Most recently one of the biggest campaigns dropped–Beyonce & Jay-Z’s collaboration with the iconic brand, Tiffany’s–About Love. Beyonce was elegantly dressed in a black sleek dress reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn, Jay Z in a sharp tuxedo, and a rarely seen Basquiat painting as the backdrop of Queen B. As if that wasn’t priceless enough– Beyonce was draped ever so elegantly wearing a rare piece of jewelry very few of us will ever have the opportunity to enjoy in this lifetime–the privilege of wearing a 128-carat diamond necklace.
This struck countless controversies, from the rarely seen Jean-Michel Basquiat painting that was recently acquired by the jewelry brand’s new owner, LVMH to the rare diamond that is said to have a dark history. But what I found interesting it seemed to echo a modern take of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” which lead to a storm of debates. But as usual, things always settle down.
Being the woman that I am, I can appreciate art on various levels. Especially the history behind them that may not be so public. I want to know the story. But for the sake of this article–I wanted to take the time to address the intention of the ad–About Love. Make no mistake this was very intentional. Every bit of this was well orchestrated by two well-oiled machines. The ultimate goal was to protect the brands and the newly forged union.
Let’s be honest we live in a celebrity-driven society and we love to indulge in their world of fantasy and excess. It can either be a distraction from our own lives or it can be something aspirational depending on where you place your values. But the reality is at some point reality will settle in and we must live our lives and keep our families intact and must make the best of what we have within our own personal circumstances.
But that would require some quintessential conversation between you and your beloved. Honest-hearted talks.
As we may recall Jay Z and Beyonce were not free from the turmoils that often plague marriages. Beyonce released a whole album admitting to the betrayal, heartache, loss, and rebirth of their relationship.
I can’t recall whether or not they admitted to getting therapy or counseling–or maybe the public admission and the release of her music, Lemonade, was her form of healing. And one year later Jay Z released 4:44. Both mention faith as a component of their healing process.
But what of us mere mortals that don’t have access to the countless resources that money can provide–what can we do to keep our marriages and relationships on track?
Is it the acquiring of material things, the building of worldly wealth? We all deserve happiness, we all seek love, affirmation of our very being–thus the desire to marry and have children–but what valuable resources can you and I have access to that will keep our marriages, families together and grow strong?
I went back to basics–the one thing that always kept me grounded even when everything was going great in my life and everything was in abundance. The most important treasure I possess is my relationship with my grand creator. Knowing I had a higher being to answer to–be held accountable to, find comfort in–God.
“May God continue to give me the strength, clarity, and wisdom to love laugh, and lead in a manner fit for such a dynamic woman.” Dondré T. Whitfield (Married to Salli Richardson for 19 years)
But it made me wonder were there others that found comfort in their spiritual connection with God? So I did a little research and was pleasantly surprised to see countless celebrity couples who also found comfort in their spiritual connection with God.
So we wanted to share with you some beautiful love stories of people that genuinely work hard at their marriages–not alone but by feeding their souls with spiritual food. They do not rely upon their own understanding but invite God into their lives, homes, and marriages.
Forever Takes Work
Watching his bride walk down the aisle toward him, Mabry Sealie thought, “I finally got the one I want.” Fifty years later, he is still living his happily ever after with his wife Priscilla.
What helps a marriage last? Some advice works across cultures and over the decades, as we learned from four couples whose marriages have lasted around half a century. Among them, these four tips stood out:
● Mabry and Priscilla Sealie– married 50 years (Inkster, Michigan)
Mabry: “Get to know your mate. You don’t get to know everything all at one time or one day, but you talk about different things. And you start getting to know her thinking. Rather than assume you know the other’s thinking, talk.”
Priscilla: “Learn what works for you. I try to listen and not do all the talking. If I get quiet while we are discussing something, my husband gives me time to think about it. This helps us to avoid arguing.”
● Choo Ja and Rhummuii Asahguii– married 52 years (Kapolei, Hawaii)
Choo Ja: “Even when we have a disagreement, we can talk it out. I say what I think, and he listens. Then, he tells me what he’s thinking. We don’t hold grudges. We figure out what the problem is and how to solve it. Afterward, what can seem like a big problem is not really an issue.”
