All Articles Tagged "relationship advice"
When you’re seeking relationship advice, you wouldn’t normally listen to a celebrity. And after hearing what these stars had to offer, we don’t blame you.
Mary J. Blige
For years we heard Mary J. Blige sing about a broken heart or how some man did her wrong. So when she found love with Kendu Isaacs, her fans were happy for her. They tied the knot in 2003 and 11 years later they’re still going strong. It could be because the “Not Gon Cry” singer doesn’t allow her husband to have friends of the opposite sex and neither does she. “There’s none of that, ‘Oh, that’s my female friend, Oh, that’s my guy friend,’” Blige said. “No, not in a marriage, I’ve never seen that work.”
I know people generally regard the Smith family as weird. And I know the recent interview Willow and Jaden just did with the New York Times, won’t make things any better. But I can’t help but dig them. Yeah, Willow and Jaden are certainly different. There’s no denying that. But they also have a freedom that most teenagers–and hell even most adults–will never know. And while people are always pointing at Will and Jada as if they’ve screwed up, I think some of their philosophies have actually been rather helpful.
And not just for their children either, I know they’ve helped me.
Last year, as is always the case, the issue of Will and Jada’s presumably open marriage came up once again. And finally, in a statement Jada said, “Will can do whatever he wants…”
It didn’t help quell the rumors. Instead, for the people who believed the two had an open marriage, it confirmed it. And in an attempt to clarify, Jada took to her Facebook page, (which is full of gems by the way), to expound.
Do we believe loving someone means owning them? Do we believe that ownership is the reason someone should “behave”? Do we believe that all the expectations, conditions, and underlying threats of “you better act right or else” keep one honest and true? Do we believe that we can have meaningful relationships with people who have not defined nor live by the integrity of his or her higher self? What of unconditional love? Or does love look like, feel like, and operate as enslavement? Do we believe that the more control we put on someone the safer we are? What of TRUST and LOVE?
Should we be married to individuals who can not be responsible for themselves and their families within their freedom? Should we be in relationships with individuals who we can not entrust to their own values, integrity, and LOVE…for us???
Here is how I will change my statement…Will and I BOTH can do WHATEVER we want, because we TRUST each other to do so. This does NOT mean we have an open relationship…this means we have a GROWN one.
I read this last year. And even though I didn’t think it was a lesson I needed to learn at the time, it stuck with me. Because, unbeknownst to me, I would need it later.
For years I’d been in a situationship. Everything kept us from being together in an official capacity. I mean everything: age, timing, distance, lack of trust, immaturity (on his part), dishonesty (on my part) and then eventually brokenness (on both of our parts). And so, after many years, the situationship ended…again. And though there was friendly-ish communication on social media afterward, this time the permanency felt more real.
But you know, matters of the heart. You can know something is over and still care and still want to know how that person is doing, what’s going on in their life. So even though I knew it was over, I decided I would be mature enough to continue following him on social media, or the one social media outlet I still followed him on: Instagram.
I could write a whole anthology on the ways in which social media can bring madness and mayhem into the very palm of your hand.
And that’s exactly what happened.
At first it was all good, I’d like the comical posts, pictures of his adorable niece, inspirational messages, life goal progress. All of that. I was so mature I had to commend myself.
And then the new boo started making appearances. At first I was lying to myself. ‘Oh, maybe she’s a friend.’ But it wasn’t long before there was a picture that was just to obvious to ignore. And when I saw it, I was shocked. Not at the relationship or the declaration of the relationship but my response to it.
I happen to know of the new boo. I went to high school with her. And though we were far from close, I always assumed she was a nice person. She always had a smile on her face and struck me as having a positive spirit.
But seeing that same smiling face on his page, I could literally feel the bile in my stomach rising up, my skin heating up and my lips turning up in both disgust and to keep any vomit from seeping out.
Just as my head was about to start spinning in Exorcist fashion, Jada’s words came back to me, with an explicit instruction from God:
“Veronica, you don’t own him. She’s a nice girl and he has every right to move on with his life. And if you can’t be happy for him, then you need to unfollow his page.”
I am one of thee nosiest people in the world; and it pained me to do so, but I started unfollowing him instantly.
That was real maturity.
