All Articles Tagged "marriage"

Looking to Save Your Relationship? Avoid These Common Blunders.

October 28th, 2014 - By Ezinne Ukoha
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Via ShutterShock

Via ShutterShock

Relationships are never easy to navigate because of the rollercoaster of emotions that come with trying to maintain that healthy balance of love, compromise and commitment. Some of us are better at juggling the elements than others but at the end of the day, like everything else in life, it boils down to hard work and dedication.

Being able to give yourself to someone in a selfless manner requires the most basic instinct that is inherently in all of us but sometimes gets buried in an attempt to exercise a level of control or because we don’t have the ability to be generously sacrificial.

If the “honeymoon” phase is over and things are rapidly disintegrating, you can either jump ship or stick around for the rebound. Living in an age that encourages flighty connections and disingenuous attachments thanks to the digital era, the ability to focus on one thing at a time has become a major challenge. We are now conditioned to always anticipate something better coming along, and that can affect our ability to commit to our relationships in a meaningful way.

But if you are truly in it for the long haul – there are ways to save your relationship as opposed to sabotaging it. You can start by finding a nicer way to point out your partner’s mistakes. Constantly barraging him with the things he did wrong tends to leave a sour taste in his mouth and will ultimately push him away. Nobody wants to be around someone who spends majority of the time making them feel inadequate. Constructive criticism is valuable every now and then, but if you are habitually judging your man, he will run into the arms of someone who validates him in ways you refuse to. Another major hindrance is the habit of mockery or relying on hostility as a form of communication. This is a very common feature in most relationships and it is also the most damaging. We get to a place where our frustrations give way to a growing contempt for the person we supposedly love. If we are unable to keep this at a minimum, it may be time for an extended break or you could both do the work in order to figure out why those feelings are consistent. Either way, you have to remove yourself from the unhealthy regimen of making your partner feel like his very presence makes you feel uncontrollably disgusted.

Another item on the list of queries is the instinctual need to be defensive. We can’t help but regulate the blame to someone else, especially when we feel cornered. If our relationship is unstable, the best way to get at the heart of the matter is to investigate your own contribution to the issue instead of heaping all the blame on the other person. If both of you are invested, that translates into a partnership. You both have to accept responsibility for the successes and failures. If you are unwilling to take ownership of your mistakes, you are basically making a bad situation worse which means there will be no resolve. In order to encourage a positive outcome to an ongoing conflict, you have to be open to the idea of giving your partner the respect he deserves by listening to his side. You have to be able to accommodate his concerns while also being equally expressive. That is the only way you can both reach a mutual agreement.

Lastly, the death of a relationship is encouraged by your disengagement. Often times, we get to a place where we have exhausted every option, and we are completely uninterested in being emotionally present or active. Once you have mentally checked out, that signals the beginning of the end. If you want to ensure that you both stand a chance, you have to make the effort to be open and emotionally available. Closing yourself off will make it difficult for your partner to re-connect with you and convince him that you are no longer interested in sharing your life with him.

Relationships can be rewarding and stimulating but in order to reap the benefits, you have to work hard and be diligent. Fairy tales are for dreamers, in the real world, nothing comes from nothing – and that’s a fact.

 

 

 

What’s Wrong With Women Proposing To Men?

October 24th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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Corbis

Corbis

 

 

From Single Black Male 

Blurred gender roles are a norm in today’s day and age.

Most of us want equality for both sexes in all facets of life. Ideally, this would be the case. The truth is that for this to be, there will be some resistance in some instances. For instance we have today’s subject of marriage proposal. Now some of us may feel that a woman proposing to a man would be tacky. Some simply thing that it isn’t right. We’ll explore this today whether it be in this post or in the comments. But the bottom line is that this here lies the same “what’s good for the goose” ideology. If men can propose to women, so should a woman propose to a man.

Will this ever be an “in” thing to do?

I’m not sure; what I can give you all, my SBM faithful is my views on it. Heading to brunch this past Sunday I was talking to my boy about this. I told him that serious couples discuss things like marriage and their futures together. To me, if a couple discusses their future together then a woman should feel confident enough to know that one day her man will propose. Whether or not a woman is patient enough to wait is another question.

Of course another question that arises is how long is too long to wait? I really don’t know. Different people have different levels of patience. My patience threshold is pretty solid. This also depends on circumstance and the personalities involved. I’ve seen people get engaged and married within a calendar year; and stay married.  I have also seen couples be married for thirty plus years and still see it fail. So there’s obviously more than one way to skin a cat. When it comes to proposals you can argue there’s no right or wrong way. I say that in regards to who proposes.

