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Nomalanga: Why Women Like Eddie Long’s Wife Stay after Public Humiliation

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I just read a story about Vanessa Long sharing the “storm” she survived after her husband, Eddie Long, the senior pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, was accused of “having relations” with five young men in the ministry.

Vanessa Long, who herself is an elder at New Birth, spoke to a group of women in the Heart to Heart Ministry at New Birth sharing that the whole experience was a very gruesome struggle but her final decision was to stay with her husband and their church.

As I read the story, I was reminded of the Monica Lewinsky scandal that put the then, First Lady Hilary Clinton, in a similar predicament. I remember being very judgmental of Mrs Clinton, at the time, in my arrogant and youthful ignorance. Now, as I approach eight years of marriage, my perspective has shifted. I am able to see that Elder long (and Mrs. Clinton) can seem like foolish women who are taking this “marriage thing” a little too far but I also see that it is not so simple.

First of all, most people who walk into marriages take vows and those vows, usually say that the couple should stand by each other through “thick and thin” and through “sickness and health” and of course that does not just mean that wives or husbands can’t walk away if their spouses get sick; it means that you vow to stay no matter what!

I will admit, I have somewhat of a bias; I was born and raised in a two parent home and in less than two years, my parents will celebrate 40 year of marriage. Through them, I have learned that if you’re committed to your marriage and the well-being of your children and the stability of your community, there really is next to nothing that can convince you to walk away from your marriage. Further more, my perspective is colored by being raised in a different country where the culture places a very high value on marriage, family and community.

The alarming rate at which people choose to end their marriages today is by far not an indicator of the exceptions of “through thick and thin” but instead an indication that the way modern day society perceives marriage is shifting and not in a good way. If you haven’t already, just spend some time talking to a psychologist or sociologist about the crippling effects of broken homes.

Of course there are exceptions; too often, we hear about battered women who stayed in abusive marriages right up until their husbands took their lives. This is an extreme example and those are the instances where divorce is almost certainly the only option.

In her conversation with the women she was speaking to, Elder Long shared that part of the reason why she stayed was because she wanted to stay with her New Birth family and also because she believed that she could use her experience to inspire and minister to other women who are going through their own “storms”.

How I interpret what she is saying is that she did not just stay because she did not want to leave Eddie Long; she stayed because she understands that her marriage serves a greater purpose than just a relationship between two people. Maybe Mrs. Long considered her three children and thought that even though they had probably suffered a great deal of embarrassment from the attention they got in the scandal, they still deserved to be with both their parents in one household. Maybe Mrs. Long thought about having to leave all the meaningful relationships she had been building for years and the standard of living that she was accustomed to and decided that Eddie Long’s alleged actions should not rob her and her children of those things. Maybe, Mrs. Long thought about the day she said “till death do us part” which meant that even though what her husband was being accused of made her vomit, understandably, he was still alive and that meant that she was still his wife.

I don’t believe that any woman can say with certainty what she would do if she were in the same position as Mrs. Long. We will never know what Mrs. Long’s conversations with God were, as she undoubtedly knelt  to pray for the strength and courage to endure the “storm” that her husband had led her into. What I do know is that far more marriages end in divorce than is necessary. I believe that anyone who decides to get married should, as Dr. Phil puts it, “earn their way out” of marriage. What Dr. Phil means is that every possible option to save the marriage should be exhausted before a couple decides  they want to swap out their spouse like a old pair of shoes or yesterday’s underwear.

The people who sustain their marriages understand that marriage is not to be taken lightly and it requires commitment, perseverance, sacrifice, selflessness and an understanding that marriage serves a greater purpose than two people getting together because they “love” each other.

Nomalanga helps Black Women thrive in their lives and careers. She is a Social Commentator, an Editor at Your Black World , Assistant Professor of Professional Studies and the reigning Mrs Botswana. Visit Nomalanga’s blog at successfulblackwoman.com

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59 Comment

  1. Wow, money is the root of all evil. She is staying for the money and we all know it. Just shameful, if he molested on of her kids, she would feel different.

