Single Sisters Speak Out

The Modern Life of the Single Sister

State of the Institute May 12, 2009

Filed under: Single Sisters On... — cuzzo @ 11:19 pm

Love and Marriage, Love and Marriage

Go together like a horse and carriage

This, I tell you brother

You can’t have one without the other

Love and Marriage, Love and Marriage

It’s an institute you can’t disparage

Ask the local gentry

And they will say it’s elementary

Try, try, try to separate them

It’s an illusion

Try, try, try and you will only come

To this conclusion…

– The Theme Song to Married with Children

My people, my people, a simple question: Where is the state of marriage currently? I know a couple who has a daughter d@mn near my age (think she’s 22) and 2 other younger kids, who NEVER got married. I consider them married. Hey, she carries his last name. (and you know they are black, lol. Well she’s black, he’s hispanic *cough* black still, but that’s neither here nor there) Is there anything wrong with that? No. It works for them but it wouldn’t work for me. I could be wrong but I think he is the one who doesn’t “believe” in marriage – that a piece of paper does not prove anything.

I also have a friend who does not believe in marriage because he has had no examples of successful ones in his lifetime. So, what’s the point? And really, back to the piece of paper, can love simply be defined by a piece of paper? Yes, we do live in a country where marriage is a business of sorts and a contract needs to be enforced. Be that as it may, I strongly believe that marriage is the fulfillment of a covenant with God. It goes beyond any piece of paper but the paper is necessary in this country. Are people more so scared of the contract? Thinking about the demise (divorce) than the actual here and now?

What is marriage to you?

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75 Responses to “State of the Institute”

  1. J Money (First Name, Last Name) Says:

    I think marriage is two people professing their love for one another in front of friends, family and GOD most importantly. I think some people don’t take that third one seriously enough. Yes the divorce rate is high but how many of those people probably got married for the wrong reasons. My guess would probably be a good percentage of them. Whether pressured, a child, security, or dont wanna let the snatch or banana go!!

    Your friends have to do what works for them, if that’s the understanding they have in their relationship. May not work for others but it does for them. I don’t feel like anyone should get married if they are not ready or don’t see a need to. Now that whole last name change thing is weird but again that’s their understanding. Some couples want rings. I saw a couple with tattooed rings on their fingers. Does it make their marriage less of a marriage?

    I feel the paper means nothing except for government purposes. Because that paper won’t keep you married. Try holding that up in the face of someone when they have crept out the backdoor on the marriage. I think a marriage license will be the last thing you think about reaching for. Can u imagine someone screaming “Look At This Paper!!”. That’s like a woman holding up a picture of herself in high school and saying to the baby “Look What You Did To Me”!!

  2. Bamer15 Says:

    I agree that, that tiny piece of paper means absolutely nothing. For instance, if someone is going to cheat on someone else, that little piece of paper isn’t going to stop anything.

    What does it bring? I think it just brings security that if anything happens you are entitled to ‘half’ of everything. But why get into a relationship where you need that security… aren’t you setting yourself up for failure? dumb.

    The second thing that the paper brings is some tax discounts for having the same last name, (being married and not single) Also I think it’s important to have the same last name for you children.

    Other than that though, it doesn’t mean anything. I think a marriage is a partnership between 2 people and they either choose to honor it or not, no paper will solidify anything. And the whole marriage ceremony at the church is just a big “show” for all the people to know you are married. So if that’s all it is, (and a way for churches to make money), then tell me why we don’t just throw a big party instead? Would be cheaper and more fun right?

    I could go on, but i’ll stop as it’s getting long. And just so you know a bit about me, I have gone to church my whole life and say ‘grace’ before dinner every night.. but I think this whole marriage “show” and civil agreement are dumb..

  3. I agree with both J and Bamer.

    Additionally, for me, marriage is very important and I think people need to be aware of what they are getting into. Loving someone is not hard, but making a relationship work for YEARS and still keeping it fresh is the hard part.

    Marriage would also bring me peace of mind… since I’m trying hard to walk the Godly walk- I know it’s something that He’d prefer- if you engage in relations, live together, etc.

  4. No. Says:

    I agree with Bamer. Its funny that most older married men tell me not to get married unless I plan on having kids, otherwise stay single. I dont have a problem with it though, Im just not sure if its for me.

  5. Bamer15 Says:

    I have some friends that are atheist, while I consider myself a christian, and we had this conversation and I completely see their points that they were trying to make.

    The question “why” just kept getting asked over and over to me until I basically said, ” I dunno, I guess we go to a church to put on a ‘show’ to our friends and family so that they know we are together….And the piece of paper is just for security…I guess?”

