10 REVOLUNTIONARY WAYS TO RE-THINK MARRIAGE: WAY #3: RE-THINK ‘ON THE SPOT’ OATHS AND VOWS

For the benefit of this article the word VOW is synonymous with the word OATH.

“I made vows on our wedding day and I am going to stick to them!” shouted a married woman who was willing to forgive her husband for his transgression. Her husband replied, “You didn’t make vows to me, you did just like I did – repeated what someone told us to say. You didn’t understand what you were saying to me any more than I believed everything I was told to recite.”

Needless to say, this couple became separated in marriage and then divorced in less than 2 years, but why? This same couple had been together in a relationship for 4 years, engaged for 8 months and the first 11 months of marriage were pretty stable. Why did the wheels on this marriage bus flatten?

The answer is easy – the two had a wedding and thought the exchanging of rings and vows constituted marriage. There was one glaring problem – the two were never instructed on what those vows represented prior to reciting them and, as a result, those same two were never in agreement as to how they should be lived out.

What about those couples who write and recite their own vows? These couples are growing in number but many times place their efforts into writing their vows for purposes of moving the hearts of their wedding guests and the momentary excitement of their future spouse. Hardly ever are these, albeit poetic, vows livable.

For instance, a woman may vow to her future husband “Where you go – I will go. Where you lay – I will lay. Where you die – I will die. I trust you with my whole life both now and forever. This I pledge to you.” Shortly after the marriage, he is laid off from his job and a new job opportunity to work for a reputable company is set before him, the caveat being it would require their relocating cross country, and herein does the conflict begin. The wife’s parents are aged and sickly and currently live only 10 minutes away. The children are accustomed to their current living environment and are in local elementary school s. Additionally, she had just received a promotion on her job and it has assisted their family in reducing their debt. Her job will not transfer, the children would require enrolling in new schools and her parents don’t like the idea of the children moving so far away from them. Considering all of these issues, she refuses to “go.” Needless to say, within the year they’ve separated and the following year their marriage dissolves in divorce.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN

When couples are prepared to enter marriage it is important that the vows they make to one another make sense to each other – FIRST. To say a vow is to understand the “what’s, why’s, and how’s” and under what circumstances or conditions.

For instance, is it wrong for a couple to agree up front that they vow to be with each other in marriage except there be the occurrence of adultery, domestic violence, pedophilia or down low tendencies? Under normal circumstances, the casual observer will suggest this marriage will not be successful because the two are placing “conditions” on it. What the casual observer neglects to see is– all successful marriages DO have conditions, however, external influences often promote their suppression. Couples must be trained in proper conflict resolution techniques in order to properly address their concerns and understand the acceptable boundaries which would necessitate their parting ways. This act is necessary to ensure couples comprehend the boundaries that will lead to “irreconcilable differences.”

WHAT TO DO

As we re-think marriage I offer three challenges regarding the exchanging of vows.

REVIEW THE VOWS BEFOREHAND

Couples need to be mentored in the vows they will recite. A copy of the vows should be provided for the couple to read in advance. Allowing them to meditate on the phrases they will recite will promote intimacy and a sense of ownership. Finally, it prepares the two for what they will say on their wedding day.

QUESTION THE VOWS WITH A PROFESSIONAL MARRIAGE EDUCATOR

Although a Marriage Educator (ME) and a Marriage Counselor (MC) are very different (ME trained in programs and skills) (MC degreed by an accredited institution) for this portion either are acceptable. The choice will depend on the couple’s financial abilities and comfort.

The couple should be allowed to ask questions regarding their vows to a marriage mentor without prejudice. Questions such as “What does ‘until death do us part mean’?” Or the big one, what does it mean to “obey?”

In some cases the couple may need a session whereby they are asking each other questions regarding the meaning of their vows. What is heard by one may not translate into the same for another. Understanding the vows prior to reciting them is paramount.

WRITE AN INTERPRETIVE ESSAY ON YOUR VOWS

Every couple should be able to write out an interpretation of the vows they are going to be reciting to ensure their future spouse understands what they mean. This will allow the couple time to reflect on the interpretation of the vow while also reflecting on whether their future spouse is able and willing to uphold those conditions in marriage.

People hate writing assignments, but so what – this is marriage we are talking about and it is necessary. This is a simple task compared to the future that lies ahead. It is widely known that what is able to be penned is often what is also able to be contemplated and this is the goal. By the time the couple is prepared to exchange vows – they not only KNOW what it is they are willing to commit to but their future spouse is also without doubt in UNDERSTANDING the conditions necessary for a healthy marriage.

