What Women Need to Know about What a Man Wants

'Soul Mate' director Andrea Wiley discusses what African American Christian women can do to help their relationships.

Andrea Wiley

African American women face unique challenges when it comes to relationships. A 2006 U.S. Census Bureau survey revealed that 45 percent of Black women are single as opposed to 23 percent of White women. Black women also outnumber their male counterparts. In 2000, there were 1.8 million more Black women than Black men. A documentary was made about the circumstances surrounding Christian African Americans called Soul Mate . The film’s director Andrea Wiley shares what Black women can do to help their relationships before and after they start.

Who Is the Head of the Household?
I'm finding that there's a lot of tension in marriage among Type A women. There are so many Black women who are highly educated and have achieved a lot. They're the boss all day at their particular jobs. When they come home, it's sometimes difficult to turn that off. It can create an uncomfortable situation, because men are wired to lead and to be respected.

I'm talking about myself first, because years ago I struggled. I sensed God telling me this even before I made Soul Mate. He said to me, ‘Get your house in order.’ At the time I thought He meant clean it up a little bit, but He really meant that I needed to get my spiritual house in order. I needed to regard my husband. I needed to allow him to lead.

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After I did Soul Mate, I was out traveling and promoting the movie. I remember one time I was on the road and he called me because I was gone a lot. He said, “You're gone a lot. I fully support what you're doing with Soul Mate, but don't forget that we are your ministry as well,” meaning him and my son. He said, “We only have these boys for a few short years and then they're gone.”

When I was still writing for television and very much a career woman, one of the things that my mentor shared with me earlier in my marriage was the notion of submission. Of course I didn't want to hear that. The hairs on the back of our necks stand up when we hear that word.  It really is a frame of mind. We have to realize that we all submit to someone. If we have a job, we submit to a boss. If we don't agree with the boss, we state what we believe, but the boss still says, "This is the way to go." We go along with it with gratitude if we want to keep the job. Why can't we show that same kind of reverence in our home?

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Andrea Wiley, as told to Jennifer E. Jones
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