10 Lessons Learned from the “Who TF Did I Marry?” Series

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Reesa Teesa has not only taken social media by storm with her 50+ part TikTok series titled, “Who TF Did I Marry?”, but she’s controlling her own narrative. More than that, she’s respectfully and candidly sharing her story in a way that has created buzz, earned her money, and positioned her for more opportunity {starting with her overdue Parisian and English trips}. My husband affirms to me that my story is just as juicy but I retort with my refusal to unleash it while my sons are minors. I still have some waiting time, but I thank Reesa in advance for pioneering a blueprint.

Enough about me.

I wrote this article to share lessons learned from my three and half minute reading of the “Cliff Notes” version on her story. Yes, I chose to not consume over 500 minutes of content but I got the gist. While I decided to not commit to the series, many of my clients were all-in. The number of shares, DMs, and text messages I received gave me what I needed to know about this story, and also signaled that I’d have to follow through with a response. In the moment, I shared these lessons on my IG story. Now, I’m listing the same lessons with more meat.

 

#1: Men do not move into your home.

Your home is your sanctuary, and it is for you. You’ve spent your labor for your benefit and NOT some man who has yet to demonstrate basic skills of adulthood like securing housing, managing a household, budgeting, paying bills {on time}, and having a sense of responsibility over self. He should not need you to become housed or become more stably housed. One sign of readiness for long-term partnership or marriage is stability. Why any sane adult would know the degree of lack they have in this area and still try to add another adult to their lives is beyond me. It’s also a sign that the other party is likely to be used and abused for the individual stability they bring to the union. Allowing someone to move into your home, making it their permanent residence, is not just a relational or romantic act, it is also a legal one. Could you imagine wanting a man to leave your home while he owns the right to be there as a legal co-tenant? In my experience in working with women {who romantically relate to men}, a man who has not proven his ability to be stable, is not the man who quietly and politely leaves your life or home at your request. It’s not the home necessarily, but the kind of man an unstable man is that you want to avoid.

 

#2: Two weeks is NOT enough time to evaluate a man’s character or assess his patterns.

With a level of personal security, intentionality, and strategy, I do not think courtship or engagements need to be long, but even with these powerful three, an adequate amount of time must be spent to see people for who they are. Anyone, and especially those with psychosis or pathology, can hide or mask their true colors in two week’s time. I use the words “assess” and “evaluate” on purpose because they indicate a necessary amount of time, representing quantity. Likewise, words like “character” and “patterns” indicate quality. Across the lifetime of “getting to know” someone, you must balance the quantity-quality, giving yourself enough time to witness and observe the measure of a man. This quick litmus test can be used as a guide, asking yourself: If someone were to ask me how much do I know about him, what could I say? If you do not have enough quality and quantity {meaning a number of different instances over time that have been properly witnessed, observed, and verified}, then you do not know him well enough to make legal and/or financial decisions with him. FYI: Cohabitating and marriage are both legal and financial decisions.

 

#3: Being “happy” because you’ve never had a man “like that” isn’t a reason to ignore Lessons #1-2.

When we are feeling an extreme or intense emotion, in this case a desired and longed for emotion, we tend to make decisions only from that angle. So, when you assign your feelings of happiness to this new person in your life, you make decisions about that person and with them through that lens, meaning you only see and anticipate positives. This is the danger of making decisions in your feelings {not to be confused with using your emotions to inform your decision-making.} From this perspective, you create your own blind spot, resulting in losing your ability to trust what you see {or sense} or not be able to see {or sense} it at all—especially those patterns {even with a hardwired brain for patterns}😧. This quick litmus test can be used as a guide, asking yourself: Which do I feel more connected to, his personality or his patterns? Which do I know more about? It *could be* that if the only or primary thing registering is a man’s personality {and how you believe that makes you feel}, you’re too blind or you don’t have enough data {experiences collected over time.}

 

#4: Insist on meeting family and friends.

This should be a STANDARD before the connection progresses to a relationship or even a true sense of familiarity—and certainly before you live together or accept his proposal. [See Lesson #1 and Lesson #8.] Most people who are stable, progressing {especially thriving}, evolving, and maintaining an authentic sense of self are supported by loved ones, friends, colleagues, and other social networks. They are not lone wolves or islands. If the guy is not introducing you to the people in his life he either does not have them or there’s a reason he’s keeping them from you. Romantically engaging with men in a vacuum is dangerous. Family and friends can help fill the story of the person you’re dating. Not in the same context, yet the message still applies, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has already warned us about the danger of a single story. Who can speak for this man? If the answer is no one, run, sis. Run. 🏃🏾‍♀️

 

#5: Verify financial means before you commit to financial decisions.

With every client or woman in my life, I advise them uniquely for this task. There is no cookie-cut approach. I apologize if this seems too vague, but I’m happy to share a specific approach if you want to tell me about it. {Currently, I’m holding a super discounted special to book a session with me, if you need one.} One woman messaged me from my IG Story, asking, “Does that look like looking at paystubs?” It can. But more broadly, and in my answer to her:

It means creating a relationship between what he wants with you and what you will require for that to be. Too many women give men things without being vocal about what they need to see {or have} to give it.

FYI: Cohabitating and marriage are both legal and financial decisions, and while we’re at it, birthing a baby is too. 🙃

 

#6: When lies begin to surface (especially big, fat obvious ones), confront the liar.

