While featured as a guest on husband T.I.’s ExpediTIously podcast this week to talk about today’s relationships, Tameka “Tiny” Harris talked about what she was taught about marriage and what she was told is the most important reason to walk down the aisle.
The 44-year-old Xscape singer grew up with her married parents, an interracial couple, and when she was young, she felt people got married “because they were just in love.”
“I think it was more so about love back in the day because they had a lot of things to fight against,” she said. “If we’re speaking about my mother and my father, they were fighting against racial issues. In the ’60s, they had difficulties. He was getting locked up because he’s riding with a white woman and so on and so on. But I think it’s changed a little bit now.”
Both agree that as time changed and outward battles lessened (not ceased of course), priorities when saying “I do” changed. Tameka said she didn’t realize this until she was told as a teenager that love isn’t the most important thing in a marriage.
“I’m going to tell you, I’ll never forget that when I was about 15, 16 years old, Aunt Joyce, Kandi’s momma, told me do not marry for love. Marry for security,” she said. “I didn’t understand that at the time.”
T.I. cut her off to use her experience as a springboard to start ranting about how women are being “trained and conditioned” from childhood to look for mates who could give them a certain lifestyle. When he asked how that worked out for his wife, she said she was blessed to be able to have both love and security in their marriage. With that in mind, she said she doesn’t know what it’s like to be in a relationship solely for love.
“I’ve never been married outside of money, so if you want to be fair about it, I don’t know. But I was told that women that are more successful than their man are happier in marriage,” she said. “I could see how that’s possible.”
For men though, with more money means more attention, which I guess T.I. was implying is hard to ignore. He said people who are married and don’t have a lot of money are at peace because the man has “less options,” as in less women looking his way.
Tameka said, “and that’s why the woman is happier,” which didn’t make much sense to T.I.
“So you want a man that don’t nobody want but you?” he asked.
“Yeah, I mean. Kind of,” she said. She would eventually change her tune after he questioned her stance, saying instead, “I’m lying, but it sounds good. It sounds like the easy road. It sounds like a healthy life for a woman. Happy.”
In response, T.I. said, “Boring. It sounds boring. Don’t no woman want no man that only she wants. Don’t nobody want that. You want people that’s desirable, you know what I’m saying?”
Tameka tried to point out that if a wife strongly wants her husband, it shouldn’t matter if no one else is interested in him. Who cares, right?
“But what if you desire this man so much and nobody wants him, but you still desire him?”
T.I. said that he believes, deep down, that women are only happy with men who they feel have options, but choose to be with them. The same, he says, is true for men.
“Only way that’s going to work is if you don’t know nobody else want him,” he said. “If you desire this man, you want to feel like, ‘He could be anywhere else, he want to be with anybody, but he choose to be with me.’ That’s what everybody want.”