For Black men and women, finding a healthy romantic relationship can seem as elusive as catching a butterfly.
It’s well documented that African-Americans, especially women, remain the least married of all racial and ethnic groups in the U.S. – not that marriage is a great indicator of relationship health.
Like their counterparts, Black men can also experience hurdles to healthy relationships that tend to afflict all people like unresolved trauma, communication issues, infidelity, and financial challenges, among others.
“You’ve got to know that in love there is going to be hurt,” said Dr. Cortnie Baity, a licensed marriage and family counselor based in Tallahassee, Florida.
“You’re in love. You’re relating to another human being. They’re not going to be blameless. They’re not going to be without mistakes. In so offering vulnerability, also recognize that there’s going to be a little bit of sting that comes back in that.”
But there is satisfaction in being in a healthy relationship. And it can be attainable through therapy – either by yourself or with your mate – to identify and work on the root causes of your dysfunction.
That’s precisely why we sat down with Dr. Baity, during Men’s Health Month to discuss the challenges Black men have in establishing healthy romantic relationships along with available solutions.
We chop it up with this expert about finances and childhood trauma and when it might also be best to just step away from a romantic partner. Toxicity is real.
And speaking of toxicity, we even talk about the ways Black men are victimized in relationships and how “City Girl” culture plays a part in that.
Yes, you read that right.
Head to the virtual chat below with Dr. Baity for more insight on how you can not only better your relationship, but ultimately how you can level up yourself.
How Dr. Baity Became a Marriage and Family Therapist
4:09 – Dr. Cortnie Baity on what the following quote means to her professional journey as a marriage and family therapist: “The race is not given to the swift nor the strong but to the one who endures until the end.”
6:53 – How her intellectual interests took shape as a child.
9:37 – How this class at Tallahassee Community College (TCC) got her interested in marriage and family counseling.
10:56 – Dr. Baity on graduating from TCC and enrolling at Florida State University (FSU) for her bachelor’s degree.
12:38 – How she ended up at the University of Kentucky (UK) to earn her master’s in couples and family therapy.
13:37 – What she learned at UK and how the graduate program encouraged her and her fellow students to undergo therapy themselves as part of their academic experience.
16:07 – Her experience returning to FSU to pursue her Ph.D. and becoming a fully licensed therapist.
The Current State of Black People and Relationships
17:59 – Dr. Baity on financial socialization or the money messages that have been in Black families for generations and how those messages impact relationships.
25:31 – Her thoughts on other common hurdles that African-American couples face in trying to have healthy relationships.
35:36 – Dr. Baity on the hurdles stopping Black men from achieving healthy relationships and how those obstacles change or stay the same as they age.
42:22 – Her observations on Black men who have been victimized in relationships.
Tips for Healthier Relationships and Why Therapy Matters
47:19 – Dr. Baity on what couples can do to stay on track and avoid pitfalls like infidelity.
55:05 – Why we should consider therapy and what it can accomplish for us.
Cortnie S. Baity, Ph.D., LMFT is a practicing, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and owner of Onward and Upward Psychotherapy & Consulting Services, LLC. For more information on the services Dr. Baity offers, visit here.