As the season comes to a close, we’re given tips on making it last after children and handling things now, so they don’t boil over later.
|Director(s)||Codie Elaine Oliver|
This content contains pertinent spoilers.
“Making It Last” Recap
Only You Can Make Yourself Happy – Bill, Kristen, Angel, Marcus, Tana, Dana, Brian, Ariana
As seen on “Red Table Talk,” the quickest path towards ruining your relationship is thinking that the other person should be responsible for making you happy. However, as noted with Bill and Kristen, Tana and Dana, Angel, and Marcus and Brian and Ariana, you have to have realistic expectations. Alongside that, you need to have your own thing. Be it your own business, time to yourself, something. You cannot make that other person your everything. It’s too much pressure, and no one can honestly live up to that.
Instead, it is best to make yourself happy and share that joy. Be it in stories of your journey or just relishing in the fact that you are chosen, and you chose someone. Because there is a difference between being wanted and needed, and while you can romanticize a lot about marriage and relationships, there comes the point where you need to realize you are an individual with specific needs that you may want them to support or help with, but if you need them to do anything, and it can’t be resolved with some heart to heart conversations, you may have a problem.
Don’t Let Them Kids Get In The Way – Anthony, Melanie, Angel, Marcus, Yvette, Glen
Kids are a blessing, as shown this season, but let’s not pretend they can’t suck the life out of your marriage. As shown with Angel and Marcus and Yvette and Glen, they can mess up the sex and make it so between making time and getting horny, that intimate connection drops on the priority list. Hell, if you are like Anthony and Melanie, who are just nasty in ways you have to love, it means you can’t be as loud as you want, walk around naked, or do it where you wanna.
So, what is there to do? Well, there is what Yvette and Glen do, which is to schedule sex and keep each other accountable, or what Angel and Marcus did, which was increase the foreplay. You know, treat the other person like you are still dating and having made that lifelong commitment. Because, as Angel showed, you can get real comfortable, and when that happens, neither person may end up wanting to put the work in to keep certain aspects of the relationship strong or consistent. You can get lazy in more ways than one.
Lastly, there is what Anthony and Melanie did, which basically was, yeah, we have kids, but we had each other first. If not, to put it in their words, focus on the relationship’s growth and perhaps see the kids as part of that, but not the focal point. Because you as individuals are growing and changing, which means the relationship is as well, and when it comes to those kids, they will leave.
I can’t remember which season it was said, but being an empty nester and realizing you gave it all to the kids and forgot each other is real. Now, for some, like Anthony and Melanie, it allows for getting back to old ways of doing things. However, it is like rediscovering who someone is when they aren’t being someone’s momma or daddy for others. Which, as seen with Yvette and Glen, it isn’t hard to do when you see how much work is done, and you find yourself backing off because you put your kids’ needs before your own. Be it sexual or just the intimacy that comes from a relationship.
Be Intentional – Terrence, Joy, Brian, Ariana, Dana, Tana
In time, you know how your partner likes to be loved. Be it acts of service, physical touch, words of affirmation, gives, or quality time, do what you need to do, and do it with intention. Realize some things may not be what is your default, but for them, it is necessary. As said by Ariana, marriage is work, and part of that work is maturity.
Dana and Tana noted this includes knowing how to argue, apologize, and speak from a place of love. There needs to be a certain amount of love in any discussion to allow for vulnerability and openness. Because, as Dana says, once the love is gone, that’s it. When there isn’t something to go back to or both participants aren’t fighting for the same thing, it is over.
Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs
I don’t ever expect you to be the person to make me happy because I feel like that’s a huge responsibility to say, “You don’t make me happy.” Like, it’s my responsibility to make me happy, just don’t make me miserable. That’s my thing.
The Work Behind “Marriage Is Work”
Like Ariana and Brian, I think many of us are used to one of two things – either the bliss of marriage or a marriage that is so messy and dramatic it is heading to divorce. As for the work? The arguing to resolve things, not to be right or up the other person? That isn’t always available, for not everyone has access to someone else’s marriage like that.
So us hearing more than, “You have to communicate” and get examples is such a necessary thing. Like Yvette and Glen having a sex schedule because having physical intimacy is essential, that’s work fitting that in (no pun intended). Yet, as Kristen said about her relationship, technology can only bridge two people but so much. Sometimes, as Yvette makes clear, you got to honor a commitment even when you aren’t in the mood.
Granted, who wants sex with someone who treats it as an obligation, but, as shown in this episode, while you making the other person happy isn’t your responsibility, the least you can do is not make them miserable. And clearly, as Glen and Dana made it seem, lack of sex can be an issue that can grow and make both parties miserable.
Ain’t Nothing Wrong With Routines & Schedules
What you have to appreciate about “Black Love” is it always pursues demystifying how relationships work. For example, the idea of a schedule for most isn’t sexy. Setting a date night is one thing, but sex on this date or that day just seems too routine. Yet, what’s a complaint you will hear from couples who’ve been together for a while? Having no sex. I mean, Dana, jokingly, whenever Tana talked about not having enough sex with him, he asked for the tape for future use. Which, while a joke, you can tell was a passive-aggressive comment signaling, “Oh, so you realize this, and yet here we are?”
Don’t Take Each Other For Granted
At the end of the day, episode, season, what have you, the point is – someone chose to trust you, love you, and commit to you, so don’t take that for granted. If there is a problem, speak on it – but recognize you aren’t talking to someone against you. If someone is doing something without asking, take note of you seeing what they are doing and appreciate it. And just in general, don’t forget why you fell in love with this person and recognize that, while people change, they continue to choose you, so grow with them and not against them.