Marital Amnesia

Happy Newlyweds in Front of Mansion --- Image by © Greg Hinsdale/Corbis

I find a lot of married women suffer from Marital Amnesia. This is a diagnosis that can only be prescribed to your girlfriends who are actually married. There is something that happens when you say, “I Do.” Their single girl days have been de-programmed by the time they return from their honeymoons.

Here’s a fact.  This world is divided into two women:  Women who are married and women who are not married.  Even if you are in a serious committed relationship or engaged until you actually walk down that aisle and sign that piece of paper, you are indeed NOT married.  That does not lessen your actual relationship; it doesn’t mean that you are not in true deep love.  But until that marriage certificate is signed.  Well…my beautiful friend you cannot call yourself a wife.

I have been on both sides of the martial fence.  I have been single, engaged, married, and now I am divorced.  I guess you can say I have been in every yard!  And although my marriage lasted a total of 2 minutes and 23 seconds, no matter how much I wish I could say, “Well that first marriage didn’t count.” When you look me up in history, that marriage certificate was signed and delivered.  Oh boy, there I go digressing already!  See what happens when I don’t post for a while!

If you’re a loyal reader of my blog you know I encourage my readers to spend time around happily married couples.  I have the belief being around happily married couples reminds you that what you are ultimately looking for is actually tangible if marriage is your ultimate end goal.  I also believe that married women and single women can coexist and live happily ever after.

However, as a member of Singledom, did you ever notice there are different categories of your married girlfriends?  Can we be real for a second and break it down?  I know I am not the only single girl out there that has had these experiences when dealing with married girlfriends.  I find a lot of married women suffer from Marital Amnesia.  This is why I say this is a diagnosis that can only be prescribed to your girlfriends who are actually married.  Hell… When I was married I fit into one of these categories.  I won’t say which one, but I did.   There is something that happens when you say, “I Do.”  And for some women that is when the case of Marital Amnesia hits them.  For some, it happens right away.  They literally return from their honeymoon and their single girl days have been de-programmed and they return a wife.  It’s like they literally forgot what it was like to be single.

There is a myth that women are biologically programmed to forget the pain of childbirth. (I will let you know if this is true once I have my own children).  Allegedly, at the moment of holding a child for the first time, women often report that the pain of labor has been forgotten.   The reality is it hasn’t really been forgotten, but the happiness and reward of having the child outweighs the memory of the preceding pain. I believe this is similar to what happens with Marital Amnesia.  Women, especially women in their 30’s and 40’s, who finally seal the deal and get married are so happy they have met “the one” and can finally check that “Married” box on their tax return form forget about the pain of being single and the ups and downs they experienced on their journey to finally meeting their husbands.  Similar to women who forget about the pain of childbirth, the reward of finally marrying their soul mate is so great all the pain is forgotten.  Or some of your married girlfriends have been married for so damn long they honestly forgot what it was like to be single and both of these things are good.  And I love my married girlfriends.  So this post is in no way to deter them or make them feel like they aren’t great friends.  Because I have been blessed to have an amazing circle of friends!  However I felt the need to do a refresher course in case you married followers of my blog have been deprogrammed from your single girl days.

child birth

There is a myth that women are biologically programmed to forget the pain of childbirth… Allegedly, at the moment of holding a child for the first time, women often report that the pain of labor has been forgotten.

Regardless of what behaviors triggered the Marital Amnesia to set in, lots of your married girlfriends may fit into one of the following categories:

