I recently saw a clip on the latest release from E! Hollywood True Stories about the interesting drama of NBA star Dwyane Wade and his former wife, Siohvaughn. Some argue that Wade’s ex-wife chose to do the show to take advantage of the free husband-bashing exercises that these shows usually offer. In many cases, athletes, especially African-American males, are presented as selfish, promiscuous, undisciplined train wrecks who ruin the lives of those around them. Sometimes, the athletes really are confused by the wealth, but in many cases, it’s all just hype.
I watched the clip with Siohvaughn Wade expecting a bomb shell, and found none. I didn’t see anything other than what I thought I’d see: a young couple who took too many steps, too early and found themselves in the midst of a great deal of drama at a very early age. Siohvaughn did not go out of her way to dog out her husband, other than mentioning that her son cried because he missed his father.
When it comes to the divorce and story behind Dwyane Wade and his ex-wife Siohvaughn, here are some quick thoughts and teachable moments. I thought a great deal about how love and money don’t always mix in my book, Financial Lovemaking 101:
1) NBA players tend to get married too young: I was laughing under my breath years ago while listening to a then 20-year-old Kobe Bryant attempting to sound mature while explaining to his audience that he was ready for marriage. I thought to myself: Hmm, here we have an alpha male, on the road constantly with beautiful women beating down his door every day. Sounds like a recipe for disaster. So years later, when I heard about the off-the-court exploits of Bryant, I wasn’t surprised. Sometimes getting millions of dollars at an early age makes people do things they are not quite ready to do. Celebrities and professional athletes are notorious for making lifelong decisions before they are ready, rather than allowing the drama in their lives to sift away before making crucial personal decisions. They then spend millions of dollars trying to unravel a string of very bad decisions that can also have lifelong consequences. You hear that, Tiger Woods?
2) We have to wonder if the NBA lifestyle is conducive to traditional marriage: I am honestly not sure if professional athletes should get married before the age of 35. Are they mature enough? Do their lifestyles really put them in a position to be good husbands and fathers? Michael Jordan readily admits that he was incredibly selfish during his years of trying to become a great NBA athlete. Ultimately, people suffer when we take on responsibilities before we are ready to assume them.
3) We can’t forget the children: One thing that can be incredibly sad during the narcissistic age in which we live is that in our continuous quest to find ourselves, we often forget about our children. We forget about the emotional confusion a child experiences when his parents are divorced. People decide to become “baby mamas” and “baby daddies” without thinking for a second about keeping the other parent around for their child’s upbringing. Some of us almost seem to think of our kids as pets who will love us unconditionally, while we unconscionably force the child to waddle through one dysfunctional situation after another. We presume that because children don’t openly communicate their pain, everything must be OK. The truth is that it’s not OK, and young parents have to keep this in mind as they work through their own drama and silly decisions. If someone is not going to be a good father or mother to your children, then some would say that you should never have sex with that person at all.