3 Factors That Influence Men’s Faithfulness

During a recent conversation, I had the following exchange with a reader named Oshun/Aphrodite. Over years of representing thousands of men in various types of cases, I’ve noticed certain patterns. I said,

. . . The odds of a man’s faithfulness are increased when the woman has achieved a combination of these 3 factors. Each factor builds on the preceding one:

Factor#1: The man places HIGH value on her and on keeping her in his life. . . . Where AA women often mess up is that they settle for men who are basically indifferent toward them, and therefore who don’t place much value on them or on keeping them in their lives. The first major clue is when a man doesn’t offer marriage. If he values a woman and wants to keep her affection exclusive to him, then he’ll want to marry her. [Even if one of his major motives is simply about taking the woman off the dating/sex market because he wants her all to himself.] Baby mamas and women who shack and play house instead of being offered marriage are not valued by men.

What I’ve always found fascinating about the men I’ve represented is the overall different levels of respect expressed toward their wives versus their baby mamas.

Most men I’ve observed, even when they hate their soon-to-be-ex-wife’s guts with a passion, STILL—unconsciously, without intending to do so—speak more respectfully of their wives than they ever do about side pieces and baby mamas.* Men hold side pieces and baby mamas in absolute contempt. [*There’s a distinction between the attitude of “I hate her a** because she did X, Y, and Z” versus “She ain’t sh*t, and never was.”]

Factor#2: The man knows that the woman will most likely divorce and otherwise dump him if she ever finds out that he’s been unfaithful. Where AA women often mess up is that they come to the relationship being visibly needy and desperate. Even worse, many AA women openly make statements that indicate that they’ll tolerate being cheated on. Worst of all, marrying a man who has been disrespectful enough to have been openly cheating on the woman.

Factor#3: The woman has not let herself go; she’s kept herself “flawless;” and so the man KNOWS that if she dumps him, she can fairly easily replace him with another comparable, and maybe a superior man. This is one of several angles that I was trying to get across during the “Flawless” post at the previous blog. The real deal is that women’s romantic options decrease as they get older, while a reasonably successful man’s options stay more or less the same. Quiet as its kept, wives who let themselves go physically lose market share and leverage in their man’s heart.

Men are territorial. A lot of men are okay with being dumped by their wives for cheating if they feel confident that the wife won’t be able to replace them. What men don’t like is the thought that they will be replaced by the woman without missing a beat. And so, they’re less likely to risk that with a woman who can and WILL quickly move on and get another comparable man.

But each factor is premised on the one(s) that came before it. A beautiful, smokin’-hot woman (insert the names of several extremely good-looking Black actresses) who fails to adhere to Factors 1 #2 will be cheated on as frequently as an unattractive woman who started off with fewer romantic options.

A reader named Oshun/Aphrodite said the following in response,

. . . Re: Khadija
“Factor#1: The man places HIGH value on her and on keeping her in his life.
Factor#2: The man knows that the woman will most likely divorce and otherwise dump him if she ever finds out that he’s been unfaithful.
Factor#3: The woman has not let herself go; she’s kept herself “flawless;” and so the man KNOWS that if she dumps him, she can fairly easily replace him with another comparable, and maybe a superior man.”

Thank you Khadija. These three factors are missing key information that AAW and girls are never given. If anything there is indoctrination against this for BW and girls.

Factor # 1 alone should make all BW immediately strike BM off their lists as potential mates as BM at best are indifferent to BW. I think BW get a lot of indoctrination that this is normal for the man in this case BM, to be indifferent to you and you must outcompete (other women etc) or prove yourself to him- in order to sway the man in order to overcome his indifference towards you. Perhaps this is what D. Cooper was referring to when she said she is puzzled that so many women think that their love or sex has magical powers. The game is rigged, BW never stood a chance bc so many BM don’t value BW (they want to use them, not esteem them) and women can’t change men. So perhaps this is a part (not discounting the huge gender imbalance and other issues) of the reason why the bar sinks lower and lower for BM and BW are giving away everything including the kitchen sink to get one. And this starts young.

Factor #2 – I can recall indoctrination being spread early and thick regarding this one. Going back to the “man will be a man” snatches of conversations I heard as a child, all the way up to TV/radio shows of a few years ago saying that as long as the man doesn’t openly disrespect you – what’s the problem with de facto polygamy? Especially if he is paying the bills? There is a strong push for BW to tolerate infidelity. Older BW seem to prepare younger ones to expect this and I have noticed that lately that something is trying desperately to saturate the media that this is normal/par for the course in relationships/marriage.

Factor number 3 – Again I think the same amount of indoctrination/campaigning taking place regarding BW and appearances. BW are criticized for their appearance on the surface, but BW are definitely not encouraged (outside these blogs) to be flawless. Little BGs are actively discouraged from exploring and developing their femininity in age appropriate socially acceptable ways like other girls are. For many Black folks enhancing your looks and cultivating feminine charm is considered fast. So for some, tamping down/downplaying this is a warped attempt at safety in BC. Also there is pushback from BM, BW, WW etc for adult BW if she changes herself in this way. She becomes high maintenance, materialistic, vain, and a host of other negatives – people especially BM – seek to put her in her place.

For every factor you mentioned I can think of several lines of indoctrination that start in youth which slowly track and derail BW away from everything you mentioned.

I think that if BW could have the three things you mentioned drilled into their heads from an early age – they would definitely make other choices.

In reply, I said,

Oshun/Aphrodite,

You’re welcome!

You said, “Factor # 1 alone should make all BW immediately strike BM off their lists as potential mates as BM at best are indifferent to BW. I think BW get a lot of indoctrination that this is normal for the man in this case BM, to be indifferent to you and you must outcompete (other women etc) or prove yourself to him- in order to sway the man in order to overcome his indifference towards you. Perhaps this is what D. Cooper was referring to when she said she is puzzled that so many women think that their love or sex has magical powers. The game is rigged, BW never stood a chance bc so many BM don’t value BW (they want to use them, not esteem them) and women can’t change men.”

Exactly! The game IS rigged against BW in the all-AA/Black dating/marriage scene. Most AA males are emotionally incapable of valuing any BW the way a woman should be valued in a marriage. So, it’s best for most marriage-minded AA women to bypass the vast majority of AA males.

You said, “Factor #2 – I can recall indoctrination being spread early and thick regarding this one. Going back to the “man will be a man” snatches of conversations I heard as a child, all the way up to TV/radio shows of a few years ago saying that as long as the man doesn’t openly disrespect you – whats the problem with de facto polygamy? Especially if he is paying the bills? There is a strong push for BW to tolerate infidelity. Older BW seem to prepare younger ones to expect this and I have noticed that lately that something is trying desperately to saturate the media that this is normal/par for the course in relationships/marriage.”

I agree; that’s why I hate that “men will be men” type of talk. To me, it’s the same as saying that because statistically a certain percentage of people will become dope fiends, a woman must accommodate herself to the possibility that her husband might become a dope fiend. Ummm…NO.

Now, you can’t control other people’s behavior. But you can do your best to screen out men with certain known behaviors, and you can do your best to discourage the man you choose from covertly engaging in these same behaviors. Mostly by him knowing that the price tag of engaging in such behaviors is losing you—AND seeing you replace him with another man. If he values you the way you should seek to be valued, he’s less likely to risk that.

A woman can’t respond to activities that she never finds out about. The flip side of that is that a man should have to work very hard to hide certain things from his wife IF he wants to keep her. Drug use is an example of that. Cheating is another example of that.

I’ll also note that not all men cheat. Second, the goal is to try to find one who has the sort of internal ethical standards—in other words, a principled man—that make him NOT inclined to engage in that sort of behavior in general. Third, is to have all 3 of the factors I listed covered, so the man is highly motivated NOT to cheat.

You said, “Factor number 3 – Again I think the same amount of indoctrination/campaigning taking place regarding BW and appearances. BW are criticized for their appearance on the surface, but BW are definitely not encouraged (outside these blogs) to be flawless. Little BGs are actively discouraged from exploring and developing their femininity in age appropriate socially acceptable ways like other girls are.”

Yes, this is the unfortunate reality within the AA collective.

You said, “For every factor you mentioned I can think of several lines of indoctrination that start in youth which slowly track and derail BW away from everything you mentioned.”

Yes, at each step AA women and girls are being steered into voluntary exploitation.

You said, “I think that if BW could have the three things you mentioned drilled into their heads from an early age – they would definitely make other choices.”