I actually dated a woman a while back who said that she would entertain the idea of proposing to a man.

I was shocked to say the least. She was a bit of a go getter. My guess is that maybe more extroverted women are open to proposing to a man. What I did find interesting was a study that I read on menshealth.com. It said that 83% of men won’t wear a “man-gagement” ring. So the majority of us fellas aren’t into this idea basically.

Why am I not into it? I’m a forward thinking cat. I believe in being creative and pushing envelopes. I believe in challenging thoughts and the whole shabang. Strangely enough, I’m still a bit of a traditionalist. I think the proposal process is the time for a guy to be supremely romantic. There’s not another day where a woman should imagine being swept off her feet any better. A woman proposing to us robs us of our creativity for such a special moment. That’s just me.

Read more about female proposals at SingleBlackMale.org 

“Those Other Two Marriages Didn’t Count” Lil Mo Explains Why She’s Been Married So Many Times

October 21st, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Lil Mo Explains Why She's Been Married So Many Times

Source: Global Grind 

Lil Mo is something else. But she’s not completely gone. Recently, when she sat with Global Grind, she explained why she’s been married so many times. And while it might seem like a joke or some more foolishness, her explanation was actually pretty insightful.

When the interviewer asked her what advice she would give to single women who’ve never been married Lil Mo, launched into a mini sermonette:

Just don’t be afraid of it. Stuff happens. People grow apart. Sometimes people grow apart after 40 years. I’m glad mine were six years a piece. And I got over it. I kept it moving. I never became a victim of becoming the single, angry, Black woman that they think we all are. No, I never gave up on love. I’ve seen my parents be together and married for close to 40 years. It can work. Even though she’s only been with my father, that’s her only marriage. I wished that I could have had that for myself but it didn’t work out like that. 

So as many times as it’ll take for me to actually find a true love, so be it. 

One of the mistakes I made was I was looking for it. I didn’t let it find me. And I had to find it within myself first. I know that sounds cliche ‘Oh, you gotta love yourself first’ but I do love myself but I think I was loving my situation more than myself. ‘I gotta make it work because I know what it looks like.’ But I wasn’t happy. 

And it was so many things that were going on and I was like ‘This ain’t right.’ And because of the church side of me, I always wanted to do everything– ‘It’s better to marry than to burn.’ It’s better to this and I don’t’ want this person to be sat down in church because I don’t want us to be living in sin and adultery and fornication. All the stuff that I learned growing up. And it’s not even about that. Because I was married and it was still a mess. And the reason for me getting married, it was just all wrong. 

So I finally have a chance to get it right. This is my last time. This is the time I feel like a girl. I get to have a real wedding, I get to really plan. I get to dress up and be the princess one day. So those other two marriages didn’t count. 

Aside from the first two marriages didn’t count, it’s pretty interesting right?

What do you think of Lil Mo’s comments about her marriages and the mistakes she’s made in the past when it came to relationships?

You can watch Lil Mo’s full interview in the video below.

Serious Question: Should You Have A Child To Save Your Marriage?

October 9th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: YouTube

Source: YouTube

The women of “The Real” have been known to be a tad bit extra. But as the show continues to air, they’ve smoothed out some of the kinks and I really enjoy the conversations the ladies have, particularly about relationships.

Earlier this week, Jeannie Mai got really personal when she revealed that she doesn’t want children but senses and has even heard husband say he wouldn’t mind having them. And so she’s left in a bit of a pickle. This man is not her boyfriend or fiancé, he’s her husband and so she has to take his feelings into consideration. But at the same time, bringing a baby into the world would require more a sacrifice from her and furthermore, Jeannie believes that she’s too selfish to be a good mother.

See how the conversation went down on the show and we’ll discuss later.

Jeannie: My husband and I have been married for seven years and when we got married at first, we didn’t want kids. Seven years later now, I see it in him. I see when children are around, I can feel it inside me of what people say that it just hits you. I don’t feel it but I see it in him. It really does suck…I”m praying about this because it’s a hard one.

Tamar: Well, you need to ask him.

Jeannie: I do and he says, I love you so much, we’re having an amazing marriage, I love you. I want you for the rest of my life, I’m fine. But you can see it and he’s saying it for me, what are you going to do. I’ve heard him say to people, “‘I wouldn’t mind having children and I do love children.'”

