How can a young person find an upward trajectory after a poor start?
Note: Permission from the client to discuss this case was obtained and is located in my files as needed. Some details have been changed for privacy.
Reader’s Note: More commentaries on the video can be found here.
Length: 700 words
Reading Time: 2.5 minutes
In this video, I want to discuss a current case of mine that is of interest, because this person is an outlier in some respects, but not in others. She doesn’t have a great family history. She made some bad decisions, like having a baby out of wedlock. But she knows what she wants, and I think she has the makings to get there.
My client is a 25-year-old black female. She has a daughter who is just under a year old. She’s not married. The father of her baby is her monogamous boyfriend of the past 6 years.
The father just got out of the military. He hasn’t found a job. He is not particularly interested in taking on the role of being a father. They do not live together, because of their housing arrangement.
She’s very old fashioned in her stated values. She just wants a traditional marriage, and to be a working mom.
She is not particularly Christian. She comes from a broken home. There’s some mild substance abuse in her history, nothing major. But she’s had a bad start because no one ever took the time to tell her how the world works.
She’s young, feminine, sweet, kind, attractive, and the best thing she has going for her is that she is accountable for herself. She’s willing to take responsibility for her background and all the things she’s done in the past.
She has the insight, the tools, and the abilities that are necessary to do well in life. I believe she could do very well, but only if she makes the right decisions in the near future and can get a few things to work out for her.
She contacted me because she’s confused about what to do next. Should she take a good job offer in another state, leave her baby daddy, and look for someone else who is more interested in being a traditional husband and father? Or is it better for her to stick with her man?
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Under the original video at YouTube, Elspeth commented…
“I think your first line of attack, if you will, to go back to the beginning and analyze her decision making process, is an excellent start.
Culturally, she’s going to have to make some hard decisions about mate selection going forward if she desires the kind of traditional marriage dynamic she expressed. First, she needs to talk to her daughter’s father and make clear to him that she cannot waste any more years on the status quo. Ideally he’ll wake up. It sounds unlikely and even miraculous, but I think she should give him time (90 days?) to show some real, tangible evidence that he is serious about his life. Not jailhouse religion stuff, either. I’m really not sure she should even give him that, but I’m thinking about the child. The second decision is an even harder one for most black women to shift into.
By that I mean, dating for character, faith, goal orientation, and worldview first, then ethnic/racial background second. I know that it is possible that she could meet a great marriageable black man who can be most of what she desires. I married one of those. However, the reality is that culturally, most black men aren’t raised to be primary breadwinners to a wife who is primarily home focused. Even some of the best black husbands I know, who are excellent men, simply do not operate on that paradigm. I know a few, but they are 5% of marriageable black men, who are already in short supply.
If she can’t disentangle herself from her beau while being involved with her would-be mother-in-law, she needs to think long and hard about whether to take that job, and if she does take it, she needs to take it with a concrete set of goals.”