Dr. Boyce: Why the End of Will and Jada Hurts So Much

23 Aug

will smith and jada pinkett smith getting divorced

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Your Black World

I was admittedly taken aback after reading about the reported split between Hollywood’s most notable black power couple, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith.  They were/are the young Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee….an accessorized version of Michelle and Barack, standing as the symbol of all that is possible in the complex world of black love and relationships.

But most of us know that all that glitters ain’t gold, and I’m sure the same rule applies to the Pinkett-Smith marriage.

I hope the reports of a pending separation aren’t true (there’s a relative stating that it’s all a bunch of nonsense), but regardless of whether the couple is going to stick it out or not, the possibility of their separation leads all of us to reflect on the nature of love and how this is supposed to work.  As a graduate student, I was able to solve some of the most complex math equations known to man, but I’ve long given up trying to solve the life-altering puzzle called L-O-V-E.

Will Smith is, without question, one of the most remarkable human beings in Hollywood.  I wasn’t surprised to hear that he’d been accepted to MIT at the age of 18(or so they say), for only a genius could parlay his career as a goofy rapper into one that allows him to be one of the most revered sex symbols in the world.  Also, his commitment to his wife and children has been commendable, for his actions appear to be a reflection of strong family values.

We also have to admire Jada Pinkett-Smith, who has bravely endured the task of managing a relationship with the man that every woman is trying to get.   She’s has always carried herself with a remarkable amount of class and elegance, hiding whatever horrors she might have been experiencing in her private life.  But then again, if they are truly getting separated, the marriage likely wasn’t a picnic for either Will or Jada….marriage almost never is.

I didn’t quite understand the Pinkett-Smith concept of an “open marriage,” where each of them agrees that it is OK for their partner to sleep with other people.  It sort of sounds like commitment without commitment, which forces us to confront two major conflicting instincts of man:  The desire to spread your seed and the need to love and provide for your family.   Most interesting is that men with the highest testosterone levels (i.e. alpha males like Will) are the ones with the greatest desire to spread their seed, and they are also the ones that women want the most.  At the same time, we all know that a large percentage of women are interested in multiple sexual partners, so perhaps I’m old fashioned by wondering if monogamy has simply gone out of style.

While “gettin jiggy” with whoever you want might seem to be a logical solution to the whole “monogamy problem,” the notion of an open marriage seems to be an invitation for every type of drama, heartache and venereal disease you can think of, as it comes off as an uncomfortably non-traditional way to do a traditional thing.  If you need to sleep with whoever you want,  some would say that you shouldn’t get married at all.  It’s odd that something as seemingly irrelevant as your sex organs should make you devoid of the rights to love and family, but misuse of the family penis has brought down many an empire.

Will Smith impressed me with something he said on television back on 1998.  He explained that during his first marriage, he realized that he can’t give 100% to his career and simultaneously run his marriage on autopilot. He understood that being successful at almost anything requires a universal commitment to giving it all you’ve got.  According to Smith, building a good marriage requires just as much focus, hard work and determination as anything else.

I strongly suspect that it was his commitment to family, love and traditional values which led to Will sticking it out in this marriage for as long as he has.  I also can’t help but wonder if it was this odd desire to have an open marriage that opened up a can of worms that may have brought poison into the Pinkett-Smith relationship.  Jealousy can be a powerful thing, and as much as we’d like to think we can overcome it, we might be fooling ourselves by trying to outsmart God and Mother Nature.  On the other hand, there are those who truly believe that monogamy isn’t natural, and with the divorce/infidelity rates in America being so high, it’s hard to argue to the contrary.

Whatever the reasons for their divorce (if they are indeed going to go through with it), the end of Will and Jada would be both symbolically painful and disappointing to millions of people.  But those who think that the end of their marriage signifies a negative blow to the existence and possibilities of genuine African American love are dead wrong.  Black love exists now as much as ever if people are serious about finding it, and the Smiths have best represented the power of black love by the fact that they’ve given it their best shot.  In other words, this couple was always “100 percent for real,” and nothing is ever going to change that.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University and founder of the  Your Black World Coalition.  To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email,please click here.