    • Humph – sad lady. Just sad…

    • @Christine Hartzog-Meekins It sickens me when someone has the nerve to say "What we all know" What could be said "that we all know. Had she left she would have taken the money.Been paid well for as long as did not remarry.But I believe Mrs.Long and what she says concerning this why first go out her way to do this talk only to know ion her heart she would be lying I don't think she could do such. Just food for thought

  2. I am sorry Hillary Clinton did not have a homosexual husband. I wonder what her excuse will be when he give her aids.

    • That right; Hillary's husband was and still is, your typical White Male, Perverted Catholic…he molested half the white women in the State in Arkansas…and then he molested Monica, an employee (intern) of his…he could have had Aids also…

      But Hillary stayed for something better than money dear; she stayed for the POWER (Weapons & Money), to become president of the USA, and almost exceeded…this woman should be in jail for several crimes especially murder…

    • Obviously from Tea Bagger University.

  3. Thanks !!! Normalanga that is a wonderful post u put out there !!!!!!!!!!!

    • The only similarity between Eddie and Bill is that they are both devils and cheaters. Eddie is a homosexual, pedophile, freak that should be behind bars and Bill is just a…well freak. Comparing apples and oranges. If she is staying is because she doesn’t have to be bothered with him and I’m sure the money is right…or maybe because the bible to her so…smh!

      • Racist caucasians have created a stock pile of dangerous weapons with the intent of killing you know who! The only response from AA’s to this serious threat is to continue buying more gold teeth, tattoos, hair extensions, alcohol, tobacco products, crack and other BS. Caucasians created a fake god- a white man to whom black ppl pray to each day and night. The book associated with this fake god- the Bible instructs black ppl to “Love thy enemy” and “Slaves obey your Masters”. Black people, your enemy is planning to wage an all-out war against you and your response is to- Love and Pray for them. Black ppl, please realize you must overcome your fear of cacasians which is responsible for your paralysis to this eminent violence. The time has come for black ppl to stop being slave minded drones to this wicked nation and fake religion.

  4. Marriage is not an easy task. It's hard for a man/woman to compute with one dealing with same sex ingagement. This took some serious thought with her self and God and I am sure it was a hard pill to swallow. One never knows what goes on behind cllose doors unless it's being told by parties being involve and sometime you get conflicking stories. Their are three side of a story like that and they are your, their and the truth.

    • What about the boys? It's so sad that most of the comments are about the marriage and whether or not she should stand next to this man who is pedophile! The children we must protect and he started grooming these young men as children. He's the authority figure and the onus is on him for proper conduct. This pastor has yet to say that he didn't engage in this behavior. This is so sad!

    • That's because personally, it's easy to say, legally, it's not. He may very well be innocent, but because of the litigious society we live in, he very well could open himself up to more lawsuits from people, some who are just looking for a pay day.

  5. Amazing how everyone jumps the gun about this Lady & the other comment about AIDS. What if your boyfriend or husband gave you AIDS from his GF? Would it be different for you who he got it from? Ppl are so.judgemental but your shit not tight at your house of your using a vibrator & sitting home alone every night. If that's her decision then that's it! Half of the so called "I'd leave" women can say that b/c their ass is broke! Handle your own life before throwing stones at others.

    • wow lol!

  6. What she is doing by staying with a pedophile is showing her chdren that it is OK to abuse and to be abused. There is something wrong with her.

  7. It had to be the spirit of God that engulfed her through her valley experience. Let's not get it twisted in this jorney call LIFE, we never know what our fate will become. I'm a married male coming up on 25 years this Sept. 18, 2012, when I took my vows I took then knowing that a VOW is one of the most solemn promises I could ever proclai. To this day I do not belieive in divorce. I think it would be best to seperate from each other, the wedding vows I took clearly stated in Sickness and in Health and until DEATH do us part. I summary, I applaud Eddie Long's wife for understanting the seriouness of what "Vow" is. In the end when she stand before her master, that test of life will not be a hindrance for her not passing the ultimate test. The main thing Mrs. Long (Elder Long) must understand is; that she had to put her FAITH in Jesus and Jesus alone, regardless of what members of the church think, members of her family think, members of her social clubs think, even her children think. It all comes back full circle….. having the FAITH in Jesus and Jesus to substain her through her valley expericence. Even now the rest of he jorney will not be an easy fete.

