonis,

          Your beauty threshold is low? Well… then this means you are almost singular looking for intelligence .

          You are WEARING my brain on this INTELLIGENCE thing… When I think of INTELLIGENCE, I immediately think EDUCATION… When I think of EDUCATION in a women, the only reason I care is because I want her to SUPPORT me (Money)… Please define Intelligence in your own words… I would date an INTELLIGENT/IMAGINATIVE woman, educated or uneducated…

          When I am talking about women in a mental sense… I am talking about how she uses her brain… I am talking about her relationship intangibles… How she make connections with the world… What is her overall attitude… How she goes about WINNING in the world… Or maybe I am referring to how SHE uses her intelligence… Mentality is what I am trying to communicate…

          There are very few sapio-sexuals walking around on the earth (And I think I am one of them… INTELLIGENT is SEXY when executed the right way)

          Now, I want to know two things:

          1) What is your definition of beauty?

          Hmmm… I haven’t tasted enough of a variety of women to definitively know what I am physically into… But I can tell you what I like to look at…

          *looks for pictures*
          http://twitpic.com/3xiswu

          http://s3.amazonaws.com/data.tumblr.com/tumblr_lh

          *Tired Of Looking For Pics*

          I am Body-Centric (Some men are more Face-Centric), body WINS with me… Dark Skin (Tyrese’s Complexion WINS with me, <DEL> Pale White Skin WINS too </DEL>)…

          And as long as you are not OBESE or knocking on the door…

          I would deal with you And help you get your WEIGHT down to its IDEAL size

          2) Do you think you’re a good man?

          If you are asking me whether I am a quality HUMAN being… Hands down YES… And I will FIGHT anyone on that

          But if you are asking me in relation to women… I feel like I am a long way from a “good” sexual partner,

          – But I will leave a woman BETTER than I found her

          – I will be SUPER honest with her, as long as it doesn’t interfere with me getting some p*ussy out of her…

          – And I will be SUPER proactive to be the imperfect perfect man (credited to @StreetzTalk) she SWOONS over

          I said two but there’s more…

          3) What is your definition of a good woman? (For Me)

          My favorite question… I will not speak for all men…

          – Challenges me to be the greatest & call me out when I am not reaching my full potential…

          – Is highly persuasive/manipulative in a feminine way, and uses it to build me & not break me…

          – 80 : 20 / Student : Teacher

          – A woman who treats other women well… & can allow a man to treat her well…

          – A woman who encourages a man to emotionally express himself (crying, getting into his feelings) while maintaining attraction…

          – Honesty, Trust & Respect

          – Can play BOTH roles well (Man/Woman) cause I plan to do traditionally Masculine/Feminine things

          – ATEOTD She keeps evolving with me…

          Sigh…

        7. @ Jaci

          (It is all love babe, I feel like RANTING)

          Mr. Adonis,

          Your beauty threshold is low? Well… then this means you are almost singular looking for intelligence .

          You are WEARING my brain on this INTELLIGENCE thing… When I think of INTELLIGENCE, I immediately think EDUCATION… When I think of EDUCATION in a women, the only reason I care is because I want her to SUPPORT me (Money)… Please define Intelligence in your own words… I would date an INTELLIGENT/IMAGINATIVE woman, educated or uneducated…

          When I am talking about women in a mental sense… I am talking about how she uses her brain… I am talking about her relationship intangibles… How she make connections with the world… What is her overall attitude… How she goes about WINNING in the world… Or maybe I am referring to how SHE uses her intelligence… Mentality is what I am trying to communicate…

          There are very few sapio-sexuals walking around on the earth (And I think I am one of them… INTELLIGENT is SEXY when executed the right way)

          Now, I want to know two things:

          1) What is your definition of beauty?

          Hmmm… I haven’t tasted enough of a variety of women to definitively know what I am physically into… But I can tell you what I like to look at…

          *looks for pictures*

          http://twitpic.com/3xiswu

          *Tired Of Looking For Pics*

          I am Body-Centric (Some men are more Face-Centric), body WINS with me… Dark Skin (Tyrese’s Complexion WINS with me, Pale White Skin WINS too )…

          And as long as you are not OBESE or knocking on the door…

          I would deal with you And help you get your WEIGHT down to its IDEAL size

          2) Do you think you’re a good man?

          If you are asking me whether I am a quality HUMAN being… Hands down YES… And I will FIGHT anyone on that

          But if you are asking me in relation to women… I feel like I am a long way from a “good” sexual partner,

          – But I will leave a woman BETTER than I found her

          – I will be SUPER honest with her, as long as it doesn’t interfere with me getting some p*ussy out of her…

          – And I will be SUPER proactive to be the imperfect perfect man (credited to @StreetzTalk) she SWOONS over

          I said two but there’s more…

          3) What is your definition of a good woman? (For Me)

          My favorite question… I will not speak for all men…

          – Challenges me to be the greatest & call me out when I am not reaching my full potential…

          – Is highly persuasive/manipulative in a feminine way, and uses it to build me & not break me…

          – 80 : 20 / Student : Teacher

          – A woman who treats other women well… & can allow a man to treat her well…

          – A woman who encourages a man to emotionally express himself (crying, getting into his feelings) while maintaining attraction…

          – Honesty, Trust & Respect

          – Can play BOTH roles well (Man/Woman) cause I plan to do traditionally Masculine/Feminine things

          – ATEOTD She keeps evolving with me…

          Sigh…

      2. I gave absolutely 0 thought to what would happen if my wife and I got divorced when I decided to get married.

        You're thinking about it right now and it kills you're incentive right now because you haven't met anyone that you couldn't see yourself without. When that happens, divorce will be the last thing on your mind. You'll think more about what your kids are gonna look like.

  3. I enjoy your writing style. I look forward to reading more from you. I also wish you many more happy years of marriage. Its inspiring to read about a man who enjoys his wife, and his marriage to her.

  4. @MrSpradley: I appreciate this post, because as a woman, if I were married at the age you got married, it would have been bad news bears. Kudos to you. lol

    Ok WIM I totes judged you for like 10 seconds. I had a whole attitude and a bunch of excuses as to why I hadn't allowed this person or that person to be a leader in my life. Then when I did some introspection (i.e. got out of my feelings), I found value in your statement. But I have to say this, To whom much is given, much is required. The capacity to lead is only paralleled by the capacity to serve-and if I dont think my, or our relationship's best interest is being served, how can one feel safe enough or comfortable enough to let him lead.

    1. #OffTopic

      I have an EVEN better question… and any woman can answer it…

      Is ANY man good enough to lead YOU in a relationship…?

      Cause it is my belief that the wave of women who have "male leadership" problems, are gonna either deal with SIMPS, or just be eternally single… Cause they will set themselves up in a situation where THEY have the MOST control… That means dating lower quality dudes…

      And if you are questioning his leadership, then chances are he needs to be cut loose for a better leader…

      This IS the main reason why I chose to be more of a masculine male, because MOST women are not happy when she is running the relationship…

      For those women who happy in the driver's seat… I have been checking for you since 14…

      1. To answer your question Adonis, I think any woman can be lead. I think it just takes the right dude. Every woman I've ever dealt with has been independent, about their business, don't take no crap type chicks. They can submit. You just have to earn their trust.

        This is why I give no credence to that idea that black women are too strong, or too this or too that to be in relationships. It's not that their too strong… some men are just too weak.

        1. "They can submit. You just have to earn their trust."

          Will you be putting this on a shirt? I'd like a red baby-tee in ladies medium.

          Thanks!

        2. "I think any woman can be lead. I think it just takes the right dude. Every woman I’ve ever dealt with has been independent, about their business, don’t take no crap type chicks. They can submit. You just have to earn their trust."

          Preach!!!

        3. Well, then I will just concede to the fact that alot of these women will NEVER find the type of guy they are looking for… That man is <DEL> Adonis </DEL> a unicorn…

        4. I halfway agree…. But If an individual has been in numerous relationships and has a constant complaint about men who cannot lead, perhaps the issue isn’t with the men. Perhaps she needs to change what type of men she is interested in, or maybe she isn’t mature enough to be led yet. A woman can be led. A girl cannot. One should not have to patiently mold a belligerent individual until she is able to be led. A girl must become a woman on her own. Only then will she be ready for a man.

        5. @ Most

          Now all the chicks (many who have commented above me) are going to improperly use your rationalization and use that as an excuse to to have attitudes 24-7, curse and carry one like men from the hood and try to "run the show" because they are STRONG BLACK WOMEN.

          I got your point but I dont think some of them did. Being strong is not being overly manly or aggressive, loud and boisterious or bitchy and bitter.

          Women biologically want to submit to men but men have to exude the alphaness (in behavior, looks, $$$'s in wallet..etc) and prove worthiness of their submission.

    2. @Trouble

      You just answered your own question with this:

      “The capacity to lead is only paralleled by the capacity to serve-and if I dont think my, or our relationship’s best interest is being served, how can one feel safe enough or comfortable enough to let him lead.”

      You’re dealing with the wrong men if you don’t feel safe or comfortable with him leading. Being with a man that wants to lead is one of the best feelings while being in a relationship. He’ll always look out for you, leaving no room to question or doubt what he’ll bring to the relationship.