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50 Responses to “Dr. Boyce: Why the End of Will and Jada Hurts So Much”

  1. Damian Roth August 23, 2011 at 6:32 pm #

    Thank you for the article regarding Will and Jada. But please stop perpetuating this Hollywood myth that Will Smith was accepted at MIT. It is simply not true. Will is certainly a successful actor. But he is not a genius by any definition of the word. Will was accepted into a summer program that MIT created to encourage black kids to pursue math and science and engineering. The requirements were minimal and program has absolutely nothing to do with being accepted at MIT. This is on the same level as Tyra Banks being admitted to Harvard Business School, which she never was. She attends an executive education program at Harvard Business School. Admission requires nothing more than paying the fee and applying. Stop spreading nonsense. We are full of real success stories, Will and Tyra included. We don’t need to embellish their accomplishments or diminish those who truly were admitted to MIT or Harvard.

    • Joyce August 23, 2011 at 7:11 pm #

      Very good information and thank you for setting the record straight.

    • Uncle Kipper August 23, 2011 at 9:52 pm #

      I totally understand that the accurate info should be given. Full disclosure does indeed seem to be a bit of a lost art these days. But by the same token, their attending these programs are indeed a ‘one-up’ on a lot of us who would have possibly liked to have done it. In other words, it’s not ‘nonsense’, but incomplete information being disseminated. That’s all.
      icredible family

    • safetyman August 28, 2011 at 3:07 pm #

      I have not heard of any successfully people of color doing anything great coming out of MIT it is still a racist system that downplays the accomplishments of other people of color and you wonder why other countries out do americans in science and Math.

    • Ken October 10, 2011 at 12:12 pm #

      Damian Roth, Are you qualified to determine who is a genius or not? Next time stick to the facts: you do have some in your comment but your subjective comments veer off at some point! Do you don’t know how intelligent, talented or creative Mr. Smith or Tyra Banks are to determine whether or not they are geniuses? Also, merely being accepted to Harvard or MIT does not equal genius. Albert Einstein stated “imagination is more important than knowledge.” I think we all accept the fact that he was a genius and yet he stated the aforementioned. What that tells me is that one does not need a fancy piece of paper to show how smart they are. I applaud both people for all that they have accomplished with their energy and creative talent. We need to get away from this notion that mere educational attainment is enough: it is clearly not enough. The real geniuses are the creative and intellectual pioneers who venture out and create something that didn’t exist before from disparate parts, like Steven Jobs or Bill Gates. And also like Tyra Banks who leveraged him fame as a model to become a successful media entrepreneur. Now that is genius to me!

  2. lovely Lomax August 23, 2011 at 6:39 pm #

    Marriage is a job,you must work at it. I hope they can work it out,if not now maybe later,I love you guys no matter what. If you are in your mean time ?(Being mean to one another), Be mean and make nice.

    P.S Break-ups are hard on everyone not just the children. Sex isn’t what makes the marriage,team work,reality ,forgiveness ,understanding mixed with mercy =love

  3. lovely Lomax August 23, 2011 at 6:43 pm #

    Don’t let me forget commitment. Whatever you all decide i know you thought about it.continuous love and prayer,if you need someone to watch the children call….I’ll be there

  4. Beverly August 23, 2011 at 6:53 pm #

    I see open marriage a destruction waiting to happen. How does one know, when they sleep with someone else, it may be something that really turned them on, maybe, the way they kiss, smell, fell or etc. its something that has to be handle very carefully because sooner or later, someone will want out of the marriage. Playing with fire someone will eventually get burned.

    If a person want to continue too roam why get marry?, it’s easier being single and enjoying the freedom to do whatever one want but when there are children involved this is showing them lack of respect and this normally does something to the child and when they become adults they may have the same outlook on relationships as their parents.

    • Joyce August 23, 2011 at 7:35 pm #

      Open marriage is very unhealthy. With all the HIV and STMD’s that are out there, they both had to be nuts to agree to such a dangerous thing. There is even STMD of the mouth, which means kissing outside the marriage can be as dangerous and stupid as having intercourse. I knew they were both weird but to be that stupid surprises me.

      Make me wonder why Oprah didn’t touch that subject while Jada and Will were guest on her show

      Such an agreement for open marriage can’t help but eventually bring nothing but heartache and arguments. Somebody, will eventually go too far and take the agreement over the limit and it’s usually the male in the relationship that goes too far !

      Meanwhile, that love scene between Jada and Mark Anthony could have been the breaking point, because it was a WOW MOMENT !

