Black Love Doc is back in full swing, and I am here for ALL of it. As my friends and I approach our 30’s, we’re continually thinking about marriage and being with the “right” partner, whether we admit it or not. Our clock is ticking.
However, not all of that pressure is self-inflicted. Some of that pressure, especially for my friends who grew up in the South, comes from our families. Family has an important influence on the relationships we seek. In fact, sometimes that influence can be destructive.
On episode two of Black Love, actors Sterling K. Brown and Ryan Michelle Bathe discussed the influence Ryan’s family had early on in their relationship:
“I would say for the first, that whole year, the biggest part was how much my family, my mother and my grandmother, in particular, hated him, and they just kept [saying] It’s going to go bad’,” she continued, “It’s almost like that self-fulfilling prophecy. You can poison something and then be like ‘See, I told you it was poison’ –– yea, because you just poisoned it.”
Ryan revealed that a lot of the challenges they faced were because of her family: “I will say that created the first, and sort of deep, fissure in our relationships, and had that not happened, a lot of the things that happened in our relationship, probably wouldn’t have happened.”
The couple has been married for 11 years. However, Sterling and Ryan admitted for the first time on Black Love that her family impacted the effort, or lack thereof, Ryan put into their union.
“I always had a wall somewhere…and one foot in and one foot out for a very long time. It was not a healthy dynamic,” she shared.