      1. @Adonis & Christina For clarity: That question was more rhetorical than an expectation for an operational example. I certainly could have phrased it more appropriately, but alas it is what it is.

        @ Adonis: Additionally, one's viability as a candidate for a husband is at a greater significance than that of someone who is a casual date. Although, some of the necessary traits are shared there are obviously some differences. There are definitely men, who could lead me in a relationship. I need just need ONE. (who is loving, driven, intelligent and willing to submit to the will of God so that I may submit to his leadership.) Furthermore, I think we may have slightly different adaptations on definition of leadership. But it’s all gravy. I totally respect your opinion. (BTDub, I did in fact, make those cuts to which you alluded. However, I made them not because they were bad guys but because they weren't my husband.

        ****Note: Please don't misunderstand my use of the word submission. I don’t expect to be lorded over in my marriage or relationships, nor do I expect to take a passive role in decision-making or other relational functions. I do expect and gladly appreciate the gravity of future my husband taking on the role and responsibilities associated with being the Head of The Household.

      2. "Being with a man that wants to lead is one of the best feelings while being in a relationship. He’ll always look out for you, leaving no room to question or doubt what he’ll bring to the relationship."

        *waves church fan* This is truth…

  5. I love this post! It's so refreshing to read a black male saying positive things about marriage. Are you open to being cloned?? Just wondering. You made so many excellent points but I especially liked that you pointed out that love is not just a feeling but a verb. So many people don't understand that. Also liked the part about not wandering around waiting for your soul mate to find you.

  6. I know I will be faced with misconception #1 when I do get married. It will be at least two years of being married before I give birth and adopt children. I want to enjoy my husband before we have mini me’s and mini him’s occupying our time. I think misconception #2, #3, #4 and # 5 are reasons and explanations of why divorce is the status quo. There are too many unrealistic men and women marrying for the wrong reasons. I look forward to being married…The good, bad and indifferent. Until then, I live life, anticipating I cross paths with the man I want to spend the rest of my life with.

    Side note to those who believe in the power of prayers:

    Please pray for the people in Japan. The earthquake and tsunami warnings that have taken place are devastating. The tragedies of natural disasters… =(

    1. 1. I love that you said give birth AND adopt. Madd respect.

      2. I also love that you brought up enjoying being MARRIED before having children. Children are beautiful, but stressful…and expensive lol I plan on enjoying my future husband before [most of] my attention is diverted to kids.

      3. Praying for families in Japan and Hawaii.

    2. "It will be at least two years of being married before I give birth and adopt children. I want to enjoy my husband"

      I love that you said this…I want the same thing and have gotten such flack for it…but babies are a big freakin' deal! Lemme work this hubby/wife thing out for a minute, enjoy THIS before we venture into Mom and Dad waters…

  7. "The truth is, love is not only an emotion, but a verb. What I mean is, love is not only something you feel, but also something you do. When you’re married, you can feel all the love in the world for your mate but if those feelings don’t inspire action, they’re worthless."

    This.

    Beautifully stated! I look forward to more of your posts!

  8. I've been reading SBM for at least a year now and i've never felt the need to comment until today. What you said about women allowing men to lead is very true.

    I've been forever single because I just cant bring myself to allow someone to lead me. Its a hard thing for us girls to do!

    1. For me, it boils down to trust. I had ALOT of trust issues when I was younger. I've been hurt so it affected how much trust I allowed myself to give. It wasn't until the past 4 years that I really opened myself up and realized that I actually like to be led by a man. Once you find someone you trust, it's a great feeling. You feel alot lifted off your chest knowing that you have someone else riding with you. It's like a really good team. I don't want to go through life alone.

  9. *Respect*. I'm 4 years younger and celebrating my 1 year anniversary in April. I laughed out loud at the "Do you have kids" bit. It's so annoying and just goes to show you how ass backwards society is today.

    Also fun doesn't stop when you get married. The only hard part is finding young couples(without marital problems) to hang out with. My wife usually sets up the play-dates because of this. I keep bumping into young guys who are married and seem cool, but come to find out they are cheating on their wives. Lol Can't bring that shh into my house.

    Another one of my pet peeves is when someone calls my wife, "wifey." That word just drives me nut. Wifey is some chick who spends the night maybe 2-3 times a week, sophomore year of college. Obviously not the same thing. I have this one work associate who always says this. He is currently going through a divorce.

  10. *Respect*. I’m 4 years younger and celebrating my 1 year anniversary in April. I laughed out loud at the “Do you have kids” bit. It’s so annoying and just goes to show you how ass backwards society is today.

    Also fun doesn’t stop when you get married. The only hard part is finding young couples(without marital problems) to hang out with. My wife usually sets up the play-dates because of this. I keep bumping into young guys who are married and seem cool, but come to find out they are cheating on their wives. Lol Can’t bring that shh into my house.

    Another one of my pet peeves is when someone calls my wife, “wifey.” That word just drives me nut. Wifey is some chick who spends the night maybe 2-3 times a week, sophomore year of college. Obviously not the same thing. I have this one work associate who always says this. He is currently going through a divorce.

    1. *Daps up the fellow young black married male.*

      Keep going homey!

      Yeah… lucky for me, a pretty significant number of my friends are married. They're almost all a little bit older, but are still relatively young. You said you're 4 years younger… I think by the time you get to your late 20's you'll have more friends who are also married.

      It's tough when your wife sets up the play dates though. Especially if the dude is a cornball, or a Dallas Cowboys fan. You kinda just sit and talk sports. Once your boys start getting married, life gets easier.

    2. Honestly, shout out to men like you, Mr Spradley (Most), the SBM writing team, some commenters and a select group of black male bloggers that I have come across. Gentleman like you give the rest of us hope. Happy Friday people and our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by the recent Tsunami.

    3. It's not even just married folks though…one the the first things men ask me is always "how many kids do you have?" Not even IF I have kids…but HOW MANY… *smh*

  11. Most-

    I could not have said it any better myself….in fact, I can't think of a single thing to add….marriage is a wonderful institution…I will say this, once children do enter into a marriage you will see a significant change indeed….the whole focus of your marriage will shift from each other to the children…it sometimes can cause a bit of an adjustment for men…because a first time Mother's whole world initially will revolve around that baby and sometimes the spouse can get a bit lost and frustrated in the shuffle……you can re-adjust and go forward but initially it a bit of a strain…..that it is why it is good to get to know one another and have that alone time before the kids..because when or (if) they arrive it will be a wrap for alone time….but, then you will have those kids running around the house and that is a beautiful thing, too……

    I would like to add one additional thing about allowing a man to lead…I allowed my husband to lead too much…and I think, I put too much trust in his leadership and it let me right down a road to divorce…why? Well, I forgot that marriage is a parntership…and I just let him make decisions on EVERYTHING and he was being lead by his own arrogance not by anything good for our family….so, that is the key..who is your husband being lead by?

    1. I would like to add one additional thing about allowing a man to lead…I allowed my husband to lead too much…and I think, I put too much trust in his leadership and it let me right down a road to divorce…why? Well, I forgot that marriage is a parntership…and I just let him make decisions on EVERYTHING and he was being lead by his own arrogance not by anything good for our family….so, that is the key..who is your husband being lead by?

      I'm going to say this is also an issue. Just because you are allowing a man to lead doesn't mean you get to be completely hands off. If there's no dialogue or no room to disagree, he's going to always think he's right and you're going to always be upset/disagreeing and not saying anything. Two things come to mind here:

      The man might be the head but the woman is the neck (Take from that what you will)

      The second thing answers your final question of who is leading the man and that is this:

      A three fold cord is not easily broken. That doesn't mean you, him and his mama either… Take from that also what you will. But he will need some higher power to help him guide and trust, his boys don't have all the answers. πŸ™‚

      1. I agree…I have a relationship with God and I feel that in a marriage the husband should be taking his leadership from God as well…

      2. @Queen – right. If you're "submitting" to your husband in the biblical sense, then it's explicitly said that your submission to him is hindered on his submission to God. It's a big circle and if everybody does their part it all works out pretty well.

        1. I agree Most…furthermore, being the head of the household comes with a HUGE responsibility. The Creator understands that a man will do what he want despite what is best for his family (at times). So if your husband is the captain of the ship and he steers that ship wrong, it is on him, not you; although you and the children will be affected by that.

          I think most men understand that marriage puts more responsibility on them and therefore they shy away from it.

          As a wife, if my husband makes the wrong choice, it is not my job to stick it to him, but see it through with him so that we all can learn from it hopefully. Those are the bad times spoken about in your vows. Nagging him because of the bad choice won't even be necessary because he will internally feel the wrath of his own choices.

          Since no one is perfect those trail and errors are necessary. As a wife, my duty is to give suggestions but not to try and force my way even if it is right, because everything will work out in the end. If I was right, the result of his choice will allow him to see that without me saying a word.

          Lastly, a wife submitting to her husband should never be contingent on whether he is right or wrong. Why? Because that would be a flimsy submission at best. Your submission does not require you to be a mute with no say, but it does require you to step back at times. These are the things require to keep peace because there are never TWO masters in one household.

        2. "I think most men understand that marriage puts more responsibility on them and therefore they shy away from it."

          I'd have to agree. As I've said before I do not envy the man's place in marriage. Although I believe that it is good for the man, the woman, family, and society; I also acknowledge that it's in no way easy.

