All Articles Tagged "marriage"

Does It Make Financial Sense To Call Off A Wedding Last Minute?

May 20th, 2015 - By Tanvier Peart
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Have you ever received an invitation to attend a wedding and made the necessary arrangements only to get a heads up days before the event it wasn’t going to happen?

Yeah, that’s pretty crazy.

Former Alaskan governor and vice presidential hopeful Sarah Palin took to Facebook recently to announce her daughter Bristol and fiancé no longer plan to exchange vows. The wedding was supposed to take place in a few days.

Of course it’s always great to dodge a bullet, especially when it comes to something big like marriage. Too many people jump into what’s suppose to be an everlasting union only to call it quits just as fast as they said “I do.” Yes things happen and folks can change over time, but when you have that “don’t do it” gut feeling, one can only hope you decide to listen to it.

Thankfully my husband and I have been doing very well in the marriage arena. Coming off our third wedding anniversary (we’ve been together for a total of seven and a half years), we have high hopes of going to the “upper room” together. Even though we didn’t jump into an engagement and rush to get married, we know of a few couples who unfortunately could not stand the test of time. In fact, many of them were together much longer than us before they even thought about becoming husband and wife.

There’s just no concrete formula to making something work.

While I didn’t have a bad feeling walking down the aisle, my mother tells me she did. My parents practically grew up together and dated throughout their high school and college years. Making the choice to exchange vows at City Hall, my mom said she felt it was the wrong decision, but was too chicken to leave my dad at the altar. Luckily for me she didn’t and the two divorced around my fifth birthday.

With the cost of weddings getting higher and higher these days, I can only imagine the sting a couple feels after calling things off. Not only do you have to deal with the emotional aspect but more than likely won’t get back any money you put into creating your special day. Sure that’s not important in the grand scheme of things (peace of mind is), but does it make more financial sense to listen to your gut sooner than later — assuming you had these feelings before the week of your wedding?

And what about the wedding party and guests? Those involved with the special day have been saying no to related events (e.g. bachelorette party and bridal shower) as it costs a small fortune. Like other guests who plan to attend, many will have to shell out money for travel expenses like airfare, hotels and dining. One can only hope everyone is understanding of the couple’s decision (it is what it is at this point), but I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some who are in their feelings for spending money they might not get back.

What a mess.

Maybe Bristol and her former beau have enough money not to care about these things, but I’d like to think the average person would.

How would you handle a situation like this? If you happen to find yourself questioning your future nuptials, here are some financial tips for calling off a wedding?

Related Can I Get My Wedding Deposit Back? 10 Celebrities Who Called Off Their Engagement

Why I’m Not Here For Diddy’s “Love Contract”

May 15th, 2015 - By Alexandra Olivier
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Why make your relationship sanctified in the eyes of the law and God when you can keep it going for years and years as a glorified boyfriend or girlfriend?

Swap out a marriage license for a love contract detailing clauses – not vows – and if both parties “agree,” then voila! You have entered a contractual relationship agreement.

Or essentially, marriage with much less effort.

Diddy’s latest admission during a promo run at Andy Cohen’s Watch What Happens Live! of still not having a desire to get married is admirable. Think about it. We expect celebrities to skirt around personal matters when their opinions do not necessarily align with the majority. And yes, a majority of women would expect a successful, 45-year-old man to get on TV and say he’s finally ready to settle down with a good woman. But low and behold, Diddy is not. However, he is willing to put some things in writing, including financial plans and sign with his heart on the dotted line.

“I don’t know [if I’ll ever get married]. It’s the whole thing of; I think you have to be ready for it because it’s somebody else’s heart involved. That’s just a lot of responsibility and I don’t want to be going to court and having somebody interfere in my relationship. So I’d rather just do the ‘Goldie Hawn.’ But I will give a contract. I will commit to a contract, a love contract.

I’m talking about where there’s some money involved too if there’re any problems. You have to have an agreement. You can’t just love somebody, take them and y’all just part.

No honestly, I just don’t think I’m ready right now [for marriage], but I’m a great boyfriend.”

If this arrangement happens to work for Diddy and his longtime girlfriend, Cassie, then they should go for it. But I’m hoping we won’t look at this as a new trend to champion. The music mogul’s “love contract” is the 21st-century attempt at a marriage license without the City Hall trip and Say Yes To The Dress moment. All the perks of a matrimonial union without the messiness. But if Cassie would prefer to be married and have that commitment, she may be selling herself short.

I would love to see what their particular love contract details. What is written under the clause for infidelity? What happens if the riches dry up? Will his life insurance be transferable if, knock on wood, she is to become sick or vice versa? What freedoms does this love contract allow that beat traditional marriage?