Tamera: I think you’re making the right decision, not having a baby for you. Because as a mom, you really don’t have any room to be selfish at all. It is a 24/7 job. And you said you like to travel…

Jeannie: And I’m admitting, I’m a selfish person.

Tamera: I’m thinking of the child in that circumstance. And that would suck! You’re saying I’m a selfish person, I don’t want this. Why would you want a child to grow up in that type of household?

Tamar: It’s a doable situation because once you bond with your baby, everything changes. I was the exact same way.

Jeannie: I never talked about this, like this because we are going through it, like counseling this weekend. A lot of stuff. I honestly, see how you guys do it and you guys really do, I admire how– I walk by your dressing room Tamar and I see your husband holding your son. It’s insane but it’s the commitment, you know? It’s beautiful, you know?

Lonnie: If you’re working it out with your husband, that’s fine. I used to be like that. I felt like I would be the worst mother in the United States. I know where you’re coming from and I feel that. But you have a husband and when you have a husband, you have to consider his feelings as well. So guys just keep talking it out, keep going to therapy and you guys make your decision.

Adrienne: Whatever is going to make you guys happy is what’s important.

This is a lot right?

The discussion reminds me of an episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” from last season. Shonda gave us a hypothetical look at Cristina Yang, if she went against her own wishes and had a child to please her husband Owen. Even in the hypothetical situation, the second after the baby was pulled from Yang’s uterus and placed in her arms, she regretted it. Saying that the whole thing was a mistake. I understand this was a television show but it happens in real life. Over a year ago, there was a woman, Isabella Dutton, who published a piece in The Daily Mail describing how though she grew to love her children, she knew her life would be more complete and fulfilling if she’d never had them. In fact, she said, “I resented the time my children consumed. Like parasites, they took from me and didn’t give back.” 

This woman ultimately made the decision to have children because she loved her husband. And unlike Tamar and Tamera she didn’t grow to feel a bond with the two children she birthed. Instead, when the umbilical cord was wrapped around her child’s neck, her son’s, she remained calm and waited without apprehension, not thinking about her son at all in the time the doctor’s had him away from her side. She decided to have another one because she felt having a single child, without a sibling playmate, would have been cruel.

While Dutton said that she loved her son and daughter and took her job as a mother seriously, I can’t help but wonder how her children felt growing up, (Dutton’s daughter told her that she noticed her mother never told them she loved them), and then how they felt again reading their mother’s callous words.

I understand the need to consider your spouse’s feelings but I can’t help but feel like it’s one thing to end a marriage but something all together different to raise another human being, resenting them. The latter seems far more egregious to me.

I don’t know if Jeannie Mai would have the same tragic reaction as this woman did but the one thing they do have in common is the fact that they both knew, early, that they didn’t want children.

Is the decision to bring a life into the world a sacrifice you make to sustain a marriage or does the potential psychological harm you bring to children you knew you never wanted, outweigh the desire to please your spouse?

If This Is Marriage…No Thanks: How Married Couples Changed My Perspective On Tying The Knot

October 9th, 2014 - By Erica Renee
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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

The idea of marriage once seemed like the missing piece of life’s puzzle to me. You know, finding that special someone who will love you for better or worse, a confidant, and the one who makes it all better when the going gets tough. Marriage, I thought, was somewhat of a completion to an almost whole person–finding the perfect person to complement you. I wanted it. I desired it. I anticipated it. That is, until I began talking to married couples.

Chances are, if you’ve had a conversation with someone who’s married, you’ve probably heard the words “marriage takes work.” Okay, I can deal with that. I never assumed it would be easy, but I didn’t think it would be as mentally, physically, and emotionally taxing as some couples make it seem.

“He gets on my nerves most days.”

“I don’t feel appreciated.”

“She nags way too much and never seems happy.”

“I wish I was single.”

These are some of the complaints that I’ve heard. Then comes the advice.

“Wait as long as you can before getting married.”

“Enjoy your single life.”

Seriously, the conversations that I’ve had with the vast majority of married couples has left me feeling one of two ways: confused or thanking God for my single status. Either feeling is not one that I want to associate with marriage. The good has to outweigh the bad, right?

While I admire couples who stay together despite the hard times and don’t opt for the easier alternative (aka, divorce), the less than optimistic attitude of these individuals has almost crushed a single girl’s spirit. Is this really what I have to look forward to? And sheesh, if you are that miserable, does it really make sense to stay?