  • The married girlfriend who tries to act like she wasn’t a wild child back in her single girl days.  You know the one I am talking about.   She was sexually “free” I’ll say for lack of a better word.  But on the real. She was the friend that was SCREWING on the regular basis and made no apologies for it.  As a matter of fact you would live vicariously through all of her sexually escapades she told you about.  But the second that wedding band slid down her finger, her memories of sliding down poles and other things (wink) suddenly is forgotten and blocked out and now she is married and acts like she is Mother fucking Teresa.  And I know you think to yourself, “Does this bitch forget I know where all her skeletons are buried?!”  LOL!  You still love her but you find yourself giving her side eye on the regular basis because you still are not buying the sweet and innocent bill of goods she is now selling.  Don’t get me wrong, people can change, and folks are constantly evolving BUT don’t start judging your single girlfriends for doing some of the shit you did back  in the day especially when what she is doing isn’t even close to what was going down back in your Single days!  Luckily, if you have a loyal Single Girlfriend no matter what she will keep her mouth shut and not spill the beans even when you are having  you Mother Teresa “I can’t believe you did that,” moment with her.
  • The married girlfriend who has been with her husband since High school or College and has never had to date as a grown ass women. Here’s the thing, being married and watching your single girlfriends from the sidelines for twenty plus years is very different than being a grown career woman dating and being single on your own.   It’s actually a blessing that they didn’t have to go through the ups and downs of dating as an adult because they found their soul mate earlier.  That’s not a bad thing.  However, they can have all the opinions in the world but they really can not relate to you on that level.  If you want to know about making a marriage work through the years and conquering the peaks and valleys of marriage.  Then that’s your girl. But she cannot possibly know or understand what it means to be single and in your 30’s or 40’s.  In her mind, she probably thinks that if she were single she would do things soooooooo differently.  And it’s easy to think that.  It’s similar to the guy watching a basketball game from their couch and trying to dictate what Kobe should or should not have done.  It’s very easy to formulate an opinion when your ass isn’t actually playing in the game!  You still love your girl anyway.  And it also doesn’t mean that you don’t go to her for advice.  But you take it looking at the big picture.  Because think about it, the last time they were dating was in the days of pagers!  Before cell phones, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc.  Social Media has added a whole new level of dating foolery those women who have been married since the early 2000’s and before just can’t understand.  And damn it…. What lucky bitches!  LOL!  On those days when they are having a valley moment in their marriage and they think it would be easier to be single again… You are usually the first person to tell them, “NO!  Don’t do it.  The grass isn’t greener.  WORK IT OUT!”  (That is if you are a good friend).
  • Then there is the married friend who needs you to be single. “What?!”  You might ask.   Single ladies know exactly what I am talking about.  This is the married girlfriend who deep down inside wants you to meet the one, but having you as their single girlfriends is comforting for them because they do not have to feel the change.  You have fulfilled your role in their life as the single girl looking for love and they are your crutch when you are down and out.  You both have played the roles for so long.  For that role to shift is actually a scary thought for them.  I am not saying they want you to be miserable, I am simply saying you being single is comfortable for them.  It fits in their comfort zone.  And you are categorized whether it is consciously or subconsciously as their “Single Girlfriend looking for love.”  They really do need you to be single.  It’s a strange phenomenon but it really does happen.

That being said, as a woman who has had the experience (notice I didn’t say the privilege of being on both sides) of being both a wife and single girl let’s talk about the things that your single girlfriends don’t want to hear you say, or are tired of hearing you say.  Even if the shit is true, it’s just shit we don’t feel like hearing and we give you side eye on it on the regular basis when you say these things.

“You need to start dating outside your race.”