So Jada’s words resonate with me. So many times in marriages, relationships and even situationships we feel, even if we don’t admit it to ourselves, that we own the person. We like to put pretend stipulations on what they can and can’t do, forgetting the very real fact that we all have our own autonomy and can all do whatever we want.
I know some of you will read Jada’s comments and interpret them to mean that she allows Will to sleep with other women.
I don’t see it that way.
Jada acknowledges that in her mortality, she is not enough to stop Will from doing whatever he wants to do. He’s a grown man, with free will…and in his profession, plenty of access. People say it all the time, if a man is going to cheat on you, he’ll find a way.
But being that she truly knows Will and subsequently married him because she knows him, she trusts that he won’t do certain things. And it’s not because she wields any power or control over him. It’s because she trusts and believes in his own integrity and the decisions he’s made for his own life.
I’ll say that again. Decisions he made for himself, not because she’ll leave him or divorce him or step out too, but because these are the principals that are important to him as an individual, principals which she just so happens to benefit from as his wife and mother of his children.
All that relationship advice we consume about how to keep a man and how to make sure he stays faithful, have all been simplified by Jada’s words.
Instead of playing power games, learning a new move in the bedroom, giving ultimatums, sneaking through his stuff, or asking to smell his dick, choose to be with, surround yourself and even have children with men, women, people who not only possess their own sense of integrity and accountability but can actually prove they live by it. You and your relationship will be happier for it.
Niecy Nash Addresses Critics Of Her ‘Blow Job A Day’ Marital Advice: “I Keep A Job And A Man, So I’m Doing Something Right’
Last week, Niecy Nash’s advice on blow jobs being a crucial component to keeping a married man happy was thrust back into the spotlight following her controversial chat with Playboy. As you may recall, Niecy expressed that a woman’s willingness to go down on her hubby and keep him well fed was an important part of the recipe for a happy marriage. Since then, the actress has received praise and criticism (mostly criticism) for her pointers. We were recently able to catch up with her for a Q&A where she discusses season two of her HBO series, “Getting On,” her upcoming movie Selma and of course, all of the fellatio controversy.
Many Black actresses have complained about how difficult it is to find work in the entertainment industry, but you always seem to be working. What’s your secret to maintaining longevity in this business?
Well, there would be two things I would say. One is my faith. God has really been kind in terms of me always keeping a job. And the other part is to diversify. Sometimes we start in one thing and we stay in that one thing. But I always like to try things I’ve never done. Okay, I’m doing an unscripted comedy like “Reno 911!” How about I go over here and try hosting a home makeover show? Maybe I can be a correspondent. Let me go over here to “Entertainment Tonight.” I think I can dance a little bit, let me try to be a dancing star. Let me write a book. I’m an author. It’s just constantly finding ways to continue to put your art into the world.
And your family, you seem extremely busy. How do you balance it all?
There are so many things. It’s very easy for something to fall through the cracks. I have accepted the fact that something is going to fall through the cracks. I just don’t let the same thing continue to fall through the cracks. You’ve got to rotate. And also, I have help. My mother and my husband are very, very helpful at helping me maintain it all.
What can fans expect from the new season of “Getting On”?
I think that you get to find a little bit more out about our characters. I would say that you get to see relationships, some personal relationships develop. My character has a family member that comes to work on the ward…there’s some intensity and drama that this brings. I won’t tell you who but someone from our ward is going to undergo a very major makeover that’s going to be a little shocking to everyone on the ward. We have really great guest stars again this season and one of our favorites from last season is going to show up again. I won’t tell you who that is either.
Your role on “Getting On” is very different from other characters that you have played in the past. How did you mentally prepare for such a dark comedy?
It’s interesting, when I decided that I wanted to be an actress at 5 years old, I never thought comedy. I always thought of a more grounded and dramatic performance. But when I found my way in comedy, it was a means to an end. I needed to feed my children. I was like, “Okay, this is what they’re hiring me to do.” I’m very, very passionate about being able to play Nurse Didi because she’s so different from everything. You know, Raineesha Williams from “Reno 911!” with the baby hair and the big booty and the sassy personality. Nurse Didi is a longggg way from Raineesha Williams and being able to play her has not only been a gift to me personally as an actor, it’s afforded me some other opportunities. I ended up in this other movie coming out on Christmas Day called Selma. The director Ava Duverney saw me in “Getting On.” I don’t think she would’ve called me if she saw me in “Reno 911!: Miami,” you know, walking down the beach talking crazy. But seeing me in a different light has caused a little bit of a stir in casting. I’ve been able to go in for projects that I probably would not have been seen for before.
