Courage & The Collision Course

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When it comes to marriage, both love and forgiveness are required in order to whole-heartedly pursue forever with another imperfect person. In the first phase of love (when it hasn’t been scarred and marred with trouble, trials and tests), it’s much easier to be vulnerable, much easier to love and much easier to forgive. Because, let’s face it. In this phase. Love is perfect. Our lover is perfect. Everything about the relationship is perfect. At first.

But anything that is sure to be confirmed as “tried and true” has to go through a series of tests in order to measure its strength, durability, reliability and authenticity.

This is why I liken marriage to the crash tests that are carried out by car companies. Businesses within this industry purposely ram their cars into concrete walls to assess two things: the amount of destruction a car can withstand and the driver’s response.

Now, this is not to say that you deliberately try to cause destruction in your marriage to test it, but it is to say that certain situations will arise to show you what your marriage is really made of. But first, let me be clear. I am never talking about a domestic violence marriage–one where you are abused physically, mentally or emotionally.

But, any couple that has been married for any real length of time will tell you that there  are moments when it feels as though your marriage is headed towards a concrete wall going 80 miles an hour. There are times when the impact of a collision metaphorically leaves you shook, with blurred vision and ringing ears. There are times when you fear that your marriage was not built for “this” (whatever your “this” is). Your “this” could be financial situations, fidelity situations, family situations…but every married couple has or had a “this”. Sometimes, people are right. Sometimes, they are wrong, but one thing is for sure, professional counseling  will help you figure out the impact the collision is having or has had on you. Don’t try to figure it out alone.

What I can say about my course is that along the way, I had to be courageous in loving and forgiving. I use courageous because it takes risk and guts to overcome the fear of being hurt, mismanaged, betrayed or taken for granted. It takes courage to love someone completely, and it takes even more courage to forgive them when their imperfections and poor decisions rear their ugly heads.

There have been times when I had to deliberately choose to let a thing go. Forever. To walk away from it. To put down any hurt and anger, and pick up love and forgiveness. Intentionally. To have the courage to escape the thing that hurt me in the collision and to choose not to let it hold my future with the person I love hostage.

Truth is: no one wants to experience a collision, but car companies will tell you that you can learn a lot from it.

DISCLAIMER AND LIMIT OF LIABILITY: 
ALTHOUGH ANYONE MAY FIND THE TEACHINGS, PRACTICES, DISCIPLINES, TECHNIQUES, EXAMPLES, AND ANECDOTES OF THIS BLOG TO BE USEFUL, THE BLOG IS READ WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT THE AUTHOR NOR HEREAMII, LLC ARE ENGAGED IN PRESENTING ANY SPECIFIC FINANCIAL, TAX, CAREER, LEGAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL, EMOTIONAL, OR HEALTH ADVICE. NOR IS ANYTHING IN THIS BLOG AN ANALYSIS, RECOMMENDATION, SOLUTION, DIAGNOSIS, PROGNOSIS, OR CURE FOR ANY SPECIFIC CAREER, MARRIAGE, FINANCIAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL, EMOTIONAL, OR HEALTH CIRCUMSTANCE OR PROBLEM. EVERY PERSON HAS UNIQUE NEEDS AND CIRCUMSTANCES AND THIS BLOG DOES NOT TAKE THOSE INDIVIDUAL NEEDS AND CIRCUMSTANCES INTO ACCOUNT. ANY PERSON EXPERIENCING FINANCIAL OR CAREER CONCERNS, OR ANY ANXIETY, DEPRESSION, STRESS, HEALTH, OR RELATIONSHIP ISSUES, SHOULD CONSULT WITH A FINANCIAL OR TAX ADVISOR, CAREER COUNSELOR, MEDICAL DOCTOR, LICENSED PSYCHOLOGIST, LICENSED THERAPIST, OR OTHER APPROPRIATE QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL BEFORE COMMENCING ANY NEW FINANCIAL PLAN OR TRANSACTION, CAREER STRATEGY, CHANGE IN PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS, EXERCISE PROGRAM, OR FOLLOWING ANY OF THE TEACHINGS, METHODS, AND SUGGESTIONS DESCRIBED IN THIS BLOG. THIS BLOG IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE READER ENLISTING QUALIFIED PROFESSIONALS TO ASSIST WITH THE READER’S SPECIFIC CIRCUMSTANCES, ISSUES AND PROBLEMS.

 

 

I’ll Still Love You

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Being in love and staying in love in the 21st cetury can get complicated. Back in the day, the most you had to worry about was some girl up the street or the man next door vying for your spouse’s attention. The simplicity in that life called for going to work, coming home and watching tv until it went off. Yes, until it went off. TV in those days constantly reminded us of family values. Shows like “I love Lucy,” “Leave it to Beaver,” and “The Cosby Show” portrayed whole and healthy families with men taking the lead role, working and truly loving their wives and children.