I want to get married, but I also want to be happy. Can’t I have both? According to some married couples I can’t, but thankfully there are a select few who still give me some level of hope. They admit that marriage can be tough but believe ultimately that it’s worth it. Maybe those are the ones who married their soul mates and the complainers didn’t. Or maybe they went into marriage a bit more optimistic than some of the others who ‘wish they were single.’ I’m not sure.

But what I am sure about is that marriage is supposed to be one of the best events, outside of having a child, that happens in your life. With some married couples it’s the complete opposite. This frightens me, to an extent. While I’m not as optimistic as I once was about marriage (partly because I thought I would be married by now), I’m still hopeful and won’t allow the jaded perceptions of some to completely change my mind.

 

 

The Pricier The Engagement Ring, The Shorter The Marriage: Study

October 8th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

According to research conducted by Emory University, couples who spent more on engagement rings and weddings were more likely to divorce than those who opted for less expensive options.

In a survey conducted on 3,000 married folks, researchers found that men who spent between $500 and $2,000 on an engagement ring were 1.3 times less likely to wind up divorced than those who spent $2,000 to $4,000. The same study revealed that women whose wedding costs exceeded $20,000 were 3.5 times more likely to end up divorced than those who spent $5,000 to $10,000.

Interestingly, the study went on to reveal that skimming when it comes to purchasing an engagement ring also decreased the chances of a couple living happily ever after. Men who shelled out less than $500 on engagement rings also experienced higher divorce rates. Couples who spent less than $1,000 on their weddings decreased the chances of divorce.  Though bigger guest lists generally equate to a pricier wedding ceremony, the study also found that having more weddings guests led to longer marriages.

Coordinators of the study believe that the link between divorce rates and costly weddings and engagement rings had to do with brides and grooms wanting to create the perfect wedding day—even if they aren’t in the position to afford the costs. As for what’s pushing couples to place this unnecessary pressure on themselves, researchers are blaming the bridal industry.

“In 1959, Bride’s recommended that couples set aside two months to prepare for their wedding and published a checklist with 22 tasks for them to complete. By the 1990s, the magazine recommended 12 months of wedding preparation and published a checklist with 44 tasks to complete.”

Researchers also point out that there’s not much evidence that supports the wedding industry’s underlying message that extravagant ceremonies equate to positive marital outcomes.

“The wedding industry has consistently sought to link wedding spending with long-lasting marriages,” Emory University economic professors Andrew M. Francis and Hugo M. Mialon wrote.

According to The Knot, the average wedding costs about $30,000. Things that make you go hmmm…

Is Marriage Obsolete?

October 6th, 2014 - By Charing Ball
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Image Source: Shutterstock.com

Image Source: Shutterstock.com

Is the institution of marriage going out of style like Beyoncé’s leotards and blonde lace front?

And before you go in with what Jesus (or Beyoncé) said about the sanctity of marriage, let us consider what’s happening out here on the ground in the secular world first.

For instance a recent study conducted by Pew Research Social and Demographic Trends finds that the percentage of Americans, who have never married, are at “historic highs.” According, to a write-up on the research center’s website, the study finds that in 2012, one-in-five adults ages 25 and older had never been married. According to article, the increase is particularly significant when compared to 1960s relationship status numbers, which show only one-in-nine adults had never jumped the broom.

No surprise, Black folks led the racial pack in the race away from the altar, with a whooping 36 percent of 25 and older, reporting that they had been never married in 2012. The study also finds that these figures are in deep contrast with the 9 percent of Black folks classified as single and still mingling in the 1960s.

Most notable is that the rates of Whites and Hispanics who’d never married adults in the same age range, which has doubled since 1960s. That’s right: the moral beacon (I’m talking about White people) of what is considered “normal” and “right” and “exemplary” in society is crumbling down, one “I don’t” at a time. I’m not gloating, I’m just pointing out that Black folks have been getting grief historically about our alleged failure in producing nuclear families, when in actuality we were just blazing trails of freedom and independence for the rest of society.

Also, of no surprise is that in general terms, all men were more likely than all women to have never married (and we’re talking about a ratio of 27 percent to 17 percent). What might be alarming, however, is that the gender gap appears to have also grown significantly since the 60s, “when 10% of men ages 25 and older and 8% of women of the same age had never married.”

The study cites a number of factors for the shift including adults opting to wait longer to marry as well as the rise of cohabiting adults. However, what is interesting to note is the change in attitudes about the institution of marriage in particular.