    I couldn’t come up with a better answer on the spot and ever since those conversations I can’t bring myself to really want to have a wedding, like I could in the past, before.

    And I agree with person above me about how ‘older men’ (sometimes women) will tell me not to get married, unless it’s for kids. I didn’t really understand it at the time, but now I do, and I see why they say that. And that is, “what does a wedding and a civil agreement prove?”

    It’s just a show and another piece of paper…. but I still think I will want to get married though. (I just can’t put the pieces together as to why anymore..)

    *confused*

  6. “It’s just a show and another piece of paper…. but I still think I will want to get married though. (I just can’t put the pieces together as to why anymore..) ”

    @Bamer: Sometimes you don’t always need a verbal reason and the urge is just there, inside you.

  7. J Money (first name, last name) Says:

    @Bamer15: “what does a wedding or civil agreement prove?”

    I don’t think a wedding should prove anything. If u are trying to prove something to someone then you are getting married for the wrong reason. But who wouldn’t want the people who care about them the most there for that day. Some people do go overboard and it becomes a show to them. But a wedding is just like a marriage, it is what u make it.

  8. Bamer15 Says:

    @ J Money: I agree, I do want the people I care about there, so why not through a nice party instead? You can do a little ceremony explaining that you have found your ‘partner’ and let that be it. I also agree with your point that many people go overboard.

    But answer me this guys/girls, “Why do little girls sometimes have only one dream their entire lives, and that is to get married, have a beautiful wedding (ring included) and have kids…”

    I have yet to meet any guys that have said that was THEIR dream as a kid…

  9. Shawnta` Says:

    I agree that a lot of couples plan more for the wedding than the actual marriage. In my opinion, pre-marital classes/counseling with couples who have been married at least ten years or more or a pastory is a must during the engagement. It forces couples to discuss potential issues that they may not have considered or discussed previously…finances (joint vs. separate accounts), children (whether both want them, when, how many, how to discipline), friends of the opposite sex (both friends you knew before getting engaged & those you’ll meet after getting married), meddling parents/inlaws/family, etc., etc., etc. The list goes on. Of course, you can’t prepare for everything that could become an issue during marriage but it’s a good place to start. Just know that there will be things that happen during marriage that you didn’t plan for or discuss and you’ll have to figure out then (when it happens) how to handle these things.

    I also believe that marriage is a covenant that involves both spouses & God. God must be kept at the center of the marriage and anytime He is taken out of the equation or ignored, the marriage dynamic is imbalanced.

    Marriage is an extremely beautiful thing. There is nothing like it. It’s hard to describe but in my opinion, nothing compares to it. It has its good days & it has its bad days…heck, it even has its ugly days. It is NOT always easy (and don’t let anyone tell you that it is or that it SHOULD be). It is consistent work and it’s work that you don’t get a break from (just like parents don’t get a break from being parents when their children are minors). There is no vacation from marriage, no sick days, no off days…so, you really do have to give it your all at all times. The smallest thing could start a domino effect and make it all fail IF one of both spouses allow this to happen because they were off their “game” for a day or two in the marriage.

    The two spouses(and God) become one. Every decision that is made should be made together (or at least with consideration given to how it will affect the other). Marriage is a good teacher for selflessness and this is definitely not an easy lesson to learn. It’s hard to have a strong, lasting, beautiful and great marriage when one or both spouses is/are selfish.

    @Cuzzo: I love this post because I’m always curious to hear how others view marriage. I’m especially interested in hearing how black people view marriage. I didn’t realize that there is an actual day set aside to celebrate and educate people on marriage in the black community until a year ago…Black Marriage Day.

    Sidebar: Have y’all heard of the marry your baby daddy day? What do y’all think of it?

  10. Shawnta` Says:

    Good Lord…sorry my comments are so long.

  11. Rob Says:

    So many questions in this post (i bet this breaks the record for commments):

    1. RE: Is there anything wrong with that?

    Nope. Except when you die in an accident and you don’t live in a common law marriage state and you have no living will and the person you have been living with has to go to court to prove that they should get your leftovers versus your Mom who happens to have always HATED your pseudo-wife and is on some BS now.

    2. RE: And really, back to the piece of paper, can love simply be defined by a piece of paper?

    Absolutely not. I have plenty of unfulfilled contracts (Would you be my girlfriend? Mark YES or NO – – – Love Letters – – – Even Promise Rings) in my past. My “contract” per say is with God and my wife. My love is DEFINED in my heart, mind and behavior based on the promise (contract) that I made with God and my wife. No paper could ever define love. If it did, Hallmark already has that on lock . . .and you know how hard it is to find a card that really expresses what you’re feeling.

