Sunday, September 05, 2010

Divorce - Friends Falling By The Wayside

Today my wife told me about yet another of her girlfriends who has divorced from her husband. This one caught me by total surprise because this was the friend with the nice house and thriving career and well balanced children - at least that's what it seemed like from the outside looking in.

I couldn't help but note a pattern of her girl friends getting divorced and telling her about my observation. Of course in the back of my mind I was thinking "you don't realize and appreciate how lucky you are to have me".

This leverage didn't last for too long as she reminded me that all of these divorces were grounded upon unfaithful husbands who violated the vows of the marriage and received the "death penalty" because of it.

I have my share of friend who have divorced as well. One that comes to mind were together as we all were young, childless couples that were dating. At the time "Mike Tyson Fights" brought us all together for house parties. Once the kids came along each of us got busy into our own worlds and largely stayed on our own side of town.

Last weekend it was strange to go and see my good friend's family after his divorce. While I hang with him several times a year I hadn't seen his ex-wife and children in about two years. I was amazed at how old they have grown. I was more amazed when they referenced his house as "daddy's house" as they made note of the differences in the counties that each house was in.

While my relationship is far from perfect it is no where near on the rocks as these others are. I hope to think that I am not going to do anything stupid to throw it all away. I am still young enough to "imagine the possibilities" with someone else but old enough to appreciate the stability that I now have AND to see that beyond the physical relationship none of these alternatives would be able to replace what I have (As long as Kerry Washington doesn't come and tempt me that is. :-) ).

I come from a family of 5 Black males. All of us are married with intact marriages all of us are college graduates. There is a bit of unspoken peer pressure between us to retain our status as head of the household and to walk down a certain path - to not bring shame upon the family.

Though my wife tells her friends that she is doing all of the work around the house - she knows that I have my own fixed duties (while her's are flexible. How many brothers do all of the cooking in the house?) With me by her side she was able to get a master's degree while she worked and had to tend to children.

If you want to look at one of the forces that are zapping the strengthen of the Black community - consider the present state of Black male - female relationships and who they have gone from complementary to conflicted.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

If you want to look at one of the forces that are zapping the strength of the AMERICA (and DESTROYING the CHILDREN - consider the present state of male - female relationships and how they have gone from complementary to conflicted.

Olive

Soul Woman said...

Greetings Cultural Strategist:

Do YOU believe that African American male and female relationships are damaged beyond repair? If you have children and they are girls would marry them off to another African American man given the cultural shifts that have transpired in our ethnic group?