What is so interesting about all of is that during Diddy’s interview with Cohen, he mentioned that in marriage, somebody else’s heart is involved. But with or without a ring, in any healthy relationship, two hearts are involved and will feel great amounts of hurt and pain if the union ends.

I am happy for Diddy and Cassie, but I won’t be looking to them for relationship goals. I’m sorry, but I refuse to believe that marriage is a thing of the past. Why not call a spade, a spade? If you’re going to go play married with all of these contracts and stipulations, why not just get married? Diddy says he may not be ready now, but it doesn’t seem like he will ever be ready if we’re being honest.

A relationship – married or not – is a love contract in its own right. And while I’m glad that Diddy and Cassie are still going strong and make their relationship work for them, I just wish people would stop skirting around commitment and celebrate love head first.

What Ball & Chain? Reasons Why Married Sex Is The Best

May 14th, 2015 - By Tanvier Peart
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Getting married isn’t for everyone. There will be ups, downs and everything else that happens in between. It’s a lifelong commitment where you vow to be someone else’s witness and love them until your end days.

While many throw in the towel (y’all seen the divorce rate), some think being married is like wearing a ball and chain. Aside from love and all that stuff, here are some reasons why activity between the sheets is awesome when you’re husband and wife.

14 Reasons Not To Spill Your Relationship Tea

May 11th, 2015 - By Tanvier Peart
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Being in a relationship can have its ups and downs. One minute you feel like everything is perfect and the next, nothing seems to work. Unfortunately, the roller coasters are a part of life.

Just try to keep those rollercoasters to yourself.

Too many couples are spilling a little too much tea regarding their love life. While it might pay the big bucks on reality television, here are a few reasons why you should zip your lip.

Ask A Black Man: Are Black Men Marriage-Minded?

May 11th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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In this episode of “Ask A Black Man,” six Black men, some single, some married and others who have been divorced, sit and talk about the m word: marriage.

These brothas discuss everything from the perception of marriage in our society, to the divorce rate and that troublesome ‘head of the household’ concept.

They also talk about whether or not Black men are marriage minded.

Check it out in the video above.

 

Sign Here, Bae: Attorney Says Love Contracts Can Strengthen Your Marriage

May 7th, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Today, many couples looking to tie the knot are encouraged to sign prenuptial agreements to safeguard their assets in the event that the marriage goes south. But according to attorney and legal TV commentator Ann-Margaret Carrozza, entering into a love contract with your husband-to-be has the potential to save your marriage before it’s ever in trouble in the first place.

In an essay for the New York Daily News, Carrozza explains that these documents should be customized to address both finances and lifestyle issues. She writes:

I encourage couples to customize these documents to include provisions to address lifestyle issues, pet peeves, shared goals and “deal breakers.” Examples of common Love Contract provisions are infidelity penalties, vacation schedules, social media parameters — and even fitness goals.

We begin by looking at some common sources of a couple’s disagreements. High on the list for most couples is money. Applying the contract process to this (or any problem) requires each party to become clear about one’s goal.

This may take the form of reducing debt, building up savings or investing in real estate.

Of course, asking bae to sign a contract about fidelity or keeping in shape is everything but romantic; however, Carrozza explains that love contracts are more about self-reflection than placing contractual demands on one another.

Each party is then asked to take a critical look at their own behavior and determine what actions they are prepared to take to achieve the goal. These may include eating out less, cooking more or selling some unwanted items.

The parties then come together to share their goals and voluntary self-action steps. Only then, with this enlightened foundation, do we make constructive suggestions to each other. The actions and goals that both parties believe they can live with become incorporated into the contract.

She concludes:

The Love Contract is both a relationship blueprint and mission statement for a couple. It is a dynamic process that encourages periodic introspection and goal review. Properly utilized, the Love Contract can produce powerful results in terms of strengthening relationships and achieving joint goals.

Does this sound like something you’d be interested in exploring?

Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise

Mind Your Business: How To Keep Your Family Out Of Your Relationship

May 5th, 2015 - By Tanvier Peart
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You love your family. You love your spouse or partner. Sooner or later you must ask yourself why it is the two parties can’t just get along.

Hopefully, it’s an easy fix as no one wants to deal with drama from their own camp. Here are some pointers or establishing healthy boundaries between your family and your relationship.

“I Decided I Would Only Date Men In The Ministry”: Women Who Want To Marry A Preacher

April 27th, 2015 - By Cynthia L. Dorsey
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From NBA players to Hip-Hop Moguls, men in the limelight who have power are often surrounded by women who long to be with them. These women are known to stand outside of hotels or slip into the VIP section of clubs in order to make it happen. Each one believes that her future will change for the better if these men only caught one glimpse of them. These persistent and dedicated women have been labeled “groupies,” “side-chicks” and even “stalkers.” However, athletes and musicians are not the only men of stature whom some women desire. Preachers, too, have quite a few female admirers.