Today’s world is different. With social media at the tips of our fingers and with television and movies that promote all kinds of loose and trifing living, our culture has created a dynamic that can cause couples to lose sight of the meaning of love.

Now, I am a big fan of music. Good music. Music that has both message and meaning. And, while a pun was not intended here, Musiq Soulchild has one of my favorite songs of all times, “Don’t Change.” The lyrics embody what anyone married or getting married should be willing to vow to. This song takes love and puts it in realistic form.

Your spouse may not always look the same. Time will make sure of that. But, at your core, you should be able to committ to these lyrics or it is proof that you are not mature enough to love.

“Cause I’m not impressed, more or less
By them girls in the T.V. and magazines”

If you are married or considering getting married, you can not get caught up in what you see in media. Those photos go through several edits, airbrushes and filters before they get to you. Expecting your spouse to live up to a photoshop is both unrealistic and unfair.

“Cause honestly I believe that your beauty
Is way more than skin deep”

Physical attraction is important, but it must eventually move beyond the physical. A spouse has to see something deeper in their mate that pulls them more than their exterior. There needs to be something that anchors their love, because if it is rooted in the shallow parts of a person and not in the depths of who they are, love will surely drift away.

“Cause everything about you makes me feel
I have the greatest gift in the world”

If something is precious to you, you hold on to it. You treat it as if it is the most valuble thing anyone can own. Until you see your spouse as a gift that is to be treasured, you will always feel as if the world owes you more, and if you feel the world owes you more, you will always be searching for something elusive.

“And even when you get on my last nerve
I couldn’t see myself being with another girl”

There is nothing like years together, kids, bills and life that will make you get on each other’s nerves more, but until you remove the option of leaving, your love will stay on an unsure foundation. Love in the storybooks will have you believing that your Prince or Princess Charming will never resemble a toad, and that is far from the truth. Some days you might not like each other. Some days you may can not stand to look at them, but there must be something in you that says, “I’m committed to you and only you. Forever. We’ll get through this and find our way right back to love.”

“See I’ll love you when your hair turns gray, girl; I’ll still want you if you gain a little weight, yeah
The way I feel for you will always be the same
Just as long as your love don’t change, No”

As sure as time ticks and as the world turns, what your spouse looked like when you said, “I do” is not going to be what they look like 10, 20, or 30 years later. Some people may have changes that are more drastic than others, but gray and thinning hair sneaks up on us all, subtle winkles appear and age can add some pretty subborn pounds. But, mature love has something inside of if that says, “You know what? I’ll still love you.”

Mature love says forever is forever is forever, and I will always see more in you than you will ever see in yourself standing in front of that mirror.

 

Little Things Become Big Things

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Noone wakes up and just decides that they don’t want to be with their spouse anymore. I mean really, who would do that?

Although I understand that such a scenario is not out of the realm of possiblity, a lot of marriages fail not because one spouse just wants to hurt the other one, but because they both allow the little things to become big things.

It is much like this….

I remember buying my first car the summer before I left home to go to college. I loved that car too, drove it everywhere. And just like most teenagers, I was always looking for a reason (any reason) to take a road trip.

Well, one day, I remember stopping by my parent’s house and having just a general conversation about life, college and all that other stuff, when my father looked at me and asked out of nowhere, “When was the last time you changed the oil in that car?”

“Oil? What oil? What’s oil?”

“Girl! You have to change the oil every three months!”

“Well, I didn’t know. I just get in the car and drive.”

“You mean to tell me that you have been driving that car for a full year and a half without changing the oil? You are going to blow your engine up. I bet you that oil is black as ‘ion know what!”

So what’s the point? What does my teenage ignorange then have to do with this marriage lesson now?

I’m glad you asked!

Most people handle their marriages like I handled my car maintence. They go years unattending to the small things until they become big things, but once the damage is done, you can best believe that the cost to repair the big things will be a lot more than the cost to maintain it by consistently doing the little things.

If we want to win at marriage, if we want forever to mean forever, we must pay attention and attend to the little things like:

1.) Am I spending quality time with my spouse?

2.) Am I affirming and supporting the things that are important to them?

3.) Am I transparent and open about where I am and what I am doing?

4.) Am I talking and listening to them with respect?

5.) Am I continuously working on not being selfish and giving them what they need from me?

6.) Am I being a good steward over our money and time?

7.) Am I prioritizing my family?

8.) Am I present?

9.) Do I still kiss them passionately when I see them, and do I send them a text when I think of them during the day?

10.) Do I put them first and check (with kindness) anybody who is seeking to dishonor him or her in or out of their presence?

11.) Do I give them the courtesy of conversation before making big decisions or purchases?

12.) Do I tell them I love them daily and do I compliment them often?

13.) Do I make love to them like I mean it?

14.) Do I make home a pleasant place to be?

