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Black Love, African American Love

A Black Love Blog that explores every dimension of African American relationships

Category Archives: Black Families

Jaleel White: 'Family Matters' Star Accused of Domestic Violence

From YourBlackWorld.com

Jaleel White, better known as Steve Urkel from the television show, "Family Matters," was accused of beating his girlfriend, Bridget Hardy, who is also the mother of his 10-month old child.  She reported the abuse to the LAPD, stating that White punched her in her breast implants while they were on the highway driving in their car.

Click to read more.

This poll was taken in response to the article Does the black church keep women single and lonely? – The majority of black women believe that they should open their dating horizons in general and that in spite of what Deborah Cooper has to say, the church can be a good place to find a Godly man.  What do you think?

Black women need to open their dating horizons in general

50%
266

No — It’s a woman’s right to seek a Godly man

22%
118

Yes — It’s a bad place to meet men

10%
51

No Comment / Not Sure

9%
49

Either way, I find her views judgemental

9%
47

A black woman put a list of her dating requirements on my facebook page as part of a broader conversation some were having about black relationships and why they don’t work.  I wonder what others think about this list and whether or not it’s healthy to have a list like this in your quest for true love.  Here is the list:

 

I don’t date men in jail
I don’t date men with children
I don’t date men who don’t have a job
I don’t date men who  are not career oriented
I don’t date men who have a criminal history (it’s called a background check and I highly recommend it)
I don’t date men who carry guns
I don’t date men who abuse drugs
I don’t date men who are verbally or physically abusive to anything OR anyone
I don’t date men who borrow money
I don’t date men who reject education
I don’t date men who can’t cook and clean
I don’t date men who can’t cry
I don’t date men who disrespect their mothers
I don’t date men who worship their mothers
I don’t date men who are still in love with his ex
I don’t date men who are married
I don’t date men who are separated
I don’t date men who are legally separated
I don’t date men in open relationships
I don’t date men who have girlfriends
I don’t date men who have a girlfriend
I don’t date men who brag about taking care of their kids
I don’t date men who don’t take care of their kids
I don’t date men who don’t know how to get rid of an ex-girlfriend
I don’t date men who are disrespectful to their ex-wives
I don’t date men who refuse to take an AIDS test

by Dr. Boyce Watkins

It appears that the singer Brian McKnight is now a not-so-proud father. Well, the child isn’t exactly a baby either. According to TMZ, the child is a 14-year old that Brian hasn’t exactly claimed to be his own. Well, whether McKnight chooses to address the child as his own or not, a Florida judge has ruled that Brian must now take financial responsibility for the child. The amount owed? $341,640, which comes out to just over $2,000 per month for every month since the child was born.

The mother of the child, Miriam Lee, took Brian McKnight to court to establish paternity last year. Why she waited so long to do so is not clear. From this point on, the singer is responsible for making child support payments in the amount of $11,388 per month. The ruling was a default judgment, since McKnight was not in court and didn’t respond to the woman’s claim of paternity.

Click to read

The age of the Hoochie Mama is over

by Dr. Boyce Watkins | TheLoop21 in Culture & Society

It’s time for hip hop, and its audience, to grow up.

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by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University

A note to Slim Thug: You probably just need to be quiet for a while. It’s not to say thatyour comments about black women were outside your rights to freedom of speech, but if you keep dissing the audience most likely to go out and buy your records, you are probably going to end up in the same poorhouse as MC Hammer. Don’t get me wrong, black men love your music (at least I do), but the bottom line is that brothers don’t buy albums, books, or anything else put up for sale. But when black women turn on you, it’s a wrap son. Settle down and go back to the studio; it’s good for your financial health.
I wrote yesterday about the comments made by Slim Thug regarding how he perceives white women to be a better dating choice than black women, as well asColumbia Professor Marc Lamont Hill’sresponse to Slim Thug’s words. It seems that the debate has taken a life of it’s own, now that rapper Talib Kweli has joined the conversation. In a recent essay he wrote for Vibe Magazine, Talib Kweli was ever the diplomatic artist, as he showed respect for Slim Thug, but also expressed his own concerns for his colleague’s remarks about black women:

Click to read.

To read more about the debate regarding Slim Thug’s comments about black women, click here.

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by Lola Adesioye, Huffington Post

Over the past few months, black women and their relationships – or should I say, lack thereof – have been getting a lot of attention. The Washington Posthas done a couple of features on it. Then ABC’sNightline did a show asking why there are so many single black women.

