Single Sisters Speak Out

The Modern Life of the Single Sister

SSSO Black in America: Black Marriage and Family August 3, 2009

Filed under: Single Sisters On... — FlawedBeauty @ 11:00 pm
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“People do not marry for love – for love they already have, people marry because they have chosen in the universe to be each others teachers through life.”

When Victoria Rowell said that she really hit the nail on the head.  Marriage is, as ministers tell you, not to be entered into lightly or unadvisedly.  I believe it takes a great deal of characteristics.  Marriage is a contract between two adults who have found it better to be together than apart.  And yet in America the institution is not really happening and when it does it is not surviving.

In my ruminations and prayers on the subject I have come up with something I know my relationships have lacked (which is how I know I could not have married any of my ex’s) and that is perseverance.  I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but Pleasure P said it best…you did wrong and I did wrong but I wanna be with you and I’m gonna work this out because I put in too much time to let it go.  He’s right…because in a marriage people don’t stop and try and make it work anymore…they see one flaw and move on to something that they think is bigger and better (they’re not usually right and that’s where things like the 80/20 rule come in).

Therefore, my first reason why the success of black family is on the decline is the fact that we are looking for microwave anything.  We crave instant gratification and if we’re not getting what we want at home then we should automatically leave and find someone willing to give it.  In our pursuit of something quicker and more gratifying we become dishonest and we violate the trust in our relationships causing them to be irretrievably broken because there is no longer any trust…there’s no understanding of the most sacred vow.  It has gone out the window.

So, in my quest to find out what makes a marriage work and why is stopping certain people from getting married…I asked our resident married folk…and here’s what Shawnta said:

1.  What makes a marriage successful? a) In my opinion, having (& keeping) God at the center of your marriage makes it successful. If a marriage begins with both spouses having a personal relationship with God it’s off to a good start.  This will not make marriage easy but it will make marriage easier.  b) Great communication skills and c) willing to sacrifice & compromise…remembering daily that it’s no longer all about you and knowing that EVERY decision you make affects the life of another person.
2.  What is the breakdown of marriage in America today? There are so many reasons why marriages fail each day.  One of the reasons, in my opinion, is that marriage is seen as a contract rather than a covenant.  And as we all know, every contract has loopholes and one or both parties can find a way out of it.  Too often, divorce is seen as the ONLY answer instead of as the last resort.  Being unwilling to compromise and/or sacrifice for the sake of your spouse or the ‘team’ is another reason why marriages fail.  Communication is key.  If we become unable to clearly express our thoughts, emotions, pains, anxities, etc. to the one person we vowed to share everything with for the rest of our lives, we lose a connection to that person.  Every couple communicates differently but if/when that communication decreases or stops, other issues arise.  I believe that marriages also fail because one or both spouses one day suddenly realize that they’re not the same person they once were and they don’t recognize/like the person they’ve become.  I think this leads to resentment towards their spouse and they start to accuse the spouse of ‘changing them’.  Change is inevitable but we don’t always embrace it.
3.  I agree that in marriage both spouses have a lot to learn (from each other) and to teach (one another).  It is a growing process.  Spouses grow and mature together.  I do believe that people marry for love but this is not the one and only reason why they marry.  I believe people marry for love, companionship, friendship, connection, comfort, security, happiness, completion and so many other things.  Love is all of these things so if someone says they married for one of these things, they’re basically saying they married for love (or at least some aspect of love).”

So I am curious…do you agree or disagree?  What reasons do you cite for the disintegration of the black marriage and family?  Does anyone out there even wanna get married anymore or do the startling divorce rates make you wanna give up on that?