I agree. Spread the word! 🙂

When I first mentioned this angle to “flawlessness” during the conversation at the previous blog, several women misconstrued these observations as somehow “justifying” men cheating on their wives. This was not true then, and it’s not true now. And I was shocked that some readers chose to misinterpret my statements in that manner. I’ve simply been describing the overall patterns that I’ve seen while representing large numbers of men, including those who were in the process of divorcing their wives. From the angry comments and emails I got in response to that post, I was dismayed to see that several women were heavily invested in feeling that they were entitled to physically let themselves go after several years of marriage and childbirth. Yes, women have the right to let their self-presentation slip, but it’s unwise.

As with everything in life, there are choices. Women can either position themselves so the three factors discussed in this post are working for them; or they position themselves so these three factors are working against them. It’s every woman’s choice to make for herself.

*Audience Note* I’m extremely busy at the moment with some business projects, so I’ll mostly sit back and listen during this conversation. Please feel free to talk among yourselves.

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78 Responses to “3 Factors That Influence Men’s Faithfulness”

  1. joyousnerd says:

    I am glad to see this important topic getting some air-time. I agree that a woman does herself a disservice by letting herself go.

    I’ll admit, this was me, for a few years. The three back to back pregnancies, the raggedy clothes and constant headscarf wearing… I looked a mess! Thank god my husband is a very principled man, or else he would have cheated. {I know it’s impossible to know for sure but I do feel certain. He’s an awful liar; I can see through him instantly, and I don’t believe he did cheat.}

    Over the past year, with my doctor’s help, I’ve gotten myself together physically. Right now, I am in better physical shape than I was when my husband and I first met almost a decade ago! This time last year I was wearing mega-plus sizes… like 3x. I sewed my own skirts because I couldn’t easily find them in my mammoth size. As I type this, I’m wearing size 6 jeans. Through a low carb diet made for me by my doctor, and daily exercise, I’ve transformed my body. I feel better and I look fabulous! I still have work to do to become flawless, but I will not stop my work; I want to be my best self! I WILL get there.

    My husband has always treated me well, but I can see a marked difference in his view of me since dropping the weight. At this point, he seems pretty “shook”, ebonically speaking, that I could replace him quickly and easily, while he would have great difficulty in replacing me. There aren’t that many BW (his preference) interested in Asian-American men. But I like white men, asian men, hispanic men… so I could find a man if I wanted one.

    To put it plainly, these changes have taken place since the weight loss:
    The pointless BS arguments have dropped by 2/3rds.
    The compliments have been coming thick and fast.
    His willingness to overlook small irritations has skyrocketed.
    He’s much more affectionate.
    He makes a greater effort to step up his “footrub” game.

    So even if a woman has “fallen off” in the looks department, it’s not a lost cause! A healthier diet and daily workouts will set you to rights in due time. It’s wise to get your body back in shape BEFORE some other woman targets him, though.

    • Karen R. says:

      Regarding the weight loss, you go girl!!! If I recall correctly, you are the woman who has grown your hair to your waist, with an ebook on how to help others, right? Thin and long hair?!!! Hey now ;-))) {Wildly cheering for you}

      • joyousnerd says:

        I am she! My hair is hip length actually 🙂 and I want every BW to have her ideal hair… it’s like my mission! It makes me sad to see BW and BG with damaged hair.

        Thank you very much for the support and cheers, Karen!

        I ain’t stopping till my body is *flawless* and my hair covers my butt. People think it can’t be done, but just watch me. I refuse to lose, lol. Except for more weight that is!

        • Zabeth says:

          @Joyousnerd if Khadija doesn’t mind my asking, where can your ebook be found?

          • joyousnerd says:

            The book isn’t finished yet. I’m not yet sure if I’ll go e-pub format or print-on-demand. I’m afraid if it is an e-book, it’ll get confused with a fake e-book being sold by a criminal pretending to be a BW.

            Thanks for asking, though, that really cheers me up.

          • CW says:

            I was kinda wondering the same thing : )

          • JoyousNerd,

            Oh yes, other readers have emailed me asking about your book. 🙂

            Please let me know when it’s out so I can mention it on the blog!

            Expect Success!

          • joyousnerd says:

            *Giant E-hugs to Khadija and ALL of you ladies who asked about my book!*

            I have felt so down about getting this book together, you ladies just don’t know. I feel so passionately about this because my hair was JACKED for the longest. I want us all to have long healthy hair.

            Hearing that you ladies would considers supporting me by buying the book makes me all warm and fuzzy inside!

            Right after midterms I’m going to seriously drill down on this.
            *More hugs and sloppy wet kisses on the cheek to all of you!!!*

    • Hodan says:

      major congrats….in the words of my aunt….as long you are breathing….never stop improving yourself. I never understood this dogma of letting yourself go after marriage. Men are visual creatures and the more you keep them on their toes, the better it is for you and your children.

      • joyousnerd says:

        Sorry I overlooked your congrats… I agree it’s not a good look to get frumpy. You know I never planned to let myself go. It happens all by itself… day by day. It’s one of those fail to plan is plan to fail things. Neglect creeps up and before you know it… you’re obese!

        The most key change that helped me was waking up EARLY before the kids, before my husband, to work out. Before dawn I do a 5 mile powerwalk and some ab exercises taken from bellydance. I highly recommend bellydancing for sculpting an hourglass figure!

        I stay on point with healthy eating choices when I’ve worked out because I don’t want to “cancel out” the calories I burned.

    • Zoopath says:

      Brava! *loud clapping* That, is how it’s done.

  2. JoyousNerd,

    You said, “My husband has always treated me well, but I can see a marked difference in his view of me since dropping the weight. At this point, he seems pretty “shook”, ebonically speaking, that I could replace him quickly and easily, while he would have great difficulty in replacing me. There aren’t that many BW (his preference) interested in Asian-American men. But I like white men, asian men, hispanic men… so I could find a man if I wanted one.

    To put it plainly, these changes have taken place since the weight loss:
    The pointless BS arguments have dropped by 2/3rds.
    The compliments have been coming thick and fast.
    His willingness to overlook small irritations has skyrocketed.
    He’s much more affectionate.
    He makes a greater effort to step up his “footrub” game.

    So even if a woman has “fallen off” in the looks department, it’s not a lost cause! A healthier diet and daily workouts will set you to rights in due time. It’s wise to get your body back in shape BEFORE some other woman targets him, though.”

    JoyousNerd, THANK YOU for telling the plain truth! Leverage in any relationship is a dynamic situation. It ebbs and flows based on how the marriage partners position themselves at any given period of time. The amount of leverage each partner has (meaning the willingness and ability to replace the other partner) influences the overall quality of the relationship.

    Another angle that folks need to be hip to is that sudden improvements in personal grooming and self-presentation are often a sign that a married person is:

    1-Cheating;
    2-Looking to start cheating;
    3-Planning on getting a divorce.

    Sudden upticks in self-presentation are often a signal that the newly-gotten-themselves-together partner is getting ready to re-enter the dating market. NOT always, but often enough to be a pattern all by itself.

    Finally, let me emphasize a couple of things as we all begin this particular conversation:

    (1) On one level, I do understand the enraged reactions I previously got. As I said 2 years ago during the original Flawless conversation at the previous blog,

    I realize that it probably scares many women to have a threat to their marriage that they NEVER saw coming pointed out to them. It probably scares them to their core. Especially if the bulk of their self-identity is wrapped up in describing themselves as “a wife & mother.” I realize that it might be more comfortable for them to operate in denial. That’s fine. That’s their choice.

    I take exception at the point when women want to twist my words (or my intentions) to justify their state of denial.

    (2) What I’ve been talking about all along is NOT marital counseling. I’m describing the road to men’s choice to start cheating, and the road to divorce. Most women only see their individual divorce or that of a close friend or relative. I’ve watched very large numbers of these situations up close because of the nature of my work. Considering the stakes in this context, an ounce of prevention is worth MUCH more than a pound of cure. As I said during that previous conversation,

    I will say this to the audience at large:

    What shocks me about some of the emails, etc. that I’m reading is to hear Black women who sound like they & THEIR CHILDREN can least afford it be so dismissive about doing what they can to protect their marriages. It’s amazing to hear so many seem so willing to take chances with the life circumstances of the very same children that they use as an excuse for why they can’t do any better.

    It’s one thing to take the “I claim my right to be frumpy for years in a way that my husband NEVER bargained for, even when I know that doing so will put extra strain on my marriage” position when one is financially self-supporting and without small children.

    It’s something totally else to take this posture with small children and no source of income other than one’s husband.

    I would prefer for as many Black children as possible to grow up within intact marriages.

    It is common knowledge that in the event of a divorce, most children remain with the mother who’s standard of living drops dramatically after divorce. Which means that the children’s standard of living drops dramatically. It is also common knowledge that children seeing their father on the weekends pursuant to a visitation order cannot compare to living with him in the same home.

    It is also common knowledge that whatever pressures a married mother was operating under originally become greatly multiplied after her husband leaves her.

