In “Picking Your Battles” it all boils down to communication and asking yourself, do you prefer being right or having a healthy and loving relationship with this person?
|Director(s)||Codie Elaine Oliver|
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Letting It Go: Tamia, Grant, Styles, Adjua, Rev Run, Justine, CJ, Rochelle, Tony, Brittany, Jai, Rebecca
Ego, in some form, is a consistent issue mentioned when it comes to the episode. A good portion of the time it deals with a person’s being unable to apologize, accept fault, or that they had an effect on the other person’s feelings. But, it can also be about money too.
Tony and Brittany, while they have their issues, as a couple married 4 years, with Brittany now being a housewife of sorts, they are one of the few which directly confront money. It’s mentioned with Adjua and Styles, but what Tony and Brittany hone in on is how money can become an issue if you don’t talk about it. For them, it was looking like they are wealthy, with a fancy car, rather than actually being wealthy.
A huge issue for even outside the scope of what social media has done to the culture, you want things to look a certain way when you’re married. Whether you and your wife are working, or one of you aren’t, you want to seem happy and comfortable. Also, like things are going well. But, in order to do that, you have to let go of things which could cause short and long-term harm. For Brittany and Tony, it was holding onto a car they couldn’t afford which threatened their ability to feed themselves, for everyone else? It was letting go of a petty argument.
Let’s take Rev Run and Justine, for example. Rather than like the first half of the season when Rev Run seemed reserved and preachy, he opens up a bit. Granted, it is to note the things Justine does which makes no sense to him but baby steps. Their problem is Justine will whisper things in public and not want Rev Run to react. That makes no sense to him. So, it sometimes leads to arguments.
But, there comes a point when you have to focus on whether, as he says, you prefer to be right or with this person. Sometimes, all it takes is acknowledging what was done and apologizing. For an incident with a minor car accident, that is all Rochelle wanted from CJ. Other times, you got to give a person space to process. Each person is different but one of the key things is finding a middle ground.
This is something Jai and Rebecca bring up for Rebecca, is the type to just let things go while Jai needs time. Same goes for Grant. If you acknowledge what you did, he moves on. However, there are people like Tamia who seem to have this need to know they are 100% in the wrong before they hand over an apology.
Managing an ego is hard for your ego is a form of protection. Which, even in a marriage, there is a need to protect yourself a bit. For with you allowing yourself to be so vulnerable with another human being, as shown, the brain will always keep a last line of defense. For many of these couples, apologizing is something they are capable of, but to hand over an apology is like handing over power it seems. Especially with the way Grant paints Tamia. Of course, we are getting but a snippet of their relationship and her music doesn’t coincide with how happy these two seem, but damn! The fact he has to wait sometimes a month?
But, it isn’t like Rev Run doesn’t put the idea out there that sometimes you got to information gather or lay out the evidence. Sometimes wait for the other party, if not yourself, to get what was said so you can move on. Because letting go, in theory, is easy, but we’re talking about stuff which has been said and done over years, decades. Like, Adjua still can’t get over Styles not picking up after himself. Yet, by piling his clothes in a pile for him to handle, she figures out a way to let it go. Showing sometimes it isn’t some big to do but just putting something to the side to let them know, it is seen, and you did your part in handling it. Tag — it’s your turn to do the rest.
Deciding On Your Roles: Jai, Rebecca, Devale, Khadeen, Jo-Ann, Glynn
Continuing on the money topic brought up by Tony and Brittany, there is a need to address roles in the relationship. Not just who cooks and cleans, but other things as well. For Devale, roles help things function. Perhaps since, as Glynn pushes a bit, it makes it so you believe it is cheaper to stay than leave. Though, more than likely, he was talking about the cost of divorce. We’ll spin it to what works for us though.
Refocusing, in Devale’s household, he seems to handle coming up with ideas, starting things up, and Khadeen handles the paperwork. This balance creates a sort of interdependency. The kind which forces you to communicate because untangling everything and taking on all the tasks you used to give to your partner would be pure chaos.
