Oprah struck a full gold mine with “Iyanla Fix My Life.” And with each season, the show gets better and better. There’s something about watching other people’s dysfunction that either, makes you see your own or makes you feel a bit better about your life. For the past three weeks, we’ve watched as Iyanla met with a man, Jay Williams, who has fathered 34 children, with 17 different women. We’ve talked about it before but now, after seeing all three parts of the mega fix, there are some things we just have to talk about.
Starts with the Parents
Iyanla started off the three part series speaking with Jay’s parents. Initially, some of us wondered why she even bothered. It wasn’t Jay’s parents who were responsible for bringing 34 children into the world, it was him. But listening to both his parents speak about their own brokenness and how it caused them to abandon him, it was clear why Iyanla started at the root of the problem. His mother admitted she was broken before she ever even met Jay’s father, Wes. And Wes, a Harvard-educated man, admitted that, after the dissolution of their marriage, he just left his son. By the time Jay was 15, Wes didn’t know where he was living and really didn’t care. There was also the issue of Wes denying that fact that he was physically abusive to his ex wife. All of it was pretty sad but also let us understand the type of love Jay was missing from both of his parents. So it sought it from women, several women. And while Jay’s parents were in the hot seat during part 1, it wasn’t long before Jay was held accountable for his own actions.
Letting His Children Go
In part two, Jay met with four of his older children. And it was devastating to watch. First his children admitted that it was just too late for him to try and establish any type of relationship. They suggested he reach out to his younger children. Jay, finally being held accountable, tried to claim that he had done things for them, financially, that a lot of fathers wouldn’t do. Iyanla had to let him know that he wouldn’t receive brownie points for doing what any father should. The segment with the children ended with Iyanla asking Jay if he loved his children enough to let them go. I had a hard time grasping this concept. But basically, now that they are adults, they have a choice about whether they’ll have a relationship with him. It’s no longer his choice and instead of forcing himself on them, if they don’t want to have a relationship, he needs to respect that enough to leave them alone.
Focusing on the Women
Iyanla spent a lot of time meeting with some of the mothers of Jay’s children. This seemed odd to me initially but they were dealing with their own issues. There were the former friends who each gave birth to children from Jay. There were women who still believed Jay would change one day and be there for them and their children. And there was one woman who was trying to decide if she should tell her child that Jay was his father. Iyanla spent so much time with them because she had been in their shoes. She had a man raising children who weren’t biologically his. And she had to eventually tell her children the truth. And they resented her for it. Iyanla told them towards the end of the show that she made sure to spend so much time empowering them because they were all the primary caregivers of the children.
Testing a Friend
As I mentioned, two of the women had been friends. Nicole, who still believes that she’s Jay’s main chick, says her former friend Charmaine intentionally slept with Jay when she knew they were in a relationship. In fact, Jay told Nicole that he was going to test her friend…and she went for it. And they had a child and the two women are no longer speak to one another.
He’s Not a Bad Person, He’s a Broken Man
You could tell that, despite his bad behavior, Iyanla really took a liking to Jay. She was kind to him even as she was still doling out her tough advice. She told him several times that she was going to blow his world up before letting him know that she still loved him. But she also let the women know that Jay is a manipulator and while he might not mean to hurt the women, he’s so broken that’s exactly what he’ll end up doing.
Offering a Tissue
When three of the women sat on the couch and confronted him, Jay started crying, saying he no longer trusted Iyanla. Charmaine must have taken pity on him because she reached over and went to hand him a tissue. And Iyanla said she better not, “Don’t You Dare!” He’d been coddled enough. It was just too symbolic of the way they had continued to make excuses for his childish behavior.
Jay Walking Out
When all three women were sitting in front of him, he was over it, claiming that Iyanla ambushed him. There was a whole lot of cussing and Jay claiming that Iyanla made one look weak, one look innocent and another look like she was mean and angry. I don’t exactly know what Jay wanted but Iyanla called him out straight out, saying he was a manipulator. The next day, Jay came back and said he was ready to continue. He said he no longer trusted Iyanla but she let him know that if he no longer trusted her, he wouldn’t have returned.
Deciding to Tell her Child about His Father
Ayanna was the woman who had yet to tell her son that Jay was his father. By the end of the episode, after Jay apologized and she expressed her expectations for Jay as a father, he admitted he was going to put forth more effort in being there for his child.
He Ain’t Changed…yet
At the end of the episode, it doesn’t seem that Jay had changed his behavior. When they provided the update, it showed that Jay had yet to meet with his 12-year-old son. One of the mothers also said that Jay still speaks about working things out with her. Hopefully, he’ll get it together and start at least working on developing relationships with his younger children and completely stop having them.