Single Damagehood: Not Marrying OUR Women is Killing Our Kids (and our women)

“The best thing about marriage is the amount of growth you have because you can no longer hide from your fears and insecurities. There’s someone right there calling you out on your flaws and building you up when you need the support.”
– Beyonce

Maybe I’m beating a dead horse. Maybe, I’m reviving a dead body. Maybe, I’m trying to do my part to progress. Maybe I’m self-correcting. We do a lot of things in the moment without thinking about the long-term ramifications. When we do think about them, it’s mostly about how it’ll affect us specifically and it doesn’t go much further than that. One of the most frivolous decisions we make as a community is having children out of wedlock. I’ve been wrestling with the different angles and perspectives of this for a while. This has actually been one of my hardest to complete pieces in memory. That’s so strange to me because I did this exact thing! The biggest blessing in my life is my son and I wouldn’t change it for the world. The person who gave him to me, I wouldn’t give her my name. That’s water under a high bridge of mistakes but it’s less about the personal relationship this time, and more about our culture. For the last few months, I have challenged my friends with a question: “How many of your white male friends have kids out of wedlock?” Divorces aside, none of my friends have answered with more than 2. I went to probably the most integrated high school in my hometown of Albany, Ga so my hometown friends mostly consist of people with a substantial amount of “white friends”. Then my second high school was in the suburbs of Chicago, it was probably 100-200 black people in a school with 4k students. I point that out to show that I wasn’t asking people who don’t have significant experiences with friends outside of our race. When you reverse the question and ask about our black friends, the answer is normally, “most of them”. Let’s unpack this.

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”
– Maya Angelou

A safe place to grow. In my experience and observations, I’ve realized that most women revel in NOTHING more than having a man, except having a husband. Think I’m wrong, go to any social media page and see how many times you see “husband” vs his actual name. Look at how many memes and posts have the word “wife” in them. It’s annoying sometimes right? But I get it. In the modern-day era, it seems people are doing everything they can to dissuade women from having to be a wife as a goal? It’s been reasonably effective only because they convinced us, men, to not want wives or to be husbands first. Ego calls us to take pride in vocalizing that we’re the “leaders” or should be respected as the “head of the household”, well the first thing the head of the household has to do is make that home a safe place! We tend to focus on the size of the house, the budget we can allot to decorate the house, and the cars outside the house as our primary efforts to lead. Then being strong enough, fearless enough, and “crazy” enough to handle anything that needs to be handled if an intruder dares to try his luck in that house. What WE often overlook is, our FIRST act of protection in that house is making the general of that house feel emotionally secure in that house. I know this won’t sit well, and I know people will argue these points until I can’t keep up but, there isn’t a woman living in your house as a girlfriend that’s emotionally secure. If she’s not emotionally secure, your children won’t be either. There’s no way around it. They feed off of her first from the minute her egg fertilizes. I’m not calling for everybody to rush into marriage by no means but what I’m begging us to do is… stop rushing into parenthood with women we aren’t ready to marry. No longer should we be beating “what’s understood don’t have to be said” or “we don’t have to get married, it’s just for show” into the heads of women we are literally impregnating. It’s the first biggest cut self-oppression tactic you can do to yourself, the mother of your kids, and the kids themselves.

Michelle Obama recounted how the couple went back and forth about the merits of marriage — all while trying to keep her voice calm amid all the fancy restaurant patrons around them.

“‘If we’re committed,’ I said, as evenly as I could muster, ‘why wouldn’t we formalize that commitment? What part of your dignity would be sacrificed by that?’” she wrote.

I started having these conversations with my unmarried but not single friends to see if they could honestly talk me out of this newfound understanding I’ve come to find over the last few years and nobody could. I would ask them if they were ready to get married and it would be as if I asked if they were ready to die. Then I would ask if they would be mad if she got pregnant and they’d shrug it off like, “if it happens, it happens” but marriage was too much of a commitment. It’s literally the most insane thing that we normalize. God forbid you to get married and it doesn’t work out, you get divorced and you both go your separate ways. A little heartbreak, but no unbreakable ties. But if you have a baby with a woman and it goes bad, you still have to be involved with each other forever, unless you don’t plan to be a father (which happens far too often still even as it’s gotten better). One, in theory, is a guaranteed lifetime contract, and the other has an opt out. But that’s how we’ve been conditioned. White people aren’t better than us, they just are less poisoned with us because they haven’t been oppressed here. Because they control the power structure, finances, and media, they’ve conditioned us to eliminate our greatest strength, unity. What they understand significantly better than us tho, is structure and the importance of it. Marriage, outside of love, is a structural system. That’s why getting married gets you tax breaks, better and cheaper insurance, better interest rates, and a host of decision-maker power over the estates of your partner. That’s literally what they’ve talked us out of. If you convince people to not have structure, they will have dysfunction. It’s simple, If they eliminate all the laws and jails today, the civil war will start tomorrow. There are criminals who break the law but the large majority of people, adhere to the structure. Whenever I see someone talking about starting or having a business, they talk about having or getting their LLC with so much pride. When they talk about their passion they spend a lot of time thinking about and talking about their brand. The name means so much and everyone has to know it, love it, and respect it. The pride comes from their ability to organize unlike most and the ownership of the idea and time they spend. That’s what marriage does for everybody but especially women. Especially our women that have long had the most taken from them. The most out of the blue neglect of any other demographic. The least supported financially and emotionally in the history of this country by their counterparts. Welfare systems and child support systems were designed significantly to make this their reality but we didn’t protect them from the torturous tactics. Now, look at the mess we made.

