All Articles Tagged "marriage"

“Ain’t No Man In Their Right Mind Gonna Marry Her Now!” Editors Debate The Idea Of Marrying Yourself

January 27th, 2015 - By Brande Victorian
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The Internets — or should we say nosy, judgmental folks — are still in an uproar over 40-year-old Houston native Yasmin Eleby having the audacity, as some would say, to marry herself this past weekend. In fact, we got into a rather spirited debate in the office ourselves over whether the backlash against Yasmin is valid, or simply proves the point that it’s okay to love yourself — so long as you don’t love yourself too much.

Is there really any difference between marrying yourself and two people jumping the broom, is this woman doomed to a life of singlehood now that she’s had this service, is she giving up on love? Watch as MadameNoire’s editors debate this with editors from our sister site, StyleBlazer, and our brother site, HipHopWired. Weigh in in the comments section.

Serious Question: What’s Wrong With Marrying Yourself?

January 27th, 2015 - By Charing Ball
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Houston woman marries herself in lavish wedding ceremony to celebrate her 40th birthday.

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Over the weekend, the Black-hand side of the Internet went chocolate bananas over a story about a woman who married herself.

As we previously reported:

With her 40th birthday approaching and no potential husband in sight, Yasmin Eleby chose to gift herself with the elaborate wedding she’d always dreamed of. However, instead of vowing to love, forgive and honor a significant other, the Houston resident made the lifelong promises to herself.

The ceremony was held at the Houston Museum of African American Culture on Saturday, January 3 and included 10 bridesmaids and three ministers, who assisted with the spiritual ceremony. She was walked down the aisle and given away (or as Black Art in America put it, given back to herself) by her mother. Entertainment for the evening included live music provided by guitarist Ben Black, poet Deidra Smith and singer Rennette E. Lucien. The ceremony was coordinated by event planner Darrell Colone. Honeymoon plans are unclear, but according to BAIA, Eleby enjoys traveling and intends to visit Cambodia, Laos, and the jazz festival taking place in Dubai this year.

Eleby’s nuptials to herself are nothing new. In fact, this kind of story seems to reproduce itself in the headlines at least twice a year. The interesting, or I guess compelling aspect of this particular story is that she is a Black woman. And of course, this plot twist brings up all sorts of passionate and sometimes ugly analysis about the marriageability and overall lovability of Black women.

Instead of seeing the idea of marrying yourself as an affirming act of self-love, many folks just see it as a pathetic and desperate cry for attention. This has  pretty much been the reaction from those commenting under the various blogs and news sites running the story. But as Gina McCauley noted on the What About Our Daughters Facebook page:

She gets an A for not waiting to celebrate herself and a D- for doing so within the construct of marriage supremacy.

If you’ve been waiting on a wedding, just throw yourself ridiculous birthday party.

Big ups to her friends for playing along with this and buying bridesmaid dresses.

I couldn’t agree with that sentiment more. The pressure women specifically feel to be married, and with children, by the time we get to 40 can be overwhelming. I mean, women are raised on this  since birth. If our parents aren’t molding us with the idea that we aren’t fully realized human beings until we are legally bound to a man, then it is society at large, through its film and television and other forms of media, that does the same.

Outside of the societal pressure to marry, there is the emotional desire of just wanting to be loved. For whatever reason, folks hate admitting it, but who doesn’t dream of holding hands, slow kissing and sharing a single ice cream float with someone special? I know I do. All the time.

And yet, when the heart is lonely and there are no prospects  in sight, not finding the one can be both an emotionally and even spiritually unsettling experience. This is especially true if you are the type of person who has all sorts of timetables and benchmarks about love and when it is supposed to happen. Those kinds of expectations can leave a person questioning all sorts of things about their lives and all the decisions ever made in it. If not at least severely depressed.

Yet Eleby, it seems, didn’t go that route. Or maybe she did, but found a way to heal herself. Whatever her process, it led her to the point where she could confidentially say, forget tradition, social constructs and the need for other people to validate me. I’m just going to validate myself by throwing a huge party and having everyone come and celebrate me, with me.

