Getting to Wedded Bliss Is a Labor of Love

Black Love: The Root talks to Divorce Court's Judge Lynn Toler about how to make marriage work.

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TR: When it comes to picking a spouse, what mistakes do you see black women and men making or overlooking more than other groups? 

JL: Black women tend to ignore the cheating more than other women. A lot of black women that I see in court, they're like, "Yeah, he had this woman, that woman and another woman and I married him, so I thought he would stop that." Women see all the promises and they think, "If I can get that ring on my finger, he'll change." People don't change when they get married. They just don't.

Black men don't know the level of pressure and pain that a woman is in. Black women -- economically, socially and everywhere else -- are under a lot of pressure. She's been hurt, and she brings that baggage into the relationship.

The guy thinks, "Well, I'm marrying her, it's cool now. I'm giving her what she needs." But if she's got issues going in, that ring will not solve those issues. Good guys marry women who are deeply hurt without the women having addressed that hurt. Black women, in general, need a little more emotional care then we receive.

Demetria L. Lucas is a contributing editor to The Root, a life coach and the author of A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life. Follow her on Twitter.

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