• Whitley N. Green

Fellas, Y’all Alright?

With this whole Will & Jada Entanglement party going on, I can’t lie and say that I have not thoroughly enjoyed the jokes, memes, and dance remixes to this highly anticipated, yet historically short Red Table “Confessions” Talk.

Though I’m on the boat that the entire situation is none of our business, I also believe that once the secret is out its out, and it’s fair game to play with. With that being said, this is not an attempt to dissect or diagnose The Smith’s relationship or lend a cure to their “Bad Marriage for Life.” I have no interest in whether they stay, leave, or pursue other entanglements, nor am I invested in rationalizing their model for monogamy/polygamy or whatever else they believe. I actually respect their honesty and willingness to speak up and I admire the courage it took for them to have this conversation in front of the world. Their conversation rather has sparked my interest and curiosity into a much deeper and layered question that I’ve pondered for a while.

Do black men have a hard time knowing their worth & value as it relates to romantic love?

What sparked this question is the reality that the now entertaining news spilled over the iconic Facebook table, was nothing that surprised myself nor many other people who have followed the Smith’s open ended 25 year relationship. The first time Jada brought Will to the Red Table, she clearly and deliberately stated her resistance to marrying Will in the first place. Their relationship also started as an “entanglement” where she happened to become pregnant with Jaden. Her mother, who at the time was very religious and traditional, pressured them to get married and so they did. This was not out of love, not out of true desire, and not because she even felt it was the “right” thing to do- it was pressured convenience.

Jada has on many occasions expressed her unrequited love for and continued grief over her best friend Pac and has no trouble telling the world about her unwavering unhappiness she’s experienced in her marriage over the years.

Will has echoed Jada’s sentiments, yet with a very different outlook. On his first visit to the Red Table, he expressed how he didn’t want nor intend to leave his first wife (Sherri), because he didn‘t want to break up his family, but SHE decided to get a divorce. He notes this as his biggest failure (bringing this up again most recently on The Red Couch on Fathers Day). His response to Jada’s unrelenting disdain and unhappiness in their marriage was to put himself through every fiery furnace of hell to become more successful; read more life transforming books; build her a bigger house; and create a life that he thought would finally make her happy and satisfied. That somehow she would finally be happy in the relationship with him (this last sentence is my conclusion not his exact words.)

They both decided to “redefine” their marriage and do “what works for them.” Now I was all for this narrative because I also agree that what works for one relationship does not work for every relationship. Yet here we are again a year later, same conversation (with a dash more truth). Jada is still unhappy (for a lonnnnnnngggg time at that) and Will is still seeking understanding and convincing himself that this whole set up is normal.

Better Than My Father Ever Was...

Something that stood out to me was when Will said, “it feels good to know that you can mess up and don’t have to fear losing your family.” Now we all know this man loves and adores the family he has created. He lives for his legacy and its safe to assume that we should all fear for his sanity if it was to be torn away from him. Sadly, I think Jada knows this and likely subtly (conscious or unconsciously) uses it to her advantage. I also think that he views this aspect of his life as one of his greatest successes and as an extension of his achievement as a husband and father (which he also makes reference to on both the most recent Father’s Day episode and his first appearance at the Red Table).

This brings me back to my initial question:

Do black men have a hard time knowing their worth & value as it relates to romantic love?

Specifically being unrelated to what you can do, provide, or achieve? Right now I am using Will and Jada as the lens through which I am exploring this question, but this is not a celebrity problem. I have had close men friends express confusion as to whether the woman they were pursuing was really into them or not. They’ve shared conversations where I feel bad that he thinks a woman who even plays with disrespect and who is dismissive in her language toward him is normal and is how love should feel.

At times I’m shocked watching a man be truly naive to all the signs that a woman is not just playing hard to get but that she really doesn’t want him in the same way the he wants her. He does not see she is entertaining him out of various different reasons and voids in her own life (this is a whole different blog). Even still, his pursuit after this women persist for reasons, I’m not a man so I‘m not sure of but will guess; out of ego, not wanting to face rejection or failure, and/or the thrill of the challenge (though this is not a challenge you will win even if you finally get her- look at Will).

