Roses and Brass Knuckles: A Man’s Pocket Guide to Winning the Dating and Marriage Game is an honest, insightful book to help men better themselves, and their households, as they face a new societal outlook on relationships. Authors Zachary Davis and Okeeba Jubalo, realized they were onto something when they began dishing out daily advice to a friend in a troubled marriage heading for divorce. The series of weekly text messages to support their friend, including sayings like; “LOVE HER LIKE YOU LOVE YOUR MAMA, BUT REMEMBER THAT SHE AIN’T YOUR MAMA,” laid the framework for the book.
Clutch: You lay out the fifteen principles in a very upfront way, how did you determine these principles as aspects to succeed in dating and marriage?
OKEEBA: These principles came from years of experience in dating and marriage. The wheels do not change…just the people that are rolling on them. I have seen firsthand, through my own relationships and relationships of those around me, the do’s and don’ts of dating and marriage. Regardless of what others think, dating and marriage is a game you must understand in order to be successful. It’s not about getting over on your woman, it’s about understanding your woman.
ZACH: We addressed the most common problems we saw and heard from men and their dealings with women. Regardless if they were dating, in a serious relationship, or in a
marriage we felt these were the most common things that men have to deal with – the questions that needed answers.
Clutch: What is your current status, married, single, dating?
OKEEBA: My current status is that I am happily divorced and a full-time single father of two wonderful little girls (eight & six years old). Some may ask, “How can he give us advice on winning in marriage?” The truth is, I left my marriage because I married a dead beat and I saw that this was heading nowhere fast.
ZACH: I am currently married with one daughter, and although we’ve only been married for five years we have been in a relationship for almost ten years.
Clutch: How have your experiences shaped the book’s content and why did you take on this topic?
OKEEBA: As an artist I feel I can easily step outside of myself and any situation and see it for what it is. Regardless of who is involved it’s important to look at the building blocks that caused any relationship to be successful or to fail. Both the man and woman had something to do with the rise and fall of it. We took this on for the opportunity to put men up on how this thing works. Society has us so twisted up and thinking that it is one thing when it’s another. Men need to know the truth! We won’t hear it on Oprah or any other talk show. We are hardly ever the focus of these shows, unless it’s something negative or some way to coach us into running backwards.
ZACH: After high school I went into the military and in those travels I dated a wide variety of women from different cultural backgrounds, but often found out they had the same issues. Women are women regardless of race bottom line, so a lot of problems or differences that come with women don’t change. Some men need a nudge in the right directions when dealing with women, some don’t know how to act in a relationship or towards women because they may not have had the best male role models in a time where a fatherless home is more common. Also a lot of men won’t ask just anyone about relationships or talk about their problems, so I felt men needed a source to get answers to the questions they had.
Clutch: We know there is a new societal outlook on relationships, what advice do you offer men today?
OKEEBA: Men make the mistake of not being able to man-up and leave a bad situation that will never get better. Recognize that you are dealing with a loser and do not make that mistake again.
ZACH: The best advice I can give any man is be honest with your woman or any woman your dealing with, this will save a lot of headache and heartbreak.
BOTH: The second best advice is get “Roses & Brass Knuckles”, read and comprehend, it too will save you a lot of headaches and heartbreak!
Clutch: Any insight on how today’s woman should handle her man?
OKEEBA: Same kind of advice — Recognize that you are dealing with a loser and do not make that mistake again. I was young when I got involved with my ex, and I am very thankful for that experience. She opened my eyes even wider to how marriage works and how it does not work. Can’t plant good seed in bad soil…
ZACH: I’d say figure out what you want in a man, how real those expectations are, and what makes you as a woman a good catch. Also remember he can’t love you until you do, so work on yourself from the inside out, you have to be happy alone before you can be happy with someone else.