Post # 1
So my fiancé and I are both African American, and after we got engaged we heard of a lot of “why are you getting married” and “no one does that anymore”. Not only were we both appalled, but we were embarrassed! Like when did our community become ok with being the highest statistically in unwed mothers, fatherless children, prison inmates, and the lowest in marriages?
Eddie and I decided to get married not only because we love each other more than words, but because we believe morally that when God blesses you with a mate that you should go before Him and proclaim you love.
On my side of the family, I am the one of the only ones to have an actual wedding in almost 2 years. My mother and father were not married, my grandparents had a court house wedding but lived separately for almost 40 years. My great great grandmother and her husband lived on a plantation and were never really married. On my FH side his parents were married until his dad’s death in 2008. His grandparents are still married after over 45 years.
The pressure that we feel to not only do this wedding right, but to instill the value of marriage in our children is almost overwhelming. Since when did marriage become “not the thing to do?” since when did it become ok to have a “baby daddy” or “baby mother”? I’m not passing judgment because I believe that everyone has a right to live their lives the way that they want to, but please don’t pass judgment on us because we are doing things the right way. Has any other bride felt pressure from tradition when it comes to your wedding? How are you handling it?
Post # 3
I’m not african american, but my FI’s family has a bit of the same attitude. No one is married, or even if they are they had their kids first. They kind of take the “what’s the point?” attitude. But they aren’t down on us getting married, they are just indifferent.
Post # 4
i think i would have more respect and understanding to people if they could be more understanding to the fact that this is a huge deal…we are getting married!!! Its a once in a lifeitme experience! they think i am over reacting because they have never experienced anything like this before. it is evr fustrataing!
Post # 5
@MrsStrawberry24: I get it! I think once they go through things like divorces it doesn’t mean as much to them. That’s part of the problem.
Post # 6
Honestly? This isn’t an just African-American issue. DH and I are both (mostly) white and we faced this same kind of scrutiny. I’m not sure if you meant it to sound like you felt it was something that only affected one race, but the title kind of implied that. I apologize if I misunderstood.
I think that this kind of thing just demonstrates the cynicism of our generation. I think that a lot of people are lonely and/or miserable and they are afraid of a divorce, so they choose to rag on marriage in general. There are also a lot of people who choose not to get married and merely live as partners due to personal or political beliefs.
Just ignore those who try to tear you down. They don’t know your relationship and they don’t know what you two feel is best for you. That’s what I did when people made comments to me. Just brush them off and do what’s right for you.
Post # 7
I’m AA and its expected in both of our families. I’m the eldest and I’m the 4th in my family to get married. My 3 brothers preceded me. And the expectation is my sisters will get married as well cause that’s what you do. My parents have been married for 41yrs and FI parents for close to 50 before his father passed. Marriage requires you to stand before God and family. To make a commitment that is to be a lifetime. Scary but doable because we’ve had generations prior to us that did it successfully.
BTW, a good 80% of my brothers friends are married. And they are in their early 30’s. In my girls group, I’m the 3rd wedding in the past 2yrs. And we’re all hit our 40’s. I think marriage is really making a comeback.
Post # 8
So I originally thought this post was going to be something different….perhaps how a lot of the bridal advertisements/marketing campaigns/magazine/blogs very rarely (or at least much less than other races) feature black brides. I never really noticied it until this weekend. I was shopping at target and picked up this really nice looking magazine in the bridal section. I love flipping through new magazines. The girl on the cover was black but I didn’t really think anything of it. I was just admiring her dress. Then, I started flipping threw and realized the whole magazine was targeted towards black brides. I thought for a minute that it was odd to have a whole magazine dedicated to black brides then I realized…isn’t the Knot and a lot of magazines a whole magazine dedicated to white brides. Odd, huh?
I love studying people, social psychology, and marketing and it does make me wonder if you don’t have a good point – maybe they don’t feature as many black brides in bridal magazines because imarriage isn’t considered as common for black brides….it’s easy to think that BUT like the other bees are saying I think it does have a lot less to do with race and a lot more to do with culture and values. If you grow up in a culture that values marriage than marriage is common and acceptable but unfortunately a lot of cultures/areas/regions/parts of society don’t really value marriage these days and its becoming more acceptable. Anyway, I thinksocioeconomic (I know I’m a nerd!), cultural, and religous backgrounds have a lot to do with whether marriage is valued our not.