    Readers remember, this was her test, ours will come sooner or late. How will you stand? Will you allow that old lion "satan" to devour you or will you anchor down in "YOUR" faith?

    Ed- South Carolina.

    • I truly understand…but some of us do not believe in one of King James's law; "One Man, One Woman" and "vice versa"…

      My belief is "One Man, Many Women"…thus the reason why there are more WOMEN on this planet than male's…

      I will never practice or believe in the White Man's religion…

      I do not want or need anything he has or want…

      I do realize there are millions who accept this crap and then try to live by it…

    • Eddie Long is a pedophile and he needs treatment and to stay away from young boys. Denial and quoting scripture about "valley experiences" isn't going to do it. When is enough …enough. I don't hear any of you showing any compassion for those young boys he's molested. What is wrong with you people!!!

    • Carolyn, I agree the boys were victims of E. Long sickening insatiable overcharged sexual appetite. As she professed to be a Christian woman, I just don't understand how she is able to overlook the atrocity committed by the man she is standing by. She has not addressed this issue at all. As a Christian, how is she able to look away as if her husband hadn't done anything of this magnitude? Basically, her message is she's an ambassador for other women who have had trials in their marriage. I’m assuming that to her child molestation by her spouse warrants her to stand by his side. Child molestation is a serious matter and should be dealt with and not covered up with blinders. When he gets caught again, what will be her reason for staying at that juncture?

    • Carolyn Moon Well..did they settle for money or did they decide to take him to court and perscute them? What is wrong with their parents? These boys, although they were kids…at the age of 16 you know exactly what you are doing. If Mr. Long did this..of course, this was wrong. BUT..this is about his wife. The boys settle for the money..along with their parents. Mrs. Long decided to stay with her husband…maybe it's her faith..so what's the problem? Have the boys or the parents said anything else? O please….leave that woman and her husband alone. If it was that serious the parents would have pressed charges instead of pimping their kids out.

    • Remember the victims.

    • Eddie Nelson: What are you hiding? After all, your name is Eddie and you sound like a preacher and I know you like money chasing the dollar like everybody else and dressing it up with Jesus, shame on You!

    • Um… Christianity is not the "white man's" religion. Scholarly investigation shows that the Bible we receive in english was not altered to fit the bent of "white men"

      Around the world, male to female ration is still about 50-50.

  8. I don’t condone divorce unless adultery has been committed according to what the bible says so if she feels she can forgive her husband than that should be her decision and apparently this was her decision.My question is what were her movtives clearly this so call man of the cloth was having sexual intercourse with young men otherwise no complaint would not have been brought against him which is grounds for a divorce was it for money reasons or staying for the sake of the children.Personally I couldn’t see myself staying with a man who have sexual abused children over and over again for money for the children or any other reason if he is a pedophile her staying with him will stop him from doing this too other children.

  9. How much was she paid? She is a poor example to her daughters and to mothers and ALL women in the church. He should have resigned and she should have divorced.

    • Eddie Long is a fraud and in staying with him his wife is in colusion with him.She wants to maintain her life style. She has known that he wasn’t right for years. As a man I have come to realize that you cannot fool a woman for long. She knew that he did not want her for years. The dude was flying all over the world with boys. Eddie used her as a cover.

      Crap like this makes it hard for people to take christians seriously.

      The church seems to have no standards.

  10. You see Bernice King got the hell up outta there! Still don’t understand why he’s not in jail..wasn’t he molesting boys? This is a hot ghetto stank mess!

  11. Wonderful article! I appreciate and applaud Ms. Long for taking the stand that she has. I also understand that one’s vows made to and before a “Living God” should always outweigh man.

    • That was a well written article and I respect Ms. Long’s decision to stay with her husband. I am not understanding how a vow, made by two people has to bind one and not the other.
      Did Bishop Long not break his vows, as well as a number of the laws of god.