More specifically:

“Recent survey data from the Pew Research Center finds a public that is deeply divided over the role marriage plays in society. Survey respondents were asked which of the following statements came closer to their own views: Society is better off if people make marriage and having children a priority, or society is just as well off if people have priorities other than marriage and children. Some 46% of adults chose the first statement, while 50% chose the second.

Opinions on this issue differ sharply by age—with young adults much more likely than older adults to say society is just as well off if people have priorities other than marriage and children. Fully two-thirds of those ages 18 to 29 (67%) express this viewpoint, as do 53% of those ages 30 to 49. Among those ages 50 and older, most (55%) say society is better off if people make it a priority to get married and have children.”

If marriage is not yet obsolete, it definitely is not a priority.

And is that necessarily a bad thing? Attitudes about racial, gender and sexuality have progressed along in society, why can’t how we see relationship? And I’m not saying that the concept is abandoned completely but maybe we can expand the definition of “family” and “marriage” and be okay with those definitions too?

I mean, there was a time when it was very common for folks to marry for status and by arrangement as opposed to love. And now look at us, all picky and shit.

More specifically, the Pew study also notes:

“Among those who have never been married but say they may eventually like to wed, three-in-ten say the main reason they are not married is that they have not found someone who has what they are looking for in a spouse.”

The good news is that there are at least some of us never married folks who are out here looking and waiting for the right one. Of course there are not many of us (three in 10? Yikes!), but we’re out there. Anyway, what are folks thinking: Is marriage going the way of the Walkman and portable CD player or do you think it has the potential to make a comeback like Lebron James’ hairline?

Do You Have A Backup Husband?

October 3rd, 2014 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Backup Husband

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When you’re dating they say it’s important to have options, but what about when you’re married? While you might think most women who’ve taken a vow to love, honor, and cherish forever would gawk at the idea of keeping another man around, a new study claims 5 out of 10 women have a backup husband. Yes, a backup husband.

The going definition for a backup husband is a man who, at some point, has expressed his undying love to a woman but in her eyes he was just her second option when it came to choosing who to marry. The Daily Mail says “the back-up is likely to be an old friend who has always had feelings for the woman in question. But other candidates are an ex-boyfriend or ex-husband, a colleague – or someone who they have met at the gym.” In other words, these are men who women keep around because they boost their ego when their husbands are slipping in the attention department.

Interestingly enough, the women who participated in the study confessed  their husbands are aware of Mr. Plan B. The marketing research company OnePoll.com which conducted this study, concluded their research by forewarning men backup husbands are a sign your marriages may not be in good standing. You think? OnePoll said by releasing this information, i.e. snitching on the ladies in the study, men may reconsider how much quality time they spend with their wives rather than their friends, hence eliminating the need for their wives to have backup husbands to begin with.

Although I’ve heard of this concept of a backup spouse before from family members of both genders, I don’t believe spouses should have other eggs in their baskets if they’re married. Where’s the accountability to the union you entered into with your actual spouse, not to mention the lack of commitment? Backup husbands sound like nothing more than a slippery slope into infidelity.But hey, maybe that just me. Do you think you’ll be one to call Tyrone when your husband acts up?

Meet Me At the Altar? 15 Signs He’s Finally Ready To Get Married

October 2nd, 2014 - By Meg Butler
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When George Clooney announced his engagement to Amal Alamuddin, we like to imagine that all of Clooney’s exes screamed together “what did I miss?!”

How do you know when a confirmed bachelor is ready to tie the knot? Keep a look out for these signs that he’s no longer opposed to the idea of popping the question.

Image Source: WENN.com

Image Source: WENN.com

He Heard About Clooney And Said “It’s About Time”

If he stops rolling his eyes every time “another one bites the dust,” it could be a sign that he’s thinking about marriage himself. But if he had a tiny memorial for Mr. Clooney’s bachelorhood, he probably plans on being single for a long time.

Do You Need A Social Media Prenup?

October 1st, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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From The Grio 

As if the discussion with your spouse-to-be around whether to have a prenuptial agreement isn’t tough enough; there’s something else that you might want to include in that conversation — a social media prenup.

Indeed, more and more young couples are setting rules and guidelines on social media and how it will play a part in their married life.

This is because social media plays a big role in divorce among American couples — data that is backed and verified by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Rebecca Crumrine Rieder  of Hedgepeth, Heredia, Crumine & Reider says that this is not a surprise at all, as she sees a lot of it in her experience as a family law attorney.

Read more about social media prenups at TheGrio.com 

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