There are some women who consider themselves the United Colors of Benton when it comes to dating.  And if that works for them, then great, as a matter of fact when I see a black woman walking down the street with her white man I want to give them a high five.  Because unlike a majority of black men who date outside of their race, and typically date the women that even the men in their own race don’t want, black women are more selective when it comes to dating white men.  Again this is my experience and my observations.  Maybe where you are from it’s different.  But typically when a black woman steps outside their race, if the man ain’t fine he is PAID.  They get white men that the white women are chasing.  I love it!  HOWEVER… not all black women are interested in dating outside of their race.  Speaking for myself I love black men.  I love the idea of having a black family unit.  I like being with a man who relates to my struggle.  I love everything about black men.  The way they look, walk, smell, talk, dress, passion, and everything.  I get why soooooooooooo many women of all races are running after our black men, they are amazing, sexy, passionate, and have an innate swag to them that men of other races cannot match!  Sorry but it’s true.  For me, dating outside my race is not an option because I am simply not attracted to men who are not black.  And even if I was, I want to be with a black man.  Call me closed minded, call me stuck, but unlike a lot of our black men out there (especially black men in LA… yes I said it!), I do not make that an option for me.  That doesn’t mean I can’t look at a man of another race and appreciate their beauty but at the end of the day, I want to be in a relationship with a black man.  In recent years, I have been condemned for that!  I have been “Black Shamed!”  (Post on that coming soon)  I have been judged for my love of black men and the fact that I refuse to date outside my race!  WTF?  I have been told I am limiting myself.  And perhaps I am.  The funniest thing is when a white girlfriend of mine who is with a black man gets on my case about this. And what’s even funnier is when it is a black man who is with a woman outside of their race telling me this.  I can’t force myself to be attracted to someone who just doesn’t do it for me.  I can’t let go of one of the most important things to me when it comes to finding my mate.  I have plenty of friends who have ventured to the other side and they are truly happy.  And great for them, but for me it’s just not my thing.  I want, need, and would like to have a black man.  When your married girlfriend who has a black husband, and a black family unit, looks at you dead in the eye and tells you, you should date outside your race, it is downright offensive and somewhat insensitive.  And I know it is not intentional.  But if you know your single girlfriend prefers to date within her own race.  The solution to her being single is not to tell her to date outside of her race.  Here’s a thought, what if she took your advice and dated a man outside of her race and he turned out to be a bigger asshole than all the men she dated previously in her race?  Then what are you going to tell her?  Furthermore, I have plenty of friends who are not black and have the same shitty dating experiences.  I’m just saying.  Once again, let me be very clear, if your friend is open to dating other races and attracted to men of another race, this is a moot point.  But if you know your friend prefers black men.  Do not tell her to date outside her race.  Especially if you are married to a black man!!!!  Lately I find myself having to defend my love of black men and the fact that I have no interest in dating outside my race.  When did that become something to be ashamed of?  And just because a lot of my brothas are not as adamant about dating sistas (especially these brothas in LA), doesn’t mean I should change my desires.

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Unlike a majority of black men who date outside of their race, and typically date the women that even the men in their own race don’t want, black women are more selective when it comes to dating white men. When a black woman steps outside their race, if the man ain’t fine he is PAID. They get white men that the white women are chasing.

“Your standards are too high… You’re too picky”

What the fuck?  This one really annoys the shit out of me.  Now, I know there are plenty of women who have unrealistic expectations.  I get it.  Hell, I was one of them prior to marrying the wrong man and getting divorced.  Before my marriage I had a list of 72 things I was looking for in a man.  I’m embarrassed to actually admit that.  But you know I try to be honest.  I never want to make it seem like I am perfect and not flawed!  Guess what… I got everything on that trifling ass list and we see where it got me… DIVORCED!  Furthermore, there are plenty of women out there who don’t have shit and aren’t bringing shit to the table but they are demanding that the man they want have what they can’t get for themselves.  Girl bye!  What I am talking about here is when you tell a woman who is a corporate executive that she should consider dating a blue collar man who works at the post office.  I can’t tell you how many times I have had my married girlfriends tell me, “Girl… it’s unrealistic of you to think that you are going to meet a man who makes as much money as you… You should consider dating a man who works at the post office.  They have good benefits and he can treat you like a queen.”  Or here’s my other favorite… “You don’t need a man who has a college degree… it’s all about how he treats you.”  When did being single at 30 or 40 something make you become a charity case that should be happy with anything that comes your way?!  And once again, I am sure there are plenty of women who are reading this who are married to a man who doesn’t make as much money as them, is blue collar, and doesn’t have a college degree and they are very happy.  But why should you suggest that your single girlfriends’ actively seek out men who are not on their level?  And once again, lots of women who make these suggestions are women who are married to those big time corporate executive men.  But they are telling you, you’re too picky.  And I will not apologize for wanting to date a man that I am physically attracted to.  Just because I am single and in my late 30’s doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t want to date a man who has all 32 of his teeth!  I mean come on!  And perhaps we are too picky.  But there is a time, place, and way to say it that isn’t completely insensitive to your single girlfriend.

picky woman

Before my marriage I had a list of 72 things I was looking for in a man… Guess what… I got everything on that trifling ass list and we see where it got me… DIVORCED!

