All Articles Tagged "marriage"

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

May 5th, 2015 - By Tanvier Peart
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How To Keep Your Family Out Of Your Relationship

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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?

If I Were You I Would Pay Wendy Williams’ Advice About Not Marrying Before 30 No Mind

April 17th, 2015 - By Madame Noire
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Wendy Williams' Marriage Advice

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By Alissa Henry

Should women – who want to have a successful career and family – wait until they’re 30 to think about meeting a guy? Wendy Williams certainly thinks so.

This week, the talk show host made headlines for an interview she did with Moira Forbes for Forbes Lifestyle saying that women shouldn’t get married in their twenties because marriage and kids stunt a woman’s career growth. She said she always advises women to “use your entire twenties working your behind off in your career and get some ground footing, then think about meeting that guy.”

There is more to life than work, and there are a whole host of things that can derail your career whether you are married or not. But – for the sake of discussing this topic – let’s pretend that a dream job is everything and that your career success hinges totally on whether or not you are married in your twenties.

The first issue with Wendy’s advice is that it suggests thirty is a magic age. If you’re twenty-seven or twenty-nine then having a career and family is an impossibility, but on your thirtieth birthday suddenly you can have it all?

The second issue with this advice is that it’s conflates being married with having kids. There are married couples who do not have kids and there are women who have kids and are not married. Is it the combination of marriage and children that stunts career growth? Is it one or the other? What are you really saying?

I can’t speak on what having children does to your career prospects because I don’t have any, but I know for a fact marriage can certainly help a career.

Three months ago, I was in a car accident with a semi-truck and seriously injured my right foot. I didn’t want to stay home alone collecting short-term disability checks, so my husband drove me to work every day (including early Sunday mornings!) for three months. When I was offered my first job in television a few years ago, it was a part-time gig. I couldn’t afford to work a part time job if it weren’t for my husband picking up the financial slack. When that job turned into a full-time position, he taught me how to edit my stories, videotaped several of my interviews, and serves as a general sounding board and built-in support system. Good days and bad days, he is always on my side. Being married to him has made me even more successful at work then I could have imagined.

So, I don’t think the answer is to not get married at all. Better advice is – whether you tie that knot at twenty-five, thirty-five or forty-five – marry someone supportive.

In her book, Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg noted that “the single most important career decision that a woman makes is whether she will have a life partner and who that partner is. I don’t know of a single woman in a leadership position whose life partner is not fully—and I mean fully—supportive of her career.”

Like Sheryl, I believe that marrying a supportive man whom you’ve been honest with about your career goals is one of the most important decisions you can make.

If you follow Wendy’s advice but then pick the wrong guy, you run the risk of “using your entire twenties working your behind off in your career” only to have serious marriage problems when you finally do decide to get married.

Besides, building a life with someone seems much better than building a life by yourself and later trying to fit someone else in.

What do you think? Is it a bad idea to find time for love while you’re still in your twenties?

Did You Celebrate National Ex-Spouse Day Yesterday?

April 15th, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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While most of us probably do our best to forget our exes, there’s a national holiday which requests that you do the exact opposite. Yeah, in case you did not get the memo, yesterday was National Ex-Spouse Day.

According to NationalDayCalender.com, the holiday, which was founded in 1987 by Reverend Ronald Coleman of Missouri, is observed annually on April 14—exactly two months after Valentine’s Day.

Apparently, you’re supposed to positively reflect on your former relationship and release anger and resentment. Buzz 60’s Patrick E. Jones says that it should also be a time that you should set aside to forgive your ex so that you can successfully move on.

The forgiveness and releasing anger part, I get; however, I would think that this goes without saying for people who desire to maintain emotional and mental wellness. At the same time, I’d have to say that I’m definitely not interested in taking a day out of the year to reflect on or recognize one of my ex-boyfriends.

Apparently, “For Better or For Worse” actor Michael Jai White was in the right mode. Earlier this week, the divorcee penned an open letter of apology to his ex-wife and ex-girlfriends, which triggered plenty of backlash.

