Andrew Harmon


 

 

 

The Ties That Bond:
The Modern Black Family

By CDoubleR

I had the distinct honor and pleasure of interviewing two wonderful couples. Mr. and Mrs. Warner who have been married for 5 years and Mr. & Mrs. Adams who have been married for over 20 years. Each couple answered several questions that I posed to them in regards to what keeps their marriage on track and what advice could they give to other couples.

 

Mr. & Mrs. Warner – Married 5 years

First and last name of husband and wife?

Glenn and Natosha Warner.

How many children and ages (if any):

We are a blended family.  A daughter, Courtney from a previous marriage and we have two sons together, Cameron, 3 and Christian 2.

How many years have you been married?

We celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary in September. 

What attracted you two to each other?

What initially attracted us to each other were our bonds with family.  I truly respected and admired that his parents raised two sons in Washington, D.C. during the height of the introduction to the crack epidemic and yet my in-laws maintained balanced in their home and in their own marriage.  They’ve been married for 48 years.  He saw the relationship that I had with my own family and was impressed by how we interacted, especially in how I was raising my daughter; with morals and values.

What is your spouse’s best quality?

My husband’s best quality is his quiet roar.  He is the complete opposite of me and my outgoing and free-spirited personality.  I can meet and strike up a conversation with anyone while he is more reserved.  He states that my best quality is my “giving nature” and my ability to see the good in many people.

How do you resolve family issues/debates? 

We believe that pride must always take a ride.  There is no situation wherein pride gets in the way of apologizing when someone is wrong.  We equally believe that when the other is apologizing you have to truly accept his/her apology and move on as if that situation never occurred.  I learned years ago from a friend, “Never lose your marriage to a .50 cent argument!” 

How do you keep the romance in your marriage? 

We are each other’s best friend.  We have stolen moments by having simple breaking of bread over a salad at a local deli.  We’re mature enough in our marriage to recognize we could be at a fancy 5-star restaurant or a local fast food joint.  It’s not about the amount of money or the beautiful atmosphere but it’s truly those stolen moments that keeps the fire burning for us.  Also, I’m an adult party consultant so it doesn’t hurt to go into my bag of Kandi every now again to test out our new products.

How do you deal and resist outside temptation?

 I don’t deal or resist outside temptation by anything other than being real with myself.  Do I see attractive people and does he?  Absolutely!  I have come to appreciate my husband for being everything that I need or want in a man.  I’m thankful in that I find him extremely sexy and he’s the true love of my life.  I resist temptation by appreciating what I have in a solid marriage.

What is the bond that keeps your family’s values strong?

 God keeps our marriage values strong.  We’re not overly religious but we do find that praying together in the morning and in the evening is a good and solid way of helping us to recognize that our marriage is a gift from God and we constantly aim to please Him by appreciating and loving one another.

What are some of the dos and don’ts of a successful marriage?

 Don’t emasculate your husband; don’t belittle your wife.  Listen to your spouse and respect his/her love language.  There should never be a sports program or television episode on that is so important that you neglect the needs of your spouse.  Respecting each other’s need for personal time and then learning when to cut the outside world off and enjoying time with one another.  Lastly, don’t bicker over menial things.  If you know your spouse always does something that you despise, before you begin pointing that finger at him/her, take a careful evaluation of the things that upsets him/her about you! 

Be willing to truly apologize when you’re wrong about something and learning to forgive and forget other things.  You are there for each other not against one another.

What advice can you give to others in regards to a successful marriage?

Find out what works for you.  What works for our marriage will not work for some.  Marriage and how it’s worked on is very individualized.  My husband always says, “keep people out of your bedroom,”  In other words, you would not allow someone to sit and watch you sleep and know the intimate details of your bedroom so keep them out of the intimate details of your marriage and that includes mothers, fathers and your children.  Your marriage has two strands and the third strand is with God. 

 

 

Mr. & Mrs. Adams - Married 22 years

First and last name of husband and wife:

LaMonte and Saadia Adams

 How many children and ages (if any):

 21 year old twin boys

How many years have you been married?

 22yrs

What attracted you two to each other?

(LaMonte) Initially I was attracted to Saadia’s beautiful legs which caught my attention from a distance.  There’s a little saying that goes like this…”She looked good from far, but she’s far from good,”…meaning that she looks good from a distance, but as you approach closer, you vividly see that she is not attractive at all!  This was quite the contrary in respect to my wife.  The closer I got, the finer she became. When I complimented her on her legs she magnetized me with her smile.  

(Saadia) I thought he had nice eyes behind his Malcolm X glasses when we first met at Temple University. I always enjoyed our conversations, but I got locked in by his Magical Massaging HandsJ

What is your spouse’s best quality?

After her love for the Lord, her best quality is her undying love, caring and protection of our sons. I know as a Christian Man, I am supposed to place my wife second in my life after God, who is #1,  but I have to admit, my sons are number 2a and wife is 2b.     

How do you resolve family issues/debates?

That’s easy,….it’s my way or the highway!!!  Just kidding.  We both agree that we will discuss the issue rationally, most of the time, and come to the most reasonable and sensible conclusion. Of course, during our twenty years of marriage, it hasn’t always been that smooth.  

 How do you keep the romance in your marriage?

