Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Can Men Exhale Too?

I've written before, about the struggles of relationships, between brothas and sistas. But it seems that, every so often, something else comes up to inspire me to touch on the subject again.

So, I happened upon a movie on cable. It was entitled, "Diary Of A Tired Black Man". I'll try not to spoil it too much, in case you want to see it. Check out or you can also purchase at wherever you can buy DVDs. I heard it's available at Target.

Anyway, this film was unique in that it combined acted vignettes with documentary interviews, with real men and women. I would say it would be comparable to "Waiting To Exhale", only from the male perspective. I liked that it showed what we, as black men, deal with from the sistas. However, it didn't make us look like punks.

What did I take from it? I took from it that, there are deep-seated issues on both sides, that tend to prevent men & women from being able to establish healthy, loving relationships. There's anger, attempted emasculation, apathy, laziness, and simply a plain unwillingness to meet each other halfway. These are only a few problems with how we relate to each other.

We men get fed up, we either give up and go into "playa" mode or, in worse cases, become abusive to the source of our frustration. Why do we get frustrated? Partly because we don't understand you sistas. We don't feel like you're helping, most of the time. So, that's when you hear the infamous "Well, fuck it then!" We never want to get there. But, it's our only recourse when we feel like we're talking to a brick wall. Of course, men are not blameless. Some cats have ruined the best sistas by cheating or some form of abuse.

Sistas, don't get too comfortable. That does not excuse your behavior, nor does it exonerate you from being guilty of the same crimes of passion that men commit. You also cheat. You also abuse men, mentally and physically. We just don't complain as much, for fear of being labled as "weak" or "sensitive". The bottom line is, we do have feelings. I'm not ashamed to say I can be, and have been deeply hurt by women in the past. Hell, it'll probably happen again before it's all over.

So, when you flip on me because something I did reminded you of a previous cat, yes, it hurts. When you do those little flirt moves to "teach me a lesson", it hurts. More than likely, these "power moves" are a band-aid. We may put up with it, for now. But, trust me...just like you have a mental file for our screw-ups, we have one for yours. I have never seen a relationship survive in which, one side or the other failed to hold themselves accountable.

"A strong black woman is one who has weathered many storms without losing the goodness of her character"

That's how you make it work. It's chess, not checkers. There's no magic love dust that makes you googly-eyed. It's called being his/her best friend. Y'all have any idea how tough it is to find someone you can truly call your best friend? Most of you wouldn't do a homie the way you do the person that's in your corner and down for you and only you.

I swear, I get so tired of the struggle for control and power, in my relationships. They say the person that loves the least, holds the upper hand. That sucks, because it should be about being a team & working TOGETHER for what 2 people should want.

Just simply love me, and give me balance in my life. I need you to be the calm to my storms. Don't be the wind that helps blow more storms in. All us men want is peace, when we turn that key to come in the house. If we have to guess, there's a problem. And it'll only get worse with time. Maybe we might stop at Happy Hour before we come home, so we won't be on edge before we open that door. Alcohol added to drama is never a good combo.

It's getting tougher to keep our relationships strong and healthy. The way we're producing offspring, we're passing these traits on to the next generation. If your son/daughter sees you treating people badly, how the hell do you think they are going to treat you, when you get old and they are old enough to remember what you did?

I'm not too optimistic. Maybe I have my own trust issues. But, it's not looking too good, as far as trying to repair our society and our love for each other. A lot have, or will find that "forever" thing. But, how many?

As always, I welcome your feedback...