*In this episode of OWN’s Black Love, eight couples shared their different experiences and how they hurdled over some of what looked like their biggest obstacles at the time.
Tia & Cory: Married 8 yearsEverything revolves around their son. Once their son was born, It was no longer about them. It was about Cree. “Don’t ever think that a baby is going to just bring you closer. It brings you closer for a minute. But then reality hits.” says Tia. Cory and Tia don’t have gender roles in their marriage. Whenever one of them is away filming, the other steps in to fill both roles while working. The two heavily rely on various types of communication to let the other know how they’re feeling. Forgiveness, patience, and communication a is how the pair have been able to maintain a long healthy relationship.
Tamra & Akadius: Married 3 years Akadius admits that he can sometimes be very passive when it comes to de-escalating situations in his marriage. In fact, Tamra agreed her husband can be a bit of an “asshole”. Akadius grew up in a very candid in your face environment from Tamra. He realized that he couldn’t talk to his wife the same way he would talk to his neighborhood friends because it could offend her. At the end of the day Akadius has no problem apologizing to Tamra whenever he’s “wrong” but feels right. He doesn’t allow the small things to ruin their whole day of communication. Tamra takes Akadius out of his comfort zone most times and he appreciates that. Tamra shares that with time her patience has grown over the years the two have been an item.
Chea & Ashley: Married 1 year
For years the couple struggled with cultural and racial issues in their marriage. Ashley knew that on an intimate level she’d be solely judged by her complexion against Chea’s. Growing up she turned a deaf ear to the hate because she never had the direct contact of interracial love. In many situations Ashley felt Chea could’ve defended her as his partner a lot better; however, Chea was caught between a rock and a hard place because he loves Ashley but didn’t want to go against his family in any way. Chea believes that the focus should be on his family dynamic and hopes that others around them will acknowledge the love they have for each other.
Aonika & Sean: Married 10 years When the two first got married Sean was offered a role in a play which immediately upset Aonika because she felt they needed to spend more time with each other as well as the baby making. But she then has a moment with herself and remembers that she married an actor and she’d be a fool to tell him he can’t go be great because of their marriage. Aonika then opened up about her infertility issues and how she in the beginning felt that she failed Sean because she knew how bad he wanted a baby. Sean never had the idea of leaving her through this difficult time because she couldn’t get pregnant. He was very supportive of his wife’s fertility journey and did whatever it took. After the couple stopped trying to have a baby, their daughter Lola was conceived a month later. As of now, Sean and Aonika are fully committed to being the best parents they can be to their two children.
Hasani & Danielle: Married 13 years Danielle begins by sharing the lows of her and her husband Hasani’s relationship in the beginning. Things were so bad that sometimes she couldn’t stand to be in his presence. As she began to do some self reflecting, she realized that Hasani was showing her the same love he was given as a child. From that moment on, she became patient with him whenever he began to revert to his old ways. Danielle never addressed her own issues until she married Hasani. Prior to their marriage she was never truly aware of who she really was. “It wasn’t until we both decided to fix ourselves that things started to change.” says Danielle. Hasani was very persistent in wanting to be a better husband for Danielle and in return, she gave him her heart.
Chris & Vanessa: Married 10 years
Vanessa feels she is an Alpha-female. For a period of time in their marriage, Vanessa didn’t really include Chris in a lot of the decision making. Her response was always, “oh well, he’ll get over it.” She ignored her husbands feelings for a while. In their 8th year of marriage Chris and Vanessa broke up for 26 hours because Chris felt his wife lacked respect for him. After that moment Vanessa realized that she didn’t have to be “manly” anymore. Chris also learned that he needed to listen to his wife. Her toughness didn’t always mean she didn’t want him.
Aldred & Andrea: Married 44 years
The couple recall the most stress their marriage was under which was when Aldred left private practice and joined the army. The two used that experience to grow closer together in their marriage as a unit.
Flex & Shanice: Married 17 years
The couple faced financial issues in their marriage. At the height of Flex’s career, he was a reckless spender. He admitted he was never taught the importance of budgeting and saving growing up. At one point they had more money going out than coming in. One evening they received a knock on their door from the police saying they had 5 minutes to grab their belongings and leave their home. The couple used that situation to grow closer together and create new beginnings.
This episode really delve into the tough times each couple faced at some point in their marriage. Although these individuals have their in-print in Hollywood, it showed the similarities they have with most Americans when it comes to facing challenging times. In the next episode I believe the couple will go even deeper and reveal the lowest points of their relationships.
What were your thoughts on Episode 2: Tripping Over Hurdles ?