And yeah, it might sound slightly insecure, but there are a lot more insecure and destructive things she could be doing to make herself feel whole:  Rushing into relationships and/or marriage with any ol’ man who doesn’t care about her;  Rushing into a relationship with a man who steals from her; Rushing into a relationship with a man who cheats on her; Rushing into a relationship with a man who doesn’t value her; Or even worse, rushing into a relationship with a man who is flat-out abusive. So many women have rushed into bad relationships just for the alleged “privilege” of saying they have a man, only to be miserable and doubly burdened – as there is nothing worse than feeling lonely and unloved while you’re actually with someone. And I know this from experience…

While calling it a wedding is all kinds of lame and not even legal, I do understand the symbolism behind making a life-long commitment to yourself – from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do “me” part. And just as great as the pledge of self-love is the acknowledgement received from  all the people in her life who love her. I don’t know if anyone had a chance to see the wedding pictures, but this wasn’t a simple backyard affair. Her wedding party was pretty huge. I’m talking mom, grandma, aunties and all sorts of good friends who came to witness this grand gesture of self-love.

And not only did they come to be a witness, but they also brought dresses and shoes, got their hair and nails done, and likely took off from work to go to the “wedding” rehearsal. There is value in having girlfriends and folks around you who will indulge you in your craziness. That goes to show you how great of a person she is and how loved she really is by not only herself, but others as well. Sometimes we need reminders of that.I know I need a reminder from time to time.

I got one this past weekend when I hosted my first dance fitness class. I’ve written before about my aim to be a “fat (I’m a size 10 now, down from a size 16-18)” fitness instructor. Folks, including many of you in the comment section, have laughed at my dream, telling me that no one would want to take fitness instruction from someone who doesn’t look the part (even as I have dropped considerable amounts of weight doing exactly what I’m fixing to teach). There might be some truth to that, however, I’m at the age now where what others say matters less than what I want and believe I deserve. And when I hosted my class, which was by invite only, everyone who I asked to come showed up and worked out with me. After the class was over, they congratulated me, told me they learned something and encouraged me to host another one. Now most of these people might have come only because we’re friends and they wanted to show support, but that’s exactly my point. I am loved. It may not be by the people (i.e., men and all those  I sought validation from over the years) who I desire  to love me, but it’s good to know that there are people who are happy that I am here and value me in their lives. That, for me at least, is enough.

As I have matured into adulthood, which includes going through hurt and pain that I honestly thought would break me for good, I realize that loving yourself isn’t a destination, but rather, an on-going journey that must be reaffirmed every single day. Now I’m not saying that I would do the wedding thing. If it was me, I probably would have just thrown myself a huge party, taken a trip somewhere around the world, or hosted another dance class. However, I certainly understand where Eleby is coming from and admire her for having the gumption to live life on her own terms.

 

Should “I Do” Last Forever? These 15 Celebs Don’t Think So

January 24th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Should all celebrity marriages last forever? These stars certainly didn’t think so. Were their make ups to breakups justified? Or should they have tried harder to stick it out?

Image Source: WENN.com

Image Source: WENN.com

NeNe Leakes

NeNe Leakes agreed to “in sickness” and “in health” but not “in infidelity.” When her husband Gregg Leakes let fame get to his head, Real Housewives of Atlanta star NeNe Leakes handed him divorce papers. Not only did he clean up his act, but the tow got re-married on one of TV’s most star-studded weddings.

Would You Get Married At Starbucks?

January 22nd, 2015 - By Madame Noire
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From StyleBlazer

Just when you thought you’ve seen enough Starbucks cups on your Instagram timeline…
It appears that America’s hipster alternative to Dunkin Donuts is also the perfect place to begin or end a wedding day. Yes folks, #StarbucksWedding is officially a thing.

As reported by Grazia Daily:
One couple took it a step further and actually took their vows inside a branch of the famous chain. DeAnna Dodson, 31, and Jordan Senz, 32, of Janesville, Wisconsin wed in a Starbucks on New Year’s Eve and their vows included the statements: “I promise to love you a latte” and “I want to macchiato an honest woman out of you.”

Now, in the plethora of odd places to get married or celebrate one’s wedding, a coffee shop is not the worst. But something does seem cheesy about standing in line during midday rush to get your #WeddingLatte.

Read more about Starbucks Weddings at StyleBlazer.com

Men Lie, Women Lie, Numbers Don’t: Survey Reveals Men Commit Financial Infidelity More Than Women

January 22nd, 2015 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Men Commit Financial Infidelity

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CreditCards.com surveyed 843 adults who are in relationships about how they manage money with their partners. The results were quite interesting: six percent of the participants have a secret bank account or credit card their partner does not know about. In comparison to the entire American population, NBC reports 7.2 million American commit this type of financial infidelity.