Single Girls Understand the Concept of Couples Only

The look of horror on your married girlfriend’s face when she accidentally slips up about upcoming plans that she has and you’re not invited because it is a “couples” only gathering has happened to every single girl who is reading this blog.  And I will take it upon myself and speak for all of us and say its okay.  We understand there are certain things we as single women are not going to be invited to because we are not part of a couple.  We get there are “couples” only dinners, parties, trips, etc.  It doesn’t make us love you any less.  But the flip side if you aren’t inviting us because you think we are uncomfortable being the only single person in a room full of couples.  That isn’t always the case.  I am really okay with being the single girl in a room full of couples especially when you are my friend.  It is not a “Woooo is me… I am so sad.”  Don’t get me wrong every single girl has that moment but it is not because we have been at a dinner party where we are the only single person.  Trust us; there are other things that trigger us.  And if we are having one of the dating depressions we will kindly decline the invitation.  But do not assume that we will not want to go because we aren’t a couple.

600-01614103 © Masterfile Model Release: Yes Property Release: Yes Couples at a Party

We get there are “couples” only dinners, parties, trips, etc. It doesn’t make us love you any less.

Don’t be so quick to dismiss your single girlfriend’s new relationship

When you’re single and begin dating someone and there is a glimmer of hope you love calling your girlfriends and telling them all the details about the new possible boo.  But it’s inevitable, the guy is going to do something at some point to fuck up and tick you off or make you wonder if you need to continue dating him.  When your single girlfriend calls you to vent about it don’t be so quick to tell her to leave the guy alone.  Sometimes in the midst of your marital amnesia you tend to forget that you went through the same things or even worse when you were dating your now husband and your single girlfriend talked you through it and encouraged you to give him another chance.  And now you are happily married (or at least we hope you are).  So when you tell your single girlfriend to run at the first sign of trouble it can come off kind of like you are hating.  When you tell her “You’re too good for him… he’s a jerk anyway…” and there is a possibility she might continue dating him.  Then there is a small wedge that can come into your friendship because in the back of her mind she remembers what you said about him.  Refrain from going in too hard until you know she is definitely done with the guy.  As her friend, you will know when that time is right.

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Don’t be so quick to tell her to leave a guy alone. Sometimes in the midst of your marital amnesia you tend to forget that you went through the same things or even worse when you were dating your now husband.

You’ll find when you stop looking

Loyal readers of my blog know this has been my biggest pet peeve that married ladies tell their single girlfriends. “You’ll find the right one when you are not looking.”  Girl bye!  Now I know for a fact that all single women are looking.  If you’re not looking then you must be fresh off a break up or taking a vacation to the land of Bitterville.  There’s a difference between saying you’ll find when you least expect it or not in the places you thought.  But to tell your single girlfriend that she should not be actively looking and seeking companionship is downright bullshit.  Because you know good and damn well that you were looking when you met your husband unless you met him in high school or college.  I love hearing the stories of how my married friend “Just happened to be sitting at a bar when she met her husband.”  Yeah Bish… I know your ass strategically picked that location.  You knew that bar was a hot spot.  Don’t play your single girlfriends with that bullshit advice and expect us to swallow that up.  When you are single you are always looking.  I’m not saying you should venture out into the world and be a thirst bucket.  But one of the things that keeps you single and hopeful is constantly being open to the possibility of what is out there.

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I know for a fact that all single women are looking. If you’re not looking then you must be fresh off a break up or taking a vacation to the land of Bitterville.

The Ultimate Married Girlfriend

I forgot to mention one last category of the married girlfriend that I have been blessed to have in my life; the married girlfriend who keeps the shit real.  She acknowledges that the single girl struggle is real.  She admits that she is happy and relieved to be out of the singles scene but doesn’t lose sight of giving you real talk when you need it but she remembers what it was like when she was on the dating scene.  She is there as a shoulder to dry on and she gives you hope that you too can find real love and companionship.  She doesn’t judge your Singledom and what you are looking for in your relationships.  And most importantly she doesn’t forget what it was like when she once walked in your shoes.  Your friendship didn’t change once she got married.  Instead it actually became stronger because of the history you both have shared during your friendship journey.

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There is no need to be a division between married girlfriends and single girlfriends. The two can co-exist and lean on each other for the different things each brings to the table.

There is no need to be a division between married girlfriends and single girlfriends.  The two can co-exist and lean on each other for the different things each brings to the table.  And your single girlfriends still love you when you are having a case of Marital Amnesia in the same way you love us when we are having a Stupid Single moment.

Check out my video with the “cliff notes” on Martial Amnesia: