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Change is inevitable but it doesn't have to END YOUR MARRIAGE


In Episode 009 of the Naked Proverbs podcast, Rich and Nik Scott discuss types of change that happen in marriage and give tips on how to work through it together.



Nik:

Welcome back to the Naked Proverbs podcast where we unclothe the truth about Black love family and marriage. My name is Nik Scott, I'm one of your hosts, and I'm here with my husband.

Rich:

What's going on? It's your boy Rich. And today we're going to talk about change. And no, I'm not talking about that stuff that’s jingling in your pocket.

Nik:

Right at the beginning of every episode, we have to remind our listeners that we are not trained or licensed or professionals, therapists or counselors. We just use Naked Proverbs as a platform to share our advice, our opinions and our experience.

If you haven't already, make sure that you're following Naked Proverbs on whatever platform you listen to podcasts on. And if you like what you hear, show us your love and support by giving us a five-star rating on iTunes.

Rich:

Thank y'all for tuning in Week after week, month after month, because this is episode nine. So, that means I can say that now because it's been more than one month that you've tuned in, and we truly appreciate your love and your support.

Nik:

The weirdest thing happened earlier today.

So, I woke up yesterday and came downstairs thinking I was going to get in early start to my day and I was greeted by a very strange and peculiar smell. And I knew immediately that one of our dogs that gotten sick. Well, our dog had gotten very sick all over our area rug, so I did what I could to clean it up. And then later on that day, I scheduled an appointment to get our area rug cleaned. I mean, it was pretty bad to the extent that we had to put the rug outside because it smelled so bad. So, I called basically the first people that came up on Google. And it was, I believe was the name of the company.

Rich:

Are they giving us money?

Nik:

Oh.

Rich:

It was a company.

Nik:

It was a company, a carpet cleaning company here locally in our city. And, you know, they're like, oh, well, we can get you as soon as tomorrow and because this was to me in urgent situation, because my house was funked up all the way to high heavens. So, I was like, Sure, okay, come tomorrow.

Guy comes in, and he's got a very different type of personality. You know, he was a little bit late, which annoyed us because when we have those types of things, we like, for people to be timely. And you know, he brings in his little clipboard and his paperwork. And he's like, oh, it's gonna be this and I want to put this odor stuff on and I'm like, yeah, cool. Can I clean it outside? Yeah, sure.

So, then my husband and I, we are sitting here on our couch

Rich:

Naked.

Nik:

And this dude comes in, not in the door that we let him in. But our garage door.

Rich:

Yes, because what happened was, he had asked, can I clean it in the garage? And I didn't feel like moving vehicles and I don't really like people in my garage because if you don't know, you about to know, I have a lot of stuff, right? Like I'm an outdoors geek. So, you name it, I own it. So, I didn't want anybody all up in my garage, because I have like, kayaks and fishing poles and dog stuff. I mean, you name it, I own it, right. So, I opened the garage because he asked to use the electric socket. And that made sense, you know, hey, he's got to vacuum the rug and use a rug cleaner that requires electricity, so I wasn't gonna be like no figured out outside but now that I think about it, we do have a plug outside.

I probably should have just said no, use the plug outside, but that's not who I am. So, I opened the garage to Mr. Nosey. And we sittin here like my wife said, on the couch, chillin, talking about whatever.

And I hear somebody at the door to doorknob

Chicka Chicka Chicka Chicka chicka the doorknob

and he just opened up the door leading from the garage into my house. Walked up in here, didn't say anything, walked into the kitchen, turned on the water, then asked which way is hot?

I was in shock. I'm not gonna lie to you. Like I was still trying to figure out that this man just walk up into my house? And my wife was like, yes, it's towards you. And the way she said it. I knew he was in trouble.

Nik:

I heard the handle and I'm thinking like who is walking up in my house in the back door because I clearly opened the front door for this man to come in and out of. And I even said you can leave the front door open, which meant you were welcome to come in and out. I had moved the area rug into the front of the house because I specifically didn't want anybody walking in traipsing through my house and he walks up literally through my garage, which means he walked past both of our cars

Rich:

Probably bumped my truck.

Nik:

Probably bumped your truck. Up our steps, opened the garage, walked through our house to the kitchen and turn on my water.

Rich:

He didn't say excuse me, Mr. Scott, Mrs. Scott, may I use the water? He didn't say excuse me, Mr. Scott. Mr. Scott, is it okay if I use this door? It's a little bit easier. He didn't even knock on the door. He just like welcomed himself open up the door. Might as well when they're made himself a sandwich. I mean, cuz he was just all up in here free and all right. Hey, this is my spot. I am non-confrontational.

