3 Reasons Why Dre & Bow’s Marriage is Dying on Black-ish and How to Fix It

BY: - 15 May '18 | Marriage

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Are you as devastated as I am about Dre & Bow talking divorce on Black-ish? From the last episode, I counted at least 12, yes 12, marriage KILLERS that are putting them on the brink of divorce. I’ll outline just three here for the sake of brevity and hope that you see some warning signs for yourself before it is too late.

Marriage Killer #1: Emotional Flooding

Emotional Flooding – this occurs when your heartbeat rises above 100 bpm and you’re physiologically overwhelmed. Remember when Dre & Bow were arguing in front of the kids and knew they should table the argument for later because the kids were watching…but they just had to take that last stab at each other’s feelings?

That’s emotional flooding-where your emotions get the best of you. When you feel flooded (either partner), you should just stop because everything after that is usually bad news. You’ll apologize tomorrow but the damage will have been done. Dre and Bow realized their error in the yard afterward, but the kids were already emotionally traumatized.

FREE WEBINAR – Tuesday, May 23, 2018: The Four Biggest Marriage Killers of Christian Marriages in 2018 – SIGN UP TODAY

How to Fix It: What happened as a result of Dre and Bow not calling a timeout due to being flooded? They traumatized their kids by allowing them to see this hostile conflict between the two people who are supposed to be protecting their feelings.

Parental conflict stresses each partner but at least they can take a side. Children, however, are the true victims because they are loyal to both parents, and thus, psychologically ripped in half. They should have just stopped, calmed down and shielded their children from their distress. Easier said than done though, right? It takes skill to have self-discipline in the heat of battle.

Marriage Killer #2: Negative Sentiment Overload

Negative Sentiment Overload – this is when your marital issues have piled up beyond capacity and all you feel about the marriage is negativity. Imagine a bathtub overflowing and water soaking your tennis shoes… all you feel is wet, right? Even though the rest of your body is dry, your focus is 100% on the problem. Couples who experience N.S.O literally cannot emotionally connect with the good parts of the marriage.

Everything feels awful. Memories of the good times (wedding day, vacations, childbirths, staying on the phone all night, holidays, etc.) feel foreign and you don’t even know why you married your partner in the first place. In order for marriage to survive, it needs a 5:1 ratio of positive to negative to feel good. By contrast, couples who are on the verge of break up, separation and divorce have a 1:1 ratio of negative to positive, and that feels awful.

How to Fix It: Remember math, a negative times a positive equals a…NEGATIVE. The same holds true for marriage. It must be overwhelmingly happy to withstand stress and negativity to survive. It’s just like a bank account, a $100 deposit followed by a $100 withdrawal will leave you broke. The same holds true for marriage…you’ll be emotionally broke and maybe in debt!

Marriage Killer #3: Contempt

Contempt – this is very dangerous and the BIGGEST KILLER of relationships. It happens when you make sweeping statements about your partner’s character. Remember when Bow told Dre,

“You exhaust me!” That was a shot straight to the soul! Other common statements that express contempt are:

  • “You are such a joke.”
  • “You are just plain dumb.”
  • “Who does that to someone they love!
  • “You are a basket case.”
  • “You’re the most insecure person I have ever met.”


How to Fix It: When contempt rears its ugly head, your marriage is headed for tough times. You must reverse contempt quickly because it will quickly kill everything…even your desire to try to make the marriage work for the kids. Contempt takes no prisoners…everyone must die.

Dre and Bow have been fighting too long and contempt is killing their marriage. However, you don’t have to repeat their mistakes because you can do something about it.

FREE WEBINAR – Tuesday May 23, 2018: The Four Biggest Marriage Killers of Christian Marriages in 2018 – SIGN UP TODAY

Do Something About It

You can literally learn from their mistakes. You don’t have to end up like Dre and Bow. Your marriage can live and not die! Cue up Darlene McCoy’s hit song lol. Do any of these marriage killers from Dre & Bow’s conflict on Black-ish strike a cord of fear or concern with you?

If so…

I want to help. I can help. I will help! Here’s what happens next…

Sign up for a FREE workshop – HOW TO AVOID THE FOUR BIGGEST MARRIAGE KILLERS (even if you are just dating) right now and I’ll do the rest. I’ll share more marriage killers and give you a resource to fix each one. It’s online, so you can watch at home with your better (or lesser) half.