    3. RE: I also have a friend who does not believe in marriage because he has had no examples of successful ones in his lifetime. So, what’s the point?

    Please do not use this friend as a frame of reference regarding if Marriage (the institution – – the ceremony – – the fulfilment of the promise to God and wife) “has a point”? It would be like asking someone who has never accumulated any wealth in life how to make money. How can they tell you something that they don’t have a inkling about? The best thing any two persons considering marriage could do is surround themselves by people who hae either 1.) done it before or 2.) are supportive of you doing it. When I decided to get married, I ridded myself of people who were on that “Dog, don’t do it” tip. Your marriage environment will strongly impact the success of your marriage (just as your rearing environment will strongly impact the success of your life).

    4. RE: Are people more so scared of the contract? Thinking about the demise (divorce) than the actual here and now?

    If my marriage was to fail, the last thing I would be thinking about is how protected I am by the legal contract I signed, put in a silver monogram tube and stored on the mantle. I would probably have my head in my hands, crying, feeling like I was a failure at marriage and failed in my duties as a husband, father, friend, lover, partner. I would be dissapointed in myself, regardless of who was “at fault”. A marriage license ensures nothing but survivor benefits, access to health benefits, tax deductions and other assorted ish. It doesn’t protect you from any risk (because if it’s a nasty divorce, the person with the best record keeping and best lawyer is going to determine most of the outcome).

    My rebuttle question to anyone is that if the marriage ceremony is so “unecessary” why is it that it is commonplace in any culture, ethnicity, religion, continent, tribe or whatever else you could think of? And why has it been in existence since the beginning of time?

  12. Rob Says:

    @Shawnta: Haha. The married folks are snapping off on this one. I will be linking this to a blog I’m writing on my site.

  13. i have to come out of blog-bernation for this: why so’s views on marriage.

    I think the problem with marriage is that people don’t know themselves…

    The first understanding you should have is that you want to spend infinity with that person. Infinity. I’d get all religulous, but as said before, too much emphasis is put on the “man and wife” bond and not the”couple and God” bond. I believe a good partnership should put you on the road to spiritual health…

    I also don’t believe a successful marriage is “work”. A person “works” at Wal Mart. At 4:55 oclock, you want to get out that piece…quick. Work denotes something that you inherently don’t want to do; you just go through the motions to get through, not investing your creative/passionate energy into. How many of us would quit “work” if you got a 100 million?

    I think we should use the word “effort” as opposed to “work” When I’m putting effort into something…I don’t want to quit at 4:55…I will work till exhaustion. Like rapping/salsaing/motoing are my passions…so when I do them, it’s not work. I put in “effort” to get better at them, and when I get better it resonates with me. One should be passionate about one’s marriage, and should be aiming to make it better to derive more joy from it.

    in a perfect world though…

  14. Rob Says:

    @Bamer: My parents where married for 30+ years before my father passed. Being married is something I have always “dreamt” of. Not in the barbie & ken dollhouse with matching convertible sense that girls (are forced) to do when they’re young. But it has always been the “right” thing to do in my household and environment and something that I looked forward to doing in my later years when I was a shorty.

  15. “But answer me this guys/girls, “Why do little girls sometimes have only one dream their entire lives, and that is to get married, have a beautiful wedding (ring included) and have kids…” ”

    Getting married was never my dream. I hoped for it but didn’t think it’d be possible.

    It wasn’t until I met a great man, that I even felt like my hope could come into fruition.

  16. Dr. J Says:

    @Rob – You took all the words out of my mouth.

    I think that marriage can easily get lost as people start worrying about priorities of the flesh. Succesful career, money, wealth, personal success, all of these things that you can’t take with you when you leave. I think those things are important, but family and procreation is paramount because that will be your legacy forever. Some people don’t want to have children, hell, some people shouldn’t have children, but I do want children. And I don’t want to be the x-factor, and do it by myself. I hate when people are like I want to have kids and i’ll have them by myself. Yes, dumb ass, as if that’s how it’s supposed to be. Give your children the BEST opportunity for success.

    I want to get married. I’m not sure I’ll find a wife in this bunch. But i’m trying! I’m trying! However, I do not want to rush things.

  17. Great Comment Shawnta’.

    “Sidebar: Have y’all heard of the marry your baby daddy day? What do y’all think of it?”

    I’ve heard of it BUT I don’t believe in getting married just for the kids, on the other hand, if they are getting married bc they are in love, I’m all for it.

  18. Bamer15 Says:

    I like the comments coming out in this one. 😀 Obviously a good topic to talk about seeing as that most people on here must be within 10 years or less of each other. (gj to Cuzzo)

    Anyways..

