As a child, I never really thought about being married, but as I grew into a young woman, I started to notice other young women speak about marriage, constantly, and almost every man a woman dated was a potential husband. "That's strange," I thought, and before I knew it, my thought process was on the same path as the women around me. I wanted a husband, a white picket fence, and 2.5 kids. My beliefs started to shift and I started to think marriage is as simple as 1, 2, 3--you grow up, find a mate, get married, and have kids. If that is all it takes, then I am a candidate for marriage, so I thought. Marriage is no walk in the park, and it isn't easy breezy.
Marriage is a strange phenomenon and despite the statistics that imply that roughly 52% of married, American women and 56% of married, American men will celebrate a 20-year anniversary, people still desire to be married, envy those who are married, and are willing to get remarried even after a failed marriage.
Love isn't the only factor for why couples marry. Many couples choose to get married for the purposes of stability, reproduction, and long-term companionship. Marriage is not as simple as people make it seem. Getting married does not guarantee you will live happily ever after, nor does it guarantee your mate will be faithful, loyal, or committed for a lifetime. No matter how attractive the idea of marriage is, marriage is complicated.
This site is for African American and Afro-Caribbean couples who are seeking to save their marriages from divorce. You can count on me to address topics of infidelity, emotional disconnection, intimacy, human mate poaching, trust, vulnerability, intergenerational transmissions of trauma, and effective relationship dialogue.
Not only will I provide strategies to help decrease divorce rates, but I will also provide a historical understanding of black couples and marriages. My goal is to change the narrative and negative portrayals of African American and Afro-Caribbean couples propagated by eurocentrism.
In my experience working with African American and Caribbean couples, it takes a certain type of therapist to be able to relate to and understand their unique challenges. Whether it's the therapist's therapeutic style (or swag), or his/her ability to deliver information in a relatable fashion, without the psychobabble, each couple needs to feel a connection and understood without judgment. My desire is to deliver information that not only captures the essence of the African American experience, but to relay it in an easy to follow manner.
I do not want to create the illusion that my methods and strategies will undoubtedly prevent divorce, and I do not want you to believe that your marriage will be saved by someone other than yourself. It is important to know that no one can truly predict if your marriage, or relationship, will be successful or end in divorce. The best way to safeguard your marriage is by increasing your understanding of the contributing factors that can lead to divorce (i.e. finances, infidelity, in-laws, emotional neglect). Increasing your knowledge and learning new strategies will help improve the likelihood of favorable outcomes.
Take your time and explore my site. I invite you to offer ideas, questions, and challenging viewpoints. Just like I will critique other relationship experts by examining their blogs, videos, and podcasts, I encourage you to do the same. Join in on the conversations and invite your friends and families to do the same.
Marriage, although complicated, is worth the journey and has great benefits if you are able to successfully conquer its challenges. Together we can learn more and make a difference.
Questions that will be explored from an African American perspective are:
- What makes African American marriage unique or different?
- Is marriage necessary in the 21st Century?
- Are African American family units in danger of becoming extinct?
Besharov, D.J, & West, A. (2001). African American Marriage Patterns. Hoover Press: Thernstrom, pages 95-113. (This is a journal article that explores patterns in African American marriages dating from the early 1900's to current times).
Russell, V.M., Baker, L.R., & McNulty, J.K. (2013). Attachment Insecurity and Infidelity in Marriage: Do Studies of Dating Relationships Really Inform Us About Marriage? Journal of Family Psychology, 27, 2, 242-251. (This is a research journal article that explores the correlation between insecure attachment styles and relationship satisfaction).
Black Love and Marriage on Facebook (this is a popular Facebook page, and a website, that discusses topics predominately related to relationship etiquette).
CNN Segment on Black Marriage (an article written on the CNN website about an African American couple experiencing relationship discord who decided to participate in a free basic marriage training course).