  12. Whatever, I'm all 4 forgiveness and working things out and for better of for worse, however there are just certain lines that you DO NOT cross. Like grown ASS MEN sleeping with BOYS, or Supposedly MEN OF GOD sleeping with little boys. I would NEVER stay with a BI-SEXUAL MAN, especially my own damn husband. He crossed soooo many lines it's pathetic. The same man who preached against gays and led a public march is the same man that it perpetrating this crime. Just because he got caught DOESN'T mean that he is going to stop sleeping with boys. Nor does it mean that his desire to sleep with boys is gone. For all we know he could have been sleeping with his own boys. Hell she was probably even aware of the situation her ownself. If he was sleeping with boys I'm pretty sure he probably wasn't sleeping with her. If I had any boys, u best believe the last place that I would allow them is around that predator. You forgive all you want he is still a predator and once a predator ALWAYS a predator. Those desires just don't vanish. She is a weak woman in my opinion. But who am I to judge? God will be the judge of this.

    • We don't really know that he did it, and unless he releases all the evidence for people to make up their own minds, we never will. Honestly, we can't even begin to make a fair assessment of the case because the plaintiff's lawyers released information about the allegation to the public before jury selection, thereby tainting the jury pool (unless you like all-white juries from idaho).

      What's more about that is there's only two vows christian men and women make before God: the first is the profession of faith, which is permanent, and the second is the marriage vow, which is also permanent. Yeah, if one has a hard heart, one could find an out through infidelity. But hard heartedness is only associated with those who don't believe. God's word through Paul is to stay, sacrifice and work it out. Interestingly enough the marriage relationship is supposed to mirror the relationsip Christ has with all humans who believe on him. In that realationship is unconditional love (consider that Christ pursued mankind as His bride while we were still wicked), faithfulness (in spite of obvious infidelity), and sacrifice (where He gave His life which was way more valuable for ours, which is not worthy in the slightest sense). That's what the christian marriage relationship is supposed to emulate. We as Christians aren't in it until we've found our "out". That does not honor God, nor does that give us the chance to win our spiritual brother or sister back with our Christian conduct, sacrifice, forgiveness, and unconditional love. No, as Christians, we go to God, and we work it out.

    • How much were you paid to say this…or are you just plain naiive?

  13. I am ashame of some these ignorant comments,like only leave him for adultery,marriage for better or worse,and it had to be the spirit of god that engulf her and i don’t beleive in divorce. these are good examples of ignorant christian belief. First of all this predator BISHOP should be in prison. what decent women knowingly sleep with a nasty pedephile? You people need to pray for god help. Hard to beleive a educated author can support a women who will stay in this filth.

  14. Mrs. Long is not going to stop being a First Lady of a church. She is not going to divorce Bishop BoyMolestor, those at the church provide for the Long family in grand style.

    I ain’t saying she a gold-digger, but he is not a broke, you know the rest.

  15. She’s typical- ( white or African American woman ) needs to be financially secure; her and the children. He need to be Tared and Feathered in the name of Jesus, and don’t give me that God forgives line– Eddie suppose to be a child of God-as they are taught-therefore – God should punish him with the law of the land that states that children ought not be ABUSED in any FORM.
    Last but not least-in the celebrating of Jesuus Christ may we celebrate the Lord Jesus and not the Businesses that are PIMPING his day of Acknowledgment- may we as ONE—

    Boycott Christmas 2012

  16. This is why Black women should stay out of the church. We are fed this garbage and talk all kinds of abuse and disrespect and then fall back on God, Jesus and “no man is perfect”. We have been brainwashed. I don’t know any man who would tolerate serial adultery, sexual relationships with children and then stay by the women and invoke the Bible and the name of God. So many Black women are pathetic and so abused that they can’t imagine having a man who is decent, respectful and supportive.

  17. When you have kids and you are cheated on, there is a lot to consider, not only your lifestye, I guess she put the kids first, but, they will grow up. Who knows if leadership spoke and convinced her not to leave yet and there is a finincial incentive for her down the road, you never know.

