A wise woman on twitter said that a lasting relationship consists of the 3 things in the title. I definitely agreed, so much so that I wanted to write a post about it. It took a couple more conversations with a couple more folks for me to be able to be able to turn it into a post topic.
I’m sure most people would agree that all 3 C’s are important, though they might not agree with me about the order. I’ll ask you to read my thoughts before you make up your mind about that.
No one would argue that commitment is a pretty important part of a relationship. The intensity of the commitment might vary, but it will always be present for the relationship to continue.
No one would argue that communication is important. Most people think communication is key. I can’t say that it isn’t, but I do think something is just as, if not more important than communication. Clearly the process of elimination tells you which I vote for.
Two people come into every relationship and more than less likely, those two people have two different sets of beliefs. In general, it’s a good thing if those belief systems are compatible, but just because they sound like they are in theory doesn’t mean that they will seem as similar when it counts…even though that is the time it will be most important for them to. As I’m a woman, I can only speak from a woman’s point of view..maybe someone will do a guest post or drop a comment to represent the men’s side.
Black women are socialized to be a lot of things, among them we are socialized to be strong, independent, and able to take care of ourselves. Webbie even made a song about it. The downside of that this is that we often feel that asking for help is a sign of weakness, especially when that help is financial. While I can’t say that holds true for everyone, I can say it’s pretty likely that anyone who had parents that told them “you aren’t grown until you can take care of yourself” might feel that way. While such a woman might like to be a stay-at-home parent, she might also like the idea of making money to contribute to the well-being of her family.
This same woman might dream of the day when she can stare deep into a man’s soul and promise to be with him for richer and for poorer but might have difficulty stomaching the idea of being able to accept money from him when she is down on her luck for whatever reason. It might be because she just lost a job, quit a job that was endangering her health or her sanity, or because she’s been actively looking for a job in an economy that is worse than ith as ever been. When asked about it, she might say she feels like it’s wrong to take the money because she isn’t pulling her weight, isn’t an equal partner, isn’t equally yoked. If you step back and think about it, that’s part of what a “for better of for worse” vow is about. Two people stand before God, their friends, families, and the people they felt obligated to invite taking a vow that recognizing that every day might not bring an equal 50-50 partnership. Some days its might feel like 60-40, 70-30, or even 80-20 for a variety of reasons, not just financial. That unwillingness to take that help, her pride in that principle might make her unwilling to make a compromise that could make an otherwise “perfect” relationship fall apart.
That said, a woman certainly has to be able to understand that for her self, be able to compromise that principle of self-sufficiency to be able to rely on her man, and, should the need arise, be able to communicate that to her man.