How to Not Kill Your Husband 101

I’ve been trying to figure out for the past few weeks how to write this in away that won’t be held against me later on in court, in the strange event that something does actually happen to my husband and for some reason it looks like I did it. Let me preface by saying: I don’t ACTUALLY want to kill my husband. I think that sometimes I get so irritated with him that I think I want to kill him, but I don’t. He’s just happens to be irritating me at that particular point in time and I don’t know how to handle it.

Is this what marriage is? Dealing with someone whom you love so much, yet at the same time can’t stand the sight of, but yet if they weren’t around you’d be sad? Just me? Probably. Lorenzo irritates me sometimes. Half the time I don’t know why, but I just really understand why some women keep cast iron skillets in the house. They are not just for grilled cheese sandwiches. I don’t even know if he knows that I want to strangle him sometimes. I think he does though…I can’t hide my facial expressions.

I asked my sister if she ever felt this way with her fiancé. She agreed. She said she really wants to kill him sometimes, but then she knows she’ll be pissed at him for actually dying so she doesn’t chance it. I remember having dinner one night with another couple, I am not even sure what happened but one minute everything was cool and then the next thing I know my friend is calling her fiancé annoying. He asked what he did, she said, “You’re breathing. You breathing annoys me. Ughh, you’re so annoying.” After a minute, Lorenzo laughed. I looked at him like he was crazy and said, “What are you laughing at? You’re annoying too.” I had to ask my friend who’s been with her husband for a total of 20 years how she doesn’t kill her husband every week. Her answer, with no hesitation: lots of prayer.

Am I just crazy? Seriously, that’s a real question because its like, one minute I love, love, love him, he’s #BAE, and he can do no wrong; and the next I want to throw things at him. Or vice versa; he’ll purposely do things to get under my skin then turn around and be super sweet (usually in the form of getting me food). Maybe I’m just hungry. I don’t know. And I’m about 175% sure I get on his last nerve as well, but if I ask he’ll probably feel like I’m trying to set him up or something, so I’ll never get an honest answer. On a good day.

d5dd76aed4c455746d7ddf08acfba263

Image credit

 

Why My Dad is the Coolest

So I was having a conversation with my father a few weeks ago, and he just reminded me of all the reasons why I always thought he was so cool. My parents had me pretty young; they were barely out of high school at the time. I didn’t realize how young my parents were until I entered college and all of my friend’s parents were 10 and 20 years older than mine. Anyway, I was talking with my Dad about if he would let me take care of him if he’d ever gotten to the point that he couldn’t take care of himself. I asked him if he would trust my decision-making skills when it came to his health and his affairs. He said, “P, I’ve trusted your judgment since you were five years old. I know you wouldn’t do anything to hurt me so yes, I would let you take care of me.”

He says this now, but I remember a time when we almost got into a fight when I wanted to take him to the eye doctor to get his vision checked. He acted like I was taking him to get a seeing eye dog when it turned out all he needed was reading glasses…but I digress. One thing I’ll give him (and my mother) credit for was that they always just encouraged us to be ourselves, whatever that might be. They never tried to force their personal agendas on us.  All my parents wanted for us was to accomplish certain things: graduate high school, go to college, don’t have kids, stay out of jail. Pretty simple list.

me-and-dad

Dad and I (early 80’s and 2015)

My father’s direction growing up was all about school. Up until I entered college all I heard from him was, “Books and boys don’t mix,” and “You don’t need any friends, you need to know your school work,” When I started dating, like for real dating, he pretty much left me alone. I was with a guy for about five years in and after college. My dad never really said much about the relationship, and he was always nice to my ex, so I found it a little surprising when I told him that we were having problems and he basically told me I didn’t have to put up with it. That’s when I knew he was only nice to my ex because he thought I was happy. Once it showed that I wasn’t, he was completely supportive of my decision to break up with him (and he took it as a personal opportunity to roast my ex- yes, my father can be very petty at times). I knew then that I could talk to him about anything.

