>Screening of Prospective Black Husbands: The No-Win Negotiation Table

>So a guy I know, posted this video/movie from YouTube on Facebook and I have to admit that it is beyond hilarious and sad at the same time. While I laughed, I also felt uncomfortable because I know that this has been the problem with me, friends, relatives, associates, and complete strangers for quite some time. 

We’re taught to set high standards for ourselves and for those that enter our lives, but what we overlook is that these lists of prerequisites are oftentimes too long, too complicated, and highly illogical. We play up our lists with these romantic undertones, while at the same time we lace them with arsenic that destroys any chance of us not only finding these men, keeping these men, but being happily in love with them for the long-term…and having this love reciprocated. 

We’ve stepped our game up in our educational and career pursuits, but then dumbed ourselves down with superficiality. We’ve ignored our personal list of flaws that make us undesirable. We want to be selective as to which of God’s commands and examples we want to follow, not wanting to “honor and obey”- wanting to call ourselves ‘virtuous’, but living the life as anything but the proverbial virtuous woman! We are determined to call ourselves ‘independent’- yet we want a man to basically take care of us. We want his money to be our money, and our money to be…our money. We want to question what he does, when he does it, and who he’s doing it with- but we refuse to “answer to him”. Our children together, that he helped in conceiving, somehow become “my children” because we spend more time with them than he does (even though the nanny most likely spends more time with them than anyone). 

We want our husbands to bring in the six and seven figure loaves of bread, keep us in the latest fashions and cars, splurge on us, but we want him to be home with us the majority of the time, that doesn’t make sense! Make up your mind. Heck, when I look at this movie I’m no longer surprised that Black men are running scared, hiding away, doing dirt behind our backs, or now raising their standards to trump us and say, “now what are you bringing to the table Miss Independent?”

I’m no longer trying to be independent and I’m definitely not dependent. I’m interdependent. Refer to my earlier posts when I wrote the series on relationships, and the types we fall into. Independent means you stand on your own, don’t want or need help, and you’re closed off to the idea of a relationship being a true partnership- but with the man as the leader. Dependent means you want someone to take care of your every desire and whim, and you have no desire to handle any real responsibilities because you are the ‘queen’. It’s all about you and what you’re getting out of the exchange. Your husband becomes the daddy you used to have, or worse, the one you never had- so he’s getting added pressure to perform. 

Interdependence is the reality that sometimes you need to breathe, sometimes you need help and need to lean on someone (and they can do the same in return), but you can also carry your own weight in a relationship. An interdependent person is a giver, not a taker. They look for opportunities where both people can grow together as a team, they are the co-pilot, but not co-dependent. That’s me! I’m not going to say I want a husband, then treat him like a roommate. At the same time, I’m not going to dump all of my responsibilities on him either. He’s your husband, not your servant. My student loans are not his, so while we have a household budget, any additional income that I bring in must go towards paying off my debt, not adding to my wardrobe or taking a trip with my girls, and definitely not expecting him to pay them for me. Bring me a man that’s cool with that, and I will make him the happiest man alive! 

Let me also address one other thing…if you don’t want your man’s eyes and feet to wander to another bed then I’d suggest you handle your business whenever, wherever, and however you can…get over yourself and what you don’t like, and “won’t do” because there are thousands of women who would jump at the chance to get their nasty little claws wrapped around him, and what you “won’t do” they will, happily!

Watch this video and see for yourself. Be honest sistas…if this is you, keep it real with yourself and with these men or you will forever be miserable and lonely. Because even if you find someone who you think meets your long list of must-haves, you will never truly be satisfied, and most definitely, he won’t either!   

Hey, I’m just keeping it real, all of the time!

Natasha

Copyright 2010. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved. 
Rights exclude attached video footage.
paradigmlife.blogspot.com 

Source:
YouTube  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgyg8vEHraE 

>The Complexities of Relationships: Part Five

>Show me a person who doesn’t want love and I will show you a person who is a sociopath. The rest of us want it, know that we need it, and some people will do just about anything to get and keep it.

That can be a huge problem if your desire turns into desperation. A few days ago I wrote about female interdependence and the characteristics of an interdependent person. Let’s look deeper at this and other personality types including the celebrated “independent” person.

I CAN DO IT MYSELF
We have been hearing song after song about “independent” women. There are pluses and minuses to being this type of person, and being involved with this type of person, especially if they are ‘super independent’. A person who is too independent believes that they can “do it without anyone’s help”, so it’s no surprise that they rarely ask for help. They view needing and asking for help as a sign of weakness and vulnerability; being independent to them signifies strength and a lowered risk for being hurt, taken advantage of, manipulated, or let down. 