15.) Do I name and work on all of my faults, before even attempting to “fix” my spouse?

16.) Do I wake up and choose them daily?

Here’s the thing.  The goal of getting married is to stay married. So, there are millions of little things (not even mentioned in the list above) that we must do daily if we want to personify Keith Sweat’s “make it last forever.”

Happily every afters don’t come through just wishing; they come from working– consistently working–on the small things before they become the big things that can destroy your good thing!

 

 

Listen to What Your Spouse Isn’t Saying….

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Have you ever been in a heated discussion with your spouse about the way something was handled or the way it wasn’t handled?

Have you ever found yourself in the midst of a problem that you didn’t know was a problem and by not recognizing it as a problem you ended up with an even bigger problem?

We all like to dream up marriages where it’s all kissy-face and fairy dust, but the truth is, sometimes you can find yourself in situations where comments are hurled without thought—being pull from the pits of frustration.  Such emotionally-charged comments can fuel anger, resentment and distrust in the relationship causing either the husband or wife to shut down—maybe even both.

Let me first preface this by saying that communication should be clear and exact with your spouse. One spouse shouldn’t have to guess how the other spouse is feeling, nor should communication be this verbal Rubik’s cube that you have to try to figure out.

Yet, sometimes, emotions get even the best of us and before we know it, our communication is emotionally-charged.

But, wait. I am not talking about yelling and screaming. Besides, if that is how you and your mate are working things out (or not), I would strongly suggest getting counseling. No one wants to live forever in a house full of rage.

For the purpose of today, I am talking about statements that are emotionally-charged not emotionally-amplified. There is a difference. No yelling. No screaming. Just subtle statements that leave clues that something is going awry.

With this in mind, there may be times in your marriage where you need to listen to your spouse’s emotions instead of what’s said literally. By recognizing and acknowledging the emotion first,  you can deescalate an argument before it even has the opportunity to take flight. Let’s look at some examples of statements and the emotions found within them.

Spouse’s Statement: I can’t believe you forgot that it was our anniversary. Emotion: “I can’t believe” seems to indicate shock, but it is anything but. Your spouse is hurt and disappointed that you forgot. 

Spouse’s Statement: I don’t want to go over to your mother’s house and hear about how your ex-wife was such a good fit for you. Emotion: Rejection and frustration.

Spouse’s Statement: So, you bought five new outfits without telling me and tucked them away in the closest so I wouldn’t see that you aren’t sticking to our budget? Emotion: Distrust and disappointment.

Spouse’s Statement: You keep chasing after this dream that is bringing no money into the home while I do all the work. Emotion: Resentment, frustration, and/or abandonment.

Spouse’s Statement: You took another $500 out of savings to buy some stupid gadget? Emotion: Troubled or Concerned about security and the future.

I could go on for days, but I think that I have given enough examples to illustrate how statements can be filled with emotion, and you should be able to target what’s really wrong.

As a spouse, we can reach deeper understandings of how to love our mate when we can tap into what they are feeling and commit to reassuring them where they are uncertain, to confirming where there needs to be clarity or to changing habits that are creating havoc in the home.

Marriage takes work, but if you are willing, it’s worth the fight. And, if you learn to listen to what is not being said, that’s just one more weapon you’ve given yourself to win over the enemy in pursuit of your forever!

DISCLAIMER AND LIMIT OF LIABILITY:
ALTHOUGH ANYONE MAY FIND THE TEACHINGS, PRACTICES, DISCIPLINES, TECHNIQUES, EXAMPLES, AND ANECDOTES OF THIS BLOG TO BE USEFUL, THE BLOG IS READ WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT THE AUTHOR NOR HEREAMII, LLC ARE ENGAGED IN PRESENTING ANY SPECIFIC FINANCIAL, TAX, CAREER, LEGAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL, EMOTIONAL, OR HEALTH ADVICE. NOR IS ANYTHING IN THIS BLOG AN ANALYSIS, RECOMMENDATION, SOLUTION, DIAGNOSIS, PROGNOSIS, OR CURE FOR ANY SPECIFIC CAREER, MARRIAGE, FINANCIAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL, EMOTIONAL, OR HEALTH CIRCUMSTANCE OR PROBLEM. EVERY PERSON HAS UNIQUE NEEDS AND CIRCUMSTANCES AND THIS BLOG DOES NOT TAKE THOSE INDIVIDUAL NEEDS AND CIRCUMSTANCES INTO ACCOUNT. ANY PERSON EXPERIENCING FINANCIAL OR CAREER CONCERNS, OR ANY ANXIETY, DEPRESSION, STRESS, HEALTH, OR RELATIONSHIP ISSUES, SHOULD CONSULT WITH A FINANCIAL OR TAX ADVISOR, CAREER COUNSELOR, MEDICAL DOCTOR, LICENSED PSYCHOLOGIST, LICENSED THERAPIST, OR OTHER APPROPRIATE QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL BEFORE COMMENCING ANY NEW FINANCIAL PLAN OR TRANSACTION, CAREER STRATEGY, CHANGE IN PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS, EXERCISE PROGRAM, OR FOLLOWING ANY OF THE TEACHINGS, METHODS, AND SUGGESTIONS DESCRIBED IN THIS BLOG. THIS BLOG IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE READER ENLISTING QUALIFIED PROFESSIONALS TO ASSIST WITH THE READER’S SPECIFIC CIRCUMSTANCES, ISSUES AND PROBLEMS.

