I’ve tried to envision the simplest way to explain why I love you
But there is no simple way
My love for you has no time
There is no space
Infinity is just too soon
And forever has slowly slipped away
My love for you has no time
Forever is our meeting place
I can’t quite put my finger on when I began to love you
But today is the most significant day of my life...
I knew I did not just love you but I am “in love with you.”
Here in the present
On this very day
I can honestly and openly say, “I have fallen deeply, passionately, and madly;
Forever in love with you
You have captured my love
Captivated my heart
And soothed my fears
When I lie down to rest I close my eyes in peace
I am certain you guard my dreams and guide my heart.
This is the idea of love that some of us will spend our lifetime is search of. A feeling, an emotion that is so surreal that it is past our realms of thinking. A dream that is so unimaginable that when GOD set the standards he set them so high that he could only leave just enough room for “unconditional.”
Ephesians 5: 22, 23 (Suggest reading Ephesians Chapter 5:1-33 & Chapter 6: 1-23)
22 –Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 –For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body.
According to the National Vital Statistics Reports Volume 58 #25/August 27, 2010; the divorce rate is at 3.4 trend while marriages are at a 5.6 inclination. These stats show that 50% of persons that gets married will end in divorce. The trend also reveals that there was a decline in marriages in 2009 compared to the 7.1 stats in 2008 and the 7-3 stats of 2007.
This study also reveals that California had the highest marriages while Florida had the highest rates for divorce. The opposite is true when it came to the Midwestern states; North Dakota had the lowest divorce rate and the neighboring state Wyoming had the lowest marriage rate.
According to the Alternatives to Marriage Project US Census Bureau/American Community Survey 2008; 104 million Americans over the age of 18 are not married. This number reflects 45% of the adult population.
56 million of American adults -60% of the unmarried population, have always been single. 68% of the divorced or widowed Americans plan to remain unwed; Gallup 2006. Studies have also revealed that the majority of persons getting married cohabitate first. With a positive turn, 75% of these live in partners plan to marry each other.
“Guide to Marriage” by: Jennifer Maughan states that, the average age for women to marry is 26 and 27 for men (2005 Survey). 80% will marry once in their life time. The couples with the same religious and spiritually connection experience marital satisfaction according to 2004 Survey. The average marriage life span is about seven years before help is sought or the marriage ends in divorce.
Another downside to the single parent homes or the divorced family; African American children are significantly less likely to be living with their married parents. The statistics reveal that only 35% lives with both parents while the Asian represents 84% and 76% of the non-Hispanic –white reside with both parents (Indash; Child Trends Data Bank 2007).
According to the 2008 Pew Research Report using the Census Bureau 2008 American Community Survey; interracial marriages is on the rise. However African American males marriages result in divorce while the White Male and African American Woman marriages results in lower divorce even less than the White Male and White Female marriages.
When it comes to the evolution of love the once dominant same race marriage is no longer an issue for some but for others fear was dominant when it involved change. Interracial love turned into president cases. In 1958; Loving vs. the State of Virginia, they were both found guilty for interracial marriage and sentenced to one year in jail. 25 year suspended sentence if they would leave Virginia.
In Arizona 1921; Kirby vs. Kirby, Mr. Kirby wanted an annulment on the grounds that his marriage wasn’t valid because his wife was a Negro (mixed race).
Pace vs. Alabama (1883); a couple was convicted of interracial sex. It was deemed a felony and adultery/fornication (extramarital sex) was a misdemeanor. This law remained in challenge up until the 1920’s.
Later, the Supreme Court concluded that anti-miscegenation laws were racist and had been enacted to perpetuate white supremacy. Despite this ruling although unenforceable it wasn’t until 2000 when Alabama; the last state, to repeal this law against mixed marriage.
Then I am taken back to my Jr. /Sr. Prom when I had my first dance with a white male. Clay; is his name. It was like a long ago and faded dream. We had this contest and whomever you rotated with at the end of the current song that would be your partner for the next slow song. I remember feeling nervous because even in the late 70’s and early 80’s in my town there was still racial tension. Well, I went to put my purse down and to collect my thoughts because I did not think he would dance with me. I guess he felt the same. Because when I walked away he dropped his head and went to stand in the corner. I walked back near him and motioned and we danced...
Now back to reality. I did a marital survey of my own. My subjects are people that I’ve known for less than a year up to 13 years. I have a selection of never married to widower. Age 30 and up.