But, one of the big things is balance. Jai and Rebecca, financially, have it where they both work but Jai handles the bills. Mostly because she is better with handling that due to anxiety, for a lack of a better term. Yet, it is clear she wishes Rebecca took it more seriously because it would take the pressure off her. Which could become an issue down the line, who knows?
The reason money is sitting next to ego, in terms of being mentioned repeatedly, is because you often hear that being a reason for a relationship ending. If it isn’t not trusting the other person with money, it is arguing there isn’t enough of it when it is too late to manage the debt incurred. Yet, money doesn’t always have to be something which breaks the relationship.
I can’t remember what Khadeen went to school for, but I want to say it is something business related. So, with working with Devale, she uses her degree, helps build wealth within the family, and they have something beyond kids to bond over. For eventually, kids leave and might make you happy they did kick rocks. That relationship is forever and unfortunately, the need for money is too.
So, be it like Devale and Khadeen or Jai and Rebecca, you got to get real about your money and also your debt. Since, in the long run, what’s yours is theirs and what’s theirs is yours so you need to figure out how to attack any and all things which threaten the relationship. Which may call for one to take the lead on this, you on that, or maybe a united force. Either way, you got to pick and choose your role and stick to it. At least one person is relying on you.
Accepting Who They Are & Looking At The Big Picture: Ross, Sanya, Sterling, Ryan, Tina, Richard, Devale, Khadeen
After a certain point, you have to learn to roll with that person’s neurosis. He doesn’t pick up his clothes, okay but there are so many beautiful qualities about the man. Keep on him about it, one day it may click, but don’t let that one thing keep you from enjoying that whole person. Also, you got to accept that person had a whole life before you and while they will grow on that journey with you, be a hand more so than a cutting tool.
What I mean by that is, taking note of Ryan and Sterling’s situation, Ryan has a specific kind of relationship with her mom, to put it nicely. Because of that, Sterling can only really help mold and possibly put his fingerprint on the situation. It’s up to Ryan to note what isn’t acceptable and shed that from her person. Same goes when it comes to Ross and Sanya. Sanya is a go-getter and not much of a domestic. Also, she likes chaos. It isn’t clear why, but she does.
So, with that said, you have to reach the point Devale and Khadeen did where you don’t have to accept certain things about your partner, but there must be some pursuit to understand them. Take Tina not accepting some ways about Richard. Be it him not always accepting her style advice, or other things. What she seems to understand about him, as he does about her, is that they aren’t two young bucks.
These two, while still on a journey, have come a long way. So while they are still working out a few kinks, the design is nearly complete. Making it so, even though neither was a stranger to the other, they have long missed the point when that clay was wet.
Which isn’t to say suggestions can’t be given. It’s just, at this point, it might be better to accept who they are and look at the big picture. Which is not to say you should lower your expectations. More so, it is accepting you can’t hold them by who you want them to be but how they can evolve based off who they are. Then, looking at the big picture of, while there might be a smudge here and there, does it ruin the whole portrait? If it doesn’t? Let it go.
- It was nice to see a newly married couple, CJ and Rochelle, just 1 year in, join the conversation.
- I really do love that Codie and Tommy are bringing some of themselves into the interviews by asking questions. Especially because it helps take away from how scripted the interviews can sometimes seem.
- The diversity of this show still enamors me. From Styles and Adjua to Brittany and Tony, you get so many different points of view, lives lived, that you have to find yourself in somebody. Either your love style, your partner, or a relationship you can take cues from. If not learn from to help you prep or deal with something going on.
On The Fence
- I feel like Sterling’s mother in law issues deserve its own episode but maybe they couldn’t get enough people to talk about in-law problems.
- With the inclusion of CJ and Rochelle, who have been married for one year, it kind of makes me wish they’d note how long two people dated, as well as how long they were married. For it could open up long-term couples, without rings, being involved. Maybe having an episode on why they didn’t walk down the aisle or meet a justice of the peace. Plus, when you see someone married for a year, and hear the stuff Rochelle and CJ talk about, it makes you wonder how long were they together?
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