This is not an attempt to bash women (because I am a woman) or pander to men who are also responsible for becoming more self -aware. Unfortunately, I have played this game too out of past hurt, pain, and rejection. I think both men and women have taken advantage of people who they knew were into them, yet had no intention to take the relationship any further with the individual they were “entangled” with. It’s a nasty cycle that I think only deteriorates our self worth, self esteem, and inherently distorts the way we view and interact in relationships. This behavior is making it harder to really receive, recognize, and believe real love when it shows up (so we end up self sabotaging) and perpetuating more pain to the people who actually care about us.

Breaking the Code or Breaking the Cycle?

People may not agree with the way August Alsina came forth, saying he displayed no discretion and is breaking the code. To me, it goes to show that what is done in the dark will always come to light and pain will find the smallest cracks to seep through in order to make its presence known until acknowledged and healed.

Who cares about his broken heart? While Will and Jada can go back to the comfort of their unhappy marriage, at least they have each other. It wouldn’t surprise me if August goes to seek his comfort in the arms of various women who don’t know they are likely the replaceable bandaid to his unhealed wounds.

...And the cycle continues.

Again, this is not an attempt to place the blame on men or women, its simply a question, a call that we wake up. That we take the time to explore the depths of our own being, heal our past trauma, and look for love within ourselves first, rather than breaking down each other for the work we refuse to do.

What is it that makes you happy outside of a romantic relationship? What are your hobbies? When do you feel most loved, appreciated, respected? What do you want love to feel and look like?

I fear that if steps are not taken to renew our perspective on love, we will continue to normalize having to prove ourselves to be loved; that settling for what is available is our fate; and accepting the idea that love is painful, hard, and perpetually unhappy and unsatisfying. These types of entanglements will always make us question if we are doing too much, doing enough, and if we are even viewing love the right way if it doesn‘t match the person’s we are trying to prove ourselves to.

But hey, I’m just a girl with a wandering mind...

Fellas, I pray you begin to know you are enough and that you are loved. You are not what your mom said and you are not the mistakes of your father or the deficit of his lack of approval and acknowledgment. There is nothing left to prove or do that will make you any more or less worthy of love that doesn’t involve struggle or pain. I pray you stop chasing what is really trying to run away from you.

Ladies, I pray we find solace in knowing that the love we seek is within. That daddy not being there and momma not nurturing us is what we needed to redefine our own narrative of love. No relationship will make us feel better about the areas we refuse to address on our own. I pray that we know without a doubt that a real woman employs her feminine power to build not tear down; she knows manipulation is child’s play; and she has an unwavering belief that what is hers is attracted to her spirit and the confidence and love she has in herself. Ase’. Ase’. Ase’.

Peace. Love. & Soul- Glow Grease.


The theme for the month of July is “Your Diet is More Than What You Eat!” We will explore some of the things that can keep us stuck, distracted, and unfulfilled and focus on spiritual principles and practices, emotional well being, relationship building tips, and whatever else God places on my heart to share or takes me through to experience. Y’all pray for me.

Like I always say, I am doing this work along side of you and my writing serves as only a reflection and personal narrative that I hope you find useful in your own experience.

“The life you want is on the other side of the awareness you accept & the decision you make as a result.”

Follow me @The.feminine.arts.academy on Instagram or @artsfeminine on Twitter and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/artsfeminine/ to keep up with the latest Femininity and Self Love tips and news. Check out my NEW YouTube Channel Video where I discuss all things Self Love, Self Care, & Femininity.

#DANCEForYou #WonderingWhitley #Boundaries #SelfLove #Healing #Expectations #Standards#Creating #DivineMother #Lifestyle #SelfAwareness #Beauty #Goddess #SpeakTFUp#Accountability #SelfAwareness #SelfMastery #SelfReflection #YourDietIsMoreThanWhatYouEat

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