CONCLUSION

In the end, couples must have a better understanding of what is most important in order to promote and sustain a healthy marriage. The exchanging of vows can best begin this process but in itself must be introduced with a purpose prior to any wedding announcement. It is at this point in marriage education where the two are most equipped to make a sound decision on whether marriage to one another is the next logical step.

Next week – Way #4: RE-THINK MARITAL SEX EXPECTATIONS

Was President Obama Pushed in a "Jobless Economy to Lose Reelection?"

African writer Farouk Martins Aresa says President Obama “pushed into jobless economy to lose election.”

I never quite thought of President Obama being “pushed into a bad economy, steeped with high unemployment and foreclosure rates” but Farouk Martins Aresa of ModernGhana.com seems to think he was deliberately set up. He wrote if Obama losing reelection in 2012, it will be a personal disaster. But for whom? Africans or Americans in general? I personally preferred Hillary Clinton because I thought she would have brought much more to the table than Obama, but I ended up voting for him because I refused to support a John McCain-Sarah Palin ticket. But I am amazed at Mr. Aresa’s commentary is based on the ridiculous premise that Obama seems to have been pushed into this mess, but nobody forced him to run and, yes, he inherited a horrible economy, but his Administration has made some missteps along the way. Given the Great Depression-like feel to the economy, people aren’t feeling Obama and his team right now nor do they care very much for either political party right now. I don’t think it’s an attack on him per se, it’s just he’s the man at the helm and he’s the one who everyone is mad at. Nobody understands Obamacare and people are just really scared at what’s going on in this country right now.  Here’s an excerpt from Farouk Aresa’s article:

If Obama loses the next election, it will be a personal disaster. Those Africans that would rather support Hilary Clinton for President would come roaring that – I told you so. He has not fulfilled his wish to African American communities to leave them better than he met them as President. While Mrs. Clinton could have been bolder for revival projects in African communities as Johnson did for Civil Rights and even Republican Nixon did targeting Small Business Administration to them, Obama would only be able to point to what he did for all Americans. It will not carry much weight amongst African Americans.

Obama as the first African American President, in spite of all his accomplishment in just three years has not been so credited. In areas conservatives should support him, they have taken opposite side or managed to take his credit. Osama’s death only gave him a temporary bump. Some conservatives attacked his bombing of Libya as the left; some for lack of Congress approval. Though he saved the world economy from a depression, it will be difficult for him to go into an election with a high rate of unemployment, no matter what else he accomplished. He has been faulted by the liberals of giving in too easily to the conservatives and always comes out with a raw deal of any compromise….

If Obama loses the next election, the implication for African countries and African Americans will be sobering. He is our son. Of course, Republicans will use Greece as an example of a country that lived above its means when it suits them. But the greatest creator of jobs right now is China by government intervention in the economy. Nobody wants America to be like Greece or China, but the only way America got itself out of a stubborn recession turned depression was by stimulus plan. This recession in America is getting stubborn and some economists are predicting double dip-recession.

While the writer makes some compelling points, but I think he has forgotten that nobody pushed Obama into this mess. He chose to run and it’s unfortunate he did so at a time when the economy was in a downward spiral with no end in sight. The notion that he was “pushed in a jobless economy to lose the election” is absurd. This isn’t so much about black and white as it is about making tough choices and fiscal responsibility, as well as ending two wars that have drained our resources beyond human comprehension. President Obama has done some positive things, but not enough to jumpstart this stubborn economy and get people working again. I don’t know if the expectations we have are too high, since the Republicans haven’t offered any viable solutions, but if President Obama loses the election, it won’t be because anyone forced him into a jobless economy.

Buju Banton Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison, Five Years Probation for Role in Cocaine Deal

Mark Myrie, AKA Buju Banton, sentenced to 10 years in prison, followed by five years probation, for role in cocaine deal in 2009, judge gave no leniency.

Grammy-award winning reggae superstar Buju Banton has been sentenced to 10 years in prison, followed by five year probation, for his role in a cocaine deal, ABC News said. Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, was sentenced Thursday morning in Tampa federal court after he was convicted in February for his role in setting up a cocaine deal in 2009.

