Category: Relationships


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Men Aren’t Stupid. And Nine Other Free Lessons That Will Change Your Life!

Everybody Hurts

This song helped me not kill somebody a long time ago. There’s an inboxer over on Monnie’s blog who really needs to listen to Michael Stipe wail this one out. If this doesn’t help I’ve still got an ax handle.

Facebook and the Ex

Okay, I have to apologize to the person who emailed me about this issue. You’re not stupid. (I’m pretty sure I didn’t call you stupid, but yeah, I did think it.)At the time that I received your email I couldn’t believe that anyone actually had a problem with this.  Anyway, I saw this on some show the other day. Apparently there is some great quandary about whether or not you should friend an ex on Facebook, especially if you’re married now. 

This is the way I see it, in general I try to limit contact with men who have seen me naked. It’s not something I’ve ever discussed with my husband. Back when we first got married, I said something to the effect that shouldn’t we have a discussion about our expectations. He just looked at me funny and said, “We know right from wrong.” And that was that. (Note, this is in regard to interactions with other men/women. We had plenty of discussions about other marital expectations. And, of course we’ve had lengthy discussions about the Close Encounters clause.)

I remember some time ago Billy Graham said that from the time he got married, he’s never been alone with another woman. I thought that was extraordinary, but in light of all the couples I’ve counseled who’ve apparently simply fallen onto or into an erect penis or vagina by accident, I think this is a good practice. It’s why, with few exceptions I avoid talking to males online outside a public forum. I don’t generally friend men on Facebook, again with a few exceptions. I figure, if I’m not talking to them, there’s no way to accidentally fall into any type of intimacy, emotional or otherwise. 

That’s the path I’ve chosen to walk, and the next man who decides to stalk me because I won’t friend him on Facebook will most likely get shanked. It doesn’t make me a doormat or a white man’s whore, it simply means that this is how I’ve chosen to respect my husband and my marriage.

I’ve been asked repeatedly to clarify these three designations. Point of order, I’m not an expert on human sexuality, I’m simply sharing my observations. I strongly believe that sexuality is on more of a continuum than most people would like to admit, but I’ll have to cover that in another blog post. 

I didn’t create the term barely-hetero, but can’t find the blog where I first encountered it. If it’s yours, please hit me up so I can give proper attribution.  Barely-hetero men get their emotional needs met in interactions with other men, while maintaining purely sexual relationships with women. These are the guys you see who are always kicking it with the fellas. They’re experts in the late-night phone calls looking to get some. They also have extraordinarily high standards as it pertains to women. No one ever quite measures up. Of course they don’t, women are merely a cover for their true love, other men. Though they’re not gay, in that they’re not sexually aroused by other men, they’re totally unavailable to women in any real sense. Don’t confuse barely-hetero with the metrosexual. As near as I can determine metrosexuals, though they can by some measures can appear somewhat effeminate, are generally connected both physically and emotionally to women. 

Down-low guys, on the other hand, have emotional relationships with women, and are with men strictly for sexual gratification. In the strictest sense of the term, these men are not gay. I hear over and over again that down low men are the same as closeted gay men. In my opinion, this is an specious comparison. Closeted men are gay and acknowledge, at least to themselves, that they are gay, they’ve simply chosen not to make that information public. Also, Gay men typically have both emotional and sexual relationships with other men. Are down-low men simply gay men in denial? I suppose it’s possible, but I’m not necessarily convinced. I believe them when they say they don’t have the same connection with men that they do women. Of course, it’s my habit to believe people when they tell me who they are and what they feel unless I have a compelling reason to think otherwise. 

I’m sure there’s plenty of overlap with all three of these, and probably a few more categories as well. Feel free to add any you’ve encountered.

No House-Husbands Need Apply

Professor Tracey unintentionally set off a mini-firestorm over at Aunt Jemima’s Revenge when she commented that a number of the brilliant, savvy black women in President-elect Obama’s administration are unmarried. Several of the women were married and are now divorced, others have never married. I don’t think this is necessarily a commentary on black people and our disdain for marriage, though I definitely think black people as a whole don’t see marriage in a positive light. I think it’s more indicative of a major paradigm shift in our national psyche and for that matter, much of the world’s. I’ve spoken of this before in my post on men being a disposable commodity. I suspect that many women are getting married in their twenties, having their children, then getting rid of their husbands so they can focus on their careers with fewer distractions. Further, many women, especially those who are high-powered and ambitious, don’t necessarily need a husband––they need a wife.

I remember having a roommate back in the day who was working hard to climb the career ladder. She had to travel a lot for work, and she commented on the fact that she was disadvantaged because her male co-workers had wives at home to run the rest of their lives. Even to the point of Fed-Exing them fresh suits from the dry cleaners, maintaining familial relationships, etc… She more or less had to do these things for herself. Even if  she’d been married, it would’ve been difficult to find a husband who was content to be a house-husband. And contradictorily most high-powered women don’t really want the sensitive beta male types who make good house-husbands. They long for a dominant alpha male who is even stronger and driven than they are. It’s hard for alpha females to respect a man who is otherwise. Unfortunately, alpha males typically are not interested in a woman who is equally as powerful, and it creates a conflict. 

I remember years ago watching an interview with Donald Trump whereas he talked about his divorce from Ivana. He very frankly stated that when she became a successful businesswoman their marriage was essentially over. It’s interesting to note that his subsequent wives have all been content to surrender the limelight to him. 

It’s important to understand that right now we’re going through some major growing pains as it pertains to male/female gender roles. It’s going to require some major re-thinking of what masculine and feminine really are. We’re going to have to rethink what it is that makes a good spouse. Is it really impossible to love a man who prefers the nurturing role? Why is it that we have little problem with women who are driven and ambitious, but the male who would actually complement this woman is seen as ‘weak?’ Of course, there are plenty of men who can’t handle being with a woman who is more powerful, and there’s not a heckuva lot to be done there. I suspect, however, that there are a lot of men who have no problem being the partner at home Fed-Exing the fresh suits and taking the kids to pre-school each day. 