Although the terminology sounds over the top, Jezebel notes when one partner hides their extra financial assessments it makes them appear shady. The survey also concluded that one in five persons spent $500 or more on purchases their partners did not know about. Although an image of a woman sneaking into her house with bags of shoes or clothes may emerge in your mind, it is actually men who spend twice as much and fail to inform their partners of their purchases.

Paula Levy, a marriage and family therapist who is also a public accountant says that financial infidelity is common in most relationships. The reason this occurs is because both partners want to avoid conflict in their relationship and get the material things they desire. Levy also notes, although the phrase “financial infidelity” is intense, partners do not need to share every detail of their financial spending, which helps them feel independent from their partner.

The survey also noted two-thirds of married couples maintain joint accounts whereas others maintain the separate accounts they had prior to marriage. Whatever the financial setup, Levy does claim if a person lies to their partner about their financial habits, there will be a lack of trust in the relationship. The survey went onto highlight the most interesting financial claims made by couples in the survey:

“Younger people are more likely than older people to say they’ve had hidden accounts or large, secret purchases. A full one-quarter (25 percent) of respondents aged 18-29 say they have made purchases of $500 or more without telling their partners, compared with just 15 percent of those aged 65 and up. Seven percent of those aged 18-49 said they had secret accounts, compared with 4 percent aged 65-plus.

Is big spending acceptable? Many survey participants say they’re tolerant of their partner spending money without telling them. Thirty-one percent of men and 18 percent of women say they would have no problem with their partner spending $500 or more without letting them know.

At the other end of the spectrum, 31 percent of respondents said they think their partners should be able to spend only $100 or less without telling them.”

In order to avoid distrusting your partner’s financial spending habits, lawyer Dane Scalise and his wife created a list to avoid the drama:

1. Consider financial infidelity as serious as any other type, as data show the consequences can be equally grave.
2. Be aware of and honest about your financial health. Address problems early and seek help so they do not escalate.
3. Regularly discuss the household finances. Make financial decisions as a team and agree on an amount that each can spend “no questions asked” (as long as it fits into the monthly spending plan).
4. Create checks and balances by taking joint responsibility or taking turns paying the household bills.
5. Agree that all account access will be shared, even if the account is individual (bank, credit, investment and so on).

Phoenix Woman Dies After Giving Birth To Quadruplets

January 18th, 2015 - By Courtney Whitaker
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A Phoenix woman died just hours after giving birth to quadruplets.

According to a close member of the family, Erica Morales, 36, passed away after an emergency C-section delivery.

Erica was just seven months pregnant when she went into labor with her four children. The mom gave birth to three girls and one boy before being separated from them. They were transporting her from the surgery to whatever room, and she was still unconscious at that point. So, no, she never got to see them,” says Nicole Todman.

Morales and her husband Carlos had been trying to have children for over two years. Morales was extremely worried about her future children. She had suffered a miscarriage before and wanted to make sure everything went smoothly this time.

“Her focus of her pregnancy was to make sure she did everything to make sure they were healthy so she was able to bring them into this world — and she did,” Todman said.

Sadly, Erica never got the chance to hold her children. As for the four babies, they will remain in the hospital for the next two months. Currently, the little bundles of joy only weigh between 2 pounds to 3 pounds.

In order to help raise the babies, Nicole started a GoFundMe. In just 1 day, the account has raised over $51K.

We wish the best of luck to Carlos and Erica’s family.

Would You Hire A Bridesmaid?

January 16th, 2015 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Hire A Bridesmaid

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Would you hire a bridesmaid?

Before, you give a quick response, let’s talk about the person who created this new career path. After being a bridesmaid at many weddings and observing the stress that came along with planning a wedding, Jen Glatz posted a CraigsList advertisement for people to hire her as a bridesmaid. The response to her ad was overwhelming and thus inspired her business, Bridesmaid For Hire.

Based on the bride’s budget and needs, Glatz and her team create a package that would be suitable. There are four packages to create from:

Virtual Bridesmaid™
Includes 1:1 consultation sessions, via our online video
collaboration tool, to assist with planning, problem solving,
and putting together itineraries and to-do lists.

Undercover Bridesmaid™
Are you a Maid of Honor or a Bride-to-be who needs some
behind the scenes help? We’ll be there for you with weekly sessions,
via our online video collaboration tool, to assist in the ongoing planning
and facilitating of events and activities leading up-to the wedding.