    @ Rob: I don’t know why it is commenplace in most cultures? Good question, and I think I will do some research on it as I am interested. But it had to have started somewhere right? What is that reason.. why did it even start?

    Because if you look at from a different perspective it’s a heckavu lot better for the gene pool if we have only one child with one mate. It’s worse off when we have 4 with the same person.

    [Note: this doesn’t mean I am a believer in this in the slightest, but rather that if you look at it from different angles (a pure science twist) your persepective can change..]

  19. Shawnta` Says:

    @Nicki: Thanks. Same to you. I agree; I think marrying just for the kids is not enough of a reason.

  20. Shawnta` Says:

    This post is bringing out great comments. I will be back to read & respond more. 🙂

  21. Thanks Shawnta’. 🙂

  22. Bamer15 Says:

    Here is a another good question that we, as a collective, are flirting with the answer…

    Why do people in general have a hard time with marriage?

    We have all heard the statistic that 50% of them fail… and thats on a global level. And just as a little tidbit, I typed in “problems with marriage” and I got 45 million hits in less than 0.36 seconds on Google. (As opposed to 25 million hits on “good marriages”.)

  23. peyso Says:

    Marriage has two connotations. The first is a union before God. I think most people believe that this has to happen in a church. I disagree. I would argue that the couple that Cuzzo cited has a union under God. I think it’s pretty damn hard to not have one after at least 22 years together. I would like to point out that this is under whatever God you may believe in. Jesus, Yahweh, Allah, Buddha or no God at all. This is where love comes into play because love has more to do with your spirit and emotions than it has to do with the legality of a situation. This is when two people make a commitment to each other to be together. It doesn’t have to include a pastor, or a church, or a wedding or suits or any of that other stuff. The only necessary people are the two people getting married and their God. Remember that “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” — Matthew 18:20.

    The second connotation is an economic, legal agreement that tie two people together. It ties your finances, your health and your overall life to each other. This aint got a damn thing to do with love. To me this is the one reason that you go through the state (government) process of getting married. Remember that one could be essentially “married” without going to a courthouse or any of that other stuff. So why not just be married? The state gives all types of breaks to married people, that’s why I wanna get “married”.

  24. “Why do people in general have a hard time with marriage?”

    I think it’s bc people aren’t getting married for the right reasons in the first place- reasons such as:

    1. Bc we’ve been together for __ years and aren’t getting any younger.
    2. We have kids.
    3. Our families want us to, etc.

  25. ““Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” — Matthew 18:20.”

    Amen

  26. cuzzo Says:

    Lawd, I’m tardy to my own party. Good Morning People!

    “That’s like a woman holding up a picture of herself in high school and saying to the baby “Look What You Did To Me”!!”

    @J Money – The first comment and I’m laughing. The last name thing with the couple, I don’t know if it’s legal – I never saw her ID but that’s what she goes by.

    “So if that’s all it is, (and a way for churches to make money), then tell me why we don’t just throw a big party instead? Would be cheaper and more fun right?”

    @Bamer – We do throw a big party…it’s called the reception, d’uh. And a lot of people have shyed away from having the actual ceremony IN the church. And, why the church can’t get bread??? People are skimming out on their tithes anyway (like me, lol) so they need it for the boiler fund and what not. Churches aren’t just there, ya know? They have bills to pay, just like us.

  27. @bamer15

    hello old chap! good question you posed…wanna know why 50 percent of marriages fail?

    it’s cause Beyonce wants you to put a ring on it.

    no but seriously, I think it’s because most people rush into marriage without fully knowing themselves. I can see, from my progression in life that I probably won’t be ready for another 5-7 years. And I’m wise and smart and awesome lol.

    I think once you get to know your “core self”, a mate will pop up. Two similar “core selves” will match with each other.

    Why don’t we know our core selves? Probably too preoccupied with chasing things that vaporize when you die.

  28. Bamer15 Says:

    @ WhysoAwesome: What up bud, glad you showed up, haven’t seen you in a a bit. 🙂

    Anyways I agree with what you wrote, err.. umm.. about Beyonce. 😛

    I am about on the same timeline as you with the 5-7 year deal. Should work out, but either way, no rush. I think Ms. Right will come my way, or I am going to run into her? Either way it works.

    I am going to play devils advocate again here though by posing some questions agian. Muwahaha!

    Answer me this: What does the institution of marriage provide me that not getting married doesn’t??

  29. cuzzo Says:

    “But answer me this guys/girls, “Why do little girls sometimes have only one dream their entire lives, and that is to get married, have a beautiful wedding (ring included) and have kids…”

    I have yet to meet any guys that have said that was THEIR dream as a kid…”

    @Bamer – maybe that was the example they had from their parents, older siblings, or someone in their family. It wasn’t my dream….not a lot of examples. I think like one (in my lifetime, of course there are married people in my family) cousin of mines has been married, that I witnessed as a child…and uh, they not together no more, lol. So, yea, no good examples.