Speaking of Selma, what was it like working with Oprah?
Oh my goodness, Oprah is amazing. We didn’t actually have scenes together in the movie, but we were able to fellowship together. She’s everything you think she is and more. You know, that deep Oprah side that’s insightful and so full of love and Maya Angelou wisdom. That is Oprah. But there’s such a fun side to her too.
I am 20, husband is 21. We have a daughter together but I have 100% responsibility for her and getting her everything she needs and he won’t watch her unless forced to. He doesn’t want to be married anymore because it’s hard. He recently started smoking and. I refuse to be with someone like that. He’d rather be boyfriend and girlfriend. He parties, stays on phone 24-7 and doesn’t help raise my daughter. He’s barely around me but only for sex or money.He wants a divorce and has been distant for almost 6 months but swears he’s not cheating. I don’t know what to do. Let him go and move on or try to make it work?
Don’t Want A Divorce
Dear Don’t Want A Divorce,
Pittsburgh native Damon Young (aka “The Champ”) is the co-founder of the ridiculously popular VerySmartBrothas.com Their first book “Your Degrees Won’t Keep You Warm At Night: The Very Smart Brothas Guide To Dating, Mating and Fighting Crime” is available at Amazon.com.
Relationships are never easy to navigate because of the rollercoaster of emotions that come with trying to maintain that healthy balance of love, compromise and commitment. Some of us are better at juggling the elements than others but at the end of the day, like everything else in life, it boils down to hard work and dedication.
Being able to give yourself to someone in a selfless manner requires the most basic instinct that is inherently in all of us but sometimes gets buried in an attempt to exercise a level of control or because we don’t have the ability to be generously sacrificial.
If the “honeymoon” phase is over and things are rapidly disintegrating, you can either jump ship or stick around for the rebound. Living in an age that encourages flighty connections and disingenuous attachments thanks to the digital era, the ability to focus on one thing at a time has become a major challenge. We are now conditioned to always anticipate something better coming along, and that can affect our ability to commit to our relationships in a meaningful way.
But if you are truly in it for the long haul – there are ways to save your relationship as opposed to sabotaging it. You can start by finding a nicer way to point out your partner’s mistakes. Constantly barraging him with the things he did wrong tends to leave a sour taste in his mouth and will ultimately push him away. Nobody wants to be around someone who spends majority of the time making them feel inadequate. Constructive criticism is valuable every now and then, but if you are habitually judging your man, he will run into the arms of someone who validates him in ways you refuse to. Another major hindrance is the habit of mockery or relying on hostility as a form of communication. This is a very common feature in most relationships and it is also the most damaging. We get to a place where our frustrations give way to a growing contempt for the person we supposedly love. If we are unable to keep this at a minimum, it may be time for an extended break or you could both do the work in order to figure out why those feelings are consistent. Either way, you have to remove yourself from the unhealthy regimen of making your partner feel like his very presence makes you feel uncontrollably disgusted.
Another item on the list of queries is the instinctual need to be defensive. We can’t help but regulate the blame to someone else, especially when we feel cornered. If our relationship is unstable, the best way to get at the heart of the matter is to investigate your own contribution to the issue instead of heaping all the blame on the other person. If both of you are invested, that translates into a partnership. You both have to accept responsibility for the successes and failures. If you are unwilling to take ownership of your mistakes, you are basically making a bad situation worse which means there will be no resolve. In order to encourage a positive outcome to an ongoing conflict, you have to be open to the idea of giving your partner the respect he deserves by listening to his side. You have to be able to accommodate his concerns while also being equally expressive. That is the only way you can both reach a mutual agreement.
Lastly, the death of a relationship is encouraged by your disengagement. Often times, we get to a place where we have exhausted every option, and we are completely uninterested in being emotionally present or active. Once you have mentally checked out, that signals the beginning of the end. If you want to ensure that you both stand a chance, you have to make the effort to be open and emotionally available. Closing yourself off will make it difficult for your partner to re-connect with you and convince him that you are no longer interested in sharing your life with him.