Ultimate Bridesmaid™
Includes everything listed in the ‘Undercover
Bridesmaid’ package, plus in-person ground support
at pre-wedding events & the day of the wedding.

Bridesmaid by Your Side.™
Includes everything listed in the ‘Undercover
Bridesmaid’ package, plus actual participation as
a bridesmaid or maid-of-honor in the wedding party.

When asked if they would hire a bridesmaid, many said there was no reason to because they have committed friends and family members. Although, the Bridesmaid For Hire’s FAQ page tells a very different story which some of us have unfortunately witnessed:

Weddings are expensive for friends and family. For many, it requires traveling hundreds of miles to attend engagement parties, showers, and the actual day itself. If you’re in the bridal party, it often requires a big commitment in time and energy. While you may want to have specific friends and family as part of your “big day” they may not be able to fly across the country to help you shop for a dress, know where to start when it comes to planning your bridal shower, or have the evenings open to chat on the phone about what’s on your to-do list that week and the wedding challenges and roadblocks you’re knocking into. By hiring a Professional Bridesmaid, you can still honor your friends and family by having them be your bridesmaids, but without the burden or the “dirty work”. The Professional Bridesmaid does all the heavy lifting – so you and your girls can focus on the fun!

Glatz also serves as the bride’s assistant instead of being a wedding planner. By focusing on the needs of the bride and helping her pick out a wedding dress or honeymoon lingerie, Glatz’s mission is to make the bride  feel comfortable with her wedding day choices. Glatz and her team’s prices start at $199 and can climb to over $1100, and they are also offering job opportunities to those who want to become a professional bridesmaids.

Do you think you have what it takes? Check out the video segment of Bridesmaid For Hire, below.

 

“I Don’t Talk Like I’m From The Ghetto”: How Does Class Affect Relationships?

January 13th, 2015 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Class System Affect Relationships

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Growing up and dating in New York City means I don’t usually have to explain my Judeo-Christian Caribbean heritage, which makes things easier to be with a compatible partner. Despite this, one can still find differences with a partner even if they are of the same nationality. On the issue, The Guardian reports:

“If anything, people are more likely than ever to marry into their own class, as a report from the Institute for Public Policy Research showed this year. Of people born in 1958, just over a third of women had a partner from the same class as themselves: 38% married up, while 23% married down. For those born in 1970, 45% married into the same class; of those born between 1976 and 1981, 56% married into the same class, with a far smaller proportion (16%) marrying up. Even the phrases “marrying up” and “marrying down” are sullying to use. You can’t really escape the connotation that the rich are better than the poor.”

In a recent study by The Cut, a focus group of 11 couples shared how they managed through the American class system. Whether their parents are immigrants or country club regulars, The Cut explores how race, wealth, religion and education affect these relationships. Here are a couple of highlights from their study:

She could afford all of this without me.
“When you’re black, it’s an inescapable truth, a full-body experience that’s happening all the time,” says Jack, 35. He says Jill, 35, his wife, who is white, talks about race by “trying to weave it into a higher morality.” He laughs: “I’m just trying to survive! She champions equality!”

Jill comes from a low-income family while Jack’s is middle class. Jill, like her mother, is the breadwinner. “It wasn’t weird to me that he didn’t have much money, and I was used to roles outside gender norms,” she says. “And neither of us grew up taking vacations.”

She paid the down payment on their house, which is in her name. “The house was my first choice, not his, and I’m sure some part of me was like, ‘It’s my money,’” Jill says. Jack adds, “There’s a 10 percent ping in my heart that she could afford all of this without me and I couldn’t afford any of it without her, but I pay half the mortgage.” She makes more money working via satellite from home than he makes working overnight in a warehouse. He gets frustrated when he returns to dishes in the sink. “She’s been home all day! I hate to say this, but I think she thinks earning more alleviates her of chores.”

He sees brown skin and thinks I’m a traitor.
“Some people are rough around the edges — he’s just rough,” Eva, 37, says of her boyfriend, Marcus, 36, who emigrated from Africa as a toddler and grew up in the projects and in foster care. She grew up in a middle-class family in a British colony, attending good schools and sneaking off to go swimming. When he went outside as a kid “he risked being shot,” and he doesn’t have any family. Eva and Marcus graduated from the same American college but at different times and met in a club in New York.

