Why Do Black Men Get So Defensive When I Ask About Their Income?

BY: - 26 Dec '17 | Relationships

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Dear Dr. Buckingham,

I am a successful, black, single woman and I am looking for someone who matches my financial potential. I make six figures and have a good quality of life. Like so many other sisters, I am finding it more and more difficult to meet men who are on my level. I am open to dating men who do not make as much money as I do, but I am not open to dating men who do not make at least $70K a year.

Given this, I often find myself offending men when I ask how much money they make. I do not understand why they get so defensive. Anyone in there right mind would want to make sure that their financial foundation will not crumble by dating the wrong person. Please help me. Why Do Black Men Get So Defensive When I Inquire about Their Income or Money Making Potential?


Financially Stable Sister

Ask Dr. Buckingham

Dear Financially Stable Sister,

As a black man who has encountered what you are describing, I can say that some of us get so defensive because a large percentage of women place more emphasis on our money making potential than on our personal qualities. We understand that personality does not pay bills, but we also understand that money and status cannot ensure or buy love. With this in mind, I highly recommend that you take the time to get to know the men before you size them up financially.

Some men understand that we have to provide for and/or help our ladies; but we also want to feel like our ladies are invested in us, not our wallets. Also, you might be surprised to learn that men with money do not like to be sized up. They may not react as strongly because they are probably more comfortable with being approached in this manner. Generally speaking, if a man perceives that you are solely about securing money and financial stability, he will guard his investments, savings and everything else. He might let “you in,” but he will not be transparent.


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Do not get me wrong; I believe that you should look for financial stability. I just do not think that you should look for it in a man’s wallet. In our society, we have difficulty with role reversal. If a man makes more money and takes care of his lady, everyone cheers him on. However, if he makes less money than his lady or fails to contribute in a significant manner financially, everyone chastises him.

Instead of inquiring about his income or money making potential, simply pay attention to how he lives his life. Regardless of how much money a man makes, he will not be any good to you if he does not know how to manage it. For example, a man who makes $120K can live the same quality of life as a man who makes $65K if he manages his money poorly.

Remember that people become defensive in an attempt to protect themselves from perceived or actual harm. Also, remember that inquiring about a man’s financial potential is not bad as long as you do it in a timely and thoughtful manner. Inquiring in a timely and thoughtful manner can reduce and/or minimize defensiveness. As the saying goes, “Its not what you do, but how you do it.” Lastly, please keep in mind that black men are under attack in most aspects of life and our money making potential has been and continues to be a sensitive/soft spot.

Continue to be a good steward over your finances and pay attention to the men you date; but do not forget to be a good steward over your heart. What a man makes financially is different than what he will share with you. Just make sure that you select a man who makes good money and does not allow his money to make him. If he guards his money, he will probably guard his heart as well. You probably do not need a man for his money, but you will definitely need his love.

Best regards,

Dr. Buckingham

If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc), parenting, or personal growth and development, please send an email to askdrbuckingham@gmail.com

Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post.

About the author

Dwayne Buckingham wrote 220 articles on this blog.

Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham, author of Qualified, yet Single: Why Good Men Remain Single and Unconditional Love: What Every Woman and Man Desires in a Relationship, is a highly acclaimed international clinical psychotherapist, life coach, relationship and resiliency expert, motivational speaker and corporate consultant. He is also the President and Chief Executive Officer of R.E.A.L. Horizons Consulting Service, located in Silver Spring, Maryland. To learn more about Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham visit his website at www.DrBuckingham.com.


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4 Healthy Ways to Change Your Marriage in 2018

BY: - 28 Dec '17 | Marriage

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Well, 2017 is almost outta here! It’s been one heck of a year. When it comes to a fulfilling relationship with your spouse, 2017 either knocked your socks off or left you wanting. If you’re one of the lucky ones, you and your spouse took on the world like Bonnie and Clyde. You were in this life together. Your relationship was untouchable and everyone around you knew it. Your plan for 2018 is to take it up a notch and make it even better.

