Red Table Talk: Season 1/ Episode 16 “Surviving Divorce With Toni Braxton” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

Red Table Talk Season 1 Episode 16 Surviving Divorce With Toni Braxton - Title Card
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Toni Braxton comes to visit the red table and clears up some things about her divorce, her relationship with Birdman, and related to Adrienne a little bit.


Network
Facebook Watch
Air Date11/26/2018
Introduced This Episode
HerselfToni Braxton

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Divorce: Jada, Adrienne, Toni

Everyone comes to the table with different perspectives when it comes to divorce. For Toni and Jada, they don’t see divorce as the end of the complete relationship. Maybe the romantic relationship, but that person can still play a role in their life. For Adrienne? Well, considering for most of her husband’s there weren’t children, once she was done so were they.

Yet, there is that question of why? Taking note of all the assets you’ve gained together, the community you’ve made, reasons Jada hasn’t been for divorce, why would you end things? Well, for Toni, she figured her divorce from Kari dealt with two things. At first, it seemed like a money issue. Toni wasn’t working like she was and that caused a financial strain. However, the idea developed that it wasn’t necessarily her not working but why. Because of Lupus, she wasn’t working because she was sick – sometimes in the hospital. A place where Kari wasn’t necessarily by her side, through thick and thin, the way Toni makes it sound.

So, taking note of her parents’ divorce, it seemed she and Kari decided it would be best to end things amicably than when it gets nasty. Hence them legally divorcing but, in their relationship, really downgrading things until they eventually just became friends again. Partly for the sake of their sons, but also because the love didn’t die it just changed with the times.

Commentary

Toni talking about the end of her marriage and dating her ex.
Toni: And we were attempting to salvage the relationship again.

You have to love the different ways each came at the topic. For Jada, the idea of divorce led to a question of maturity. She is mature enough to change what is in the marriage to fit what both people need, but not mature enough to just break everything apart. Which may sound strange, but she kind of breaks it down. In divorcing someone, you are subtracting things not just from their life, but your life as well. You will lose some people who seemed like they were your friend, but were more so friends of the family unit.

On top of that, you can try to amicably divorce but how easy is that really? You made plans, spent years, decades even, with someone, had kids maybe, and not it is over? Again, there is a certain maturity needed to just let go and if that comes easy, so comes the question if it’s maturity or you just weren’t invested. How else could you leave without feeling a certain type of way? Especially if you ended up paying alimony.

Blame & Guilt: Toni

While the loss of community and resources are a big deal in divorces, there is also the guilt and desire to blame. Toni brings this up when it comes to her kids. If something goes wrong, is it because of the divorce? Could she have done something different? If Kari cared more, would they be together? Hell, if she never got Lupus, would they still be married? That what ifs pile up and then when you add in she is dealing with her parents divorcing? Even though it happened when she was grown? So comes the question if she isn’t communicating her issues and struggles but passing them onto her kids. Making it so it isn’t so much talking about how mommy may feel but planting seeds on how her kids should maybe feel.

Commentary

Toni talking about blaming herself for reasons her marriage went wrong and why her kids would have problems in school.
Toni: That was the hardest part for me. I was blaming myself.

It’s amazing how vows are just tradition and not held to the heart, right? You are forewarned of all that can come, good and bad, during the vows, yet you don’t heed the warning. Thus leading you to change a person’s life forever and when it gets hard, really hard, you leave. Which, more often than not, is harder for the woman than man since she has to deal with the stigma, the kids, and possibly financial issues. Making it so you are losing far more than you gain in this presumed freedom.

Though, really, it isn’t so much freedom as it is a splitting of responsibilities. What was once a shared amount of BS now becomes yours and theirs. Then, to add onto it, you find out, perhaps as punishment for breaking your vows, life decides to add a few more pails for. Just because you both didn’t stick to what you said you would. Something that spills into other parts of your life for it is never an even split. Someone always ends up with more troubles and the other person, even if things are cool, they aren’t looking to make things a collective issue anymore. Otherwise, why would they have agreed to the divorce?

Cutting Off Or Healing What Is Left?: Jada, Adrienne, Toni

Leading to the big question, do exes get the axe or do you try to salvage the relationship? Well, as noted in the first topic, kids seemingly are a strong deciding factor. In Adrienne’s third marriage, the main reason Paul is still part of the family is because that is the only grandpa Jada’s kids have known. Her own father died when her kids were 12 and 10. So while they surely had some memories, it isn’t clear how close they were. Especially considering how Willow talked about him in the last episode. You know, with respect to who he was but not like that was one of her favorite people growing up.

Not to say Paul was but Jada does present the idea that between her biological father and father-in-law, Paul was likely a more active part. After all, lest we forget, Jada raised her kids with her mom assisting. So, it would be only natural for Paul to play a rather large role. Add in he is still alive and it makes it where he isn’t just part of past memories but present and might be part of planned future relationships as well.

As for Toni? Well, like Jada, maybe more so Will, she has a very interesting relationship with her ex. The kind where they spend holidays together despite no longer being together. Why? Well, because they are family forever and always. Which does complicate current and past relationships, but it seems most get it when it is explained. If not, if they don’t get it, they get dismissed.

Commentary

Toni talking about her family dynamic.
Toni: Christmas morning waking up and my baby daddy’s there.

The biggest takeaway from this, as with all of Red Table Talk is that there isn’t one sole way to do something. There is certainly a common way to do things, but what works for others may not work for you. Some need a clean cut from exes and to never see them again this lifetime. Others need to slowly separate, heal and may desire friendships after. There is also the option of taking a step back, remodeling the relationship, and knocking down some walls for windows to let some air in. Thus allowing things to feel less stifled.

Again, when dealing with another human being, you can’t use even what experts put out there and think it will save your relationship. Some people are there for a reason or season and though it hurts to admit that, fighting for someone who wants to be let go hurts worse. So, sometimes, you just gotta roll with the punches.

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

You don’t really love someone if you are constantly trying to change them.
— Adrienne

Surrendering doesn’t always mean defeat.
— Toni Braxton

Highlights

  1. That Toni watches the show and seemingly approached talking on it with keeping in mind what the format is. Leading to us not getting this vibe she came on to say something poignant or will get the blogs riled up. More so to have a conversation with a girlfriend, just without some wine or something to eat while doing so. You know, to have sober thoughts.

On The Fence

  1. I lowkey was glad Willow was absent. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the kid and recognize Jada thinks it is important for Willow to hear and be part of the conversation. It is just, when it is clear she has nothing personal to add to a situation, or she doesn’t want to, it causes a stutter in the flow. So while I love her on this show, and when she gives her opinion, I think it would be better to only really have her on the table when she has an opinion or something to bring. Especially if she isn’t going to be the “youth” opinion like it seemed, early on, would be her place.


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