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Fantasia Says A Lack Of Submission Is Keeping Us From Getting A Man

Fantasia spoke boldly on submission. Here's why she just might be onto something.

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Fantasia Barrino, boy. I remember watching her win American Idol. I remember seeing Life Is Not a Fairy Tale: The Fantasia Barrino Story on Lifetime. I remember all of the news coverage she got for a very toxic relationship she was in back in the day, the accidental overdose that happened around the same time, and the first interview she did with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America after it. I also remember when major news outlets told us that she had gotten married to her husband of five years now (she actually eloped a year before they had a ceremony on a yacht), Kendall Taylor.

Wow. In many ways, it seems like Fantasia has lived at least five lifetimes even though she officially stepped onto the scene back in 2004. As I was watching her on her first time on The Breakfast Club interview yesterday, I must admit that a big smile came over my face when she said, "Excuse my language but I am f—kin' proud of myself for bouncing back." Fantasia, for doing more than just survive, but to come out thriving, I am too. You look beautiful, peaceful and full of clarity, self-awareness and joy. That's dope. It really is.

So even though I check for Fantasia, I must admit that her latest interview might've missed me if it wasn't for all of the, I'm gonna go with "mixed bag responses", that came from a particular portion of it; the part when she spoke about the importance of submission in marriage. I must say that if there is one word that seems to trigger a lot of women, it's that one. But before I attempt to unpack why that may be the case, let me share some of what she said, verbatim. Ready?

Fantasia’s Views on the “Roles” in Marriage

First, let me say that Fantasia's interview is a great example of why we need to make sure that we hear things in context. The reason why submission even came up is because she asked DJ Envy if he prays with his wife and he said that yes, he wakes her up every morning so that they can pray together (bookmark that; I'll be circling back to in in a bit). When Fantasia heard that, this was her response:

"I salute that. Because we need more of that, you know, what I mean? We need more men to stand up and lead the way. Most women are trying to be the leader; that's why you can't find a man. You can't be the leader in the house. Fall back and be the queen and let your man lead the way."

When DJ Envy basically replied that it's a challenge for some women because they don't see relationships like that; that they want to be in the lead role, Fantasia expounded.

"That's not how it's supposed to be. That's why we bump heads. I feel like it's a generational thing…it's a generation curse in how society [has] placed our men. And women have to stand up and be the mother and the father and the provider. So then, now you are so bad that you can't be told nothin'; that when the right man [comes], you lose him because [you're] tryin' to be the man."

When Angela Yee then asked if two people can be equal in a relationship (true submission isn't about a lack of equality, by the way. We'll come back to that in a bit too), Fantasia said "yes". Then this:

"At the end of the day, I'm the neck and my man's the head, so he can't make any moves without his wife. It all works together. But you can't be the head of the house. You got to let the man be the head of the house. But it's a generational thing. It's what we've been taught—stand up, be strong and a dude comes and everything about you is like a man."

When Angela Yee then said that it sometimes happens because women have no choice, Fantasia was ready for that too.

"You have to learn how to submit. You can still be a queen. A queen plays her part. The king needs his queen. It's certain things that he can't see that we see. The queen has to sit back and allow the king to be the king."

When Angela Yee then replied with "The Queen is the most valuable piece on the board," (a chess reference), Fantasia agreed with that as well. As she went on to explain that her man is a former-felon-turned-business owner who she knew for three weeks before making things official (they didn't have sex until after they got married; that should go on record too) and how, because she had always had to take care of everything, she was a "pop-off at the mouth" (which usually means it's hard to trust your partner; bookmark that as well), Fantasia said one more thing that stood out to me:

"It took a man like him to sit me down, look me in my eyes and talk to me like I was supposed to be talked to, and say, 'I'm here now. You don't have to do all of that. Pass it over to me and let me take care of that.'"

(For the cynics, "take care of all of that" does not mean Fantasia's finances; there's a prenup and he's the one who recommended that they get one.)