If we really value the concept of marriage and want to rear our children in a secure marital relationship, it’s time to seriously start thinking about exactly what marriage is, and what we hope to gain from, and bring to it.

Recession Proof Your Marriage

I’ve been told that everyone does posts on how to get man, but few people talk about how to keep one. Being the people pleaser that I am, I thought I would rectify that.

1. Make Your Home a Sanctuary: When we first got married my husband insisted that we not have a television in the bedroom. I was traumatized. Over decade and a half that I’d lived alone, I had always gone to sleep to Headline News or QVC. He pointed out that we shouldn’t bring the negativity of the world into our home. He was right.
Further, this philosophy should encompass your whole home. Make it a place that both of you can’t wait to get home to at the end of the day. Paint it soothing, comforting colors. Have quilts and throws to snuggle under on a brisk day. Have tables to put your feet up on.
2. Cook: I know for many women this is anathema, and I’m not sure why. At the bare minimum you should be able to present a few favorites from time to time. There’s plenty of information at FoodTV that will turn you into an expert in no time.
For me, cooking is an art, a means of self-expression. I get tremendous joy out of creating meals that nurture my family. I understand that not everyone looks at it the same way. But with some preparation and planning ahead it can be less of a chore.
3. The Way You Make Him Feel: This is one my mama taught me a long time ago. Men want to make their women happy. When you’re a happy woman, you make him a happy man (Not to be confused with the sex act of the same name. Though it wouldn’t hurt! -lol-)
If you have an honorable man (And praise be to Goddess, I hope that anyone who reads this blog does indeed have an honorable man), understand that they do what they say they’re going to do. On the flipside, they don’t do what they say they’re not going to do. Save your breath. You’re going to need that on your deathbed. Nagging is ineffective and will only make both of you miserable.
An honorable man will go out of his way to please you and make you happy. Make sure you let him know you appreciate his efforts and you appreciate him.
4. Getting Horizontal: On her blog, my good friend Monica posted about a woman who hadn’t gotten naked with her husband in six months. I’m telling you now, if you go six months without giving up the booty, you can best believe old boy is going to be getting it elsewhere.
Yes, I know, life, kids, and all manner of things intervene, but remember you’re going to be with this man the rest of your life. It’s incumbent upon you to maintain that primary relationship. It’s the one all the rest of your relationships revolve around.
Sex is the way married couples reconnect. The physical act is about more than just getting off (though that’s crucial too), but it serves to remind you of what your marriage is about: the two of you. Nothing is more important.
5. Take Care of You: This should probably be number one, but I’m too lazy to rearrange it. All too often we give to others until there’s nothing left for ourselves. Then we’re angry and resentful. Oftentimes we direct that anger towards our partner, when in actuality, it’s no one’s fault but our own. Take the time, even if it’s no more than thirty minutes a day to do something specifically for you. Few husbands are unwilling to take the kids for a bit so that you have an opportunity to recharge. If he makes noise about it, be sure to remind him that your G-spot is directly connected to your ‘me time.’ Believe me, he’ll take those kids so fast they’ll have windburn.
Also, be sure to let him have some ‘breathing room’ away from you from time to time. No, I’m not talking about a bar crawl, or staying out all night with ‘his boys.’ A couple times a year my husband has to go camping or fishing. Yeah, he has to pacify his inner Jeremiah Johnson. Personally, after the Army I have no desire to sleep on the ground again, but he loves it. I don’t nag or whine or give him grief about it. The man works hard, and deserves some time off.
That’s all I have for now. Please don’t hesitate to add your own. If I have more I will add them.

Honorable Men

Not too long ago a reader asked me what she should be looking for in a mate. I pondered this one for a minute. It would seem that a lot of people are puzzled, and while I can understand that, its hard for me to tell someone what they should be looking for in a man. This, above everything is a highly personal issue. However, since I’ve been asked, I’ll tell you what I was looking for when I met my husband.

I’ve been accused and plead guilty to using old-fashioned words like honor, cherish, and chivalry. Its a deliberate choice. They’re very evocative words, and I use them for that purpose. More than anything I wanted an honorable man. What do I mean by honorable? In my mama’s words, ‘If he’s meant for you there won’t be no mess behind him.’ Profound in its simplicity. An honorable man won’t have a bunch of drama, whether romantic or financial around him. He takes care of his business in an honest, forthright manner. So if the bill collectors, baby mamas, etc… are hanging over him, you know he’s not the one.
Now, here’s the kicker, in order to have an honorable man, you have to be an honorable woman. Remember, he’s not going to have any drama in his life. That includes yours. Honorable men are honest, to a fault. They do what they say they’re going to do, period. If he tells you he’ll call you at 7:00, he does exactly that. You don’t have to worry about follow-through. If the hubster isn’t where he’s supposed to be I know to start checking hospitals and morgues. He’ll be there, on time, or die trying.
That’s the kind of man I wanted. I sat down and made a list, a very specific list of the characteristics I needed in a husband. Too women make the mistake of saying, ‘I need a man.’ That’s way too general. We have to be specific about our needs. After all, Mike Tyson and R. Kelly are men. You need a certain type of man, and you need to look inside yourself to decide what that is.
Being with an honorable man is not easy. My husband can be persuaded, but he doesn’t push worth a damn. If you ask him a question you’d best be prepared for the direct truth.  Yes, he will tell you that your ass looks big in those pants! Are you ready for that type of man? Then by all means let the universe know! Happy Hunting.
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