In writer Scott Williams’s blog post, Stop Lusting After Your Pastor!, Williams recalls a conversation he had with his friend, a female preacher, about women who can’t seem to keep their eyes off of their pastors. Williams writes:

Many women that she’s talked with in various churches struggle with the fact that they think their Pastor’s sexy! Not only do they think their Pastor’s sexy, but they struggle with their mind and eyes wandering into inappropriate places. It becomes a challenge because they tend to have these lustful thoughts as their pastor is speaking.

However, for some women, this is about more than just a lustful eye. Some have dedicated their lives to finding and marrying the preacher of their dreams. It is the hope and prayer of these women that they will one day become a preacher’s wife and the First Lady of a congregation.

“It’s something electrifying about a man of God,” says Maya, 34. “A man who dedicates his life to studying the word of God and then teaching it to people across the world, that’s a man that I believe I deserve. And he ought to have a great woman, like me, by his side.”

Janiya, 41, agrees. “I’ve dated lots of different guys in the past. Lawyers, athletes, and CEOs, but when I am with a preacher it feels the most natural, like this is who I am supposed to be with, who I’m supposed to marry. So I decided I would only date men in the ministry, and I’ve asked God to reveal that preacher to me.”

According to Reverend Reid, a pastor in Atlanta, the phenomenon of women who set out to marry preachers is not new.

“I can remember even in my 20s, I was still in seminary and hadn’t even been ordained yet. Women would be waiting for me and a buddy of mine who had also been called to the ministry at our cars after class. After I was ordained, I began preaching around Atlanta more, and I guess word got out I was single, and things got really real. After service, I would shake hands and fellowship with the people and women would come up and slip me their telephone numbers. I even had women bringing me home-cooked dinners and sweet breads to the church, and you know Southern women can cook. I was so relieved when Jesus helped me find my wife I didn’t know what to do. I thank her every day for marrying me and saving me from all those sweet breads and macaroni and cheese casseroles.”

When asked if he had any advice for women who want to marry preachers, Reverend Reid says they need to calm down.

“Be careful what you ask God for. I am not saying marriage isn’t a good thing. It is a blessing. But you have to be in constant prayer and meditation to make sure you are truly ready for such an undertaking. Pray and read the Word. Study it like you study NeNe’s nose on Real Housewives of Atlanta. The Bible has the answer to any question you might have. Read ferociously 1 Corinthians 7:1-40. If that passage doesn’t make you question if you are ready for marriage, then read it again. Finally, and I think this is the most important thing women should understand, God has lifted a heavy load from you that many of you are still choosing to carry. The Bible says in Proverbs 18:22, a man who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord. So ya’ll don’t have to stand outside waiting for us or burn yourself over a hot stove trying to impress us. Your load has been lifted. We are supposed to find you. But, if you look even more closely into the passage it says a man that finds a wife. Not the postman, not the doctor man, and definitely not the preacher man. The word says man. M-A-N. When my sermons are done, I’ve said my last prayer, shouted my last shout, said the benediction, taken off the robe and the collar, I am just a man as are all my brother preachers in Christ. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. What God has for you, it is for you.”

Quite a few of us are probably guilty of what Reverend Reid speaks of, even if we are not seeking First Lady status. We have this idea in our heads of what we want our significant others to be, and we romanticize that image or idea in our minds. Some of us have a broad checklist of what we want in a mate while others have it already narrowed down like Maya and Janiya. However, at the end of the day, are we truly the best person we can be in order to contribute to a healthy relationship with someone else? Or are we merely looking for someone to help improve not only us, but our situation?

At the end of the day, we all must remember that you cannot be your best self if you are too busy searching for someone else to fulfill your misguided fantasies.

163 Years Of Love: Four Women Married More Than 30 Years Share Advice On Making Love Last

April 23rd, 2015 - By Liz Lampkin
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“Will you, ___, take this man/woman, to be your lawfully wedded husband/wife? To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death you part?”

These are words that many couples have said to each other, and many others are yearning to say in front of friends and family in a blissful ceremony of commitment. Marriage. It’s why so many people date endlessly, and the reason there are so many television shows dedicated to helping people find their soul mates. While the idea of being married is one that only some can imagine, others have been down that road or are presently on it.

A few days ago, I had the distinct honor of speaking with four amazing women who have been married for a total of 163 years: 30 years, 35 years, 40 years, and a whopping 58 years. Each woman has been married to the same man for decades and has been through hell and high water with them. Hearing how long each of the women have been married was not only astounding, but encouraging to an unmarried woman like myself. So naturally, as they were talking, and I listened intently, I couldn’t help but ask: What is their secret was to being married for so long? Many people would expect different answers, but surprisingly, the responses were very similar.

