As news hit the Net that Jennifer Hudson has set a wedding date to marry baby dady David Otunga, there were a flurry of congratulatory comments and well wishes from fans and supporters. However, there is a solid contingent that remains quite suspect about Mr. Otunga and his motives. Sure he's a Harvard Law grad, but did he ever pass the bar? Is the former contestant who once battled for the love of the skanky New York and who has now turned to professional wrestling merely an opportunist who wants to make it big in Hollywood by any means necessary? And is Jhud just his meal ticket to the big time? We definitely wish them the best, but the naysayers got me thinking about how often we stand by and watch our friends and family marry people that we have deep reservations about.
I wonder if those closest to Jennifer ever expressed these concerns or was everyone just "happy" because they were finally getting married?
I guess I'm at that age where my peers and I are beyond the bridal showers and engagement parties and the big weddings. I have reached the point where many of my peers have been married for a year or more. The romantic image many women had of marriage has long been chucked aside, and reality has set in - for better or for worse.
Of course, some of these marriages haven't worked out as planned: There hasn't been a happily ever after, and many friends who once proclaimed this was the man they wanted to spend the rest of their life with are now back on E-Harmony. For many of my divorced friends and family, though, anyone could have seen the impending disaster a mile away.
I mean, he was a'ight but you just didn't like him. You were concerned about his ambition, his fidelity, his veracity. It was fine when they were JUST dating. I mean, what business is it of yours? But when she decides to marry the guy, from the beginning you know it is a bad mistake. So as long-time close friends, why is it that we never say anything?
We are the people who know them the best, we love them the most, yet family and dear friends are typically the least likely to want to rain on their parade. Perhaps, we secretly hope that we are wrong. We rationalize the situation by saying, "Well, if he makes her happy," but are we abdicating our responsibility as friends by letting them "make their own mistakes?" Probably.
But what are we supposed to do? When you're in love, objectivity is out of the window. The last thing you want is for those closest to you to say something negative about your future husband. You'll probably be accused of "hating" or being bitter or being jealous or just being downright mean and unsupportive. You don't want to risk your friendship by actually giving them your honest opinion.
Do we really think that Star Jone's, Lamar Odom's and Whitney Houston's friends weren't all whispering to one another? And who knows, maybe someone expressed their reservations and were summarily dismissed.
I have seen so many marriages that end up being a disaster for the couple and their children. And it is only after your friend realizes the mistake he or she made that everyone opens up and says, "Yeah, I never liked them."
But then your best girlfriend looks at you and says, "Why didn't you say anything?" And you look at them unsure of how to respond. What can you say? Yes, I knew he was a major loser and the marriage seemed doomed from the beginning, but you were just so darned excited, plus your dress was really cute.
It's ironic. If it was a business deal she was entering in to, there is no doubt you would have expressed your reservations loud and clear. But the biggest choice of her life is here, and we remain silent.
Unless, there is major concrete evidence that the guy is trouble, it is very difficult to articulate feelings about a friend's betrothed. It's one thing if you saw him with another woman, discovered a lengthy prison sentence for fraud or knew that he previously dated men. That's the easy stuff.
But what about intangibles, like laziness, being inconsiderate, his relationships with his children from a prior relationship, lack of drive, gold-digger tendencies, lack of similar goals, lack of warmth, a temper, an unwillingness to make decisions, his irresponsibility?
These things are often excused away with a chuckle and an excuse: "Well, he's not always like that." "He really wants to have a relationship with his kids, but the Mothers make it too hard." Or my favorite: "You should see him when we get home, he's such a sweetheart."
If you are defensive and unwilling to accept honest opinions from the people closest to you, then it exponentially increases your chances of marrying a loser. Your friends will keep their thoughts to themselves and just hope for the best, and you will enter your marriage blinded by love or deafened by the ticking of your biological clock. Men and women, please know that your friends only want the best for you. When we speak on our reservations, it is usually out of love and concern for your long-term well-being.
So, as difficult as it may be, don't be afraid to solicit honest opinions from people you trust and more importantly, LISTEN to them. Or you, too, may just end up being the next Terry McMillan. I hope JHud is listening...the similarities are eerie. Good luck.
I'm just sayin...