(Originally published on MadameNoire.com)
I liked being married, and then I didn’t, and at some point, I went from actually wanting to cook and clean and handle the laundry and manage the family schedule and do all the things supposedly good wives do, to waking up first thing in the morning and dreaming—dreaming about what it would
be like to just… go. To be somewhere else, anywhere else, where I could just be something other than profoundly unhappy.
That’s the part that the married couples I both grew up and hung around kept to themselves, right? Like mama and the inlaws and the aintees and the “Black Love Goals” couples an’nem put on the strong face and played their roles and smiled pretty for their captive and doting audiences, but what actually goes on in marriages behind closed doors
—how women have to wring themselves like rags, trying to squeeze out every ounce of their love and labor to make the thing work—proved elusive. The truth of the matter, of what it was really like to be the chef/chauffer/laundress/house cleaner/PTA mom/freak in the sheets/moral compass/planner of all the things, ultimately felt more like 12 Years a Slave
than The Cosby Show
everybody made it out to be.
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