T.I. and Tiny are Working Through Marital Troubles

There has been some buzz recently that rapper T.I. and his singer wife Tiny are going through some marriage troubles. Rumors have been circulating that the couple, who have been married for 4 years, are possibly heading for divorce.

The assumptions weren’t too far fetched, as both took to Instagram to subliminally (and immaturely) hint that there was trouble. Numerous blogs came up with their guesses as to what the problem could be, from infidelity to differences in business ventures.

TI and Tiny Marriage

T.I. spoke out to TMZ to confirm that the two were, indeed, having their issues, but they were working through them.

“Tiny wanted to walk the Grammy red carpet and watch the show but T.I. wanted none of it. He says they angrily challenged each other on who would end up having more fun that night.” – TMZ

The couple have become fan favorites since their VH1 reality show, T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle, which documented them balancing their careers and their blended family of 6 children.

We wish T.I. and Tiny the best of luck in getting through this rocky time, whatever the issue may be.

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Ladies, Do You Need a Man to Make You Feel Complete?

Remember in the year 2000 when Destiny’s Child dropped Independent Women Part 1? Raise your hand if that was your anthem for a minute. Along with other anthems such as No Scrubs and He Wasn’t Man Enough, a lot of us were declaring our independence, which is great. There were also women out there who, maybe not as boldly, announced that being in a relationship made them feel whole. We all know the girlfriend who feels inadequate when she’s single, and invincible when she’s spoken for. So I wonder: do you need a man to make you feel complete?

Short Answer: No.

DestinysChildWomen do not need a man to feel complete. If you want to get into the nitty gritty of it all, women can do what men can do for us. We don’t need a man to be the bread winner: we have our own jobs. We don’t need a man to take care of repairs around the house: we have our own tools. We don’t need a man to make us feel good about ourselves: like Katt Williams says, it’s called self-esteem. (Albeit he said it a little differently). So if we have all those bases covered, what is left?

Long Answer: Complete Is the Wrong Word.

So now that the independent woman rant is over, let me explain. Do we need men to make us feel complete? I think complete is the wrong word. Yes, I named reasons why we don’t need men, but let’s be honest. Sometimes, a man can make things a lot easier for us.

Do we need a sole bread winner? No, but in this day in age, dual income definitely helps us live the American Dream. Sure, I have my own tools, but if I’ve got other things to be concerned about, how nice would it be for my husband to get to the repairs for me? Self-esteem is essential, but a man who appreciates you taking care of your physical appearance can put you on cloud 9.

Men don’t complete us, or at least they shouldn’t. There are a lot of women who are codependent when it comes to their significant other. It’s very easy for us to lose ourselves in our men, and completely forget who we are as individuals. But a truly healthy relationship is birthed out of being complete despite being in a relationship. The self-help gurus always harp on this but it’s because it’s true. When you love yourself, you have more to give. When you’re complete, and your partner is complete, you both enhance each other. That’s the word I would use.

Now for the proudly single independent women out there, I hear you, and I feel you. I applaud you, and I’m cheering you on. Do what you need to do, do what you want to do. For those who are not so happy about being single, relax. The last thing you want to do is be in a relationship solely for the sake of saying you’re in one. If you feel you need a man to complete you, that should indicate you have some more self-love to work on. That missing piece is you.

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Real Housewives of Atlanta’s Phaedra Parks’ Husband Arrested

Apollo Nida, husband of Real Housewives of Atlanta star Phaedra Parks, has been arrested. Nida is being charged with bank fraud and identity theft.

According to a written affidavit, he created fake companies, opened up fake bank accounts using identities he stole from various databases, and funneled US Treasury checks and auto loan proceeds into those accounts.

Apollo Nida Arrested
Nida was previously incarcerated between 2004 and 2009 for auto title fraud and breaking federal racketeering laws. He married his attorney wife, Phaedra Parks, in 2009, and the couple have been on the Bravo reality show since shortly after they wed.

After the birth of their 2nd son, it was announced that Parks would have her own spinoff show called “Rich People’s Problems”, documenting her career as a lawyer.

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6 Reasons Why Black Women Are Not Getting Married

There are so many articles out there about what’s wrong with black women, why we’re single, why no one wants us, etc. As a black woman, I personally don’t appreciate it or the attention it gets. While we have flaws just like everyone else, we shouldn’t be viewed as undesirable. We are beautiful, we are intelligent, and there are black men (and other ethnicities as well) that adore us. So when someone asks “why aren’t black women getting married”, here are other reasons besides the same ol’ noise.