It always fills up because the pain of marital and relationship conflict is deep and cost too much not to do something about it.

P.S.- As a special bonus, I am covering how ENVY derails power couples (when one spouse is doing is better or has more ambition than the other…also known as “unequally yoked” this time. You do not want to miss it!

By Dr. Alduan Tarrt: Dr. Alduan Tartt is a clinical psychologist with a focus on faith, mental health and relationships of all sorts (single, dating, marriage, family, sports, etc.). Dr. Tartt has a private practice and also speaks frequently at conferences, churches, organizations on improving relationships, families and mental health. Dr. Tartt also hosts radio and television shows and is a frequent guest on major media outlets. Dr. Tartt also counsels other healers and helpers (pastors, ministers, doctors, entertainers) who need to be encouraged, supported and filled up.

About the author

BMWK Staff wrote 1255 articles on this blog.

Content and articles from the staff and guest contributors of BlackandMarriedWithKids.com


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How Can I Reconnect with My Husband and Save My Marriage?

BY: - 22 May '18 | Marriage

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Dr. Buckingham, I am a 32-year-old woman married to a man 18 years older than me. We have been together 11 years married for 9 with 3 beautiful children.  Life was great at one time but that was many years ago. This marriage has been unhappy for about 6 years. It’s like one day a light bulb popped on in my head and I thought, “OH God what did I do.” I want to reconnect with my husband and save my marriage.

My husband is mean and boring now. He never wants to talk or laugh. He never holds me and only says I love you if I say it first. I know this because I paid attention for a year to see if he would say it first. I feel so lonely in my own house. I would have been gone, but I want my children to have a solid foundation. Then I wonder how solid is their foundation with miserable parents. I asked my husband one day did he hate me and he responded no but his actions say something totally different. I am just so hurt to see how he has lost love for me so fast. He has not been working and had issues with his health. I do take that into consideration. However, it cost nothing to make me laugh and it is definitely free to have some good old-fashioned conversation. I have my whole adult life invested in this relationship. How Can I Reconnect with My Husband and Save My Marriage?


Unhappy Wife

Ask Dr. Buckingham

Dear Unhappy Wife,

I am somewhat confused because, in the beginning, you stated, “Life was great at one time, but that was many years ago.” Then you went on to say, “ It’s like one day a light bulb popped on in my head and I thought OH God what did I do. My husband is mean and boring now.”

I realize that things can change over time, but I am confused because behavior typically does not change overnight. Things were great at one time and then a light bulb popped on. In my opinion, the “light bulb” occurrence is a conscious awakening of something that was already present. You examined his behavior over a year and witnessed something that you did not like. If this behavior was present for a year, I am wondering if it was an underlying issue that was ignored before. Situations might change over time, but how we cope with them is typically built in our character.

In order to provide a thorough and accurate response, I would need to know what was great at one time. This is important because the key to reconnecting with your husband and saving your marriage is for you and your husband to revisit what you all did well to make things great. Unfortunately, so many couples fail to develop a plan for keeping their marriage steamy. I’ve found that when things are going great, individuals are intentional about making them great. Examine what you and your husband did before and see if there is something that you can reignite now.

Remember that behind every behavior there is an emotion. Considering that your husband is not working and has health issues his spirit might be different than before. Your husband could potentially be suffering from depression. With this in mind, I recommend that you seek professional counseling. A professional can help you process your emotions and help you reconnect with your husband by enhancing your understanding of what he might be going through.

As someone who has acquired a few health issues over time, I can say that my mood has changed slightly. Given this, I have to be conscious of what I do and do not do and what I say or do not say. I share this to say that your husband’s health issues might be impacting his mood. I am glad to hear that you are taking this into consideration because it can be difficult to make others laugh when you struggle to find laughter internally.

Laughter and conversation are extremely important in a marriage, but so is emotional and mental stability. It is hard to be good to someone else when you are not good to yourself. Your husband has to get his mind right before he can stimulate your mind through conversation. Attending professional counseling is your best course of action to reconnect with your husband and save your marriage.

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 216 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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