Nik:

Huh?

Rich:

Most of the time.

Nik:

I am.

Rich:

My wife on the other hand, it's not so much so I can see this was not gonna go well for Mr. Man.

Nik:

It didn't it didn't.

Rich:

So, by the end she done locked the back door and standing by the front door with his clipboard tombout some he ain't coming back in my house, so I can see in your face. This is not good for him. So, as you stand in at the door, waiting, he jingles the door again. I make it clear with my deep grown man voice: go around.

Nik:

How did you say baby?

Rich:

Go around.

Nik:

And he got the message.

Rich:

So, he went around to the front door. And here's Nik standing there with his doggone clipboard. Didn't even let him cross the threshold of the door this time.

Nik:

Sho didn't. Because I want him to be clear like dude, what you did was wrong. I had already rehearsed in my head what I was gonna say. See back in the day, I wouldn't have even rehearsed what I said it just would have came all out. But I didn't want to hurt his feelings too bad because he was quirky. He was weird. I mean, he wasn't like a bad person. He was just real different. So, the man felt bad. He apologized, like 17 times 35 different ways,

Rich:

Because Nik was not being nice.

She was being short, and not very cordial. And that's okay. Because he was wrong. You know, I'm not getting on you. Because I mean, he was wrong for walking up in the house. But I mean, you was kinda mean.

Nik:

Whatever, don't walk up in people's houses. I mean, that. That is always my concern when we invite contractors in our house, how they can just make themselves feel comfortable. And I honestly think that he only did that because he thought that we were some young folks and also because you know, well, privilege.

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Nik:

He is not the man I'm married.

Rich:

She didn't change and I did.

Change is inevitable. The reality is every marriage is going to see change. So, what do you do? I mean, you know what, what? What's up?

Nik:

Well, we've said it before we said in our very first podcast episode, and we've repeated it several times up through week nine that if you are not changing, you're not growing and that which is not growing is dead.

I would hate to think and hate to believe that people don't want change in their marriage, which basically means that they are engaged in a dead marriage.

Rich:

People change individually. And you also change as a unit in a marriage. And when that change happens, you know, it can create strife if you're not prepared for the changes that are going on. Or if you're like me, for years, I ordered the chicken fingers and French fries. Even as a grown man, I was ordering off the kids’ menu probably, now that I think about it. But I just didn't like change. I knew that you can't really mess up chicken fingers and French fries, right? So, I have always struggled with change in my life. And I actually see that my oldest is the same way she likes consistency. She doesn't like things to change.

Even in my own marriage though. I've had to learn how to accept change is a natural part of life.

Nik:

I remember when I went natural, and that it's been a long time now, but when we got married, I was relaxed. My hair was straight. It was black girl long, and it used to be flowing. I used to be up in that shop every two weeks like clockwork to make sure that my stuff was fried, died and laid to the side and that's how you met me. You met me as someone who was very, very, very into the way that she looked like everything was put together. Everything matched to my hair was flowing, okay. And then I decided to go natural.

And I stopped relaxing my hair.

And you struggled not so much when I was transitioning to natural. I don't think that was your struggle. I think your struggle came when we had agreed on a date that I would big chop in our member. It was like July 4 of whatever year that was. I woke up one day in February. And I decided this was the day that I was going to cut my hair and you were at work. And I didn't tell you, but I did record it for my YouTube channel.

Rich:

It's still there if you want to see it.

Nik:

It is still there if you want to see it, and I big chopped and I was so excited. I mean, my hair wasn't. It didn't look the way that I thought it was gonna look. It felt I was just so freeing. And then you came home and busted my poor lil bubble. I could tell that you were trying to be supportive and you were trying to be excited the way that I was excited, but you weren't.

Rich:

I wasn't. My wife with this long flowing beautiful black hair look like my little pony look like? Was it the treasure troll?

Nik:

No. You know what he used to tell me I looked like y'all?

Rich:

Sho Nuff.

Nik:

I didn't know who that was until I googled it.

Rich:

Google it, y'all if you don't know who Sho Nuff is.

Nik:

I couldn't believe he said that.

Rich:

That's what she looked like.

Nik:

It's not.

Rich:

You know what her YouTube videos are still there. Feel free to go look her up. What's your YouTube?