GOP Presidential Hopeful Herman Cain Says Jon Stewart "Targeted Me Because I’m Black"

GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain, told an audience at the Iowa Falls Fire Department that Jon Stewart targeted him because “I’m black.” How convenient to pull the race card when you are cornered! No, he targeted you because you are a shaky candidate who utters some ridiculous comments. He can dish it but he can’t take it. Simple.

ThinkProgress reported that GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain told an audience in Pella, Iowa that he would not sign a bill longer than three pages. (Cain later said he was “exaggerating.”) Jon Stewart picked up on the story, imitating Cain and joking that if Cain was president he would require everything to be shorter: “Treaties will have to fit on the back of a cereal box … The State of the Union Address will be delivered in the form of a fortune cookie.” You can watch the segment here

Like a cry baby Cain told the audience:

Sticks and stone may break my bones, words are not going to hurt me. I was on that radio show because a happen to be an American black conservative. I labeled my self. I’m an American Black Conservative, an A-B-C. They keep trying to put labels on me. I have been called “Uncle Tom,” “sell out,” “Oreo,” “shameless.” So the fact that he wants to mock me because I happen to be a black conservative, in the words of my Grandfather, “I does not care. I does not care.” Source: Think Progress

Eleven Black Workers Sue Alligator River Farms in NC Alleging Racial Discrimination, Saying Forced to Dig Holes with Bare Hands

Eleven black workers sue Alligator River Farms in NC accusing the company of racial discrimination and forcing them to dig broccoli holes with their bare hands, are we reverting to Jim Crow Age?

Eleven black workers at the Alligator River Farms in Hyde County, North Carolina, sued the company because they were forced to dig holes with their hands and their terminations were blatantly racist. The workers allege the actions of the vegetable farm was to show there were no U.S. workers available, so the farm could bring in 58 Mexican workers on H-2A visas. According to Courthouse News, the lawsuit contends different standards than Mexican migrants and refused to even give them hand tools to plant the season’s broccoli crop.

The 11 plaintiffs say that when they reported to work, they “were not given any hand tools. Defendant’s supervisors instructed plaintiffs to create the hole in which to plant each broccoli plant with their hands and exhorted them to quickly plant flats of small broccoli plants.” Source

Wow, if these allegations are true, this is really, really some deep sh*t. How do you expect someone to do their jobs digging holes with their bare hands? Are we back in the Jim Crow days  in the South? Read the lawsuit: 

Is O.J. Simpson Set to Confess to Murders of His Ex-Wife Nicole Brown Simpson & Friend Ron Goldman on Oprah Winfrey Network?

O.J. Simpson reportedly set to confess to murders of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and friend Ron Goldman in Oprah Winfrey Network exclusive interview, saying it was in self-defense.

O.J. Simpson to confess to killing his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman? You will recall that Oprah Winfrey recently made waves when she said one of her regrets was never getting him to confess to the murders. Well, she may just have gotten her wish, if the news popping up about an OWN exclusive interview with the imprisoned former football great.

Simpson has already told one of her producers in an interview from jail that he knifed ex-wife Nicole in self-defence – a confession he will now repeat to the talk show queen during a spectacular televised sit down interview.

According to the National Enquirer, the interview is set to be filmed after Simpson confessed he killed the pair in self-defence to a producer from inside prison. ‘Oprah has been in touch with O.J. for the past year,’ a source told the magazine. She contacted him in prison to explore the possibility that he might give her an interview.

‘He has always been a big fan of hers, but for a long time he was reluctant to say he did the crime or give the details of how it happened.’ According to the insider, Simpson recently decided to go through with the confession after he was contacted again by one of Oprah’s producers.’He told the producer: “Tell Oprah that yes, I did it. I killed Nicole, but it was in self-defence. She pulled a knife on me and I had to defend myself”,’ the insider was quoted as saying. Source: Daily Mail

I don’t want to put a lot of stock in what the National Enquirer is saying, but they have gotten some things right in the last few years, the John Edwards love child scandal, for example. Oprah Winfrey is a fiercely private woman and it seems a little out of her character to let this slip out, but who knows. Let’s just wait and see. But this is further proof that the conscience is a powerful tool that will eat away at you until you confess to the wrongs you have done. Maybe this is what’s happening to O.J. Simpson and for good reason. You don’t just kill someone because they made you mad. Besides, who is going to believe O.J. that he stabbed his wife in self-defense because she came at him with a knife? Nobody is going to believe that load of crap.