Better, Not Bitter:
3 Lessons Learned from Iyanla’s “Fix My Life”
with Jay Williams (Video)
There have been lots of conversations over the past few weeks about Iyanla Vanzant’s Fix My Life Show on the OWN network. Plenty of shade has been thrown at the men and the women who have had the courage to appear on this series of shows. At first I thought it was sensationalist, but as I continued to watch the shows, especially the one with the audience full of men, I was really moved. I now applaud their bravery to admit and seek help for their situations.
I will agree with Ms. Vanzant that when you have 34 children and 17 mothers involved, it’s pretty much impossible to successfully co-parent. Or 28 children and 16 moms. Or even 4 children (and one on the way) and four moms. There is just not enough time in the day to successfully manage one man being a significant presence in all the children’s lives in those situations. In case you haven’t seen it, check out a clip here.
Observing the men’s pain, expressed in ways they have probably never expressed before in their lives was gut-wrenching for me. It reinforced the importance of putting your child first when you have relationship breakups. Although we don’t know the relationship status of the all the parents of the men (and women) featured on the show, I would venture to say that all probably wasn’t well in their homes when they were children. Everybody wasn’t happy and I bet they didn’t have great relationship role models growing up. We certainly know that to be true of Jay Williams, the man at the heart of the story.
The problem starts with the parents. When selfish decisions are made that adversely affect the children, of course the child suffers. This show allows us to see that the pain doesn’t stop when that child grows up. Many times the families the child creates when he or she grows up are impacted, too. Here’s Jay’s mom speaking about that very subject.
This experience, the TV watching, reading and conversations about these choices made by the people involved has again reinforced three things we all need to do to move forward in the children’s best interest, whether the relationship ending was marriage or just a “blending, then ending” situation.