Advice from African American men who have had long standing marriages
I’m a 36 year old African American on a mission for two things: (1.) Get relationship advice from other African American men who have had long standing marriages. And (2.) to #HumanizeBlackHusbands and debunk the myths and show the world that African American men are also great husbands.
In this article I’m sharing the advice given to me by Stanley Constant. Stan is in his 12th year of marriage. He is a father, Navy veteran, cancer survivor, and current high school ROTC instructor. It is my goal to one day have a loving and peaceful marriage like Mr. Constant.
Advice from Stan Constant to Jason Dukes:
In order to have a chance at a successful relationship one of the main ingredients is to know yourself. This sounds simple, but if you don’t have a sense of who you are it makes having a long term relationship even more difficult. It doesn’t mean you can’t grow and evolve together, but you have to be willing to be flexible, patient and dedicated to making it work. Only you can control whether you are or can become these things. Here are some other elements I believe, can help you create and stay in a loving and lasting relationship.
1. Be able to Compromise and Be Authentic
Don’t give up things that truly make you happy in the name of compromise if you are going to be miserable and resent it. People often make the mistake of always putting other interest (friends, family, hobbies) on the back burner in the honeymoon phase of the relationship and then once they feel comfortable they bust out golf weekends or girl’s night out. This makes the early you seem like a fraud. That’s why it is important to be who you are so your partner knows who and what they are getting into.
2. Effective Communicate
If two people can’t find a way to honestly discuss their feelings to one another, the relationship doesn’t stand much of a chance long-term. Find the space and time where you communicate best and do it regularly to prevent frustrations from building up and exploding. There’s nothing wrong with some wine and Barry White while you discuss what ails you.
3. Stand Your Ground But Be Smart
Understand that there will be conflict but choose your battles wisely. Don’t be afraid to take a stand but, do you want it to be over the toilet seat, toothpaste cap or over issues that really matter like children, finances, and how you treat each other.
4. Needs & Fairness
Sometimes we enter into relationships and we put ourselves second, behind the other person’s needs and desires. I believe this often works to an extent when building intimacy and trust, but you should express deal breakers and life altering decisions. Not really liking sex, having children, or desiring to move far away shouldn’t be withheld to after you fall in love. Keep fairness in mind. If you want to have a night out; don’t be a jerk when your partner wants one.
5. Understand the Value of Trust and Honesty
Different people have different areas of concern, but for the most part people value trust and honesty from their partner. Can you handle the truth; if so, how much? It is important to understand how each other define and value trust and honesty so you are on the same page. What you did in other relationships may not work in your current situation. Little white lies to some are huge acts of betrayal to others.
Relationships need to be fed and nurtured in order to grow, and placed in an environment that will support and sustain that growth. These five tips will give the relationship a chance, but it takes commitment and continuous effort to do what’s best for each other and the relationship to make it last.
Jason Dukes is a Life Coach and an innovator in personal transformation. As the Founder and CEO of Captains Chair Coaching, Jason focuses on bringing peace to the world by helping people embrace their Gift and Give It To the World. Jason does this by one-on-one coaching, group coaching, public speaking, his social media presence, and his Give Your Gift To the World Audio Book and Seminars.
Photo by Sodanie Chea.