“When I got married, I was all in love, but then came life intruding in, and sometimes it’s difficult… I would look at my husband and ask, ‘Did we do it too quickly?’ But my husband was strong in his resolve. He kept reminding me that people go through this, and that we were going to be OK.”
– Angela Bassett

We all need help. Partnership doesn’t start once you get married no more than a business with your best friend starts when the contract is signed. In fact, if you and your childhood best friend started a business, you probably won’t even initially have contracts until other people start to come into the fold. It normally happens when you start getting investors or employees which translates to opinions and problems that need to be solved. That’s when you need assurances that both of you share responsibility no matter what. That helps both of you do everything to protect the company, your employees, and your endeavors. It gives you a sense of security that things will be done a certain way. When you marry a woman, she gets that same assurance. She then can freely love you and devote to that relationship and that household from a whole standpoint. That’s when your kids get the best of her, and when her day has made that tough, she knows you’ll pick in the pieces. It’s easy to say, “she can know that without marriage”, but would you put your savings up in your friend’s business without some assurances. Would you quit your job without seeing some paperwork on how it works, what the market is, what’s the agreed-upon level of commitment from both parties? Chances are you won’t. So if your business partner takes your entire savings with no way of you to legally get it back and runs off somewhere, how would your daily attitude and emotions be? Do you think the people around you would see it (like your kids see their mom’s state after being neglected)? Do you think the people around you would get some of your frustration taken out on them without you being aware of it at the moment? Do you think you’d then turn around and invest in another business with the same level of openness and freedom?

“My mother was a single mom, and most of the women I know are strong!”
– Regina King

The picture I’m painting is a picture of the domino effect. This is what it looks like now and this is what it’s been looking like since the generation before mine. This is the condition of our women and children after witnessing genocide. After watching the hopes, dreams, and hearts of so many around them get killed in their faces. Yet they stand strong and prevail to the best possible outcomes they can for their individual circumstances. Are we still that leader and that protector we demanded to be recognized as if we never prepare for this intruder that causes pain without breaking a window or kicking a door in? Are we really willing to do anything for our kids like we say if we’re not willing to be disciplined enough to not procreate them with women we aren’t willing to completely commit to? Because partially committing to their mothers, is partially committing to them. I don’t care if you make every PTA meeting, buy every gift on time, make every phone call, and never miss a visit; you neglected them the day you neglected to secure the mom. The bitterness and the resentment may grow in the mom and trickle down to the kids or it may just grow in a kid that can’t understand why they weren’t enough for you to even really WANT to be their everyday. We can say we want to in retrospect, but in the beginning, we didn’t really want to be or we would’ve done what was necessary. I carry this same lack of leadership, lack of devotion, and lack of understanding at the time with me every day. I can’t change that, but what I can change is, my actions going forward. My son is almost 10 years old and the only child, largely in part because I recognize how high the stakes are now. Financial risks are just the tip of the iceberg. The peace of mind for all parties included are at stake if I frivolously bring another child in with a woman I’m not ready to die with. We all have to gain this understanding. Understand that me having a piece of it now makes me better than no one, but it makes me a failure if I know better now, and I say nothing.

Just my thoughts.

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Meet Travis Cochran. The founder of Inspire You University and its lead writer. A fearless and provocative approach to his writing and discussions is what “Trav” prides himself on. Don’t hate him if you disagree with him, he’d much rather you challenge his points, learn together. Connect with him on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook.

  • Russell Whitaker
    Posted at 07:22h, 22 August Reply

    You speak the truth brother thank you

  • Dauriaun Jackson
    Posted at 12:08h, 09 February Reply

    I’d be lying if I said I’ve read all of your blogs. However, I have read a lot of them. With that being said I think this one is by far the most important one. Not best but most important. Great read.

  • Cedric Lewis
    Posted at 13:28h, 21 December Reply

    Dope read!!! All truth!!! Love the growth!!

  • Courtney jolivette
    Posted at 12:05h, 20 December Reply

    Thank you for this!

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