    I believe that a woman keeping herself reasonably together (relative to how she looked when courting) is a small price to pay to maximize the chances of having her children (and herself) avoid being involved in a divorce.

    All I’ve been doing is encouraging AA women to be wise in all their choices. Across the board. I want AA women to win in all areas of their lives. Period.

    {going into radio silence}

    Expect Success!

    • joyousnerd says:

      Oh, he was sure I was about to leave. It didn’t help matters that I started to lose weight at the most conflict-ridden time in our marriage. He tried hard to sabotage my efforts. I stayed strong. Then he started taking of his own weight and self-presentation. I think he’s eased up a bit, but he was extremely suspicious and defensive about it for a good while.

      In general, I think if your spouse starts sprucing up, it’s something to watch for sure. With men, especially, the working out often precedes or comes with cheating.

      Moral is, though, that your physical body is under YOUR control. Whether you are fat or fit is up to you! You can’t totally control whether he cheats but you can at least stay fit so 1. he’s not as tempted and 2. if he does cheat, you can replace him more easily.

      So many things in life affect us but we have zero control over them. Here is something of CRITICAL importance for women AND their kids that can be controlled… so every woman should jump on it.

      I regret that I allowed myself to live like that for as long as I did, but at least I’m fixing it now. Never again!

      What I’ve noticed lately is that married men in my town with frumpy wives (esp WM) have been observing me quite keenly and I can see that they feel tempted. I’m not trying to brag here, at all. It makes me feel sad and wonder who MY husband was eyeballing hungrily when I was fat and frumpy.

    • JoyousNerd,

      Again, THANK YOU for the reality check you’re providing for the readers. You said, “Oh, he was sure I was about to leave. It didn’t help matters that I started to lose weight at the most conflict-ridden time in our marriage. He tried hard to sabotage my efforts. I stayed strong. Then he started taking of his own weight and self-presentation. I think he’s eased up a bit, but he was extremely suspicious and defensive about it for a good while.”

      This is another dynamic that more AA women need to be hip to. Unlike women, men DON’T talk themselves into being stupid about their relationships. Men don’t talk themselves out of common sense concerns. Contrary to what a lot of women like to believe about men, men know things. Men know most straight women are looking for marriage, and they use this common sense information to their advantage.

      Men also know what might be up with their woman/wife upgrading her self-presentation. And the words DON’T have to be spoken out loud. Often, actions get certain points across to another person much more effectively than words ever could.

      You said, “Moral is, though, that your physical body is under YOUR control. Whether you are fat or fit is up to you! You can’t totally control whether he cheats but you can at least stay fit so 1. he’s not as tempted and 2. if he does cheat, you can replace him more easily.”

      This is the entire point across the board with all of the issues we discuss here—for AA women to learn to position themselves so they have the maximum number of GOOD options in life!

      You said, “What I’ve noticed lately is that married men in my town with frumpy wives (esp WM) have been observing me quite keenly and I can see that they feel tempted. I’m not trying to brag here, at all. It makes me feel sad and wonder who MY husband was eyeballing hungrily when I was fat and frumpy.”

      Now, that’s some REALITY for the readers to consider.

      You said, “I regret that I allowed myself to live like that for as long as I did, but at least I’m fixing it now. Never again!”

      The past is dead and gone. All that matter now is that you got it together and put yourself back into a good place in terms of options. {wild cheering and applause}

      Expect Success!

    • mochachoc says:

      All I’ve been doing is encouraging AA women to be wise in all their choices. Across the board. I want AA women to win in all areas of their lives. Period.

      Khadija I see that. This is why when I read something which makes me feel defensive, angry even, I continue to think and cogitate. Your intent is clear to me.

  3. Felicia says:

    This is invaluable good advice being discussed here. Women (married and not) should be thankful if they’re lucky enough to come across it.

  4. Hodan says:

    This should be put into a book by you and Evia. I will buy it and pass it on to the young ladies I counsel and volunteer with. I’ve been privilege to get a lot of these amazing tools @ the feet of my mother/grandmother/aunts and even uncles and grandfather, but many black girls lack these basic tools.

    I believe these basic factors you have listed are about self respect and self worth, something our western culture rarely advocates for. However, in North America, it seems the black culture accepts a lot of demeaning treatment and standard for girls and women. I remember how the likes of Eminem and Marilyn Manson were attacked for their sexist and dark lyrics in defense of white women. Now, imagine the same defense on behalf of black women in most hiphop/rap songs, which is intended to dehumanize women (black women and girls in particular). I use to get into arguments with black girls about how the music is often portrayed by the lowest common denominator of black men and they would get upset and defend them. It seems internalize low self worth & violence against females is truly the cultural norm in many of our black communities.

    in the masajids and at many homes, my parents and others consider music, hiphop in particular to be a dehumanizing propaganda that should be stopped. I used to disagree with them back in my teens, but as I got older and examined my mom’s perspective, I came to agree with her.

    • ak says:

      I agree Hodan. I’ll always regret never being able to meet C. Delores Tucker or even write her a letter saying ‘Thank you for all your concern and hard work, and you were right about the demeaning lyrics in hip hop.’ because she’s dead now.

      Even the black comedians like to ‘parrot’ the BW and how they say that the rapper ‘isn’t talikng about them’. I wish to God that a rapper WOULD come out with a song saying that ‘Keisha, Tamika, Latasha, Latoya, Qiana, Sequoya, and Sheniqua are all ‘such-and-suchs’ ‘ because maybe then the message would be driven home about it all!

  5. sisterlocgirl says:

    Wow. I have always been appreciative of my mother and father’s rather unorthodox ( not traditional bc approach ) to raising me. My mother has always been one to teach by example. At the ripe old age of 73 my mom ROUTINELY gets hit on by men half her age and of every spectrum of the rainbow ( lol, I can’t take her anywhere). Its not being fast to cultivate age appropriate femininity. Looking and acting like a man gets you treated like a man. Too many BW are fooled into this religious bull$%^# about looking like crap to prove how holy/sanctified/saved you are. No sweetie pie, you just look like hell and folks will have no problem yolking your mule-ness to whatever work need be done. My husband has never called me vain, high maintenance,etc. He appreciates how great I make him look because I look as good as I do. My mom never called flawlessness being vain, high maintenance, or whatever else the haters would have you think. She calls it being a put together woman.

  6. Hello Khadija,

    I always found it curious how so many men get married and continue to date after the marriage! WTH (What The Heck)!!! Seriously, I did not understand! I mean if a woman is willing to be faithful, why can’t a man?!?! Now I see the absence of regard, respect and worth some men display toward bw; how black women are products and not people as far as some bm (& bw) think as well as how bw are things to be used, discarded and replaced are results of keeping black women functioning in the host/parasite dynamic.

    In normal, healthy relationships, fidelity, honesty, commitment is a choice. A choice you make every day, to show up, to love, to be present for your beloved or if you are single for yourself.

    A man must treat me at least as well as I treat myself. I cannot/I will not allow anything else. Of course, this is where self-love, self-knowledge, self-worth and self-examination become so crucial.

    Peace

  7. Oshun/Aphrodite says:

    Thank you Khadija and I will definitely spread the word!

    Your factor #1 is so priceless to me. All of them have great value, but that is the one that really struck a chord.

    It makes me think that the nonBM who have “the fetish” according to some BW, are the ones BW should be checking for and running to. I am not suggesting BW allow themselves to be objectified in the way most BM do, but if a nonBM is openly singing the praises of BW’s exotic beauty (especially in spite of the ride or die nothing but a brother BW shouting all over the world) then in my mind factor #1 already has some good coverage with this type of guy as he sees great value in her physical beauty i.e. features, hair, skin etc as they are – everything else she brings to the table would be icing on the cake.

    In thinking and feeling more about the three factors it almost feels like the man should care a bit more about the woman than she does about him. Not saying that the woman should be indifferent…But it seems like the factors put the man on notice…he has to be more invested and continually invest quality in the woman/marriage and that pretty much would give her an edge/advantage within the relationship and in the event the relationship dissolves.

    @JoyousNerd
    Ok, I am **dead** at head scarf! LOL

    Congratulations! That is amazing to go from a 3x to a 6! I also have been growing my hair and I know the patience it requires. You have done an amazing job!

    “What I’ve noticed lately is that married men in my town with frumpy wives (esp WM) have been observing me quite keenly and I can see that they feel tempted. I’m not trying to brag here, at all. It makes me feel sad and wonder who MY husband was eyeballing hungrily when I was fat and frumpy.”

