Ask Demetria: "My Husband Wants to Skip the Family Reunion!"

Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie in Mr. & Mrs. Smith Dear Demetria:

My husband’s younger brother is turning 30, lives in another state and is planning a night-out party. My family reunion is the same weekend and I’d like us to go. He says he is going to hang with his brother and not go to the reunion. Can you weigh in here? Am I wrong for expecting my husband to go with me? It’s our first as a married couple. —Anonymous

You’re not wrong ... but neither is your husband. You have a scheduling conflict; surely it’s not the first time and won’t be the last. Instead of focusing on who is wrong or right here, focus on how to resolve this conflict.

The obvious solution is for your husband to attend his brother’s party and the family reunion. I don’t know the distance between these two events or whether that is possible. But if he can spend a little time with his brother and with you, that’s ideal.

If the distance between the two events just doesn’t make attending both possible, then your husband should attend his brother’s birthday party.

That’s not what you wanted to hear, I know. I’m also newly married, and I like doing firsts with my husband:“Ooh! Our first married date!” “Ooh! Our first married Christmas!” “Ooh! Our first married New Year’s!” We’ve done all these things for years as a couple, mind you, but it’s all new and shiny again because now we’re married. You probably want another “first” at the family reunion.

Either that, or you want to show your husband off to the family members who weren’t at the wedding. I get it. Completely. Surely, there are relatives who had a lot to say about your being single for however long you were, and it will feel absolutely awesome in the moment to show up with your husband and smugly rub it in. I have petty moments, too. I understand.

But your reasoning—as stated in your question—isn’t worth your husband missing his brother’s 30th birthday.

Read the full story on The Root

RHOA's Kandi & Mama Joyce Visit The View.... Nothing Gets Resolved


I finally watched The View segment from yesterday featuring Kandi, Mama Joyce, and Todd—note the order there. I tuned in because I find this whole conflict fascinating. Usually this story plays out with a guy whose mom thinks her son is her man. Never seen it play out -- at this level-- this way and for so long.

The segment accomplished absolutely nothing for the conflict —we need Iyanla to fix this one—  but I'm sure it brought in good ratings.

Two parts that stood out to me:

*Aunt Whoopi told Mama, “let [Kandi] make the mistake if she’s going to make the mistake… you can’t do this for her.” Mama didn’t have a chance to respond to that or it was edited it out. I would have checked the idea that my man is a" mistake". But Kandi, as expected, didn't speak up for herself or her relationship. Again.

*Mama Joyce has a man. Who knew?


Mama's latest round of complaints is Todd is lazy because as a freelance producer, he took two months off in between jobs and used his savings to support himself. She's also back to talking about her concern for Kandi's daughter because when Todd appeared on WWHL, he didn't mention Kandi's daughter when he was talking about people affected by the family drama. Host Andy asked Todd what he thought about the accusations that Mama made about him and Kandi's best friend, Carmon. Todd talked about how it affects Carmon’s son and didn’t mention Kandi’s daughter. I’m unclear on why Mama thought he should have brought up Kandi’s kiddo in this response.

If Todd was living on Kandi's money during his break, I would get why Mama was concerned, but not at the level that she is. But he had SAVINGS and that is an indication of a responsible adult who prepares for a rainy day, and makes enough money to stash some away. Mama Joyce—and many from her generation— doesn't get that one of the reasons you become a freelancer is so you can do things like not work sometimes, enjoy some life, and still be able to support yourself. Working as a producer, you move from show- to- show and HUSTLE for work. Sometimes there are gaps. This is the nature of his business.  Todd said on The View that he recently started his own production company and landed a show. That’s not a lazy man. And even if he was lazy, like Aunt Whoopi said, that's for Kandi to deal with. Not her Mom.

Let’s cut the crap.  This isn't about Todd's work ethic, just like it's not about the accusations of him cheating, just like it's not about him not having Kandi-level money, just like it’s not about concern for Kandi's child. Mama's issue is she feels threatened and insecure by Kandi having another priority in her life, one that, when/if Kandi and Todd marry, is supposed to trump Mama’s reign in Kandi’s life. Mama wanting to be forever and always number one is how we got to the mess she's been pulling.

From what's been shown on the show-- very important to note-- this all started when Kandi wouldn't let her mother move in the guest house. If it were Kandi and  daughter only, Mom would be in there chilling. Todd's also a priority in Kandi's life and among other things, Kandi considered how Mama moving in would affect Todd, so she said, “no.”  Mama is used to hearing “yes”.