Before You Leave Your Spouse, Look Again

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There will be moments when you really have to remind yourself of the vows that you made to your spouse and to God.

And, there are moments when you have to remind yourself why and how you fell in love in the first place.

Sometimes it ain’t all that deep or that spiritual. Sometimes, you are just contemplating the jail time you would have to face if you did what you were actually thinking.

Listen, marriage will give you plenty of reasons to leave, but I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that it will give you just as many reasons to stay. You just have to be fully aware of where you are focusing because what you focus on will always grow.

If all you look for are reasons why your spouse gets on your nerves, guess what you are going to get. More reasons your spouse gets on your nerves. If you look for all of the things that he or she does wrong, guess what you are going to get. More things that he or she does wrong. If all you ever look for is what is not right in your marriage, guess what you are going to get. More stuff not going right. If you look for all of the reasons there are to quit, guess what you are going to get. More reasons to take the first train smoking.

On the contrary, if you look for all the things your spouse does right, you will find more reasons to be thankful. If you look for all the reasons why your spouse needs love, you will find more reasons to love him or her as is. If you look for all the reasons you have to stay and fight it out, you will find more reasons to stick that thing out.

Marriage is all about what you seek, and you must never forget that what you seek, you will find. Always.

Are there some marriages that were messed up from the start and have just gotten progressively worse. Sure there are! Are there some marriages where a person’s life or health is is danger and they need to leave? Absolutely! I am not referring to those marriages though.

I am referring to those marriages that were so hopeful in the beginning. I am referring to those marriages where those two people couldn’t see anything but each other when they said, “I do.” I am referring to those marriages where it was them against the world: Bonnie and Clyde…Beyonce and Jay….Michelle and Barack…TD Jakes and Lady Sherita.

I am talking about those marriages where the love is still very much there, but it is buried under frustration, poor communication and a few bad decisions. If you find yourself in this group, my challenge to you is to look again. Look with fresh eyes. Look in the direction of the good. I’m sure you’ll find it.

We all know that the enemy is conniving, and we all know that his main agenda is to kill, steal and destroy. I liken him to a pickpocket. In the hopes of stealing your marriage and your happy home, he’ll point in a certain direction, have you focusing on something that will hold your attention long enough to steal your wallet or in this case, your marriage.

Don’t let him distract you from the man or woman you love. More than likely, he or she and all the reasons you fell in love are still there. Look again.

 

Don’t Let Facebook Fool You

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Photo Courtesy of FreeStockPhotos.com

Look at their perfect, happy life. I wish I had what she had. Lord, why can’t I have that too?

In the day and age of social media, it is very easy to begin coveting what someone else has in their life. Shoot, it can be downright tempting to want another man’s wife or another woman’s husband when you consider all of the foolishness that you may have to deal with in your own marriage, but that is dangerous ground.

It’s dangerous because you are choosing to judge an entire man, woman or relationship off of a single moment in time. Captured in a single photo that was just literally one second of their marriage. You look at what is shared and you unknowingly assume that everyday must be that way, but you know what they say happens when you assume.

First, let’s take a look at what social media is, shall we?

Social media is a place where family and friends (supposedly) can connect and share in life’s joys. So, naturally, people will post when they get flowers at work or when their spouse does something unexpected. They share buying houses and having babies, but you must stop and ask yourself what you don’t see. For every sweet thing that is shared, there is a something bittersweet that is not shared.

Now, some people would say that when someone chooses not to share all of their business on social media that they aren’t being “transparent,” and that’s not the case at all. They are being mature, and there’s a difference.

Mature adults aren’t posting about the baby mama, the pshyco ex-wife or the meddling baby daddy. They are less likely to post about the aftermath that follows losing children, losing parents, losing jobs or worse, losing themselves. They won’t post the struggles of blending families or of raising hard-headed children—well, maybe, but not to the true extent of their feelings. They won’t always post all the days they spent in the hospital room changing a spouse’s clothes or bathing them. They don’t post themselves up all night wondering how something is going to get fixed. They won’t post financial struggles or in-law issues. No, they avoid posting that. Why?

Because mature people know that you don’t share all your business with just any and everyone. Private matters should be private matters, because once private matters become public matters, the public thinks they matter.

