Has a statement about marriage ever rubbed you the wrong way? Maybe you could tell that outsiders looking in just didn’t “get it.” This is how I felt while watching a recent episode of “The Braxton Family Values.” Of course, it wasn’t my marriage that was under scrutiny but Tamar’s (who is married to music executive Vince Herbert).
In one particular scene, the sisters, minus Tamar, were vacationing in Italy when the conservation turned to Tamar and Vince’s marriage. It appeared that the other Braxton sisters had nicknamed the couple “velcro” because, as they explained, the two are always together, as opposed to Tamar spending more time with her sisters. One could say the sisters were speaking from their hurt, frustration, and even love for Tamar. They genuinely missed her. But, the spirit of the conversation turned sour for me when they began to bash Tamar’s marriage.
Because this is reality television, we don’t get to see everything that happens, only what is edited for the viewing audience. So maybe Tamar and Vince know the sisters call them velcro. Maybe it’s a family joke that everyone chuckles about during family gatherings. Maybe Tamar and Vince came up with the name themselves. Tamar is known for her flamboyant ways of describing things. After doing a little research, I came across an interview published on The Huffington Post in September where Tamar describes some of the negatives of doing reality television.
The only con is a lot of people might not agree how Vince and I conduct our relationship. We work together every single day, we’re together all the time. We’re pretty much velcro. And he manages me, so it’s a lot. The way we decide to communicate and what works for us, a lot of people won’t agree with that.
This interview does put some of my dismay to rest but not all of it. Even if Tamar describes her own marriage as velcro, the spirit of the sisters’ conversation was not right. It was full of condescension, criticism, and some might say, envy.
As the only daughter in my family, I remember praying for sisters. I imagined having a life-long friend with whom to share secrets and grow into womanhood. Maybe I’m naive, but shouldn’t sisters want your marriage to be strong? Shouldn’t they admire the togetherness and love you display with your husband? Shouldn’t they encourage you to spend time together? Shouldn’t they respect your covenant, not just in their hearts but with their mouths?
I understand the Braxton sisters wanting to spend time together, and I actually agree that sister-time away from the menfolk is important. Who can argue with a girls’ vacation? But what happens to the married woman after the vacay, after the sisters’ shopping trip, after the girls’ night out? I’ll tell you what happens: she goes home to a husband who is supposed to be second in her life, only after God. And he needs to feel like he’s second. He needs to know that his wife has made him a priority in her life. The same is true for the wife.
When you marry, you have to cut some (not all) of the cords that you had with family and friends. Even though you may have been a sister before you were a wife, after marriage you are a wife first. Relationships with sisters, brothers, friends, and even parents are important, but not as important as your relationship with your spouse. Ask yourself:
With whom did I stand before God and make a vow until death?
With whom did I exchange rings?
With whom does my life become one?
Get this: children shouldn’t even take the place of a spouse. I’m not talking about a boyfriend/girlfriend but a spouse in a healthy, nonviolent relationship. At some point, children are supposed to leave their father and mother and cleave to their own husband or wife. Who is left then? Hopefully, Mr. or Mrs. Velcro, the one who sticks closer than a brother or a sister.
In my opinion, the conversation wasn’t an attractive moment for the sisters. Instead of criticizing Tamar and Vince, they actually gave them a compliment. It reminds me of something a woman told me about my marriage that confirmed for me that my husband and I are on the right track. When I couldn’t show up for a couple’s meeting but my husband could, she said, “That’s okay. I know you all operate as a team.”
Yes! . . . Isn’t that what people need to see? Teamwork. Togetherness. Closeness. Oneness.
In real-life and on reality television, there will be people who, for whatever reason, criticize the bond you and your spouse have. Don’t sweat it. The key is to see it for what it really is: a compliment.
BMWK family, let’s have some fun. What other words can be used to describe strong, happy marriages?
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