If you’re a fan of the ABC Hit Tuesday night show Black-ish, you’ve probably been holding your breath each week like the rest of us. For the past 4 weeks, my husband and I have watched Black-ish in silence as Dre & Rainbow Johnson tackle their marital rough patch.
As a married woman of almost 15 years, I know too well that marriage issues will happen. Some issues will resolve themselves quicker than others. Some issues can break a marriage altogether.
One thing that I loved about this series on Black-ish is that they didn’t make up in the first show. I’ve never seen a show, a comedy at that, tackle a serious marriage topic that didn’t resolve itself within the 30 minute time frame.
Based on my Facebook timeline alone, I could tell this was making an impact. My friends were having full discussions about each episode and how they are showing a real-life aspect of marriage.
The downside. The rough patch.
Many if not all sitcoms portray marriage as happy or dare I say perfect! And if they do argue, it’s about something so simple, we might take a look at our own marriage and wonder why can’t we be like that.
With 53% of marriages failing in the US, what Black-ish has done was take us right in the middle of what actual married people really go through from time to time and show us how they dealt with it.
Like I said above, my husband and I sat in silence watching every episode until the end. I felt like I was holding my breath because each week, I had no idea how they would end the show. I knew in my heart, they would get back together because it’s tv. It’s Black-ish, a family show!
However, we were very interested in how they would show Dre & Bow’s a-ha moment to turn their relationship around.
After each episode, I tried to sit with myself and learn the lesson. I even asked my husband what did he get from the issues that Dre and Bow went through. He said, “You mean what did I see that I already knew?”
Yes. What did these issues bring to your remembrance? Geesh dude!!
5 Lessons Black-ish Reminded Me and My Husband About Our My Marriage
Don’t Take Your Marriage for Granted
Many times when you get married and a few years go by, you get into a routine. Especially if you have children. You get up, go to work, come home, cook, help the kids with school work, may or may not have sex with your spouse and do it all over again the next day.
You don’t do anything new or different. You can’t take for granted your spouse will just always be there. Think about yourself for a minute. Wouldn’t you like flowers every once in a while outside of your birthday or Valentines? Wouldn’t you like him to take you to a new restaurant on a Tuesday? Wouldn’t you like to see him clean the entire house without asking? Even if it means hiring help a few times a month?
Well, now think about your spouse. What can you do for him that would make him happy? Do one of those things this week.
Don’t take for granted that your spouse is always happy with you, just because they are still there. Marriage is a journey and you two are always growing along the way.
Marriage Takes Teamwork from both the Husband and the Wife
What works in one marriage may not work in another one. In our house, my husband does all of the laundry. I haven’t washed clothes or put up my husband’s or children’s clothes (unless I’ve wanted to, and I don’t) in over 5 years.
My job is keeping the kitchen clean. It was a something that we sat down and agreed upon for our household. Now that the kids are older, they now have their chore days too.
We call ourselves Team Knighten and we believe Teamwork Makes the Dream Work. When you have children, they need to know what it takes to make a household run. If the husband and wife are always at odds, the children won’t understand what is right or wrong. They will just know strife.
In a marriage, one party can’t be doing all the work, all of the time. Someone will get burned out and eventually be underappreciated.
What You Do in Your Marriage Will Effect Your Children
Dre and Bow initially tried to keep a happy front for the children, but everyone could tell the energy was off. Eventually, they had to sit down with them and tell them things weren’t going well and they were taking some time apart.
I bet that conversation was just as hard and deciding to separate.
Sometimes children internalize things and believe that it was something they did to cause mommy and daddy to separate. While as parents we know that is not true, it’s up to us to make them understand that as we (married couples) go through our rough patch.
I saw my mother go through a couple of rough patches. When I was five years old, my father beat my mom almost to death. I didn’t see him again until I was 15 years old. When my mom was married to my step-dad, I saw them fight more than I needed to see. I remember screaming, “Please don’t hit my mom!” at the very moment he had an iron skillet in the air about to bring the pain!
He stopped mid-air and walked away.
They eventually separated, but these incidents left an indent on me as a child.
Therapy is Always an Option
I love that Dre and Bow started going to couples therapy. If you watch the show, they were actually going to therapy before these “rough patch” episodes began.
I’ve been to a see a therapist alone but never as a couple. My husband won’t go. He even questions why I go. He’s one of those, “pray about it” types. But I’m hopeful that if things got THAT BAD, he would do anything to work through it, which means going to therapy.
Personally, therapy is a great outlet to get your truth out. Sometimes you have things that you just can’t talk about to anyone. Not even your best friend. When you talk to a therapist, you’re able to share it but then you hear yourself talk. That’s when you start to question your own actions, motives, and reasons for doing things. You then learn more about why you do what you do and that’s when personal growth starts.
I think couples therapy is important because you have an impartial person listening to both sides.
I found it funny how Dre and Bow thought that because they found themselves getting back on track that they didn’t need therapy anymore. Their therapist reminded them, “Oh now you need it more than ever. Maybe even double your sessions!”
At first, I thought it was a joke and she just wanted more money out of them. However, after thinking about it, they’re basically starting their marriage over.
They are entering new territory, marriage after separation. It could be easy for another argument to derail everything they worked so hard to put back together. Therapy can help them make sure they are still doing the right things.
Communication is Always a Top Priority
You have to talk to your spouse. I will say that again, you have to talk to your spouse. And you have to tell them your truth. Dre held stuff in for years about Bow, that shaped how he treated her their entire marriage. She had no idea!
Your spouse is not a mind reader. You are not a mind reader. We need to share what makes us happy, sad, concerned and of course our goals.
In addition to sharing from our heart, we need to be willing to listen to our spouse as well. Let them finish their sentence and really take in what they are sharing with us. How are we responding? Are we yelling? Are we speaking back with a dismissive attitude? Do we really care? If this is your most important relationship, we need to treat it as such.
My Marriage is NOT Perfect
I really didn’t have to say that because I don’t think anyone’s marriage is perfect. Just like Dre and Bow, my husband and I have hit rough patches before. We’ve had our rough days and years, the word divorce was even brought up before. In the past, we’ve argued in front of children which led to me grabbing my car keys and leaving. As a matter of fact, this happened Saturday, LOL!! But I came back after 10 minutes, I needed some air.
I love my husband and I’m grateful that he loves me and all of my imperfections. After years of being with him, I really just now understand God gave me what I needed in him. I really feel I hit the husband lottery. I feel bad because I don’t always feel like he hit the wife lottery. Hmmm, that’s a therapy moment.
Your Black-ish lesson, don’t take your marriage for granted. Treat it as a top priority all the time and always share your truth because we’re not mind readers.
Did you see the series? What did you think?