  30. peyso Says:

    @Bamer15 – tax breaks

  31. cuzzo Says:

    “In my opinion, pre-marital classes/counseling with couples who have been married at least ten years or more or a pastory is a must during the engagement. It forces couples to discuss potential issues that they may not have considered or discussed previously”

    @Shawnta – they have these classes at my church but I think the couple has not been together for 10 years. NEXT! I can think of two older couples that have been together for years just co-existing in the same household. I don’t want no parts of that! In my head, I wonder, why don’t ya’ll just get divorced? But, I guess the same way people get married for the wrong reasons, they stay together for the same reasons (kids, taxes, money, etc.). They do say it is cheaper to keep her.
    As far as the potential issues you mentioned, I think there is nothing more trying than adultery. If you look at that as a potential issue and can work past it, you’re good.

  32. Comeback Girl Says:

    My thing is ..is that im working on doing RELATIONSHIPS period well, thats with friends, family, companions etc…i think sometimes people miss that..if you suck at being a friend, son, daughter etc…how could you be an even better wife or husband.

    a relationship is a relationship…i think sometimes people miss the basics for what they’ve idealized to be their personal safe haven (a union with another person)-when they haven’t figured out how to build and make relationships work with the people the encounter everyday..

  33. “I can think of two older couples that have been together for years just co-existing in the same household”

    @cuz: I am DONE.. they are letting them conduct the workshops? lol. They most certainly are trying to get with the times.. and just like rap church music, (lol!) I can’t get on the bandwagon with that one.

  34. “I can think of two older couples that have been together for years just co-existing in the same household”

    @cuz: I am DONE.. they are letting them conduct the workshops? lol. They most certainly are trying to get with the times.. and just like rap church music, (lol!) I can’t get on the bandwagon with that one.”

    Okay Cuz, I just misunderstood your whole comment. I thought they were letting old shacked up couples do the counseling. lol

  35. cuzzo Says:

    “@Cuzzo: I love this post because I’m always curious to hear how others view marriage. I’m especially interested in hearing how black people view marriage.”

    @Shawnta – thank you. It was an idea I had prior to my engagement and it just flowed from yesterday’s convo too. Short answer – we have a jacked up view, lol.
    Also, I have not heard of marry your baby daddy day…smh…they need to call it “b!tch you be trippin” day instead cuz that’s crazy as hell.

    “Your marriage environment will strongly impact the success of your marriage”
    @Rob – I agree. You must surround yourself with like minds in all aspects of life.

  36. Rob Says:

    @cuzzo – re: “I think there is nothing more trying than adultery. If you look at that as a potential issue and can work past it, you’re good.”

    try finances. but really, trying to rank the reasons marriage fail would be like trying to climb a icy steep hill . . . in ice skates. unfortunately, there is no 1, 2 or 3 because usually 3 may have caused 1 which led to 2 that kicked of 3.

    as for the 50% statistic. all statistics can be skewed. that global statistic of divorce rates can be vastly improved if you for instance starting adding criteria like came from two parent household, went to college, above average income, low/no debt, captain of the football team, voted most likely to succeed, attractiveness to the opposite sex, etc, etc. you may get a divorce rate of like 12% of people who meet those criteria. goes back to the environment reflects your likely to succeed.

    @cbg – re: “i think sometimes people miss that..if you suck at being a friend, son, daughter etc…how could you be an even better wife or husband.”

    exactly!

  37. inakeS Says:

    A friend of mine is currently shooting a documentary that explores Black marriages and sheds a positive light on it, especially when most people don’t see examples of successful black marriages through the media or even within their own family. A link to a preview is below.

    As someone that’s preparing to propose to his girl before the end of the year, I’ll say this. I’m not a very religious person, although I go to church with my girl because it’s important to her and I’ve ended up learning a lot. Confessing anything is something that can take the weight off of your shoulders or a burden off of your heart. Confessing your love for another person to God (it seems to me) will open up emotional and spiritual levels of a relationship that may not be approachable otherwise. I have no scientific or factual evidence that tells me that marriage is the right thing to do. I didn’t think it was for me until I met my lady and now I can’t wait.

    A marriage license means as much as a drivers license. Just because you have one doesn’t mean you can drive or that you’re perfect in relationships. A good marriage isn’t a job at Walmart. It’s more like a small business that a man and a woman started themselves, can’t wait to get to work in the morning, and cultivate their business plan in order to achieve spiritual and emotional wealth.