    I have noticed crazy looking married women too. Of all races! I started noticing this a while back and some of these women have/had money! Or were married to it. I think this was one of those things that subconsciously affected my views on marriage. I was like these women look like they are going through the 9 levels of Dante’s h@!! on the daily. And it irks my soul to see a woman look worse than her husband. I feel like something is so not right with that picture. In my mind if anything he needs the tore up married man shirt and she should be the pampered well put together one.

    @Sisterlocgirl
    “Too many BW are fooled into this religious bull$%^# about looking like crap to prove how holy/sanctified/saved you are. ”

    I have heard that too: no pants, no jewelry, bare faces, and dresses and skirts worn all the time, but they have to be to the ankle and show no arms or shape. But this also goes on in other religions which translates into the “Earth Mother”. Same thing just dressed in African/Kente cloth, incense and 420 burning vegetarian, with an extensive Jill Scott Erykah Badu music collection.

    @Southland Diva
    “I always found it curious how so many men get married and continue to date after the marriage! WTH (What The Heck)!!!”

    I know of too many like this. Negros are even stating this mess – open marriage – up front if they marry, but I am sure they are not trying this with Becky et al.

    I have at least one male cousin like this and I think he is scum and he knows it. I have caught him several times out in public with his “dates” and the killing part is that they look no better than his wife. Whom by the way – in response to his infidelity has let herself and her household go. She has gone up a few hundred pounds in response to this no count negro, developed a serious nervous condition/depression that requires medication, and I think there is dirt from the 1990’s coating the furniture and appliances in their home. But then again he does leave motel/hotel slips in plain view of their daughter.

    • Oshun/Aphrodite,

      I’m so happy to see your comment because you’re pointing out just how upside-down, backwards, and most of all inherently self-defeating “mainstream” AA women’s thinking is. Almost all other types of women on this planet—including the mail order brides from overseas—are socialized to more or less think in alignment with the 3 factors I’ve outlined in this post. (Although, the mail order women place higher priority on using the 3 factors to secure a husband who is a stable meal ticket into a good material life, as opposed to faithfulness.)

      Meanwhile, AA women are indoctrinated to make choices and act in ways that GUARANTEE that they’ll be exploited.

      You said, “Your factor #1 is so priceless to me. All of them have great value, but that is the one that really struck a chord.”

      Yes, Factor #1 (the man placing HIGH value on the woman, and on keeping her in his life) is the FOUNDATION for everything else. It’s impossible to have a productive relationship with somebody who does not place high value on you. Even though they’ll take what is offered, men don’t value women that they don’t have to pursue, chase, and win over. To put it bluntly, men don’t value groupies. And AA women have been programmed to behave like groupies with Black men. For AA women, dating AA males has become a race to the bottom.

      You said, “It makes me think that the nonBM who have “the fetish” according to some BW, are the ones BW should be checking for and running to. I am not suggesting BW allow themselves to be objectified in the way most BM do, but if a nonBM is openly singing the praises of BW’s exotic beauty (especially in spite of the ride or die nothing but a brother BW shouting all over the world) then in my mind factor #1 already has some good coverage with this type of guy as he sees great value in her physical beauty i.e. features, hair, skin etc as they are – everything else she brings to the table would be icing on the cake.”

      ITA. Yes, a BW putting priority on the man she’s involved with placing HIGH value on her puts that so-called “fetish” that some nonblack men have for BW in a very different light. It’s amazing to think that AA women have been socialized to fight a so-called “fetish” that can work for them. Contrast this with how Asian women use the so-called “fetish” about them to their advantage. Meanwhile, AA women are programmed to run after AA men who have openly declared fetishes that work against BW (see the statements and actions of countless AA males such as NeYo, Yung Berg, etc.).

      The only men any woman should be mentally checking for are those men whose actions demonstrate that they place value on her. Other types of men—such as those who have shown that they don’t value her—shouldn’t even be on her radar. [Does everybody see how this ties into the issues discussed during the The First National Tune-Out Neutral, Low-Value, And No-Value Black Men Week post from 5 months ago?]

      You said, “I have heard that too: no pants, no jewelry, bare faces, and dresses and skirts worn all the time, but they have to be to the ankle and show no arms or shape. But this also goes on in other religions which translates into the “Earth Mother”. Same thing just dressed in African/Kente cloth, incense and 420 burning vegetarian, with an extensive Jill Scott Erykah Badu music collection.”

      I know I shouldn’t have, but I laughed at this description. {said in a small voice: I know I was wrong for laughing like that—still chuckling :-)}

      Expect Success!

      • ak says:

        Khadija:

        Yes, Factor #1 (the man placing HIGH value on the woman, and on keeping her in his life) is the FOUNDATION for everything else. It’s impossible to have a productive relationship with somebody who does not place high value on you. Even though they’ll take what is offered, men don’t value women that they don’t have to pursue, chase, and win over. To put it bluntly, men don’t value groupies. And AA women have been programmed to behave like groupies with Black men. For AA women, dating AA males has become a race to the bottom.

        This is The Rules! I love that book!

    • joyousnerd says:

      Thank you! It feels good to be able to move around without panting, lol.

      I think you make an excellent point about “the fetish”. If a decent, hardworking man finds black women’s features enthralling, why turn him away? I think non-American BW have an easier time discarding that issue, but I could be wrong.

      I didn’t even find out my husband’s preference for BW till we’d been together for YEARS… he’d never had a black girlfriend before me, but he was pining all the while! And he is an excellent father, I have never seen a man so dedicated to his kids.

      You know, I wish more BW would consider Asian-American men. Talk about a culture made to succeed! Focus on education, good careers, responsible spending, and sacrifice for the kids. These men are raised to be fathers from birth. Their female counterparts are so busy chasing and marrying WM that there are tons of these great catches who are alone, looking for wives.

      I feel so sorry for your cousin’s wife… she sounds very depressed. Who wouldn’t be, married to him!

      • Zoopath says:

        I think that admonishment should be heeded on both sides of the equation. It’s a shame but AM aren’t very open to us and vice versa. I’ve seen so many Asian men with veeeeery low quality WW (I mean DBRMW level low) and it just get’s my husband so mad (as in we have to sit at the table so that he can’t see the offending couples)because he see’s that type of thing as dragging down their collective image.

        I also can’t wait for your book.

        • joyousnerd says:

          Thanks! I can’t wait to finish my book and get it into BW’s hands.

          I know what you mean about the hideous WW with Asian guys… I have seen that as well. I feel compassion for them somewhat, though, as around here probably 80% of Asian American women are with WM, and not too many suitable BW are open to Asian men. Their options are very very limited.

          Yes, sadly there are lots of Asian guys who won’t consider us, but I think most of that is due to lack of exposure.

          The best place for an AM/BW pair to meet is college. That way each party can get used to being around the other group, and AM can learn that middle class BW do exist. I hope there will be more of these marriages, Asian men are fab.

      • Oshun/Aphrodite says:

        I guess it sort of clicked for me JoyousNerd. I think what passes for “the fetish” would give a BW a lot of power on par with what Khadija said re: Asian women or like Becky with Tyrone.

        My cousins wife: she has been in that marriage for years. I just hate that when I see him he looks like he hasn’t a care in the world.

    • mochachoc says:

      I have at least one male cousin like this and I think he is scum and he knows it. I have caught him several times out in public with his “dates” and the killing part is that they look no better than his wife. Whom by the way – in response to his infidelity has let herself and her household go. She has gone up a few hundred pounds in response to this no count negro, developed a serious nervous condition/depression that requires medication, and I think there is dirt from the 1990’s coating the furniture and appliances in their home. But then again he does leave motel/hotel slips in plain view of their daughter.

      Gosh!

      • Oshun/Aphrodite says:

        Mochachoc I know right. His mother before she passed would talk about his behavior to me all the time. She would tell me that she would try and talk to him concerning doing right by his wife, but he wouldn’t listen. He also has an outside son whom he treats cruelly and alternately denies, halfheartedly supports, and generally emotionally treats like crap. The men in my family have had to step up at family gatherings over the way he treats/talks to his oow son in front of us.

        The killing part is that my DBRBM brother called him a garden tool and supposedly disgusted at his garden tool/DBRBM ways disassociated from him recently.

    • Zoopath says:

      Oshun said: In thinking and feeling more about the three factors it almost feels like the man should care a bit more about the woman than she does about him.

      I believe this to be true. I think that women can be trusted with an imbalance in affection much moreso than men.

    • ak says:

      Oshun someone I know told me that they have a friend who works in a mental institution here in Britain somewhere just outside of London where there were a handful of blacks committed in there who were mostly black men, but there were a few black women in there. Her friend told her that the reason why some of these black women had been committed was because they ‘cracked’ over past relationships with men.