We’re Not Ready

Why Black Women Aren't Getting Married

Photo courtesy of BrownGirlNextDoor.com

Marriage is a huge commitment, one of the biggest decisions you make in life. We’re not blind; we see all the people getting engaged and jumping the broom. But we don’t want to rush into a commitment we’re not ready for. We can have multiple reasons for not being ready. Maybe our relationship is still in its infancy, and we want to get to know the man more before pledging to spend the rest of our lives with someone. We take marriage seriously, not lightly. We’ll be ready when we decide we’re ready, and not a moment before hand.

We’re Not Interested

Hey, marriage isn’t for everybody! While it’s a beautiful thing, some of us are not looking to get married at any point. I know several couples who have been together for years, started a family, live together, and have never exchanged vows. And you know what? It works for them. We can be in fulfilling long-term relationships without being someone’s wife. Remember, we’re in the year 2014. We’re not living our grandmothers’ lives anymore. Marriage isn’t every black woman’s ultimate goal.

We’re Career Focused

What’s wrong with focusing on our career rather than a marriage? Books like Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In has brought to light the things women go through in order to somehow accomplish a work-life balance. What if our jobs are our lives? We shouldn’t be penalized for that. It’s clear that women have to work twice as hard as men just to be seen as equals, earn equal pay, receive promotions, etc. If we’re dedicated to our jobs, some of us have come to the conclusion that we can’t give equal energy to a marriage and our careers, so we made the decision to forego one.

We Did… and it Didn’t Work

What much of the media fails to recognize is that many of us have been married before, and it didn’t work out. They forget to include those of us who got married, and ultimately got divorced. So we’re back on the market, technically, but we’re in no rush to go through the motions the second time around. Yes, we may want to get remarried eventually, but we learned from our mistakes, and our taking our time before saying “I Do” again.

Men Aren’t Ready

Before all the men get upset, hear me out. How many of you have been in a relationship with a woman, and she’s thinking things are going to the next level (meaning marriage) and the thought hasn’t crossed your mind for more than a minute? There are so many men out there who are leading us on and leaving us out to dry. Again, I know several couples who have been together for years, maybe between 7-10, and they’re not even engaged yet. Some men out there are scared of getting married, and it’s frustrating and sad for us. Yeah, we could end the relationship and pursue someone who is marriage minded, but come on ladies, we’re nurturers and fixers, and we hold out hope that one day he’ll change his mind.

Haven’t Met the Right One

My mom has said sometimes you have to kiss a few frogs before you meet your prince. And frankly, there are a lot of frogs out there. I don’t want to say good men are hard to find, but the right man very well could be. What’s right for one woman may not be right for another. We have standards, and they’re going to be different for every person. I’m not saying we have a laundry list of unobtainable and unrealistic things (although some of us may need to remove a few things), but we should all have standards and not settle. So we’re simply not settling! We’re waiting, patiently, for the right man to come along.

So we’re not damaged goods, we’re not bitter, we’re not always the problem. We have our reasons for being single, we have our reasons for being unwed. Respect our decisions, and love us despite our flaws.

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DAMN GINA: Our 6 Favorite Martin And Gina Moments

One of our favorite black TV couples are Martin and Gina Payne from the 90s hit sitcom Martin. Played by Martin Lawrence and Tisha Campbell-Martin, the showed aired from 1992 to 1997 with 5 seasons and 132 episodes. The couple gave us a lot of laughter and quite a few loving moments. Here are 6 of our favorite Martin & Gina moments.

Damn Gina!

Martin Meets the Parents

On the episode The Parents Are Coming, Martin got a chance to meet Gina’s parents. In an attempt to impress them, Martin took advice from Cole (SMH) and acted like his persona on the radio. What a first impression it was.

Martin Thinks Gina’s Cheating

Martin swore up and down that his girl Gina was cheating on him. And Tommy and Cole went with him to confront her. Once she came back to the hotel room, Martin heard a lot of stuff he wasn’t happy with. Then, SURPRISE!

Martin & Gina Double Date

Remember The Break Up episode when Martin and Gina broke up, and they both dated other people? Gina was setup with Pam’s crazy minister cousin Leon, played by David Allen Grier. Tommy and Cole took Martin out to the club, and he met a young woman named Nicole, played by a young Lark Voorhies (also known as Lisa Turtle from Saved by the Bell or Mercedes Langford from In the House). Both dates were at the same restaurant, and an unexpected, and hilarious, double date occurred.

An Awkward Dinner

On the episode You’re All I Need, Martin was trying to impress Jim Bozack, played by Jim Morris, in order to further his career. So he and Gina went out with Jim and his wife Lena, played by Real Housewives of Atlanta’s Kenya Moore. This awkward dinner had Martin in some hot water with Gina.

