Money and work play a big part in marriage, and in this episode, we’re reminded that, whether you make more, less, or are business partners, there better be respect.
|Directed By||Codie Elaine Oliver|
|Air Date (OWN)||11/22/2019|
|Introduced This Episode|
|Herself||Wendy Brunet Burns|
Keeping A Sense Of Identity: Monet, Clarence
One of the major things brought up, mostly with Clarence and Monet, is not losing yourself over the course of the marriage. Specifically losing your identity and a sense of who you are and what is important to you in the pursuit of maintaining your relationship. For example, when Clarence went to Howard University to pursue his degree, he uprooted his and Monet’s life, and it came during the time not only her father was sick, but it also pushed her to become the breadwinner.
But in time, there is conversation about him being controlling and ultimately feeling like she was part of his world and suffocating in it. Now, as for the steps to how she went from Ohio to DC to support him getting through school to feeling like his world consumed hers? That isn’t necessarily gone into but implied to be something through counseling they’ve worked out.
However, considering there is conversation about competing and him wanting her to need him, you can understand why Monet felt the need to separate and firmly establish who she is without him. Not only in terms of Clarence being her husband, but also someone with such a strong influence over her life.
Mutual Respect: David, Julie, Kandi, Todd, Kenny, Jessica
The basics of respect for marriage, for many, just deals with not cheating or abusing me. However, the basics are just that, once you involve money and time, both of which need to be seen as currency, then things get complicated. David and Julie, for example, David clearly has an issue with trying to evolve past the old school gender dynamics.
Which isn’t us calling him out, but with the way Julie talks, it seems that with her mostly focused on the children, no longer making more than he once did, he sort of treats her as someone at his beck and call. Like a live-in assistant.
An issue he isn’t alone in. Jessica and Kenny have the type of relationship where she handles the kids but also handles the finances. For similar to Kandi and Todd, there is this dynamic of one being the creative and the other managing the business. But with Jessica and Kenny, the issue for her wasn’t Kenny not respecting and acknowledging her contribution. More so, it was changing the expectations of what a successful marriage is when children are involved.
After all, there is the constant conflicts between the traditional wife, the independent woman, and super mom. Trying to be all or just one doesn’t work for everyone, so you have to find what pieces allow for you and your partner to find peace. Otherwise, so comes a sense of resentment.
But, to find what works, you have to communicate and, again, acknowledge the individual’s experience and what they excel in. Take Kandi and Todd. Todd knows about negotiations, budgeting, all that due to his work as a producer. However, Kandi is a creative who comes up with ideas and will find a way. Each side has to, as is said, respect the other’s lane and recognize the other person’s expertise. For in a partnership, you can’t question every little thing. As Kenny and Jessica have established, at the end of the day, that person is better the final seal of approval than the first person you are questioning whether they know what they are or aren’t doing.
Working Your Way Towards Balance And Sometimes Never Finding It
There is a huge range here from Kandi and Todd’s marriage, which is about 4 to 5 years in, to Clarence and Monet whose marriage is older than some of the people on this show at 46. So with that, it is interesting to see how these people found dynamics that work for them, especially as business partners.
Take Winston and Wendy. She had experience in hospitality and him in the entertainment industry within marketing. They both brought their unique experience together to run successful businesses. The same goes for Kenny and Jessica, as well as Kandi and Todd. Yet, and this is why I’m thankful for David and Julie, it doesn’t always work out.
When it comes to those two, while they try to play it down, you can see they are still working out their dynamics now that he is the breadwinner, and she is playing the role of keeping the kids, the home, and sometimes him, optimal. Which, considering nearly everyone else appears to have it down, seeing these two, married 18 years and struggling, it lets you know that not everyone just gets it. Some people have a whole lot of time needed to work out all the kinks of how the relationship can be beneficial to both people without a sense of animosity there.
On The Fence
That Whitfield Absence Hits Hard
Fully taking note this show is more about representation and information more than anything, I got to admit not having the Whitfields made this episode feel a little dull. Which isn’t to take away from the thoughts and ideas of the other couples. More so, I think you have to acknowledge they have that perfect mix of passion, when it comes to what they say and each other, and the kind of gems which pushes you to really listen. Making them the ideal kind of couple for this show in comparison to some others who seem like they are made for a book.
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Working Your Way Towards Balance And Sometimes Never Finding It - 85%
That Whitfield Absence Hits Hard - 70%
Trajectory – Plateau: Black Love continues to drop gems, but with less charismatic couples, or rather passionate on the topic at hand, while what they say has value, the delivery doesn’t hit as it usually does.
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