      I know a lively, lovely elderly lady from Antigua who goes to church with my Mom who’s always on the go, very energetic, and who gets up at 5 AM everyday even though she’s long retired. My Mom told me that this lady is ‘not all there’ sometimes because she tends to laugh at inappropriate times sometimes, and then my Mom told me that this lady told her that she was in a mental institution after her husband from Jamaica left her for a younger woman years ago. She’s a nice lady but my mother makes it sound like there was probably a ‘permanent change’ in her of some sort.

      Even the first part of the TV miniseries from BBC called Small Island based on Andrea Levy’s book shows this situation when Naomie Harris’s character does a mean, unjustified thing to her friend out of jealousy by revealing the friend’s ‘committed’ mother to the friend’s boyfriend. You could hear from the character of the friend’s mother that she was hauled away because of a husband.

      Is there anyway Oshun that you can reach out to your cousin and tell her not to settle before it’s too late? Or is it not worth the hassle?

      • Oshun/Aphrodite says:

        That is so sad Ak. I guess it makes sense that some BW having mental breakdowns would be the result of dealing with all this DBR craziness.

        I am not sure of how to reach out to her in a way that would not provoke my cousin the DBR. The closest conduit I would have had was my aunt, her m-i-l and she has passed. The only other avenue would probably be at another family gathering.

        I don’t visit in their home often so calling out of the blue would be odd. The few times I have visited have been with other family and there was a reason.

        Plus there is acrimony between him and I (as with a number of DBRs in my family).

        Then there is how would she receive my message and there is the age gap – which may make her dismissive of me. I know that she is clinically depressed etc, but I also don’t know where her head is i.e. whether she would turn on me or if there would be drama.

        • IRockIRoll says:

          Hmmmmm. I don’t know. Maybe a self-help book for Christmas? I’m actually not kidding. Here’s the thing, if the situation is as you said, you might be better off not “saying” anything. But perhaps a self-help book (not something GLARINGLY obvious) and in the card a missive on how New Year’s bring new beginnings and how it would be great to also strengthen some family ties and a book for her daughter as well (something fun) and maybe a children’s “goal book” or sketch pad (something artistic, there seems to be a lot of stress in that house and drawing might be better than writing things down if her mom finds it).

          And then… let her come to you. If there is that much going on, if there is that much going on, you want to be 20 paces BACK from the actual situation and push the assistance over with a stick to see if she’ll take it. Otherwise, I’d just make sure that you were encouraging to their daughter, and talk to her about educational and uplifting cultural things.

          [OKAY ONLY IN CAPS RIGHT NOW FOR ATTENTION, Khadija, please edit the following part out if it is too controversial]

          If she’s gained that much weight, then she may fight you tooth and nail for her relationship if she has correctly guessed it would be really hard for her to find a new boyfriend/husband with the medical condition and the weight. I’ve had two overweight women who I’m no longer friends or associates with come AT me, one literally when I gave flat out no-holds barred advice of leave this trifling MoFo b/c they were deathly scared of having no one else due to the weight gain. I strongly believe that the black male community’s strong “preference” for thick black women is to make sure that some women remain overweight and therefore more readily available for emotional abuse and misuse. If she has moved past the “thick” point to obesity, she may not only be depressed, but may have internalized the idea that his infidelity is something that she has to tolerate due to her weight and BELIEVE me you don’t want to “actually” have that conversation of lose the weight and get a better man. If a friend and an associate blew up the way that they did, I can only imagine the drama that would come from family. Weight can be really personal, but REAL TALK, if a woman wants the best shot at a good man being physically fit shows that you are active in maintaining your appearance and men LIKE that. And I didn’t say skinny or thin, I said physically fit. She no longer believes she is #1 on the list that is here, and since he has shown that is true, she may lash out at YOU. The weight here sounds like a symptom of DBRness and it is something that I have seen in other black women whose husbands have cheated repeatedly. They eat for comfort from the depression, and the fact that other women in the community are sometimes telling them to tolerate it b/c at “least they have a man”. Which is a shame. =( We deserve better.

          • IRock, IRoll,

            THANK YOU for speaking the plain truth. Please feel perfectly free to speak the TRUTH here. Whether it’s perceived as “controversial” or not.

            I’ve been reading the other 2 books by Steve Siebold that I’ve mentioned recently. I’m planning on doing a post discussing a passage from his book Get Tough or Die Fat. He says some profound things in that book (as well as the other one, How Rich People Think) that apply to a lot of situations. The issues he’s talking about in that book are a matter of life and death.

            We all know that BW are literally dropping DEAD like flies from obesity-related ailments. We can’t continue to tiptoe around these sorts of life and death issues, because we’re talking about the difference between life and death with that. It’s just that simple.

            Expect Success!

          • Oshun/Aphrodite says:

            Thank you IRockIRoll for the suggestions and sharing your experience.

      • mochachoc says:

        Ak,

        You may be interested to know Andrea Levy has a new book out. Here is an extract of why she wrote The Long Song:

        “At a conference in London, several years ago, the topic for discussion was the legacy of slavery. A young woman stood up to ask a heartfelt question of the panel: How could she be proud of her Jamaican roots, she wanted to know, when her ancestors had been slaves? I cannot recall the panel’s response to the woman’s question but, as I sat silently in the audience, I do remember my own. Of Jamaican heritage myself, I wondered why anyone would feel any ambivalence or shame at having a slave ancestry? Had she never felt the sentiments once expressed to me by a Jamaican acquaintance of mine? ‘If our ancestors survived the slave ships they were strong. If they survived the plantations they were clever.’ It is a rich and proud heritage. It was at that moment that I felt something stirring in me. Could a novelist persuade this young woman to have pride in her slave ancestors through telling her a story? That was where the idea for The Long Song started.”

        http://www.andrealevy.co.uk/

        I remember Rosie Boycott (a white woman) feeling quite exasperated that Ms Levy wrote a book about slavery. I had to chuckle because no one seems to tire of another Jewish holocaust story.

        • ak says:

          Regarding the Holocaust, exactly, never an argument there at least not in the US, in America they’d get you blacklisted!

          At least in the UK there was a bit of a debate in the news once a few years ago about the ‘unfairness’ on only zeroing in on the Jewisha holocaust of the late 30s and early 40s, and calling it THE Holocaust and somebody from somewhere (white) said that there have been other Holocausts since then such as genocide in Rwanda and such, so this person was saying a Haolocaust remembrance day should recognize all types of Holocaust and not just the one Jewish one from WWII.

          And you know what? This time I’d say they’re right.

    • Lynn says:

      To me, the saddest part of the whole “settling” for any man is that higher chance of these women catching AIDS or something else incurable. Kadijha has mentioned this before, but it’s something we all need too keep talking about. Women are DYING because of these choices. It may be delayed for years, but the fact remains that for the foreseeable future people who catch AIDS will die.

      What I noticed is that men who are high risk for transmitting it tend to target these needy women and play off of their ( intentional) ignorance. The AIDs rate among BW will continue to skyrocket.if we keep ignoring this. This has a huge impact on all of us BW because we will (already in some social circles), be stigmatized as diseased women. It infuriates me that Black mothers are not teaching this lifesaving truth to our girls. The vast majority of BW are much more likely to have the disease more so than any other ethnic group of men. And we all know the reasons why.

      Personally, I think there should mandatory HIV testing for all prisioners. They do it in the military. If someone willingly transmits this disease they should face jail time! Of course until more white women catch the disease this will not happen. This are the real issues that will save Black girls.

  8. pioneervalleywoman says:

    Joyousnerd:

    What I’ve noticed lately is that married men in my town with frumpy wives (esp WM) have been observing me quite keenly and I can see that they feel tempted. I’m not trying to brag here, at all. It makes me feel sad and wonder who MY husband was eyeballing hungrily when I was fat and frumpy.

    My reply:

    Greetings, and congrats on the weight! This section of your note really resonated with me, because I see this all the time.

    I exercise a lot at the local Y, and the women I see there are of all ages and backgrounds, from young high school to college age athletes, to young women in their 20s and 30s, married with kids or not, who have always been fit. Included as well are the matronly type women, moms in their 40s and 50s and beyond, of different levels of fitness. Some of the women in their 40s and 50s look years younger because they have kept themselves up.

    The stay-at-home moms who work out don’t play. By the time the baby is old enough to go into the child care center, they are back at the gym once they have given birth. Others drop the kids off to school by 8:30 and show up by 9 to exercise and socialize with their pals.

    I see the men with “hungry eyes” all the time, and it is funny, because the women in there are not like that, in terms of checking out men. It just isn’t that type of place. They are there to exercise and chat with their female friends.

    See a woman with an excellent technique, ie., she know what she is doing in the weight room, she has lots of feminine strength and stamina, with a body that looks toned, and these guys just can’t stop looking! See one of them chat with a guy even casually, ie., one of the staff, and the others perk up in curiosity.

