Marriage, Basketball Schedules, and the Off-Arm

Long time no see fam!!! Your Superspade was holding it down in sunny/smoggy California on business all last week, but I have been pregnant with ideas that I am ready to birth. But before that, I just want to let my co-contributors, Steve, Garlin, and guest writers know that I am their number one fan and I am so proud to be associated with this site. We are taking it back to basics!!!

With that said, last week, I had an interesting epiphany that I think summarizes the two major obstacles that make brothers fear marriage; obedience and compromise.

Basketball Schedules

A couple years ago, I asked a mentor of mine, CJ, how he made his marriage work. He then taught me a lesson about marriage that really took my understanding of marriage to a whole new level that I am passing on to you. CJ played basketball in college and actually tried out for a couple of professional teams to no avail. Needless to say, CJ is serious about his basketball. And while he was dating his wife, Kecia, in college, he played basketball every Saturday morning with the fellas. And for the real hoopers, you know few things can compare to Saturday morning basketball followed by food, sports, and ignorance.

So CJ keeps up this routine during their courtship, engagement, and into the marriage. Now a couple years after being happily married, one day CJ woke up on a Saturday morning and packed his gym bag. No sooner than CJ is done washing down the last bit of bagel with OJ, does Kecia come in and say matter-of-factly, “Where do you think you’re going?” After clearing his throat, the stunned CJ replies, “What are you talking about? I am about to go hoop, like I always do.” Never faded, Kecia says, “Well, you are going to have to start asking permission to play ball on Saturdays because I might have plans for us.”

As you can imagine, CJ didn’t play ball that day but that’s what CJ wanted me to learn. The fact was that there some Saturdays he did play and there were days he didn’t. But whatever he did on any Saturday, he had to run it past Kecia to see if she had any plans for them. And just so we’re clear, neither Kecia, nor CJ is whipped and they have a beautiful marriage. The gist of the story is that by learning obedience the easy way, CJ was able to side-step a problem that could have grown out of control. And it doesn’t matter that CJ played ball before he got married or that Kecia didn’t tell him the rules before hand, the man was right to obey, period. Now insert basketball schedules with something you planned on keeping sacred from your bachelor days and imagine your wife telling you that that thing has to go by her. Only then will you understand how vital it is for men to understand the power and liberty that accompanies obedience. It will save you a world of grief, take it from CJ.

The Off-Arm

Now for any guy that has ever slept with a woman, (I mean sleep, not sex) than you have probably had requests from your woman to hold/cuddle her as she dozes off to sleep. And if she was really mushy, she probably wanted to wake up in the exact same position. That’s all fine and dandy, but that is not comfortable for the fellas due to the clumsiness of the off-arm. What do I mean? Let me draw you a mental picture. Let’s assume that you are in the bed and you and your partner and facing the left side such that the left side of your body is touching the bed and the right side of your body is facing the ceiling. Now if you are holding your woman, then chances are you are holding her with your right arm.

But what do you do with your left arm!!!! In this example, left arm is the off-arm and its use is critical to getting a good night’s rest. Now there are five positions where you can position the arm if you are indeed trying to go to sleep in this position. (Assume all positions keep your right arm holding your partner across the torso.)

Position 1 involves keeping your off-arm being extended above her head where it is highly vulnerable to going to sleep and you probably don’t want to sleep with your face in your armpits. Position 2 utilizes the off-arm as a pseudo pillow such that it is nestled at the base of her neck but in this position, you won’t be able to turn over without waking her up. Position 3 places the off-arm underneath the left side of your partners torso, such that both of your arms would be wrapped around her torso. This would be the equivalent of standing behind your partner and holding them around the waist. The problem with this position is that your partner is sleeping on your off arm!!! Which means your hand is going to be blue in the morning due to lack of blood circulation and don’t even think about turning over because you are stuck. Position 4 involves your off arm slightly in front of you but having your forearm lodged in the back of your partner. While this is the most versatile position in terms of maneuverability, it creates considerable distance that your partner may find unacceptable. And lastly, Position 5 involves your off arm being placed directly under your left side such that you are going to sleep on your own off-arm. In which case your off-arm will either be numb or will disrupt the curvature of your spine so that your sleep is not sound.