All of a sudden the mainstream media is taking a keen interest in our love lives. We are being told that there is a ‘crisis’ amongst black women, particularly educated professional women, who are apparently unable to find a ‘decent’ black man.

Last night, ABC continued once again, with the airing of "Why Can’t a Successful Black Woman Find a Man?," a taped discussion featuring Hill Harper, Steve Harvey, The View’s Sherri Shepherd and others.

There’s no doubt that it’s a topic that sparks heated debates and discussions amongst black women and men. It has for years. But is it really that bad? Or is the media – now that it has found a hot topic – exploiting this issue for all that it’s worth? I’m an educated black woman and I personally have no problem with meeting eligible, educated, great black men. Whether or not I choose to date them is another thing, but they are out there.

I am somewhat perturbed by the slew of stories on this topic. They are negative, unhelpful and only serve to perpetuate negative ideas about black men and women which often become self-fullfiling. They basically say ‘oh, poor black women. They try so hard yet can’t find a decent man … Boo hoo, black women are victims. Ooh, it’s all the fault of those pathetic black men. You know, they have no education or are locked up in jail.’ Sorry, but I do not subscribe to that view.

 

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by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Finance Professor – Syracuse University

As a Finance Professor, I find it incredibly ironic that many people get married without talking about money. They talk about every kind of compatibility from emotional, to spiritual, sexual, and professional, but they seldom take the time necessary to ensure that they can tolerate the idea of sharing their financial life with a person who may not be on the same page. This problem is compounded in black relationships, where many women describe economic hurdles as one of the reasons that black women have trouble finding the right mate.

 

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By Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University

blacklove

I watched an ABC News special the other night featuring Steve Harvey, Jacque Reed, Sherri Shepherd and my homeboys Hill Harper and Jimi Izrael. The show covered a tried and true topic that is sure to get sky rocket ratings from the black community:  The topic was, Why successful black women can’t find a good man.   I am not going to risk bringing on the wrath of black women by saying things that some of them may not want to hear, but I have to be honest about what I saw.  Let me just cut to the chase and lay the issues out one-by-one:

1)  Why are black women taking relationship advice from Steve Harvey? Not to disrespect Steve’s ability to drop knowledge, but isn’t he a comedian?  If we are taking relationship advice from a comedian and our relationship turns into a joke, who do we blame in the end?  Bottom line – perhaps learning how to love another person means that after you put aside the book by the comedian, you should go out and buy a book by a relationship expert.

2) Most good women have little trouble getting married to decent men:  One has to be skeptical of the beautiful, intelligent, fully capable woman who simply says that she can’t find a good man anywhere.  Most women I know who are well-balanced and who also appreciate the idea of respecting men in the same way they would like to be respected have no trouble finding suitable mates.  Sorry to break this to you, but the only constant variable in your relationships is a person called YOU.   Rather than pointing the finger at the world, a bit more introspection might be called for:  perhaps you have to reconsider your laundry list of expectations or wonder if you’re not doing a good job finding men who are open to commitment (it’s easy to find a man, just not easy to find a man who is willing to be with you and you only- maybe different types of men should not be held to the same standards).  You may be fishing in the wrong ponds in the first place or using the wrong bait to catch the fish you’re bringing home.

3) If you want something bad enough, take a class: There are classes on relationships and marriage out there that don’t cost much money.  If you are determined to be the best mate you can possibly be, it might make sense to take a class (not just the counseling you get from your pastor) that explains all the subtleties and challenges of being married.  A relationship is not about a mate filling your long and detailed list of needs and expectations.  The bottom line is that if you hope to receive more, you must first fully commit yourself to giving more.  Some of us are taught that we should expect the world and not offer anything in return:  that’s a perfect recipe for getting dumped.

4) Big mistake – always chasing the alpha male: I know a lot of “regular guys” who are unable to find a woman that is interested in being with them.  This is especially true in their mid-twenties, when everyone is single and living fancy-free, with little expectation for long-term commitment.  Some of the women these  ”regular guys” are interested in are not paying them much attention, mainly because the woman has become enchanted with the dream-like alpha male:  the guy who fits every single portion of the checklist (height, income, education, toe nail length, swag, etc.), but who may not be available for a monogamous, long-term relationship.  What many women seem to forget is that there are some men who always have room for another woman on the roster.  If you’re wasting all your time with the lying, cheating, super dog, you might miss out on the chance to be with the man who will love you forever and father all of your children.  He may not come in the same package, and by comparing the two without considering the differences in what each of them offers, you may be passing up on your opportunity.