Yes, you have a right to distrust someone when they’re being deceptive 🤥. We tend to give people the “benefit of the doubt” when small things begin to not add up or give us an off feeling. Sometimes, we miss it or suppress it because of the blinders from Lesson #3, and other times we dismiss it because we disregard our intuition. [See Bonus Lesson.] In most cases, I avoid labeling a woman as desperate but there are times when the shoe fits. Usually, when a woman starts to ignore clues and signs that something is off it can suggest that she’s in too deep or too far desperate—often struggling with societal/familial pressure, a ticking biological clock, exhaustion from dating/singlehood, or loneliness. She wants the man or the relationship or its status too badly to identify reasons why it shouldn’t exist, so she doesn’t. Be mindful. Also, have a supportive sister circle. They usually will not let you travel too far into La La Land with a man they sense is malicious or dangerous.

 

#7: When a man shows you his lack of commitment to you, believe him.

No, you cannot change someone’s sense of commitment to you. And no, it is not tied to your self-worth. Radical acceptance is your friend. On my IG poll, I asked women to vote on each lesson as “I understand” or “I need support.” This lesson had the greatest percentage of “I need support,” telling me that you all either do not know how to detect this or have trouble with receiving it {and acting on it.} If you need support here, please reach out. I’ll leave you with a litmus test my mother once taught me: If a man wants you, you’ll know it; when he doesn’t, you’ll be confused.”

 

#8: Never accept a marriage proposal from a man who has not shown you what you need to see or experience in the dating or courting phase.

This includes how you want to feel with and about him! As my clients navigate the advancing of their relationships to exclusivity and later engagement, they must “pass the test” with this paired-question: What are you saying yes to? What has he done to earn it? If you cannot answer this question at all or with confidence, I have pause. Maybe you should too. [See Lessons #1-7.]

 

#9: Marriage counseling does not save a marriage when at least one party is not committed to being married. You only waste time and money.

Counseling requires some degree of stability and consistency of character {even if it’s just to show up willingly and remain present session to session.} [See Lessons #1-2.] It also requires money, time, commitment, and authenticity. [See Lessons #5-7.] Do you see that if a man has not demonstrated these traits in his own character and throughout the relationship, how counseling will unlikely be a success?

 

#10: Marriage is not the blessing. Being married to the right person for you is.

We grow up hearing phrases like “divorce is not an option.” It sounds good; but if you’re a woman, it could be a death sentence or the justification for which you withstand marital trauma and abuse. But even in a “good marriage,” this idea can breed laziness and complacency. Don’t get me wrong, divorce is not an option to be weaponized in marriage; neither is it to be considered or used frivolously—but it is an option. On my IG poll, this lesson had the second-greatest percentage of “I need support.” One woman messaged me “Torn between this one!” To which I responded, “Many women are—hence the [52-part] series.” She dropped the 😮‍💨 emoji, and I knew we had an understanding. Communicating to a woman who is making a decision with a man {even the decision to marry} that she has NO way—NO option—to remove herself from him is wild. There has to be a better way to teach on romance and marriage.

 

BONUS: Listen to the movement in your body. Trust your intuition.

The sensations you feel are present to keep you alive and safe. You will usually feel the fluids in your body move in an upsetting way throughout at least one of your energy centers {also called chakras.} Pay attention. This is an intuitive knowing but there is a physiological response in the body too. It can also feel like your natural bio-rhythms are being affected or aggravated. As women, we’ve been taught to distrust our intuition or not take it as seriously because our modern world values more masculine yield. I do not prescribe to the notion that men are more logical and women are more emotional in the way it is popularly conveyed, but I do know that many women are often guilty of Lesson #3. You have to learn to listen to your body, trust your intuition, and allow both to guide your decision-making. You’ve been taught to not take your complex emotional universe seriously, when in fact, it is life-saving.

 

SIDE BAR: About halfway through my Cliff Notes reading, I suspected that Legion may be a twin—then it was confirmed. I posted about it on Facebook and a commenter asked for a psychological breakdown. While I am familiar, I am no clinician; so I visited TikTok looking for a Black woman therapist experienced in this area. Then, this started a new dialogue about the implications involved with dating a twin. P.S. I don’t date twins.🙈  

 

We grow as we go,

 

4 thoughts on “10 Lessons Learned from the “Who TF Did I Marry?” Series”

  1. Joyiceeeeeeee,
    This was soooooo yummy. I just love how you always break things where I can see myself and identify where I need to tighten up. I also see where I have evolved in many areas. This serious highlighted the woman I used to be. The growth is real. I no longer operate from a place of desperation and lack of self love. Now being very in tuned with body, noticing the 🚩🚩. Most importantly not ignoring them.

    Thank you sis 💫💛🪷

  2. Thank you for the checklist, Coach! I think a lot of us get stuck in between the dating, primacy, and official exclusivity (ie., engagement) phases and need support in discerning whether to move forward with someone or not just because they are a good guy who is choosing us. I think this is a great informative guide for all us single girls!

    1. Hey Taryn! It’s my pleasure to provide Black women with content to keep them safe and relationally healthy. I love that you said you need support. We all do, and I’m happy to assist where I can. You hit the nail on the head with choosing someone (for you) and just responding to who has picked you out of the bunch. We have to question why would a certain man want us and be able to discern if those reasons make sense and sit comfortably. Thanks for being here. Blessings, Joyice

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