We Over Me - Critical summary review - Khadeen Ellis

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We Over Me - critical summary review

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Sex & Relationships

This microbook is a summary/original review based on the book: We Over Me: The Counterintuitive Approach to Getting Everything You Want from Your Relationship

Available for: Read online, read in our mobile apps for iPhone/Android and send in PDF/EPUB/MOBI to Amazon Kindle.

ISBN: 0593577604

Publisher: Rodale Books

Critical summary review

Want to know the secret to a healthy relationship? According to a couple Khadeen and Devale Ellis, such a secret does not exist. To be more precise, it exists, but you need to discover it instead of applying the rules other couples created for themselves on their path to happiness. As they say, ‘’The secrets for what will work for you can only be found in you.’’ So, what is, then, their book about? In ‘’We Over Me,’’ they share how they built their relationship to inspire you to find answers in yours and create the love you want. So, get ready to hear and learn from their love story!

Shoot your shot

The guy approaches a girl and asks her out on a date - this is how the story about getting to know each other usually goes, at least in traditional settings. However, this wasn’t the case with Khadeen and Devale - their story was different, mostly because they were ready from their early dating days to create their own relationship rules and not imitate someone else’s. Khadeen was the one who came to Devale at the 2002 Trey Whitfield banquet and wrote her phone number in his book after they chatted for a while. She did not wait for him to notice her and make the first move. She just ‘’shot her shot,’’ as she says, and approached him as he sparked her interest.

 Apart from the realization they should create their own dating and marriage rules and, of course, break and rebuild them if necessary, another crucial lesson Khadeen and Devale want to share is that partners cannot always be ‘’on the same page at the same time.’’ When they first started dating, they both agreed they did not want to be anyone’s boyfriend or girlfriend. Nevertheless, two weeks later, Khadeen told Devale she loved him, and all he said was ‘’Thank you.’’ Luckily, his answer did not reject Khadeen - she understood he did not feel the same way and was able to receive that. ‘’That moment showed me that things can change quickly in a relationship and that Khadeen was ready for more than I was. But I didn’t allow that to chase me off,’’ Devale writes. ‘’Khadeen and I understood early in our relationship that we weren’t always on the same page, but I wanted to be of service to her as a friend, not just as a boyfriend.’’ In other words, you have to think about what your partner needs and not only what you need. Devale says that his willingness to be in service to Khadeen and her willingness to do the same allowed them to grow as a couple.

Love is a verb in hard times

It is easy to love a person and navigate a relationship in good times. However, only after you manage to get through the hard times, will you know the love you and your partner share is strong. And when we say hard times, we don’t mean dealing with missed birthdays or fighting over whether to keep your toilet seat up or down. Hard times include things such as termination of pregnancy, losing a loved one, being downsized from a job, or losing a business. Khadeen and Devale say that in the middle of a crisis, ‘’love has to go from being a noun to a verb,’’ which, for instance, means putting your partner’s comfort before your own or choosing yourself over being in service to your partner. The important thing to have in mind is that during all these, you should not feel like you are going through abuse or unending sacrifice, but challenges that will keep you moving toward your shared goals and purpose.

Khadeen and Devale learned early in their relationship what it means to navigate their love during hard times. In 2004, after they repeatedly had unprotected sex, Khadeen got pregnant. She was devastated because she did not want to drop out of school and put things she wanted to do for herself on hold. While her decision not to keep the baby hurt Devale a little because he felt the life she was carrying was a blessing, he understood how she felt and decided to support her fully. And, although many couples part ways after an abortion because of bad communication, it wasn’t like that for the two of them. They were emphatic with each other and honest about what they wanted and needed, which was a kind of life for their potential children they could not create at the time. As Devale writes, ‘’It truly took a lot of work for us to be able to be that transparent and candid with each other at such a young age as we chose to end our first pregnancy. Every day since then, I’m proud of how we’ve tackled every hardship that has come our way.’’

Learn to communicate effectively

Khadeen’s parents often comment on how great she and Devale are doing and how well they work together. On those occasions, she would tell them that is ‘’largely in part because we communicate, we discuss things, and we’re moving in one accord.” Since they have started dating, Khadeen and Devale tried to talk about what they want or need. As you might assume, it took a lot for them to learn to communicate well - in fact, they say that effective communication has been an ongoing process that they still continue to work on. It took many years for them to make significant progress. At first, whenever Devale tried to point out something to Khadeen, she would withdraw. Five years had to pass until he realized this was her way of responding to criticism - by going quiet and feeling inadequate and unable to reach what he asked from her. Since he grew up in a family that openly talked with him about what he did wrong, Devale thought that ‘’this way of communicating was the only way to build a person.’’ However, Khadeen’s family was different. 

