Tuesday, December 16, 2014

When to let go

Lets talk about hanging on too long.

I was talking to one of my friends and she mentioned to me that a woman she knows was with a man for several decades and she found out that he was getting married to someone else in a few days. Wow! So that made think about how much is too much? When should a person let go?

I remember several years ago, an older woman told me that if a man hasn't married you, or asked you to marry him in 2 years, he's not ever going to marry you.  Now as a young[er] woman, I didn't really take heed to what she told me.  At that point in my life, being in a relationship for 2 years wasn't a long time.  To be honest, I've probably been in about 2 or 3 relationships that lasted longer than 2 years.  Most of the time, i get tired of people long before 24 months is up.  A lot of the time, the guy i was dating either cheated, constantly lied, or worse... had a baby and I wasn't the mother.  So that meant that I was out like scout on a new route in that relationship.

Sometimes i feel like my "impatience" hasn't been the best thing in my life and relationships.  As I think about it, i could have probably forgiven that man.  I could have tried to give him another another chance.  <-- That's not a typo.  "Another another" chance means that he was already given another chance and he effed up his second chance.  I look back over things and I realize that we were both young[er] and not really making good decisions.  We probably weren't thinking about the future.  We were stuck in the meantime.  If people thought about their future and made decisions based on that, they'd probably make MUCH better decisions regarding their relationships.

So I asked the question, How long should you stay with someone before they ask you to marry them? Someone told me that a piece of paper doesn't matter much.  Another person says 3-5 years.  One woman says that she lived with her ex for years like a married couple, only to come to the conclusion that it was a bad relationship that she was trying to make good.  Another woman gave her BF an ultimatum.  I remember 2 good friends of mine gave their BF's ultimatums back when we were in our early 20's.  Both of them are still married to this day.  They're going on 20 years of marriage.  Both of them. Do ultimatums work? Heck yeah! Either you ultimately live happily ever after or you ultimately end up single lol.

I've never been in a situation where I had to make a serious decision to let go.  Probably because the relationship wasn't THAT serious.  It was easier to walk away from those situations because there wasn't much vested in things.  But how hard is it to walk away from someone who you've been with for YEARS? At some point, you have to learn to live for yourself.  Happiness will come.  Happiness is just a decision away and is waiting for you to grab hold of it and claim it.  The choice is yours.  

The Phaedra Way...when the going gets tough

Kenny Rogers sang a song that says You gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em. How would you have handled the situation with Phaedra and Apollo?

Every Sunday night I watch the Real Housewives of Atlanta like clock work.  I have to admit that I've seen every episode of that show since the day it hit the airwaves.  And while I don't completely agree with the shenanigans that often occur among the cast members, I find the show to be entertaining for the most part.
So the onset of this season started out with the situation between Phaedra and Apollo and his legal proceedings.  I couldn't help but notice how it seemed that Phaedra had completely washed her hands with her husband.  And that got me to thinking...

If you husband or significant other was going through something similar, would you stick it out with them, or leave them? Would you support them through a period of incarceration? One thing that I never quite understood was people taking children to a jail or prison to see a parent.  Now don't get me wrong here.  I'm not saying that it's wrong.  It's just something that I don't any value in or even how it benefits the children.  In my opinion, the incarcerated parent is selfish by committing a crime that would put them in prison. So why should they get to see their child while they're locked up? They had all the time in the world to see the kids BEFORE they got locked up.  So why would you subject a child to seeing their parents in prison garb, with bars clinking all around them? To me, that's just not a positive example to set for kids. But to each his own...

But back to the subject at hand.  Is Phaedra's disposition on the situation wrong? There's always two ways to look at a situation.  And while both have their own reasons for what and how things went wrong, They both can be held accountable for the mess that happened in their marriage. For example, Apollo's record is not clean and was not clean when he and Phaedra began dating.  Clearly he was fresh out the pen and she was fully aware of his situation.  Apollo even mentioned on one episode that Phaedra made booty calls to the projects to visit him while he was sleeping on a blow up mattress.  She wasn't a stranger to his living and financial situation prior to their marriage. So why is she acting like all of this was a big surprise that came out of nowhere? From my experiences and my friends' experiences in relationships, a woman knows what their man's issues are even if they don't want to admit it to themselves or any else.  I can't speak for men, but us women tend to think that marriage or and extra dose of support or some loving is going to change a man and his ways.  A friend of mine got married quite a few years ago.  She and her husband were separated in less than 6 months.  So when we talked about it, she was going on and on about how he didn't want to work, he's lazy, etc.  My response was, You knew that when you married him.  Don't act like this is new to you.  He didn't work and he was lazy while you were dating and you thought marriage was going to make him want to get a job?  My real question is, why the hell would anyone marry someone who doesn't have a means to support themselves?  If he or she can't support themselves, then they sure as heck won't be able to support you.  Phaedra knew what she was getting herself into when she married him.

Let's not forget that Ms. Parks is an attorney. Law is a well respected profession not to be taken lightly.  Since I've been studying for the LSAT exam, I have a true respect for attorneys now.  And from judging these test requirements,  it's safe to say that you have to pretty smart to get into Law School. It would also be safe to say that a person of her intellectual caliber would be a bit more privy to knowing where the household finances are going to, and most importantly in their situation, coming from.  If I were her, I'd ask where the money was coming from? Especially if he didn't have a job. Apollo had mentioned that the mortgage was $3500 and his wife told him that he had to pay it. So if this man didn't have a job, where was this money coming from? You can't tell me that she didn't know something about something.

The question that I want to ask is how much are you willing to overlook in a relationship?  Would you be willing to overlook criminal activity? On any given day, I can flip through Instagram or other social media outlets and see how girls are referring to themselves as "The Main".  WTF? Seriously, if you're not "The Only", then you need to bounce.  Point. Blank. Period.  I know that relationships are give and take. Sometimes you give more than you take and sometimes it's reversed.  But I can't and won't ever be in a situation where I would have to refer to myself as "The Main". That won't ever be overlooked.

I believe, although I can't speak for certain, that in some situations, there should be some understandg and support.  And although a crime is a crime, just as a sin is a sin, keep in mind that Apollo didn't commit something serious like murder.  I think that Phaedra could have at least stuck it out with him at least until he went away.  But there's an old saying, when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. And Phaedra got gone!