No. Okay. Anyway, my point though our whole conversation is about change, right? And I was transparent and said I struggle with change. And I know that about myself. So, in the example you gave, I wasn't supportive. I wasn't all those things that you know, I probably should have been when dealing with change because reality is in a marriage when your spouse is changing something, they may be questioning themselves, they may not feel totally confident themselves. So, when their spouse when you when I am not supportive, and you can feel that you can see that. It doesn't help. It doesn't make you feel comfortable. It doesn't open up the door of opportunities for change in the future. Because you're afraid like, well, how is he going to react? How is she going to react? And while we're talking about physical change, understand there are all kinds of changes you're going to go through in a marriage. We didn't have kids when we got married. So, our time was spent very different than after we had kids. Now, there was time that the kids need to be fed. So, there's breastfeeding time, or there's times that now the kids need to be ran to place a or b. And that was a change from us sitting on the couch watching TV or us going on date night, or us hanging out doing the things we do. So, we both had to adjust to this new change in our life. There have been times where you've worked, and I haven't there have been times where I've worked and you haven't, and the roles in our household had to change for our home to continue to function. So, I think that you know, a lot of times, we can get caught on the physical changes because those are the easiest to see. But like we keep saying change is inevitable.

Just across the board, whether it be that we're both going to one day get old, you know, our health may change. And because those things happen doesn't mean it's the end of your marriage doesn't mean that things are horrible. It just means that you have to be willing to adapt to those changes.

Nik:

You have to be willing to adapt. But I don't want to minimize the importance of physical change. Because let's be clear, a lot of people get married to a person that they're physically attracted to. And that's both men and women. So, when we're talking about changing our hair, or male pattern baldness, and I am so thankful that my husband has all of his hairline, y'all know how we deal with that one.

Or if we're talking about weight gain, and how that impacts other areas of marriage, like intimacy and sex, physical change is a big one. And I think that's why we focus on it so much. But when it comes to other types of change, like spiritual change, I think that's another big one.

Because there's a lot of couples and I've counseled some couples, where somebody would say they were unequally yoked when they got married, where one person was very spiritual, spiritual or religious and the other person wasn't. And then all of a sudden something happens in their lives and they become this, you know, holy rollin person. That could really affect the marriage too, because, again, it's that time, it's that commitment. It's those other facets of marriage that also change. Change can come in the ways of emotional change or financial change. There's so many ways to change but the, the truth of the matter is, is no one should be the same person they were 15-20-40-75 years ago. And if you are that same person, then you might want to do some self-reflection and check yourself.

Rich:

Change is going to happen whether it'd be positive or negative.

If you aren't on board with adapting to and understanding that you are changing, your spouse is changing, and you expect them to fit into the same box that they were in when you were 18-19-40 years old, when you guys met whatever that looks like, then you don't expect your marriage to last very long. Because if you are not willing to understand that your spouse is going to change that you are going to change and you expect them to be who they were. Then you're going to have, it creates so many issues within your marriage. Because everybody wants to grow. Everybody wants to do better. I've seen marriages where neither spouse had an education. Then one decides to go out and get an education and the other person is looking like well, you're always gone because you're taking night classes and you're always doing this and you're not where you you know, I can't ever get a hold of you. And that really has nothing to do with them going to college but going to college, you're going to get an education or going to change careers or whatever that looks like, creates change in what the dynamics of the home once were. And when that happens, then it begins this like ripple effect. And it's really hard already to go to college or to get a new job, or to cut your hair or whatever, that it's already challenging in itself. So then when you have your spouse who is not supportive, or they're supportive with lip service, but they're really not supportive, then it doesn't help anything and it makes it even harder for the person is trying to change things about themselves.

Nik:

When it comes to change. One of the things that I like to counsel younger wives on is it's very important to prepare yourself mentally when dealing with change, because as we've stated, it's going to happen whether we like it or not, and preparing yourself mentally and understanding that your spouse isn't the only one changing, because you should be changing too. If you're not, again, check yourself.

And we've been conditioned to believe that any change, any change is bad and it's an inconvenience. So, I always say, to challenge yourself to think about change as being good, instead of being bad because it's not bad. Not all change is bad.

Rich:

And it's important to have discussions, if your spouse is changing something that really bothers you. Don't just sit there and hold it in and you know, have some passive aggressiveness or just blow it off like oh, this will pass. Sit down, have discussions about it. Understanding though that you want to make sure that your spouse feels comfortable, because you don't want to damage them. You don't want to hurt them or make them feel like they can't change. So, you want to make sure that you have that conversation like we've discussed before.