Relationships can be rewarding and stimulating but in order to reap the benefits, you have to work hard and be diligent. Fairy tales are for dreamers, in the real world, nothing comes from nothing – and that’s a fact.
Shateria: I have a question I’m currently dating this guy but he’s always busy working and we only see each other once a week or every two weeks what should I do ??
DY: If you’re just dating, once a week is fine.
Bersheba: Yes if a man I’m dating is a marine in the military an has two sons an ask me to be patient because he hardly has time for me what should I do?
DY: Usually, when guys say “I don’t have time for you” it means “You’re not important enough to me to make time.” What you do with that information is up to you.
Katrina: If my ex and I broke up 2 yrs ago and we still friends. We hang out and have sex at times. Can there be a chance of us getting back together? I broke up with him and every now and then he reminds me that I kicked him out of my life.
DY: If you’re still friends, still hang out, and still have sex, it sounds like you haven’t actually broken up.
Brandi: Is there a way to get men to ask you out? I don’t seem to be approachable
DY: In my experience, the women who are the most approachable tend to be the ones who look like they’re enjoying life. If you look like you’re having fun, people are going to want to have fun with you.
Rachael: In a situation where the Man leaves the wife. Especially if the wife puts up no resistance. Why would the Man be punitive and adversarial. He has his freedom what gives? (no cheating involved)
DY: Because he’s an asshole. A bit of advice: Don’t attempt to “understand” assholes. Some people are assholes for the sake of being assholes.
Ramona: How should I deal with a guy who gets upset for things that I deem as petty?
DY: It depends on what he’s getting upset about. Maybe they’re petty, and maybe they’re legitimately important things that you assume are petty. Either way, it sounds like you need to do a better job communicating with each other
Dwan: If you and a guy have been close for years, and he steady states that he wants to be with you, but he never makes any promising moves that say he is ready, but he still wants all the benefits of a relationship what do you do…should you let it go or wait it out….seem to me he has commitment issues….but idk
DY: I think you know the answer already. You just have to accept it and make a decision.
“I Trusted You And You Left Me” Iyanla Tells Man With 28 Children What It’s Like To Be A Single Mother
After dealing with the women, the mothers of children from men who had fathered several, Iyanla turned her attention to the fathers. In this clip, Iyanla talks to another father, Nathaniel, who has 28 children from 16 different women. And what’s interesting about this conversation is that it involves four people. There’s Nathaniel, standing in front of him is Iyanla and behind Iyanla is Jeff Johnson (formerly Cousin Jeff). And behind Nathaniel is Jay Williams, the man we’ve been following for the past month and some, with 34 children, was standing with his back to him, supporting him, holding him up.
At first, she asks him what it feels like to wake up knowing he has this much responsibility on his plate.
Nathaniel: “When I think about my children, I feel helpless. I’m full of shame and guilt. I’m bitter.”
Iyanla: “Let me talk to you as a woman, as a single mother. I gave you the most intimate part of who as I am as a woman. I opened my soul to you when I allowed you to lay with me and I trusted you. I trusted that you would be there. I trusted that you were the promise that my daddy never gave me. I trusted you with my soul, with my body, with my being. I trusted you and you left me. Not only did you leave me, you left me here with this child. Just like you don’t know who you are, I don’t know who I am. And now I’ve got a child and I’ve got to figure it out. And you tell me, that you get to go off and figure it out and have other women and I’m here with your child? I don’t get to go figure it out. That’s where she is.
Nathaniel: All of them, though? Even that the ones that we weren’t in a relationship…
Iyanla: Doesn’t matter.
Oprah called this moment one of the most powerful she’s ever seen on television. And judging by the audience reaction, she might have been right. Men and women alike were crying real tears, like twisted face tears.
If you’ve followed Iyanla’s career, you know this tidbit about her life. But rarely, have I ever seen someone so accomplished, someone who’s established themselves as a leader open up and share the raw, gut-wrenching truth about what it really feels like to be a woman who believed in a man and ending up having his child, only to have that same man leave. It was intense and so honest.
Did you watch this recap episode?
Watch the full interaction Iyanla and the man in the video below.