The first and most consistent answer each woman gave was that if you are a spiritual woman, it is essential that you pray with and for your mate constantly. It will take answers and guidance from a higher power to see you both through.

Another secret they gave was to acknowledge your husband’s place and never step out of your role as his partner. I found this interesting because it seems as though so many women in today’s society are not into the whole idea of submission. But what this generation of women and others must realize is that it doesn’t matter if your husband is standing at the end of the unemployment or job fair line, he is still the head of the household and we should follow his lead.

Another word of advice I was given was to listen to your husband, rather than to talk so much. We all know how much we as women like to be heard and express ourselves, and rightfully so. However, it’s also important to listen to what our mates have to say, allow it to resonate, and take heed. Be a good helpmate. When many women hear this, they may think that this term is demeaning, but it’s not. When someone needs an answer to something, what do they do? They seek help. If you are your husband’s helpmate, then you hold the answers he needs to become a better man for the both of you.

It’s also important to keep the fire going in your marriage. Keep dating each other and don’t take your husband for granted. As the women spoke on this, they stated that it’s vital to keep things interesting because you don’t want the spark you had at the beginning of the relationship to fade. Plus, you want your mate to know that you appreciate them. Treat the other person the way you want to be treated. Isn’t this the golden rule in life?

Communication, communication, communication. This is another major factor in having a healthy marriage, and key to any successful relationship. Talking to your partner in a loving and respectful manner will take you further than you know. It will encourage growth within your relationship and it will strengthen your friendship.

The last few nuggets of wisdom these women gave me were never to go to bed angry and that you should always remember to love each other. Love is a selfless action where one person gives freely of themselves for another’s well-being without expecting anything in return but the other person’s happiness. If couples practiced love this way, how many marriages would last longer than they do?

These and other gems of wisdom they shared should be passed on because these remarkable women have been down the path many of us desire to take. I’m grateful to each of them for sharing this knowledge with me on making love last. And although I may be a ways away from marriage, I’m going to keep these secrets locked away in my mind and heart. When the time comes, I can practice them and have a marriage that will last a lifetime.

Liz Lampkin is the Author of Are You a Reflection of the Man You Pray For? and a speaker and an advocate for single women.  Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Lampkin.

Does A Woman Earning More Than Her Man Hurt Their Marriage?

April 22nd, 2015 - By Tanvier Peart
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If things don’t change when it comes to love and finances, people are going to ask to see your W-2 before they make any commitment.

I for one am getting so tired of hearing that arguments about money are one of the top reasons why marriages and relationships aren’t working. Unless your partner is stealing from you or putting you in a really bad financial situation, who cares which one of you makes more or less? At the end of the day, everyone’s coin is money for the household, no matter who brings in more.

And why does it seem like women get questioned more on whether or not their relationship can survive if they happen to make more? Most of us are fighting to earn the same amount as a man, and now we need to worry about keeping him because our wallet is a little thicker?

Geez.

It’s no secret this society equates money to power. Unfortunately, this applies to relationships too. The person who makes the most is often looked at as the one who has the final say. With the rise of women out-earning their husbands (close to 25 percent of working married women reportedly earn more), it will be interesting to see how the dynamics of a relationship change with the times.

Can a man be confident in what he brings to the table and not be the main breadwinner?

My husband and I have a pretty traditional setup when it comes to our relationship–with modern insertions. He’s an established engineer and the main breadwinner of our home while I work for myself and freelance. Even though I don’t make as much as him, we still look for each other’s opinions when it comes to big decisions. He covers the mortgage and big bills while I take care of other financial needs. Given how flexible my money can be, I tend to be the one with more available cash, so I make the leisure time purchases. It’s also my coin that mainly funds our house fund (for now) as he pays the note on our East coast condo until it sells, and covers our home costs here in Oklahoma.

If the script were flipped and I made more, it wouldn’t stop my husband from working any harder than he does. At the end of the day, it all boils down to respect and a person’s value. So long as everyone is hustling to make a household function, there shouldn’t be any question about the value of what they bring to the table. Perhaps if people didn’t tear down each other so much (especially during an argument), there would be fewer salty feelings when it comes to the bigger or smaller paycheck.

Rather than focus on whether or not a man would be comfortable not being the main breadwinner, there are other aspects of women making more that deserve attention. For example, how would being the top earner affect the household income once children come into play? Would the possible reduction in salary still be able to cover most of your monthly needs?

Another great positive about women earning more is the ability to leave a bad situation thanks to financial independence. There are so many ladies who unfortunately stay in volatile and even dangerous relationships because they don’t have enough to provide for themselves or children without their husband.

What are your thoughts on the matter?