Whoopi Goldberg has been married and divorced three times, so she knows a thing or two about what sends marriages to the graveyard. She's putting all of the knowledge she's picked up over the years in a no-holds-barred marital-advice book.
And since this is Whoopi Goldberg we're talking about, she's not sugarcoating anything. The book is titled, If Someone Says "You Complete Me," Run!: Whoopi's Big Book of Relationships, and just like its title, it breaks from the traditional advice that couples and single people are given and exposed to by cheesy romance films and magazine love columns.
The New York Post has a couple of excerpts from the book.
1. Goldberg thinks that you almost have to be maniacal about what you absolutely won't put up with. She's talking about the characteristics and behaviors that you find annoying or even inappropriate. Set that standard, Goldberg advises, and then date and marry accordingly.
There are probably a million things you don't want. Be clear and specific. Don't wait until the honeymoon to figure it out. … That way, you won't let chemistry or attraction or lust or wishful thinking get you into a relationship that you know isn't right for you.
2. There's the idea that sex is, just that, sex. You hear that thinking mostly from men who want to justify why they step out on their wives every now and then to satisfy a quick appetite for something new. Goldberg agrees with that thinking and thinks that dabbling in a little extramarital sex (safe sex, I hope and presume) is good for marriages.
There's nothing wrong with a booty call, because sometimes you just want to hit it and run. Especially if it's Jean-Paul Belmondo. … Sometimes in a relationship, people can't always get what they need, and if you have reputable people you can turn to in order to get what you need, I say go for it. It is a whole lot better than being frustrated and angry at the person you love.
3. People always talk about how they married their best friend, and with that, you get the sense that they mean they feel comfortable divulging all of their deepest, darkest secrets they once vowed to take to the grave. Goldberg wants everyone to shut their mouths and stay mum about a few things—at least until they're a few years into the marriage.
I don't recommend sharing everything at once with people. After some time, say three to four years, when you find that this is the person you're going to stay with or you hope to stay with, then it's a pretty good idea to tell him the thing that you are the most afraid of someone finding out.
4. Like most marriage counselors, she looks at prenups as a guiding document that puts couples on the same page about their finances, what they can expect from each other with regard to money and what they can expect if the marriage fails.
A prenup is an act of love. It allows you to both be clear from the beginning, to discuss things and set things up properly. … Also, from then on, you are staying with this person for the right reasons, not because you are afraid he is going to take all your money if it doesn't work out.
The advice is so refreshing and seems to be based on Goldberg's desire to be completely honest with wide-eyed lovers who don't know a thing about marriage and are being fed the same bulls—t advice over and over again—only for nearly half of them to fail at the endeavor. That's why Goldberg is my #WCW.
Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele is a staff writer at The Root and the founder and executive producer of Lectures to Beats, a Web series that features video interviews with scarily insightful people. Follow Lectures to Beats on Facebook and Twitter.