Now fellas, why would I describe the 5 positions of the off-arm dilemma? It’s because you are going to be sleeping with the same woman every night for the rest of your life!!! And quite frankly, I think the off-arm dilemma is a major reason why men die before women. 🙂 But in all seriousness, the off-arm dilemma to me represents the myriad of ways that men have to compromise to make their marriage work. And likewise, if you don’t cook and your woman does, she may have to cook on days that she doesn’t want to because both of you are too cheap to order out. (invest that money) And there may be days that you just want to sleep in opposite directions just so you can get a good night’s rest. But if she wants be held, just know you read about the off-arm here at Superspade. So what did we learn fellas? Marriage is all about compromise and a healthy dose of obedience. And if you can’t see yourself doing those two things, then either she’s not the one or you need to man-up.

Looking forward to your comments,

Stay up fam,

Brandon

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24 responses to “Marriage, Basketball Schedules, and the Off-Arm”

  1. Dana says :

    Hilarious and true! This info should be available to all men apprehensive of marriage. I don’t know if they are afraid to lose power, control, their childhood ways, or if they are just terrified to become men, but I’ve known several who will not commit (or compromise). Very frustrating.

    FYI…I prefer position 2.

  2. t.HYPE says :

    HAAAlarious!!!

    Solution: Fellas, after the honeymoon, you have every right to talk it out! Start with “Baby, I need my limbs…” Hey, if you can give up basketball, she can give you back your arm, right?

    As for me, I’m not about having somebody all up in my space like that. If you’re close enough that I can hear you breathing and benefit from having a 98 degree heater nearby, I’m straight!

  3. Anonymous says :

    I love the Basketball analogy. I experienced a very similar situation in the early years of my marriage, however my husband has finally learned obedience.

    As for the off-arm…that fades just like the newness of anything else. After six wonderful years of marriage with my husband whom I adore, I no longer need him to be wrapped around me like a leach in order to fall asleep. With a child, my head is just happy to hit the pillow. Don’t worry guys, you’ll get your arm back.

  4. Yolanda says :

    Funny post Brandon.
    I agree with you Anonymous, although I’m not married, I’ve been in a long term relationship and you are right, the newness does fade. It doesn’t mean that the thrill is gone, it just means that real life kicks in. Compromise is important in any relationship as far as I’m concerned. I’m sure there’s things we all would prefer to do but we all have to give a little to get a little. Just remember ladies, all men don’t come that way, many have to be taught to compromise and be obedient.
    Continued Blessings to CJ & Kecia and Anonymous & her husband. Sounds like they are both on the right path.
    Welcome Home Brandon 🙂
    Have a great day everyone,
    Y.

  5. Anonymous says :

    Obedience is for children, not adults. The number one problem in relationships are women trying to raise grown men. Compromise is one thing, demasculination of men is another. Men who buy into this premiss are lost, indeed.

  6. Anonymous says :

    “Obey?” What kind of man are you? I think you lost all of the real men reading this. Please find your nuts before it’s too late.

  7. Brandon Q. says :

    Thanks for all the comments fam, I think there is general consensus on the compromise piece, but let me address the location of my nuts per the previous comment by anonymous.

    I think the first problem is that when people read about men “obeying,” they automatically think of some guy who is licking his wife’s boots. Expand your thinking!!! Obeying does not indicate a complete loss of independence. Rather, I was pointing out a lesson that most brothers don’t learn until going through the school of hard knocks.

    In fact, it takes a real man to understand that his wife is not his servant and that he is not above acknowledging her requests. And if you can’t see yourself telling your wife where you are going, I am afraid that you are going to have alot of problems.

    Moreover, let me ask you this, how should a “real man” interact with his wife if she wants him to do something that interferes with his schedule? What’s so funny is that a woman could have you doing something that is in her interests when you think it is in your best interest. If you keep up this tough-guy attitude, your woman will REALLY be running you.

