*As I write this sentence, another story is being released into cyberspace about how corrosive black relationships have become. This topic is the granddaddy of broken records. We’re all aware that a reported 70 percent of black marriages end in divorce. We’re all aware that an increasing number of African Americans are deciding to experiment with interracial relationships. We know the statistics — they’re everywhere. So what’s the solution? What will it take to preserve the health and longevity of black romance?
In my opinion, it starts and ends with BLACK MEN. This perspective may seem archaic to a new-age feminist. However, as the stronger vessel in society, black men ought to step outside of the status quo and reach beyond conventional methods to please their partners. By the same token, it’s imperative that black women adjust certain facets of their behavior to sustain peace at home. Based on my experiences, I’ve compiled a list of steps that black men and women should apply to keep their relationships healthy and happy.
1. MEN: Stop using sex to express your emotions and actually communicate them (if she calls you weak, she ain’t the one)
1. From a young age, black males are often encouraged to suppress their emotions to avoiding looking weak to others. As a result, when they reach adulthood, many of them use intercourse as a means of expressing their emotions, which coincides with the notion that accumulating multiple bed-partners is a reflection of one’s masculinity. This attitude conflicts with the need for communication in any healthy relationship. In order to peacefully coexist with their partners, black men need to check their ego and be willing to articulate their innermost feelings. Communication is the key to longevity.2.WOMEN: If you earn more money than your partner, consider offering him control of your finances to assuage his insecurities about earning less (if he squanders a dime, run away fast). The white power establishment is creating a divide within the black community by offering more high paying jobs to black women, causing their egos to inflate like the Goodyear Blimp. Some professional women use their income to make their partners feel small. But for those of you who want a peaceful relationship, refrain from throwing money in your partner’s face and give him “control” of your pocketbook. This illusion will stroke his manhood and he’ll be more inclined to elevate his financial status to meet your’s (unless he’s a trifling nigga).3. MEN: If you live in a home full of children, create temporary “escape” coupons for your spouse/ baby mama, girlfriend (they should include trips to the spa, a weekend vacation, or a hearty brunch with friends). Debunk the myth that black men aren’t actively involved in the lives of their child(ren), and give your partner a break from performing the duties of motherhood (especially if she’s raising some bebe’s kids). The coupons shouldn’t have an expiration date and they should be usable at any time. This will give her a chance to recharge her batteries and regroup. When she returns, you won’t regret it (wink, wink).4. WOMEN: If you manage to avoid giving birth before marriage (which is a rarity these days), wait until you’ve enjoyed a few good years with your new husband before getting knocked up. Don’t get me wrong, childbirth is one of mother nature’s greatest miracles. However, raising children is a lifetime commitment and it’s extremely time-consuming. Don’t rush into it right away after you’ve jumped the broom. Enjoy your partner first, travel, continue growing together, and perhaps you’ll reach depths of intimacy and love that will be nearly impossible to sustain when children roll into the picture (especially if they got nigga in em’). On the flip side, after learning your partner more, you may both discover how much you hate each other and eventually choose to go your separate ways. Children would complicate this process. Wait a while.5. MEN: Accept that women have come a long way from being housewives and baby-makers. If she’s a willing domestic, good. If she’s a professional woman with a tight schedule, then you might wanna learn how to cook your own meals and do your own laundry). More importantly, if she ever gives you guff about cleaning, don’t whip out your bible and quote scripture about how a woman is supposed to be submissive to her husband. Even it this were true, it doesn’t mean that she’s obligated to be your cleaning lady. If you impose these expectations on her, it’s bound to cause conflict. After all, the Bible was written thousands of years ago by European scribes who clearly lacked respect for women. And if you hadn’t noticed, these days the whole “submission” thing is played out, way out.6. WOMEN: Don’t equate being a homemaker to being a slave, a maid or a surrogate mother (remove your ego from the equation and take care of your man, and try to do it with a smile. If you take care of him, he’ll be more inclined to return the favor). Ladies, there’s no shame in giving your kitchen a good scrub, whipping up a tasty meal, soaping up a mop, or washing yo niggas dirty underwear. Performing these tasks won’t push you back to the 1950’s, it will result in a dirt-free home and a balanced relationship. There will be days when he does the cleaning. But when it’s your time, don’t complain and get sassy. Telling a man what “you aint gonna do” will only spark an argument. Be a grown up and do the damn chores — he’ll appreciate you for it.7. MEN: To show good faith, provide your lady with the passcodes to your cell phone and social media accounts (it will give her confidence that you aren’t fraternizing with other women).8. WOMEN: Resist the temptation to watch reality television, especially smut like Real Housewives of Atlanta or Love and Hip Hop (viewing these programs will cause you to subconsciously internalize and duplicate the ratchet behavior, which isn’t conducive to a healthy relationship).9. MEN: Establish a foundation of romance from the beginning of your relationship and continue to build on it as time progresses. Don’t equate being a helpless romantic with being a soft ass nigga. Bypass conventional techniques to make her feel special. Instead of whisking her to a fancy restaurant and tricking off your money, do things that require more of your time, effort and creativity — she’ll appreciate it more.10. WOMEN: Learn how to shut the fuck up when you notice that your partner’s getting upset or annoyed (yelling will only intensify his emotions and cause more conflict). That’s all.
The Black Hat is written by Southern California based Cory A. Haywood, a freelance writer and expert on Negro foolishness. Contact him via:[email protected] and/or visit his blog: corythewriter.blogspot.com, or send him a message on Twitter: @coryahaywood