The buzz rang across the world. The word was finally out, “Whitney Houston was dead.” The idea that a woman so talented would be forever lost to the world was unthinkable. On February 12, 2012, Whitney Houston had died at the age of 48 years old. Through the public eyes, the six-time Grammy winner was on a sobriety roller-coaster. In her awarding song, Whitney sings, “If I should stay I would only be in your way, so I'll go. But I know I'll think of you every step of the way. And I will always love you.” Yet, this kind of love is mysterious. In a world looking for comfort from Whitney’s death, there are some lessons to learn for everyone. The article examines today’s marriages and how to assess the true love.
Many people blame Whitney’s eventual downfall of her stormy marriage. She married Bobby Brown in 1992. With her concert cancellations and erratic behavior, rumors circulated about her drug abuse with husband Bobby Brown. On one occasion, police responded to a domestic violence call from Whitney about her husband. Eventually, Bobby was eventually charged with misdemeanor battery in 2003; he allegedly struck his wife in a heated domestic altercation.
In 2005, the couple allowed the world to take an inside peek into their rocky relationship with a reality TV show Being Bobby Brown. Whitney later admitted to Oprah Winfrey in an interview that doing the show was a mistake. She did the show to support her husband Bobby. In an interview, Whitney explained,“Nobody makes me do anything I don't wanna do, it's my decision. So the biggest devil is me. I'm either my best friend or my worst enemy.”
After 14 years of marriage, Whitney and Bobby ended their marriage in 2007 but not all the drama associated with being famous. In fact, drug addiction continued to haunt Whitney’s life. Her daughter Bobbi Kristina, who was informally Whitney’s primary caretaker, was very close to her mother. Sadly, Whitney and Bobby’s marriage will not be remembered for its intense love but for its drama and crazy love.
The state of marriage should be troubling to many. According to estimates, 46 percent of women aged 15-44 years were married or 9 percent were co-habiting which refers to a man and woman living together in a sexual relationship without being married. For men, 42 percent were married and 9 percent co-habited. Although many discuss the plight of marriage with about half ending in divorce, marriage continues to provide some stability for families in society. According to a 2002 National Survey of Family Growth by Paula Goodwin, William Mosher, and Anjani Chandra, marriages last longer than co-habiting unions (78 percent of marriage lasted 1 year or more, compared with less than 30 percent of co-habitations).
On a steady pace, popular legends and media experts seek to bombard negativism about traditional marriage as a failing institution. Genuine love in marriage could be a crazy love to individuals caught up in fake love. This unconditional love is best outlined biblically: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” This love is considered a crazy love because it is unconditional. In most marriages, the relationship is transactional. If one person does something, there is a reciprocal action.
Pastor Richard Brown, who routinely offers advice to married and engaged couples, understands the misconceptions that many people have when they enter into marriage. Many expectations are unrealistic. Pastor Brown explains, “Most times our love is conditional. It is about how we act…Saying ‘I do’ is the easy part. Making a marriage work is the difficult part.”
Yet, some of the longest marriages involve more. With people married for over 40 and 50 years, there is more of an effort to accept each other faults and attempt to make the marriage work in spite of the problems. This unselfish marriage strategy is often short changed with a mindset that marriage is about ‘Me’; my needs must be met.
Whitney Houston will forever be remembered for her powerful voice and lasting memories of unforgettable ballads such as ‘I Will Always Love You.’ Like Whitney, many people are caught of a marriage roller coaster that ends in their peril. As popular culture replaces the tenets of marriage, lasting marriages are based on genuine love.
Many marriages are filled with drama and unrealistic expectations; some would declare it is a crazy love. However, this is not the same kind of unconditional love that the world argues is a crazy love because it is unconditional. In order to endure the cultural wars, there needs to be the right kind of love that is not transactional or shallow. Let us hope that it is not too late.
© 2012 by Daryl D. Green
About Dr. Daryl Green:
Dr. Daryl Green provides motivation, guidance, and training for leaders at critical ages and stages of their development. He has over 20 years of management experience and has been noted and quoted by USA Today,Ebony Magazine, and Associated Press. Formore information, you can go to nuleadership.wordpress.com or www.darylgreen.org.