 
Because he’s a pretty simple guy, my siblings and I try to take him out to different places to do and try different things. He isn’t very accepting of change; up until about 2009 he still walk around with a cassette player until my sister got so fed up she bought him an iPod. We did the same thing with a smart phone and a tablet. The only high tech stuff he likes is music equipment and video games, so we always pitch in and buy him tech related gifts for his birthday (much to my step-mother’s protest). My next biggest challenge is getting him to visit me here in Atlanta. He hates to fly, and I’m trying hard to convince him that it’ll be so much easier to spend less than 3 hours on a plane than spending 15+ hours in a car.

Wish me luck.

.

me-and-dad-pic

Dad and I (on a random outing)

 

 

 

Submit: A Four Letter Word

I was on Instagram today and I follow a page called Black City Girl (@blackcitygirl_) that talks about marriage, finding love, bettering yourself and all that jazz. Today there was a video posted about a couple who recently married, and the husband was explaining the reasons why he committed to his wife:

  1. They share the same core beliefs (faith)
  2. She respected him as a man
  3. She makes him feel needed (depended on him)
  4. They built together

I will admit that I like that page because sometimes they post very uncomfortable truths that a lot of women don’t want to admit to or agree with, and this one was definitely one of them. It seems like everyone totally dismissed points 1, 2, and 4 and completely focused on the “dependent” part. There was a lot of opposition from a few commenters, while there were others, like myself, who were more accepting of what was being said. Somehow dependency turned into submission, and then that turned into domestic skills. I attempted to clarify what I thought “dependent” means but I can only use my own life as a point of reference; and again there was opposition.

I think that the issue with the word “submission” is that we usually go to the textbook definition of it which is “to give over or yield to the power of another” and many people, including myself, were not having it. Like at all. Especially when you start using Biblical references such as “wives…submit to your husbands” (I’m not sure where this is in the Bible exactly but its there) and people just lose their minds. There was a lot of,

“I’ll never submit to a man…”

“I’ll never make him feel needed”

“I’ll never depend on him…for what?”

The problem I was having with these comments was that these women (who were all single by the way) wouldn’t even stop for a second to consider what the other married/engaged women were saying when talking about “depending on their men”. I stated that dependence in most cases in not financial dependence at all, but just giving a man the FEELING of being needed- and that is so BROAD that it could mean many different things to many different people. Dependence can mean spiritual, emotional, guidance and insight, or any other feeling depending on who you are asking.

Quick story: I used to be one of those women, the “I’m a strong Black woman who doesn’t need a man for anything” (snap my fingers two times) types. I was having a conversation with a male friend who constantly – and I mean constantly – cheated on his wife. He cheated the entire time they were dating, engaged, and after they married. When I finally asked him why he kept doing this, he admitted to me, “I love her, but, and I know this is going to sound crazy, but she acts like she doesn’t need me. I just fit into her plan of having a house, marriage, and children. Its like she doesn’t want me for anything else.”

He went on to tell me that as archaic as it sounds, men NEED to feel needed. This was when Lorenzo and I were still getting to know each other and I was still holding on to my own views about what that meant. A year later, a few months before he proposed, I thought about what my ex-friend had said, so I asked Lorenzo straight up, what the thought “submission” meant. He told me that he wanted me to let him help me.

That’s it. No talk about finances, no stay at home barefoot and pregnant, no do what I say and wait on me hand and foot. None of that. After we had that conversation I felt SO much better about marrying him. He asked me for something that I could actually give him. Was it hard? Yes. I’d spent my entire life taking care of myself so it was extremely hard for me to let him have some of my responsibilities, but honestly, it didn’t kill me. I still have my job(s), my own money, my same spending habits; its just that he takes out the trash, checks on my car when the lights come on, pays for me to get my hair done, fixes things around the house. Not a bad deal if you ask me.

I think that people should really take the time to get to know the people they are involved with. I can understand that it can be hard to believe anything I’m saying when people are so used to dealing with people who are not worth it. But, I think that when you find the “right” person for you, it makes it easier to work these things out. I thought that “submitting to a man” was the most horrible thing you could ever say to me, but when I was able to think about it as it related to Lorenzo, it was really just allowing him into my life enough so that he knows that I DO want him around. Lorenzo knows I don’t “need” him-especially in terms of finances, its one of the things he loves the most about me. Hell, he’s been super supportive of me getting an MBA so I can get a better paying job to make more money. So its not about keeping me under his thumb, or “behind him” its about allowing him to help me be the very best possible version of me so that WE can thrive together.

