Thursday, March 28, 2013

How to Become a Wife: Join The Single Wives Club

Two weeks ago I'm browsing through my Facebook feed when I come across a post from a girl I knew from high school. Her caption just said Please Watch. Below was the following video.

 

I watched the entire 4:28 video. My mouth just hit the floor. Like what the hell is a single wife? Still not sure of this new age term to make women feel secure in their relationship status, or lack their of, I headed to the website to clarify. 

The description line for the website is "Getting Right for the Ring." 

Initial reaction: "You've got to be kidding me."

But like a dutiful journalist I did not judge this website by it's cover page. I explored further into what was looking to me to be a hot mess until all my suspicions were confirmed. 

From the About Page:  

"The Mission of The Single Wives Club is to prepare women to become wives, nurture femininity and protect family. Guidance, support, coaching and training are provided to women through our Study program and 'Wives Society mentoring program. Through a myriad of enriching experiences, such as cooking classes, finance workshops, etiquette lessons, and community service, women are equipped with the skills needed to become a wife, the CEO of the home. Our focus is on the fundamentals of relationships, owning your role and becoming the best woman you can be. Membership in our organization is reserved for women who accept the challenge to acquire the skills necessary to become Mrs. Right." 
But wait there's more:



THE GOALS OF THE SINGLE WIVES CLUB ARE: 
  • To equip women with the skills necessary to become successful wives. 
  • To decrease the national divorce rate by increasing the number of loving, lasting relationships. 
  • To reshape the image of the American family by bringing a positive light to relationships.  
On it's face I have no problem with the mission of this group or its goals. Even though I disagree with some of these aspects on the road to becoming a wife, I've always been of the belief of "to each his own."

But my utter outrage was sealed when I read about the woman running the organization. You would expect her to be married right? Right. You would expect her to be a wife in order to "teach" (and I use that word as loosely as possible) other women how to be wives right? Right.

How wrong we are in these basic assumptions.

From the Meet our President page:

"Currently based in Atlanta, GA, Koereyelle [Dubose] has her hand in a number of projects across the city and is best known for her work with her nonprofit, The Single Wives Club, an innovative nonprofit organization dedicated to preparing women for marriage, which was born as a result of Koereyelle's own life experiences with life and love. After a failed engagement Koereyelle realized that not only did she have a poor expectation of who her "Mr. Right should be, she was also unprepared to be a wife, which inspired her to create an organization to aid others in their quest to become better and more knowledgeable women. Through her organization, Koereyelle helps, educates, and provides resources for "single wives" to sharpen skills in the areas such as health, beauty, finance, and spirituality."

So you mean to tell me a woman who never made it to the altar (or courthouse) for her happily ever after is teaching other women how to get their happily ever after. In what world does that make sense? But this is not even the most outrageous part of this whole club. This is:


Yes, this woman is charging other women up to $150 to learn how to become a wife when she's not even a wife. W. T. F. Where on God's green earth does this even make a bit of sense?

This screams HUSTLE in so many ways. I can't knock a sista for turning her negative into a money making positive, but as someone's wife I'm totally offended.

First of all, you're either single or you're a wife. The in between determinant of fiance is temporary because you're either going to make it to wife or return to being single. This is not a beat down of single women or a put on a pedestal for married women, it's just the truth. Ask the IRS.

With that said, being the CEO of home entails a lot more than learning how to cook, run a household budget, having proper etiquette, and thrusting yourself into community involvement so you look like a well rounded woman. The Single Wives Club reduces the role of wife to another papered achievement women have to get their hands on rather than what it is, a commitment to live, learn, and love another person for the rest of your life. Being a wife is not just a box you check. It's a life style I doubt group preparation with a bunch of single women will prepare you for.

It's great to know how to cook, my husband appreciates it, but women need to do that for themselves. Take out ain't cheap. It's great to know how to balance your checkbook and learn the basic principles of finance, don't spend more than you make, but women need to know how to do that for themselves. I've been balancing a checkbook and managing my own finances for nearly a decade. I didn't do it to impress a man. I did it because it meant my own financial survival just like knowing how to cook means I won't starve. Having proper etiquette seems like more of a requirement for a debutante ball than for being a wife. I don't even know how to approach this "enriching experience" because it seems like a no brainer. Close your legs, put the napkin over your lap, don't talk to loud. All the admonitions your mother told you before you were 10 about how to act in public lest you show out and then she be forced to show out on your behind. Finally, getting involved in the community is not the next great space to meet a man. Getting involved in the community should be strictly personal, as in you want to be involved and not trying to impress your future husband (whomever he may be) with details he might give two cares less about.

The road to becoming a wife is going to be different for every woman. There is no one way to go from girlfriend, to fiance, to wife. There is no right or wrong way to go through these relationship changes either.

With that said, fellow UP blogger, Shady_Grady pointed me to author Steve Barnes' website where he discusses his life on the road to becoming the husband to Tananarive Due. Barnes discusses what he did to work on himself, for himself, to be prepared to receive the love from Due before he met her.

This is important. He wanted to work on himself and as he did he met his life partner. The process for him was innate.

I can say the same for myself. I wasn't looking for just anything. I wanted a relationship to work but I wasn't pressed and I didn't expect it to lead to marriage. I went to church, for myself. I worked out, for myself. I cooked and cleaned and managed my finances for myself. I journaled and took time to reflect on myself for myself. These are the things I did for me. Can I say they are the reason that led me to meeting a man in the gym, going out with him two days later, and getting married three years later. I have no clue. What I can say is I was getting right for me, not a ring.

I'm all for women wanting to empower themselves for themselves, but it is bogus and disingenuous to women (especially the members of The Single Wives Club) to go through a myriad of changes and experiences only to get married as if your own needs and wants don't factor into the equation.

A marriage is between two people. Two people who are committing to each other as they are flaws and all. Illusions of perfection are just that.... illusory. There is no such thing as a perfect marriage, statistics tell us that. There is no such thing as a perfect relationship, our dating history tells us that. There is no such thing as a perfect man or perfect woman, i.e. Mr. and Mrs. Right. What there is, is a man or woman out there for each of us whom we should be open to receiving, understanding, building, living, and loving with; not at the sacrifice of who we are individually as single human beings but as a compliment to who and what we want to be as individuals as well as members of a husband and wife unit.

The Single Wives Club may want to have its members believe that by spending up to $150 to socialize with other single women at cooking classes, finance classes, etiquette classes, and community events (all of which can be done for $FREE.99 with your friends) that this will prepare them for marriage, but this couldn't be further from the truth. Preparing for marriage, if there is such a thing, comes from the inside. An internal change you want to make for yourself that just happens to attract another. Women can attend all the "getting right for the ring" classes they desire but unless you're ready from the inside out, you may end up being that same old single lady lamenting the lack of good brothas when in reality you're just not ready for what you say you want.


QUESTIONS:

1. Would you become a member of The Single Wives Club, why or why not?
2. Is The Single Wives Club a scam?
3. What is the best way "to get right for the ring?"
4. Should men and women just accept that some people will be single forever, and many marriages will end?
5. Why is our culture so obsessed with marriage? 


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