  38. “try finances. but really, trying to rank the reasons marriage fail would be like trying to climb a icy steep hill . . . in ice skates. unfortunately, there is no 1, 2 or 3 because usually 3 may have caused 1 which led to 2 that kicked of 3. ”

    I read previously, somewhere that marriages fail bc the two people never talk finances before they take the big step- and you can end up with people on two different ends of the spectrum.

  39. cuzzo Says:

    “Okay Cuz, I just misunderstood your whole comment. I thought they were letting old shacked up couples do the counseling. lol”

    @Nicki – yes, u’re confrused my child. The young couple is in my church doing the counseling. I just mentioned the older couples…just cuz, lol.

  40. Comeback Girl Says:

    @Inakes..I watched a little of the first docu..it looks like great work.

    @ Rob..some times we look for the toughest answers when its just the basics that we haven’t mastered. The ability to get a long/compromise/ seek win/wins/forgiveness/ etc. transcends and flows inside of ALL relationships not just with husband and wife.

  41. Thanks for sharing that link, InakeS. I look forward to seeing more of that documentary.

    And congratulations on your future proposal. Great comment.

  42. “@Nicki – yes, u’re confrused my child. The young couple is in my church doing the counseling. I just mentioned the older couples…just cuz, lol.”

    @Cuz: I can’t even blame that on anything besides me skimming and not reading. lol.

  43. cuzzo Says:

    @inakeS – wooowwwww. thank you for sharing those videos. Please come back and remind us when the DVD is released. One of the men said something very important that stood out to me…if the person cannot enhance you’re quality of life, right now…it’s not worth it…I can do bad all by myself. truth! The couple in the top vid mentioned how communication is key. You can tell he put her thru some mess cuz she was all fidgety, lol.

  44. inakeS Says:

    @Cuzzo

    Thank you for the post. Much appreciated and much needed.

  45. Ms. Eighty's Baby Says:

    Great post!!!!!

    On Saturday my parents will be celebrating their 28th wedding anniversary…. Although my parents wedding haven’t been perfect I am thankful for the example that I was given.

  46. Ms. Eighty's Baby Says:

    Oops I meant

    marriage hasn’t been perfect…. Instead of wedding…

  47. cuzzo Says:

    @80’s – wow, that’s great. What marriage is perfect? lol

  48. Damon Says:

    I think we all need to go to the Fifth Chapter of Ephesians to find what we’re supposed to be doing in concerns with marriage. Marriage is supposed to mirror the love between Jesus and his church … an unyielding and undying love, that is requited not out of reciprocation, but because it’s simply the only thing to do.

    And I think the Comeback Girl is dead on point: to be good in a marriage you first need to be better in all relationships that you have with people.

    You have to be a better person, all-around. But in concerns with the marriage, you must be willing to understand the vows, and live by them.

    Too often people just say the words, but don’t really take them to heart and study them so that they can live that way. when you say something period, you should live by it.

    And when so many people don’t concerning something so serious … you end up with a divorce rate over 50 percent.

  49. cuzzo Says:

    “Marriage is supposed to mirror the love between Jesus and his church … an unyielding and undying love, that is requited not out of reciprocation, but because it’s simply the only thing to do.”

    @Damon – thank you brother D. But, in a marriage…who is Jesus and who is the church? Jesus’ love will always be unconditional but the church…the church is not perfect. Jesus is always forgiving and knows that we will fall short. So, if comparing the love to that of Jesus and the church seems like one person will be more loving, more forgiving than another. Or, should it not be taken so literal and focus on the relationship (the love) and not the people?

  50. “Or, should it not be taken so literal and focus on the relationship (the love) and not the people?”

    I think that is exactly it bc the role of who is more patient/ forgving with whom is going to switch back and forth.

  51. Britt Says:

    It really annoys me when people say marriage is “just” a piece of paper … if that’s all it is, what’s the harm in obtaining that piece of paper?

  52. cuzzo Says:

    “if that’s all it is, what’s the harm in obtaining that piece of paper?”

    @Britt – that’s how I feel. They ask why…I ask why not? 🙂 And for real for real, if you are worried about getting that piece of paper as a part of marriage, you’re not ready to be married. If you both don’t want the paper, fine…but if one person feels the need, a compromise has to be made. That’s a part of marriage too, compromises and sacrifices, for the greater good.

  53. I agree, Britt and Cuzzo.

  54. Rob Says:

    Life itself isn’t literal enough to be taken literally. It doesn’t come that black or white.

  55. Shawnta` Says:

    @Inakes: I’m very intrigued in watching this documentary in full. The clips seem interesting. I think I saw this posted on Black & Married With Kids as well. I visit that site at least once a day as well.

