Thought For The Day:

“Having a good reason to do a bad thing is an excuse masked as justification.”

Question For The Day:

Do you fault yourself for others issues?

I’ve had a pretty status quo week so I’m not going to pretend to have had any profound personal experience or “ah ha” moment to draw insight from today.  Yet, when all else fails, I can generally count on one of my favorite television shows to give me something interesting to talk about.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I watch a decent amount of reality television.  (Again, don’t judge me.)  I have often wondered though why anyone in the public eye would sign on to do something so invasive.  I’m sure it represents another source of income and probably free promotion for an upcoming project, but still it just seems crazy to attempt to live your life in front of a camera.  I’m sure that anyone who signs on to do one of these shows has every intention of putting their best foot forward and presenting their best self, kind of like a live action Facebook page.  But occasionally, celebrities may find themselves caught out there when real life drama comes knocking at their door just when a camera is shoved in their face.  Such is the case, I believe, with Tina Campbell, one of the stars of We TV’s Mary Mary.

Let me just say first that I enjoy this show.  I appreciate the way Tina and Erica Campbell, the powerhouse gospel duo of the group Mary Mary, represent themselves.  To me, they come across as real women though they are gospel artists.  I don’t get the sense that they are trying to put forth a polished, sanctified beyond reproach image that we all know isn’t real anyway.  Perhaps it was this willingness to be candid however that could explain why God allowed such a major breakdown in Tina’s marriage to occur in the midst of filming the show.  For those who may not know, Tina Campbell’s husband Teddy Campbell, apparently either got caught or confessed to his wife that he had been unfaithful.  Not only had he cheated, but with multiple women.  Tina did what most of us would do first which is take it to the Lord in prayer and anoint him with oil….not!   Instead, she kept it real and went Inglewood on his behind!  She destroyed his car by shooting it multiple times and pounded her diamond wedding ring into dust.  After she was done cutting a fool, she gave him and all of his belongings curbside service.  Now, I’m not condoning showing out if your man cheats, but I have to respect Tina for keeping it gangsta.  She was so deep in it that I think she forgot that a show was being filmed.  Anyway, long story short, the two of them got into counseling, committed to reopening the lines of communication and are working on starting fresh.  Teddy even proposed to Tina again and on last week’s show, she was planning their second wedding.

I am glad that the world has a chance to see this and not because we need something else to gossip about.  There is value in having a window into how a Christ-centered couple approaches reconciliation and there is no sin in Tina believing God for a revival in her marriage. With God, all things are possible, so my prayers are with them as they work through their issues.  It could end up being a powerful testimony of God’s limitless power to bring total healing and restoration to any situation.  Most Christians can get behind this type of reconciliation provided the cheating spouse involved owns up to his/her mistakes and makes proper amends.  But when Tina brought her story to Ebony magazine shortly after it all went down, what she had to say had many sisters giving her the side eye.  Tina explained that although she accepts that her husband messed up, she also recognized that she played a role in the breakdown by being too self-centered and career-driven to give her relationship the attention it deserved.  In essence, she admitted that her ego, in many ways, alienated her husband, making it easier for him to step out.  Well, I recently saw the story floating around the internet and folks were not having it!  Many were leaving scathing comments on various sites about how Tina is dumb and naïve and has no business taking any responsibility for what her husband chose to do.  After all, she didn’t make him stick his penis in someone else’s goody box.

Here’s my take.  Ultimately, I get what Tina is trying to say.  Anytime there is a breakdown in a relationship, everyone involved usually has a role to play.  Even if you were not the one to display the game-changing behavior or make the relationship-altering choice, it’s worth considering what you may have mistakenly allowed, overlooked, or provoked either consciously or unconsciously.  It is fair to accept that you contributed to the issue in some way.  However, let’s be clear.  Accepting that you may have contributed to the issue, does not mean that you are equally to blame for someone else’s bad choices.  Everyone has to take responsibility for their own ish and carry their own baggage.  Yet women with codependent traits or who struggle with low self esteem are often too quick to blame themselves for their men’s mistakes.  If I hear one more time that Ray Rice’s woman “shouldn’t have been all up in his face,” as a justification for why he “had to” knock her out, I’ll scream. I don’t know if it’s fear of losing whatever man we can get our hands on or what, but we have got to stop justifying bad behavior just so we can have an excuse to stay in a bad situation.  Many of us assume all of the responsibility for the fractures in our relationships.  If I had just dressed up more or gave him more booty, he wouldn’t have stepped out.  If I had just kept quiet and done things the way he liked, he wouldn’t have hit me.  If I would have stopped complaining and just accepted all of his bad habits, he would have stayed.  Uh… no.  Like Tina, it’s fine to acknowledge your faults if they had a negative impact on the relationship as a whole.  However, it’s not okay to blame yourself entirely for the poor choices someone else makes in response.  There are always good and bad ways to deal with any relationship issue.  You could just as easily go talk to your pastor or get into counseling if you are thinking about cheating or are having urges to harm your mate.  You never have to do something that you know will hurt your partner and jeopardize your relationship to a possibly irreparable degree.  Trying to make wrong right is a cop out and expecting your partner to share in the blame for your messy behavior is even worse.  Everyone is entitled to make mistakes in relationships because after all, none of us are perfect.  But I shouldn’t have to be wrong on your behalf.  As long as both partners are accountable for their own stuff and are committed to making the personal changes that are necessary, even the rockiest relationships can survive.  I can personally attest to that fact.  I also believe this is likely the case for Tina and Teddy Campbell.  But if your partner is trying to load their issues, problems and mistakes onto your back so they can travel lighter,  then kindly remind them that your hands are already full with your own stuff.   If he/she wants to take this trip through life with you, make sure they carry their own bags because in the real world, there’s nowhere to check them anyway.

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