    On another note, what type of message are you sending to your kids when you want them to obey you and their mother but they don’t see that type of example in their parents? Kids learn by example brother, keep that in mind.

    You also mentioned that I lost all the real men. What’s so funny is that I ended the post by saying that if brothers can’t understand this, they will have to man up. I think you need to man up brother.

    And lastly, I think the other problem is that marriage has become an extension of dating rather than a sacred covenant before the Lord.

    Let me stop writing before this turns into another post.

    Thanks for all the comments

    Stay up fam,

    B

  8. Anonymous says :

    What I don’t understand is why does he have to tell her where he is going if it is something he has been doing every weekend for years. She should let him know in advance, then he would know to change his plans for that weekend.

  9. Brandon Q. says :

    Anon,

    I think that you are headed down the slippery slope of trying to figure out women. If you were to ask most men who have been married for some years, (15-30 yrs) they will tell you that they key to understanding women is knowing that you will never understand them.

    I wrote in my post that it didn’t matter that he did this before they got married. Anon, women and rationality are not tight. I agree with you that she should have told him in advance, but if you were CJ what would you have done?

  10. Anonymous says :

    CJ should have been a man and nipped that in the bud early. No one should try to tell a grown man what to do. There is a big double standard going on. Adults of both sexes have the right to be independent, not just women. This feminism is ruining our community.

  11. Anonymous says :

    It also takes a real woman to realize her husband is not her servant or child. Unfortunately, these women are few and far between.

  12. Brandon Q. says :

    Anon, I appreciate your comments man. I have to ask you though, what do you mean by nip it in the bud?

    You said no one should tell a grown man what to do but you make it sound like Kecia said “jump” and CJ said “how high.” And I wrote in my post that CJ was not forever banned from playing ball so to suggest that he is on a leash is just plain wrong.

    But to make sure I understand you correctly, if you were CJ, what would your wife have to say or do to convince you that being with her was more important than playing ball?

    You keep bringing up independence like you get to do everything you did in your bachelor days in your marriage. As a heads up, marriage is about interdependence, which means that while you keep your own identity, you are SHARING your life with another person. Sharing and selfishness don’t mix bro.

    And I agree with you that women should not look at or treat their husbands as children BUT if you think your wife asking you to do something is treating you like a child, then you have the whole notion of marriage misunderstood.

    Again, it takes a “real” man to listen to and respond to his wife. And while this conversation has been one-way, I don’t want you to think that men should not make requests of their wives. It goes both ways bro.

    Keep em comin, Anon

  13. Anonymous says :

    I have been married for 5 years going on 6 and if my wife came out her mouth with something as you have to run that by me we would have problems. I agree with all the men saying that he has been doing this for some time now, she “assumed” he would stop when they got married. I have run into similar problems but we sat down and talked about it but i made the point i am not your child and you are not my mother. I don’t say where are you going when you go shopping and spend “our” money which what i know she is doing. Obeidience is learned as a child and conditioned as you get older but RESPECT is conditioned as a child but learned as an adult. If you don’t respect her and she does not respect you then all you have is a business arrangement not a marriage. If she is running you then throw out your boxers put some panties on and say yes mam.

  14. Brandon Q. says :

    I am assuming this is a new Anon and if it is, let me say that I respect where you are coming from and I agree with your analogies on obedience and respect. But the key point in your post was when you wrote, “I have run into similar problems but we sat down and talked about it.” That’s the part I have been trying to drive home all day. It’s not so much about Kecia making the request, but how CJ responded and the subsequent conversation that provided them with clarity and understanding.

    So now that we have a married man on the scene, let me ask you if you think CJ is being ran. And secondly, what determines whether you will do something you want to do or something she wants to do? I bring that up because, (correct me if I’m wrong) it seems to me that you don’t get everything you want in a marriage, precisely because when you got married it stopped being about you and started becoming about “us.”

