The Happily Married – Do They Really Exist?

blackmarriage1

While marriage is always a hot topic, it’s just not one that weighs heavily on my mind. I’m currently single! (Woop woop!)

Did anyone see Oprah Winfrey’s interview of  Jamie Foxx for her “Oprah’s Next Chapter” series on OWN a while back? Here’s a snippet from YouTube:

One of the things she asked Jamie is if he feels he’s “built for marriage.” And here’s part of his response:

“I always wanted to be married, 2.5 kids, wood paneling on the side of the station wagon, but… you get your heart broken one good time, especially for a man, it’s catastrophic.

“I always felt for my friends that got married. I would see them married for five years and then see them start to (crumble), and all of the sudden they’re not married and they’re enemies. Like they hate each other. And then I’m stuck in the middle as their friend and there’s kids involved and it wrecks everything.

“I just don’t want that… I know one couple that is married and they’re happy, but everybody else, they are gnawing their arms off.”

Sparked by a facebook discussion with a married woman, I set out to find out how many people I know who can readily name five people they believe are in happy marriages. Yes, we know that “happy” doesn’t necessarily mean perfect, or that every day is just peachy.

After wracking my brain for the better part of a day, I could only think of two married couples who seem happy. In one case, I know the husband; in the other case, I know the wife. Both parties express that through ups and downs, they are committed and in love with their respective spouses.

My Facebook debater believes that misery (single people, I guess) loves company. Okay.

So my unscientific poll consisted of:
– 3 divorced women
– 1 single woman
– 3 married women
– 1 married woman who’s dating
– 1 single man
– 1 self-professed happily married man
– 1 self-professed unhappily married man
– 1 man who’s been engaged over 6 years
– 1 divorced man

******

RESULTS: only one married woman and one married man polled could name four or more happily married couples.

Do happy marriages exist? Of course. In fact, I have a friend who has a website dedicated to the unions of people of color. www.blackbridalbliss.com. And every time I visit the site, my hope and optimism for successful love and marriage are renewed.

Do about forty percent of all marriages crumble and end in divorce or annulment, as Jamie pointed out? Yes – per the Center for Disease Control. No matter race, education, financial status, etc.

I admit my poll is skewed a little bit. The ratio of women I polled far outnumbers the amount of men. But I just don’t know as many men. *shrugs. And I think had polled the sexes evenly, results would be similar.

In a sense, my Facebook debater is right in implying that married people flock together. The married folks I polled were readily able to name at least two couples who they say are happy (based on their “outside judgment” and what they know), which speaks more to the idea that married couples tend to hang out with other married couples (versus single people), and NOT to the idea that single people being miserable and wanting company – or hating on marriage altogether. Hell, some women even ditch their single friends once they get hitched – especially if they’re attractive. (I wrote about that here.)

And as a single woman, I could care less about the state of someone’s marriage or what goes on behind closed doors. I tell friends in relationships: “if you’re happy, I’m happy.”

Of course, the debater’s experience on the subject trumps mine because she’s currently married. And while I’ve been in a live-in, long term relationship, “that piece of paper” was missing (for what it’s worth), although some people think of a marriage license as JUST a piece of paper.

Why do you think it is that so few us can account for five happily married couples? Obviously we are not alone. Oprah Winfrey and Jamie Foxx couldn’t either. Do you think their perspective would’ve differed if they were both married – given the theory that married people tend to congregate?

I never really defined “happy” in this piece. I think commitment and “partnership” are two required elements though. Please feel free to chime in with your thoughts on that.

 



Categories: Advice, Blogging, Polls, Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

16 replies

  1. Have to check this out in detail a bit later when I get the time. Currently editing some videos. This post seems contentious. I may have to chime in.

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  2. Yes I believe happily married couples do exist. As a married women ( 6 yrs ) myself I can’t honestly say its me but from my experience and issues I feel communication and compromise is key and if two people share the same views, goals and Outlook on life those two key elements come without struggle.

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  3. My deeply held view on this is that happy marriages are rare. The misconception is that if a couple stay married for ages, it means they’re happy. That’s not the case. They merely stay together out of “settling”. My paternal grandparents been married for decades. Is it that they’re so happily married why they stayed together so long? No! They have no choice. Both are very miserable but have to tolerate each other. That’s the case with most marriages and even relationships: both parties settle even though they aren’t happy.

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  4. I believe happiness in marriage do still exist…… but it seems that all the married couples that I do know that speak of being with the perfect mate, have all built their relationship around God. God as their foundation. Not to say that all couples in church are happy, because they are not….but most times couples turn to Church/God when they are almost at the ends of their ropes and want to seek counsel on making their marriage survive at its lowest points. With that guidance some pull through and some dont! But have experienced marriage myself in church and out of church…and I found that when we were trying to take matters into our own hands, believing we knew the answers ourselves, we were always bumping heads but when we decided to humble ourselves and submit to the will of God, things got a little better and I can say we were happy and enjoying each other UNTIL, one was not strong enough to get passed the past hurt and kept flashbacking/ accusing/ assuming until we both decided we have tried…we are tired of reliving the past and its time to move on with our lives……NO, it was not a terrible break up…we were at peace when we came to that decision and until this day we are still at peace……. but happiness does exist and I believe that when you make that covenant with God to love until death do you part, you are trusting HIM to help you through the good, the bad and the ugly!! On another note….married couples usually flock together because when you become married you really try to do things as a couple and I cant go out with my single friend along with my husband….. that opens the door for the enemy to start working on the mind….the friend starts looking good. You realize you enjoy their company…..they start feeling its ok to drop by when she’s not at home…..wife thinking its innocent UNTIL things start to change within the marriage…… we saw Kesha Coles video…..THATS WHY!!!

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    • Wow. Thanks for your perspective. You’re the first person to comment about the post and bring religion/ church/ God into the equation. I think it raises an interesting question: Do churchgoers/ religious people experience lower divorce rates? If so, why? Are they more committed because they seek counsel and peace via Church/ God? Are they more embarrassed to fail at marriage?, etc. Also an interesting point about not hanging out with single friends around your husband. Kudos for admitting that! Does the single friend start looking good to the husband? I’ve had a friend shut me out of her life, and I wasn’t nowhere near thinking about her husband! Thanks. Appreciate you chiming in!

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  5. Ha, good and tough question. I think in general there are not many happy relationships (married or not). Also there are not very many happy people in the world – single or in a relationship. And I think if we as individuals are not happy, it’s even harder to be happy with someone else… so my conclusion is, work on self-happiness first, and happy relationships will follow! cheers x

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  6. YES!!!! :))) I’m in one. For now, it’s totally happy and great.

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