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Lessons From A Married Man: Will Smith

No, I didn’t get a chance to speak to Will Smith myself, but I did read a pretty good interview with him over at Essence.com. The interview, by Charlie Penn, was specifically asking him to share some wisdom about being married. Since it was published at Essence.com, of course the advice was directed towards women, but I always enjoyed reading stories about matrimony and relationships from a male perspective so when I saw the story, I had to take a look.

The interview is a quick read and pretty basic, but candid as well. I’ve provided a link to the whole thing at the bottom of the interview but I wanted to share one particular excerpt from it on this site. Before I do so, I also wanted to call attention to how Will Smith talks about his relationship. Much like his movies, Smith avoids putting a racial context around the subject he’s speaking about. I think this is extremely important, as I’ve said time and time again, love and all its issues are colorblind. I truly do believe that and I’m glad Smith demonstrates that in this interview by not taking it there.

Anyway, onto the part of the interview where I thought Will Smith spoke the most truth.

All Men Need a Little Space
“If you don’t give your husband thirty minutes to himself when he first gets home, he’ll stop coming home,” Will told me, straight up. (You’re thinking, no way, right? I did too!) When I asked Will when a wife is supposed to say her piece, he responded, “anytime after that”. Will reminded me that everyone’s home needs to feel like a happy place and it won’t if you’re “greeted with negativity” every time you enter the door. Touché, Will. Talk about a pause for the cause.

To be fair, I also think women probably need a good half hour to themselves when they get home. I know my mother certainly did. But what I really think this gets at is the importance of establishing some sort of peaceful environment at the place two people call home.

It goes without saying, I’ve never been married, but I did live with an ex-girlfriend for a good year, and if there was a one thing I learned it was the value of a peaceful home. There were times my ex and I argued in the morning, or somehow got into it in the middle of the day over text messages and email exchanges. But whatever these riffs were about, I made sure and sometimes she made sure we would straighten them out before we came home. Both of us had the weight of the day hanging off our shoulders by the time we walked through the door and the last thing we wanted to do was continue the tension with each other.

I remember there was a real bad spell we were going through, and as Will Smith said I did not come home, at least, not right after work. Instead, I’d go to my brother’s house. I would call my ex to let her know exactly where I was just so she wouldn’t worry, but the need to just go somewhere peaceful was evident. It’s not that I didn’t want to discuss whatever the issues were, I just didn’t want to discuss them at a time when I was already stressed. At one point, things got so bad, that I would actually try to beat her home just so I could get that precious half-hour of solitude.

When it comes to problems, I believe most of them are fixable, but if there’s an issue I have or there’s an issue my old lady has with me, I feel the most effective way to solve it is discussing it at the right time. Give me a half hour, that’s all I and Will Smith are saying.

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  • Jeanne

    I remember my parents having a pre-dinner cocktail almost everyday. Nothing fancy, just something they did before we all sat down to eat. No, there wasn’t any wine at dinner and no after dinner drinks. But they both seemed to enjoy sitting and talking to each. Maybe that mellowed them both out because my home was pretty argument and angst-free.

  • Bari

    “To be fair, I also think women probably need a good half hour to themselves when they get home.”

    There was a whole Sex & the City episode about Carrie’s need for that, and how Aiden wasn’t used to that notion.

  • http://twitter.com/msorvam myrna orvam

    Ha..yes! I thought of that episode as well. Then Carrie realized that she didn’t need as much time as she thought she would but the fact that he was able to finally understand her need for alone time made her happy and go back to sharing her alone time with him. Also, the idea of a “woman cave” is fast spreading amongst marketers as well.

  • http://twitter.com/stjbLocs Positive Innergy

    the home is such a sacred place — and, i learned that the hard way — i couldn’t wait to move out of my old place — it was so full of past tension and arguments. i’d definitely recommend de-stressing completely before talking about anything prone to create drama.