    Stay up fam,

    B

  15. Anonymous says :

    I believe the problem may stem from the fact that the males who read/respond to this post are not of the same ‘caliber’ of the ones that you personally hang with, Super. Like the dude said, ‘5-6 years’…he’s just coming off the honeymoon phase. You specified 15-30. Some things take time to learn. If you want something worth having, there’s struggle, then compromise and hopefully, reconciliation. It takes 1 person to forgive, but 2 to be reunited. Having been married more than once, I overstand that your partner in life is 4LIFE, and it is an individual obligation to maintain and nourish that partnership for the mutual benefit of the relationship. Some people don’t get the lesson the 1st time cuz they haven’t seen it in action. But…after you get the entire pic, the whole shot, and you have been blessed to share your life with somebody you truly respect and admire, you will do what it takes. Whatever it is. And so will your mate. The attitude that ‘I’m grown’ is moot. You are together, therefore that much is assumed. Behave in accordance therewith! Neither of you is perfect. A choice was made 4LIFE. Handle that.

  16. Anonymous says :

    As a man, the problem I have is that the wife didn’t ASK her husband to not play ball that day, so she could make plans for them. She TOLD him that he has to ASK HER permission to play ball because she may have already made plans for them. In what way is she showing respect for his adulthood? That’s some stuff you say to children. Let a man try to tell a woman she needs to check with him before she goes to her weekly hair appointment becasue he might already have plans for them….

  17. Brandon Q. says :

    To the first anon, I feel you all the brother. Especially when you said, “after you get the entire pic, the whole shot, and you have been blessed to share your life with somebody you truly respect and admire, you will do what it takes.” That is real talk homie.

    Anon 2, she didn’t ask CJ to stay at home for the sake of staying at home. She made plans that day. And I agree with you that I wish she would have asked CJ before the morning of.

    But what if your wife asked you the Tuesday before to change your Saturday plans? If you go along with your wife, are you more of a man than CJ because he got “punked” the day of?

    And I PROMISE YOU, if you told your wife to run things by you because you had plans, she would cancel EVERYTHING in a heartbeat because how many women have a man that will plan ANYTHING!!!! You know dudes and planning are not tight, keep it real.

    Stay up fam,

    B

  18. Anonymous says :

    I don’t think CJ is being ran or is being punked out. The truth of the matter is as much as your boys try to play you out and punk you they want what you want. Someone to come home to no matter the situation. As the vows are said from the preacher, pastor, or whoever the couple has used. Through sickness and health, for richer and poor, and so forth. I agree wit the other post that it’s more of how she conversed with him than her asking. If my wife said can you not play ball today i want to go out with our son to the park or to whereever. That’s no problem my seed and my wife come before my peoples. That old adage MOB or BB4H ends when true maturity kicks in a man. As i previously stated marriage is (in my opinion) 95% communication and within that communication there is respect, ethics, morals and so forth. The other 5% is understanding as stated you won’t understand her ever and she most likely won’t understand you but as long as you RESPECT each other things will progress forward. There will be bigger arguments than why can’t i play ball and any married men out there can attest to that. As stated i am more in disagreement in the tone and how she addressed him than her request. Any woman that can talk to you like that doesn’t deserve to be your wife and if you like that type of girl, then to each his own. I am curious was this the first time she said something or was this one incident CJ discussed with you?

  19. Brandon Q. says :

    What’s up Anon, I appreciate your comments man. To answer your last question, that was the one and only time she “checked” him on the hooping thing. They talked and they came to an understanding and it never came up again. And like I said, it’s not like she kept dude from ever playing ball.

    And as for her tone, I agree with you that it could have been more amiable BUT DUDE, if we as men responded in kind (or tried to put her in her place) whenever our women were having one of those days, the world would cease to function.

    And we disagree on less than you think because you wrote, “If my wife said can you not play ball today i want to go out with our son to the park or to whereever. That’s no problem my seed and my wife come before my peoples.” I quoted you because I am sure if you had plans to hoop and she interrupted them, it wouldn’t matter because like you said, your wife and your seed come before your people. Maybe the word obey threw people for a loop but we are essentially saying the same thing.

