By Lisa Marbly-Warir
originally written 2016
Disclaimer-I know talks of marriage can be a sore spot for some women. I decided for those who are interested in what I have to say can glean from the article what they want and don’t want. I know that some people are desperately trying to undermine the importance of marriage—but for some of us it is still an important institution.
I’m presently working on a book called What Your Mama Didn’t Tell You (working title)
Update~Published 8/16/2016 Sisters Can we Talk—What Our Mothers Didn’t Tell us
I would like to tackle many things I feel women are not learning or getting which is why so many are left to fend for themselves with children, or reach a certain age and want marriage but can’t find the right man. I feel men are especially spoiled today. They know they can create children and leave, shack up with a woman and promise marriage for years, knowing he has no intention of it.
Get commitment less sex and even ‘committed’ but not married sex etc. A lot of men, whether they say it or not have a 'Why buy the cow when they can get the milk for free?' attitude. He is not going to say this to the woman he is sleeping with—who may want marriage. Because for some of them it's 'If it ain't broke why
A lot of women are asking that men be the men of yesteryear—family oriented, marry them, take care of his kids—but those same women are not trying to be the women of yesteryear who for the most part had children within marriage, expected marriage, shunned men who were not husband material etc.
I often see a lot of double talk in regards to marriage (online) I actually don’t know where to start with this. It’s a subject that is beaten half to death on various geared to Black women sites I’ve visited over the years. It will continue to be beaten to death because there is never any resolution and many women are still complaining about raising kids alone, or wanting to settle down but can’t find a marriage-minded man.
I see a lot of disdain towards marriage, Black men and sometimes towards women who are wives and I often wonder is the disdain from wanting to be married but can’t find the right man to commit?
Or disdain because children are here and the father of the child(ren) refused to marry the mother?
Is it disdain because marriage is simply not important to some women?
The flip side is—many of those same women are complaining that the men they had children with (unmarried) are not stepping up to the plate of responsibility. I’ve been accused of giving men a pass and absolving them of their responsibility.
Um, no. When you as a woman have kids with a man who didn’t commit to you through marriage, you absolved him. Harsh but true.
What happened to love, marriage then baby? (Let me stop here, yes I know a man can marry you and still leave—that is a rather tired rebuttal I read a lot online. When I counter ask, what married men do you know is just up and leaving his family like that? I NEVER get an answer.
Does it mean that married men don’t leave, absolutely not, but I don’t believe they are leaving in droves the way some posters online like to believe. I’ve often said online that somewhere in time some women decided that having a husband was a waste of time, not important, all men cheat anyway the list of negativity towards marriage goes on and on and I am really baffled at the origins of it.
One media site I like to visit; most posters there know I am pro-marriage and being pro-marriage has actually gotten me called all kinds of spiteful names. And I’m like wow, so in order for a woman to be married or want marriage something has to be wrong with her? Really? The name calling also tells me it has to be something deeper within that person, to melt down over the suggestion of getting married and then having children.
I’ve also mentioned that if some women (posters in regards to that site I won’t mention) are that anti marriage online, then what are they like in real life? Is that sentiment spilling over into their relationships with men? Men, who are ultimately the ones who ask the woman for her hand in marriage. I’ve read a few articles on Black women and marriage and at times the articles contradict each other and also contradict what I see in real life.
I hear a few women who are honest enough to admit out loud that they want a husband, they want to get married. I have found that it’s almost frowned upon to admit such a thing. I can only conclude it is to save face, meaning if a woman who wants marriage never gets married she can always say ‘I never wanted to get married anyway.’
At the end of the day I don’t believe many Black women are being honest about really wanting marriage. Truly, don’t believe me, check out some of the Black social sites and pay close attention anytime marriage subjects come up they tend to turn into insults being hurled with women on different sides of the fence. ie either for marriage or not.
I believe more Black women could be married if they expected it and most importantly made choices to that affect. A lot of women want to waste their young years having children by men who never intended to be there for the long haul let alone marry them, waste their young years having this so called fun at the expense of complaining later about no good men, or all the good men are taken.
I honestly believe that if Black women and men were primed early on to revere marriage and look at marriage as a positive; more marriages would happen in our communities. Perhaps more husbands/fathers would be in the homes and stay in the homes—because it started out on a solid base (hopefully)
Some women get negative views of marriage early on from their mothers? Not only negative views, but I have also seen online some posters say that they don’t know a single, solitary happy marriage. My response is usually in-depth, but my usual go to retort is,
“So baby daddies, one night stands, friends with benefits, your “friend” is that much better than a husband?
Of course those questions are NEVER answered. At the end of the day, I believe the general consensus is, Black women do want marriage like any other woman, but so many make choices that aren’t conductive towards marriage.
I also believe that some view marriage as a death sentence, as a non-important factor to their lives and I wholeheartedly believe that is a defense mechanism. Please let me say this; for those who genuinely don’t want to be married this is not for you or about you.