A husband and wife after God’s own heart knows that they should never take to social media what hasn’t already been taken to God, to their spouse and if needed, to a counselor.

So, what you are seeing in any of your married friends’ Facebook posts are just the highlight reel. You see the touchdowns, the three-pointers and the game-changing plays, but you don’t see all of the fumbles, the turnovers and the near-losses.

Marriage takes work, and there will always be more to it than anything that can fit into a single Facebook frame or series of posts online. So, don’t get caught up spending so much time coveting what you see in someone else’s marriage. Spend that time looking for the highlights in your own marriage, and working on a strategy to win with the one you’ve got!

DISCLAIMER AND LIMIT OF LIABILITY: 
ALTHOUGH ANYONE MAY FIND THE TEACHINGS, PRACTICES, DISCIPLINES, TECHNIQUES, EXAMPLES, AND ANECDOTES OF THIS BLOG TO BE USEFUL, THE BLOG IS READ WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT THE AUTHOR NOR HEREAMII, LLC ARE ENGAGED IN PRESENTING ANY SPECIFIC FINANCIAL, TAX, CAREER, LEGAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL, EMOTIONAL, OR HEALTH ADVICE. NOR IS ANYTHING IN THIS BLOG AN ANALYSIS, RECOMMENDATION, SOLUTION, DIAGNOSIS, PROGNOSIS, OR CURE FOR ANY SPECIFIC CAREER, MARRIAGE, FINANCIAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL, EMOTIONAL, OR HEALTH CIRCUMSTANCE OR PROBLEM. EVERY PERSON HAS UNIQUE NEEDS AND CIRCUMSTANCES AND THIS BLOG DOES NOT TAKE THOSE INDIVIDUAL NEEDS AND CIRCUMSTANCES INTO ACCOUNT. ANY PERSON EXPERIENCING FINANCIAL OR CAREER CONCERNS, OR ANY ANXIETY, DEPRESSION, STRESS, HEALTH, OR RELATIONSHIP ISSUES, SHOULD CONSULT WITH A FINANCIAL OR TAX ADVISOR, CAREER COUNSELOR, MEDICAL DOCTOR, LICENSED PSYCHOLOGIST, LICENSED THERAPIST, OR OTHER APPROPRIATE QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL BEFORE COMMENCING ANY NEW FINANCIAL PLAN OR TRANSACTION, CAREER STRATEGY, CHANGE IN PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS, EXERCISE PROGRAM, OR FOLLOWING ANY OF THE TEACHINGS, METHODS, AND SUGGESTIONS DESCRIBED IN THIS BLOG. THIS BLOG IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE READER ENLISTING QUALIFIED PROFESSIONALS TO ASSIST WITH THE READER’S SPECIFIC CIRCUMSTANCES, ISSUES AND PROBLEMS.

The “Option” to Stay Committed

 

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Options. Aren’t they wonderful?! I mean, I can go to any restaurant and tell them I want this instead of that, and they will bring it to me the way that I want it. Likewise, I can go to any department store with the intent to buy just a regular black pair shoes and guess what I will find? A massive amount of options! I can decide today that I want to start a new career by going back to school, and that, my friend, becomes options on top of options. Almost limitless.

Truth is, it feels good to have a choice, but when faced with too many options, you can become distracted from the main thing or worse, get overwhelmed. All the pressure could force you to make a decision that you are not ready to make, or leave you with the feeling of being unsatisfied because you want to know what all the other choices are like too.

Let’s face it. Our world has conditioned us to expect options. In fact, isn’t there a slogan floating around out there that says, “You can never have too many options.” Welllll, that’s not entirely true–especially when it comes to marriage.

The problem today is that we don’t take all the options off of the table when we say, “I do.” We get married and still have a “b, c, and d” in the back our minds.

Option b: If this doesn’t work out, then I can find somebody else.

Option c: If he/she doesn’t want to love me, then I can find somebody else.

Option d: If he/she won’t talk to me, then I can find somebody who will.

Too many options can be very dangerous within a marriage, and just know that sometimes, too many is just one.

When getting married and while being married, the following statements should be at play in a healthy way:

  • There is no other one for me, but my spouse.
  • There is no other option but for me to love you in this and through this because I said that I would.
  • There is no other option but to pursue forever with you because I chose you and I will choose you everyday.
  • There is no other option but to be there for you as my spouse.

Now, by no means am I saying that you should stay stuck in a manipulative,  abusive or destructive marriage (physically, mentally or emotionally), but I am saying that too many other healthy marriages that have the potential to be powerful and long-lasting are short-lived because one of both spouses chose to keep options on the table.

I am not talking about an obsessive, stalkerish, crazy kinda love either. I am talking about two totally sane and mature individuals who made a commitment to love, to comfort, to honor, to keep their spouse in sickness and in health, to forsake all others, and to be faithful as long as they both shall live. So, even when it gets hard and frustrating, we must dig deeper and say, there is no other option but to remain committed to my man or woman.