    Lastly, I disagree with you when you said that, “Any woman that can talk to you like that doesn’t deserve to be your wife.” To be clear, CJ and Kecia’s relationship is not like that ALL THE TIME. I’m sure I could take a snapshot of your marriage and take a bad conversation/argument and say, “Hey man, this woman doesn’t deserve to be your wife.” That’s because I know that through all the good and the bad, the good prevails and that is all that matters.

    Well wishes to your family,

  20. 1FlyMama says :

    This is such a funny, touchy subject, ladies and gents! Now I’m not married, so I can’t speak from a married person’s point of view, but i can speak as someone who’s been in enough relationships and seen enough relationships come and go to know that the words obedience and respect are two very misconstrued concepts. Just like how they say “common sense ain’t so common”, obedience and respect have become very relative terms, especially with respect to relationships, and their definitions often depend on the person who’s doing the talking at any given moment. With relationships, obedience doesn’t mean just lay down and take whatever’s coming your way. What it does mean is that within any relationship there are boundaries and rules to follow (that includes husband/wife, parent/child, boss/employee, owner/pet, whatever). With a marriage, it just happens to be that the obedience works both ways, and thus, creates a partnership. Should you do everything your partner says do? NO. Should you at least take their requests into consideration? Absolutely. You’d want them to do the same thing for you. That’s where the respect comes in. You have every reason to feel disrespected if your request is met with stubborn indignation. But if your mate can honestly say they’ve thought about it, and can back up their reasoning, but still disagree with your request, I think respect has been granted. I can respect a man who can tell me no with valid reason a whole lot easier than someone who flat out says no just to feed his ego. I can also respect a man who can honor my request knowing I’d do the same for him. And that, folks, is where a lot of women and men go wrong. You can’t expect someone to do something for you that you wouldn’t do for them. So, fellas, you can still say yes and keep your manhood (and your nuts) in tact, but you can also stand your ground without feeding your greedy ego in the process.

    One more thing, B., what’s with that whole women and rationality not being tight? Now you know you ain’t right…

  21. Anonymous says :

    I am the anonoymous “chauvanist” who posted twice yesterday. I like to expand on my previous points. Never did I make any dismissive comments toward compromise. A genuinely loving black woman is more valuable than any monetary amount. But the disrespect has to end. Good, decent men are paying for the “no good players” who caused their wives grief before them. Due to the society we live in, the black male image is looked upon with derision and contempt. Hence, we are all “born suspect”. Grown men are looked upon as wayward children who need to be broken in like cattle by the “superior” black superwoman. I am all for compromise when it is deserved. But the browbeating does not work in a real relationship. For those who feel I am not “enlightened”, let me just say this: An intelligent, successful proud black woman will not allow anyone to intimidate or order her into submission. Why should there be any less for a man?

  22. brownsugarflyygirl says :

    As far as the off-arm, the best solution I have found is this: I have found that if my man lays on his back and I lay on this chest, I can find that comfortable place to snuggle up against him with his arm wrapped around me. That is nice for when you just want to be held close but stay comfortable. His other arm can go anywhere it wants without falling asleep. BUT I do agree that on those nights when you are just flat out tired or just need a good rest…a little before sleep affection and off to the opposite sides of the bed you go works out just fine.

  23. y. says :

    I’m with you brownsugarflygirl,I love the on the chest snuggle & cuddle.
    Everybody wins when sleeping on opposite sides of the bed.

  24. Ms Mel says :

    Hmm, I was married to my husband for six years and he is a wonderful man aside from that “cheating” incident and I would never ever ever think to treat him the way Kecia treated her husband.

    I’m sure they have a wonderful marriage and maybe that’s why he never “cheated” on her and my husband did…

    Still even if I had a rewind – I couldn’t do it. In fact that idea hurts my heart that he had to give up his weekly routine before he decided it on his own. As always to each his own.

    By the way, I’m glad I came back I really like this blog!

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