I can’t believe it. My wedding is just four days away and I’m a mix of emotions. Excited. Anxious. Ecstatic. Happy. Stressed. Ready. But in the weeks leading up to my nuptials I’ve been seeking the counsel of those who have walked down the aisle already and have figured out how to make it work through the good times and bad. Oddly enough, among one of the people I spoke to was Gene Elliott Thornton, Jr., who most people will know as Malice of the Clipse.
Talking to a rapper about love and marriage might not seem like the best course of action, but I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Malice a few times and despite his public persona he’s got a good head on his shoulders. Besides that he’s been married to his wife since ’91, so that’s 20 years of experience and knowledge that a soon-to-be newlywed would be a fool to not tap into. So during a recent interview with Malice about his first novel, Wretched, Pitiful, Poor, Blind and Naked, I asked him about what keys opened doors to a happy marriage and here’s what Malice had to say:
“Oh, my goodness, [laughs] I don’t think you’re ready for this. Faith is the foundation. It’s the floor plan to my marriage. Faith and forgiveness lay the ground rules… It’s just a big part of it and I think that as… and I got to choose my words carefully, but I think, not just Black people, but in our culture and I do believe it’s culture in general… I’m just so focused on my culture that it’s just very relevant for us, but I think that many times we give up on those who we claim to love or we know we’re in relationships with.”
“I think the divorce rate, which I believe is 50/50 or somewhere around there… I think we give up too quick and I think we’re too quick to get rid of a person and I just think that we need to work with each other more. I think that we need to be more understanding, because I don’t think that you’re ever going to find that perfection; you know? I think that relationships and marriage especially is about working with one another and loving each other so much that you know you’re able to forgive and be willing to compromise and work out some things and I just think that we give up too soon, so I think that faith definitely plays a part in building strong, lasting relationships and sometimes you just have to go through the fire to be purified.”
After dropping that gem, I had to ask Malice about the one thing he wished someone had told him before he got married that would have made the whole process easier and he responded with the following:
“Let me see, something that someone could have told me… Yes, and this may not go for everyone, but a lot of people… Actually, it’s really not something I wish someone told me, but a lot of people would tell me, ‘You got married too young,’ or a lot of people may say, ‘You got to go out and experience the world,’ and I don’t necessarily subscribe to that.”
“I think the fact that you know I did get married at a young age definitely is a plus and you know is an asset to a marriage, not that everybody should run out and get married young or whatever, but I don’t think that’s it’s a bad thing to get married at a young age. At any age it’s going to take work, you know what I’m saying? It’s going to take work, but all this ‘go out, live your life, do this, do that…’ I mean, I don’t subscribe to that. I subscribe to you find that person who is special to you, you love each other, and you want to get married and have children and that’s what you do.”
Malice definitely gave me a few things to think about and apply to my marriage, but I’m hungry for more. So tune in tonight at 10pm EST to the first Naked Radio Show episode of 2012 on PNCRadio.fm as I continue the conversation by sitting down with more married folks to get insider tips on what it takes to make a marriage work for the long haul.
What did you think of Malice’s perspective on what it takes to make a marriage work? Were you surprised to get that kind of insight from a rapper/entertainer? What role do you see faith playing in a long-term relationship? Do you feel that people give up on their relationships and marriages too easy nowadays? How much effort do you put in to making your relationship work? Do you think that people should be a certain age before getting married? Or that getting married too young will have people wondering about what they missed out on? For those that are married, what advice do you have for someone about to walk down the aisle? What do you wish someone told you before you got hitched?
Speak your piece…
DON’T FORGET: Tune in to the Naked Radio Show tonight and each and every Tuesday night at 10pm EST on PNCRadio.fm. If you miss the live broadcast you can always subscribe to the podcasts, which can be found at NakedRadioShow.Podomatic.com, iTunes, or here on Naked With Socks On tomorrow. Also, be sure to follow the show’s official Twitter account @NakedRadioShow and “like” the Naked Radio Show fan page to keep abreast of what we’re doing, send suggestions for topics and questions. Most of y’all should already be following me @NakedWithSocks, but should also add my co-host Amy Andrieux @MissAimstar and her company @_theStarkLife as well. If you have a question you want answered live on the show hit us on the Twitter or shoot me an email at NWSO@NWSO.net.
NWSO SPEAKING ENGAGEMENT: On January 17, 2012, yours truly will be speaking alongside author/dating coach Tionna Smalls (What Chilli Wants) on a panel entitled The Young & the Restless: A Survival Guide to Dating, Mating, & Exploring NYC. Presented by the New York Urban League of Young Professionals, the discussion takes place from 6:30-8:30pm at NYU. CLICK HERE for more info.
NWSO PRESS: Be sure to pick up the February 2012 issue of Essence magazine (Gabrielle Union & Dwyane Wade), which features NWSO as part of a round table discussion on the new relationship rules (pgs. 78-82).