Egypt Sherrod Reveals How Baggage Almost Ran Off Mr. Right

Egypt Sherrod Reveals How Baggage Almost Ran Off Mr. Right

In an episode of Black Love, couples talk about the importance of doing the work before you're married.

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One of my favorite songs from Musiq Soulchild is called "Previous Cats". There's a line in the chorus that says: "I'm not to blame for the pain that was caused by previous cats who had your heart before me."

For a long time, I was the girl that Musiq Soulchild was talking about in that song. I had been in so many terrible relationships that by the time my husband came along, it was as if I had "relationship PTSD" because I was so afraid that the same horrible things that happened to me previously, were going to happen to me all over again. It was all a part of my so-called baggage.

All of us – men and women – go into relationships with baggage, whether it's from past relationships, past hurts and disappointments, or even our childhood experiences. If we're not careful, the very thing we're holding onto from the past can hold us back from our future.

Such was the case with married couple Mike "DJ Fadelf" Jackson and Egypt Sherrod when they were dating. Among other things, in this week's episode of Black Love, the husband and wife, who have been married for 8 years, expound on this topic. Although Mike had some baggage from his previous marriage, he was proactively pursuing her and wanting more. However, because Egypt was dealing with so much hurt and disappointment from her past relationships, she almost ruined the relationship before it even started.

"Even when we're done with the relationship, we still carry those bruises with us. It wasn't until he called me out on my mess and told me, 'You are taking it out on me -- everything from every other guy that did you wrong and you're gonna run Mr. Right off.'"

Black Love/OWN

For Egypt, before she could work on their relationship together, she knew she had to do some self-work first.

"Before we can prepare ourselves for the right man to enter our lives, we have to get our minds right, let go of our baggage…[even if that means] going to therapy, and purging some things."

It's interesting how we will invest so much time, money, energy, and effort into planning a wedding. But how many of us are willing to do the same when it comes to investing in the marriage and the preparation that goes into it before we get married?

On tonight's episode of Black Love, Egypt and Michael share with us why they decided to postpone their destination wedding only two weeks prior, and why it's so important to prepare and do the work before you get married. Also featured in the episode titled "Long & Windy Roads" are couples Justin and Joy Riley; David and Tamela Mann; Elisha and Michael Beach; and Michael and Mecca Elliot.

Check out an exclusive first look below:

To hear more about their journey, tune in to OWN tonight and every Saturday at 9/8c.

Featured image courtesy of Black Love/OWN

Black Women, We Deserve More

When the NYT posted an article this week about the recent marriage of a Black woman VP of a multi-billion-dollar company and a Black man who took her on a first date at the parking lot of a Popeyes, the reaction on social media was swift and polarizing. The two met on Hinge and had their parking lot rendezvous after he’d canceled their first two dates. When the groom posted a photo from their wedding on social media, he bragged about how he never had “pressure” to take her on “any fancy dates or expensive restaurants.”

It’s worth reading on your own to get the full breadth of all the foolery that transpired. But the Twitter discourse it inspired on what could lead a successful Black woman to accept lower than bare minimum in pursuit of a relationship and marriage, made me think of the years of messaging that Black women receive about how our standards are too high and what we have to “bring to the table” in order to be "worthy" of what society has deemed is the ultimate showing of our worth: a marriage to a man.

That's right, the first pandemic I lived through was not Covid, but the pandemic of the Black male relationship expert. I was young – thirteen to be exact – when Steve Harvey published his best-selling book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man. Though he was still just a stand-up comedian, oversized suit hoarder, and man on his third marriage at the time, his relationship advice was taken as the gospel truth.

The 2000s were a particularly bleak time to be a single Black woman. Much of the messaging –created by men – that surrounded Black women at the time blamed their desire for a successful career and for a partner that matched their drive and ambition for the lack of romance in their life. Statistics about Black women’s marriageability were always wielded against Black women as evidence of our lack of desirability.

It’s no wonder then that a man that donned a box cut well into the 2000s was able to convince women across the nation to not have sex for the first three months of a relationship. Or that a slew of other Black men had their go at telling Black women that they’re not good enough and why their book, seminar, or show will be the thing that makes them worthy of a Good Man™.

This is how we end up marrying men who cancel twice before taking us on a “date” in the Popeyes parking lot, or husbands writing social media posts about how their Black wife is not “the most beautiful” or “the most intelligent” or the latest season of trauma dumping known as Black Love on OWN.

Now that I’ve reached my late twenties, many things about how Black women approach dating and relationships have changed and many things have remained the same. For many Black women, the idea of chronic singleness is not the threat that it used to be. Wanting romance doesn’t exist in a way that threatens to undermine the other relationships we have with our friends, family, and ourselves as it once did, or at least once was presented to us. There is a version of life many of us are embracing where a man not wanting us, is not the end of what could still be fruitful and vibrant life.

There are still Black women out there however who have yet to unlearn the toxic ideals that have been projected onto us about our worthiness in relation to our intimate lives. I see it all the time online. The absolute humiliation and disrespect some Black women are willing to stomach in the name of being partnered. The hoops that some Black women are willing to jump through just to receive whatever lies beneath the bare minimum.

It's worth remembering that there are different forces at play that gather to make Black women feast off the scraps we are given. A world saturated by colorism, fatphobia, anti-Blackness, ableism, and classism will always punish Black women who demand more for themselves. Dismantling these systems also means divesting from any and everything that makes us question our worth.

Because truth be told, Black women are more than worthy of having a love that is built on mutual respect and admiration. A love that is honey sweet and radiates a light that rivals the sun. A love that is a steadying calming force that doesn’t bring confusion or anxiety. Black women deserve a love that is worthy of the prize that we are.

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Featured image: Getty Images

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