  12. This was a great post! I think there are too many people who think we can't make it in a marriage.

    I have a question though… What would you say are the biggest fears a man must conquer before he can commit himself to marriage?

    Also, WIM isn't wrong about what he's saying… I think women struggle with allowing a man to lead because of how they were raised. I think alot of us have seen our mothers be leaders so we are rolling with it. What we are not thinking of is they might have been single mothers who HAD to lead alone. We want something different yet we want to act the same, jump up and down screaming independent and then expect a mam to get on our program? I doubt this is gonna work like we think.

    Bottom line, there's a man out there's capable of leading us all.

    1. "I have a question though… What would you say are the biggest fears a man must conquer before he can commit himself to marriage?"

      If I were Most, I'd conquer this question in a post.lol

      I didn't mean to rhyme.

    2. In terms of letting a man lead…..

      My man-angel asked me one day about my dad. He said something like, "your dad came home everyday and you never had to wonder about if he was coming home or not?" I said, "yea" and thought it was a weird question so asked him why he'd asked me. He said that something about me knowing how to trust a man to lead.

      (This is so interesting to me because my male collegues swear I'm Miss Independent—I guess that's just a cover necessary at work.)

      I never ever noticed this. I had a sense of stability in regards to my dad and definitely sensed his authority. I hadn't thought about how that impacted me now as a woman or a girlfriend.

      Now that I'm older and more aware that people have so many different experiences around men in the home while growing up, I think upbringing may have something to do with it.

      1. I am so unsure about what a man-angel is that I'm giddy with excitement of finding out!

        Yes, I've heard that so many times that I can't count them. I always here "You're close to your dad, so I know I can't pull any bull on you AND you're a GOOD girl." While it's true, don't you wanna side eye them about how they know all that based on the fact you have a seen a male as a strong leader?

        (Can any of the men answer this?)

        1. Well, speaking very generally, I think women who grow up with a father and mother in the home gain a certain measure of understanding of the nuances of relationships between men and woman who are trying to make it last forever. Seeing your parents come home everyday and work through problems instills in most women who experience it the knowledge that, while relationships aren't perfect, they can be pretty close.

          My wife grew up with a great dad (who's also a pretty great father in law) so she's always had certain expectations around what a husband is supposed to look like and how he's supposed to treat his family.

          The same way a man without a father has to teach himself to be a man, a woman without a father has to teach herself how to be a girlfriend/fiance/wife.

          Speaking very generally of course. There are always all sorts of exceptions.

        1. I like that too! I've been looking for a term to substitute for:

          "boyfriend" b/c I'm surely too old for that…

          "beau" b/c people confuse it w/ boo…

          "boo" doesn't have the same connotation as BF…

          "hubby"… just nah…

          and "significant other" is just too long

          Hm, I think I'll take man-angel for a spin and see how it works out.

      2. Not to poo-poo the term because it superficially sounds good, but personally if my girlfriend called me a "man-angel", I'd probably see it as an insult, although I know it's not an intentional one. This is just scripturally speaking, if you're not Christian it doesn't apply. First, all angels are male so it's redundant. Second, going from human to angel is a step down.

        Not to dissuade people from using whatever hypocorism they like, but I just wouldn't want my girl to call me that.

        1. Hey, FLYY one, I said it's just not for me! Feel free to use it! Now I feel like a jerk for even making the comment.

        2. Lol. Don't feel like a jerk Hugh. You helped… I'm sure any current/future SOs would have given me the side-eye anyways.

          I'll keep plugging away at something until it fits πŸ™‚

      3. HUGH SAT YO @$$ DOWN.

        Leave that girl alone. I'm fixing to go through every mode of communication I have and call you a man angel.

        I like it but I don't think I could ever use it. Uhhh… I LOVE saying significant other… Other than that… My baby, my sweetie or my honey!

    3. I agree with Slim, this is a topic deserving of a larger post, which I'll get to at some point.

      That said, to answer your question, I think the biggest fear men have to get over is the idea that you're giving up so much when you're getting married… that you're life is now over.

      I've been married most of my twenties and haven't really missed out on anything. I do all of the stuff my friends do except have wild random s_x with random women.

      1. I'm glad you're not out there with the randoms as that would negate everything I think about you πŸ™‚

        I think the reason your post today is so great is the fact that it sheds such a positive light on having a partner. I don't understand why men feel they are giving up instead of gaining. As you said, it's like a gaining a permanent partner who is supposed to be down for anything.

        Therefore, why the hesitation? Also, is there an issue of monogamy or is that one of the positives?

        I'm about to stop asking questions and wait for the rest of your post!

        1. Monogamy is as much of an issue as you make it. For most guys, I think if you've done enough sewing of the oats prior to getting married, you'll be fine. It's a sacrifice for sure, but, if you do a cost benefit analysis of the pros and cons it all works out.

  13. I enjoyed this post, very much. Especially this…

    "Someone who’s always on your team, always takes your side, and always has your back. You develop your own language and signals, you basically communicate telepathically and that sort of connection should enhance the fun you were having as a single person, not hinder it."

    This! There's just something about knowing that my husband is my permanent partner-in-crime that just gets me so amped up to do all types of things for and with him. This is something I really look forward to. 

    I wish you and your wife nothing but the best. 

  14. Great post Most – and very true indeed!

    All your points are detailed and realistic and that is what is needed today. Being young and married is wonderful and full of lessons that prepare you for the world in general.

    When people say that some are getting married too young, I also say wth to that. Mainly because I see what people due in lieu of getting married (sleep around etc.) and it makes it that much harder to sustain a marriage later. I think being single TOO long screws with your perception of marriage.

    I bet this is why people got married younger once. You were able to grow with that person instead of coming into something with jacked up pre-conceived notions from the single life.

  15. I love this post! Certainly not married but in my last serious relationship when we had the marriage conversation I realized I wasn't ready because I wasn't being real with myself. By that I mean I had expectations about our love getting us through everything and expecting that marriage was going to help us change the rough spots we had- even though it isn't smart (nor based on my own parental experience) or very practical.

    Keep up the good work most.

  16. I think you're coming from a place many men under 45 don't understand. You actually like women. I'm not saying those men are gay but they do not value women beyond how those women can be of immediate use to them.

    I had to comment on this over on my blog (http://thinkprettysmart.typepad.com/think-pretty-smart/2011/03/this-right-here.html) because while I am happy to see that people like you aren't a mythical creature, it saddens me that of all the men who come here and comment, you're pretty much the only one consistently talking positive about women and marriage.

    Sometimes when I read the hate spewed through the anonymity of the internet, I fear for the emotional health of my younger sister. She's in her early 20's. Men seem to have a plan to denigrate women, pretty women in particular. Then I realize about 60% of the men being evil and hateful in their 20's have poor character. They don't grow out of poor character.

    1. "I think you’re coming from a place many men under 45 don’t understand. You actually like women. I’m not saying those men are gay but they do not value women beyond how those women can be of immediate use to them."

      this reminds me of a tweet I read yesterday about wondering if some men on twitter actually LIKE women. the way some talk, it really doesn't seem that way. they may like vagina, and things we do for/to them–but really like them as people, as equals? It really made me think. I'm still thinking.

      1. I had copied the same quote, but you said what needed to be said Reecie…it makes me so sad sometimes. Do men like women? I hope some do…

    2. I think this will be my favorite comment of the day, and I hope I really thorough in my comment…

      http://max-logic.com/2011/03/01/any-10-on-tuesday

      Due to an interesting set of life circumstances, I ended up being raised by a team of really great black women. My grandmother, her daughter, and my grandmothers two sisters (My Great Aunts) probably had the biggest influence on the person I grew into. Much of what I know and understand about women comes from the fact that I’ve been managing relationships with women for my entire life. I learned early what it means to live with a woman, what a woman expects from a man she loves, the subtle differences in how sexes communicate, and just how deep a woman’s love can go. My best friends are almost all women, and I’ve ‘known’ many women in my time.

      I definitely didn’t have THAT luxury, and I believe that is the DIFFERENCE that makes the DIFFERENCE

      I can't speak for most men for under 45… and I WON'T

      But for me, I do like women… (honestly, can’t say love yet, cause I would run the risk of being dishonest) and I root for their success… & if I can be their #1, I hope some other man could… (I am from the cloth, that a women HIGHEST PURPOSE is a relationship with her MAN)

      But because most women CREATE THEIR OWN HELLS & complain about it… (and a lot of times, blame MEN for it) I call it out… I don’t defend bad behavior… from either gender… (I do have to look for the positives more, I see that)

      Because women keep telling me how many great women are out their SINGLE… That. Is. Not. True.

      I can define myself as a GOOD MAN all day, but if the women I want to DATE don’t agree… I have to roll with their opinion, make some adjustments… I DO trust half the things those women have to say… That is just me…

      As far as Male Leadership is concerned… (now speaking from other men’s & friends experience)… WIM pointed this out… when YOU put a “qualified” BLACK MAN in front of that “Strong & Independent” woman… Most don't know how to deal… especially if they have been raised to be SINGLE… And scenarios like this make me WONDER… If these women will ever get a chance to experience a QUALITY LTR…

  17. hmmm I have a love ate relationship with the idea of marriage. I personally dont want to get married. I don't blame the institution, I blame people. I understand the institution and respect it a bit too much. I just feel people in general don't know what they're doing with marriage. They do it for all the wrong reasons or have all the wrong ideas about it.

