A few weeks ago I was interviewed on British radio about the “independent woman” debate within the black community. It’s not just in the United States where black women are professing their independence and self-sufficiency, but it’s in black communities around the world. Near the end of the interview, I made a statement that I believe sums up the “independent woman” issue, and hopefully, silences some of the nonsense.
What I said was this:
Don’t get married if you are worried about following a man’s lead.
Also. . .
Don’t get married if you always have to be right in an argument.
In other words, marriage is for grown folk. Mature people. Reasonable, sensible, giving, and compromising adults. It’s not for people who live in the fantasy world of a song, movie, or any other psuedo-reality. The bottom line is this: if you are still holding on to a played-out cultural stereotype of the independent woman who dare not submit to a man or defer to his opinion, then that’s all you will be holding onto in bed at night.
Marriage, as I shared during the interview, is about balance, agreement, and compromise. It’s not about one person getting his/her way all of the time. When a family, a home, finances, and emotional stability are involved, there is very little time for petty arguments about “who wears the pants.” As long as everybody has clothes on their backs, food in their mouths, and love in their hearts. . . who cares?
So, save yourself some heartache and frustration, and don’t get married if. . .
You have to be in control.
You are protective over your stuff or your money.
You don’t want someone else telling you what to do.
You are always talking about how you “got this” by yourself.
You are waiting on him to mess up.
You plan to keep wearing your independent badge of honor after you’ve taken off your wedding dress.
Marriage is a beautiful, sacred institution that works well when two people decide to show up like grown ups –grown ups who put away childish behaviors and allow the challenges and triumphs of the union to make them better friends, lovers, partners, and spouses who depend, first on God, and second on each other.