Salli Richardson Says You Won't Know If Someone Is "The One" Until You're Deep Into Marriage
You ladies know that we love a good conversation around here, so here's one to get your day started. And it's gooood.
Actor, Dondre Whitfield and his wife, Salli Richardson, are one of those long-term Hollywood marriages that we love to celebrate. They are approaching their 20th wedding anniversary and--to be honest--we're probably more excited than they are about it. Black love is precious and significant to the culture, and they, along with many others who have survived the test of time, are a testament to getting this love thing right.
The two met in the most hilarious way, on the set of Dondre's then television show, Between Brothers. He tells the story to and audience on a live panel for the popular show, Black Love.
"My producers come to me and they say, 'hey, we're going to be casting someone opposite your character. Who do you think would be good in that role?' I always said from seeing her on screen before me met, if I ever get time with her, there's gonna be a problem. I knew it."
He then goes on to say he never thought she'd agree to playing the character, being that her career was taking off and she starred in multiple movies, most notably, A Low Down Dirty Shame. But to his surprise, the producers were able to secure her for the role. Their chemistry eventually led to them going to lunch together and the rest goes down in 'where is my Boaz' history.
"Literally, when we first got together, we spent five days straight--like, I didn't go home. I slept with my clothes on, we didn't do anything. It was the first time in my life that I didn't try anything. There was something about her that I just felt that connection. Everyday I took her to breakfast. I went to the mall so I could buy me some new clothes. I didn't go home for five says straight. That's literally how that happened. That was 22 years ago."
Y'all, I just looove stories like this!
Anywho, Salli, who is now a director and has signed a two-year deal with HBO to develop and direct projects, didn't exactly express the same sentiments. She actually feels that women don't know if their husbands are the one, until they've been married as long as they have.
"I don't know that our journey was as smooth, you know? We had our ups and downs and breakups to figure out, how we work this out, especially in Hollywood and both being in the business and different types of pressures. But listening to you, I feel like once you got married, you don't know still. You don't know what you're signing up for. And I truly believe that now, in our marriage, I don't know if I knew then, but I know now."
Her comment was piggy-backing off of Melissa Fredericks' earlier statement, where they each agreed that you never know if someone is 'the one' until you've been married for a long time. And while men are able to pinpoint the moment where they knew a woman could be their wife, women never know until much later in life. Fredricks said:
"I think the biggest thing about any relationship is that it's really a risk. People have great dating experiences, people have great engagement periods and marriages that doesn't indicate that a marriage is going to last. But now that we've been married for 15 years, I feel like I know now more today than the day I stood on my wedding day. I know today that was a good decision 15 years ago."
Whew, my wig!
It's a really interesting perspective and conversation. Watch the video below (convo starts at the 10:00 mark):
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Featured image by Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com
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Charmin Michelle is a southern native and creative spirit who works as a content marketer and events manager in Chicago. She enjoys traveling, #SummertimeChi, and the journey of mastering womanhood. Connect with her on Instagram @charminmichelle.
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From Monogamy To Polyamory: 'I'm In An Asexual Poly Marriage With My Husband Of 7 Years'
Have you ever wondered what it's like to be asexual and in an open marriage? Relationship Coach Mikki Bey shared her first-hand experience with us as well as answered some of our burning questions.
Like a lot of people, Mikki met her now husband, Raheem Ali, online. As soon as they met, they instantly fell in love and got engaged on their first date. Just 90 days after they met, the couple tied the knot and have now been married for seven years. Raheem and Mikki aren’t your typical married couple, and despite being married for almost a decade, their marriage is anything but traditional. Mikki and Raheem have what she calls an "asexual polyamorous marriage."
Defining Her Sexuality
It wasn't until last summer that Mikki found the language to define her sexuality. "I didn't have the language for it until last summer," she explained to xoNecole. "Looking back, I just thought sex wasn't my thing. It was never enjoyable for me, and I'd go years without even noticing.”