    Just the other day I saw a woman in her 30s to 40s with her young daughter, about 10 years old. She has trained her daughter to start thinking of fitness at a young age, in that that they were exercising and chatting together. She herself looked pretty young and fit–young looking for her age. Her daughter was a trim little girl wearing a sports team outfit.

    This poor guy exercising near them, he just couldn’t stop staring. She must have been his type; who knows what he had at home, but think of it in terms of flirtations and so forth. Not difficult to start a conversation with her or another woman like her…

    • Oshun/Aphrodite says:

      Thank you PVW!

      “Some of the women in their 40s and 50s look years younger because they have kept themselves up.”

      For a long time I had the impression that it was all a downhill slide. I like hearing things like this and seeing the 2 BW elder fitness competitors (can’t recall the names) because it lets me know it doesn’t have to be that way.

  9. Valerie M says:

    Just popping in to say that this is an excellent, excellent post (as is the previous post this one is inspired by). I have never heard it broken down so concisely! The comments on here are more than their worth in gold! You could seriously, seriously make a living off of this advice, especially if you keep it as a “faceless” business as I’ve heard you mention in your older posts. I would GLADLY pay to get ahold of this information.

    And joyousnerd, CHEERS on your health and hair improvements! I also can’t wait to get ahold of your book. I am currently growing my relaxer out (5.5 months post-relaxer) and am looking to get it back to waist/hip length.

  10. mochachoc says:

    What I like about this post is Khadija’s astute observation that physical beauty/fitness is not enough. We have to demonstrate that we are willing and able to divorce/dump a man who crosses the line AND find a new man.

    Something I have noticed about BW is we tend to leave it very long before we find new partners – if at all. White women tend not to do this. I know several white women who re-married within a couple of years after their divorce. They did not allow divorce or single-motherhood to stop them from getting back out there. The same with widowhood. I remember feeling quite surprised when Nigella Lawson re-married (to Mr very rich Saatchi) soon after her first husbands death. No sack cloth and ashes for her then.

    When I think a little deeper about my response to her re-marriage I realise I was angry that she had the gumption to truly believe she was good enough to have joy in her life once again. And she got it. For a lot of BW there is this assumption that we become ‘damaged goods’ when we are less than ideal. We internalise the belief that we are not worthy of joy in our lives and consequently accept rubbish or march on into singledom. Likewise there are many BW who were damaged early on in their lives by BM. The BC are very good at throwing these women on the rubbish heap ensuring they become fodder for DBRBM.

    I suppose I’m saying if one area of our life isn’t so great we need not think we are unworthy of better. There are certain immutable life experiences which shouldn’t preclude us from finding joy. What we need to do in those instances is sharpen our other valuable currencies. For example; as women age it becomes harder to find a suitable mate (I wish more older BW would shout it from the roof tops that youth is an extremely valuable commodity rather than pretending we got forever. I know BW tend to look younger for their years but that doesn’t last forever. Too many of us sit on our laurels comforting ourselves with “I know I look good for my age”). However, it becomes nigh impossible to find a mate or leave a bad marriage if we are older, fat, unfit, unkempt with no marketable assets. You can’t convince a man you can and will leave them if you are so defined.

    • Oshun/Aphrodite says:

      Mochachoc and Khadija,

      I admit that I missed this – I have been guilty of hanging on too long to something unsalvageable.

      I have also seen BW stay with men both in cohabitation and marriage for many years when it is clear they should have moved on.

      “I wish more older BW would shout it from the roof tops that youth is an extremely valuable commodity rather than pretending we got forever.”

      Perhaps there are many things going on with this:

      1. The sabotage as Khadija mentioned
      2. The denial its not that bad out there as Khadija mentioned.
      3. Many BP don’t really care or care to train their daughters to marry. Since a lot of BW who are married to BM have low quality marriages they don’t see the value/point of it and think its more necessary to train/track younger women to be self sufficient (keep your legs closed and head in books for example or you can’t depend on a man
      4. An extension/manifestation on not valuing BW or women’s needs – being BM-identified. For example BM get lots of info on how to “game/bag” women from both BW and BM. In other communities both genders are prepared, but when it comes to BW everyone expects for it all to magically fall into place – or in other words fend for yourselves.

    • ak says:

      This is a good point that you’ve made Mochachoc. Look how many of especially the famous WW married all five times like Liz Taylor and Joan Collins, and they’re not letting ageing stop them and Joan looks fabulous anyway. But even normal everyday white people are always picking themselves up and dusting themselves off for the ‘next one’ to come along, the women and the men.

      I don’t blame them because life is short and you aren’t a ‘nothing’ just because your husband decided to divorce you or whatever. Good riddance and next!

  11. Mochachoc,

    You said, Something I have noticed about BW is we tend to leave it very long before we find new partners – if at all. White women tend not to do this. I know several white women who re-married within a couple of years after their divorce. They did not allow divorce or single-motherhood to stop them from getting back out there. The same with widowhood. I remember feeling quite surprised when Nigella Lawson re-married (to Mr very rich Saatchi) soon after her first husbands death. No sack cloth and ashes for her then.” (emphasis added)

    I was hoping that somebody would eventually mention this observation. This is true, AND this sort of behavior does NOT serve BW’s interests. In watching overall patterns with people, BW tend to spend FAR too long pining over their crumbling marriages/relationships. Meanwhile, as soon as the marriage starts looking like it might not be salvaged, most men stop wearing their wedding rings and are out dating again. At minimum, men tend to stop wearing their wedding rings and start flirting again as soon as their marriages get shaky (for whatever reason). The point is that men start creating replacement options for themselves as soon as possible once their marriages start going awry. A similar dynamic applies to BW wasting valuable time pining over crumbling non-marital relationships.

    By contrast, BW tend to keep wearing their wedding rings until the final divorce decree is entered (thereby discouraging active attention from decent men—meaning the type who won’t try to date a married woman). This is a big mistake that most BW make.

    Whether the side effect is consciously intended or not, the fact that most men will quickly bounce back into flirting/dating mode—while most BW will mope around during this same period of time—gives men the upper hand while trying to reconcile with their wives during a shaky time in the marriage.

    You said, “I suppose I’m saying if one area of our life isn’t so great we need not think we are unworthy of better. There are certain immutable life experiences which shouldn’t preclude us from finding joy. What we need to do in those instances is sharpen our other valuable currencies.”

    Exactly!

    You said, “For example; as women age it becomes harder to find a suitable mate (I wish more older BW would shout it from the roof tops that youth is an extremely valuable commodity rather than pretending we got forever.”

    I’m beginning to wonder if the failure to mention this reality is deliberate sabotage by some women. My older female relatives didn’t make a point of emphasizing this to their daughters in my age group because they (naively) assumed that things would be for us as they were when they were young women. They didn’t understand that circumstances had changed within the AA collective. They naively assumed that the bc was still operating on normal autopilot with marriage—as in, the challenge for a BW wasn’t in getting married, the challenge was in securing the best of many potential (BM) husbands.

    There’s NO such good-faith excuse for adult BW’s current failure to warn younger BW about this basic reality. The same way at this point, there’s NO good-faith excuse for failing to warn their daughters that they need to date interracially if they want to have a reasonable chance at marriage and family life. Unfortunately, most of the married BW mothers I know are NOT telling their daughters the truth about any of this.

    You said, “I know BW tend to look younger for their years but that doesn’t last forever. Too many of us sit on our laurels comforting ourselves with “I know I look good for my age”). However, it becomes nigh impossible to find a mate or leave a bad marriage if we are older, fat, unfit, unkempt with no marketable assets. You can’t convince a man you can and will leave them if you are so defined. (emphasis added)

    Exactly. BW need to stop tripping about this, and start actively warning about how a woman does herself a huge disservice by letting herself go.

    [And with that, I’m off to find out who Nigella Lawson is. I’ve never heard of her before. {smile}]

    Expect Success!

    • ak says:

      Nigella Lawson is a cook ‘The Domestic Goddess’ type, and she’s British Jewish (Sephardic) and she’s quite pretty actually. In the US on the Food Network on cable, Nigella Lawson used to have a show, and it was the same show that was shown in Britain from her house in London. I liked her show alot because it had this down to earth, normal, and unstaged appearance because it was taped and shown in her real kitchen of her real home.

      Nigella was shown picking her kids up from school for their dinner and going straight from showing people at home how to cook for a dinner party to then actually having the guests for own real dinner party turn up for real. But she came across on TV as likeable and accessible to me.

      Yeah the Food Network showed Nigella’s show along with Emeril and Jamie Oliver’s Naked Chef, but unlike the famous Brit celebrity chefs like Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver, who have made it big time in the media and in their restaurants, I don’t think that Nigella is really a trained chef with qualifications and I don’t even think she owns a restaurant either.