      WOW is not the word,,,,it was a WOE,,,,HOLD UP,,,,DON’T YOU THINK YOU ARE TAKING THIS SCENE TOO FAR MOMENT ! ! !

      • Miz Thang August 23, 2011 at 7:50 pm #

        You are so right that love scene was off the wall with Jad and Marc, I thought to myself WHAT THE WHAT????

      • safetyman August 28, 2011 at 3:17 pm #

        Your must review their histories of past relationships, how one becomes successful by using the fast track in California. she is from North Carolina, and he is from Philadelphia. City mouse and the country chicken head. That is not saying anything mean but when you make half commitments and involved children you taint the relationship with them and your own self respect.

  5. JanetL August 23, 2011 at 6:57 pm #

    It’s unfortunate that Dr. Boyce chooses to compare Will & Jada reportedly Open Marriage to Ruby Dee & Ossie Davis and The President and his family, it’s very, very, sad. Are you kidding us?

    The marriages you compare these two with has shown no indication of Open Marriage and it’s just terrible to use this comparison.

    You owe these two couples and their families an APOLOGY!

    I sincerely hope that these two don’t represent all that is possible in an African American couple.

    African American couples that have wholesome, Christian, Godly Marriages don’t have Open marriages, we respect ourselves and our families, our heritage and more importantly God to conduct our selves in such a manner

    Open Marraiges will not succeed ever.

    • BUNCHES OF LOVE August 23, 2011 at 7:05 pm #

      I agree with you!an open marrige is not an marriage at all!

    • Mickey August 23, 2011 at 7:22 pm #

      You are so right! God did not design marriage to be open and it will never work.

    • Joyce August 23, 2011 at 7:43 pm #

      I had the same impression when I read he was comparing Will and Jada to Rudy and Ossie. Will and Jada confessed to the public to having an open marriage,,,never such a confession from Ossie and Rudy. I don’t think, Rudy and Ossie would be that stupid. If I were Rudy and Ossie, I would definitely considered it an insult to be compared with Jada and Will.

      They should sue!

      • shehiplocki August 24, 2011 at 4:06 am #

        …I think you meant Ruby instead of Rudy…

    • DJ August 23, 2011 at 10:40 pm #

      The fact is that each marriage is different, and at the end of the day these two have been committed to each other and their family for a number of years. The fact that you do not approve of their lifestyle does not change that. The president and Michelle and Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis have had their own problems. Ruby for example used to drink heavily, and Michelle was very unhappy with Barack’s political career initially. They are, however, similar to the Smiths in the way in which they have loved each other and their children, and have been true partners in marriage, working together to raise their children, and to build their careers. I wish that people would stop hating on the Smiths. They have done nothing to anyone. They have been responsible adults, who live life on their own terms, and they do not owe anyone anything. You always seei them bringing their best to the game. I wish them the best in the future whether together or apart.

      • Joyce August 24, 2011 at 7:10 am #

        Oh don’t get a twitch in your neck over this. There is no hate, just merely an open conversation and comments to what was written in the article.

        But how on earth Michelle and Barack got into all of this, puzzles me. That couple is an entirely different topic all together, with no obvious comparison to Jada and Will what so ever ? ? ?

    • DEW August 23, 2011 at 10:47 pm #

      I am in total agreement. Will and Jada are not Michelle & Barack and certainly not in the same category with Ossie & Ruby. Yes, it is unfortunate when any marriage ends, but it’s time that we stopped putting entertainers and celebrities on the pedestal as our role models. Except for their celebrity, they are ordinary people with the same flaws, insecurities and problems as the rest of us.

  6. Ceimbe August 23, 2011 at 7:01 pm #

    Dr. Watkins,
    You make it sound like the marriage was doomed from the start with your comment,”Will sticking it out …as long as he did.” And who said anything about divorce? We aren’t ever certain they are truely separating. Hollywood is full of rumors and you seem okay perpetuating them.

    • shehiplocki August 24, 2011 at 4:09 am #

      ..you are right and it seems this is just a nasty rumor going around.

  7. BUNCHES OF LOVE August 23, 2011 at 7:08 pm #

    I HOPE THEY DON’T DIVORCE!,THAT’S ALL SOME PEOPLE ARE WAITING ON!,I HOPE THEY WORK OUT THEIR PROBLEM’S.