In previous episodes, in an environment where everybody's happy, everybody's doing okay to begin with, don't start having this conversation when you're already frustrated, you're already having an argument. You know, there's the dinners burnin and whatever else. There's already all these issues, the baby's yelling and crying. And now you want to bring up you're always changing. Like, that's not the time to bring up your discussion about change. You want to bring it up when you sit on the beach and you're drinking pina coladas. And life is good, right? So, one, one big thing is just making sure that you're talking and that you have compassion for your spouse.

Nik:

Your goal of your conversation should not be to convince your spouse not to change

Rich:

Right.

Nik:

The goal of your conversation really should be to understand where your spouse is coming from. If you truly don't understand why your spouse is changing in whatever way whether it's going to get a degree whether they become a gym rat, whether they become a Holy Roller, whatever it is or they get a new job and want this promotion that has them traveling all over the place. Seek to understand not to change the situation to make you feel comfortable, because maybe this is an opportunity in an area for you to grow. When I went back to work years ago, in 2013, it was a huge disrupter for our entire house, and leading up to my first day of work, even the kids were like, I don't want you to go to work. I don't want you to go to work. And at that time, I think they were in fifth and third grade or sixth and fourth grade or something like that. And when I was gone all day long, that was a huge transition. But it was also an opportunity for not just myself, but for every other member in my family to grow in areas that they wouldn't have been able to grow in. If I didn't make that decision if we didn't make that decision.

Rich:

And like you said, you know, it's not about well, let's have a conversation so I can change you into who I think you should be. But it's more of a conversation to address your concerns, but to listen, you have to listen, communication is a two-way street. And part of it is speaking, but the bigger part is listening. And you may find out that there are reasons behind your spouse's change that you had no clue. You know, whether it be they're like, look, I don't want to work here anymore, and you didn't know it, but I was sexually harassed. I've been bullied or you know, it's just not fulfilling for me what and honestly, even if they don't have a reason, support your spouse, like this is the person that you said, I do, too. This is the person that you said, I have your back and sickness or in health, good or bad. I have your back. So, don't let something that's being changed cause you to feel like this marriage is over and all of a sudden, we can't make it.

Nik:

At the end of the day, you just need to embrace change. Change makes people uncomfortable because we are human. And we are creatures of habit. If you know anything about mammals, you know that we are conditioned to do the same thing every day, practically at the same time every day. But no one gets mad when the day changes or when the year changes. As a matter of fact, those are really exciting times. So, I would challenge anybody just to tap into that spirit of change when the new year is happening, or when the seasons change

Rich:

New birthday.

Nik:

Or a new birthday, those things those types of changes, get people excited, but when it comes to our spouse, or even people that we love the most change for whatever reason, it makes us uncomfortable, and sometimes it makes us mad.

Rich:

You have to praise the growth, you know, change is growth, so praise that. Focus on the positive when my wife changed her hair. Yes, I struggled with a y'all. But you know what? There were a lot of things that were positive in her cutting her hair and going natural. Now we want to spend as much money with her going to the shop. Now, we weren't saving a lot of money because there were like 10,000 different products she had to try out.

Nik:

Oh my god. No, you didn't.

Rich:

But I mean, you know, there was some positive, and I'll be real with you now you know what, that's my go to thing I love a natural hair woman, like I look at my wife and I'd be like, I love that. And I look and I think like, man, when she started, I could not stand natural hair. Now, like, I when she straightens her hair, while it's still a beautiful thing and I'm attracted to it. I'm like, I can't wait till she washes her hair and gets it back to that natural because that's what daddy like. But uh, you know, pray praise the growth and love your spouse where they are. So, we've focused on the spouse that is changing. But if you're in a situation where your spouse is not changing, and you are, don't feel like you have to leave them behind, but love them where they are, and they will get there. If none of these things we've said talking it out listening to your spouse loving them where they are, you know, praising the growth focusing on the positive. If none of that is working and change is just causing so much disruption in your household, that you really don't think you're going to be able to make it that you can't stay together, then I highly suggest that you go see a therapist. Go see someone that is professionally trained, and can help you guys work through those opportunities.

Nik:

Thank you so much for tuning in to this week's episode of the Naked Proverbs. We want you to truly have a happy marriage. We want you to continue to thrive in your marriages an indulge in your spouses on a regular basis. Don't forget to follow Naked Proverbs on whatever podcasting platform you listen to your podcast on, and give us a five-star rating on iTunes.

We'll talk to you all next week.

Rich:

Peace.

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