As I closed out the interview, I appreciated everything that she said. But when I read some folks' social media comments, a lot of people were, how do I put it? Pissed. It was like they felt Fantasia set us all the way back before The Little House on the Prairie Days. And while I know that I can't change anyone's mind, because again, submission seems to be something that so many women—single and married alike—give push back to, I wanted to offer up five points to at least help keep submission from being looked at as an unofficial cuss word for so many.

5 Things to Consider When It Comes to Submission in Marriage:

1. Submission Is a Spiritual Principle

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Ask a Christian. Ask a Jew. Ask a Muslim. Submission in a marriage is a principle that's applied in all of these faiths. As far as Christianity goes, it comes directly from Scripture: "And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything. For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God's word." (Ephesians 5:21-25—NLT)

Much like folks will say, "He who is without sin, cast the first stone" will leave out that Christ also said, "Go and sin no more" (John 8:1-12), folks will hear about how a wife should submit to her husband (a wife, not a girlfriend to her boyfriend; some of y'all will catch that later), they overlook that, as the leader of the home, the husband has a big job to do.

To love a wife in the way that Christ loves us all? Yeah, that's a lot. To give up their life for their wife? That too is a lot. If you read all of Ephesians 5, you'll see that a husband is also to nourish and cherish his wife; to love her as himself. Wives are not told to do all of this; husbands are. When a wife is submitting to her husband, it's not just to his leadership—it's the standard of love that is set for her husband. By the Word of God itself.

If you're not a Bible-adherer, I can totally get why submission may seem ridiculous. But if you profess to be, it's hard to stake that claim without taking verses like the one I just shared (along with Colossians 3:18-19) into account.

2. Submission Isn’t a Lack of Power; It’s Directed Power

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Fantasia's right. Because a lot of us didn't see our father be a good provider and protector and/or because a lot of our mothers had to do everything and/or because we've never seen a healthy marriage up close and personal for ourselves, some of us are inclined to think that submission is synonymous with abuse—or, at the very least, being taken for granted. That's not submission's fault. That needs to be put on the person who didn't honor and respect just how precious and sacred submission truly is.

I say that because think about how awesome you are as a woman. Think about all of the gifts, talents, insight, support and supernatural love you bring to the table. To choose to impart that into a man's life? That alone is an extremely powerful thing! It's basically saying what Beyoncé did in her song "Upgrade U":

You need a real woman in your life (that's a good look)
Taking care of home and still fly (that's a good look)
And I'mma help you build up your account (that's a good look)
Better yet a hood look, ladies, that's a good look
When you're in them big meetings for the mills (that's a good look)
You take me just to complement the deal (that's a good look)
And anything you cop I'll split the bill (that's a good look)
Better yet a hood look
(Believe me) ladies, that's a good look

You don't stop being you simply because you're being submissive. Submission is not a lack of power; it's a way of focusing it, centering it—streamlining it. You are choosing to yield the authority that you do have into the partnership called your marriage so that, as your husband provides and protects you, your power can make him a better person, just as his leadership nourishes, cherishes and further develops you in the process.

Any of y'all remember the Wonder Twins from back in the day? Remember how when their fists touched, they said, "Wonder Twin powers activate"? That's how I see leadership and submission in action. Two people using their strengths to lean into one another to make big stuff happen; the kind of stuff that quite possibly wouldn't happen any other way.

3. For Leadership to Work, Someone Needs to Submit

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I'll be honest. I think a lot of women want to "buffet" submission. What I mean by that is they want to pick and choose when submission should apply or not. I can't tell you how many times I've heard the very same ladies who think submission is antiquated and unnecessary turn right around and say that asking a man out on a date or to marry them is utterly ridiculous because "that's the man's job". So, he can—and should—lead when you're dating, but not after saying "I do"? What's that all about?

A writer by the name of J.D. Greeer once said, "Spiritual headship is not license for men to do what they want to do. It is empowerment to do what they ought to do. But, wives, that means you don't only follow him when you agree with him or feel like he is making the right decision. That's not submission; that's agreement."

