NEW EPIOSODE OUT NOW: Paternal - The Beginning of the End.

This is the second episode of a 3-part series titled, ‘Paternal’. It is honest, funny and heartfelt. If you haven’t listened to part 1, In the Beginning, then I’d recommend you click the link to do so now.

When I was 9 years old, I had a teacher called Miss Bryant. In class one day, she noticed I had become withdrawn and subdued. She took me aside to ask what was wrong and after some prodding, I explained that things at home between my parents weren’t great. It wasn’t long afterwards that I moved to a different school, largely owing to the financial pressures under which my newly single mom now found herself.

A couple years later and entirely by chance, mine and Miss Bryant’s paths crossed again. We talked for a little while, and she asked whether things had improved at home. It was difficult to find an answer. I mean, things were certainly different; my father was no longer living with us and the volatility of my parents’ relationship had now moved into a space far less accessible to me. But I couldn’t honestly say things had improved. We just had different challenges now.

For me, chief among them was trying to help mom pick up the pieces of our broken home.

On this episode, my father and I talk about the circumstances that led to the breakdown of our family and our father-son relationship.

If you like the podcast and want to give us some feedback, or if you want to be featured on the show, please use the contact form in the ‘About’ section.

In the meantime, click the link above to start the episode now and thank you for listening.

My wife and I are in a cross-cultural relationship. We’re both black, but she’s of Ghanaian heritage and I was born in Jamaica. If you listened to the first episode of Marriages Behind Closed Doors, then you will have heard about some of the specific cultural challenges we faced during the engagement and leading up to the wedding.

For black men, dating outside of your race can bring its own difficulties, particularly from within the black community. There is a deeply held stereotype that many successful black men will choose to date and marry women of other races. There are countless forums on the internet criticising TV starts, sports personalities and other successful black men who have chosen to date or marry women of other races, and there is a lot of pain and anger from some black women about this.

There is another deeply held stereotype which offers a small part of the explanation as to why that may be the case. Black women are sometimes seen as problematic, angry and confrontational. In the desirability stakes, black women feature very low on the totem pole. Lighter skin, longer hair and more demure features have long been upheld as the standard of femininity and beauty.

Additionally, the history of racism and social privilege does not automatically lend itself to making black women the natural inhabitants of the upper echelons of society. The gender disparity in the figures of interracial marriage within the United States are significant and show that black men are choosing to marry outside of their race at substantially higher rates than black women do.

As a result, many black women feel cast aside and unloved by the black men they raised. 

This is obviously a very complex subject to dissect, and one that requires extreme care and sensitivity. In this episode, Daniel, Andre, Maurice and I all try to keep the conversation fairly light and humorous however, you will hear undertones of many of these issues as we talk about our own experiences.

If you like the podcast and want to give us some feedback, or if you want to be featured on the show, please use the contact form in the ‘About’ section.

In the meantime click the link above to start the episode now and thank you for listening.

My wife and I have been in a relationship together for 10 years and married for almost six of those. Comparatively speaking, that’s still a very short period of time and I still have a lot to learn as a husband. We’ve had our ups and our downs, times when we’ve felt less connected and times we’ve felt inseparable. We make each other angry sometimes, but mostly, we honour our vows to love and cherish each other.

These aren’t unique experiences, every married couple goes through similar journeys and that’s part of the point of this new show. Sometimes in our marriages, it’s easy to feel as though we’re the only one going through a particular situation.

On Marriages Behind Closed Doors, I’ll be joined by other men talking about our experiences as husbands and fathers, coping with the difficulties and celebrating our families’ successes.

Watch live on Instagram once per month on the 3rd Thursday of each month at 8:30pm British Summer Time (BST), and be sure to follow so you don’t miss a thing.

You can catch-up on previous episodes below:

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Isaac returns for this episode which also features Maurice and Chukwudi as we talk about our experiences and ideas of sex, relationships and marriage.

It’s no secret that men think and talk about sex a LOT! But for most of us, we value real connections too. Love, commitment and building something greater with our partners. Our conversation offers an insight into our differing perspectives and our journeys towards achieving that.