● Prafulla and Jayanti Patel married 53 years (Roselle Park, New Jersey) Jayanti: “We don’t argue. We talk to each other and do everything as a team.”
Prafulla: “If Jayanti gets upset, I stay calm and he will automatically calm down. Because if two people start arguing, it becomes worse.”
● Wafa and Teddy Shakarjian– married 46 years (San Marcos, California)
Wafa: “When I went from Lebanon to Kuwait to marry Teddy, it was challenging. I missed my family but I loved him. He became my husband, best friend, and confidant.”
Teddy: “We always fight the problem, not the person. In Arabic, we have a saying, ‘life is not full of honey.’ So there are times where it’s not really honey, it’s the opposite. But we have to make it taste like honey.”
● Mabry and Priscilla Sealie
Mabry: “I like horseback riding. I wanted to go on an Old West horseback ride for our anniversary. But she’s like ‘No, we’re not doing that.’ So we had to make an adjustment.”
Priscilla: “Whatever makes my family happy makes me happy—except horseback riding. I’m just not a horse person.”
Mabry: “We went to Florida instead and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was one of our favorite anniversaries.”
● Prafulla and Jayanti Patel
Prafulla: “I feel that once you are married, you are married until you die. There are ups and downs. But still, we make it work because we want to listen to our great Grand Creator, who is the originator of the marriage.”
Jayanti: “When I read God’s laws in the Bible, it made sense. I have one wife and one God, Jehovah.”
● Choo Ja and Rhummuii Asahguii
Choo Ja: “I always remember the Bible’s words to clothe myself with love because it is a perfect bond of union and to be forgiving.”
Rhummuii: “A good marriage takes two good forgivers. I grew up in a household where my dad would hit my mother. But I like the Bible’s good advice that a husband should love his wife as he loves himself. That makes for a peaceful relationship. Even when little problems come up, they don’t last. We resolve them quickly.”
All four of these couples mentioned above-found value in applying the principles of the Bible – as well as the articles found at JW.org what they claim to be their gem.
So when things seem insurmountable and things may seem to be dark–hope in all things, pray for the best, and do your part. So while we all may not be privileged enough to have to access the material resources of the rich and famous–there is something we have complete access to–God. As many celebrities admit–they also seek to keep their families safe and invite God into their lives. So maybe we do have some things in common with Jay Z & Beyonce. Even if it is not a 128 carat Tiffany diamond. We could say that our spiritual wealth is–priceless.
We wish both Jay Z & Beyonce and Dondré T. Whitfield & Salli Richardson the happiest anniversaries.
Over the past several years, Myrdith Leon-McCormack has evolved from one of the nation’s most successful Celebrity Manicurist, represented by Factory Downtown, to one of the most sought after branding experts with her firm MLM Represents as well as a Huffington Post blogger.
Leon-McCormack, founder of MLM Represents, oversees all practice areas and is involved in providing strategic direction to select clients. Her particular area of expertise is advising clients on how to best leverage their brand as an asset to serve as a powerful leadership tool and drive their business performance.
Leon-McCormack’s innovative strategies to connect consumers more effectively by associating them with the world’s most influential celebrities, musicians, arts, film and personalities has been part of her incredible success to collaborating with some of the industry’s most influential people in the world of the arts, music, and film. MLM Represents client list includes: Isaiah Washington, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Lois Samuels–the Vessel, and Justin Davis. Her new business has afforded her the opportunity to travel the world to wonderful destinations such as Egypt, Qatar, Dubai, London, France, Ireland, to name a few.
Leon-McCormack’s creative vision and strong knowledge of the entertainment and arts has created yet another venture with the weekly radio show, “Keep It Moving” with Marsha Jews on WEAA 88.9 FM, a national public radio station, as Executive Entertainment Producer.
As the Editorial Director of World Bride Magazine (WBM), she drives the magazine into the 21st century, where visions of people of color are seen in a more positive and progressive direction.