Money, Power, Respect: What Brothers Think, What Sistahs Know About Commitment [NOOK Book]


First, In What Brothers Think, What Sistahs Know, the bold and beautiful Denene Milner and Nick Chiles gave the real deal of love and relationships. It was hailed as the African American Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus. Then, in What Brothers Think, What Sistahs Know About Sex, the savvy supercouple told African American daters and maters how to get it on and heat it up in the bedroom -- or wherever else couple may find themselves.

Now Nick and Denene have set their ...

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Money, Power, Respect: What Brothers Think, What Sistahs Know About Commitment

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First, In What Brothers Think, What Sistahs Know, the bold and beautiful Denene Milner and Nick Chiles gave the real deal of love and relationships. It was hailed as the African American Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus. Then, in What Brothers Think, What Sistahs Know About Sex, the savvy supercouple told African American daters and maters how to get it on and heat it up in the bedroom -- or wherever else couple may find themselves.

Now Nick and Denene have set their sites on three of the hottest topics facing couples today. Money. Can he deal when she makes more? Power. He's at the office 24/7. Where does she get her face-time? Respect. How much of their dirty laundry should both he and she air to their friends? In their inimitable he-said/she-said format and hip approach, Denene and Nick reveal the real deal on what black men and women think about financial issues, power struggles, and the importance of respect. They delve into everything , from whose career is more important to who should punish the kids to who should pay for dinner.

Enlivened by their trademark humor and sassy and bold approach, the message in Money, Power, Respect is crystal clear: While money issues may lead to power struggles, this doesn't have to lead to lack of Respect. In this perspective and insightful guide, Nick and Denene show couples how engaging in fierce, sincere communication will have both partners wearing the pants in the family.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061928581
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/5/2009
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 240
  • File size: 378 KB

Meet the Author

Denene Millner is a columnist for Parenting magazine and the author or coauthor of nineteen books, including The Vow and Straight Talk, No Chaser.

Denene Millner and Nick Chiles live in South Orange, New Jersey. She is a reporter for the New York Daily News; he is an awardwinning journalist who has worked for the Dallas Moming News, New York Newsday, and the Newark Star-Ledger.
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Can He Deal When She Makes More?

From a Sistah

I'm just confused.

Because the gold digger is supposed to be the sistah that doesn't have jack bone and looks to the man to give her the ring, the house, the car, the credit cards, the furs, the clothes, the trips -- the everything. She, rightfully, is avoided like the plague by the brothers.

Y'all know what I'm talking about; guys can spot her quicker than an NBA player can an unbeweavable, bought-it-at-Mandee hootchie/groupie standing outside the hotel talking 'bout how she just happened to be there on business and "Whaddaya know? I ran into my favorite baller!"

He can't stand the gold digger. Wants to get as far away from her as humanly possible. Will run from her like a black girl in a scary horror flick. Won't stick around to see the gruesome details -- or become one. Will simply break out at the first sight of blood.And who can blame him? I mean, we got-it-goin'-on sistahs want to beat her ass down, too, because she's giving a really bad image to us new millennium women -- the ones who know that in the Y2K1 you have to bait your own line, catch your own damn fish, and cook that bad boy, too. Shoot, can't always depend on some man to feed you, because there might come a day when you're going to be really hungry, and boyfriend's little worm just won't snag a thing but some stinky, old (inedible) rubber boots. Not to mention that the first time he even remotely thinks we're depending on him for those material things, he's going to label us gold diggers -- which we know we're not.

So we toil and slave and pray and slave some more, trying our best toget the house, the car, the credit cards, the furs, the clothes, the trips -- the everything -- for ourselves. The only thing we really look for from you all is the ring, and in return, we offer you the promise that though we will not depend on you for the finer things, we will appreciate the fact that you can provide them.

This, we figure, should make the gold digger–hating brothers happy. Really happy. Because you all have the best of both worlds; a woman who is not only capable of making her own money, but isn't jocking you for yours. You don't have to worry about spending all your little money on our playthings; we'll get those for ourselves. And we'll make sure that there's plenty left over so that you can relax a bit, too -- so you won't have to worry about scrimping and scratching and killing yourselves to keep us living in the style to which we're accustomed. We can do all that scratching together.