    • Joyce August 23, 2011 at 7:45 pm #

      I hope they discontinue the open marriage and screwing around with other people. Not a good example to set before your children.

      • Kathryn August 24, 2011 at 11:52 pm #

        We have to remember Jada and Will are humans just like every other couple. Things happen and I hope they can work their difference out and stay together. Open marriages will not work>

  8. carol August 23, 2011 at 8:15 pm #

    I think everyone including Dr. B is delusional. We need to stop living in la-la land and face facts. Most marriages have one or both partners at some point being unfaithful. PERIOD. I give credit to Will and Jada for not deluding to the ideal of marriage where NO ONE STRAYS!!! To believe in 100% fidelity is fantasy. Married folk who swear they nor their spouse never cheated just never got caught. And that’s on the fo’real!!
    The likelihood of one or both never cheating is about 5%. If folks go into a relationship realistically they may not be so devastated when they find out about infidelity which is exactly why ppl get all bent out of shape when they bust their mate having an affair. The belief in this fantasy also attributes to soo many divorces. Those who can get over themselves, yes I said it THEMSELVES are able to maintain a relationship. Very few species stay with one mate for life including man!!!!!I’m oh so certain Ossie D got busy with someone else. Which doesn’t mean he didn’t love him some Ruby. It’s just the way it is and has been for a million years!! Hell, cavemen and our ancestors was hitting it with “an other” back up in the trees, behind a boulder or in the hayloft. Please it ain’t all that personal it’s just the power of the P%$$y!

    • Joyce August 24, 2011 at 7:25 am #

      I believe in 100% fidelity. I warned my ex-husband if he cheated with another woman, just go and get a lawyer because the marriage would definitely be over. Well, my fantasy attributed to the many divorces because he cheated and I divorced him.

    • Anja August 24, 2011 at 7:11 pm #

      Are you a veritable researcher or statistician on marriage or do you personally know the intimate history of every married person in the United States or, indeed, around the world? If not, how in the heck can you postulate that “everyone is delusional”, to believe in “100% fidelity is fantasy” and “the likelihood of of one or both never cheating is about 5%!!”

      It is absolutely incredulous that we have become so jaded and myopic because of our own preferences and experiences with people who do not believe in the sanctity of ANYTHING, let alone marriage, that we can say with GREAT CERTITUDE that there are virtually no couples who are faithful and honor their vows!!

      According to you, I must be an anomally because I have never once cheated on my spouse or even had the desire to cheat!! I love and honor him and would never disavow our relationship. He has shown his love and committment to me every single day!! Just because the “prevailing view” out there is that EVERYONE cheats, does not make it so!!

      I believe that there are more faithful and committed couples than you think that exist all around you right at this moment and were in existence “millions of years” ago! Since I am not a researcher or statistician and don’t know all of them personally, I choose to believe that some people are true to their convictions and, ultimately, their life partners.

      Your theory on rampant infidelity in our culture reminds me of when I was in school and someone wanted me to cheat on a test/boyfriend, do drugs, bully someone or just “follow the crowd” and go along because “everyone does it.” Oh, I was ostracized, visciously bullied as a young person and even now in the workplace for being “holier than thou” or a Pollyanna, but I was smart enough not to compromise my values by doing something destructive to my self-worth or to another person’s that was also fraught with deleterious, possibly life changing consequences!

      If you have or plan to have children, what will you tell them if they come to you with a broken heart or, perhaps, become infected with a STD like Herpes, HIV or AIDS? Will you say “man or woman up” because it is not personal… it is just the power of the P%$$y/P%##s?!!!! Will you tell them “to get over themselves” because it is not a reasonable expectation that the person you love and marry (and, hopefully, have faith in) should not screw someone else on the side and if he/she does, your cherished son or daughter should turn the other cheek or, PERHAPS, immediately go out and screw someone else to get even?!!

      I don’t agree with your point of view but applaud your honesty and for “keeping it real.” I assume that you have disseminated your point of view to all of your prospective partners so that they can make informed decisions as to whether to enter into a relationship with you “at their own risk” or run like the wind in the opposite direction!!

      Best wishes and take care.