Yes, sometimes, people need to go and get out especially when their life and health are in danger, but most times, most times couples just need to learn how to stay and fight for their forever by removing the options that were left on the table.

Why Brides Shouldn’t Buy Wedding Gowns

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We all love weddings, don’t we?

There is something about them that are oh so magical and majestic! The music, the food, and the lighting all serve as the perfect backdrop for any love story.

Yes, there is something about weddings that sends this unexplainable rush of excitement through lovers and lovers alike.

Maybe it’s the year-long anticipation that has been building since the couple announced they were getting married.

For 9, 12, or 18 months, we shuffle through social media teasers meant to get everyone excited about the wedding shenanigans. Yes, our culture loves weddings. That’s for sure.

But after having been married for a while now, I do believe that the traditional and cultural wedding attire is all wrong. Way wrong. Left field wrong!

Most brides, if they were anything like me, loved the days of dragging those closest to her to bridal shops trying on dress after dress with comments battling in the air like: “Nope. That’s not it.” “I kinda like this one.” “You sure?” “This makes me look fat.” “This one is too tight.” “I can’t breathe.” “Put this one in the maybe pile.” “Who wasted material even making this dress?” “I am not trying that on.” “Just try it on.” “See, I knew the dress was ugly when you brought it out.” “That is beautiful.” “That’s it.” “I think I have found my dress.” “She said yes to the dress!”

The excitement is real, and the process is great for bonding, but how equipped will that same bride be two years into the marriage?

What am I talking about?

Well, when soldiers go into battle, I’ve never seen one wearing a dress with lace, layers and ruffles.

Our culture puts so much emphasis on “looking” the part, instead of “playing” the part. That’s what’s wrong.

What if those same 9, 12, or 18 months were spent taking classes and learning how to fight in and for the marriage? What if that same time was spent on fine-tuning a strategy for forever? What if instead of a wedding gown, bride and groom had on army fatigue? That’s more symbolic of the marriage journey. War.

Warring to stay committed.

Warring against outside attacks on the marriage.

Warring against old demons and strongholds.

Warring against the aftermath of losing loved ones.

Warring against job loss or sickness.

Warring against the status quo of, “If it ain’t working, then it’s time to go.”

Warring to stay committed to your vows.

Warring to start in love and end in love.

Now, I realize that tradition is hard to break, and I realize that it does have a place and purpose. But if you were to ask me for my two cents, I would tell you to at least have on some combat boots under your dress because marriage, although a wonderful journey, will undoubtedly be a fight. Not necessarily with your spouse, but with a world that has taught us that giving up is better than putting on war clothes and going to battle for your love.

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ALTHOUGH ANYONE MAY FIND THE TEACHINGS, PRACTICES, DISCIPLINES, TECHNIQUES, EXAMPLES, AND ANECDOTES OF THIS BLOG TO BE USEFUL, THE BLOG IS READ WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT THE AUTHOR NOR HEREAMII, LLC ARE ENGAGED IN PRESENTING ANY SPECIFIC FINANCIAL, TAX, CAREER, LEGAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL, EMOTIONAL, OR HEALTH ADVICE. NOR IS ANYTHING IN THIS BLOG AN ANALYSIS, RECOMMENDATION, SOLUTION, DIAGNOSIS, PROGNOSIS, OR CURE FOR ANY SPECIFIC CAREER, MARRIAGE, FINANCIAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL, EMOTIONAL, OR HEALTH CIRCUMSTANCE OR PROBLEM. EVERY PERSON HAS UNIQUE NEEDS AND CIRCUMSTANCES AND THIS BLOG DOES NOT TAKE THOSE INDIVIDUAL NEEDS AND CIRCUMSTANCES INTO ACCOUNT. ANY PERSON EXPERIENCING FINANCIAL OR CAREER CONCERNS, OR ANY ANXIETY, DEPRESSION, STRESS, HEALTH, OR RELATIONSHIP ISSUES, SHOULD CONSULT WITH A FINANCIAL OR TAX ADVISOR, CAREER COUNSELOR, MEDICAL DOCTOR, LICENSED PSYCHOLOGIST, LICENSED THERAPIST, OR OTHER APPROPRIATE QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL BEFORE COMMENCING ANY NEW FINANCIAL PLAN OR TRANSACTION, CAREER STRATEGY, CHANGE IN PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS, EXERCISE PROGRAM, OR FOLLOWING ANY OF THE TEACHINGS, METHODS, AND SUGGESTIONS DESCRIBED IN THIS BLOG. THIS BLOG IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE READER ENLISTING QUALIFIED PROFESSIONALS TO ASSIST WITH THE READER’S SPECIFIC CIRCUMSTANCES, ISSUES AND PROBLEMS.

Lasting Love Secrets: Part I

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Why is it that some marriages work and some don’t?

