Yesterday night I was watching the second season of Braxton Family Values. It’s an American reality show on Toni Braxton and her family. I really enjoyed it actually. It doesn’t have the overly dramatic incidences that lead to glass throwing and stuff like that. (I mean have you watched Basketball wives?!). I also learnt a thing or two on family values. The five sisters are amazing; no matter what drama they get into, they still end up best of friends. And they DO have Drama. Anyways, what got to me wasn’t the sister drama, but the relationships they had with their men; especially between Trina and Gabe.
It’s like they stopped loving each other without knowing it. 5 years after their marriage, Trina finds out Gabe had been cheating on her. Then Trina gets hurt and angry and stops trusting Gabe, and of course they stop having sexual intercourse (yes for some reason if you say it like a scientist it sounds less crude). Then later, Trina gets cozy with a guy in her band and eventually had an oral transaction with him (I know, this sounds like a business term but again, it’s less crude). When she admits it to their family therapist -we should all get this-, obviously Gabe gets angry but they decide to work on their marriage together. Well guess what, not very long after that, Trina walks into Gabe’s study and catches him red-handed having internet sex with some girl on his computer. At the end of the season, Trina files for divorce…and I was like it’s about time!
This article is not about the cheating, this is me wondering when and how things went wrong. They were obviously in love when they started out. The two probably dated and had a good time together then finally decided to get married. How and at what time does a relationship go south? Why would two married people who were in love turn on each other? I do not get it. I seriously don’t. I wouldn’t call all that an accident would you? I see marriages around me going through similar drama and I ask myself the same question…Why? Why get into marriage in the first place if you don’t plan to make it work?
Their mum Evelyn, called off her wedding with Doc a month before it happened because she realized she wasn’t really hyped up about it as she should be. Especially this being her second wedding. At first I was like, ‘Poor Doc, he’s a nice guy’, but after thinking about it, she actually did the right thing. No need getting into marriage and then start all the drama… Maybe he was missing something that she considered important for her. Ladies, we need to look into our hearts and minds and actually know what we REALLY want our men to have. I do; you can check it out over here; What do I look for in a guy?
If you ask me, I believe that if it doesn’t feel right, then don’t do it. But if you do it, you better both work on it! There is a reason why Tamar is still in love and happily married to Vince, despite her being the most dramatic of the sisters (no seriously, she is psycho-dramatic!). I also liked Towanda. She had issues with the husband and separated, but later decided to try making it work and exhaust all possibilities. They tried the therapist too. Thing is, they both wanted to make it work (well I think they did). So this is what I have learnt about marriages that don’t work.
1. She wasn’t really into it. The guy proposed and she was overwhelmed about it then said yes. She hadn’t thought about what she was getting into. All her friends were getting married, then this nice guy asked her, and she thought why not?
2. He was sort of forced into it: Let’s admit it; girls can be quite manipulative…and convincing! They have been dating for 3 years, and she thinks her ‘biology clock’ is running out, so she pushes him into it. Honey, if he ain’t ready for it, he still won’t be after the wedding. You might not like it. He might even go on acting like it; in secret.
3. He/ She got easily deluded by a new toy: he/she went out with their friends, and met this new person who seemed hot and sweet. Emphasis on ‘seemed’. The people who end up marrying the right person should feel lucky. They should focus on each other and their kids. There will always be somebody hotter out there. There will always be a richer guy out there, or a prettier girl, or a bigger (I’m talking 6 pack big) out there. But YOU made the decision, to get yourself off the market. So stick to it! The new toy might LOOK good, but you just never know.
4. They didn’t really mean it. What I have learnt from life this far is that marriage is a big decision. Before I make it I’ll have to think about what it will be like. I have to think about me, about him, about our (future) kids, about work, about living together, about how it will affect my life. Marriage is NOT the wedding. That’s just the ceremony; it’s what comes after the wedding that’s marriage. It’s a change of lifestyle. Its deciding to stop flirting, to stop dressing scantily (uumh who else do you want to attract huh??), it’s to stop picking up girls at the bar, it’s about thinking about him or her before making your decisions, it’s about the TWO of you, its about making it work. So if you don’t wanna stop all that, then you don’t really mean it. You ain’t ready for marriage.
5. Lastly, she’s not strong enough. This could also mean he/ she doesn’t want it as much as you do. Both of you might be ready for marriage. You are both as excited about the whole affair and not just the wedding. You plan to stay true to each other and make it work. Why I say you aren’t strong enough for it is that you let the outside world come in between. Marriage is making a vow to your spouse. NOT your mum, not your family, not your friends, not the world. Your spouse. I would not let any of that affect my marriage for the negative. One is supposed to trust their spouse and get the stories right, because not everyone will be for it. So are you strong enough? In addition, one is supposed to stand by his/ her spouse when faced with difficulties; when things don’t go as planned. Again I ask, are you strong enough?
You don’t need love to make marriage work; it takes dedication and you standing by your word. But then again, Love will make it a bit easier for you to not let the above issues affect your marriage. If you truly love her, you wouldn’t feel trapped even if she forced you into it. You will not be deluded by any new shiny toy and you will be able to stand by him if he lost his job or got injured.
It’s okay to want a happy ever after. We are humans, with the desire for Love. However, for people out there who want to get married, be sure about it! I have seen enough discouraging marriages it’s a wonder I still wanna get married. Before you say ‘yes’ in front of a man of God and witnesses, just do me one favour; think about it.
*Post inspired by reality shows, Hollywood marriages, families I know, human psychology…