  18. She and Dottie Sandusky are cut from the same cloth!

  19. It's clearly her decision to stay. However, it is a shame that Mrs. Long seems ambiguous about her husband's sexual encounters with those young men. She eloquently expressed her decision to stay, but surely she's knows that her husband sexual attraction to young boys will not go away. E. Long is in denial about his sexual orientation. Long even protested against homosexuality. Hypocrisy! He preys on vulnerable YOUNG MALES.

    • No way to prove that without seeing all the evidence.. looking at the known facts of the case, there's not enough evidence to say that he had a predilection for that orientation. There's simply not enough evidence to judge him like that. OJ Simpson was aquitted, but found civilly liable. Michael Jackson had to settle out of court. Are all these really guilty? Reality is that the standards for culpability and justice are LOWER in a civil court, not HIGHER. So when the young men's lawyers started releasing their evidence before the trial, tainting the public's opinion, the case became unwinnable in their eyes.

      But all that was to say that there's not enough evidence to say that about Bishop Long, no matter how you feel about him personally.

  20. We are quick to divorce for anything else other then what written. Here's one for the books “But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.” This was spoken by her own Lord, and Savior Jesus Christ: She said she prayed, we as Christian often hear God say what we want to hear him say, but what does God really say. I can only image that the scriptures were not enough for her to make her decision based upon. And now she wants to help other women who maybe in the same situation OK, then where do you lead them to get there advise as far as scripture is concerned, I thought the word of God (the bible) for the believer was suppose to be the only measuring rod for those who believe, isn't it suppose to be our standard as far as God is concerned right? At least for the Elders of the Church. Human? We use that excuse and say she is: God? What does his word say? Or Church? Make up their own rules. Of course I believe in divorce. Jesus taught divorce himself under certain situation. And this is clearly clearly clearly a God given one. But of course at the end of the day it's her own choose.

    • that scripture does not say that you "HAVE" to leave….so no one changed the scripture. The woman decided to stay and keep her family together, and mayb she want to talk to women who have gone through some things with their husbands, and if they have decided to stay…mybe she wanted to offer them advice on how to work through those issues. I am sure that all of you have a husband and have never gone through anything concerning your marriage. smh how you know your husbands are not running around on you? Cheating is cheating. That is between her, GOD, her husband.

  21. She probably stayed in because of the comforts and the conveniences. People hate to uproot their lives. Especially, when they get older. She probably figures I will not have sex with him. Or at least try this for as long as she can. That is the biggest problem in this. He was messing around with a situation that could give her AIDS. She probably knows the next situation will not be any better.

  22. I'd sorry but these women are fools. I am not willing to let some man constantly make a fool out of me..

  23. She doesn’t want to give up her prestige and oppulent lifestyle and she loves her husband, despite his shortcomings.

  24. This is sad. Maybe she is in denial about who her husband is. Hasn't she given any thought to the risk that she is putting herself in by staying with him?

  25. […] The people who sustain their marriages understand that marriage is not to be taken lightly and it requires commitment, perseverance, sacrifice, selflessness and an understanding that marriage serves a greater purpose than two people getting together because they “love” each other. Tweet Nomalanga helps Black Women thrive in their lives and careers. She is a Social Commentator, an Editor at Your Black World , Assistant Professor of Professional Studies and the reigning Mrs Botswana. Visit Nomalanga’s blog at successfulblackwoman.com ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED AT BLACK LIKE MOI […]

  26. wow.. Money or trying to save face… I don't know… but as Much as I Love my husband…there is NO Way.. I could stay with a dude like him. The visions of him being with a boy! YUCK!

  27. hard to switch lifestyles and comforts for errors in a marriage..you leave or your suck it in and move with contingets with your partner and hope in time it will be forgiven..but will never be forgotten..some stay and some go away with a parachutes..and get a new life..its all in the mirror..