Kandi has let this go on for far, far too long. She doesn't seem to get that her silence isn't respecting her mother, it's disrespecting herself and her happiness. It will be tough to unravel this issue that both women have without the help of a therapist.

What makes this situation even harder is the mom is playing up a very real issue in front of the media, and let’s be clear, for attention. I'd like to think that Mama  wouldn't have tried to fight a woman 30+ years her junior in a bridal shop or left that crazy message on Carmon’s voicemail if cameras weren't around. As someone who's subjected their life to reality TV cameras, the lines between what's real and what's done for TV can make people quite difficult to read and navigate. And maybe that's why Kandi's not stepping up like so many want her to.

I adore Kandi, but the way this is playing out in front of the camera-- important to note—it seems she's enabling her mother and participating in her own downfall with the continued silence and by not drawing a line with her Mom. Todd's already told Kandi that he isn't sticking around if this drama continues. And he said it again on The View that everyone has a breaking point. Both of Todd's statements should have been a wake-up call. *Rings Belle like Dap Dunlap*

Last thought about Kandi and her mama: what you won't do while I'm holding the purse strings is disrespect me and mines continually, and in public. Her mama got some huevos like I've never seen.

Based on what you’ve seen on TV, how would you handle this situation if you were Kandi?





AskFM UPDATE: The Complete Gala Girl Saga

Screen Shot 2014-01-03 at 4.42.22 PMEarlier this week, a woman wrote into Ask. FM with this: “I had huge fight with my boyfriend over the phone and told him I wouldn’t go to his annual work gala that night. After I said it, I regretted it and felt bad so I made steps to make things right. I got dressed for the event and finally went to his place. I get there, and his female friend, who always smiles and chats with me like she is my friend, is with him all dolled up. I tell him, ‘I’m sorry, and I’m ready to go.’ He says he would rather take her since she is reliable. She didn’t even offer to stay.

“This is his big work gala. Why take just any woman? It means something. Pictures of the event are on social media. My man is posing with some lady for the world to see. I am humiliated and mad at both of them. What should I do?”

My answer (read the full version here):

You got what you deserved. You acted like a brat by pulling out of an event at the last minute because you were mad, and you wanted to ruin your boyfriend’s night. You knew what a big deal this event was and that people who matter to you would see those pictures, and yet you canceled anyway. Your concern about how important the event is feels hollow after you discarded it like it was nothing to you.

Pulling out of an event on the day of is bad enough. It’s worse that it was a work event. One of the core rules for operating in a healthy relationship is “do not embarrass your partner on the job,” which you attempted to do. That’s a big violation.

I’m not surprised he chose to go with her. When you changed your mind, you didn’t even call him to apologize and discuss. You assumed that he would be at the house in a panic, and you expected to whisk in and save the day after you'd attempted to ruin it. You were caught off-guard when you discovered he had made other plans that showed you were replaceable.

You created a bad situation, and he made the best possible moves under the circumstances.


Some readers thought I was hard on the woman we quickly named "gala girl".

One commented, "For all we know she had a really legit reason to be pissed and bail but has such a good heart and decided at the last minute she would forgive and go. It's too unclear."

Other readers wren't buying that theory. They thought that if she had a legit reason to pull out, she would have said so.

A few more folks raised their eyebrows about the swiftness in which the girlfriend was replaced. "Her boyfriend just happened to have someone ready to go that fast?" one reader asked. "What a coincidence." You could practiclaly hear the 'hmmmm" after her statement.

I figured we'd never really know what happened... until the "female friend" in the story wrote in to give her side of the story:

"Small world. A friend sent me your IG link... Dude is a good friend to my man and I. He has a new job this year and works ridiculous hours to impress, hence the fights. He was stressed about the gala because his big boss would be there. When his GF cancelled, he told my man and I that he was ready to hire an escort.

I offered to go with him and my man said "okay" as long as I made it up to him :-) All in good spirits.

I know my friend's girl. We double date sometimes. I didn't offer to stay when she showed up becase her man carried furniture for me when I moved and picked me up from the airport at 2 AM. He also introduced me to my wonderful man. I was only going to help him out. I feel her though.

Sounds like the friend is really a friend, especially the way she mentioned her man over and over and over(LOL) to make it clear there was nothing inappropriate going on. That the female friend was in a relationship was a detail I wished the gilfriend would have mentioned  And it sounds like ol' boy was more stressed for a date more than anyone could have guessed. An escort?! The female bestie was definitely a better option than that.

So the story is done now, right? Not quite.


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