    In terms of leadership..I know myself first and foremost. I can't be lead. Period. I won't be lead. I have my reasons and they are valid to me. Not every man wants to lead, let alone knows how to lead and that is okay with me. I come from a marriage that has lasted going 29 years ad counting and I see what poor leadership. Based on pure arrogance and total submission to such a man can do to a family. So with that being said I will not be lead.

    I appreciate your level headedness about love and life. Keep the great posts coming!

      1. Existentialism ftw

        Haha! Your a mess (no seriously you are) but I gotta hand to your a fighter on these boards, sticking to your guns and all.

        1. I Thank my wonderful parent's DNA for that…

          TRUST ME Berriblk… I am WORSE in person… (But I have a heart of GOLD…)

          Ummm… What is "Existentialism" again & "ftw" stands for WHAT!?!? again…

          I'm just being lazy… And I want to see your writing again πŸ™‚

  18. Great post Most!! It is very refreshing to read your realistic point of view about being a young black man that is married. Sometimes the forecast looks very bleak for women that desire to settle down one day; the empty barrels are making the loudest noise, making it seem as if black men/men in general are without any substance. Men like you and others on this blog have shown that there is substance out there. I have this belief (unrealistic to some) that as there are many good women out there, there are also good men too.

    I had a wonderful relationship with my father and he showed his girls what a husband is supposed to look like. My mother showed (and still shows) us that we can be educated, financially secure, submit to a man and have a happy marriage and family.

    God bless your marriage!!

  19. I aint even gonna lie. When people get married before about age 27 it seems wierd to me.

    I guess it shouldn't but it does.

    1. That makes me think of that article by Tracy McMillian.

      We are not growing up as we should, so it no wonder that 27 seems young but in reality its not. Look how quickly 18 years flew by when you were a child.

  20. I have anticipated your first post and yes I enjoyed reading it! I am 37 years old, married for 15 years and my anniversary was just March 9th. I can relate and agree with your entire post. Looking forward to reading more as well.

  21. Alright I had to get my ADHD in line before I could pull my thoughts together to comment… Lol.

    Great entry Most… (I didn't wanna rhyme…) Lol.

    "The reality is, sometimes, you’re not going to feel very loving. […] In those times, despite how you’re feeling, you still have to choose to love them, and fulfill the commitments you’ve made to them."

    That part of the post resonated the most (dammit still rhymed) w/ me. I think it was one of the best advantages of growing up in a 2 parent household. I saw that my father perhaps wasn't the BEST personality fit for my mother and vice versa, but they chose to love each other daily. They had disagreements but that didn't keep them from working through it and honoring the commitment made between them.

    I think coming in for a close 2nd was the part about continuing to do what you love and having fun but this time w/ a partner who you don't have to backfill information. lol.

    – on a personal note, i love love love your sign-off; it's been motivating me since the first time I read it.

  22. I haven't read all of the posts because I'm in the middle of this stupid Literature Review. I took the day off to get it done and I'm nowhere near where I want to be at the moment.

    Either way, nice write about Marriage Most. Me personally? I've been married a long long time. I think that marriages have good years and bad years. The first 7 years of my marriage were bliss. The 2nd 7 years of my marriage…not so much…these last 5? Back on the upswing again.

    Through the years I've learned a lot of things. Marriage is a contract, a business agreement, it also encompasses love. Marriage is about remembering one another, uplifting one another, not being totally dependent on one another and yet knowing when to step in and have one another's back.

    Most of all? To me? Marriage is about laughter. It's about being able to poke fun at yourself, your situation and your partner. Laughter has saved my marriage through the years. The intensity with which we love one another we can also hate one another at times. Words have gotten ugly between us and they were just said out of frustration and we knew it but just couldn't stop. Those same words can heal and bring you closer together.

    Life without my husband would be like a disturbance in the force (yep star wars) one time he found me totally lost in SPAIN because he said he sensed my panic. I knew at that moment he was not just my husband but my soulmate as well.

    Marriage is worth it,

    1. "Life without my husband would be like a disturbance in the force (yep star wars) one time he found me totally lost in SPAIN because he said he sensed my panic. I knew at that moment he was not just my husband but my soulmate as well."

      I think a tear fell from my right eye…just beautiful.

  23. *standing O* I needed this.

    Your #2 & 3 really hit my heart. Love is not just a word but an action. I've realized that I cannot be with someone who doesn't show their love. When you love someone, you WANT to be better. You want to try harder. I never understood people who said they love someone yet list all the things they won't do. Also, I don't believe that marriage changes you. If I had a dollar for everytime someone said "I'll change when I get married." NO! That's why alot of marriages start off rocky and fail in the first year. Lastly, your #5 is what I really needed to read.

    Overall, the concept of marriage and what it takes is all over the place in our community. The focus is to get married but not how to and the mindset you need to be in. I cannot and will not listen to anyone who doesn't know what it is to love another human being or be in a relationship with another human being. I'm so sick of the bitter, jaded people shelling out advice. I had to X a few girlfriends from my circle because of this. We need to be more supportive of one another when it comes to relationships. You are a GREAT addition to the SBM team. Enough @ss kissing. πŸ™‚

    1. That I why I don't mind if people ignore me, cause I don't have the credentials…

      Alot of the happily marriage people are away enjoying their marriage, ain't thinking about us <DEL> pathetic </DEL> bloggers…

      I would just go seek them out (That is what I'm gonna do…)

      I believe quality successful relationships abide by the same/similar formula…

      1. It wasn't a dig at you Adonis. You are allowed to drop your opinions on what you dislike about marriage, etc. I was referring to people who attempt to give sour advice because they are jaded with the idea of love. I was referring more to girlfriends who dish the "fcuk him" advice.

        1. Insults are TAKEN. Not GIVEN (That was in reference to ME)… No jabs.. But I like to see where I fit into your comment…

          I just realized how attitudinal this comment came off… Oh well… Good Post

        2. My comment came off with attitude huh? Hmmmm, interesting but okay. I think you and Grand Nagus below took it personally because you both seem to have a habit of giving bitter advice on this site.

          I also find your definition of insults being taken as ironic due to how many insults you sling on a given day. Honey, please….move on from here. My comment was not for you.

        3. MY BAD SFG… I was talking about MY comment… Miscommunication on MY part

          That I why I don’t mind if people ignore me, cause I don’t have the credentials…Alot of the happily marriage people are away enjoying their marriage, ain’t thinking about us </DEL> pathetic <DEL> bloggers…

          I would just go seek them out (That is what I’m gonna do…) I believe quality successful relationships abide by the same/similar formula…

          And then I just BRUSHED it off & moved on… Again, MY BAD…

        4. I meant to say

          "I just realized how attitudinal MY comment came off… Oh well… Good Post"

          I'm so mad that one mis-wording changed everything

          Oh well, moving on

    2. Devil's Advocate: Don't you think single people get tired of hearing how life is so incomplete without marriage.

      I think more people need to conceed that we all have different needs in life. And your path is no better than my path. And vice versa.

      1. You know, perception is a funny thing. When I wrote my comment, I was referring to myself and my needs. I wasn't speaking for anyone else. We all have different paths and wants. I didn't imply that my path was better than anyones. I wonder why you felt is was a jab. As far as my statement that I don't take relationship advice from people who've never been in one, how is that wrong? Would you take auto advice from a non mechanic? I didn't say there was anything wrong with being single. I was referring to bitter nay sayers.

        1. Nah I didn't take your comment personally. I was just speaking in general.

          But I guess I was kinda thinking that single people seem to always be written off as bitter or jaded. Or not able to have an opinion on relationships.

          Contrary to the mechanic analogy…..everyone has been in some kind of a relationship and can speak from their perspective.

        2. I'm going to copy and paste what I wrote:

          "I cannot and will not listen to anyone who doesn’t know what it is to love another human being or be in a relationship with another human being. I’m so sick of the bitter, jaded people shelling out advice."

          Obviously you took something in here personal enough to respond. Where was my shot at single people cause I don't see it? I am referring to people who have never been in love and shell out bitter advice. If you have been in a relationship or don't shell out bitter advice, then I wasn't referring to you. Not all single people are bitter.

  24. I am a silent lurker, and I check out this blog once in awhile, due to my younger colleagues (<30 years old) who reads this. Myself being a few years older, I find most of the posts here pretty shallow and misogynistic, not good reading for younger women, IMO. Your post is the most thoughtful and insightful post that has appeared here, and its good to see younger folks reading something like this. Thanks.

    I do want to comment on the "submitting to your husband." issue. It's really interesting how much emphasis is placed on this in the black community. I am friends and colleagues with many white couples our age group, and when I talk with them, this emphasis on wives submitting to husbands just doesn't seem to come up. And no, it's not because white women naturally do submit, believe me.

    Among these white professional, educated couples, there seems to be an egalitarian approach to marriage. I know couples where the wives manage the budget, the men state, "Oh she's better at money and numbers than me." And he doesn't seem miffed about it at all. When the husband handles the budget, the wives say, "Oh, he's into accounting and money, and I hate dealing with that stuff, even when I was single" Not, "Well, we're married now, and that's a husband's job."