Other relationships, however, may not have been so fortunate. Whether there were arguments almost daily, concerns of infidelity, severe financial setbacks, or emotional and mental struggles, there were some unions that took a hard hit this past year. Truth be told, you can’t wait to reset the clock and give your relationship a much needed shot in the arm.


Well, who says you have to wait. The truth is that you can reset the clock at any time, anywhere. If your marriage appears terminally ill, there’s no time like the present to turn things around. So, starting now and throughout 2018, here are some ways you can change your marriage and get it healthy once again.

Detox Your Relationship and Get Rid of the Crap

The first step to changing the health of your marriage is to rid it of everything that’s weighing it down. Just as you would begin a healthy change to your body with a well planned cleanse, your marriage needs the same kind of detoxification. Start by getting rid of the bad habits that have your communication with your spouse completely clogged up.

  • Shouting instead of talking
  • Accusing instead of asking
  • Defending instead of apologizing
  • Ignoring instead of acknowledging
  • Leaving instead of listening

If your modus operandi has been any of the above, it’s time to ditch those bad habits and grow up. Typically, marriage is between two adults. Put childish ways behind you and give your love a healthy dose of maturity. And, just like after a good poop, you’ll begin to feel so much better, not to mention grateful for the much needed relief.

Feed Your Love the Right Kinds of Foods

Once you’ve started to cleanse your relationship, the next step is to nourish it with good, healthy “food.” With your physical body after a cleanse, you want to introduce the kinds of foods that will continue to promote good health and provide abundant energy. A marriage is no different. Food to a marriage is anything that you put into it. So, introduce…or re-introduce the things that made you fall in love with your spouse – and your spouse fall in love with you – in the first place.

  • Talk….ALOT….for hours.
  • Laugh even more than you talk.
  • Encourage each other just like in the old days.
  • Find out what your spouse desires, then surprise them with it.
  • Spend time together…ALONE…without the kids.
  • Get dolled up before a date. Get dolled up even if there is no date.
  • Pray together so you can stay together.

I know that some of these things are straight up elementary. But, when you’re starting over, you have to return to the basics to regain your health and strength.

Exercise and Put Your Love to Work

If you’ve ever done a cleanse without exercising, you know you don’t get as much out of it as you could if you were putting your muscles to work. Needless to say, your routine has to be modified to appropriately handle your doctor’s suggested nutritional intake. But to get the most out of the changes you are making, that physical connection is important. I’m sure you see where I’m going with this.

Once you begin to feed your relationship the right kinds of “food,” the emotional and physical health of your marriage will begin to improve. Take advantage of that! Sweet talk each other. Flirt with each other. Touch each other. Make love to each other. Enjoy each other as much and as often as possible. At first, it may feel a bit awkward. But remember, you’re trying to turn things around starting now, so push through and allow your emotional and physical memory to begin to take over.

Professional Training Can Be Your Friend

If you’ve ever had a nutritionist plan your meals or a personal trainer lead your workouts, you know they’ve got the skills that will take your health to the next level. In your marriage, don’t go to sleep on professional counseling. Laugh at the stigma and decide with your spouse that your relationship is worth giving a professional chance. Seek guidance from a counselor that’s spiritually and socially acceptable to you both. It could be your pastor or Christian counselor. It could be a couple you admire whose relationship you would like to imitate. Just make sure it’s someone you both trust and are confident will have your best interest at heart.

FREE DOWNLOAD: 5 Ways to Prevent Blended Family Challenges From Breaking Up Your Marriage. Don’t give up on your marriage because of stepfamily issues. You can get help and this is the first step plus it’s free! Click here to download your FREE eGuide.

Yes, 2018 is around the corner. But why put off for tomorrow what you can begin today. Get started on those changes right now and have 2018 become the best year of your married life.

BMWK, are you ready to get started on a healthy marriage for the new year?

About the author

Joann Fisher wrote 157 articles on this blog.

Joann Fisher has been a writer and editor for both print and online newpapers and magazines for the last 10 years. She now serves as a Writer/Editor at BMWK and lead Editor for The Joy Network.


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