I had the pleasure of meeting Steve Harvey over the weekend. I have been an admirer of his every since he published his book, Act like a Lady, Think like a Man. The funny thing is that I didn’t read the book. I didn’t have to. I knew from excerpts that I’d read and from interviews Steve had given, that he was saying things in the book I already knew.
That was why I was so impressed by it. I had to learn those truths he wrote about the hard way. I have known more women than I can count that have said things like, ‘I don’t need a man, I’m fine by myself.’ Or, ‘All men are dogs and that’s why I’m by myself.’ I remember when I got divorced many years ago, one so-called friend had actually said, ‘Girl, you better be prepared to be alone now, because no man is going to want you and those 3 kids (meaning my sons). Men barely want to take care of their own kids.’
For some reason though, I never really believed that. It’s not that I thought I was such a great catch or anything. I just never believed that finding the right man for me would be difficult. And you know what? It never was.
I got exactly what I expected. And that was to be treated well and to have people in my life that would love and respect me and my children. After the disaster of my first marriage, I set the bar very high for myself. And guess what? There were plenty of men that were willing to step up to the plate.
I don’t know about anyone else, but when I hear the truth, it really resonates with me. When I hear someone speaking from the heart and being authentic, it sends chills up my spine. That is the way Steve Harvey affects me. A lot of people have been offended by his books and some of the things he’s said – particularly about women and dating, but I don’t understand why.
Steve is speaking about his own personal experiences, what he knows to be true from a man’s point of view, and what he’s learned over the years. I wish to God more people would stand up and be honest about their experiences. So many people are either out of touch with themselves and don’t know how to be authentic or they are simply afraid to tell the truth. It’s a breath of fresh air to come across a Black man that suffers from neither of these afflictions.
Another thing that struck me about Steve is the way that he talks about his wife, Marjorie. Marjorie is Steve’s 3rd wife and she is the person whom he credits with changing his life and allowing him to be the person he needs to be, while supporting him in obtaining his goals and dreams. She also made it clear early on in their relationship what she would and would not accept. Steve says that it reinforced what he already knew as a man. A man will do what you let him do. It’s human nature. If you demand more, you’ll get more. Imagine a successful man like Steve Harvey saying that he wouldn’t be the man he was today without his wife? You would think that she’s got to be a hell of a woman to have that type of impact on him.
Well, Marjorie is a wonderful woman, but more importantly, she’s a strong, self-assured woman that knows herself and knows what she wants. This type of woman is able to let a man be a man. She doesn’t feel the need to prove anything or try to change him. She understands that when a man is doing something you find unacceptable, it’s not about changing him, it’s about letting him know that that behavior is unacceptable if he wants to be with you.
Both men and woman are different people in each relationship they go into. I once had a conversation with a woman who used to be married to the guy I was dating at the time. She had sarcastically wished me luck with him because she said he was hard to talk to, selfish and cold. She also said that he was closed and reserved in the bedroom and rarely touched her. I couldn’t believe that she was talking about the same guy that I was dating because he was none of those things with me. What was it about their relationship that created that type of dynamic between them? I never forgot that. The same thing is true even with me. I’ve cheated before, but I would never cheat in the relationship that I am in now. He brings out the best in me and I would never do anything to jeopardize our relationship.
With the right person, you can become whatever you want to be. When you are with someone and you know what they aspire to, it’s your job to be their support system and allow them to be the best possible version of themselves.
In my humble opinion, that is really the true definition of love.