Here's the thing. Is marriage a partnership? Of course. Are men and women equal in value in the relationship? Also, yes. But being equal doesn't make two people identical. There are certain things that men bring to the table and certain things that we as women do. A lot of women desire a protector and provider. Well, guess what? That's what a leader does. Once you get married, what's the struggle for? Let him.

4. A Man Who Understands Submission Submits to Someone Too

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Sometimes, I hear women say, "I submit to my husband as he submits to me." Yeah…that's not really how submission works. The point of submission is that someone has to lead in order for it to truly be effective. What I dig about what Fantasia said is, once she found a man who she felt was worthy of her gift of submission, there were things that she used to have to worry about that she no longer does. Yeah, some women are so busy thinking about—if not flat-out obsessing over—what submission requires that they don't see the benefits that come right along with it as well. If a man is a good leader, life is easier, not harder.

Besides, remember how I said that submission is a spiritual principle? Bishop TD Jakes once said something about submission that both men and women alike need to always keep in mind—"No woman wants to be in submission to a man who isn't in submission to God." Indeed. A man can only lead well if he is being led well. And the humility, spiritual maturity and surrender that it takes for a man to listen to a Higher Source is what makes him someone that his wife should have no problem submitting to.

I think that's why Fantasia got so excited when DJ Envy not only said that he prays for his wife, but he wakes her up, every morning, to do it. He's taking initiative to not only lead his home, but to show his wife that he submits to someone in the process as well.

5. Submission Is Nothing to Be Scared Of

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At the end of the day, submission is all about trust. Do you trust someone enough to allow them to lead? If you're single and you're not sure, don't get married yet. If you're married and you don't, marriage counseling is something that I recommend.

One more thing. Just because a wife submits, that doesn't mean she doesn't have a voice or relevance in her marriage. Something else a good leader does is delegate. If the wife is better with the finances, she handles them. If she makes more money, he's not insecure in the least. When she brings perspectives to the table, he listens. A true husband-leader knows that he's only as good as his partner-wife. He is totally aware of how much he needs and relies on her. So he does.

So, when Fantasia said that a lot of us don't have a man because we don't want to submit, that didn't bother me in the least. I find true submission to be a dope concept. But I think it triggered a lot of others because submission isn't something that's explored as much as it should be.

At the end of the day, it sounded to me like she said, "If y'all want a man in your life, how about you let a man be one?" Shoot, Fantasia is a submitter and I've never seen her stronger. She's an independent artist now. She said she has more money in the bank than ever. She looks great. She really does seem healthy and whole.

A great reminder that submission can actually empower you, that is, if you choose the right man to lead. It's all about staying open and choosing wisely. It really is. Submit to God. He'll lead you to who can lead you; who truly deserves your gift of submission. He really will.

Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:

What Does It Mean To Submit? How These Celeb Couples Embrace The Concept & Make It Work

These 7 Married Men Have Some Marriage Myths They Want To Debunk

Larenz Tate & His Wife Have Maintained Their 14-Year Marriage By Putting Friendship First

10 Married Couples Share The Keys To Their Totally Off-The-Chain Sex Life

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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In xoNecole's Our First Year series, we take an in-depth look at love and relationships between couples with an emphasis on what their first year of marriage was like.

It was a cold winter night in Chicago, more than a year ago. Your girl was scrolling through the fifty-eleven million options on Netflix to find something interesting to watch. I spotted this new show, The Circle, and have not looked away since. Produced by Studio Lambert and Motion Content Group, it premiered in January 2020 and has become my new favorite type of game show. Hosted by Michelle Buteau, The Circle is about contestants who are isolated in their own apartments and can only communicate with others via an online social media platform.

On season 2 of The Circle, the world fell in love with DeLeesa, the contestant who would eventually be crowned winner of the cash prize. She won the game by playing as a single dad named Trevor, who is actually her husband. As a true fan of the series, I figured it was only right to sit down with DeLeesa and Trevor to get the deets on how marriage has been for them IRL. So, let me take y'all back into time real quick, to the beginning of their love story.