    I know two white men whose wives got accepted into a PhD program in another state, so the whole family moved, he found a new job there and everything, so their wives can go. Can't say I've seen a brotha do this. I've worked with men who pushed for paternity leave so they can be with the wives when the kids are born, or take a leave of absence to be home with kids while the wife works, for a while.

    In these marriages, there seems to be a willingness to allow natural talents and interests decide which roles are taken by a spouse, rather than allowing a traditional views of roles dictate these responsibilities.

    The few couples who go to church now and then, I asked them, if there are sermons regularly on "a wife's duty, and women submitting to husbands", which one hears regularly in predominantly black churches (even the progressive ones). My friends laughed and said no, they're not subjected to that. Maybe in a blue moon, but rarely.

    One woman I went to college with moved down South because her husband thought this would be a great move for them. She didn't want to go, but she agreed to it. Some brothas would have framed this as her "submitting to her husband." This women, White, with a Masters, and IT consultant, just said that "she loved her husband and wanted to make him happy." Hmm.

    In the end, they both hated the move and want to move back to NY. There was tension in the marriage, but they're working past it. She said, "I wish I never agreed to the move and held my ground," accepting HER responsibility in the decision, because in the end she sees this as something they BOTH did. Not "HIS decision, as her husband whom she submitted to." Imagine, how different and angry she would have been her outlook on this was the latter.

    Sometimes I wonder if the emphasis on Black men being leaders in marriage is made because they feel powerless in other facets of life – employment, etc.

    Sorry for the extremely long post. Just wanted to give you guys food for thought.

    Mabyl

    1. Mabyl I see what you're saying and where you're going with this, but when I hear (and once again I should be writing and not playing around on SBM) people say that a wife should submit to her husband I simply take it as that she should listen and not just run her damn mouth. I think that black women (myself included) have more mouth than a little bit and sometimes do more talking than actually hearing what their man has to say.

      I have said this before that listening is a learned art form that more women should acquire. It took me YEARS to learn how to listen to what my husband was saying. I had to learn to listen, process and then if I didn't agree state my opinion as to why. Before I would listen, disagree before he was finished and then spend the next hour getting angry because I was right and he was wrong and what makes HIM so smart? See the difference?

      I pay all of the bills in our house and my husband makes at least twice what I make. Why? Because I'm better at budgeting than he is. When my husband wanted to move to NJ, I followed him (even though all of my friends, family and my entire support base for my children was still in NY).

      I find it unfair for you to attribute these qualities to white couples and not to black ones. I really feel that the only difference is attitude and maybe black women get attitutes because we've had to struggle and fight so hard to get where we are, and it's to the point where just listening to someone because it's the right thing to do doesn't necessarily come naturally. Maybe that's why they teach it in church maybe white couples haven't had to face the every day trials and tribulations and challenges to their intelligence and sexuality on a daily basis that black couples have.

      You all can disagree with me or not…but I'm just sayin. It's my opinion.

      1. I agree with you totally. When a lot of churches and pastors started talking about submission about 10 years ago….what they were really tryin to say in a nice

        Christian way was:

        You don't have to win every argument,

        you don't have to always fight,

        there is more than one way to get your way,

        don't treat your man like he is your son.

        This is a message a lot of women needed to hear. But I understand if you are not one of those women you get tired of hearing about after a while.

      2. Red Lady

        Thanks for your response. I understand what you're saying and don't completely disagree with it. As for black women being loud and with attitude, that's an issue not necessarily the main reason for low marriage rates, which is whole other topic.

        But I do question why you refer to learning to listen our husband as "submitting"? Why that word – rather than working on my communication skills? Which is essentially from what I see as a major problems in some marriages?

        And I've sat thru enough sermons at different churches talking about wives submitting to husbands to know that they just weren't referring to listening.

        And I don't think that men are necessarily the better communicators in relationships. I've had a couple of male friends and relatives admit to learning to discuss issues with wives without shutting down when they hear a note of criticism (yelling or otherwise) and how to listen to their spouse overall. Communication is a huge issue in relationships, particularly in black relationships, because, as you stated earlier, both people feel beaten by every day trials and tribulations.

        As for attributing the egalitarian approach to white relationships, I've heard this from other black women. The successful relationships (black and white) definitely have this approach. I hear from married black women who are dealing with their husband's "ego" on certain areas when it comes to decision making. Ultimately, black women's "attitude", Black men's "ego" can be a hindrance to successful, happy relationships.

    2. Hey Maybl – I'm glad you enjoyed the post, and thanks for such a detailed response. Come again!

      In terms of your thoughts on leadership, think of it this way…

      If you work at a corporate institution, and you have no job openings, then, you really have no use for a job description for the varying roles of the people you employ. But if somebody quits, then you're gonna have to sit down and write out a job description so that other folks can come in, interview for the position and know what they're getting themselves into. That's why leadership is talked about more in our community.

      It's an open rec that needs to be filled. We gotta get some discussion and parameters around what it is and what it isn't, and possibly set up some training programs so that we can hire some folks for the job.

      Now that said, I think you're focusing too much on decision making. Leadership in marriage is rarely about decision making. In my household, as far as decisions go on a daily basis, they get split pretty evenly. It’s not like my wife is saying “I want chicken” and I’m like, “No, we having lamb chops!” That’s not leadership. Leadership is setting an example, submission is the recognition that an example has been set (whether that recognition is conscious or unconscious) and then following that example.

      Speaking to your example about fiances My wife writes all the checks and pays all the monthly household bills. She's way more organized and responsible than I am, in that sense. If it were left up to me, we'd be sitting in a cold, dark house. But the budget that she uses to pay those bills, and the overall system for division of income we use in our household – that's me. Here's an example I used in responding to someone else:

      Another example that I gave above: if my wife and I get into an argument, and she raises her voice at me, I have a few choices:

      1) Raise my voice back and let the discussion devolve into a yelling match.

      2) Let her have her way because she got loud.

      3) End the conversation and then revisit it when cooler heads can prevail.

      Choice 1 is the immature man’s move. Choice 2 is the simp’s move, and Choice 3 is what a leader of the household would do. Choice 3 is the tougher choice because if she’s yelling, and I tell her the conversation is over, she’s not going to just then shut up and be quiet. She’s gonna keep going, maybe even throw a few low blows. But being a leader, you gotta just eat those and know that only 1 person in the house is allowed to be guided by their emotion and that person is not you.

      Eventually she’ll calm down and you can come up with some sort of compromise that addresses the situation. So then, not only have you solved the problem, but, you’ve set the example that 1) Yelling will never be tolerated. 2) Yelling won’t get you you’re way 3) It’s not about me vs. you, it’s about us vs. the problem.

      You do this for years and years and years, and overtime, you see your wife grow and mature and get better and you grow and get better too.

      That’s leadership. It’s not about decision making, it’s about example setting.

      1. I agree with you Most! We don't scream and yell in our house any longer (we used to!) Now we're at the point where when things get super heated, he will usually say, "Let's talk about this later because I'm going to say some mean things that I don't really mean." And I will say, "Yeah that's how I'm feeling too, I feel like calling you all kinds of names right now, I'm gonna go downstairs…I'll talk to you later."

        Sometimes I have to say, "I don't want to have this conversation right now!" He will walk away too. To me, that is SUBMISSION because what I'm thinking in my head and what I'm projecting are two totally different things and trust me, married couples know how to push buttons better than ANYBODY. I'll bring up your mama, I have no boundaries when the gloves come off. Keeping my mouth shut has probably saved my damn dental work.

      2. Hey Most,

        I read your post over and over, and gonna be straight up honest and say I don't see how your description of the corporation and job opening relates to leadership in marriage. Maybe its Friday, and my mind is not there, so I apologize for disconnect. But from what I see in your style and content is that you and your wife definitely have an open egalitarian approach to your marriage, more than you may admit.

        I know I framed my discussion mostly around decision-making, so it seems limited. it was just the easier when I was thinking, but didn't want to limit it to this.

        You gave the example of you and wife arguing and you state:

        "But being a leader, you gotta just eat those and know that only 1 person in the house is allowed to be guided by their emotion and that person is not you."

        You set a standard as to how to communicate with each other.

        But are you saying your wife has not set "standards, "drew a line" or established boundaries along those lines in other aspects/areas of your marriage? And wouldn't you attribute that to leadership qualities as well?

        1. The relation to running a company or being a manager was my way of explaining why leadership in relationships is discussed more in black communities than in white. In white companies, all the positions are filled, so, no need to talk about the job descriptions, or define them because everyone's already doing their job. In our community, there's a void… the positions are open. So, we need to talk about them and define them before they can be filled.

          The other point I'd like to make is that one person leading and the other person submitting does not mean one person is more important or superior to the other. They're two equally important roles.

          And in terms of my wife setting examples – of course she does. It happens often. Sometimes she leads. The difference is responsibility. I take full responsibility for making sure the relationship works. That's my job. If we're in an argument, it's my job to lead us out of it. If we're both being wrong, it's my job to say "I'm wrong" first. If something needs to get done around the house, it's my job to do it. I don't know… it works for us. I don't know how else to describe it.