5) Relationships should not be a pissing contest: One of the by-products of many black children growing up in single parent homes is that their relationships become highly contentious.  I once saw a neck swinging, energized woman say, “I need a man who can handle me!”  What I wanted to tell her is that your man should not have to “handle” you as if you are a wild bull with his testicles sewn together.  The act of love is a process of being open, feeling and sharing, not trying to dominate one another.  So, if you need to be “handled” in your relationships, realize that you are likely going to only attract men who are mean, rough and insensitive enough to handle you effectively.  Fighting and domination is not the same as love – let’s not get it twisted.

6) There’s nothing wrong with a few gender roles: Sherri Shepherd, during an especially volatile segment of the ABC News show, swung her hands around in the air saying, “I don’t have time to validate you every day!” – referring to the fact that she doesn’t feel that it’s her job to make her man feel good about himself on a regular basis.  What’s interesting is that most women want their man to make them feel beautiful and to feel like a woman.  So, why is it not acceptable for a man to expect his wife to make him feel like a man?   A man doesn’t want to marry another guy – or rather, a woman who feels that any and all gender roles are an insult to her feminine independence, who expects the man to be willing to be regularly emasculated.   It’s O.K. to make your man feel like he’s THE man, a king and a leader.  A good man will surely return the favor and make you feel like a beautiful woman.

7) Let’s be real- many men aren’t as excited about marriage as women: As much as we want to believe that men grow up fantasizing about their wedding day the same way that many women do, the truth is that this is not the case.  Many men see marriage as a frightening commitment that will cause them to be vilified for actions they can engage in without consequence when they are single (notice the millions of dollars that Shaquille O’neal and the rapper Nas have paid to get out of their marriages – every man gets petrified when he reads these stories).  A woman who gets her husband is the one who makes the man WANT to be married: she let’s him feel free, strong, needed, loved and supported.   While this may seem to be a primitive concept, the reality is that the reverse is true for sex:  Men and women both want it, but men know they have to work just a little bit harder to “get some.”  They’ve got to buy flowers, take the woman to dinner, and make her feel comfortable.  It would be silly for a man to think that a woman should buy him flowers and beg him to have sex with her.  The converse is true for marriage – where getting a man to overcome his anxiety is a great way to get him to give you what you want.

I love black women:  My mother, daughter and grandmother are black women and there is not a more precious group of women on the planet.  But the truth is that this “woe is me, black men ain’t sh*t” attitude has to be replaced with something more constructive.  If not, we’ll be having these same forums 20 years from today.  I had a conversation on black women and relationships with Lola Adesioye from the Huffington Post.  Click here if you’d like to listen.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition and the author of the book,“Black American Money.” To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.

by Dr. Boyce Watkins 

Singing great Anita Baker barely missed going to jail Friday in a dispute with her ex-husband over music royalties. The 52-year old Baker found herself in a heated battle with Walter Bridgforth, her ex-husband, over the details of their divorce settlement.
"I’m so happy. … I have never been in such a position before," Baker said in the hallway outside court. "And we don’t intend to ever be in such a position ever again. I just wanna go home,and I’m happy to go home. … As horrific as it could have been, it was lovely to feel supported, though, on the other end."
Baker was faced with a deadline Wednesday to sign documents that empower court-appointed music contract expert Howard Hertz to obtain information from record labels regarding how much Baker owed her ex-husband. The deadline passed and Baker still had not signed. This led to the Wayne County Chief Family Court Judge Lita Masini Popke ordering Baker to either show up in court on Friday or go to jail.

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Rickell Howard as told to S. Tia Brown
I’m embarrassed to say this, but it’s the truth: I almost lost it when I broke up with my fiancé. It started five years ago. I was in my second year of law school when I became pregnant with my son, Justin, now 5. His father wasn’t exactly "daddy material", so I knew I was destined to be a single mother. It was a harsh and daunting fact, but my reality. Eventually, I transferred to a law in my hometown, so I could be near my family. Then something amazing happened: I reconnected with my high school sweetheart. Obviously, he was salty that I was knocked up, but he wanted to build a relationship. We did.
Seemingly overnight my nightmare morphed into what seemed to be sweet dream. My new man stood by my side as I completed law school, prepared for my state’s bar exam and raised my son. After a while we moved in together and things were great. Three years later I got pregnant. I assumed the man who helped me take care of my baby with another guy would be ecstatic about raising his first biological child, but that wasn’t the case. He panicked. Things were okay until my maternity leave was up and I had to return to my job; between working, breastfeeding, taking care of the kids, and the house, I was completely exhausted. Instead of being supportive he grew distant and began cheating – to top it off he was sloppy. I confronted my fiancé about his fidelity and he did the unthinkable: He chose her.

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I was supposed to get married last year, but my fiance called off the wedding weeks before the ceremony. He said that I was not passionate enough, but he refuses to leave, constantly telling me what I don’t do and what I can’t do and what I won’t do. There is so much animosity between us that I don’t think we could ever get past it. Do you have any suggestions on how we could make it work or if it is even worth it?

Nikki

Calling off the wedding the month you are supposed to get married is a sign that your fiance was not ready, and he is now blaming his uncertainty on you. Pointing the finger at your spouse is a surefire way to create division and animosity in a relationship. These are all tactics used to push a person away, and it seems that your fiance has no intention of truly saving the relationship. His decision to stay in a mini-marriage and not be married, all the while verbally and emotionally abusing you, sounds like he wants you to end the relationship so that he will not be responsible for its failure. If you want to heal this relationship, you will need a relationship couples coach, and if you decide to end it, I would recommend that you work with a coach to heal the wounds created by all of this emotional turmoil. In the meantime, ask him what his true fears are concerning marriage. Any emotionally stable person knows that you cannot change your partner; you can only change yourself. Taking responsibility for his role in the type of relationship he helped to create would have been the empowering way to address this situation. He could have chosen to approach you differently and been open to sharing his needs for passion and other forms of intimacy with you instead of laying the blame on you for his own cold feet.

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He’s superprotective of his gadgets. “The main way that trysts are found out is through the discovery of incriminating e-mails, IM chats, cell phone texts or bills,” says Belisa Vranich, PsyD, a clinical psychologist in New York City. So if he’s being unfaithful, he may guard his gadgets or act really defensive when you innocently touch his phone or computer. It should be a giant red flag if he readily gave you passwords in the past, and now he’s more evasive.
2. He steps up the grooming. “This is so obvious, but it’s a sign many women miss: If your man starts grooming down there without you requesting it, that could be an indication that he’s spending more time naked,” says Vranich. You can actually thank porn for this tipoff. Guys today are used to viewing manscaped dudes onscreen, so if he has another chick to impress with his sexual prowess, he may emulate those ultra-trimmed guys. Another clue: He’s spending more time at the gym.

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Popular women’s site Jezebel has amassed in one place evidence that confirms what we always suspected. Most of the women appearing on ‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta’ are hardly the rich women they pretend to be. Far from being pampered princesses without a care, NeNe, Kim, Lisa and Sheree are plagued with financial, family and relationship problems just like everybody else. Perhaps this makes for great reality television, because if these ladies were truly elite, they might not be as fun to watch.

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by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University

OK, was I confused when I found out that Tiny and Toya (TI’s “baby mama” and Lil Wayne’s ex-wife, respectively) were being given a reality show on BET? Yeah, I was a little surprised. If only I could find a way to become a high profile baby mama — that seems to be the way to go. With my being a man, I guess that might be difficult to accomplish. All jokes aside, I watched this show with tremendous curiosity, as I think we can all learn from observing the thought patterns of those who live behind the scenes of our favorite celebs. Part of me feels sorry for both of these women, who seem to be desperately fighting their way out of the massive shadows being cast by the powerful men in their lives. Even the daughters of TI and Lil Weezy are trying to get their own reality show. Maybe they too are feeling the weight of their daddies’ collective fame. Why don’t we just give a reality show to the family dog? Now that would be hot!

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Yep, I’m guilty. I admit it. I have indulged in one of my (many) guilty pleasures, ‘Bridezillas,’ a few times. Now, don’t even try acting all bourgeois, because you know you have, too. And even though we sit back and wonder what man in his right mind would marry one of these crazed chicks, with their “I’m all that” attitudes and ridiculous demands for cerulean – not blue – centerpieces, there’s a thing or two we can learn from them even before we find the proverbial “one.”
1. Be a S.N.O.B.
Opt to settle for nothing other than the best when it comes to matters of your heart. Don’t worry, that doesn’t entail being a pompous, arrogant b&^%$. Instead, it means knowing precisely what you require in a mate and sticking to that ideal. But knowing is half the battle, yes? That brings us to point two.
2. List Your Demands
Mariah and Rihanna list their demands at every one of their shows in the form of a “concert rider”– agreements that each show promoter must adhere to. Guess what? Beyonce ain’t the only diva around. Here’s what you do: Pull out a piece of paper, grab a pen and write down every single thing you want and need in your soon-to-be-found husband (even if you think it’s facetious. FYI: It’s perfectly okay to list attractiveness as a requirement). List them out numerically. There doesn’t have to be a specific order, just get them on paper. Also, there’s no limit, so write to your heart’s content. Next, put stars next to those you deem to be of utmost importance (i.e., compassion for your feelings might be starred, while a required height of 6-foot-3 won’t be quite as pressing). Notice how many are starred versus those that aren’t. The starred ones are must-haves; the unstarred ones are the nice-to-haves. Put it in your wallet and carry it everywhere you go.

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Hollywood star Halle Berry has vowed that she will never get married again.

The twice-divorced 42-year-old actress is currently dating Gabriel Aubry, a French-Canadian model ten years her junior, and the couple has a daughter called Nahla.

However, Berry insists that a third marriage is not going to happen.

“I’m so not the relationship go-to girl. But I’m much clearer about what a relationship is, which is why I will never marry again. Gabriel and I have a great partnership and a lovely daughter,” the Daily Telegraph quoted her as telling The Mail on Sunday newspaper.

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Three women are facing charges after conspiring with his wife to lure him to a hotel room and kidnapping him.  Oh yeah, they put crazy glue on his “sensitive body parts.”  Damn

Click here to watch.

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“It’s unfortunate when business is out there about your personal shit, especially when you’re really not the guy to be having his shit out there,” Nas said. “The sad thing is, you’ve got to get used to it. My skin is so thick that I probably need to write a book for people who are not ready for anything crazy.”

“I heard that I was a cheater,” Nas told Straight.com. “It almost sounds like I was a bad husband. Not to say I was the greatest—I’m not perfect in anything I do—but I think I deserve a fucking trophy. If I do say so myself, without sounding too cocky, I gotta say I was a hell of a husband and a hell of a dad.”

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A pregnant woman has sued Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Dennis Northcutt, saying he arranged for his cousin to beat her up.

Sharri Henry, who claims to be four months pregnant with Northcutt’s baby, filed the lawsuit Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court. She accuses Northcutt, a nine-year NFL veteran, of trying to harm her unborn child and permanently disfigure her face May 17 at a Hollywood restaurant.

 

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“Mother Nature is a wicked old witch,” it has been said. We like to believe that Lisa Nowak and all the rest of those who succumb to romantic jealousy are fragile victims of a bad childhood or are weak, narcissistic or deranged. 

But Mother Nature plays a role in jealousy. In an article in the Los Angeles Times on February 14th, David Buss, a leading evolutionary psychologist, wrote that some 93% of American men and 82% of American women were the focus of an attempted seduction while they were in a relationship.  Moreover, 53% of men and 41% of women had lost their partner to a romantic rival: mate poaching.

No wonder, as an Australian Aborigine wisely said, “We are a jealous people.”  We can turn murderous, too.  In a study of 5,000 people in six cultures, 84% of women and 91% of men admitted to having had at least one fantasy about murdering a sweetheart or a romantic rival.  Many of us contain this “green eyed monster,” as Shakespeare called jealousy. But many don’t. Buss reports that sexual jealousy is “the leading cause of spousal murder worldwide.”

 

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NBA star Shaquille O’Neal has been ordered to steer clear of an Atlanta-area woman who took out a restraining order Thursday.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Richard Hicks granted Alexis Miller’s request Thursday after reviewing her allegations that the basketball player stalked her, threatened her with bodily harm and made harassing phone calls in which he breathed heavily into the phone before hanging up.

Miller, a 23-year-old hip-hop artist known professionally as Maryjane, claimed she ended an intimate relationship with O’Neal last month. She alleged he then threatened to pay performers $50,000 each not to work with her.

“It’s been very difficult for her,” said L. David Wolfe, Miller’s Atlanta-based attorney. “Her fears are not only for herself but also the people around her.” He said Miller, who has a young son, is “pretty traumatized.”

Wolfe said Miller had known the 7-foot-1, 325-pound All-Star center for about a year and a half, and that the two became intimate over the past six to eight months.

 

As kids go back to school, many parents are wondering if their daughters should receive the HPV vaccine. USA TODAY asked experts to address the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine, approved in 2006.

Q. Is the vaccine safe?

A. Yes, says John Iskander, director of vaccine safety at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Researchers tested the Gardasil vaccine, which prevents infection from four types of human papillomavirus, in more than 11,000 girls and women between ages 15 and 26 before it was approved.

Merck has distributed more than 16 million doses in the USA since then. The CDC has been monitoring suspected problems reported to the federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.

Q. Have patients experienced any serious health problems after getting the vaccine?

FIND MORE STORIES IN: Food and Drug Administration | Prevention | Centers for Disease Control | New England Journal of Medicine | Gardasil | Mark Goldstein

A. Yes, although doctors don’t think the vaccine caused these problems. About 6% of the nearly 9,800 events have been serious, including 20 deaths, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

There was no common pattern to these deaths that suggests the vaccine was to blame, according to the FDA. Health officials also reviewed any available autopsy results, death certificates and medical records, none of which suggest the vaccine was the problem.

Click to Read.

 

Essence Magazine recently released never-before-seen photos of LisaRaye’s Turks and Caicos altercation injuries. If these are any indication of the turmoil going on in the marriage of LisaRaye and Michael Misick, it’s no wonder divorce court is on its way!

LisaRaye’s bruised and discolored leg, after an altercation.

A scar on LisaRaye’s arm after an altercation in Turks & Caicos.

LisaRaye’s shoulder, bruised from an incident in Turks & Caicos.

All photos & captions courtesy of Essence.com

 

 

Lady Drama

YourBlackWorld.com

Apparently, Nick Cannon’s mama and daddy can’t stand Mariah Carey.  According to an insider interviewed by Media Takeout:

“Mariah loves drinking champagne by the bottle. Her life is like one big party. I’m not surprised that Nick’s parent’s are upset with his choice in a wife … they should be.”

There is also a report that Mariah went to meet Nick’s mother with all of her handlers, as if she were making a publicity stop.  His mother didn’t appreciate the disrespect.

MSN gave a list of signs to tell if your spouse or significant other is lying to you:

  • Covering the mouth while talking. It’s as if they’re subconsciously repressing the untruths they’re spouting. It may be as blatant as completely concealing the mouth or as subtle as a single finger placed in front of the lips.
  • Touching the nose. Scientists have found that lying can cause the tissue in the nose to swell, meaning that a quick stroke could be a sign of deceit (or that it’s allergy season).
  • Rubbing an eye. When lying to someone, the instinct is to look away in shame. Since that’s a dead giveaway, many people content themselves with a fast wipe of the peepers.
  • Touching an ear. Just as you’re supposed to see no evil, you should hear no evil as well. These nervous gestures can range from a small rub of the back of the ear to an outright yank of the ear lobe.
  • Going for the neck. Research has found lying can cause a tingling in the tissues of the neck, leading to scratching or pulling the collar. It signals that the speaker is feeling uncertainty, so be concerned if you see it right after your sweetie announces, “Of course this Prada dress was on the sales rack at Marshalls.”
  • Shaking the head no while saying yes. If he says, “Yep, I’m getting home late because I have a big assignment to finish” while nodding his head, he’s working late. If he sends the mixed message of saying yes while shaking his head no, look for him at the Spearmint Rhino (read: strip club).

     

     

     

     

  • Several weeks ago I wrote a column called “How to leave your husband.”

    It did not say “Leave your husband now,” “Get divorced immediately” or even “Wash that man right out of your hair.” It was about preparing yourself financially when your marriage is already ending.

    Yet judging by the letters and message board posts that poured in, you would think that I had launched a campaign to corrupt women by showing them how to destroy a marriage in 45 seconds or less.

    Here’s a typical letter, from an angry reader named Mike:

    “Women who think and act like this DESERVE to be divorced and hopefully left with nothing. As for the author of this article, what gives you the right to preach that it is OK for a wife to STEAL from her husband because she is not happy! You are a pathetic excuse for a woman.”

    Most of the letters were from men. Many were morally outraged. And most said: Why don’t you write about how to leave your wife without going broke?

    Fair enough

    So I called divorce lawyer Gayle Rosenwald Smith, the author of “Divorce and Money: Everything You Need to Know.” The advice she would give men facing divorce, she says, is pretty much what she would tell women.

    Although many of the men who wrote in swore that women get the upper hand in divorce court, Smith would argue that point, based on decades of practicing family law in Philadelphia.

    Click to Read More.

    Will Smith, the big Hollywood superstud, has finally revealed his secrets to a successful marriage:  He gets busy with whomever he wants, as long as he tells his wife about it.

    Perhaps that is the reason this black man has no problem with his ball and chain.

    Smith, who earlier admitted that divorce wasn’t an option, told Reveal  that “Our perspective is, you don’t avoid what’s natural and you’re going to be attracted to people.

    “And if it came down to it, then one would say to the other: ‘Look, I need to have sex with somebody. Now, I’m not going to if you don’t approve of it’.”
    Smith suggested that his marriage would survive a permitted affair because of his and wife Jada’s honesty.

    He commented: “In our marriage vows, we didn’t say ‘forsaking all others’. We said ‘you will never hear I did something afterwards’. Because if that happens the relationship is destroyed.”

    What does this say about black marriage?  Well, there are a lot of folks who are honest about it.  Black men say they don’t want to get married because that whole “don’t cheat” clause makes it hard for them to deny their male urges.  Men who are honest about these urges are attacked for being dogs and lose half their assets in divorce, as well as future earnings due to spousal and child support.  That makes marriage a bad deal for many men.

    But here’s a secret ladies:  the man who seems like he’s not a dog, claims that he will never cheat on you and always seems to want to “do the right thing”, is probably a lot more like Will Smith than you think.

    “Women don’t give it to men the right way,” says one black attorney who doesn’t want to be identified.  “Men want multiple women.  So, if a man doesn’t get married, he’s dogged out.  But then when he does get married and gets with another woman every now and then, he is considered a monster.  It’s hard to make the balance, which is why marriage is too confusing for me.”

    Perhaps this opens the door for a discussion on what it takes for marriage to work.  Some have advocated for renewable marriage contracts or perhaps co-parenting relationships that allow for the rearing of children without tying the knot.  Either way, there needs to be a conversation, since black men are walking away from the alter, and white married men are not only getting divorced at a rate exceeding 50%, but the ones who stay married are the biggest supporters of online pornography.

    Ain’t that the pot calling the kettle a pervert.  Perhaps we can address this problem.

     

