When "Good" Gets You Nowhere: Da'Naia Jackson and the Myth of Compromise
Updated: Jun 24
Even a week later, Da'Naia Jackson's two-part tell-all interview on the "Dear Future Wifey" podcast is making waves and sparking animated discussions about self-love, marriage, mental health, infidelity, God, and bonnets of salvation.
When the suggestion popped up on my YouTube feed, I was hesitant to watch it. I had already heard the tale of "he who shall not be named" being a Grade-A F*ckboy while doling out advice to myriads of women with the aim of making sure they avoided men just like him. What was she going to tell me that I already didn't know?
As it turns out, she told me a lot.
It wasn't so much the hell her soon-to-be ex-husband put her through for the vast majority of her young adult life. Hers is not the first story of a woman who didn't love herself to leave when love left the building (that is, if it ever walked in) or a woman entering a relationship shortly after a horrific, unaddressed traumatic event with disastrous results that she's still not fully healed from.
What stuck out to me was this: even with keeping it ten toes down, being the dutiful Christian wife, bearing his children, giving up her professional career to bolster his own, and literally holding his hand as his façade fell apart due to his own dishonorable actions that he did willingly and repeatedly without a gun to his head...
He still left her.
She did everything by the book, and then some. She willingly became a part of his ho-tation and compromised all but the last bits of her youth, sanity, and joy just to have his last name, dropped a whole Psalms 109 curse on the Internet against anyone who dared critique his profoundly f*cked up antics... and yet he's the one who sent the text message(!) asking for a divorce.
I don't say this to criticize her. I say this to say that I've been her.
I can't count the many times I've made the mistake of compromising our boundaries and allowing disrespect in exchange for so-called love. If I were to make a list of the moments I shrunk myself to fit into someone else's f*cked up reality, I'd have several notebooks full. I grieve for the desperate and likely depressed young lady that I was who was willing to be less than my greatest self to make someone else comfortable in their mediocrity, only for the relationship to end and me to refill
In Da'Naia Jackson, I see many a woman who, as Iyanla Vanzant would say, "dismissed, diminished, denied" and ultimately destroyed themselves in exchange for what turned out to be absolutely nothing other than the title of "wife" that was made hollow by a husband who didn't give half a damn about them. The pressure to be the "good girl" damn near killed them and left them bitter, jaded, and alone.
If you take nothing else from Da'Naia Jackson's situation, take this: be your whole self, be your best self, and love your whole self, ruthlessly and without apology.
If you settle for less than what you deserve, you will receive less than what you settled for. Lower the bar for no one, ever.
If he says "you're too much" release him/her/them so that he/she/they can go find less.
Draw your line in the sand and swiftly implement a consequence when its crossed, no exceptions.
Accept apologies and forgive freely, but deny access to people who hurt you on purpose and no regard for your well-being.
Resist the temptation to dishonor yourself for a meaningless image or the comfort of others.
Lastly: Relationships are meant to be enjoyed, not endured.