    3. I see your points Maybl. I think you're saying what many think in regards to our roles in marriage. I do notice a trend of power and control with Black men vs White men but like Mrs. Red said, I don't like to compare the two because Black men have had diff struggles. Maybe there is more of a need to control out of natural dominance or lack of control in other areas of life. I'm not fully sure but it's an observation I have made as well. I completely agree with your views on submitting to a husband. To me, it's not a personality trait but an act that I decide upon determining my weaknesses to his strengths. (like you mentioned with finances, etc) But let's not get it twisted, the bible does imply that the wife is to submit to her husband always which I think alot of people have run with this idea.

      Mrs. Red hit the nail on the head with listening. It's a vital part that even I myself have struggled with and just now mastering at 30. So to me, it's a balance. I want to be submissive when necessary but I will not follow any man into bad choices. [email protected], I forgot my point. Anywho, to wrap it up, yes I think we could learn a few things about marriage from other racial groups but it's not a fair comparison given our history. Overall, we can def do better though. Good points.

      1. "I want to be submissive when necessary but I will not follow any man into bad choices"

        I may agree with you depending on your definition of a ‘bad choice”.

        Someone up top said they moved to another state because the husband wanted to—that may be a bad choice but why not do it if that's what your husband wants, wouldn't you want him to give you the same consideration. It may be a "bad choice" but it won't put the family in jeopardy.

        But…if he says to invest some money into the dr*g game or if he ask you to go strolling the streets for the family, it would only be wise in declining to do that. That's where you don't have to submit–when it is obviously a wrong.

        1. LOL yeah I can't invest in the drug game. πŸ™‚ I hear you. For me, it would depend on how much we're losing for the gain. Back in the day, women didn't work or have any assets of their own. It's much easier to follow a man financially then. Now things are different. Sometimes people can make bad choices and I don't agree in going along for the sake of being a good wife. I feel like it's my duty as his partner to give my input. If he's a good husband, we'll weigh our options together and hopefully make the right choice…together. In my eyes, a marriage should be 50/50. There are some women who put sole leadership into the man and if it works for them, then great. I have a child, etc to think of. I see alot of friends who are in bad situations because they didn't speak up to their husbands…then they divorce a year later over money,etc. My point is, I'm not going to follow for the sake of following. That's how things go from good to bad. I can't stand by a man while he makes choices that aren't in the best interest of the family. To me, marriage is a team effort, not a dictatorship.

        2. "Someone up top said they moved to another state because the husband wanted to—that may be a bad choice but why not do it if that’s what your husband wants, wouldn’t you want him to give you the same consideration. It may be a “bad choice” but it won’t put the family in jeopardy."

          I agree with this. When I said, "Hmm" when my friend said she agreed to the move because she wanted to make him happy, I thought it was good and sweet. My Hmm was just sarcastic.

  25. I really loved this post.

    But I'd like to ask the commenters, what do you mean when you say the man should lead? Or that he woman should submit? It just sounds bad to me… But I think I'm not understanding it right. If it means standing by your man through everything, or moving to the other side of the world for him, that's fine. If it means accepting whatever he decides without conversation (ie. moving to the other side of the world), then I'm never going to be lead and don't really think anyone should. For me relationships are always 50/50. I give my all and so does he.

    I also don't think marriage is always the ultimate sign of commitment. My aunt and uncle have been living together since the 70s, they have two children, a dog and a house together, and they look pretty happy (at least on the outside). They've never gotten married, they simply don't want to. My aunt is a very strong woman, so if she had wanted to get married, I'm sure she would have. She just doesn't care. The commitment is there, nonetheless. Maybe that's why I'm not hell-bent on getting married either.

    Shacking up isn't automatically a form of commitment for everyone, but it's also not that easy to leave it. Easier than marriage, sure, but still pretty inconvenient. For me personally, living together with someone means I'm committed to them. I might as well be married because I'm going to act like it anyway. But I know different people do things for different reasons, for example a few of my friends have moved in with their boyfriends after 4 months of dating just because one of them lost their apartment. I think that's a recipe for disaster… but again that's just me.

    There's a lot more I'd have to say on the subject but I'll leave it at that. Thank you Most!

    1. @Vee If I don't fully answer your question, just tell me…

      I believe in me having VETO power… I believe in allowing women to SHINE… & SHINE ALOT… it reminds me of this biblical verse

      (19) Just then, as Pilate was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him this message: “Leave that innocent man alone. I suffered through a terrible nightmare about him last night.”

      Matthew 27:19 New Living Translation

      But I need to have the FINAL say… And I am guy who can admit my strengths & weaknesses… & would enjoy a woman who RUNS the SHOW most of the time (They are not built like that…)

      I believe that most women do not like the full time job of RUNNING the relationship… That is a MAN's job…

      I think I answer your question…

      And I do not believe in 50/50 relationships…

    2. Hey Vee – check out the thread right above this one for my response on what leadership is. The commenter above asked essentially the same question.

      In terms of your aunt and uncle – legally they're married. They have a common law union. But I agree. Wedding is to union as baptism is to faith. If you've already made the commitment to each other, the wedding and all the legal stuff is just a way of letting the world know.

      1. Thanks, I noticed the same :). I think we wrote our comment at the same time so I didn't see hers before I wrote mine.

        I'll just add that religion (me not having one) may play a big role in this too.

  26. 1. Your wife may or may not tell you she stopped taking birth control – I don't know how to tell most men this, but when they get inside marriage, they tend to leave their hat on the dining room table. Unlessen (preacher word) you have your hat on, don't get mad when she start dreaming about fishes.

    2. You still got your own sh*t – Your wife: What's yours is ours, and what's mine's is mine's. There's a survey out there that said that most widows with in 12 months of their husband passing find hidden stashes of money around the house that they never knew about. Shouldn't have been messing with Poker Wednesdays.

    3. You should tell your spouse everything – Not if she's Black. There's some things she don't need to know about. Mainly, Sue's, Onyx, Irving's and what "I'm hanging out with the fellas tonight" means.

    4. You get the GOOD stuff now – I have this list of ish i've heard females say, "Maybe for my husband." Real talk, I don't know any married men who are like, "Last night, my wife let me … and I was like, "YO I BEEN WAITING FOR THIS!"

    5. You don't have to deal with crazies – Trust me, there's that chick that you was just smashing who logs into Facebook one day and is like, "Engaged?! Married to?!" What? How long they was together for? And they start counting on their fingers how long it's been since you was last inside her. (Head does NOT count.) What they fail to realize is that the only reason why they having this epiphany is because they were too stupid to realize their ass was getting played. That's also why they counting on their fingers. This chick though, unless she got some real good friends, is going to act stupid. Listen to "Phanton of the Opera" off the T-Pain album. (youtube.com/watch?v=SaNeY5EgXts) And trust me on that. You can be married, but don't expect crazy women/men to ever leave you alone.

    1. "You should tell your spouse everything – Not if she’s Black"

      πŸ™

      "You get the GOOD stuff now – I have this list of ish i’ve heard females say, “Maybe for my husband.” Real talk, I don’t know any married men who are like, “Last night, my wife let me … and I was like, “YO I BEEN WAITING FOR THIS!”

      Can't remember where I was reading this (might have been on SBM), but the general outcry from women was that their husbands are notorious for shutting down their attempts to do….interesting stuff. I am not married, but a lot of my married friends also complain that their husbands side-eye them, when they suggest "out of the ordinary" bedroom activities.

      As for dealing with the crazies-you are so correct. I think the craziest ones love married men.

  27. Mabyl I think the answer is pretty simple. White women know how to let a man be a man. Nobody has to tell them to submit. They watched there mothers growing up and learned how to get their way without emasculating a man.

    Black women on the other hand often have no clue about how to treat a man like a man. This is why so much is made of submission. I think it was originally meant to help women understand men. But now women are tired of hearing about it all the time.

    The US has one President. A home has to have a tie breaker. Even in the white couples marriages the husband is in charge but again, it's not a big deal if you both go into the relationship understanding these things.

    With black couples….we get together not knowing how to play our positions.

    1. Why does it have to be all Black women? The only time I feel myself challenging a man is when I don't respect him based on his words/actions. Maybe some men do stupid things that cause some Black women to lose respect for them? Or maybe the woman didn't come from a household where she learned how a functioning marriage should work? There's 2 sides to every coin. Instead of throwing shade at Black women, try to see the cycle that BOTH genders contribute to. I don't know what you see, but I see BOTH Black women and men not respecting each other like we should.

      1. "Maybe some men do stupid things that cause some Black women to lose respect for them? "

        This is what I meant by saying your submission should not be contingent on whether he is right or wrong, because that submission will be flimsy. Respect is a given when married, your respect should NOT come and go because your partner is doing something you don’t like at the time. You may disagree and not like it but there is way to handle that respectfully too.

        For example…If my mother/supervisor/child makes a crazy choice that I don't agree with, do I can’t lose respect for them for that. I will still love, honor and respect them because we all make dumb choices occasionally.

        Your husband should be given a lot more consideration than those people, because he comes first.

        I see it as nothing less than self-destructive when people accept more from people in the street that they do from the ones at home. People in general are going to piss you off and do stupid stuff, however the choice to see beyond that is what marriage is about.

        Futhermore, SFG, men are ALL about women respecting them so that is very important for women to figure out.

