Yes, in the first season, Mary Jane dated a married man, she slept around, and although in this season; she may still be wrestling and grappling to gain some sense of relationship normalcy, she is still at a crossroad. Let’s not judge, because we all have been there, going through it, or may even be on our way there; or at best, we can say that we’ve had some major relationship deficiencies, at one time or another. So many everyday women, like you and me, not only identify with her, but also have our own demons that keep our hearts hostage to pain and heartbreak!!! We almost begin to believe this is “Our normal!” Mary Jane’s myriad of spiraling emotions are nothing short of what most black women endure in relationships! All we need is a glimpse of hope, and it will keep us emotionally bound and gagged, but it’s that fight that keeps us going, and that same fight makes us lie to all those involved, including ourselves. It is, however, very difficult to keep up the deception, before someone begins to witness us unravel before their very eyes! All of Mary Jane Paul’s relationships seem to border on some form of being dysfunctional. She is the glue that keeps her family together, she has a friend that resents her, therefor; her refuge is sex and alcohol. She feels safe when she has a moment that she is not juggling so many balls in the air, because no one expects that she should ever show any signs of weakness. Does she want more than sex? Absolutely, and so do so many women, but somehow, it all gets lost in the translation of life, what we mistake for love and mediocrity begins to become acceptable. Even in the roughest of times, Mary Jane finds a way to keep her head on straight, long enough to begin saying no to things that aren’t serving her. What keeps us hanging on is addiction – it’s not always love. We can truly become addicted to a person, and like any other addiction, we need HELP to kick the habit! We can’t let go, because we reminisce on what could have been… We don’t delete the text messages, we look at old pics and we insist on closure, just so that we can have an excuse to hold onto false hope. Mary Jane Paul is making decisions that she doesn’t realize are controlled by emotional disparity, and not because of a biological clock, but it’s all a smoke screen that would otherwise force her to face the truth. It’s not an overnight or one size fit all solution. It’s a matter of acknowledgment, accountability and the courage to forgive ourselves and to learn to simply say, “NO!” Soooo, What’s next… Terry D.
You think she’s bitter, but she’s broken from being deceived and lied to for so long. Look beneath the surface! It’s not you she’s upset with, and maybe she just hasn’t figured out how to make sense of it all, but she may just need your patience and gentleness. If you think about it, you haven’t always been where you are either, but someone else may not have had patience with you. It was for a reason, not a lifetime – so that you’re able to be with someone who understands you, and it may not be as easy to obtain, but it will be worth it. Don’t give up! She needs to know that you’re not like the rest. Often times, the one that thinks they’re saving someone, needs to be saved also, but they don’t know that until it actually happens.
The 3 things that you need to do to hold on:
2. Keep sex out of it, until you’ve established trust. It only clouds your judgement, and places you back at square one.
3. Love her through and out of the pain.
This is both your opportunities to learn to love again, set your own rules and put the past behind you!
How many of us are willing to admit that the failure of love has kept us up at night, or caused us to even cry ourselves to sleep? I have loved and lost, and even swore off love, but then I find myself right back in the trenches of wanting to share my heart with someone else, but often feeling trapped from the fear of losing it again. We’re told that we should love ourselves enough to not allow someone else not to, but it’s not always so easy now is it? We don’t always feel comfortable confessing that we don’t always want to be so strong, but instead, we want to feel sorry for ourselves, just for a moment. Even though it doesn’t solve anything, it’s a temporary satisfaction that helps for now…
In my journey, I find myself meeting others that are ready to explode, because they walk around for years, with bottled up lies of how they really feel when they broke up with someone, afraid to admit that they stayed longer than they should have, or that they even think about getting back with someone that might not be good for them, or maybe have even done it, but feel ashamed to admit this, and is emotionally isolated in their actions, because of their fear of judgment. Some of our behaviors are subconscious, but it will take someone that can identify with you, and be able to accept you for you.
It’s not that we’re not capable of loving ourselves; we just really have to be honest, and accept that we are NOT perfect, and we will not live up to all the pressures that are placed upon us. So damn what if you slip up. You won’t be the first or last. Here’s the thing – the only reason we’re afraid to share our relationship botches, is because the other people you’re talking to, are not always telling you the whole truth either, and we think we’re in this alone, and let’s be honest, people feel better, if it’s not them failing. Sometimes we feel like a loser, when we tell “Our TRUTH!”