Alas, you all are not happy with that kind of sistah. At least you don't appear to be. You avoid her much like you do the gold digger, except the sistah with money in her pocket just doesn't get why. She is shunned, spat on, dragged through the dirt in the brothers' court of law. In his eyes, she has a big mouth. She is emasculating. She is unfeminine. She is a bra-burning feminist. She has a big mouth. She is a bitch.

Or at least that's the way you all treat her.

Just because she has the nerve to make a good living.

This, of course, is especially disappointing to the sistah who studied, worked hard, climbed the corporate ladder, then looked around and realized there weren't that many brothers up there with her at the top. After years of trying really hard to find a man who could bring an equal amount--or perhaps more--to the table, she revises her standards on her "My Man Must Have" list, scratching off the "must have money" requirement. We start rethinking what it is we want in a man, and finally decide that it's okay if he's a blue-collar brother netting half what we're bringing home. We decide it's okay if he's only read about the places we've been to. Shoot, at some point, some of us sistahs get so desperate for companionship that we are willing to overlook the fact that brotherman can't even read.

And then we get into a relationship with a blue-collar/ain't-been-nowhere/barely-cleared-his-GED-requirements brother, and he decides he's going to break out because he can't stand that she makes more money than him.

Huh? What the hell is that?

Why do men get all worked up when a woman makes more than them?

From a Brother

Boy, you ladies sure like to talk about this one, don't you? It seems that women who don't have a man or any prospects need to find some explanation for it, and this is usually the one that gets trotted out, a handy-dandy all-inclusive rationale for female loneliness. If you are spending time with a lot of brothers who flee when they discover you make more money, you are simply picking the wrong men. These are troubled brothers just looking for an excuse to get out of the relationship. The rest of us, the stable, confident brothers, we stick around.

What it all comes down to is confidence. That word shouldn't be confused with ego. Confidence means that we are certain of our abilities, our worth, our accomplishments, our attractiveness, even if we aren't the highest-earning brother on the block. It means that we don't glean our sense of self merely from the size of our bank account. This is an important attribute for brothers to have in this land of unequal opportunity because we do have much difficulty being placed in the positions where we can bring home long, wide, and thick cash. It's kind of like the discovery social psychologists made that black girls in the United States have a much better self-image than white girls because they instinctively realize the folly of using the beauty standards of white society to form their own sense of self. Similarly, black men know that they have to look beyond their wallets to form their self-image. Sometimes the places we look aren't as helpful to our long-term interests--basketball-playing abilities, street toughness, musical talent--but they do give us a sense of self that is completely divorced from our position in the marketplace.

Money, Power, Respect. Copyright © by Denene Millner. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Introduction xi
Part I Money
1 Can He Deal When She Makes More? 3
2 One Saves, the Other Spends: Can This Household Ever Have Peace? 14
3 Keeping Money Secrets 24
4 Food, Fun, and Incidentals: Does He Always Have to Pay? 37
5 Help Wanted: What Happens When He's Out of Work? 48
6 Pre-Nups 63
Part II Power
7 Does Money Equal Power? 77
8 Chores and Child-Rearing: Can They Ever Be Equally Divided? 89
9 In Corporate America: Does It Matter Who's on Top? 106
10 Work Time vs. Face Time: Which Is More Important? 119
11 Whose Word Wins--Your Spouse's or Your Family's? 132
12 Ending It: Does It Matter Who Initiates the Breakup? 143
Part IIII Respect
13 Hello?: Why Isn't He Listening to Me? 157
14 Whose Career Is More Important? 167
15 Infidelity: Should I Tell My Spouse? 180
16 Arguing: Does Someone Always Have to Win? 191
17 Dirty Laundry: How Much Do We Air to Friends and Family? 201
18 Who You Calling a Bitch?: Does It Matter How We Talk To Each Other? 213
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