Why is it that some couples can last for 40 years when others can’t get past four months?

While some broken vows can be counted as drunken night mistakes and complete rushes in judgement, far more people marry with the intention of loving their spouse until forever. So, what happens?

Life.

Life happens.

Far beyond the wedding day, couples must be intentional about making their marriages hit the forever mark. They must work to stay together, and they must work to keep loving. In fact, some people might be surprised to find out that while a ring might symbolize forever, but it does not guarantee forever. And, there is a  difference.

My husband and I have compiled a list of things over our years together that might help newlyweds, engaged couples and even a few married folk.

Here goes:

1.) Make home a pleasant place to be.

There is nothing worse than coming home and having to be miserable. To avoid it husbands or wives just sit in the car not wanting to come in, or  they choose to work longer hours to avoid going home. This becomes the most sure-fire way to “keep the peace,” but if that is your means of keeping the peace you, my friend, are headed down a slippery slope.

Believe it or not, one of the easiest ways to make coming home easy is in having a tamed tongue and a sweet disposition. No one wants to be fussed at, ignored, ridiculed or belittled. That’s tiring and stressful. When your spouse walks through the door, greet him or her with a hug, a kiss, a fist bump-whatever works for you two, but their first interaction with you when they get home should be a reminder of why one person asked and why the other said yes.

2.) Get comfortable discussing the uncomfortable.

Even though you make home a pleasant place to be, that does not mean that unpleasant things will not have to be addressed. Open the lines of communication and create a safe space for dialogue where you both attack the common enemy and not each other. During times of frustration or anger, it’s easy to point the finger. It’s easy to blame and do a whole lot of back forth, but at the end of the day, nothing will get resolved if it gets ignored.

Deal with the uncomfortable as two mature adults with the intention of not letting that “thing” beat the both of you into anger, resentment, silence or divorce.

3.) Keep a united front. 

The age-old technique known to both man and beast is to divide and conquer. In the wild, the animal that gets attacked is usually the one that is lagging behind or that has been separated from the group. Why is that? Because if there is a break in unity, the opponent knows that strength and power have been compromised.

You and your spouse must have a “until death do us part” mentality. End of discussion. Whether it is friends, family or work, you must confront all matters as one!

Make your decisions together. Decide on your strategy together and commit to confront and conquer situations as one.

4.) Give each other space, time and permission to be themselves.

It’s okay to still do the things that you like without having to be under one another all of the time. In fact, it’s good to get away for a weekend shopping or spa trip with the girls, and it’s okay to have a weekend fishing or concert trip with the fellas.

It is in those moments where you don’t have to be a wife or mother, and you can just be you. It is in those moments when your husband doesn’t have to husband or father, and can just be him.

Now, this is not an escape that compromises your wedding vows, and it doesn’t allow you to forget that you do carry those titles, but it does mean that you should have a safe space  and time to be free from the pressures of routines of everyday life.

Time away should be planned to refresh and renew the mind, and it should be a gift, not guilt.

Besides, if you have trouble getting away from other one another or letting your spouse escape your sight, deeper issues exist. Dig them out!

These are just a few of our love secrets. In my next two blogs, I will share plenty more. But, this is by far a great place to start!

 

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DISCLAIMER AND LIMIT OF LIABILITY: 
ALTHOUGH ANYONE MAY FIND THE TEACHINGS, PRACTICES, DISCIPLINES, TECHNIQUES, EXAMPLES, AND ANECDOTES OF THIS BLOG TO BE USEFUL, THE BLOG IS READ WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT THE AUTHOR NOR HEREAMII, LLC ARE ENGAGED IN PRESENTING ANY SPECIFIC FINANCIAL, TAX, CAREER, LEGAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL, EMOTIONAL, OR HEALTH ADVICE. NOR IS ANYTHING IN THIS BLOG AN ANALYSIS, RECOMMENDATION, SOLUTION, DIAGNOSIS, PROGNOSIS, OR CURE FOR ANY SPECIFIC CAREER, MARRIAGE, FINANCIAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL, EMOTIONAL, OR HEALTH CIRCUMSTANCE OR PROBLEM. EVERY PERSON HAS UNIQUE NEEDS AND CIRCUMSTANCES AND THIS BLOG DOES NOT TAKE THOSE INDIVIDUAL NEEDS AND CIRCUMSTANCES INTO ACCOUNT. ANY PERSON EXPERIENCING FINANCIAL OR CAREER CONCERNS, OR ANY ANXIETY, DEPRESSION, STRESS, HEALTH, OR RELATIONSHIP ISSUES, SHOULD CONSULT WITH A FINANCIAL OR TAX ADVISOR, CAREER COUNSELOR, MEDICAL DOCTOR, LICENSED PSYCHOLOGIST, LICENSED THERAPIST, OR OTHER APPROPRIATE QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL BEFORE COMMENCING ANY NEW FINANCIAL PLAN OR TRANSACTION, CAREER STRATEGY, CHANGE IN PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS, EXERCISE PROGRAM, OR FOLLOWING ANY OF THE TEACHINGS, METHODS, AND SUGGESTIONS DESCRIBED IN THIS BLOG. THIS BLOG IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE READER ENLISTING QUALIFIED PROFESSIONALS TO ASSIST WITH THE READER’S SPECIFIC CIRCUMSTANCES, ISSUES AND PROBLEMS.