      • carol August 28, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

        You not only took my post and statistics sooo-sooo personal, out of context and to a whole other level, you in doing so missed my point entirely. My post seems to have not only touched on a sore spot but, also made you quite angry. I did not nor do I chose to comment on my personal relationship. That was not why I posted. I posted to reveal a certain truth that many like you choose to believe in. However, since you disclosed some aspects of your relationship I can only conclude from what you state you are of that rare
        5%, kudos. However, you failed to mention how faithful your hubby is to you. I can only assume by your disclosure that he has not been as faithful as you would have liked. This leads me to believe this is what caused you to take my post so personal and thus attempt to personally attack me. Funny thing about anger; it is often misplaced. Perhaps the truth of what I posted slapped you too hard in your deluded face. I can only surmise your hubby if given a lie detector test on his fidelity, would fail. Continue to live in your delusional bubble, it seems to serve your sanctimonious arse very well.

    • makarios August 30, 2011 at 5:28 pm #

      Our views on relationships are very twisted. I would like to think that most of our problems can be attributed to the what I call the “tree of life” vs the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” principal. We now live in a society where you can find anything you want.. the internet is and television make it so that whatever you want to know or see is available. Add to that the idea of multiple (sometimes high double figure) sex partners and you have a culture where intimacy and love have given way to lust and sex. Heck, we have people who will screw but refuse to kiss each other!! I had a women once tell me that “the moment she likes a guy she wants to f$%k him.”

      My point? I don’t believe that this has to do with nature alone. We have created this kind of climate ourselves with so much seeking of thrills and excitement! One interesting point the writer of the article juxtaposed was the idea of all of the “free love” and our real pressing need to truly raise our children in a healthy way. Those two things do not run hand in hand, and the perpetuation of our society depends on how we prepare our offspring for life on their own. If we just throw caution to the wind and start getting down with everyone we find mutually attractive we are headed down a real slippery slope.

      The vast majority of people do believe in monogamy… even if they don’t get it right the first or even the second time. Bonding with another individual is an intangibly amazing thing. The physical bond is a reaffirmation of that emotional, psychological, and spiritual bond. When a couple gets it right there is nothing more right! Our capacity to love is tied up in honest relationships… those modeled before us and those we engage in. Some of us have become so degenerate that we go about damaging as many as we can to quiet our own pain. Carol there is nothing more beautiful than an old couple who have spent a lifetime loving and caring for each other. Illicit sex and brief relationships have a certain excitement to them but there is nothing more intoxicating and satisfying in the long run than loving spiritually and physically one woman. It reaffirms our humanity and intelligence, whereas the other reaffirms our baser part of our nature.

      • carol August 30, 2011 at 6:15 pm #

        I agree there is beauty in a sustained relationship. My parents have been married for more than 65 years. However, my comments solely related to the reality that a couple has/maintains %100 fidelity. Period. 100% monogamy is extremely rare regardless of the longevity of a relationship. Which is the only point I was making. Each couples relationship is unique, different, and personal. My parents have been married 65 years, and my mother has always been faithful. Unfortunately I can not say the same about my father. This does not delete the fact that he was a good husband and parent but it does lend credibility to the truth that a truly monogamous relationship is rare and exist in about 5% of relationships. Period. Sex and love have two completely and separate definitions among most women and men. Do your own research; ask any man then ask a woman. But I think you already know the answers.
        I do differ in opinion with your implying technology influenced an infidel trend. Simple lust is the culprit.

  9. aziza August 23, 2011 at 8:40 pm #

    WHATEVER!!! Please get real Black People, Please. Though they are “PRETTY PEOPLE” and make a relatively good impression on t.v., None of us actually knows Will or Jada, we don’t know what they go through on a daily basis, so we can’t comment on their lives, and decisions to do whatever. Will and Jada are actors and not necessarily role models for anything unless you want to be an actor. Furthermore why don’t we wait for something offical before giving any commentary.

  10. Afropick1 August 23, 2011 at 9:23 pm #

    Didn’t the men of the bible have wives meaning more than one wife and concubines?

    I suspect those that have words of disapproval do t have a marriage worthy of emulating

    Will was upfront with his – what’s hiding in your closet of LUST ?

  11. NOLA Mel August 23, 2011 at 9:30 pm #

    Who cares? Have my own life to worry about. Also, Jada is so far from classy that it’s ridiculous. Beautiful, but she comes across as street and a little boyish. I remember when she came on to Oprah one show and sat with her legs spread (had on pants). I could feel Oprah’s discomfort through the screen and know she wanted to tell her to sit like a lady.