If you like the podcast and want to give us some feedback, or if you want to be featured on the show, please use the contact form in the ‘About’ section.

In the meantime click the link above to start the episode now and thank you for listening.

Jonathan Gardner grew up as a devout Christian. His upbringing at times put him at odds with the desire to fit in with his friends, sharing in their experiences and figuring out adolescence without much of a guidebook to follow.

In this episode, Jonathan recounts some of his experiences growing up, being raised by a single mother and also how the devastating news of a sudden diagnosis changed the course of his life.

As we face a global health crisis, more so now than ever, we reflect on having taken relationships for granted but also the importance of being intentional about remaining connected with the people in our lives.

Jonathan is married and has a young daughter who celebrated her first birthday just this last weekend. We discussed how fatherhood has changed us and the beauty of seeing our daughters come into the world. My conversation with Jonathan lasted well over two hours, and there was much I wasn’t able to include in this episode. One of these was our recognition of the incredible roles the women in our lives have played. This was something Jonathan was keen to express, and I think it’s necessary to mention it here especially as we celebrated Mother’s Day in the UK on yesterday (Sunday 22nd March).

So, to all the mothers out there from those who do it alone to those who share the role of parent with their children’s fathers, a partner or other family members, we see you, we applaud you, and we honour you.

In this episode, Jonathan mentions a video that was sent to him by a couple and which inspired him and his family to move to Scotland. If this is something that interests you or you want to learn more about their story, you can view it on his YouTube channel here.

Kenneth Barish Ph.D, author of Pride and Joy: A Guide to Understanding Your Child’s Emotions and Solving Family Problems, wrote that “As parents, we are, unwittingly, too critical of our children.”

Courtney Hoilett and Maurice Reid return to the podcast in this episode to share their experiences on how their their family context and their parental relationships impacted on them. We also talk about the power of encouragement and affirmation from other men who have had a positive influence on our lives, the importance of role models, and figuring out how we want to be viewed by the world around us.

Joining the conversation in addition to Courtney and Maurice, you will also hear from Lee White-Samuels.

Lee has been married for 9 months, and works as a teaching assistant in a school and as a freelance graphic designer. He talks about some of the key ‘coming-of-age’ experiences which helped him develop his confidence as a young black man.

Fundamentally, this episode is about identity and trying to reconcile who we are becoming on our journey through manhood with the stereotypes and labels the world has placed upon us.

If you like the podcast and want to give us some feedback, or if you want to be featured on the show, please use the contact form in the ‘About’ section.

In the meantime, click the button above to start the episode now and thank you for listening.

We live in an age where there is certainly a recognition that men and women are entitled to equal opportunities, and rightfully so. But despite the shift towards more women becoming leaders in the workplace and other areas of life, men still feel under a lot of pressure to be financially successful. How do we resolve the internal conflict between the intrinsic need to be capable providers and the reality that our value as men doesn’t need to be centred on our ability to accumulate resources?

How transparent should we be with our partners about money, and how do we share the responsibilities for managing finances within our relationships?

This episode features a new addition to the Man Ting podcast, Chukwudi Ugbomah.

Chukwudi is a teacher in a secondary school, a musician and he’s currently engaged to be married. In this episode, we talk about the complex minefield that is dating for marriage, knowing when you’ve found ‘the one’, and resolving conflicts within our relationships when they arise.

Both myself and Chukwudi are massive sports fans, and in the week where Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash along with his 13 year old daughter and 7 other victims, it was impossible not to talk about his legacy as a supreme athlete on the court, and a doting dad off it. We explore what the concept of legacy means for us, and how we as men create something of value for those who come after to emulate and surpass.

Rest in Peace:
Kobe Bryan, age 41
Gianna Bryant, age 13
John Altobelli, age 56
Kerri Altobelli, age 46
Alyssa Altobelli, age 13
Sarah Payton, age 45
Payton Chester, age 13
Christina Mauser, age 38
Ara Zobayan, age 50

If you like the podcast and want to give us some feedback, or if you want to be featured on the show, please use the contact form in the ‘About’ section.

In the meantime, click the button above to start the episode now and thank you for listening.