Monday, December 21, 2009 | 3:53 PM
Commentary: Chris Henry's Bumpy Road to the Chapel
Last week when I read on ESSENCE.com that the fight that led to Chris Henry's death may have stemmed from an argument he and his fiancee, Loleini Tonga had over the cost of the wedding, I was horrified. There are dozens of blogs claiming that Tonga has a history of domestic violence and a severe drinking problem and it's no secret that Henry was an NFL wild child, so one could argue that this pair was an accident waiting to happen. I doubt that this tragic ending was Tonga's intention but what can the rest of us learn from this sad story? The recent murmurings that I have been hearing from men everywhere have lead me to believe that there's a little bit of Chris Henry in every groom.
I can see how wedding planning can be really hard for men. Many men go from leading the course of his relationship up to the proposal and then almost instantly he loses all control. The woman he loves morphs into bridezilla and he finds himself wondering if those horns are permanent. Along the road to the chapel he finds that it is paved with many surprises. "You paid how much for your dress?" and "Didn't we agree on only inviting 200 guests?" and my personal favorite, "What did you do with the money I gave you last week?"
Just this week I read a Facebook status that said, "So I'm talking to a male friend of mine who's about to get married and he said, 'This woman is losing her mind, she seems to care more about the wedding than [me].' Needless to say he is beginning to re-think moving forward." Intrigued, I read the twenty comments and was surprised to see that they were all from married men. Some were acknowledging that they experienced the same thing and others told him to, "Just smile and nod."
I don't think that men really want to go with their brides to look for bridesmaid's dresses or pick out place settings for the reception, but I do think they just want to feel included and important. Find a way to massage his ego about his part in the day and put your horns away every now and then so he remembers why he chose you to be his wife. There will be bumps on the road to your nuptials, be it the financial strain of a wedding or even worse, having to share a closet. No matter the obstacles, as you navigate through this journey together, make sure your man is strapped in by your side for the ride.
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