Over time Khadeen and Devale found the communication style that worked best for them and, although you need to find the type that is beneficial in your marriage, the one thing they think you should know is to learn ‘’to listen for understanding as opposed to listening to respond.’’ As Devale points out, ‘’Communication is not one-sided.’’ Second, you should learn to debate and reconcile by dropping your egos and not using each other’s triggers to win arguments. Finally, remember, your partner should be your friend, not your adversary - therefore, your arguments shouldn’t be about winning and being right but about trying to understand each other’s point of view. According to them, understanding - along with forgiving and creating an experience that works for both partners - is what a lasting relationship revolves around.

Friendship at the core of marriage

On their first date, Devale and Khadeen went to the cafeteria at the student center at Hofstra, got their food, and went to Devale’s room and talked as if they had known each other for their whole lives. ‘’It was the most organic, authentic conversation I had ever had in my life at that point,’’ Devale recounts. ‘’All the signs were saying, ‘Y’all are probably going to have sex tonight!’ but sex never crossed our minds. We just talked and talked for hours. After we talked, we sat next to each other on my bed and she lay on my chest. It felt like we had been best friends forever.’’ Khadeen and Devale say that a solid foundation for longevity in their relationship was having a genuine friendship at its heart. They say that none of what they experienced together would be as fun, exciting, challenging, and enjoyable if they hadn’t seen and valued each other as friends. There are times in every relationship when you cannot find genuine care, affection, and support for your spouse or remember why you fell in love with them in the first place. For Khadeen and Devale, returning to their friendship has always helped them ‘’come back to home base.’’ 

Know how people often say that, unlike family, you can choose friends? The good thing about friendships is that they are connections where you decide to be involved. They usually flow naturally because of the common interests, likes, and similarities you share. Friends are people you want to be around and, for this reason, it is good to have a relationship at the core of your marriage - you will always want to be with your friend, even when things such as money or looks disappear. Therefore, take the time to build a friendship with your partner - ‘’it will result in a relationship built on mutual trust and respect,’’ Khadeen emphasizes.

There is a life after the wedding

When Khadeen and Devale got engaged, they had different things in their minds. She wanted to have ‘’the biggest and baddest wedding that anyone had ever seen’’ while he tried to figure out how he would achieve financial security after it. As he writes, ‘’My focus was to put myself in a position financially to not only give my fiancée the wedding that she deserved but to also be able to give her the life we planned after that wedding. I still wanted us to continue to chase our dreams.’’ After he proposed, he had enough money in the bank to pay for the wedding and provide them with the lifestyle they wanted. Nevertheless, everything fell apart in 2008, when Devale did not make it on the football team and lost a substantial amount of money because the market was rapidly plummeting. 

The financial loss Devale faced made him think about surviving. He knew that having a dream wedding would mean losing a down payment for their future home. Khadeen, on the other hand, still prioritized the wedding without minding where they would live after it. And Devale, wanting to make her smile and happy, decided to go with her choice. Years later, they both thought about their decisions differently. Khadeen realized the wedding party was a poor investment and that she should have seen the bigger picture. Devale also regretted his decision. He writes, ‘’If I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t even ask her. I could have put that fifty thousand dollars as a down payment because they were selling brownstones around the corner from us for a quarter mil. Our mortgage would’ve been probably eighteen hundred a month. And we would’ve found a way to make it work.’’

Many people nowadays rush into marriage only to check boxes and spend money on a big, dreamy wedding without thinking about what will come after it. However, if you want to have a long-lasting and happy marriage, you should take your time and figure out what you want in a relationship - and, your wants should not be dictated by the pressures of people around you or pictures on social media. You are the only one who creates your happily ever after, and therefore, its definition should belong only to you and your loved one.

Final Notes

In an age when readers are a bit fed up with guides that offer various advice on how to build a lasting and happy union, ‘’We Over Me'’ gives a fresh perspective as it doesn’t list how-to’s but reveals Khadeen and Devale’s perfectly imperfect love story that can encourage you to redefine and create your relationship values. Recommended not only to couples but anyone who wants to build strong connections with people around them.

12min Tip

‘’Stop going into relationships broken, jaded, tainted, and tattered,’’ Khadeen and Devale advise. ‘’If you aren’t willing to do the work on yourself first, all you are going to do is project that unhealthy behavior on to someone else.’’ 

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Who wrote the book?

YouTube star Khadeen Ellis was born on December 5, 1983. She is the co-host of a lifestyle, family, and marriage podcast and the co-creator of the YouTube sitcom “The Ellises,” a comedy series about her family. This amazing woman is the mother of four gorgeous children; sh... (Read more)

Devale Ellis (born April 2, 1984, in Brooklyn, New York) is an American actor and former American football wide receiver. He was... (Read more)

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