When Martin Proposed to Gina

Fans had been waiting for the day when Martin would finally ask Gina to be his wife. And we got it, with this lovely serenade from Brian McKnight.

The Wedding

The wedding we all waited for. Martin and Gina tied the knot on a beach with Babyface singing on the episode Wedding Bell Blues. This episode aired May 11, 1995.

What are your favorite Martin & Gina moments?

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Are Lupita Nyong’o and Jared Leto Dating?

It’s awards season, and movie stars are showing up and showing out for their breakout performances. One of 2013’s biggest films, 12 Years a Slave, has already won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Drama. Two of their stars, Lupita Nyong’o and Jared Leto also won at the SAG Awards for Best Supporting Actress and Actor in a Motion Picture respectively. But are the costars a little more than friends?

Lupita & Jared

Photo credit to KISSMYFASH’s Tumblr

Check out their body language when they’re intensely staring each other in the eyes. There’s definitely some chemistry there.

At the possibility that the two may be dating, Twitter users voiced their opinions:

We like it too!

Those babies would be beautiful!

I like both!

Nothing has been confirmed yet, but we’ll be keeping our eye out!

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5 Things Michelle Obama Teaches Black Women About Marriage

Happy birthday to our First Lady Michelle Obama! Our president’s other half is graciously turning 50 today, and is looking as radiant as ever. After 22 years of marriage, she has quite a bit of wisdom to impart on us when it comes to keeping a healthy marriage.

Love Doesn’t Hurt

“Good relationships feel good. They feel right. They don’t hurt. They’re not painful. That’s not just with somebody you want to marry, but it’s with the friends that you choose. It’s with the people you surround yourselves with.”

Barack and Michelle Friends

Mrs. Obama wants us to remember how it feels to be in love, and that means love doesn’t hurt. Love is not abuse. Love is not control. Love is a beautiful feeling. While it may not always be easy and it may not always feel great, you should never think of your spouse and think “pain”.

Don’t Forget About Yourself

“Women should have the freedom to do whatever they need to do to feel good about themselves.”

We as black women tend to often forget about ourselves when we’re married. We’re focused on our husbands, we’re focused on our kids, we’re focused on our extended families, and we tend to come last. We forget about our hobbies, our plans, and the things we need to remain ourselves. The First Lady wants us to remember that we have the power to do what it takes to take back control of our own lives and feel good about ourselves.

Be Your Husband’s Friend

“[Barack and my] relationship was first a friendship. It took off from there.”

A relationship built on a friendship will most certainly prosper! You can’t help but recognize the energy and the chemistry between the President and his wife. We love seeing them laugh and play with each other. The same holds true with your marriage. It shouldn’t always be about the bills and business. Let loose and have fun with the person you vowed to spend the rest of your life with. Enjoy hobbies together, spend quality time, and always remember the starting point of your relationship, which should be a friendship.

Believe In Your Husband

“And I come here as a wife who loves my husband and believes he will be an extraordinary president.”

Could you imagine having your husband’s back as leader of the free world? It’s got to be tough, and I’m sure it was nerve wracking when Barack first mentioned his intentions to Michelle. But through it all, she has believed in him and had his back! When your husband has dreams and goals, he needs you as his biggest cheerleader. Pump him up, support him in any and every way possible, and he can be successful.

Look Forward to Your Future Together

“And I did not think it was possible, but let me tell you today, I love my husband even more than I did four years ago. Even more than I did 23 years ago when we first met.”

Can you believe that these two are even more in love than they were when they first got married? This is something many couples who have been married for a long time feel. When you go through ups and downs with your spouse, it tends to bring you closer together. The phrase “that which does not kill you makes you stronger” rings true for marriages as well. What didn’t tear you apart will bring you closer together. Look forward to being even more in love with the person you married as time goes by.

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5 Things Women Should Never Do In Relationships

Relationships are a two way street, and require 100% (not 50%) from both parties. While there are things men can do to keep a successful relationship going, there are things women can do as well to contribute to a healthy relationship. There are also things that women shouldn’t do in their relationships if they want to keep things running smoothly.

Tell everyone your relationship business

When you’re in a relationship, you’re excited, and you want everyone to know about it. In the same breath, when you’re upset, sometimes you want to tell the world about that too. Don’t! People who tell all their family and friends every single detail of their relationship are allowing too many cooks in the kitchen. This is where opinions start forming and are delivered to you without even asking. At the same time, we live in the age where people post their entire lives on social networks. Do not broadcast your business on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, or any other network. Your relationship is between you and your boyfriend / fiancé / husband. Keep it that way!