Tawana Lesene; mixed race, married two years, When asked; “Why did you get married?” She stated, “For the wrong reasons. It was an experience I wanted to have.”
SLW; “What have you learned from this experience?”
TL; “You have to respect each other and pray together.”
Then I sat with JD and Rose Hall. They are a White couple married for 45 plus years; both second marriages, “How did you know you were with the right person?”
RH; “I didn’t know.”
SLW; “Have you any regrets?”
RH; “No, but I would have waited.”
SLW; “What have you learned from this marriage?”
RH; “You have to be respectful to each other and to communicate in a healthy manner, and
have a sense of humor surely helps.”
Then I sit with Edward and Henrietta Boyd. An African American couple married for more than 30 years. I asked Mr. Boyd this question; “Did you think that your marriage was strong enough to overcome the hard times?”
EB; “I knew that she was the right person for me when she had once considered moving to
Florida. I realized then how much I loved her and knew we were going to make it through
SLW; “Mrs. Boyd, do you have any regrets?”
HB; “No, we would not change anything about our marriage we would just be a little more wiser
with our choices. But we learnt to always keep GOD first.”
My next conversation was with a widower; Garnelle Robinson. She and her husband had been married for fourteen years. I asked; “What married things have you learnt from your marriage?”
GR; “Trust GOD for everything and never go to bed angry.”
SLW; “Will you ever marry again?”
GR; “I have no regrets about my last marriage because we said; “I love you, we laughed we
were passionate and we continuously prayed together. So, yes I would marry again, I like
Then I converse with one of my Dearest friends; Joann Grissett, who has never been married. In a roller coaster relationship with her children’s father she cohabitated for more than twenty-seven years. When I asked; “Do you want to ever get married?”
JG; “I don’t know but what I do know is that he has to be GOD sent and for the first time I do sit
and I think about it.”
Then I think about my marriage. I remember never wanting to be married. I not only said it to my Mother but I said it in every conversation that it became a topic of. Every marriage or relationship that I witnessed in my family as a young child turned out disastrous. I’ve seen breaking and entry, knives cut, gun shots, stabbings, abandonment, runaways, secret rendezvous discovered, family secrets and all of the likes.
Although I did not want to be married, I was not strong enough to fight guilt or thoughts of betrayal or disrespect. I said yes to appease a lot of people. Then reality set in on the night before my wedding it was a torturous time. The morning of the wedding was almost unbearable. I told my mother and my future spouse that I did not want to be married. I told a close friend that I did not want to be married. I even told my espoused brother in-law that I did not want to marry. What they all said were, “It is wedding jitters; butterflies.”
I arrived to the church about two hours late and his sister’s who were my bridesmaids were three hours late and then a horrible thunderstorm set camp out over the church. The rain pounded on the roof, the thunder silenced the words of vows as the lightning flashed fierce precision strikes and “I Did...”
I did get everything I asked for; I go the lies, drugs, alcohol, and women. I had to compete with a memory; the spirit of his first wife. I had to live with children who did not want me around changing the things that their deceased mom created. What seemed to be a financially secure home revealed and unequally yoked household. I was raised to be independent and to seek education. He wanted me to stop working and drop out of college and to seek the things of Governmental assistance. He preferred to borrow money to pay the bills and to buy grocery. I was nearly force fed the concubine from his first marriage that he wanted to keep in our marriage; his second marriage. I’d already seen enough to know where this was heading and I was not going to allow no one to abuse me or threaten the abuse of my children. I was not going to live with the negativity of a divided home. Trying to take away my independence by replacing it with abusive dependence he decides that he wanted to lay hands and smoke drugs to control me; that was the last straw. “Fifteen years since, I have been grocery shopping...”
What I learnt from marriage is that it is not something you can go into lightly. It is being secure within yourself and knowing yourself enough to trust what you truly feel. It requires the one thing that so few of us have; patience. It is the one unconditional of love that we can never seem to grasp hold of; “That every person is entitled to feel whatever they feel and it is because of the love of another that these feelings should be expressed, without judgment or condemnation.”
In the creation of the poem “Sweetie,” it was a love poem constructed in a moment of an epiphany; learning how to love one’s self. In the end it became a love poem created that later helped me to connect with love unconditional.
Like my mother said to me; “speak your heart for it quiets the mind...”
Sharon L. Washington