From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Men can help relationships by opening up, workshop leader says

From NewsDesk <NewsDesk@UMCOM.UMC.ORG>
Date 19 Oct 1998 13:24:34

Oct. 19, 1998        Contact: Tim Tanton(615)742-5470,Nashville, Tenn.

NOTE: This is a sidebar to UMNS #597.

By Robert Lear*

ATLANTA (UMNS) - Unequal paychecks can be a source of major problems in
black families, particularly if a woman earns a fatter salary than her
husband, according to a specialist with the United Methodist Church.
"If your manhood is invested in your paycheck, you are in trouble,"
according to Marilyn W. Magee, a family life specialist with the
churchwide Board of Discipleship. "Women do not necessarily need men to
provide shelter and food," she said, and when a man believes he must
make the most money, trouble may be ahead.
Magee led a workshop on the topic "What black women wish black men would
learn about relationships and family" as part of the 1998 National Black
Men's Conference.

A man can help a relationship by opening himself emotionally and
expressing feeling, she said. "Women like for men to express love and

Women also want to be told the truth, she said. However, they should not
ask for the truth if they really do not want to hear it, she said.

Communication is essential, but timing is important, Magee said. The
middle of a football game may not be the best time from a man's
viewpoint to discuss family issues; likewise, the middle of a soap opera
may be a poor time to seek a woman's attention, she said.
The church can help by doing a better job of preparing couples to face
questions such as, "What do we look for in each other?" Magee said. She
also noted that "one sustaining thing in a relationship is working
together on a mission project."

# # # 

*Lear is a retired staff member of United Methodist News Service
residing in Wernersville, Pa.                                   

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