So the latest news from the Desperate Housewives circuit (yes, I know they call themselves “real”; not “desperate”) is that former Steeler, Kordell Stewart, is divorcing Real Housewives star, Porsha Williams-Stewart. Most people are saying that they did not see it coming; in other words, they did not think that the couple would end up back at city hall in less than two years, only this time, not under happy circumstances .
Quite frankly, I was also of the opinion that the couple seemed happy and what they had looked like it was a good thing…until the ULTIMATUM.
There was a clip (may be reruns of the show) that kept playing over and over where Portia and Kordell were discussing having a baby and I recall he told her that if she chose to have a baby she would not be working. Please note the use of the word told. Porsha’s response was to suggest that maybe she could still work and they could hire a nanny to help out and again, he told her that that would not be happening and she was reduced to tears.
I am not one to judge women who decide that a very extreme version of traditional marriage, where their husband barely falls short of being their parent rather than their partner, is what they want if that is what both of them have signed up for. I do believe though, that even in those kinds of marriages, there is a fine line between the husband having the final say in all matters and the husband turning into an oppressive tyrant.
In the case of Porsha and Kordell, there were stories circulating that the other “housewives” had suggested to her that her husband was controlling and she vehemently denied it and fiercely defended him. Then came the ultimatum; career or baby…then the divorce.
Whether a marriage is traditional or unconventional, as many marriages are becoming, ultimatums have no place in a healthy relationship. Every person on God’s green earth has free will and no one, not even a “traditional” husband, has the right to rob anyone of their free will. Instead, there should be communication, compromise and maybe even negotiation, but never ultimatums.
We can not know for sure if Porsha and Kordell will follow through with the divorce, or if the reports are even 100% accurate, but the fact remains that in order to have a healthy relationship, both partners must feel like their needs, wants and desires are heard and are considered in every major decision that affects both partners. A man who forces his will on a woman has moved away from love and kindness and onto control and domination. That, in my books, will never ever work.
Nomalanga helps Black women in their lives and careers. She is a Social Commentator, an Editor at Your Black World , Assistant Professor of Professional Studies and the reigning Mrs Botswana. Visit Nomalanga’s Facebook page or Follow her on Twitter