It was 2007, and DeLeesa was starting her first day of school as a college freshman. She was getting adjusted to her new dorm and was introduced to her new resident assistant, *drum roll please* Trevor St. Agathe. They quickly became friends and Trevor helped DeLeesa find different activities around campus. After a year, they decided to take things to the next level.

Now, 14 years and two beautiful children later, the married couple have been focusing on doing whatever it takes to create the best life for their children. Since college, the power of commitment and open communication is what has kept DeLeesa and Trevor by each other's side.

One thing that we can all learn from The Circle and social media in general is that everything is not what it seems. When I connected with the couple, DeLeesa wanted to get the story straight about her and Trevor's love story. "I feel like people look at couples on social media and they think that things are perfect when that's not true. We went through stuff, too. We just figured out how to overcome it and move together as a unit."

In this installment of xoNecole's Our First Year, Deleesa and Trevor share how marriage is about work, navigating through the ups and downs, and prioritizing family. Here's their story:

How We Met

DeLeesa: I got to school early because I was starting [college] a semester late. I met him, we became friends, and I developed a little crush on him. One day, we were hanging out in his room and he just didn't want me to leave (laughs). So we were messing around for about a year. Exactly one year later, I told Trevor that I am not going to keep doing this unless he becomes my man. If he didn't make me his girl, then we were done. (Laughs)

Trevor: I tried to ride it out as long as I could (laughs). At the time, I was thinking, since I'm still in college, I shouldn't be tied down. But I knew that if I didn't make it official, she was going to leave. So, she was right, and we took it to the next level.

First Impressions

Trevor: I thought she was absolutely beautiful. She was pretty and the new girl on campus. So I knew she was going to get lots of attention. But I didn't want to be on that with her, so I continued to just be a stand-up guy. At first, it was the normal student-and-RA relationship. She would ask me what activities she could do on campus and I gave her a few suggestions. For a few days, we continued to hang out and I started to realize the chemistry we had between us.

DeLeesa: When I first met Trevor, I wasn't even thinking about going that [relationship] route with him. I was new to the school and I just wanted to be his friend. But because we shared bathrooms in the dorm, this man would just walk around in his towel sometimes. I couldn't help but notice him more after that. I just thought 'He is fine!' (Laughs) He was so nice and he never pressured me into anything, but, he knew what he was doing.

Favorite Things

DeLeesa: I love that he has unconditional love for me. I feel like that no matter what I do or no matter how mad he gets, he is still always going to be by my side for anything that I need. We have been together for a long time. Even though we had breaks in between, he has always been there for me.

Trevor: It's not just one thing for me, but I can sum it up: DeLeesa is everything that I wish I was. She is very much not afraid of what other people think and she is very determined to go after what she wants. She has that go-getter mentality and it is so attractive to me.

"DeLeesa is everything that I wish I was. She is very much not afraid of what other people think and she is very determined to go after what she wants. She has that go-getter mentality and it is so attractive to me."

Wedding Day

Trevor: On our wedding day, I was crying like a baby when I finally saw her. That is my fondest memory of that day: seeing my wife-to-be from a distance and instant water works. (Laughs)

DeLeesa: I really enjoyed our first dance. Our wedding was pretty big, and I planned the whole thing. I was very hands-on and it was hard for me to just have a moment and be present. But when we had our first dance, that was our time to just be with each other and not worry about anything else. It really hit me that we were married at that point.

The One

DeLeesa: Well, the thing with Trevor and I is that we broke up a lot. We reached nine years of being on and off. By that time, we said to each other that this would be the last time we were going to break up. We were going to try our best to do everything that we could to stay together. And if we didn't work out, we were going to go our separate ways. For me, I really wanted us to work because I did see him as my future husband and my children's father. So it was the conversation we had to not break up that was my "you are the one for me" moment.