Being involved with a super independent person means having to attempt a balancing act, helping when you’re not ‘needed’ and facing the reality that your ‘gifts’ may not be graciously accepted. For the too-independent-for-your-own-good type of person, if you want to be in a healthy relationship, learn to ask for and accept help even for the small things in life. If no one feels needed then they don’t feel the need to be with you.  

I CAN’T DO IT…NO REALLY I CAN’T
The complete opposite of an independent person is a dependent person. This person needs help for anything and everything. The damsel in distress, the mama’s boy who needs to be coddled constantly- this personality type is a taker in a relationship. They are constantly complaining and asking for things. Anyone involved with them will find that the majority of their time is consumed with taking care of them. This can lead to feelings of being manipulated and taken advantage of…this is a high-risk relationship.  

I LOVE YOU SO MUCH I’D DIE IF YOU LEFT ME
What do you get when you put two people together and one or both are obsessed with maintaining the relationship? No, not psychosis…Codependence!

A prime example of codependence was shared in an article by Joan Borysenko, PhD who wrote about her friends Diane and Steve who, “…were wildly infatuated at first, but when that initial thrill was over, Diane got clingy. She wanted Steve all to herself, and like an addict, she couldn’t get enough of him. He was her emotional lifeline. When Steve wanted to be alone or spend time with friends, Diane felt rejected. She was most comfortable when Steve was by her side, giving her a lot of attention and positive strokes, but Steve felt smothered.”

Think of the enabler who keeps letting their drug-addicted spouse abuse drugs, withdraw from life, and not accept responsibility for their actions. The enabler makes and accepts excuses from the addict. This is a co-dependent relationship. The addict needs to lean on the enabler, and the enabler needs to be needed by the addict, even if it will lead to the death of the addict or someone else.

Do either of these codependent relationships sound like anyone you know? Ever been in a relationship like this? It can drain the life out of you…out of both of you!

YOU CAN’T GET CLOSE ENOUGH TO HURT ME
The flip side of codependence is counterdependence which is a false sense of independence. This person is so cold and fearful of being hurt that they put up a shell of protection. According to The Psychology Wiki “Counterdependent people can reach the point where their self-identity arise from their acts of opposition and defiance and their behavior can be very disruptive, making it difficult for them to hold down jobs or maintain relationships of any kind.”
I shouldn’t have to tell you that being this person or being with this type of person can be like diving into a dumpster of razors. Until the counterdependent realizes and accepts that they are worthy of love, they cannot love others. It is as simple as that.

A HEALTHY BALANCE

interdependence – “a reciprocal relation between interdependent entities (objects or individuals or groups)”

An interdependent relationship is about giving and receiving, not giving and taking. It is about leaning on each other but being able to stand on their own. An interdependent person is confident and can accomplish things without the help of others, but identifies moments when help is needed and they have no problem asking. They can be counted on to help others and be there when someone needs them, but enabling is not in their ‘makeup’ nor is clinginess. 

This relationship is healthy, as it is based on two people who have a healthy sense of self; they are open and honest about who they are and what they want for self and from others. There’s no hiding behind a false sense of independence, or behind another person. They have healed old wounds, and don’t play into the games of insecurity and jealousy. They won’t enter codependent relationships, or they exit ‘stage left’ when they recognize they have been sucked into one. 

At this point we are at autonomy. This is the ultimate goal that people should strive for in life. In the world we all need someone for something, so we learn to be strong enough to lean on others during these moments without smothering them or making them feel used; but we also need strength to stand on our own, walk on life’s paths even if we have to do it alone. A healthy balance.

Of the five personality types which one are you truly? Are you being honest with yourself? Were you independent in your early twenties, then found yourself dependent or in a codependent relationship in your thirties? I look forward to receiving your feedback and reading about your experiences in relationships, both platonic and romantic, and the lessons that you learned along the way.

Next time we meet on Paradigm Life we will dig deeper, explore farther, and see what we find out about ourselves.  

Copyright 2010. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved. 

  

Sources:

Free Dictionary. Definition of Interdependence.  
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/interdependence

Joan Borysenko, PhD 
http://www.prevention.com/health/health/emotional-health/how-to-improve-your-relationships/article/d3988169c1903110VgnVCM20000012281eac____

The Psychology Wiki. Definition of Counterdependence. 
http://psychology.wikia.com/wiki/Counterdependent

>Interdependent Women

>You’re an interdependent woman if you can…
 
Enjoy spending time alone.
Ask for help when you need it.
Receive gifts graciously.
Be mindful (and unafraid) of even unpleasant emotions.
Comfort yourself when you’re feeling anxious or down.
Tell the truth, even if you think someone won’t like it.
Encourage and inspire through your example.
 

Copyright (c) Rodale, Inc. 2005