Earlier this week, I posted the following note on my personal Facebook page:
LOL. So now that Wade reportedly fathered a child while he and Gabrielle were on a break, the ring that some folks were ooohing and awwing over and the holiday pics and video aren’t cute anymore. Funny indeed. Not saying I agree or disagree with either side but the commentary I’ve read on the subject from perfect people in their perfect relationships with perfect families is comical to say the least.
Let’s get a few things out the way: I am the product of a traditional nuclear family. My mother and father were only married to each other and stayed married until death parted them. My brother and I share the same biological parents and were conceived after my parents said “I Do”. My dad did not father any children outside of his marriage (that we know of). My mother (to my knowledge) does not have younger secret siblings that are actually her children. I’ve had people tell me my family was not normal. What they really mean is we were not “normal” because we were Black and working class but that is another post for another blog. My point? I want you to understand that if I were to get all self-righteous and start finger wagging about this Gabrielle Union/Dwyane Wade baby situation, many people would assume it was because of my own upbringing.
Now that we’ve gotten that out the way, I’m flabbergasted (No, really.) by all the judgement being passed on Gabrielle Union in light of news that her new fiance, Dwyane Wade has fathered a child outside of their relationship. Comments on social media, blogs and websites have called her everything from dumb to desperate. Lots of folks are calling this turn of events the chickens coming home to roost since it has been speculated that Gabby and Wade were seeing each other before Wade’s divorce was final. I believe that two people are married until they are divorced and there are three sides to every story. If Gab and Wade were getting it on before Wade was officially divorced, they’re both wrong. Period. But I also think there is an enormous amount of judgement being passed on Gabrielle about a scenerio we all know far too well but don’t publicly address. Yep, I’m going there.
How many men do you know who fathered a child outside of their marriage yet everyone in the family turns a blind eye? How many times has a teenager in the family had a child, been sent away and then suddenly has a mysterious baby brother or sister? (This isn’t so common now but was very prevalent pre-1980s.) How many people have gone through their entire lives thinking someone was their play cousin only to learn in their adult years that said person is really a sibling? How many women lie to their fiances, boyfriends and husbands about who the father of their baby is? If you’re honest, you’ve already lost count.
My girlfriend found herself in a similiar situation as Gabrielle. She and her now husband did split briefly, but after counseling and a whole lotta prayer, she made the decision to stay. Don’t get me wrong, if she had decided to divorce her husband after learning of the baby he fathered outside of their relationship, me and the rest of the crew would have helped her pack up all her ish (well, all his ish). I’m sure some folks call her stupid behind her back. But when I receive Christmas cards from said friend with all three of her children (because she considers her husband’s oldest child her son too), when she emails vacation pictures of the five of them building sandcastles on the beach, when she looks me in the eyes and tells me that forgiving her husband was one of the hardest things she’s ever done but the son who is a result of his infidelity is completely innocent, I know that she has more character and heart to live her life openly in truth (even the stuff that isn’t rosy) than any of those finger wagging people who call her stupid.
This Gabrielle situation is messy. But truthfully, all of our love and family lives can get pretty messy. Yes, yours too. Make sure you aren’t wagging your finger at Gabrielle because this year, month or week, her mess is a little different than yours.