Once our now 21yr old young men were old enough to stay at home by themselves, we started taking time to actually go out a few times a month. May it be going to the movies, dinner, church events or marriage enrichment events, we try to make it a point to spend some “quality time” together.  In the warmer months we will take 2 mile walks together for exercise purposes and bonding.  We try to keep ourselves looking well for one another and pay attention to one another. We give compliments when warranted and occasionally will surprise each other with a present of some sort, and it’s not anything expensive. I say that we are a ‘corny’ couple, because we will have Panera Bread dates, when one of us are studying for a class or for a higher position at work.

How do you deal and resist outside temptation?

LaMonte:  I resist outside temptation in these ways: 

1)    I know that if I do something that God doesn’t approve of, regarding my vows and my marriage, HE will make me pay for it. The Lord gives us free will, and I know that there are positive and negative consequences to all actions, so in my relationship and in my life I try to breed positivity.

2)    I would never want to hurt my wife and dissolve the trust that I’ve labored to restore. WHATEVER is done in the dark shall ALWAYS come to light, no matter how long it takes.  I wasn’t always this clean, crisp, pristine husband. I have had my trials and tribulations like every man, but we as a couple always lean on our faith for strength, guidance and direction. 

3)    I try to stay focus on family and the Lord’s tenets through daily scripture reading, constant prayer and the use of my internal morals and scruples.  

Saadia:  I resist outside temptations through daily readings from the bible. I also know that my husband is the best person for me, so I wouldn’t risk losing everything that we have built just to lose it over some stupid fling.  Furthermore, these men out here, nowadays, want to try to use women for more than sex. They want to use your car, live in your house, use your money and use you up. I’m GOOD!!!

 What is the bond that keeps your family’s values strong?

Our family values are Faith and Family, in that order.  At the risk of sounding too “churchy” we both know that nothing can prosper without the Lord’s blessing, grace and mercy!  We give the glory to him in everything that we do. We have strong family roots. Both of us agree that the credit for our family values come directly from our grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles and all who played a significant part in our raring process. We instill the same values in our sons. We truly believe that these two values are definitely the ‘tie that bonds!’

What are some of the dos and don’ts of a successful marriage?

From a man’s stand point:

The Do’s: Listen to your wife talk, and talk, and talk, and talk………., to her content.  Do, give your wife attention, make her feel special.  Do, tell her that you love her, at least a few times a day.  We do that in our family all of the time.  If my wife or sons are leaving out of the house, we tell one another that we love them.  Even when we are ending a phone conversation, we do the same.  Do, celebrate accomplishments. If your spouse receives a promotion or a new position, make it a point to acknowledge it by going out to eat.  Going out to eat doesn’t have to be a big presentation, we love going to Buffalo Wild Wings as a family. Do, show appreciation for the little things, like thanking them for picking up a prescription, cooking dinner, or whatever.  And for all the men, “DO!”...run your house!  You see, I run my house…….”I run the vacuum, I run the washer/dryer and I run the dishwasher!!

The Don’ts: DON’T, SAY ANYTHING ABOUT HER WEIGHT OR CLOTHES SIZE!!!  Don’t, be shifty and sneaky acting.  Don’t, call her out of her name, unless it’s during a time of sensual passion, then it’s whatever, whatever.  Don’t, disrespect her.  Don’t, sit on your butt all day while she is cleaning the house, get up and help.  Things must be done in a joint effort.  Don’t let your woman go to work every day and you are home playing  X Box-Call of Duty.  A man must contribute to the managing of the house in some way.

 From a women’s standpoint,

The Do’s: Give your man time to unwind before you hit him with a borage of questions and conversation, after a long hard day of work.  Do allow him to feel like he is the king of the castle.  You notice how I said “allow him to feel as if he is the king.”  We all know, as Beyonce says, “Who Runs The World,…….?” Do try to keep yourself looking good and sexy for him. Do, break him off proper (meaning to allow your man his physical desires)!  Do, wear some fragrances, shoes and clothing that he likes, because what you won’t wear another woman will!  Do be respectful to his mother.  Do, take care of the kids and whole family well.  As hard as it is to say this ladies, you Do, have to sometimes just shut up, fall back and let him handle the business (his conversations with the insurance co., with the realtor, etc).  Do, occasionally, but gently, interrogate him about his whereabouts, just so that he won’t think that it’s sweet like that. Try not to turn it into an argument.

The Don’ts: Don’t disrespect him. Don’t assassinate his character.  Don’t attack his ego. Don’t make him feel less than a man.  Don’t ‘cuss’ him out.  Don’t call him out of his name. Don’t constantly run the streets with your girls, no matter how innocent your outings are.  Lastly, Don’t be all “Joe” (overly friendly) with his male friends!  You don’t want your man suspecting you of nothing!

What advice can you give to others in regards to a successful marriage? 

Keep God or whoever you worship as the supreme being in your life!  Be open and honest.  Work at your marriage, discuss issues that are bothering you.  Work together for a common goal.  Love one another.  And finally give each other space sometimes.    

**I want to thank both the Warners and Adams for sharing their stories with Urban Suburban Magazine**

C Double R

www.cdoubler.com

If you have any relationship questions or topics that you would like me to write about please email me at cdoubler2@gmail.com.

 


 

 

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