Love is not exact, and you may screw it up more than once, and yes you have to learn to love you, but you have to figure out how to do that, and as long as you’re honest with yourself, you will feel less worried about pleasing others, and get back to the business of navigating your own missteps and letting yourself off the hook when it doesn’t go exactly as planned. It doesn’t have to be perfect, you just have to learn to meet others and yourself exactly where you are right now!
In the words of Usher, “These are my confessions.”
Yes, it’s true, loving Me, has not always been easy! I faked my happiness, because I wanted what everyone else told me I was supposed to have, what others may have been pretending to have and what society tells us, we’re incomplete without. Hell, for that matter, I was told that I would never find love by people who loved me, because I either didn’t look the part, or it just would never happen for me. This journey to loving me, has taught me some painful, but valuable lessons. You see, we think we love ourselves, based on shallow and superficial things, but that’s just a mask of deception, that helps us shield ourselves from the truth. If we check our records of love, we can trace a lineage of heartache, that we kept accepting, because it served its purpose at that time. Some we attracted, simply because we needed to feel a semblance of something that mimicked love.
It really is true that hurt people, hurt people. While on your search for love, you attract people who aren’t whole either, and you BOTH hurt one another. We convince ourselves that this person loves us, because our common thread is so familiar, but definitely not healthy.
When I discovered I didn’t love me, I sat in the middle of the floor, and cried for hours. That’s when my journey to discovery of real love began – how to love me, and STOP looking for others to do it for me. Nope, it didn’t magically just happen, but I was more aware of my actions, and what I allowed.
TODAY, I couldn’t be more comfortable with me, and whether it be personal or otherwise, the people and things that attach to me, has to be healthy and of service to my well being. If not, I do know that God doesn’t make mistakes, and I’m able to either help them on their journey, or know when to say, “WHEN!”
When I am asked questions from my clients, or just those who are on their own self discovery love journey, I listen with an open mind and heart, because this is a familiar road that is not easy, and definitely shouldn’t be judged. However, I am honest.
It’s so amazing how open I am to love, although it was the single most difficult thing to trust for years upon years. I still struggle a little, but my faith keeps me, and I see God working through me. I’ve had some near misses, but now it seems that love keeps finding me in every area of my life, and it feels so damn good!
It may not have been easy, but it has actually been worth it, because it was my journey to take… In the words of a woman I admire so very much, my literary giant, “Maya Angelou,” I wouldn’t take nothing for my journey now!
As a culture, we don’t groom our children for family and marriage. Just because marriage may not have worked out for you, or you never walked down the aisle, doesn’t mean you taint the views of marriage to your children. We should always want more for them, than we had/have.
Things we shouldn’t be saying to them:
1. All men are dogs (Lack of Trust)
2. Make sure you get paid first (Soft Prostitution)
3. Women will use you (Lack of trust)
4. You’re a player, don’t get trapped by one woman (Womanizer)
5. Keep her in her place (Promotes abuse)
Our habits, good or bad, are mimicked by our offsprings, and if they see us as women, disrespecting the man in the house, it teaches our daughters not to respect her husband, and our sons to either be doormats or even abusive, because of resentment. We don’t like to use the word roles, until it applies to the heavy lifting responsibilities, like certain chores or finances. I like being a lady, I like feeling safe, I like handing over certain things to him, I like him walking on the outside of me, opening my door. See that’s his “Role.” Yes, there is a surge of single parents, so it becomes second nature to just do things for yourself. It’s not a sign of weakness, if you relinquish carrying out the garbage, or changing a lock. It does take some getting used to. These are all the dysfunctional behaviors we subconsciously teach ourselves and our children, and before you know it, your daughter is saying, “I don’t need a man to take care of me.” In all reality, it feels good to have the option, but when all you’ve seen is Mama doing it for herself, it just seems natural to adopt the same feelings. I talk a lot about generational curses, because it’s the very thing that is tearing the black family apart.
Groom your son for marriage. Don’t teach him to be a player, by telling him at the age of 2, that he’s a pimp, he will be a heart breaker and all the girls are going to love him. Planting seeds of womanizing is dangerous. If you’re a man who likes a lot of women, and you flaunt this in front of both your daughter and son, she will think it’s okay for a man to cheat, and your son will admire your slick ways, and soon mirror them.
