Strawberry Letter" franchise that is so popular on "The Steve Harvey Morning Show," heard nationwide. Send in your letters and Shirley Strawberry will dish out the necessary advice. Today's topic: Is marriage necessary? Hello Morning Crew, I am a 33-year-old mother of a three-year-old and a 13-year-old. I have been with the father of my sons since I was 18. We are not married. He was not born in America, but I was. I wanted to get married when I was aboud 20, but my mom said I was too young and I should wait. Well, as time passed and we went on with our lives we never married. He is five years older then I am. He wanted to get married about five years ago, but I felt like, 'Why now?' Maybe I was just being difficult. Okay, so he and I seperated for about six months back then but we got back together and moved in together with the birth of our second son. Now that we have been living together everyone thinks that we should be married and says that it isn't right for our children. I've explained to them that we love our children and we provide a stable home for them. Is marriage really that important? I don't believe that I am missing out on anything. Yes, I guess you would say that there's the legal committment and the vow to be true to one another, but, Steve, what if we have that already. Of all the married men and women I know at least 70 percent of them are miserable. I love this man and he loves me, my friends say that marrying him will validate that, but I don't believe a certificate will do that. Are they trying to make me unhapppy or do you believe they have my best interests at heart. By the way, we separated before because I told him I needed time to grow. I allowed my so called friends to get in my head then because they were single and miserable....not any more!
- "Strawberry Letters" are letters sent from fans of the "Steve Harvey Morning Show" and therefore do not express the sentiments of ESSENCE Magazine or ESSENCE.com. As these are fan letters, we have left them as close to their original form as possible.