I’m a huge fan of Iyanla Vanzant. As a young girl, I received her book, Don’t Give It Away as a gift from an older woman. Iyanla (and Tina Turner) taught me what an a-f-f-i-r-m-a-t-i-o-n was. I’m excited that she has a show on OWN (Oprah Winfrey’s Network) and even more excited about the work that she is doing to help others fix their lives.
This past Saturday she interviewed Real Housewives of Atlanta cast member Sheree Whitfield and her ex husband Bob Whitfield.
Iyanla told Bob to tell her the story from the beginning and it came down to Bob basically saying that he married Sheree because she was pregnant and he felt the “right thing” to do was to marry her. Two days after their wedding, Sheree said that Bob was “spending the night out” or away from home.
It was obvious that these two people who disliked each other. So much so, that it has interfered with their ability to co-parent. Although their drama is playing out on the big screen, it is all too familiar.
(A) Men can be manipulative and dishonest about the nature of their relationship with a woman. When a woman realizes the truth, or as Iyanla told Bob, “Sheree was never in your heart” it can lead to bitterness and anger.
(B) Women manipulate men by using their children as pawns & bargaining chips. Bob wanted to establish a relationship with his children. When Bob calls the cell phone of his children, Sheree picks up… The children are old enough to both answer their cell phones & should be encouraged to build a relationship with their father independent of the mother.
(C) Women have to have standards for both themselves and their partners (and vice versa). While a man may be financially well-off, it is not worth sacrificing happiness and one’s soul to pursue those financial benefits. When a woman lowers her self, it literally causes her to lose self-respect, the respect of her children and the respect of the “man” who has made her drop the bar.
(D) Both Sheree & Bob were holding on the past and at some point one has to let the past go. The baby (or in their case babies) are here and growing. They don’t have time to wait for mother to get herself together because she’s angry with the father. They don’t have time to wait for the father to stall another weekend or another month. They need advice, they need direction, they need love and they need good examples to follow. While two co-parents may not be best-friends, they have to get along enough to make decisions together for the child that they BOTH created.
The moment we start being deceitful about our feelings (loving someone versus loving what they do) and/or our intentions (internally looking for long-term but externally looking for one night) , is the moment we invite a lot of pain, frustration, stress, drama, guilt, resentment and so much more into our lives.