“I’m half-black, half-Portuguese,” Eva says. “I have a British accent. I don’t understand the way Americans view race. Some black people say I’m bougie and I’m acting white, but to me skin color doesn’t matter — I come from a beautiful island with British manners! This is just how I act. One day, Marcus said, ‘You get along so well with white people.’ I said, ‘What do you mean? I get along well with all people.’ … He feels insecure sometimes. I’m not from the ghetto, so I don’t talk like I’m from the ghetto — that doesn’t mean I think I’m better than someone else. He sees brown skin and thinks I’m a traitor.”

Talking with him about his childhood helps her understand his anger. She says, “It took breaking down the barriers. I’ve learned from him not to prejudge.” Both Marcus and Eva are in New York to launch businesses. “We share a common goal. He loves talking about the future,” she says. “His big aspiration is to raise kids the way I was raised.”

To read more on how class affects modern day love, click here.

Petition Filed Against TLC’s New Show “My Husband Is Not Gay”

January 8th, 2015 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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In true TLC fashion, the television network is set to release their new series My Husband Is Not Gay this upcoming Sunday. Known for documenting cultural phenomenon or behavior people don’t usually like to associate with, TLC draws their audience in through uncomfortable ideas or controversial people and revealing how they still fit into the societal norm. My Husband Is Not Gay will cover four Mormon men from Utah (three are married and one is casually dating) who have relationships with women but are attracted to men. These men do not identify with being gay or bisexual.

Cosmopolitan says that although the basis of My Husband Is Not Gay is controversial, the lifestyle these men choose is all too common in the United States:

“Whether it’s thanks to societal pressures, religious pressures, a desire for “normalcy” and a “conventional” lifestyle, simply not wanting to be gay, or a whole host of other possible reasons, gay men have been getting married — to women — for a very long time. (And for that matter, gay women have also been marrying straight men.) There are listicles of gay celebrities who’d previously dated and/or married woman all over the Internet; from either spouse’s perspective, stories of the often-broken marriages that follow such couplings are very common across tabloid newspapers, airport newsstand memoirs, and personal blogs.”

There is a petition to stop the show from premiering. Found on Change.org, the petition states:

This January, TLC will debut “My Husband’s Not Gay,” a TV show that promotes the false and dangerous idea that gay people can and should choose to be straight in order to be part of their faith communities. As a gay Christian man who’s seen first hand how this message can harm people, I am calling on TLC to cancel “My Husband’s Not Gay” and to stop telling America that LGBT people should lie to themselves and to their faith communities about who they are and who they love. As a devout Christian, I understand the important role faith plays in the lives of the show’s main characters. It was made very clear to me by the conservative community I grew up in that being gay was considered “unnatural” and “an abomination.” So I, too, did everything possible to hide who I am. I was even subjected to six months of so-called “reparative therapy,” a discredited and dangerous practice that falsely claims to turn gay people straight. I was promised I could change, and told that I should “pray the gay away.” But I quickly learned the very real harms of “reparative therapy” – a practice that’s been denounced as ineffective and dangerous by nearly every major medical authority. In the end, the only thing that this so-called “therapy” did was stoke a growing despair that maybe my life wasn’t worth living. The men featured in this show deserve to be shown compassion and acceptance. Perhaps even more importantly, TV viewers need to know the horrific consequences of trying to change who you are. Instead, TLC is presenting victims’ lives as entertainment, while sending the message that being gay is something that can and ought to be changed, or that you should reject your sexual orientation by marrying someone of the opposite sex. This message is harmful to both LGBT people and communities of faith, and I call upon TLC to stop spreading such dangerous misinformation by cancelling “My Husband’s Not Gay” immediately.

So far, the petition has received 96,466 signatures; Arlene Ausich from California shared her reasoning for signing the petition by highlighting the suicide of a transgender teen girl Leelah:

“As if the recent suicide of Leelah isn’t enough to prove how damaging it is to endure a lack of support for and acceptance of who you are, let’s add a tv series to the mix. Enough is enough! It’s a downright travesty that the human race is no further from our conservative & restrictive thinking (first {and still} African Americans, then women, now LGBT..) that a show like this would even be considered for air. TLC has lost at least one viewer.”

Do you believe My Husband Is Not Gay will further promote intolerance against the LGBTQ community?

7 Awkward Things That Happen With Your Married Friends

January 1st, 2015 - By Julia Austin
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People change when they get married: they just do. They think that that marriage license gives them license to over-share, be know-it-alls, act as matchmakers and a whole other slew of annoying traits and habits. Here are 7 awkward and unfortunate things that happen when your friends get married, and how to deal.