      • tertiaryanna says:

        But she came across on TV as likeable and accessible to me….I don’t think that Nigella is really a trained chef with qualifications and I don’t even think she owns a restaurant either.

        This is the most interesting thing about her. All the love over her is based on people’s perception of her, not necessarily what she is on paper. She’s pretty, but (IMO) a lot of her appeal is careful self-presentation, in appearance and demeanor.

  12. joyousnerd says:

    @ AK:
    There are a great many women who are emotionally damaged forever by cruel treatment from men. It is extremely sad. The shock and betrayal of being abandoned by someone who vowed to love you forever is enough to make some minds just snap.

    I have to wonder if the traditional therapy model of “processing” the experience by talking about it for months on end is not the best approach. I think getting out there and doing new things, taking up old hobbies again, making new friends and doing volunteering work is a better way to heal.

    @ IrockIroll:

    You are so correct about the likelihood of blowback in this case. Many people do this… they take all their frustrations and built up anger out on the person who points out the problem and offers help. Sad but true. I thank you for being 100% truthful here in spite of the possibility of getting flamed.

    I have been a party to some very ugly flame wars on another BWE/IR site… it was not cute. Sometimes it’s easier to attack the person who points out the truth (that is as plain as day anyway) than to fix it.

    @ Oshun/Aphrodite:

    I was shocked out of complacency by a youtube video of an elderly black woman who did fitness competitions. This was like a year and a half ago… she was in her early 70s and look three times as good as me! I was amazed at how toned and beautiful her body was. I took a long hard look at myself and I knew I had to make a change. I often think about that woman, I think her name was Ernestine, when I’m working out. I picture my body looking as good as hers and it motivates me to push a little harder.

    @ Valerie:

    Thank you! I’m proud of how far I’ve come. Yesterday I bought some medium sized leggings, and a shirt sized “small” from Target! I’ve never fit in a small since childhood! It feels SO good, and I have set a goal to fit into the “extra-small” size shirts by Christmas, and sized small pants. (I don’t think I’ll ever fit extra small in the pants… my booty is just too big lol)

    @ Mochachoc:

    Yes you are right, WW and other raced women seem to value themselves more highly. Of course, they haven’t been as subject to the smear campaign as we have… but we BW can choose not to listen to the smears!

    You know, when a newly single woman is out there meeting new men, people will often talk badly about her. Only now do I realize this happens because 1. many women are staying in bad relationships out of fear, and they hate to see another woman doing what they wish they could, and 2. men don’t like the idea that women (esp their wives) could be out there on the market, meeting good men and moving on quickly. It’s like more inception stuff; portray these women as desperate and pathetic to try and keep women too afraid to break things off early.

    The biggest relationship regret I personally have is staying too long. I don’t ever regret leaving a man. I only regret not doing it sooner. And I think most women are this way… they try to make it work with an unsuitable man for far too long, instead of cutting losses quickly. While men are liable to bail too soon, in my opinion. But they seek greener pastures quickly and without apology.

    As far as the “fetish” men, those may indeed be the best ones to choose: provided that he wants to marry and get his trophy off the market quickly… some fetishy guys want to taste every BW in existence but won’t settle down.

    • ak says:

      I think people should do a combination of both Joyousnerd. I read in the British magazine Hello! an interview of Jerry Hall talking about how she was a bit depressed after her divorce from Mick Jagger. Jerry said she started going to a therapist because even though she had good girlfriends to talk to about her feelings, she also didn’t want to emburden them and everybody else with her problems. She said in the interview that she only went to therapy for only a few months top, and that when she felt better she stopped going and didn’t feel like having therapy anymore. And at the time of this quite recent interview, Jerry’s been ‘back in the saddle’ and dating again, and she has a steady boyfriend.

      I don’t blame Jerry either as we all know that Mick couldn’t sit still to save his life, so why should Jerry? Which goes back to what Mochachoc said above.

    • ak says:

      Yeah some fetishy guys are like that with the Asian women too. I used to know of one white guy like that in NYC he had some straight-off-of-the-boat Japanese girlfriend he’d been with for a few years, and they both decided to have an ‘open relationship’ and only see each other on the weekends. He was allowed to chase anything else that moved during the week, and the only moving objects that he had eyes for was other Japanese girls.

      And this guy said he had another WM friend who was same way regarding the Japanese girls too.

  13. Evia says:

    Something I have noticed about BW is we tend to leave it very long before we find new partners

    This was NOT me! I remarried about 3 months after my divorce was final. My ex-husband and I both KNEW our marriage was over well before the divorce decree, and I wanted to re-marry since I’m the type of woman who likes being in a monogamous, committed relationship. So I put myself back out there early on. He, too, remarried about a year after me.

    It helped in our case that we didn’t DAMAGE each other in the process of the dissolution of the marriage. It wasn’t easy, but I didn’t have to spend time in a long “recovery” period. We liked and respected each other too much to do harm each other in that way. He hadn’t mistreated me and I hadn’t mistreated him; we simply wanted to go in different directions with our lives and we’d done lots of talking long before the divorce papers were signed. It wasn’t what we’d hoped for, but that’s life.

    Divorces don’t have to be barbaric. It depends on the 2 people involved and we DECIDED that we were going to be as “civilized” and supportive of each other as possible. This is why we’re still good friends.

    • ak says:

      Evia:

      This was NOT me! I remarried about 3 months after my divorce was final. My ex-husband and I both KNEW our marriage was over well before the divorce decree, and I wanted to re-marry since I’m the type of woman who likes being in a monogamous, committed relationship. So I put myself back out there early on. He, too, remarried about a year after me.

      Good for you!

  14. Oshun/Aphrodite says:

    @ JoyousNerd

    Yes it was Ernestine Shepard

    http://newsone.com/nation/news-one-staff/body-building-grandma-bench-presses-runs-marathons-at-73/

    and the other one was Ms Newlin who died a few years ago- she was 86 when she took this pic –

    http://www.blackbeachweek.com/meet86yearol.html

    and this one is when she was 84

    http://img844.imageshack.us/img844/4746/marjoriensmall.jpg

  15. Magenta says:

    BW are given so much bad advice that it must be intentional. When BW’s relationships end, they are told that they have to take time out to “reflect” and that is wrong to “jump from man to man.” So instead of working on replacing the low quality man, man BW will spend months or years “reflecting” and “working on themselves.” Meanwhile, their low quality mate has quickly moved on. Time is a woman’s WORST enemy. Instead of wasting her youth pining and pondering, she need to be getting back in the game!!! No one ever accused non-black women of “jumping from man to man.” I think that in order to live well, most BW will have to flat out ignore 90% of the “advice” they are given, clearly it is meant to sabotage them

    • Miss V says:

      Oooh, sista you have hit the nail on the head!! You have described me and my ex to the tee. He moved on and got married, and I’m just now moving beyond the past. He left me and our son when I was 30. He’s 12 now and I’m 42.

      I tell sistas to go for theirs. All that ‘NUTTUNBUTABROTHA” ain’t about nuthin’. I tell them that men do not settle; why should they? My sista friends hate to hear me say that, even though they’ve been (and some still are) in bad situations themselves, married or not. SMDH.

      So, I’ve decided to heed my own advice. I’m starting today to get my exercise routine going, so that I can continue losing weight. I’ve lost maybe 5 or so pounds, just eating out less, and eating more fruits and veggies.

      Anyhoo, I just wanted to say that.

  16. Shecodes says:

    I love this post and conversation so much, that I am sending all of my mentees to read it.

    @Magenta: you are CORRECT when you say that the bad advice that is given to black women is intentional.

    Example:

    When the book “The Rules” came out, I tried them on my then-boyfriend on a lark. I recall that one of the rules was to always be the one to hang up first, and to keep the conversations short. I began to time our phone calls, and would gently tell him that I had to tend to something else after 8 minutes, etc.

    Well, one night he called me right back, totally stressed –asking if we should consider marriage. He was at my doorstep the next morning with coffee and a small gift. The poor man was so strung out that I ended up telling him about my little experiment because I didn’t want to marry him. (He truly didn’t appreciate the humor of it, and I had a lot of apologizing to do after that)

    Anyway, another book came out shortly thereafter, I think it was called “The Rules for Black Women”. It was the ANTITHESIS of everything that successful women do in relationships. I distinctly recall that one of the rules was “Thou shalt Shack Up”. SMH The author encouraged black women to sleep with men on the first date, be ‘strong, loud and independent’ etc

    It was as if bw were some other species of female that required a different code to live by than all others on the planet. I CAN’T believe how many black folk — with nothing but a string of failed relationships as their credentials — decide preach relationship NONSENSE to black girls. They really need to sit down and be quiet.