    @CBG: VERY good point about having good & healthy relationships all around. A friendship is nothing more than a relationship between friends. So, getting ALL relationships healthy (and maintaining them) is key.

  56. Shawnta` Says:

    @Damon: Great point. Marriage is supposed to mirror Christ’s love for the church.

  57. @Cuzzo – Good post.

    @Britt “It really annoys me when people say marriage is “just” a piece of paper … if that’s all it is, what’s the harm in obtaining that piece of paper?”

    -Exactly. If you really felt that way wouldn’t you do it just for the legal benefits? I think that’s a cop out.

    @Nicki – Marry your baby daddy day sounds crazy but it’s actually set up for couples that have children that are living together and want to get married but may not have the financial means for the wedding etc… The name leads some to believe momma is one one side of town and dad is on the other but that’s not the case. They also offer counseling etc.. to the couples before the big day.

    There are plenty of happy successful black couples floating around but the problem is they are not as vocal as the ones who are not. That’s why we try to create a forum on our site for them to discuss real topics and that’s why we’re creating the DVD above (Happily Ever After) which drops in late July to show positive images of real married black couples to reaffirm what we already know.

    Like someone mentioned above a lot of marriages fail because either the person needed to work on themselves more before entering or they didn’t ask enough of the tough questions before hand i.e. tell me about your financial history, do you want children, do we have the same religious beliefs and if not will this become a problem later between us or when we have children, what are your goals? These are all things that can become a deal breaker in a marriage years down the line that should be asked up front but a lot of people don’t.

    There’s a ton of research that shows how marriage benefits your quality of life but the most important impact a positive marriage has is on the lives of your children.

  58. Damon Says:

    @Cuzzo –

    “Or, should it not be taken so literal and focus on the relationship (the love) and not the people?”

    The verses: Wives, submit yourselves[i] to your husbands as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of his wife as the Messiah is the head of the church. It is he who is the Savior of the body. 24Indeed, just as the church is submissive to the Messiah, so wives must be submissive[j] to their husbands in everything.

    25Husbands, love your wives as the Messiah loved the church and gave himself for it, 26so that he might make it holy by cleansing it, washing it with water and the word …

    My thoughts: What’s meant is literally there through these analogies. A woman is to love her husband the way the church loves Jesus, and submits to God’s one true commandment … to love. The husband is to love his wife the way Jesus loved the church, which means that he’s supposed to subscribe to that one commandment as well: Give everything of himself as Christ did for the church.

    Like you eluded to in your question: Focus on the love.

    I hope that suffices.

    @shawnta: thanks for making me aware that Cuzzo asked me a question.

  59. blackandmarried Says:

    sorry for the long post. I guess that’s what happens when you’re late to the party…lol

  60. cuzzo Says:

    “Marry your baby daddy day sounds crazy but it’s actually set up for couples that have children that are living together and want to get married but may not have the financial means for the wedding etc”

    @Lamar – thanks for clarifying that but they should really think about changing the name, lol.

    “Like you eluded to in your question: Focus on the love.

    I hope that suffices. ”

    @Damon – it does. I kinda got it as I was typing out the question.

  61. Shawnta` Says:

    @Lamar: I enjoy the Black & Married With Kids site. I visit at least once a day and occasionally even comment. I’m looking forward to the DVD. I agree that the more that people see young, happy, healthy & strong black marriages, the less mythical they will seem. They do exist…always have & always will so long as we all strive for that. I know a lot of people are looking to the Obamas to restore black marriage to a positive light but they are just one couple; it will take many, many more couples to display and prove that black love is real and black marriage does exist.

  62. @Cuzzo- you know the shock value is what keeps people talking lol

    @Shawnta- glad to hear that and you’re right the media has picked up on the Obama’s like they are the first black couple since the Huxtables (not a real family) to have a successful black marriage. Hopefully because of that fascination with them we’ll begin to see more common images of regular folks that are making it happen.

  63. cuzzo Says:

    “Hopefully because of that fascination with them we’ll begin to see more common images of regular folks that are making it happen.”

    @Lamar et al – Come to think of the images on TV (or lack there of), TV is TV. I can’t say that I know of many successful marriages throughout my family or the neighborhood I grew up in. I can say that of my 6 aunt’s and uncles only one uncle has an ideal marriage to me. He and his wife are so silly and I love the way they interact with one another. Two of my aunt’s are married – of the two one is in a co-exist marriage, where her husband seems like he just wants to shoot himself and the other, its like they are roommates or friends. WTH?