Mikki always thought she was broken because she had no interest in sex. Mikki noticed after her friends came to visit and started discussing their sexual fantasies that she realized something was different about her. “At that point, I knew something was definitely different about me since I do not have sexual fantasies at all. It was truly news to me that people are at work thinking about sex! That was not my experience.” This led to Mikki researching asexuality, which she soon realized fit her to a T. “It felt like breathing new air when I was able to call it by name," said Mikki.
"Looking back, I just thought sex wasn't my thing. It was never enjoyable for me, and I'd go years without even noticing it."
Asexuality refers to people who experience little or no sexual attraction, experience attraction without acting on it sexually, or experience sexual attraction differently based on other factors. Like most things, asexuality falls on a spectrum and encompasses many other identities. It's important to remember, however, that attraction and action are not always synonymous: some asexuals may reject the idea of sexual contact, but others may be sex-neutral and engage in sexual activity.
It's possible that some asexuals will have sex with someone else despite not having a libido or masturbating, but others will have sex with a partner because it brings a sense of connection.
From a Traditional Marriage to Kitchen Table Polyamory
Although Mikki never really had a high sex drive, it wasn’t until after the birth of her son, that she noticed her sex drive took a real nosedive. “I never had a high sex drive, but about a year after my son was born, I realized I had zero desire. My husband has a high sex drive, and I knew that it would not be sustainable to not have sex in our marriage at that time.”
She was determined to find an alternative to divorce and stumbled upon a polyamory conversation on Clubhouse. Upon doing her own research, she brought up the idea to their husband, who was receptive. “It’s so interesting to me that people weigh sex so heavily in relationships when even if you are having a ton of sex, it’s still a very small percentage of the relationship activity," Mikki shared.
They chose polyamory because Mikki still wanted to be married, but she also wanted to make sure that Raheem was getting his individual needs and desires met, even if that meant meeting them with someone else. “I think that we have been programmed to think that our spouses need to be our 'everything.' We do not operate like that. There is no one way that fits all when it comes to relationships, despite what society may try to tell you. Their path to doing this thing called life together may be different from yours, but they found what works for them. We have chosen to design a marriage that works for us,” Mikki explained.
"We have chosen to design a marriage that works for us. We both consent to each of us having everything from casual sex partners to lifetime partners if it should go there. We believe love is abundant and do not limit ourselves or each other on how we express it."
She continued, “We both consent to each of us having everything from casual sexual partners to lifetime partners if it should get there. We believe love is abundant and do not limit ourselves or each other on how we express it. Our dynamic is parallel with kitchen table poly aspirations.”
Kitchen table polyamory (KTP) is a polyamorous relationship in which all participants are on friendly terms enough to share a meal at the kitchen table. Basically, it means you have some form of relationship with your partner’s other partner, whether as a group or individually. A lot of times, KTP relationships are highly personal and rooted in mutual respect, communication, and friendship.
Intimacy in an Asexual Polyamorous Marriage
Mikki says she and her husband, Raheem, still share intimate moments despite being in a polyamorous marriage. “Our intimacy is emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and physical, although non-sexual. We are intentional about date nights weekly, surprising and delighting each other daily, and most of all, we communicate our needs regularly. In my opinion, our intimacy is top-tier! I give my husband full-body massages, mani-pedis and make sure I am giving him small physical touches/kisses throughout the day. He is also very intentional about showing me his love and affection.”
Raheem and Mikki now use their lives as examples for others. On their website, thepolycouplenextdoor.com, they coach people interested in learning how to be consensually non-monogamous. “We are both relationship coaches. I specialized in emotional regulation, and Raheem specializes in communication and conflict resolution. The same tools we use in our marriage help our clients succeed in polyamory."
Mikki advises people who may be asexual or seeking non-monogamy to communicate their needs openly and to consider seeking sex therapy or intimacy coaching. Building a strong relationship with a non-sexual partner requires both empathy and compassion.
For more of Mikki, follow her on Instagram @getmikkibey. Follow the couple's platform on Instagram @thepolycouplenextdoor.
Featured image by skynesher/Getty Images