    By Dr. Boyce Watkins
    www.BoyceWatkins.net

    OK Lauren, we need to talk. Yep, I’m talking to Ms. Lauren London, the beautiful young woman who starred in the movie ATL with TI, my favorite rapper. Besides our favorite artist, you and I have something else in common: Menace II Society was one of my favorite films. The movie came out when I was finishing college and I consider it one of the greatest films of all time. In fact, the Hughes brothers, who made the film, are among the best film makers in the business.
    With that said, I noticed that in a recent interview with King Magazine, you mentioned that you really like thugs. Not just thuggish thugs, but hard-core, pee-in-ya-mama’s coffee cup, “I don’t give a *&^%” type thugs. I was intrigued by your comments:
    “I love guys who are street. I won’t even give soft guys a chance. Menace II Society is my shit! Caine was like my first crush. Actually, O-Dog was my true dream guy. I was in love with him, from that opening scene where he pops the convenience-store worker. He had me from that gunshot [laughs]. He was ’hood, and I loved that.”
    When I heard these words, I thought “Wow, this girl needs to have a few more relationships to realize how concerned we should be about these comments.”
    OK Lauren, I don’t think you are crazy, stupid or a bad person. Fantasies are natural, and we all have some. I dream about a sexy woman with a PhD feeding me honey barbeque wings in big furry bunny slippers (don’t ask about the bunny slippers, that’s personal). But there is a difference between what you want, and what you NEED, and that is part of growing up.
    You mentioned that Caine, the star gangster in Menace II Society, was not hard enough. You actually went for O-Dog, his over-the-top homeboy. O-Dog is likely one of the most maniacal, murderous and treacherous characters to ever grace the screen of a movie theatre. He was the kind of guy who would shoot first and ask questions later, or maybe just shoot first because you asked him a question. Tupac was originally slated for this role, likely because he did such a good job playing the lunatic “Bishop” in “Juice” another great film made a few years earlier. Like O-Dog, Bishop was known for being one thing….. “crazier than a m*therfu*ker” (excuse my French, but sometimes English can’t capture the essence of just how crazy a m*therfu*ker truly is).
    As a college professor, I’ve seen other young women have similar fantasies. I recall hearing a young Black Pentecostal Apostolic graduate student mention how she “loves thugs so much….they are just so FORBIDDEN!” Years later, after several abusive, meaningless relationships, a few venereal diseases and about 6 restraining orders, she actually sees the virtue of giving nice guys a chance.
    I respect the street and I know a lot of good brothers from the street. But even the good brothers from the street don’t consider men like O-Dog from Menace II Society to be great catches. In fact, they go the other way when O-Dog comes into the room. Many brothers could understand Caine, the conflicted young man choosing between good and evil. But if there was a devil and angel on Caine’s shoulder, O-Dog was the devil. Men like O-Dog almost always end up dead or in prison, and your mama always tells you not to go their house.
    You see Lauren, men like O-Dog are not the guys who love you, respect you or remain faithful to you. They are the guys who show you a good time and then stalk you, kill you and kill your dog when the relationship is over. They are the men whose girlfriends are killed in the crossfire of a drive-by shooting. They are the men who don’t give a damn about themselves, so they sure as hell can’t give a damn about you. That is not the place to go for love, fun and certainly not for a meaningful relationship. It doesn’t mean you can’t have a little thug in your life, or a little street. But you always want to have a man with a little common sense, a little self-love and a little commitment to his future. That is what I hope you will share with other young women reading your article in King Magazine.
    You, Beyonce and other women who sing Thug Righteous Fairytales are not the only ones who make this mistake. Far too many men go chasing the most beautiful, booty-licious woman they can find, leaving the nice girl behind. They then realize, the hard way, that the nice woman is the one who will be there for you and that beauty goes much deeper than the skin. Lauren, you are pretty enough to surely get any guy you want, but you must also realize that there is strength in kindness. A man who loves you and treats you with respect is just as strong as a thug who shoots men in the grocery store. You don’t want O-Dog, you want the man courageous and caring enough to PROTECT you from O-Dog. That’s the secret.
    I had a friend in college who also liked dangerous men. After spending over a decade married to a man in the penitentiary, I am willing to bet that her perspective has changed. I hope you don’t have to experience a lifetime of pain to realize that O-Dog is not Prince Charming. The same thing goes for the women looking up to you.
    Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University and author of “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about College”. He does regular work in national media, including CNN, ESPN, CBS and NBC. For more information, please visit http://www.BoyceWatkins.net.

    The Boyce Blog

    I’m against same-sex marriage as a heterosexual male that’s been married for 22 years. And, been having the same sex for 21 years. It gets a little old. “Turn out the lights, dear. Close the door, dear. Did you let the dog out? Did you let him back in, dear?”
    And now the government is seeking to ban the only sex I’ve been having and assume I’ll be able to have the rest of my life. Since when does the government care about what happens inside MY bedroom. It’s not that “sexy”. It just is what it is. I’ve resigned myself to it – so why can’t the government?
    For the record, I’m all for different sex marriage. But, you see, I’m not gonna bring it up to the misses. No, it’s worked pretty well the past 22 years and with any luck, for the next twenty-two years.
    Oh sure, once in a while – when the kid’s not home, we may go to a room other than our bedroom – but that doesn’t happen all that often. And there was that time in a hotel on a trip to
    South Carolina. But, for the most part, it’s been the same sex.
    Oh, when we were married, I thought it’d be different all the time. We were so young then, and I was so foolish. But it became pretty clear, pretty quickly that once a pattern was established, it was pretty much set in stone.
    The rules have never been discussed but they sure are crystal clear to me.
    ONE, never ask for sex – same sex or different sex. If you get some, be glad that it’s come your way. And always be appreciative.
    TWO, never ask for sex. Same sex or different sex.
    THREE, always make sure the light is out.
    FOUR, always make sure the door is locked – even when no one else is home.
    FIVE, always make sure the dog is back in the house before instituting rules three and four.
    So, you see, I know the rules. I know it’s gonna be same sex. And that’s good enough for me. And it certainly seems good enough for the misses. So, government. But out! Our same sex is none of your business. It usually is none of my business. But when I make it my business, I don’t need your help. And neither does the misses.
    Ben Merens is a public speaker and a talk show host at Wisconsin Public Radio in Milwaukee.
    He and his wife will celebrated their 22nd wedding anniversary on June 21st.
    Ben’s website is http://www.benmerens.com/.