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Mark Spivey
Mark Spivey

Two people working TOGETHER can have anything they want…”

– Bishop Billy Spivey, Sr.

I’ve heard my Apostolic-preaching dad say this many times; I guess he’s somewhat qualified to do so seeing how he and my mom have been married almost 58 years. It’s amazing, to say the least, how much both of them had to give up in order to maintain some sustainable civility in this union. My dad, (like myself) is strong-headed, strong-willed, and determined. My mom, on the other hand, is soft-spoken (like myself), patient, and kind. I’ve inherited the best of both characteristics.

What we have here is an example of polar opposites bound together by wedding bands and compromise. It also helps that they are intelligently endowed with ample supplies of common sense and “mother wit”. This combination provides them the knowledge of when to stay out of each other’s way if individual space is needed. Though not college “degreed” (I know that’s not a word, but I’ll take credit for it when Mr. Webster decides to put it in his dictionary), both of my parents are extremely educated. The most important thing they’ve learned is there’s no independence in marriage…

When our forefathers fought for the rights of total independence from Great Britain and slavery, they were fighting against establishments rooted in denying liberty, freedom, and unalienable rights to those destined to lives of servitude and rejection. Through bloodshed and reform, independence was snatched away from those who didn’t want to share it and protected by the United State Constitution, only to have said freedoms amended time after time again. Though not totally right, things are better than they were yesterday (year), but there’s nothing independent about independence. In order to coexist, concessions had to made on both sides.

Marriages, like slavery, strip away most of the freedoms we enjoyed as single folk. I started to say that the difference between the two is a bullwhip, but a lot of y’all are off into that kinky, “50 Shades of Grey” ish and might like a few lashes “here and there” every now and then. Needless to say in that instance, “a little bit of pleasure’s worth a whole lot of pain” is not exactly what Betty Wright meant her classic, “No Pain, No Gain”. But then again, I don’t know exactly what Betty might have been referring to. Imma leave that right here…

The institution of marriage is not like what it used to be back in the day. The sanctity of it is not the same. I never quite understood why couples marry and continue to do the same things they did when they were single. Things like “hanging witcho boys” or “girl’s night outs”. Why would married couples want to go on “weekend getaways” with their homies or girlfriends? I mean, I understand that individuals need space from time-to-time, but why would married people hang out with single friends in a party atmosphere? I don’t care how mature or secure you feel you “might” be in your marriage, married folk should not be hanging with single people. That’s a recipe for danger. In my opinion, that’s the certain type of independence in a marriage that should be prohibited. But, that’s just me.

I guess my title can be a little mis-leading because I do believe there are certain liberties that couples can have in a marriage. After all, we ARE grown folk. But, those said liberties should be earned after both people have shown the ability to cohabit lovingly over a period of time and give their relationship ample opportuinties to flourish. There’s a maturity factor to consider also. Especially, if you are marrying a younger person or an older geezer/geezette. You have to find a way to work out all of the nuances of marriage and the many challenges it will throw at you. You WILL be challenged. Until then, independence in marriage is limited or void. Why would anyone get married if they wanted to stay independent? The two don’t go together.

In closing, successful couples should encourage younger couples to hang in there and work together. There will come a time when independence will turn into interdependence. That is when you love each other so much that you can’t live without each other. My parents can bear witness to that. God bless, goodnight, and keep yo families together.

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