Friday, November 5, 2010

Marriage Cheat Sheet

When I bared my heart about the state of marriage in present times on my facebook status update on Tuesday, little did I know that something very good will actually come of it.

Here is where it all started:

"If people don't know the difference between marriage and a relationship without legal or spiritual commitment, they should not get married. Many of the things that make you break up with a person in a relationship happen in marriage too; you just don't break up. You work it out to the best of your ability. There are very few deal breakers in marriage. I know it's hard but you can make it..."

I woke up on Tuesday morning angry at the state of marriage in the world. The previous night, I had watched the Real Housewives of Atlanta AKA RHOA and it had saddened me that despite not knowing the details or knowing for sure that there was any dealbreaker situation going on with Nene Leakes and her husband of thirteen years Greg, everybody essentially felt the best way to support her was to encourage her to move on if it wasn't working. Nobody considered that it could be a passing phase, that they could still see the mountain top once again after the valley, that the fact that you are unhappy now and it is not good now does not mean it can never get back to where it was.

That was why I wrote that update. It has twenty-five comments to date. Some agreed. Some disagreed. I pissed someone off along the way. But what makes it all worth it for me is that last night, I got this message, also on the thread:

"Folake you might not believe this but this thing you started actually saved a three year old marriage yesterday . Both parties read your post and the comments and canceled their divorce case and gave each other a second chance....I pray they get it right this time.....Bless you Sis"

And this morning, I got an inbox message from another person who had copied and pasted my status update and sent it to her friend who was having problems with his seventeen year marriage. He also sent a message back to the friend asking what he could do to make it right with his wife.

This makes me happier than a shopping spree, or dessert, or comfort food or anything you can think of. I decided to make up a marriage cheat sheet, mostly from a woman's point of view but I can assure you men can gain a thing or two from it as well.

Marriage Cheat Sheet

I ask God not only for the gift of forgiveness but of forgetfulness.

I ask God daily what I can do for the greater good of the relationship and not my selfish needs or wants.

I pray for my husband.

I pray for our relationship.

I concentrate on the good in him.

I accept him as him and stop trying to change him.

I understand and accept my imperfections and that he sometimes struggles to deal with me too.

And when I feel I can't go on, I rebuke the devil and affirm God's will for my marriage! I resolve to stay in it.

God has blessed women with a greater ability to keep a relationship healthy by having a gentle spirit and being wise. I am not gentle in behavior, stupid, a pushover or docile.

If I can do it, almost anybody can.



  1. Facebook comments:

    J.A.F.: True words, only wished that in our deepest darkness we remembered there was light once and that there will be light again..... Only wish.... :-( . The only deal breaker is when one leaves and never comes back.

    Folake Taylor: You said it better than I did...

    S.U.S.: There is another deal breaker... A hardened heart. It doesn't mean that one hardened their own heart, but there could be a series of things that can lead up to a person hardening their heart. We are not God and there is a 'point of no re...turn' sometimes... We must learn to truly come together and resolve a problem vice feeling the need to push the 'win/loss' column in a relationship for a true relationship is not a competition and when one wins, both win, and when one loses, both lose. One should carefully choose their battles in life and not fight each one. Life's too short and we have bigger fish to fry. Folake I agree with your statement of "If people don't know the difference between marriage and a relationship without legal or spiritual commitment, they should not get married." Unfortunately in this country, the two sides of that statement aren't being addressed. Side 1: If one has never been taught about all in that statement, they could marry out of ignorance. 2: If someone doesn't care or wants to marry for the wrong reasons (chooses to marry regardless of your statement). Those are only two sides of many, but either way, your statement requires people to examine self and make a conscious decision based on responsibility for self in a relationship. Getting married is so simple, but being married is deep...

    Folake Taylor: You are so right SUS. I discuss this more in my book. About how people need to be taught this things, how we need to find mentors to emulate if we have no such people in our environment, search out books on a subject etc. The hardening of h...eart is another form of leaving and never coming back. Even if still physically present, you are gone. I tried to come up with a list of deal breakers in my head earlier. In addition to leaving in whatever form (body, soul, heart, mind), I considered repeated infidelity, physical or verbal abuse, substance abuse and even sometimes, extreme cases of mental illness. But then again, that's my human mind. We all know what the Bible says. God help us all.

  2. Facebook comments:

    P.I.: this is really fact,a lot of people need to read this,you are blessed flaky

  3. Facebook comment:

    S.A.R.: FOLKS HAVE THAT DRIVE THRU MENTALITY THESE DAYS...WHEN IT COMES TO SPEED DATING AND SPEED MARRIAGES...this is why single folks PREFER to say single....until they meet someone who truly GETS the difference between marriage and relationship....aint looking for a relationship...GOT ONE...with GOD Himself.... Now if a man is truly a WORTHY GOD MAN who is looking for a Proverb 31 type not a Trophy WIFE...then he can surely HOLLA at