        1. I'm sorry, I wrote my comment wrong or didn't convey what I meant properly. I was NOT referring to myself in a marriage. I was playing devil's advocate because I didn't like his generalization about Black women. I was speaking more in general. People lose respect for their partners all the time. I was referring more to disrespect and not bad choices. For example, a man being emotionally abusive to his wife, etc. I see alot of disrespect from both sides.

          I, personally, have alot of respect for my man. So much so that I gave too much in my opinion and didn't speak up for myself as I should have. lol Miscommunication.

      2. I did say often….I would never say all.

        And you are right. Men and women have to learn to play their positions. But the submission thing is mostly a womens weakness. Men are weak in other areas.

    2. "With black couples….we get together not knowing how to play our positions."

      This is because we play around TOO long il Duce. Soaring Oats will not prepare you for marriage. Soaring Oats is in itself a selfish act.

      Whites also marry younger and more often than US. There has to be a correlation.

  28. Dang I'm so mad I'm late to the party. Excellent post Most!

    I especially like points 2-4.

    #2 – When I got back with my fiance it was a whole lot love but even more work. I knowingly had a wall up so I wouldn't set myself up for the okeedoke but we worked through it all and still are with the usual relationship stuff.

    #3 – Good point through and through. This topic came up a few weeks ago and I've been thinking on how to go about it since then. The one thing is that I will do things my way; not how you think they should be or what you are used to by your dad/uncles/other head of households in your family.

    #4 – OMG. My fiance's single friends HATE going out with us for some reason. They always feel like a third wheel. The thing is that we don't make them feel like that. We aren't lovey dovey all the time. I talk to her like she is one of my homeboys half the time. I jokingly say that I'm marrying my drinking partner; thats how good of friends we are and how we get along when we are out. Seriously, you want to hang with us lol

    Good job again.

  29. Great post most, do you ever get tired of eating the same burger every night? I think many guys worry about this. You gave a great example of what leadership means. Personally, I don't see what the issue is with leadership. My background involved dominant female influences and I don't want to or see a marriage as a fight over who wears the trousers . Does it have to be a hierarchy? Do equal partnerships not exist? I don't see what the issue is with independent women provided she's logical and rational, what's the beef?
    Most, I liked this part a lot: "It’s not about me vs. you, it’s about us vs. the problem." Now that is leader talk.

    I don't think moving in is necessarily a
    Bad thIng. If the marriage ain't strong it's going to fall apart even if you don't cohabit before getting it together.

    1. I would eat steak every night if the cholestorol wasn't going to kill me. And now you know why men die earlier than women. If you eat the same … for too long, it'll kill you.

      And I'm telling you, Adonis intends to have his bacon, even if it kills him.

  30. Also sad that I'm late to the party. 4Loko is ruining my college experience.

    Yay for excellent inaugural posts! Definitely nowhere near getting married, but this was an excellent read. I especially loved this one-liner: Getting married doesn’t change people, it exposes people.

    I see a lot of my friends getting married "just because." They say that they've been together so long so it just makes sense. I usually see an off-again, on-again, often abusive relationship. Later for that. Also, I'm a firm believer in believing people the first time they show you who they are. If you know your man/woman is a cheater, liar or crazy why do you think getting married will fix that? That just sounds extremely simple to me. I also feel like a lot of women (yes, even in 2011) feel a lot of pressure to get married and because of that will settle for someone who really isn't good for them. Or vice versa, either way, it goes back to the whole getting married for the wrong reasons thing. Anyway, I'm just rambling now. The point is, this was a great read and I'm looking forward to seeing more from Most.

  31. I often wonder how many women that say they can' t be lead or can't submit feel that way when it comes to se.x.

    LOL. Maybe some brothers have to start making all of the demands in the bedroom while the woman is naked in order for some women to submit…because that’s the ONLY time I don’t hear women complaining about submitting!

    I am as opinionated as they come (as you can see on this blog) however, its something about my husband that makes be WANT to submit to him in every way, not just se.xually.

    Sure I like to take the reigns every now and then, but if the only place I can allow him to lead is in the bedroom…I may need to re-evaluate some things.

    1. I think you've made a good point with this. How often can a man TELL a woman to do ANYTHING in the bedroom and she does it but if he asks her to fry a piece of chicken she starts finger snapping and talking about how independent she is?

      I'm also beginning to wonder if maybe THIS is what causes oh say, Adonis, to not want to lead?

      Are we as colored girls making it difficult for ourselves to be lead because of where and when we actually do allow ourselves to be lead? (Did that make sense?)

      *lightbulb in Jac's head*

    2. When a man makes a woman feel loved, respected, and valued, she will agree to do almost anything he says. So I guess we want to define that as "submitting."

      But, vice versa. Men will do anything for a woman who makes him feel respected, validated, loved.

      But then is he "submitting" to her?

      Thoughts?

      1. But, vice versa. Men will do anything for a woman who makes him feel respected, validated, loved.

        _________________________

        Yes. When a man is treated like a man….there is nothing he loves more than that feeling….he will do anything for a woman that treats him right.

        That's all many pastors were trying to get women to understand when they started preaching on submission.

      2. I REALLY dislike the use of "submission" It sounds so degrading. But I do not think that means he's submitting. If couples learn to work as a team they can prosper. Be more flexible in their roles rather than rigid and maybe see eachother as equals instead of always seeing eachother as opposites. Man or woman, you're still human, the only difference is the genetic make up and our physical structures. So what you are expecting from him he may also need from, including being "respected, validated, loved"

        1. I hear what you are saying…but sometimes submission means just that…..submission.

          Perfect example…one of my ex's would agree that I was right and just continue arguing because she wanted to win the argument. I would call her out and she would start laugin cause she knew the argument was over. She just wanted to be right.

          Hear is the thing though….that ish is only cute and funny to a certain point. When the argument is stupid. But when it's over somethin real there is nothing cute about arguing something stupid just cause you too proud to submit. Doing that for 10 years is just immature. At some point you want your partner to grow up. Part of growing up is knowing when to shut up. Some call that Submission LOL

          I could give more examples. I'm just sayin submission does mean submission.

        2. Thank you kindly for opening this door. I was going to bring it up earlier but I’m tired and when the comments get over 100+ I start getting lost.

          Anyway, is “submission” a bad word to men? women? It seems like both sexes are getting caught up on this word. Honestly, it seems to dominate the majority of comments made today. I ask, is it the word that is bothering people are the actions inherent to the word?

          This is probably my last comment, because this is getting overwhelming but I may follow-up on this particular subject down the road.

          Props to Most again, this has been an interesting discussion to follow.

        3. "Man or woman, you’re still human, the only difference is the genetic make up and our physical structures"

          You are underestimating how big of a difference this is KB. That is what makes us SO different.

          I stated yesterday that while women and men should be both equally treated fairly (and even the definition of fair is different for men and women), we are NOT EQUAL in FUNCTION.

          WE are each here to do specific things and yes while the line may blur and men and women have both become good at crossing the gender lines, we are still very much different in how and why we do things. WE are not men and since women have started thinking that they can be, things have gotten crazy.

          Respect that your role as a woman is not comparable that of a man. It is not a bad thing, nor is it degrading. How is it that a woman can submit to get a paycheck but can't submit to her own husband?

          You trust you supervisor/company to lead you as long as you are getting benefits (pay, etc). Why not trust your husband to lead you and reap those rewards?

          I get what I want from my marriage not by trying to be his equal in function but by playing my part as woman, which is VERY different from his part as a man.

          Even on a team, there is coach and he guides the team. Too many chiefs and not enough Indians is never good.

      3. I think we need to define what it means to "submit" better. It's getting hazy. lol Some look at it as full submission in all aspects while others look at it as submission with weakness/strength as a unit. For example, if I'm weak on budgeting, my husband can take control as that is his strength. I cannot let anyone take full control, even when they are wrong. For example, knowing budgeting is my strength but allowing the husband to take control knowing it's his weakness, seeing him make ill decisions and not speaking out. That's not a good unit in my eyes. One person shouldn't have full submission to the other. It should be a balance.

        1. Submitting has very little to do with control SFG. There are strengths and weakness that both partners will have in the marriage. A WISE husband will of course want his wife to utilize those strengths.

          I don't lose control by giving my husband the ultimate say in major things. In fact, I gain a chance to see how he works his magic and fill the gaps if need be. That will also give me more insight as to how he handle a given situation.

          Of course you should not turn EVERYTHING over to your husband, that has nothing to do with submitting. However, if you trust your man, you will submit and deal with the after math (good or bad) accordingly. Men just want to know that you trust their vision for the family….that's one of the major duties of a husband.

          Being in control is something women constantly complain about yet when they have a man around that WANTS to take charge, they can't allow out of fear. Fear is not good for that reason.

          The fear is of letting someone else make a major choice and not being able to control how it turns out.

        2. I don't mind letting the man make decisions. I like to be lead so you're preaching to the choir. I am talking about full submission. It has everything to do with control. The definition is to submit to authority and you're giving full control to that person. Even the bible says it….submit always and I disagree. Obviously I'm going to marry someone I trust however we are imperfect creatures and will make mistakes. I'm not saying I won't allow my husband to make mistakes or follow him in good faith. I know exactly how to treat a man, Beef. All I'm saying is that if see my husband making a major decision that I know is not in our best interest, I'm going to speak up. I will not fully submit. I view marriage as a partnership and unit. That is my belief. Not everyone has to be a submissive wife. My husband and I will work together. There are diff types of marriages and not one way works for everyone. What works for you is great. There are diff types of women and more than one way to make a marriage work.