Go through your man’s phonePhone Passcode

This has become a trend over the years, for people to go through their partner’s phone. There’s a saying “when you go looking for something, expect to find something.” Going through your man’s phone doesn’t solve anything. Going through pictures and text messages to find out if your man is cheating is just going to get the two of you in an argument. He’ll defend himself, saying you’re invading his privacy. You’ll continue to argue for what you did or didn’t find. The bottom line is trust: if you can’t trust the person you’re with, why are you with them in the first place?

Withhold sex as a punishment

This is a mistake a lot of women make: using sex as a weapon, but not in a good way. Withholding sex from your partner as a punishment is a sure shot way to cause a rift in your relationship. Men are physical, sexual beings. It’s part of their biology. While women do hold the power, trying to manipulate your man by not giving him any spells danger. It can lead to resentment, arguments, and some would see it as an excuse for cheating (which it’s not, but that may not stop him). If you have a point you want to get across, talk about it, but don’t make your sex life suffer because of it.

Demand all of his time

We as women love to spend time with our men. However, when you’re joined at the hip, it can cause more harm than good. Be sure to give your significant other space to breathe from time to time. You don’t need to talk all day, then spend all night together, every single day. Give him time to be by himself or hang out with his boys, or even to spend time with his family. This gives him the freedom to do things he wants to do, and also gives him a chance to miss you.

Belittle and embarrass him (in private or in public)

Men are used to being the head of their relationships. So one of the worst things you can do is belittle, embarrass, or emasculate your man. This is especially crucial in a public settings, like when you’re around friends and even strangers. However, this holds true at home as well. When you’re talking to or about your man, hold him in high esteem. Don’t list all of his flaws or talk down to him. Don’t recite the laundry list of things he isn’t doing right or air his dirty laundry. Build him up, encourage him, and even take some time to brag about him from time to time. When a man sees a woman appreciates him, flaws and all, his heart opens up even more to her.

Do you think some of these are wrong? Do you have anything to add?

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Infidelity: Why People Cheat and Should You Stay

Infidelity is the elephant in the room when it comes to relationships. Everyone defines cheating differently. Some may think it’s not cheating if you’re not married to someone (or you’re single until you’re not). Others believe online flirting would constitute as being unfaithful, while others straddle the fence on whether affairs of the heart weigh the same as physical intimacy outside of your relationship. Whatever the case may be, infidelity is an issue that tears relationships apart.

So why does it happen? Why do people commit to someone else, with the understanding that they will be seeing each other exclusively, or even married couples who take vows in front of family and friends, then cheat on their significant other, causing humiliation, resentment, anger and depression? One “reason” cited is an emotional disconnection to your partner. Romantic feelings quickly turn into indifference or resentment when the honeymoon period is over. People blame peer pressure, especially if they are the lone person in a relationship, surrounded by many single friends. It could be an intimacy issue where there’s a level of sexual unsatisfaction, or even the sex part of the relationship becomes extinct or very rare.Couple Not Talking

My personal opinion: There’s no good reason to cheat. Being unfaithful is a selfish and hurtful thing to do to your significant other. It can cause emotional damage, regardless of if you let your partner know after the fact, or if they have to find out about it. Often, the person who was cheated on internalizes the issue, blaming his or herself even if it had nothing particularly to do with them. The cheater is often going through something, and instead of talking it out with their partner, takes the “easy” way out. Communication is key in a relationship, and I believe the unsatisfied party should talk their problems out with their significant other, and let them know how they’re feeling. Sneaking around and having an affair solves nothing, but instead, causes more problems.

So let’s say Steve cheated, and Robin finds out (either or on her own or Steve confessed). Should Robin stay or should she leave? There’s no right or wrong answer. There’s a lot of factors that come into play, and it’s really on a case by case basis. There are some people who vow they would never stay with a cheater. Good for them. There are other couples who feel that the relationship is salvageable. Kudos to them as well. There can be a laundry list of reasons to stay, and a list just as long to leave. It’s up to you and your boundaries. The one thing I do ask you to remember: you have to live with your decision. Don’t make it to please other people because they go back to their lives while you continue to live with your choice.

It’s such a tough subject, and nothing fun to experience. If you believe your relationship can be repaired, counseling is a great way to work through the issues that led to the infidelity, combat other issues that may be brewing, and receive support to heal your wounds from the trauma (because this can be a very traumatic experience, for both people). However, it is much easier to prevent an issue like cheating rather than rebuilding after the fact.

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