    • DJ August 23, 2011 at 10:44 pm #

      I happen to think that Jada is classy. Everyone grows in one way or another. She does sit like a man though. I saw her on the most recent BET awards sitting with her legs wide open. I thought it was a bit strange, but hey everyone does something that can appear strange to others. Peace.

  12. ARNEADER August 24, 2011 at 12:14 am #

    I just talked to someone today about “what was the secret of their successful marriage?” And he told me they put God first and he carried himself in a way a woman knew not to get out of line with him. When a woman said something out of line he would give her a look and a response that made her feel ashame for what she’d said to him.

  13. mrs E August 24, 2011 at 12:37 am #

    Some of u need to get your facts straight he was exacelty right (DR Boyce)
    When her husband died Ruby Dee make that very comment that her and
    her husband had an open marriage for years. Yes i read this myself
    in her own words i read it in the paper. So you are probably not familar
    with What Ruby Dee said of her marriage. And i was shocked by her saying
    it at her age. But she told the truth and that is what i liked about it

    • Joyce August 24, 2011 at 7:14 am #

      OOOPS Busted !

  14. mrs E August 24, 2011 at 12:49 am #

    Sorry for any typos but i meant to say DR Boyce Watkins was exactly right
    in what he is saying, so some of you need to step off… but we all have
    opinions …but lest not attack a person unless you have done your homework

  15. Globee August 24, 2011 at 1:04 am #

    I believe in love and I believe that they will work it out. What about the children? I too, pride myself in their beautiful African American ( Hollywood) family. I pray that they stay together. Whatever it is, God is there to help them work it out. This is my prayer in Jesus Name.

  16. DuBois August 24, 2011 at 1:55 am #

    thank you mrs. E… Yes, I read the article with Ruby Dee acknowledging her and Ossie’s “open Marriage”. Although one of them didn’t particularly LIKE it, they ultimately ‘learned a lot from it’…it was a TRUTH of their relationship.
    In fact, if you read Ruby’s Wikipedia write up, I think it is mentioned (with a footnote as to the ‘source’) in that as well.

    The few commentors who mentioned “we do not know what goes on in ANYONE’S life and marriage…we SPECULATE about what we THINK we SEE going on (or not).
    None of us is in a position or deserves to JUDGE another person or a couple’s relationship (e.g. Bill and Hillary).

    People do what they feel they need to do for their relationships to WORK FOR THEM–NOT the PUBLIC!

    The children (teenagers) will survive.
    It’s probably a lot better for them to see and know the ‘reality’ about relationships (i’m sure their parents have shared their philosophy with the Jaden and Willow and Tre) and will not, necessarily, be looking for the “Ozzie and Harriett love-and-happiness-ever-after ‘fantasy’ as many of you Baby Boomers are. (i am a BB, too, but from experience, I know AND ACCEPT the reality of marriage!)

    Lastly to reiterate a comment someone made earlier: Marriage is not only about SEX. If it’s worth its salt, and destined to survive, there are several other components, includling compatibility, and agreement on life philosophy that are as, if not more important.
    Reality check, people–REALITY!

    ps. eddie long’s wife stayed for YEARS…she knew what was going on–the woman ALWAYS knows…whether she admits it or is delusional and denial; and to me, infidelity is NOT a reason to divorce.

  17. Joyce August 24, 2011 at 7:39 am #

    Why do we even care if Jada and Will remain married or not,,,,,and why are we discussing those very, very rich and wealthy people,,,who will by the way, come out of all this with a job and a lavish bank account.

  18. N. Williams August 24, 2011 at 7:51 am #

    Marraige today doesn’t really embrace moral values. Some folks get married and after the ceremony they throw the vows out the window. Most conversations on marraige exclude the use of words that suggest morals or quality of character. What words? Words like honesty, trust and respect! Few people who attempt to discuss marraige want to call it like it is or suggest by the use of the word lust, that people who do not have their moral values up front and up tight will undoubtedly fall and fail in their marraiges by their inability to control the lust in themselves. This is not a Black thing or a White thing this is marraige today in these United States, No Respect, No Morals

  19. Tony Sloan August 24, 2011 at 8:19 pm #

    The reports about the split (or impending split) say that it’s because Will no longer wanted the ‘open relationship’ thing and Jada opposed him. I myself wouldn’t get involved in an open relationship but I’m not one to judge and to each his (their) own. I think open relationships are fairly new to the mainstream crowd and I simply don’t know/haven’t seen enough of them to really evaluate what happens in them…maybe I’ll have more of an opinion in later years.
    It’s always amazing to find people with such different ideas about marriage and relationships. It’s obvious by the comments that many of you have had deep and enjoyable long-lasting relationships and truly believe in love. Though I believe in love and have given my all to find and sustain it, I’ve always come up waaaay short. So much to the point where I don’t believe that human nature is monogamous and that love, although I believe in it, is unpredictably fleeting.
    Thanks for reading and many blessings to each of you.