      4. @Maybl Even though MIMITW is running the show… You are still in the Lion's den…

        Men will do anything for a woman who makes him feel respected, validated, loved.

        I am assuming you mean Men with Character…

        Cause I find it in LIFE that MOST WOMEN of all races GO the distance for their MEN… That is part of their DNA…

        But women sometimes give their GOLD to the wrong UNsupportive MEN… (her poor choice, But she still put in work)

        and those men will railroad her…

        If the most of the men around your way are of quality & they are not being "respected, validated & loved" SHAME on the women in that area…

        But just because a woman is giving it up like that doesn't mean a MAN will "do anything" for her…

        If I misinterpreted what you said… My bad

    3. My inability to submit is more so in the bedroom….

      I am a logical individual. I like to consider myself open-minded and objective. So it won't be a my way or the highway type of deal, it will be a partnership and subjects will be discussed. No one will be demeaned or made to feel less than, but for the most I expect to be a leader.

  32. First,

    Amazing post, very rare I read about Black Love let alone marriage.

    Questions,

    How long were you and your partner together before you realized marriage was the only option? I know its different for everyone, but how long is too long? When is it rushed? especially due to uncertainty.

  33. Maybe this is what it means when some men say that other women know that their strength IS in fact in their submission.

    There are ways to guide your husband without trying to run the show. Marriage is a dance and the man is the lead partner in the dance. Have you seen a man and woman on the dance floor fighting to have control? Wouldn't be a good look huh?

    You have to use this same logic in the household. I see why pride really is a sin. It doesn't allow some women to relinquish their power. Although you make think you are right and that it should be done your way most of the time—would you rather be right or have a REAL un-emasculated man?

    Women will never be able to change the fact that men want to be the head of the household and beware of that man that doesn't. So if you can't fight it why not learn to work with it instead.

    There is certainly a power struggle going on between black men and women.

    What we fail to realize is that while we are both powerful, our powers are different to say the least. Once people begin to respect those differences the better off our community will be.

    Yeah some women may have had to be single mothers, but don't punish your husband for that. Don’t assume he can't lead because that other dude couldn't.

  34. oh damn I'm hella late, but this was a really good post. The type of marriage you described is what I hope that I will have one day.

    Honestly tho, I am kinda scared of marriage, its so permanent and expensive to end. My parents were together for about 15 years before the divorced and now, 15 years later they can barely be in the same room together. My mom has a wonderful relationship with my step-father now and I am pretty sure it will last until they die but her relationship with my dad still haunts me. I am afraid that I'm gonna find someone and then 15 years later its gonna be over…..I shouldn't live with these fears but that is why I couldn't imagine getting married before my late 20s/early 30s and I would have to be with someone for an extensive amount of time before and after engagement.

    But maybe I'll find someone who will make all my fears go away…..

    1. When you find him, your fears will probably be even more pronounced, you'll act crazy and he'll probably peace out because that's a lot to handle. Work on that now sis. You have the power to do so. πŸ™‚

      1. This made me laugh a little cause I thought you were going to agree with me….and then you confirmed my fears. But I agree with you I need to get it together now..I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.

        1. I have the same fears but for different reasons. I've unfortunately had to witness too many bad marriages and relationships to fully believe in "happily ever after". My mom and dad have been married for almost 40 years and I NEVER want to have what they have. They haven't been voluntarily talking to each other for 10 years, haven't slept in the same room in probably 20, yet they live in the same house and co-exist. I know they're both very unhappy but they just can't leave anymore. My dad can be a bit of an asshole and my mom can shut people out efficiently, and those two combined make up for a horrible combination. Obviously I don't have the full story on why things went south between them because it happened when I was very small (or well, probably even before I was born), but it has caused me to be very, very cautious when it comes to men and commitment.

          As a positive note though, I've found a man who can make me believe that it's at least possible to be happy forever… yet sometimes doubt cripples my mind. And that sucks, but I'm working on it!

  35. @Beef Bacon I COMPLETELY agree with what you are saying. By that statement what I meant was, growing up a man’s role and a woman’s role in a marriage comes from numerous perspectives. Not everyone has the same view of what a Man’s job is or what a Woman’s job is. Nowadays you can’t just assume that the “role” you plan for your partner to play is the same as the “role” they plan to act on. You guys have to create your own, trial and error, find out what works, what fits. So what I’m trying to get across is that you have to learn your partner, be willing to teach as well as make compromises. Not every marriage is the same, some traditional, some more modern. These days it depends on the PERSON to what position they are willing to play, not their sex (in my opinion). Also, are they willing to change or compromise? do they even Love you enough to do so? I would be more than willing to support and allow my Man to lead as long as he respected my input and allowed me to have some kind of say so. It will not be a dictation.

  36. Ah, dear Grammar Nazi Most. Let me start by simultaneously congratulating you for a nice first post and teasing you for using "you're" instead of "your" ≥ 3 times and "their" instead of "they're" 1ce throughout the day.

    Your second point is a great one that I agree with completely, and the third is one that I tell people all the time. Cultivated habits are not put to rest in a single day.

    I look forward to having that one person that I can just be free to keep falling deeper in love and to completely be myself with (although, of course, part of that should be established prior to the marriage). Someone with whom I will have a consistent mutual support system. He will be my lover, my best friend, and the one I will give my all to in a way that I've never done before (lol, that almost sounds like it contradicts my agreement with your earlier point). If I do end up getting married, that is.

    @RedLady821…I like that comment about your relationship with your husband. Aww.

  37. for a long time,i thought you were white. whenever i read your comments cos they just did not seem like a typical black guys comment,your idea of submission,shines thru in every comment i have ever read from you on this blog,so u will be pretty easy to submit to……but how many black men are like you….the proverbial unicorn. don't get me wrong,i am not saying men with that domineering attitude towards submission and leadership are bad, but mayb they just have the wrong mindset whc has been built up over years whc will be very difficult to change and like i said 99.9% of black men re like this.

    1. 99.9% is pretty out there. Even 75% would be pushing it, considering the fact that there are a lot of black men who stay in the background and either prefer the woman to lead, or are subject to a partner who refuses to let them do so.

    2. @mizcynic

      At east when I am making generalizations, I am on to something…

      Could YOU PLEASE clarify that 99.9 statement…

      Because most black men are raised by the mothers & they get to see the male leadership to BE the tyrant that you speak of (but chances are, you are attracted to tyrant BM, so that is all you see,,,)

      You forget that we have alot of simps, momma's boys, nerds, skater boys types of BM (at least 30%)

  38. I was away and am way late, but I had to throw my pennies in the coffer…

    I haven't read comments yet, so my apologies if I'm repeating other's sentiments.

    1. Not to contradict your experience, because you know your life and tone can make a huge difference…but in my experience, everyone asks married folks about kids, at every age, all the time, ad nauseam. Heaven forbid you be a person that never wants children! This question is constant. Such is life…how's dating? then, how's the boyfriend? then, when are you getting married? then, when are you having kids? then, when's the NEXT kid? then, are you done having kids? then, where are the grandkids? and on and on…

    Point number 2 was perfection.

    LAWD! #3 could be a post all it's own! Especially the nuances of "acting like a wife" for a boyfriend mixed in there! Quotable: "Everything about who you were before you got married gets put under a magnifying glass once you were married."

    LOL, I had to laugh at number 4…thanks for putting it out there though. Marriage is not a death sentence.

    I have to first scoff at your false modesty here "And I would have been a fair-to-middlin husband for lots of women because I think I’m pretty ok myself." lol, yeah, ok. And then disagree with "my wife is not special". I do understand the concept you're trying to convey, but I do think that your wife is special and specially suited for you. And that you are special and specially suited for her. That's my opinion. Could either of you have married someone else and been successful, yes, I think you could have. But we can do lots of things that we shouldn't, my personal belief is that the man that I choose to be my husband will be the most perfectly suited for the job or I simply wouldn't choose him.

    Good post Most. Now to enjoy the comments.

  39. I really enjoyed this post! I thought it was very mature and thoughtful. I just discovered this blog and I plan on sharing it with friends and visiting often. On my blog, which is about food and life, I posted about the Single Life. I felt that there needed to be more perspectives of what it means to be single from the perspective of a 42 year old woman that has never been married and has no children. Karen

  40. This seems like a really good post. Ladies if you get a real Black MAN then he is really looking for a woman to have his back threw whatever. He don't want to be used for what he can do for you. A lot of women love the gifts more than they love the giver. Black women these days always talk about things and what he can do for me. I lot of them can't cook, some don't work and want to run everything. So when a man comes along they can't let it go and let him lead. If you love him and do what he ask of you. In return he will give you anything you want or die trying. That's if you got a good man. Men want to feel if I'm rich she's with me if I'm not she's with me. It's really hard to find a good woman these days. All I here is what you got and how much you got and they base good men off that alone. Black men want to love and get married but we need Black women to stop only looking at things as if that's what life is all about. Love me… If you truly love each other it will work… Don't mean you don't work at it but real love will make you work at it…

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