Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis had a mean 2step but here are a few notable quotables on their experience with steppin outside their dynamic duo …
Ossie: “It occurred to us, from observation and reasoning, that extramarital sex was not what really destroyed marriages, but rather the lies and deception that invariably accompanied it — that was the culprit. So we decided to give ourselves permission to sleep with other partners if we wished — as long as what we did was honest as well as private, and that neither of us exposed the family to scandal or disease. We had to be discreet and, if the word can be apt, honorable in our behavior, both to ourselves, to whomever else might be involved, and most of all, to the family. And for the most part, we were.” Source: Joint biography, page 317
Ossie: “But looking back, I’d say no matter what did or did not happen, we freed each other. And in doing that, we also freed ourselves… Sex is fine, but love is better. That’s the most important part of being free. In light of what we learned, is extramarital sex something we recommend as a regular part of marriage? Not now…not anymore. Not since AIDS has entered the equation, and genital herpes, syphilis, and other venereal diseases…” Source: Joint biography, page 323-324
Ruby: “But, we both came to realize that we were very fortunate that, in all of the deep profound, fundamental ways, we really, really only wanted each other. It was like a rediscovery of something from the beginning. It’s not something that you’d recommend to everybody. But often Ossie has said – and I’ve though too – the best way to have somebody is to let it go. If it doesn’t come back you are free in another kind of sense – in that you find the strength to let go and wish somebody well. So, we thought an open marriage was appropriate for us but it turned out not to be. But then that’s what we’re all about, we are moving from one position to another in the process of trying to unravel this thing call life.”
Run away for secret weekends. “We’re always talking about going away for a four-day weekend. We do this occasionally. We check into a hotel in down town New York and pretend we’re tourists. And, nobody knows who we are. We have a nice little suite and we indulge ourselves. We go to the theater and eat out, go to all the places we don’t get a chance to go to.” Source:Broadway to Vegas
Ossie Davis says it is the little things that help you stay in love through the years – like “stopping to touch each other on the shoulder.”
Ossie: “One of the things I appreciate more was how important struggle was as the instrument that helped to keep us knit together.” Source: Ossie and Ruby: Is This the Love Affair of the Century? Ebony, 2/99
Ruby and Ossie also state that although there are no pat answers on how to still like and love one another after 50 years, they would put a sense of humor and good communication skills high on a list. Ruby said, “Learn how to have a good argument and make it productive. Also share the household duties.” Source: Ossie and Ruby: Is This the Love Affair of the Century? Ebony, 2/99
Ruby: “How to ride the rough waves in a relation long enough for the waters to get calm? When does it sink in that overcoming difficult times gets easier with practice? How do you drag some of the good feelings, good times vibrations into the stormy places? To love someone long and deep is a “consummation devoutly to be wished”! It is day by day, one step at a time. It may not mean two bathrooms, but just some space, some privacy, some area to be alone. …Unlike the wedding event, that takes place in a day, marriage is a long process that goes on at some level every day for the rest of your life….We have to learn how to live together… I thought I loved you, Ossie, when we got married, but as I see now, I was only in the kindergarten of the proposition. To arrive at love is like working on a double doctorate in the subject of Life.” Source: joint biography, pages 430-431
Ruby: “It takes a long time to really be married. One marries many times at many levels within that marriage. If you have more marriages than you have divorces within the marriage, you’re lucky and you stick it out.” Source: First UU Church of Wausau
Ruby: “A trustworthy marriage has weathered temptation and anger and jealousy, resentment, self-righteousness and a little bit of selfishness. When you get over and get through that, then maybe you can see the light to love.” Source: Ossie and Ruby: Is This the Love Affair of the Century? Ebony, 2/99
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