Ladies, please stop bringing every Tom, Dick and Harry around your children. Especially your daughter. We can teach our daughters to respect themselves, by how we dress and how we conduct ourselves. Stop looking for a man to pay you for sex. Yes, I said it, because it’s nothing short of hoeing yourself out. Do you wonder why your daughter is now giving it up for a $25 fill in? She felt obligated, because it’s what she’s been taught.
Be the change agent and role model for your children. Teach them to respect the opposite sex. talk to them straight up about sex and respecting not only their bodies, but others as well. They need to know that NO means NO. Abstinence is not “The SIN!”
The not so funny piece to the puzzle is, when we see our children behaving in disrespectful ways like us, we are now angry and ready to beat them down. When the truth is, they learned it from YOU!
Dysfunctional behaviors are created well before they’re teens, and will follow them into their adult lives. It’s easy to create them, but like hell to break and redirect. We do have the power to instill positive and strong influence within them. We have to take our families back!
I was watching a talk show, and the subject was, “Open Relationships.” I tried to listen with an open mind, but the more justifications I heard from the Sex Expert,
http://www.bet.com/video/just-keke/2014/exclusives/shannon-t-boodram-breaks-down-open-relationships.html the more I wondered, What the what? Her explanation behind the reasoning of these relationships was, “With there being a new generation, and they don’t stay in anything too long, it’s only natural that they would not commit to a relationship.” Well, what makes it natural to be in an open relationship? It was, to say the least, disturbing, to hear an “Expert” justify and plant this type of seed into today’s generation. We all see how that worked out for both Dwayne Wade http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20770629,00.html and Ludacris. http://bossip.com/888989/another-year-another-love-child-ludacris-fathered-secret-baby-during-break-from-eudoxie/ They both ended up with babies during their “Break.”
Open Relationship, is just a way of saying, I want to be with you, but everyone else also, and when I’m tired of playing around, we’ll go back to being monogamous. I believe that women have conformed to this foolishness and nonsense, to fool themselves into believing that it’s okay, because otherwise, they might find themselves alone, or if they think that it might be headed in that direction anyway, they propose the concept first. Let’s just stay right there, because essentially, you are alone until they’re done with the other person/people. Not to say that there aren’t any, but there aren’t a lot of women that are willing to share their man, just to have a piece of one.
Is nothing sacred any longer? Marriage is now a convenience, or maybe even more of a fad, because if it doesn’t work, we can just have an open marriage, and trade up for a better model.
So, we’ve decided to take a break, and now you get to fool around with someone else, and not to mention, you don’t even have enough respect for me and my body, to use protection, which is evident, because you’ve gotten someone else pregnant.
So the expert’s take is, because marriages aren’t working, it’s time to do something different. The different is only going to further drive the divorce rate up, and make young adults think, that commitment is fleeting, which flows into all areas of their lives. She goes on to further compare the younger generation to not keeping jobs long, and the same serves for relationships.
An Open Relationship is just an excuse to cheat. It’s no different than being single. Who wants to be in a relationship, and feel like they’re single? It’s seems like people who want to be monogamous, are now becoming the minority.
No matter the generation, year or time, morals and values should never be dismissed, and there are so many repercussions for this behavior. I’m not going to play russian roulette with my mental, spiritual or physical well-being.
What are your thoughts?
I wonder if I knew that although you’re a man, but still carry my sometimes loud words of discord and negativity to the core of your heart, and how it emasculated you, would I still be so inconsiderate? If I knew that sometimes, you just need me to listen to you and SHUT UP, you need me to run you some bath water, and let you have a few moments, would I take all your burdens to heart, and leave them where they belong (in the streets), and just love you, even stroke your ego, when needed and let you melt into my arms, lay your head on my breast, take a deep breath and allow us to become one?
You see, I wonder if you knew how many nights I sat up and cried, how many conversations I’ve had with you in the mirror, would you still lie to me, would you still cheat on me, would you still dishonor me, by laying with me, and not only never marry me, but not even love me? If you knew that when we broke up for the 5th time, that along with that went my trust, a piece of me, and with all that, I gained insecurities and probably a few pounds? If you saw your daughter go through this same pain and anguish, would you turn over a new leaf?
Is it too late for me to learn to honor you as a man, and will you now see me in a different light?
If only we could have a day to live inside the heart of the person we love, maybe it would shift the winds of love, and begin to bridge the gaps of divorce, teach us how to appreciate the opposite sex for who they are, and not for who we want them to be. We could be trendsetters for generations of couples to come…