Just in case you haven’t seen or heard about Jay Williams- the 44- year- old father of 34 children- let me bring you up to speed. Jay was recently featured on Iyanla’s “Fix my Life because he fathered 34 children with 17 different women. Jay’s children range in age from 3 to 26. He has good relationships with some of them and no relationships with others.
Jay reached out to Iyanla for help after he realized something was wrong with that picture. Sure, it took him a long time to arrive, but eventually he got there.
Long before there was a Jay Williams, there were slave masters who forced breeding onto their slaves. Male slaves were required to sleep with different women in order to birth more babies who would eventually become slaves.
Though slavery was abolished several years ago, the mentality of breeding – for different reasons- still exists.
Jay has become the poster child representing this dysfunction. And now he’s taking a lot of criticism for his reckless lifestyle. It’s easy to label him as an irresponsible womanizer, but there’s a lot to be learned from his choices.
1. It takes courage to tell yourself the truth.
Jay had to eventually face his painful truth. While sitting face to face with Iyanla, he came to the realization that he created a mess in an effort to establish the family that he never had. He was longing for the love and validation that he never received from his parents. Jay was abandoned as a child so he continued to create different families to make sure his fear of being alone would never come to fruition.
Most of us know that we are hurting, but are afraid to dig deeper to find out why. Even if you do know why you’re hurting, you don’t know exactly how to get over it. It seems easier to go through life repeating the same mistakes rather than figuring out how to move forward.
Sometimes you repeat the same mistake for so long, that you don’t even realize you’re doing it. It becomes a habit until you get sick and tired of being sick and tired.
And that’s when you need to (wo)man up. You need courage to face what’s really going on.
You need truth.
Truth can be painful because it opens old wounds that you thought you had hidden. But emotional wounds don’t just go away. They continue to show up, in every choice that you make, until you intentionally take time to heal.
2. Women have a role to play. We are not mere victims.
At least seventeen different women allowed Jay to use their bodies as containers for his brokenness. Some of them were pregnant at the same time. Some of them admitted to knowing about the others; yet they continued to hold on to the fantasy that he would eventually choose to only be in a family with them and their kids.
There were plenty of opportunities for each baby mama to learn from her mistakes or someone else’s.
Each woman was willing to betray other women because they felt their relationship with Jay was more special than the next.
Each woman felt they could change Jay with the birth of each child. Before they knew what happened, they ended up with 2, 3 or 4 children with the same man who didn’t keep his promises after their first baby.
And now, each woman has to take responsibility for the choices that she made that led to her broken heart.
3. Men want the same things that women want but they have different ways of getting it.
We all came here with a need for love, acceptance and validation. When those needs aren’t properly filled in childhood, we become broken adults who use selfish ways to fill them.
There is that guy who lies to his girlfriend, giving her just enough false hope (broken promises) to stay on his team. He strings her along, knowing she isn’t who he wants, but because she is willing to give him what he needs, she’s a keeper—for now.
Then there is the woman who stabs her girlfriends in the back; manipulates men; and desperately answers the booty call hoping that one day he will change.
The bottom line is you can only give what you have. If you’re broken, you’re gonna give brokenness. And when you’re broken you’re willing to receive more brokenness from someone else.
The five- part series featuring Jay William’s life revealed that he was not alone. There were several men, in the studio audience, who had already arrived or were on their way to making the same mistakes that Jay had made.
Even if Jay had never come forth to expose it, this pandemic would continue to silently haunt the African-American community. At least now light has come to a national problem and we need to learn from it.
I am grateful that Jay started the conversation. Now we can take steps to fix the problem.
What say you? Did you watch the series? If so, did you learn anything from watching it?