Perhaps the silver lining in all of this is that it appears that divorce rates are no longer surging through the roof. The New York Times explains:

The divorce rate peaked in the 1970s and early 1980s and has been declining for the three decades since.

About 70 percent of marriages that began in the 1990s reached their 15th anniversary (excluding those in which a spouse died), up from about 65 percent of those that began in the 1970s and 1980s. Those who married in the 2000s are so far divorcing at even lower rates. If current trends continue, nearly two-thirds of marriages will never involve a divorce, according to data from Justin Wolfers, a University of Michigan economist.

[…]

Of college-educated people who married in the early 2000s, only about 11 percent divorced by their seventh anniversary, the last year for which data is available. Among people without college degrees, 17 percent were divorced, according to Mr. Wolfers.

That’s encouraging, right? Anyway, did you celebrate National Ex-Spouse Day and if so, how?

Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise

Wendy Williams Says “Marriage And Babies” Will Stunt Your Career Growth

April 13th, 2015 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Wendy Williams Says "Marriage And Babies"

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In a recent sit down with Forbes Lifestyle, Wendy Williams opened up about how she relates to her fans and the challenges women face in their personal lives.

She revealed she is no longer interested in being friends or having the glamorous lifestyle many of the celebrities she interviews adhere to. Williams also shared how important it is for her to maintain normalcy in her day-to-day life. For example, after airing her talk show, Williams says she does her own grocery shopping and supports her teenage son Kevin at his track practices.

After sharing her career journey, Williams gave some debatable advice on what women should expect in marriage and parenthood in her Forbes interview. She told interviewer Moira Forbes that marriage and children stunt a woman’s career development and women lose out in marriage. After noting she, herself, has been married for 17 years, Williams said:

“We can debate this all day. Every woman has a different view and there are some women who have an opinion and are scared to voice it. But I’m not afraid to voice mine— don’t throw tomatoes! I do feel it is difficult for men to accept really successful career women. Whether it be that we out-earn them or on the marquee, our names are brighter than their own. I also feel like marriage and babies stunt a woman’s growth career wise and people don’t understand once you get married and once you have kids, you cannot do all the things that you used to do while  maintaining this important precious thing you’ve built as a family. So my suggestion to women, always, is to use your entire twenties working your behind off in your career and get some ground footing, then think about meeting that guy. Even if you’ve met him at twenty-seven, don’t get engaged and don’t move to where he lives. This is about you and your career. Because we are the ones that lose in marriage. Not men!”

Do you agree with Williams’ career and dating advice?

“This Is Why You Won’t Get Married” Shady Theories On Why There’s No Ring On It Yet

April 9th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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We’ve all heard the claim: black women get married less. And every time you turn around there’s another theory — and it’s never good. Do you believe the reasons, or is there something else going on?

Should Married Women Have A Separate “In Case Of Divorce” Emergency Fund?

March 31st, 2015 - By Tanvier Peart
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Call me an optimist or a believer in happy endings, but I truly pray my marriage can stand the test of time. As much as I love my husband and our union, I’m well aware of the divorce rate in this country and how quick folks are to call it quits. Marriage isn’t for everyone and takes hard work. You need to hold each other down during the happy and the difficult times.

Does this mean I need an emergency fund in case things don’t work out?

I never really thought about one until a (single) friend of mine asked if I had one. Now I consider myself a pretty savvy person when it comes to personal finances, but had no idea about this concept. Sure most of us heard about prenups and having your own retirement accounts, but a fund in case your marriage ends in a divorce?

As horrible as it might sound, it kinda makes sense.

While I’m only three years into my marriage (I’ve been with my guy for a total of seven years), I have heard horror stories about some marriages. How many of us have heard about a wife being shut out of money from the very man who talked her into staying at home? Or what about women who were clueless their husbands had double lives? This stuff isn’t just for television.