I think most of us bees agree with you that marriage is important. It’s a big committment and it should be applauded and celebrated by all. This is a huge milestone in your life and everyone around you should be super happy and proud of you.
Post # 9
im not AA (italian/greek australian) and EVERYONE is married in our families (and not one divorce) and same with our circle of friends – some have lived together beforehand but long term living together is not encouraged
Post # 10
As an AA, I agree, not so much on the religious tip, but I see value in saying my vows in front of my friends and family. Also, we are planning on having kids and prefer to do so as man and wife, rather than “baby daddy/mama”. I’m not knocking those that do, especially since my mother was never married. Howver, in my family its about 50/50 of married folks vs. not, but we still value marriage.
@zippylef: I think that a lot of people are lonely and/or miserable and they are afraid of a divorce, so they choose to rag on marriage in general.
I completely agree! People need to take responsibility for their actions relationships and stop scapegoating marriage. People don’t realize how hard it is to combine lives. Trust me, I’m not one of those “I’ll never get divorced” chicks either, but I welcome the challenge and want to be married warts and all.
Post # 11
I totally agree that marriage is coming back in our community, but i was just speaking from our experience. We are so proud of our race and love the traditions that surround marriage, but i was speaking on the lack of tradition in this generation. we are young (24,26) and maybe that stems the nagative reaction that we are recieving from people. sorry if i offended anyone and thanks for the well wishes!
Post # 12
Hold your head up high, you are doing something that you should be proud of — committing yourself to the person you love, and declariing that in front of friends and family. Congrats!
Post # 13
I agree with you. Black women are bombarded with all these statistics that we are the least desirable women of all races, our marriage numbers are low, we are the highest percentage of single mothers, black men would rather date white woman than have to deal with us, ect.
When I was with my ex (I’m AA and he was Polish) his mother was not happy about it at all. She actually wrote him a letter basically explaining everything I just did in the above paragraph and that somehow I would hold him back in life because I was black. what!? Well, that didn’t work out because he wanted to quit his job to chase his dream of being a local rockstar. Guess who’s 30 and living in his parents basement right now?
Mr. Tattoo is Irish and his family and my family couldn’t be happier. At first my mother (who was married 30 years before my father passed away) said “People don’t get married anymore! They just live together for life and are happy with it.” Well I wouldn’t be happy with it. My mother is one of four siblings. Two of them are married, one is divorced, and my aunt (who passed away) was never married. She actually lived with her boyfriend for like 25 years without even mentioning marriage.
My father’s side of the family has even said “sistas shouldn’t waste their time getting married because divorce is so high anyway!” Wow! Thanks guys!
I’m sure it’s not just isolated with our race, but again, AA women are just put down by a lot of people out there.
Anyone read that idiots article on “Why Black Women are Less Attractive than Any Other Race.”? It’s stuff like that that puts pressure on us.
Post # 14
@Miss Tattoo: I did’nt get to read the article because when I went to the link it was removed… do you have a different link? 🙂
Regarding the original post- as a social worker of underserved (mostly AA youth) I have to agree that marriage has lost a great deal of importance in many young people and their families that I know…. Frankly, it saddens and puzzles me… when I told the girls in my program that I was engaged (because they asked about my new ring) many of the Nigerian and Ethiopian girls gave me hugs or smiled or said congratulations and a couple of the African-American girls did the same – BUT many of the African American girls said “why” or “whats engaged?”
Post # 15
@MrsStrawberry24: I’m so sorry you are feeling so overwhelmed. Every time you do, though, come back to your FI and hold tight to each other for support. You will have a beautiful, touching wedding, and all will see by your gentle presence and example, the positive and wonderful things that love can do.
For me, it’s the other way around: I’m the youngest of 4, with 3 older brothers (and not many female cousins, either), in an Italian-American family from New York, and I could just cut the pressure with a knife how everyone was waaaaaaiiiiiiting for the girl of the family to be a bride. Everyone was always after me to get married, and now its about getting married *their* way. 😉 Blech!
No matter what the pressure, we just have to stay the course and sail. Hang in there.
Post # 16
Wow…I’m AA, but some people around me just want the women to get married (Never mind who TO) just as long as you are married. LOL! Most of one side of my family is divorced/separated and those are the ones rushing ppl to get married, but the other side, everyone has been married for 20yrs or more and they don’t rush people to get married.
I’m not a genius….but I see a pattern.LOL
Anywho, I think it just differs by the people in question.