I’m curious as to what people think…. please share.

Marriage Advice Gone Wrong

People love giving their opinions, even if you never asked for it. I used to be like that, but I had to learn to keep my 2 cents to myself unless I was asked. This way, if I said something they didn’t like, I could always follow up with, “Well, you asked!”. As I got older, I had to learn to take things with a grain of salt. Then I started paying attention to the people I was listening to, and that’s when I started ignoring folks all together. Why? Because people don’t know what they’re talking about! Your girlfriend/BFF who is never in a relationship or can’t keep one but always giving you relationship advice? Yeah, you shouldn’t listen to her. The guy who constantly cheats on his wife but tries to tell you what he thinks about marriage? Nope, you shouldn’t listen to him either. And you probably shouldn’t take financial advice from your adult friend who still sleeps on their parent’s couch and is living check to check but always has designer clothes and always wants to hang out. Just don’t do it.

Fortunately for me, I married a man who doesn’t listen to what other people have to say about his decisions. He knows what direction he wants to go in and doesn’t let other people deter him from his path. If someone presents an idea to him, he asks questions- lots of questions, before he would even consider it. When Lorenzo and I were dating, we were living in 2 different states. He relocated to Atlanta from Albuquerque, while I remained in New Jersey. Needless to say, there were a lot of people (read: men) who were trying to convince him to date as much as he can and play the field – even though he and I were already committed to each other. Not gonna lie, I got some crazy advice from people after we got engaged as well. Here is some of the craziest we’ve heard:

Don’t get married. Lorenzo had other men say this to him. Why? Because they felt like since he was young, successful, and childfree that the LAST thing he should do is settle down. They wanted him to go around and sleep with as many women as he could – because honestly, that’s what they would do. A lot of those guys had dead end jobs with a kid or two by multiple women and had their wages garnished due to child support payments. But maybe if they weren’t sleeping around so much and having kids they would have extra money to…oh, well never mind.

a86fe835b18f837b2c70c00d44badd6b

Let yourself go. Multiple women have said this to me. I was shocked because I didn’t think people actually did that; I thought it was a joke. I used to look at them and think to myself, “You can’t be serious.” I didn’t keep myself in shape just to “catch a man,” I’m in the military so I have to stay in shape and honestly, I actually give a shit about my health, so no, I won’t be doing that.

kevin-hart-facial-expressions

Marriage is boring. Or, “you won’t get to do things you like to do.”  I don’t understand this one. Is everyday supposed to be a party? If you’re so bored, why don’t you plan a trip or an outing or something? I can understand not having a whole lot of time to indulge in your hobbies if you have kids but if you don’t, why can’t you? I don’t get it. Someone will have to explain this one to me.

Don’t tell your husband about all of your purchases. So, lie to him? To me, this means that he can turn around and do the same thing by keeping things from me. Why would I want to do that? I’m a pretty financially savvy person, so I know better than to spend rent money on a new purse or make a major purchase when we are trying to save for a house. No thanks, I’m not trying to cause arguments intentionally.

9dcsb

I’m sure that folks have the best intentions when they offer advice, but I realize many of them speak from their own experiences rather than placing themselves in the other person’s shoes; and just because its something you’ve gone through or would do yourself doesn’t mean its the best thing for ME. If we’d listened to everything other people told us to do we’d be arguing all the time just to prove we don’t have secrets, we would’ve bought a house in a not so great neighborhood and another house that we didn’t like just to live next to people that I didn’t know. We also would’ve had a kid just because someone Lorenzo worked with was pregnant, also someone I don’t know; and went into debt planning our wedding. Lorenzo would have taken jobs that wouldn’t have helped his career and I would nag him and start arguments about next to nothing, just to do it.

The moral of this story: people sometimes give shitty advice, not just about marriage, but about life in general. I think people should consider the person they are getting advice from and always do what they think is best for them. That other person who has so much to say about your life doesn’t have to deal with the consequences of what is ultimately YOUR decision. Listen, but with caution.

 

 

photo credits