  64. Ms. Eighty's Baby Says:

    “I can’t say that I know of many successful marriages throughout my family or the neighborhood I grew up in. ”

    And see this is why I actually approve of the “marry your babydaddy day”. I just think that with some instances people don’t have examples to go off of so they don’t even think about taking that next step. It’s something that they could have witnessed in their own household growing up. Parents together for years but never married and they’re just repeating that cycle. I think with the Marry your BabyDaddy initiative it’s making people consider marriage who probably have never contemplated it before.

    I guess I’ve never really thought about how the lack of examples are probably affecting black marriages as a whole. This makes me even more grateful of the various marriages I’ve seen throughout my community via church and other functions. I guess I’ve always took it for granted. There’s this event at my church in February and one of the door prizes is for the couple who’ve been married the longest… And it’s so cute to see the older couples stand up and proudly say how long they’ve been married.

  65. @Cuzzo- “Come to think of the images on TV (or lack there of), TV is TV. I can’t say that I know of many successful marriages throughout my family or the neighborhood I grew up in.”

    That’s why having mainstream access to those successful images is so very important. That way even if you don’t have them directly in front of you, you know they exist and you don’t feel like a unicorn if you’re in that position.

  66. Cynthia Says:

    Great Post!

  67. cuzzo Says:

    “And it’s so cute to see the older couples stand up and proudly say how long they’ve been married.”

    @80’s – old couples make me smile…no matter what race they are 🙂 Old couples still walking around, holding hands…he’s holding her bags, opening the door….I just gush.

    @Cynthia – thanks

  68. shawnta Says:

    @Cuzzo: I agree; watching old couples is the sweetest thing.

  69. Athena Nike Says:

    Great topic. My cousin delivered son #2 after christmas and the nurses(white) were surprised her hubby came in with her and son #1 running around, cause most of the sistas, and the young girls under 25 come in alone or with mama and friends, let alone be married. A brother won’t show up until April 15 to get their tax deduction, I mean childs SS#.
    I don’t think people are more scared of marriage now, cause they ain’t thinking about it. There are so many people – unfortunately WOMEN, willing to give away the milk and all the other benefits w/o being married. If we all closed our legs for more than 90 days (Steve Harvey) the econonmy would rebound for all the diamonds being purchased to get a sista across the altar to get the cookie.

    The sanctity of marriage is mocked in the media everyday and it seems normal to people, I mean how many times has Nikki Newman or Reva Shane been married, divorced, annulled, remarried, doubly married cause she had amnesia and didn’t know she wasnt single?
    I was visiting a site that talked about how hetero marraiges are not working, because of the divorce rate/non marriage is an attack of the devil, and part of the argument being used by LGBT activists to push gay marriage, and I believe that to be true. The building block of most societies has always been a family with a male and female head, who wore the pants might’ve been an issue, but there was a male and female. My question is, if hetero marriages are failing, why do homosexuals still want to get married??

  70. cuzzo Says:

    @Athena – I obviously cannot speak for all gay couples that want to be married but I think they simply want the same benefits that hetero couples receive – tax benefits, health care, and the like. Many gay couples are content with the commitment ceremony. But, when it comes down to the finances, it’s more beneficial to be recognized as married.

  71. Bamer15 Says:

    No one answered my question yesterday.. haha. 😛

  72. @Bamer15- “Answer me this: What does the institution of marriage provide me that not getting married doesn’t??”

    Research done by the national marriage project at Rutgers found:

    Marriage Myth: Cohabitation is just like marriage, but without “the piece of paper.”

    Fact: Cohabitation typically does not bring the benefits — in physical health, wealth and emotional wellbeing — that marriage does. In terms of these benefits, cohabitants in the United States more closely resemble singles than married couples. This is due, in part, to the fact that cohabitants tend not to be as committed as married couples, and they are more oriented toward their own personal autonomy and less to the well-being of their partner. The findings of one recent study, for example, suggest “there may be less motivation for cohabiting partners to develop their conflict resolution and support skills.”

    Also studies found:

    * Married people earn and save more money
    * Kids of married parents do better in school
    * Married people enjoy better health
    * Kids of married parents do better economically
    * Kids of married parents are more likely to have long-lasting marriages
    * Married people live longer
    * Married people have lower rates of substance abuse
    * Married people spend half as much time in hospitals
    * Married people live more stable, secure lives.
    * Married people live more active lifestyles.
    * Married women experience lower rates of domestic violence.
    * Married people have better mental health.
    * Boys raised by married parents are less likely to commit crimes.

  73. Bamer15 Says:

    nice… 😛

  74. Cuzzo Says:

    @Bamer – actually Peyso did answer you…”@Bamer15 – tax breaks”

    But, Lamar did an even better job. I’m CONVINCED marriage is not the pits and now I’d like an olive.


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