I’m in love again,
And I have to find the words
To tell you how much I love you.
I’ll be yours forever baby,
And I promise I’ll be true.
I’ve waited for a lifetime
To say to you, “I do.”
I’ll promise I’ll be patient
And I’ll do my best for you.
I promise I’ll be faithful
And make all our dreams come true.
So take this ring
And be my wife.
Be with me until the end of time,
I promise you.
I still remember my wedding vows, that I sang to my wife in front of hundreds of people. I always reflect on that moment and stay #FALLINGBLACKINLOVE.
When was the last time you’ve seen a community of successful, black married couples communing together in perfect harmony, basking in the ambiance of love, professionalism, and laughter? How many networks do you belong to that promote the development and advancement of married couples and family value? In your circle of friends, how many married couples can you look to as an ideal example of love, peace and happiness? I reference all of these questions because truth is there are simply several things people just don’t tell you about marriage. There are so many negative depictions and visual characters that taint the fundamental practice of marriage and distract so many people from its true and genuine purpose. Television doesn’t make programming featuring powerful, successful married couples, with the exception of a few shows that don’t quite last that long. This generation also doesn’t sing about love and articulate through music the beauty that one can see in their significant other. Like an elder would say, back in the day where they made real music, the voice of love would carry couples down the aisle as they danced the night away into holy matrimony. Songs like, Ribbon in the Sky, Here and Now, You and I, At Last, You are so Beautiful, pretty much any song by Luther; I can go on and on. What if Beyonce dropped a new single called All the Married Ladies..(put your rings up)?
What do married people have and need to call our own, so that our community can be celebrated and duplicated? A wise person once gave me some critical advice prior to me making a commitment to marriage by saying, “The key to a successful marriage is to surround yourself with other successful married couples.” I find it interesting how my network of friends and associates are married and we now actually hang out less. Of course the facts of life, between managing a career in addition to raising children, play a vital aspect of delicately balancing time. The fact is, the necessary act of marital communion just doesn’t happen as often as it should. Let’s take a deeper look into this idea. Valentine’s Day is probably one of the most commercialized, slightly overrated holidays of the year. However it gives people a specific rhyme or reason to officially acknowledge and celebrate the love that you have for each other. There is no denying that time is indeed not a friendly resource and usually turns its back on you, especially at the most inconvenient times. However, every relationship needs that time to practice and demonstrate LOVE. Normally, I am very much all in when it comes to Valentine’s Day by doing all the commercialized, traditional romantic things. I am Mr. Flowers, Candy, Teddy Bear, Edible Arrangements, Jewelry and of course fine dining at a fairly expensive restaurant. This year I wanted to experience something different and accepted an invitation from an individual that wanted to organize a community of married couples.
Brandon Frame, CEO of THE BLACK MAN CAN organized an early brunch entitled Falling Black in Love, featuring a group of successful married couples. When I walked into the room I was delighted to be among over 50 married couples that were all elegantly dressed, partaking in a first class brunch.
The room was filled with laughter, uplifting dialogue and shared energy, as each couple seemed to bounce smiles off one another while low key spooning with their significant other. As I sat down enjoying my meal with my spouse, it set a different type of atmosphere and level of comfort. I had a boyishly giddy feeling about me as if this was one of our early dates with a group of random people. I sat back and marveled at this event and said to myself WOW, this is what the power of LOVE feels like. When you combine that ENERGY in one place, it absolutely penetrates the souls of people around you simply by being among the presence of success. Of course we shared stories about how we met with others, and passed the baby pictures around and spoke about the joys and pains of marriage while chuckling at how similar all of our stories were concerning how expensive children are, and how we all desperately need a vacation. Yet we all concluded there is light at the end of the tunnel.
As the panelist began to speak, I sat back and listened to how similar a lot of their stories were and concluded that there indeed can be a platform that can be duplicated in regards to finding a mate and sustaining love throughout the years. Here are few things that people don’t tell you about marriage.
A man that FINDS a wife FINDS a good thing. I laughed hysterically at some of the tales that were told when each couple was asked how they met. However, across the board all couples shared how the MEN actively pursued their significant other until they were given an opportunity to properly court them.
There are no shortcuts in the courtship process. The female panelists mentioned how they had a certain level of expectations from their significant other during the dating phase. They set a bar for their man to continue to be proactive, aggressive and to truly understand the value of their worth.
Every married couple shared the same faith. There was covering whether through Christian or Islamic beliefs. They all agreed it’s impossible to do GODLY activities such as marriage without GOD. One couple highlighted and reiterated how one day she had to simply pray for her husband daily, despite how she felt about her own current circumstances.
Marriage is indeed work and shouldn’t be treated as anything less. People fail to realize that everything that glitters isn’t gold. People want the fancy engagement party, the amazing wedding of their dreams, and live in the honeymoon phase when the facts of life don’t end with those 3 moments. Run your marriage like you are running a business.
Have financial meetings to review your finances
Schedule PTO for your own personal time to relax, relate and release Plan Vacations at least once a year so that the two of you can get away.
Make adjustments throughout the year as time, schedules, money and availability fluctuate CHILDREN CHANGE EVERYTHING. A lot of the couples shared how children changed the dynamics of their relationship. Speaking personally on this matter, it’s so easy to become PARENTS and forget that you are still husband and wife. Parenting can really cripple a relationship if the two of you lose sight of engaging in occasional dating and physical intimacy.
The Final point I would like to highlight is constantly reinventing your relationship. I listened to a wife describe how supportive her husband has been through all of her achievements in life. Everything she wanted to try to personally develop herself he was supportive of that. A quote that she said was, “I can’t make anyone else happy, if I’m not happy myself.”
I believe the restoration of marriage can resolve a lot of problems within the African American community. Marriage is by far one of the more difficult experiences that I have ever embarked on simply because it’s not just about ME. I traded the me in for a WE. Every decision I make directly affects my family, and that is a scary, tremendous responsibility. When marriages go through specific seasons, it is so easy for the DEVIL to use his tactics to infiltrate what the two people share. I’ve seen quite a few of my peers, friends, coworkers and fraternity brothers experience divorce for whatever reason. Statistics show that successful marriage is not a common practice in the U.S. as the divorce rates continue to skyrocket. Now I don’t claim to have the remedy to fix or heal any broken home, seeing as I’ve only been married for 4 short years, and still have no clue what I am doing, but I can say this much. I thank Brandon for taking the time to design a program that brought a community of leaders and successful married couples together in one place at the right time. I know I personally heard some things that I can use to help strengthen my relationship with my wife. That type of support system is what more couples need in this day and age to combat the destruction of marriage. At the end of the day we are all we have. It’s time we all #FALLBLACKINLOVE.
By Mr. NiceGuy
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