Cross-Cultural Investigative Journalist Gabrielle Alexandra Smith discusses mental health and Intimacy between married couples and also individuals in relationships. We also discuss her talks with entertainment professionals about relationships and marriages.
DMVDaily: In our previous interview with you, we did a recap of an interview with Derek Morgan, who played in Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral. In this recap interview, you were giving him marriage advice to a 50 and up male. He was listening to you and saying you were correct and taking notes.
Gabrielle: Yes. This is correct. I actually have given a lot of marriage advice to older married couples who are between the ages of 40 and up. They listen and apply it to their marriage. This did not start in entertainment. I remember a high school teacher at Duke Ellington School revealed to me that she was unhappy in her marriage. I was a senior and it was just her and I. I never told anyone because I believe in respect and trust. I am a very trustworthy person. She asked me for advice.
Gabrielle: I am not sure. I am told I have a knowledgeable and highly intelligent look about me. I am told this at least five times a day. Maybe this teacher saw this when looking at me.
DMVDaily: You do. What did you tell her?
Gabrielle: I told her to do what she has to do to be happy. She agreed. However, this person told me that she was staying with her husband until the kids got older. I disagreed and told her to leave her husband at this time. I assessed her behavior and indirectly found out she was probably having an affair. Every human being deserves true happiness. I gave a lot of marriage and relationship advice to teachers at Ellington. They listened.
DMVDaily: Have you ever been married?
Gabrielle: Officially married, no. However, my last serious relationship was an unofficial marriage. I believe I shared this before in one of our interviews. He was so controlling and metaphorically suffocating. He played so many mind games and games period. He had a heavy anger problem. However, he pretended to the outside world that he was a nice guy.
I do not pretend how I am. He did. We were unequally yoked spiritually, emotionally, and very much so intellectually. He was unaware of any history or philosophers. He did not know or ever heard of Aristotle.
DMVDaily: I would admit I do know a little about philosophy. However, I do know Aristotle and also Socrates. I do understand there are just some things an average human being should be educated about.
Gabrielle: He had nothing in his brain. This is why I never told him anywhere. I did not want him to embarrass me. I told him this. He was a chef. I asked him, “Who was one of the first chefs? He said, “I do not know.” This is an uneducated response to any question. One of Malcolm X’s daughters changed my view on life. He and I started talking extremely little.
DMVDaily: How little? Days? Weeks?
Gabrielle: Months would go by and he was crying on the phone saying, “You do not call me anymore or talk to me.”
DMVDaily: Hmm. You mentioned he had heavy anger. Do you believe he struggled with mental health?
Gabrielle: Yes. And Yes he did. We argued like a married couple. It definitely was an unofficial marriage. Relationships take a lot out of an individual. You are literally sharing your space, your life with another human being. This is why young folks do not understand. They are quick to find love. Well, I fall for the soul of a person, not their physical appearance.
DMVDaily: You sure? (Laughs). You are a naturally attractive person. I would just think you would want someone else who is equally naturally attractive.
Gabrielle: The person must have both, to be honest. I first fall for intellectual stimulation, the soul, then lastly the appearance.
DMVDaily: You do know this is backward.
Gabrielle: Sure (Laughs).
DMVDaily: How has this worked for you?
Gabrielle: It does not work for ages 40 and down. However, it does work for ages 40 and up. These are people who have lived already.
DMVDaily: Before we discuss how you know so much about marriage, first answer this question: Why do you believe you can offer an individual who is 40 and up in age?
Gabrielle: I can offer fresh ideas. I have a new way of thinking. Intellectual stimulation and an understanding of their mind and flaws in their life. I do not judge. I have heard it all. I would offer extreme loyalty, trustworthiness, and respect.
We would not discuss pop culture. We would not discuss commercialization. We would discuss political-sociology assimilation on an international spectrum. We would talk about people like my favorite French philosopher, Louis Althusser. We would definitely discuss history, the ideology of mathematicians, classic music, and more. Since I am a mental health advocate, we would discuss Hippocrates who is the Father of Medicine.
DMVDaily: What is his relationship to mental health?
Gabrielle: He was a pioneer for mental health during the 5th century BC.
Gabrielle: I want to be with someone who can tell me how the MLK riots were in real-time. Not someone who read about it in a book. Someone who can tell me in real-time how it was with Shirley Chisholm, etc.
DMVDaily: I am not aware of any person your age that even knows these things.
Gabrielle: I have 3+ long conversations with people who are actually ages 45 and up. It is very intellectual. The responses are the same on both ends. Meaning it is not them trying to “mentor” me. It’s them talking to me similar to their age. I mentally understand them. I am not attracted to everyone who is 40 and up.
DMVDaily: I understand. Keep going.
Gabrielle: Mental Health is definitely in marriages. To help eliminate mental health as a negative impact, couples should be honest with their partner. See, a lot of individuals disclose their mental health struggles after they are married or it becomes obvious after the fact. This is not healthy. A lot of people are afraid. If you are unequally yoked then there should not be any secrets. This is what I express to older couples. I always have a pen and pad out.
DMVDaily: You are right. You make sense. Some of what you are saying can go over a lot of people’s heads, especially people ages 30 and under. You also give advice to couples on intimacy.
Gabrielle: Yes. Intimacy is also communication. I have helped many marriages develop a better intimate connection with each other.
DMVDaily: How do you know it got better?
Gabrielle: I noticed that their communication levels got better. I believe nonverbal communication and verbal communication should never outweigh each other. There needs to be heavy communication when it comes to intimacy. A lot of married couples lack this.
DMVDaily: Exactly. Have you ever dated someone who was 40 and up?
Gabrielle: Yes, I have dated ages 40 and up. We went on real dates. They were established for more than me. Our intellectual minds matched.
DMVDaily: Interesting. When I am with an older individual, we do not talk about age, money, or their status