    I was once introduced to a white, middle aged woman who had married TWO billionaires… the first one was a shipping magnate, and after he died, she married another in the oil/natural gas business.

    She was not particularly beautiful but she definitely worked with what she had. She was very fit, healthy looking and had kind eyes that looked deep into yours.

    I couldn’t resist asking what her secret was, and her answer was essentially Khadijah’s Rule #1: make sure that he knows that he has found a treasure in you that can never be replaced.

    • ak says:

      Yeah I remember that book Shecodes, and I think it was called ‘The Sistahs’ Rules’ or something like that, I first came across it either in a bookshop, at someone’s house, or a salon (Can’t remember!) and I bet it’s long out of print by now. The BW author said things like learn to cook just because black men need or prefer to have you cook, hang out where ever men are watching sports and try to learn about sports so you can talk to them about it, and blah, blah, blah. Oh well, at least it wasn’t a Zane, but what’s next? Is Tyler Perry gonna come out with a Rules book for BW too? Good grief!

      But yeah I understand what you’re saying about the ‘othering’ of black women as if we could never use the original The Rules book!
      Whatever, I love The Rules! The Rules has its own seminars, support groups, even internationally; it’s like a franchising.

    • foreverloyal says:

      OT: [Khadija speaking: I deleted this part of the comment. The blog isn’t a message forum. Please find another way to contact people for requests that are totally unrelated to the conversation, and totally unrelated to any book or other product they might be offering.]

      On topic: This post is very useful in that it provides further help in vetting men for marriage. Real, concrete help. So many women seem invested in the idea that all men are equally likely to cheat.

      They are not.

  17. Oshun/Aphrodite says:

    “BW are given so much bad advice that it must be intentional. ”

    I agree. The more I think/feel about things the more layers there are.

    And/or this is the natural result of the BC being so out of touch with human norms thus, this is just what black people do bc this is what it means to be black.

    I have had the “jumping from man to man” thrown at me very early on. It supposedly “looks bad” as if you a loose – amoral.

    I think this stems from all BM’s desire to have “exceptionally pure women”no matter how DBR and since BW keep other BW in line – other BW support/enforce this.

    • ak says:

      Yeah with the ‘jumping from man to man’. With everybody else, this means marriage, it doesn’t mean casual sex every weekend or whenever, or sexual addictions.

      Whites with all five wives or husbands don’t bat their eyelids at their situation, they just get on with it. Plenty of, especially many ‘old school’ Hollywood actresses, have been married all five times.

  18. Evia says:

    Time is a woman’s WORST enemy. Instead of wasting her youth pining and pondering, she need to be getting back in the game!!! No one ever accused non-black women of “jumping from man to man.” I think that in order to live well, most BW will have to flat out ignore 90% of the “advice” they are given, clearly it is meant to sabotage them

    This is why it’s so important for any bw to have someone in her corner giving her advice that will promote and protect HER interests first and foremost just like a hired attorney protects the client’s interest–no matter what.I think SOME bw do need time to reflect in some cases because it would do that woman no good to go from one abusive relationship, for ex. into another and this can easily happen if she can’t figure one out why she’s in the first abusive relationship. So one rule doesn’t fit all situations.

    That being said, my grandmother always said that, “As a woman gets older, her chances get fewer,” and I always kept that in mind. A woman should get her parachute ready as soon as it’s fairly certain that the relationship is not going to be fixed or can’t be fixed–just in case. There is no reason why a woman can’t be on the lookout for her next potential relationship, from that very point–IF she wants another one. Of course, she should tell NO ONE.

    Another thing is that no woman should beg, nag, threaten, or wait for longer than a reasonable amount of time for a man to marry her. If she’s let him know early on that that’s what she wants and the relationship is going well and if he’s indicated that he wants marriage too, she should EXPECT for him to stick to his word. She should therefore always have a plan B and C in place–just in case he starts thinking he’s going to use up her time and take her presence for granted. Many men of all groups have used women in this way.

    If I’ve let a man know that I want marriage and he’s said that he does too, then he must SHOW me that he’s making concrete plans for the marriage several months prior to it. If not, I’m already halfway out the door. If a man doesn’t uphold his side of the deal, then you owe him nothing. You might ask, “Well, don’t you love Man A?” Yes, I might love him like crazy, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to sacrifice myself for a man who’s SHOWING me that he can’t be trusted. That’s foolish. That would pretty much wipe out any love I might have for him anyway. My love for a man is ALWAYS conditional. It depends on how he TREATS me or how he loves me back. Remember that love is a verb. It requires ACTION. In other words, my “walking shoes” are always ready–just in case..

    • tertiaryanna says:

      This is excellent advice, and this whole blog topic is also excellent.

    • mochachoc says:

      Evia,

      Your last comment made me chuckle. Clearly you were not in school the day they handed out THE SCRIPT for little black girls: Thou shalt suffer and be without. I love it.

      Who knew Black girls and women didn’t have to be long suffering? It strikes me that many of us were conditioned to feel shame and to be grateful for small mercies.

      Oh Evia if there were only more like you. Growing up I didn’t have that ‘someone in my corner” but I am so grateful for you and Khadija’s generosity because I feel I do now.

      Great post and contributions everyone.

    • joyousnerd says:

      This whole comment is nothing but the truth. Especially sound is the advice to get and keep a parachute *in silence* in your back pocket. Those walking shoes need never get dusty and forgotten. Just the fact that a woman is willing and able to move on does more to get a man on the good foot than anything else.

      Men are not fools. If they know you want marriage and they are dragging their feet, it’s not fruitful or wise for a woman to try and talk to him about it. Actions speak louder than words.

  19. lunanoire says:

    This conversation is inspiring. I have already lived in a new town for a few months and was thinking of taking a few more for therapy for low-grade depression before heading into the dating market. From what many insightful women have shared, it’s time to get into the game!

  20. MsMellody says:

    Absolutely beautiful post and I have learned so much from ALL these comments and commentators.

    Khadija please keep on doing what you are doing here.

    And to Joyusnerd – congratulations on that wonderful weight loss and body re-shaping. You are inspiring. Your insight was right on target when you said ” there are many things in life we can’t control..but our body size and shape are definitely in OUR control” [ I paraphrased ] thank you Joyousnerd for that reminder- I needed to hear that!!

    • joyousnerd says:

      Thank you!

      Speaking of body modification, I’ve just ordered a corset for waist training. I, like many BW, have a naturally hourglass shape, and I’m very large busted.

      When I developed, jealous girls and even my own mother accused me of “sticking my chest out” when I sat up straight. That jealousy, coupled with the constant unwanted male attention and my own severe depression, caused me to sit and walk hunched over.

      Even now at 31, I find it difficult to sit up straight or walk with a straight back and shoulders square for more than a minute or two. My normal posture is hunched over like I’m depressed, exhausted or just sloppy. It’s poor self presentation.

      By wearing a steel boned corset I will train my core muscles to get accustomed to sitting in the straight back, square shouldered position that says “I respect myself and you should too!” The nipping in of my waist is an added benefit, but the posture improvement is what I’m most excited about.

      Our bodies belong to us, and we can change so many things about them to be healthier and more attractive. I’m looking forward to this process, though I know it will be uncomfortable at first. I want my outer presentation to match my inner qualities. Just because I got a bum rap 15 years ago doesn’t mean I have to stay that way for life.

      • Valerie M says:

        Joyousnerd,

        Can you recommend some brands or stores for these corsets? I notice that sitting in front of a desk all day, I tend to slouch a lot without noticing. It kills my back after a while, and I agree it is embarrassingly unattractive (especially once I realize I’m doing it).

      • Oshun/Aphrodite says:

        This is something that you will enjoy! I did this for a number of years. But stopped as my body changed and I am saving up for some more permanent changes.

  21. Pat says:

    I’ll always regret never being able to meet C. Delores Tucker or even write her a letter saying ‘Thank you for all your concern and hard work, and you were right about the demeaning lyrics in hip hop.’ because she’s dead now

    I was fortunate enough to meet C. Dolores Tucker about 10 maybe 15 years ago outside of a Philadelphia restaurant. She was very nice and started a conversation with me about the negative lyrics in rap music and how she wanted me to participate in some kind of movement with her. I was young and dumb and thought that that would be corny.

    God… how people change over the years!!! Thank God for blogs like this. If only a movie or documentary could be made for black women with Evia’s and Khadijah’s informaiton being discussed, black women as a whole would move forward!!!

  22. Miss V says:

    Despite my crazy schedule, I’ve made up my mind to get up off my butt and work out at least 3 days a week as well as eliminate fried foods and sugar from my diet.

    Now that I’ve FINALLY eliminated the emotional weight, I’m FINALLY ready to eliminate the physical weight.