I am often asked why I believe many marriages and relationships fail. This is the second most frequent question I get. I can promise you that someone will ask me this every day. Since it’s such a popular question I wanted to take the time to answer it publicly. In my opinion, the reason many marriages and relationships do not last is because one or both parties do not commit to staying in love.
WHAT MOM DOESN’T KNOW
Because I could play the piano, as a child I was naturally drawn to R&B music. Whenever mom would leave the house I would race to the television to watch videos. I can’t believe I’m telling on myself like this, but when she was upstairs I would turn down the volume and still listen. Let’s keep all this between you and me. She doesn’t need to know any of this. The chords and the lyrics were calling me. I can hear them calling my name now. Sorry, I got a little sidetracked.
I became infatuated with how smooth and confident the men were. I also noticed how favorably the women responded. You’re probably thinking, “Derron, but those were videos.” I’m was well aware of that fact but they still taught me what women like to hear, how they like to be treated, and how they like to be touched. Get your mind out of the gutter. I’m referring to nonsexual touches of affection. The men I heard speak about marriage and relationships at that time did not make them sound half as exciting as they seemed in the music videos. They spoke about their marriages like they were sorry they were in them. An R&B group by the name of “Blackstreet” released a song when I was a teen that perfectly explained what was going on.
We hear the term “fell in love” all the time, but how often do people talk about staying in love? There is no commitment in this area. We will commit to having sex, a wedding, children, making money, etc. but there is seldom even a conversation had about relationship maintenance.
It’s not enough to know that he or she is in love with you right now. You need to know if they will still be in love with you after three kids and twenty pounds later. Will he still pay attention to what makes you smile? Will he still notice when you get your hair and nails done? Or, will she still be in love with you when the job hands you that pink slip? If she never gets the “home of her dreams” will she still be there? These are the things that need to be discussed. Being in love is good but staying in love is better. It’s all about longevity.
A good indication that the person you are with is no longer in love with you is that they have become emotionally unavailable. This does not mean that you have necessarily done something wrong. However, it does mean that the relationship has been riding for some time now with the check engine light on. When the check engine light comes on in a vehicle it is visible to all who are inside. The same is true for marriage and relationships. There have been cases when people have been blindsided. But for the most part, that check engine light has been blinking for a while and everyone in the vehicle (marriage) knew it.
When a spouse becomes emotionally unavailable one of the first things he or she will do is start to tune the other out. It will seem like everything else in the world is always more important than what you’re talking about and how you are feeling. They will begin to treat you as if you get on their last nerve. This is both unfair and unflattering. Who wants to be treated this way? Even the person dishing it out would not like to be treated this way. We have to be cognizant of the fact that relationships are not going to fix themselves. If we’re grown enough to be in a relationship we should be grown enough to keep up the maintenance.
HOLD ME ACCOUNTABLE
Men are more prone to becoming emotionally unavailable than women. I think it’s something like a fact. For this reason, we have to work especially hard at making sure this does not happen. In no way am I saying that everything that goes wrong in a relationship is the man’s fault. I am not saying that and I do not believe that. However, we are often the first ones to jump ship at the first sign of a trouble. We’re also the last ones to talk about those problems. Simply put, we want to be the man when it comes to everything else in the relationship besides the maintaining of it. We will not ride in a car that has four flat tires but we’ll live in a marriage like that.
I want to tell you of a conversation Kudzie and I just had. We wee both laying on the bed but I was laying at her feet. I was rubbing her feet as we were talking about marriage and relationships. I told her that I will always treat her well and the moment I begin to mistreat her I want her to make it known. I told her that she needs to tell everyone who will listen and post it on social media. I would never mistreat her but this is my point. She needs to hold me accountable the moment I start disrespecting her. There are too many women suffering in silence as their “men” are physically/emotionally abusing them, and she is not going to be one of them. In other words, Kudzie, hold me accountable if I ever begin mistreating you. Other than that, let’s stay in love!