Even though I enjoy “traditional roles” in my marriage, I also have independence when it comes to my husband and our finances. Yes I do stay at home but I also collect checks through freelancing and my own personal business ventures. There’s something about relying on a single person for everything that just doesn’t work in my book. Plus, we’re able to save for our children’s college, a house and other endeavors with two incomes. Having my own pot of coins helps to make certain wants a reality, even if my husband is still the main breadwinner.

In fact, I’m the main one between my husband and I who always has their head inside a financial magazine or looking for ways to invest our money. While I am thankful we have a pretty good portfolio that’s growing, I’ve always considered creating an additional account for myself. My husband and I have a joint checking account and savings for emergencies. I also have a separate checking account since I’m a gal on the go, but perhaps I need a separate savings too? It has been on my mind considering I tend to have the flexibility in my finances to try different investments.

I just hate the idea of having it in case I get divorced.

Maybe I’ll call it the “Tanvier fund” or something. As much as I hate the “D” word, I also can’t be oblivious to the idea. After all, who enters a marriage thinking, “Hey, I’d like to get divorced in a few years?” As a wife and mother, it’s very easy to fall into the role of caregiver as you’re always working to take care of your household. Having a separate account or emergency fund is a great idea that empowers you to invest in yourself.

There are dreams I have that are separate from my family and will require an investment. Building up a fund for myself–that’s not associated with retirement–sounds like a smart money plan. And God forbid something happens to my relationship, I have coins in the bank to take care of myself.

“I’m Beating Every Statistic” Kim Coles Engaged At 53 And What We Can Learn From Her Story

March 31st, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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Kim Coles Engaged At 53

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Y’all know we love Kim Coles around here. She’s been the homie in our head since her “In Living Color” days and she solidified the spot playing the quirky and kind-hearted Synclaire James. So I, and then we when I shared the news with the other MN editors, were elated to learn that Ms. Coles recently got engaged to Reggie Mckiver, a holistic health expert.

Heeeeey!

Coles made the announcement on her Facebook page.

We really are happy for not only her but the women who will be encouraged by her story. Most of y’all reading this are women, so I don’t have to tell you about the pressure our mothers, our society and even we ourselves put on being married and having kids. And to do it all by 30. But bayybee (in my Mo’Nique preaching voice) there is no time limit to love. And if we all could just get to the mental space where we’re blocking out all the unnecessary (and generally unhelpful) noise about how we should lead our distinctly unique lives, perhaps we’d find they’d be filled with a lot less anxiety about things we really have little control over in the first place.

…or do we? According to Kim Coles, there are ways to get the man you want.

“I want to tell you how he found me. I got real focused on what I wanted in my personal life and the type of man I wanted to spend my life with. I like to have this conversation around finding your GPS or engaging your GPS, your divine GPS…I’ve made it mean something completely different. Gratitude, passion and success… See last year, I got really focused on the destination I wanted to have in my personal life. And by being really focused with that and setting my destination in that place, I was able to be in alignment with the man who showed up and the man who said I’m there too and I want that too…

I’m telling you I am beating every statistic. I am 53 years old and we are not supposed to get married after what 20, 25, 30 maybe? Yeah… that’s not true. I don’t follow any of those rules. I’ve never thought any of those rules applied to me and those rules don’t apply to you either.” 

Kim goes on to say that she’s teaching a course on how to align yourself to get what you want out of life. And without having taken the course and having just read a bit about it, I can gather that she doesn’t mean looking and searching for a man, putting all your energy into the hunt; but rather making sure that you are  the type of person you’re looking for. So if and when the man you desire presents himself, you’ll be ready, willing and able to receive love in a very healthy way.

We’ve heard this advice before. Like attracts like. Love yourself first and then love will enter your life. And admittedly, sometimes it sounds cliche and oversimplified. But it also makes a lot of sense too.

When you focus on working on yourself first, timelines become obsolete. How long does it take a person to love him or herself? It depends. Putting the goal or quest of finding romantic love in the context of finding and loving yourself first, gives us a much longer time frame to get it right.

So again, congratulations to Kim Coles and hopefully her story can and will be used to inspire some of us all.