Trevor: It was something that I always knew. Young Trevor would say, "If I had to get married, this is who I want to marry." When I knew it was time to take things more seriously with her, it was after we had that conversation. Another confirmation that DeLeesa was the one was when we had to move to Canada from New York. I thought to myself that this woman must really love me to pack up and move to another country for me. This woman trusts me so much and she is my forever.

"The thing with Trevor and I is that we broke up a lot. We reached 9 years of being on and off. By that time, we said to each other that this would be the last time we were going to break up. We were going to try our best to do everything that we could to stay together."

Biggest Fears

Trevor: The questions that popped into my head were, "Can I do it?"; "Can I be a good husband to her?"; or "Was I truly husband material?" You can't take a test for that or study to get those answers. You have to just do it, apply your morals and values, and do the best you can. What has helped me with this is continuing to reaffirm how we feel about one another—affirmations that let me know that she is happy and I am doing a good job. Marriage isn't that much different from what we have already been doing this entire time. We just wear rings.

DeLeesa: My biggest fear [is related to the fact that] I am a very independent person, [so] if I do not like something, I can be out, quick! So with me, I questioned if I could stay put and fight through the bad times within a marriage. I would question if it is worth sticking it out since this is a lifelong commitment. What has helped me get through that is reminding myself that I can still be independent within my own marriage. I can still do things on my own and still share my life with someone I really care about.

Early Challenges

DeLeesa: I feel like I have been really good at keeping my relationship with my friends balanced with my partnership with Trevor. So when we first got married, my personal challenge was me trying to juggle between being a good wife and still making time for my girls. I really didn't want to lose sight of who I was in the process of marriage.

Trevor: My work at the time forced me to travel a lot. So when you are in that honeymoon phase, it's important to have quality time together. It was hard with my job to enjoy life together as a married couple in the beginning. Yes, we have been together for a long time. But this was different. Not being around my wife as much as I wanted to was really hard for me and the both of us. Our communication started slacking and we definitely struggled during that time.

Love Lessons

Trevor: There's two lessons that I have. One lesson is that I am a husband first. I have spent a lot of time not being a husband so it can be easy for me or anyone to continue to behave that way. But my wife always has to come first, no matter what is going on in life. When you're married, you have to reinforce that. My second lesson that has helped in our marriage is making sure I do things in order to make her life easier. It can be the simplest thing, but for me, it is a huge priority.

DeLeesa: My biggest lesson is being able to learn from each other. For example, if he is doing simple things to make life easier for me, I am learning from him how to show up for him to make him happy. It can be easy to just receive everything he is putting forth, but it has to be give and take for us.

"I am a husband first. I have spent a lot of time not being a husband so it can be easy for me or anyone to continue to behave that way. But my wife always has to come first, no matter what is going on in life. When you're married, you have to reinforce that."

Common Goal

Trevor: To do everything in our power to ensure that our girls have the best possible life. Everything that we do at this point is for them. Before children, I may have moved slower working toward certain things, but there is definitely an added fire on how we approach things because of them.

DeLeesa: I agree. The number one goal is to be the best parents we can be. We want to set up generational wealth and we want them to be culturally aware. We want them to grow up and be proud of everything we have done for them.

Best Advice

DeLeesa: My advice would be don't go looking for advice, honestly. A lot of people are going to have an opinion about your life and sometimes that may not be the best for you. People can have different intentions and may give you the wrong advice. So I feel that if you need to vent, then yes, have someone to confide in. But don't take their word as facts. Try to figure out your marriage for yourself. Stick to your intuition and what you want to do, no matter if you are being judged for it.

Trevor: The things that matter are to be patient, listen close, choose to be happy, and love hard. I also think when people come to terms with the fact that marriage is work, then it is more possible for people. There are honestly more things to be happy about with the person that you marry. You have to keep all the things that you love about that person at the forefront to get you through. Once you do that, you will be fine.

Follow Deleesa and Trevor on Instagram @leesaunique and @trev_saint and their family page @itsthesaints.

Featured image via Instagram/Leesaunique

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