  28. It amazed me that Bishop Eddie Long did not go to prison for his crime. Sandusky who did this crime to a group of alleged “white” poor and proverty stricken children got years in prison. Was it because those young people the Bishop took to bed were Black teens who lives did not matter, or did his money talk for him? If Mrs. Long wishes to remain with him, peace be unto her, she has to live that nightmare everyday. The church should have sued Bishop Long, he took peoples tithes and paid his way out of a conviction and people are suppose to continue to “sit” under his leadership, I think not!

  29. Mrs. Long has a right to stay in her marriage if she chooses to and she owes us no explanation. That is between her, her husband and God. However, I see her appeal as one of courage and strength as she heals and deals with the situation, a cross she, too, has to bear. As far as the allegations against her husband, though interrelated, they are separate and apart from her commitment to her marriage.

  30. Hell, I would stay wit the money too. She can get paid for her story, like why she stayed, the shit will sale.

  31. Lady you can't compare your situation wit Hilary Clinton's. Her husband got a blow job; your's gave blow jobs; one was anatomically correct and the other was not. Bill was just unfaithful, he had an affair with a grown woman: Eddie on the other hand was molesting young boys, sick shit. What Bill did was normal, Eddie was pathologically sick.

  32. Preaching the word of GOD every week, Praising the Lord, he is suppose to be a role model, mean while molesting boys, oh come on this is outrageous, I WOULD HAVE NEVER STAYED, GOD is merciful, but the thought of him with those boys. Could not tolerate that.

  33. MY SISTER,NO ONE HAVE THE RIGHT TO JUDGE YOUR DECISION TO STAND BY YOUR HUSBAND. I AM SURE YOU TOOK IT ALL TO GOD IN PRAYER.WE SAY WHAT WE WON'T DO AND WHAT WE WILL DO UNTIL WE ARE PUT IN A SITUATION WE DON'T KNOW WHAT WE WOULD DO.MUCH LOVE TO THE BOTH OF YOU, AND MAY GOD SHINE HIS EVERLASTING BLESSINGS ON YOU !!!!!! Dallas TX

  34. This is between herself,her husband and God.

  35. This article is so bogus and dishonest. The author, like Vanessa Long, needs to admit that they stay, not because they're on some spiritual high horse and are determined to keep their vows, but because they don't want to have to give up their lifestyles. Vanessa Long suffers from the "Carmella Soprano Syndrome". Like Carmella Soprano, Vanessa Long knows that her husband is a piece of shit and that what he does hurts other people and when her natural, common sense instinct to leave his sorry ass kicks in, she relents because she can't see herself walking away from her lavish home, luxury cars, social status and all of the attention that she's showered with. Carmella Soprano knew that her husband Tony was a criminal and a murderer who cheated on her regularly with Russian hoes but, because of her greed, stayed miserable in a situation where she wasn't happy. What women seem to forget is that, when you take those marriage vows, you do it with the understanding that both parties are going to play their position; not that one party is going to come out of the block fucking up. You don't take marriage vows knowing that "My man's a whoremonger and a philanderer who creeps with any piece of random ass he can get his hands on." or "My man's a crook and a murderer." or "My man has displayed closeted homosexual behavior and has innappropriate interactions with young boys." Sorry but that's bullshit. I think that both Vanessa Long and Hillary Clinton are full of shit. If you choose to stay, be honest and say "I don't want to walk away from my lifestyle and my social status and I don't want another bitch laying up in my house and driving my cars." You get half in the divorce anyways, so why worry? Additionally women, stop worrying about emabarrassment because a divorce says that you can't keep a man. Let's keep it funky; when was the last time Hillary Clinton or Vanessa Long gave their husbands some ass? Don't worry, I'll wait.

  36. I believe that God is truly exposing false leaders because He wants true Christians to lead His people. God always humiliates those who think that they are bigger than Him. To God be the glory.

  37. Too many people spend too much time analyzing and defining other people and their decisions. Why! Life offers so much more. Too those who do this, I say grab at broom and sweep around your own door. If you save not had a problem in your life, Just keep on living. As Christians we all know that we should not stand in judgment of one another. God has a lock on that. Life is short spend it wisely. When death is facing you, will you

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