 

The Wife From Heaven or From Hell?

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Are you a gift from God to your husband?

We would all like to think so, right?

But, if people were to poll him, would he confirm that you are indeed a gift from God, or would he swear by the heavens that you were sent by satan himself? Depends on the day, right?

Although this can be a funny question, it is still a very serious matter. As wives, we must scrutinize our own behavior and examine our character in order to fully and truthfully know if we are being the wife that God has called us to be.

Proverbs 19:14 declares that “houses and wealth are inherited from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the Lord.”

So, can I ask? Who sent you?

Prudence. Prudence is showing care and concern for the future. Prudence is being cautious and wise. It is using discretion and managing affairs well.

So, simply put a prudent wife is a thinker. She looks beyond the present and is more concerned with outcomes. Positive outcomes. You see, a prudent wife puts little emphasis on the  present moment. She looks ahead and determines how certain actions, comments or behaviors could help or hinder the marriage. That’s wisdom.

And you know what? We don’t have to get all deep with it either and take some long survey to tell us if we are prudent or not. We can just look at how we talk to our husbands. That’s a pretty good starting place.

No matter how mad she is or how heated an argument may be, a prudent wife will never go for a man’s ego or his manhood. Why? Because she understands that if she is to have a future with this man, those two things are crucial to their happiness and to the vulnerability and transparency that is so desperately needed within the marriage. Yet, all too often, we let our anger and frustrations drive us to say things that we later regret–all because we did not yield to prudence.

You see, you have a part to play in how your marriage is going. A bigger part than you often are willing to give yourself credit for–50% to be exact.

A prudent wife understands that feelings come and go, but commitment is what binds.

A prudent wife knows that a man must be respected in his home, and  if he is not, it leaves all kinds of room for the enemy to play.

A prudent wife knows that she must manage household resources wisely because what is not properly managed will be easily lost or stolen.

A prudent wife values wisdom above her way.

A prudent wife knows when to speak and when to be silent.

A prudent wife knows that her tongue can either bring blood or blessings.

Lastly, a prudent wife knows that nagging and name-calling isn’t necessary when prayer is available.

I love you all!

Be blessed!

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DISCLAIMER AND LIMIT OF LIABILITY: 
ALTHOUGH ANYONE MAY FIND THE TEACHINGS, PRACTICES, DISCIPLINES, TECHNIQUES, EXAMPLES, AND ANECDOTES OF THIS BLOG TO BE USEFUL, THE BLOG IS READ WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT THE AUTHOR NOR HEREAMII, LLC ARE ENGAGED IN PRESENTING ANY SPECIFIC FINANCIAL, TAX, CAREER, LEGAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL, EMOTIONAL, OR HEALTH ADVICE. NOR IS ANYTHING IN THIS BLOG AN ANALYSIS, RECOMMENDATION, SOLUTION, DIAGNOSIS, PROGNOSIS, OR CURE FOR ANY SPECIFIC CAREER, MARRIAGE, FINANCIAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL, EMOTIONAL, OR HEALTH CIRCUMSTANCE OR PROBLEM. EVERY PERSON HAS UNIQUE NEEDS AND CIRCUMSTANCES AND THIS BLOG DOES NOT TAKE THOSE INDIVIDUAL NEEDS AND CIRCUMSTANCES INTO ACCOUNT. ANY PERSON EXPERIENCING FINANCIAL OR CAREER CONCERNS, OR ANY ANXIETY, DEPRESSION, STRESS, HEALTH, OR RELATIONSHIP ISSUES, SHOULD CONSULT WITH A FINANCIAL OR TAX ADVISOR, CAREER COUNSELOR, MEDICAL DOCTOR, LICENSED PSYCHOLOGIST, LICENSED THERAPIST, OR OTHER APPROPRIATE QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL BEFORE COMMENCING ANY NEW FINANCIAL PLAN OR TRANSACTION, CAREER STRATEGY, CHANGE IN PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS, EXERCISE PROGRAM, OR FOLLOWING ANY OF THE TEACHINGS, METHODS, AND SUGGESTIONS DESCRIBED IN THIS BLOG. THIS BLOG IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE READER ENLISTING QUALIFIED PROFESSIONALS TO ASSIST WITH THE READER’S SPECIFIC CIRCUMSTANCES, ISSUES AND PROBLEMS.