    • Joyce August 25, 2011 at 4:32 am #

      Deep and long lasting relationships ? ?….No such thing for me…
      just plain common sense.

  20. lovely Lomax August 25, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

    when you love someone ,you allow them to make mistakes,this is how we grow and learn. You never know what position you may find yourself,I want to believe that people don’t go out look to cheat ,They don’t think about the what ifs.I think cheating is choozing a drink over me.Or choozing drugs over me.Got to have apiece of cake before you see me ,this is a problem, Relationships are not breaking up because of sex ,usually something happens before the cheating.If one is only being touched once a month ,this could be a problem.But to start out open in most cases, people in those relationships are trying to prevent ,mental breakdown,jail time (cause someone will get hurt) for straight-up lying and maybe just maybe for some the thrill is gone if you know you can cheat.

  21. Schoicefarkasdi August 25, 2011 at 4:55 pm #

    actually, most of you are wrong… plural marriages, concubines, etc have been going on for centuries! it’s this Hollywood version of what marriage is supposed to be (1 man and 1 woman) is what is new! and it’s NOT for everyone! men are not meant to be with only one woman. they can love and support one, but it’s not in our genetic makeup to be with one only for the rest of one’s life. as couples get older and sex is no longer a big issue, companionship becomes more important, but it still doesn’t mean that they can’t get that companionship from elsewhere. will & jada, i wish nothing but the best for you two and your families…

    • makarios August 30, 2011 at 5:53 pm #

      I believe you should only be willing to be with as many as you can financially and support at the bare minimum. Our children are suffering because of this mentality that promotes sexual promiscuity. Plural marriages were for a privileged few. It was mainly for the upper class. Wealth was certainly a factor. Spreading seed from coast to coast and fathering/mothering children you can’t support nowadays is symptomatic of just poor morals, and will lead to the decline of our culture. I believe that every time we lay down with someone we lose a little bit of ourselves to them. Otherwise what is the point? Are we dogs (male and female) with no sense of obligation at all?

  22. Berdell August 25, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

    Can Dr. Boyce do an article on Ashford and Simpson and the seemling comitted love that gave them many years together as partners in bussiness and in life. Their relationship seemed to have been true and everlasting.

    • Ken October 10, 2011 at 12:32 pm #

      They were rumored to have an open relationship too.

  23. Ken October 10, 2011 at 12:30 pm #

    There have been rumors circulating for years about the Smith’s marriage, i.e., an open marriage. I think that it is ridiculous to be in that arrangement, at least for me. I totally respect someone else’s choice however. Since marriage is between two people, then any other person who is intimately involved on an emotional or physical level with either member of that marriage, causes the marriage to be violated. And if violated enough it will fail just as any system fails when mistreated! When they were married were all the other people standing at the altar with them during the ceremony? Maybe they were but I doubt it. Thus the agreement was between the two of them not the other people. The problem is that it becomes too easy to make a unilateral decision when in an open marriage. The most successful marriages are ones in which the partners make all major joint decisions in a fair manner – together. So, yes, you can jointly decide to see other people and that can work for awhile. But sooner or later there is cheating, i.e., even within the construct of an “open” marriage, someone decides to get involved intimately with someone else without telling their partner. And since there is a blur between the act of being intimate outside of the marriage and the joint decision – since it has happened so many times before – people eventually make a unilateral decisions; of course this can happen in a normal marriage too. But regardless, it is the act of deciding without the knowledge of the other person that causes the betrayal and rocks the foundation of the relationship. Someone once said that men and women are hardwired to cheat, i.e., we are designed to mate. So it seems a little strange that you would want to give someone access and then expect them to adhere even if there are urges. Would you let a fox guard a hen house?

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