I tend to watch a lot of reality TV and one of the shows is Basketball Wives. I too, like BMWK writer Tara Jefferson, thought that the show would be tendered around the life of a basketball wife. Perhaps how she deals with the kids when he’s on the road or how she keeps the marriage tight even though he’s gone most times. But of course the premise of the show is a little different. It focuses on a circle of friends that are really ex-basketball wives, girlfriends and/or associates that are dealing with life after the relationship has ended.
Jennifer Williams, wife of former NBA player Eric Williams, speaks quite openly about her troubled marriage. Within the last couple episodes she talks about her husband’s unfaithful ways and how she doesn’t and hasn’t trusted him throughout the years. During one of the episodes after Jennifer and Eric decided to get a divorce, they visit a counselor and in the midst of the conversation Eric mentions Jennifer’s venting habits. He talks about how he doesn’t appreciate her venting on the show and to her friends and how it’s caused one of the strains in their relationship.
This is definitely one of the places Jennifer went wrong. It’s never really good to vent your frustrations about your marriage in public or to those that don’t have a good perception of marriage. It adds so much more pressure to your situation. It allows others to add input into a scenario that isn’t fit for them because every marriage/relationship is different no matter how similar they may seem.
As I continued to watch that episode I was taken back to premarital counseling by my pastor. A few things he told us stood out to me:
1) Keep your family out of your marriage
It is so important to try to work out your martial issues without involving your family. Your family is your strongest support system and will be very protective of you. Once you and your mate have patched things up your family still has that lasting impression you left in their minds of this person that did their loved one wrong. You may have forgiven them but they have not. So if you’re wondering why Big Mama doesn’t want your husband over for family dinner then”...
2) Choose very carefully who you vent your problems to
We all have friends that we do certain things with. You have a shopping friend, you have a friend that accompanies you to the gym, you have a friend that goes to church with you, etc. So we should have those friends that we know we can only talk about marital things with. You can’t ask your friend that hates all men about a marital problem and expect to get advice that’s going to help save your marriage. It just won’t work. In martial counseling, my pastor told me that I would have to examine some of my friends and maybe even end our friendship now that I was entering a new chapter in my life.
3) If you don’t have trust you don’t have anything
Hopefully we can learn from mistakes like this and adjust the way we go about communicating our issues to create healthier relationships.
Ayanna is a married mom of busy triplets in Chicago. She’s a freelance parenting/marriage and technology blogger. Ayanna and her husband Damion are a featured couple in Ebony Magazine’s “Partner Project.” Ayanna is also the proud owner of ABlackWebDesign.com