The Marcus Graham Chronicles: Is The Onus on Me?

The Marcus Graham Chronicles is my personal journey of dealing with love and relationships . It is called the Marcus Graham Chronicles because of my affinity for the movie Boomerang and how the main character of Marcus Graham relates to me as the “black professional” man. You can check out earlier posts in this series here.

In Boomerang there is a scene where Marcus Graham(Eddie Murphy) is talking to his friends Gerard (David Alan Grier) and Tyler(Martin Lawrence) about his philandering and picky nature with women. During the conversation Marcus exclaims “The Onus is Not On Me”. The way that Eddie Murphy used to say that line for years used to crack me up. Marcus was basically saying that the reason all of his romances fail wasn’t his fault and the blame lied somewhere else. It wasn’t till I watched that scene last year where the idea of onus really clicked to me when it came to my personal life. When it came to my romantic escapades was I always putting the onus on the woman?

The blame game is something we all play either consciously or subconsciously. We sometimes want to deflect the onus from ourselves in instances. We will deflect the onus to everyone else when it comes to our career, morality, health, etc. When a relationship fails many times we will only defend our reasoning about why it didn’t work out. The funny thing is most people will nine times out of ten defend the idea that it was the other person’s fault. We really don’t like to think about the things we may have done to cause the relationship to falter. Instead we yell…”The Onus is not on Me”. I admit I have played the onus game with myself. There have been many times where I tried to blame the relationship falling apart because of something wrong with the other person when I contributed to the failed relationship just as much.

In true Marcus Graham Condition I would dismiss a woman because of the most asinine things. It maybe  as comical as Marcus is with feet(I wouldn’t let a woman get too far with me that had jacked up feet).  I have put the onus on women for things such as wearing micro braids after the age of 25, liking Plies, having too many tattoos, and an assortment of other random things. In this post I really don’t want to talk about blaming the woman in those small quirks but a more serious relationship level. I wonder if Alpha men and women are more prone to putting the onus onto the other party in a relationship because we are so used to being right or being the one in power. Even taking it to the point that we refuse to believe that the onus could truly be on is.

I didn’t even really realize my own transgressions until much soul-searching. Keep in mind I have only had 3-5 serious relationships in my life(Depends on your definition of girlfriend is the reason for the range in number). I remember in a past relationship with a girlfriend where I really let the onus idea get out of hand. This ex-girlfriend had a past lingering situation in her life I was totally not comfortable with. But, nonetheless I chose to deal with the situation because I thought I could deal with it. But, over time the situation started to eat at me more and more. The more and more it ate at me the more I began to act like a donkey’s ass. I could have made the situation better by giving the relationship all I had. I decided not to and cop-out to my male ego and carnal weakness. The circumstance the ex had was pretty deep but like I said before I chose to deal with the situation. I found myself blaming her for why I would “entertain” the attention of other women instead of putting all my best into the relationship. After our break-up, I had a bitter feeling towards her about the way the relationship ended; when my choices and actions had just as much and maybe even more reason for the relationship ending.

Through this period of self-reflection and working to mediate my “Marcus Graham Condition” I concluded that the onus is not only on the woman but me as well. Most relationships breakdown from both people having some form of blame in its demise. We control our relationships and interactions daily more than we realize. We can choose happiness or blame others for the lack of our happiness. If want to be in a happy relationship we can choose that happiness and look forward to it. We can stop trying to look to put the onus on other people and things. We can take the onus on ourselves and develop change in our lives.

One day I woke up and decided to write down all the names of my past girlfriends. Then I jotted down what was my beef with each of them. I then compared those beefs against what things I did to them which were fucked up as well. What I found is I may have did more jacked up things to them than I had even realized. Then I got up out my bed and went into the bathroom and looked in the mirror and said, “Darryl, The onus IS ON YOU!”

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19 responses to “The Marcus Graham Chronicles: Is The Onus on Me?

  1. This is very interesting perspective. Definitely see you putting your personal experiences out in the open for your readers

  2. Most people don’t want to admit they failed or made a mistake. It’s easier to place the blame on someone else so you don’t have to deal with the guilt or shame of “f**kin up.” It takes a real man/woman to own up to their wrongdoings & learn from them. Some people never mature enough to get to that point. The “onus” will always be on them & it’s sad that they will never realize it…Great post as ALWAYS

  3. I was watching, “Diary of a Mad Black Man,” the other day and I sat in amasment at how when the people on the streets were asked their opinions, most of them blammed the opposite sex for their short comings. Relationships could be far better successful if we as individuals take self responsibility and then come together with our mate to seek out a solution. I have been in a relationship were he was the cause of our distance and ultimately our break-up, however I wouldn’t be being honest with myself if I said that nothing was my fault. There were things he did to me, no one should have to tolerate while I was faithful, honest, and true, but I also have to accept the fact that there came a point were I would provoke him and push him over the edge. Im not saying that I deserved the way he treated me, but I’m not saying that he deserved the way I talked to him either.

  4. I am glad a man is being so honest about himself. Very refreshing to see coming from a black man nowadays

  5. The first is to admit, lol! Great post though. We often play the blame game in relationships (men & women) when in actuality if we admit or recognize our own faults, we could prevent the downfall in the future relationships or that current one. Keep up admitting things D Fri you won’t be the groomsman much more, ha!

  6. catching up on blog posts…this is something more men AND women need to do! It takes maturity to realize when you are thhe problem. Good Post! as usual

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  9. Holla! I know that is right! Everyone should do that exercise! I think we would all treat each other with a bit more love and respect if we did. Owning up to your actions in the past…that is no joke. You go D!

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  12. You situation with the ex reminded me of the current Friday’s post. I like the self-reflection and growth process that you’re undergoing. It definitely shows maturity.

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  15. Great post. From your experiences and reactions, I could have written this about myself…though not so well as you did, of course. :)

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