All Articles Tagged "marriage"

Friendly vs. Flirting: When Should You Tell Someone Of The Opposite Sex You’re Not Single?

June 27th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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One of the most interesting things I’ve found about being on the road to the altar is how awkward it is to figure out if and when I should share that information with folks I meet of the opposite sex. While people like Kevin Gates like to say that women shouldn’t even touch him because he’s married, and there are even debates on whether or not it’s appropriate for married men and women to receive phone calls from people of the opposite sex, I never wanted to be one of those people who acted as though I couldn’t interact with men in everyday life because I’m engaged to be married to one.

Plus, there’s something…let’s just say interesting…about assuming that every man you meet wants you like that. That’s almost like thinking that because someone is friendly to you, they automatically are planning to get in your drawls. Plus, not every person needs to know your business like that anyway.

But after running into two situations this past weekend where I worried that I was confusing a man’s general chivalrous behavior with flirtation and one where I clearly wasn’t confused, I thought it would be good to ask, when and how should you tell someone of the opposite sex you’re not interested and not available? What’s the signal that lets you know they want more than what you can offer when you initially thought they were a nice person to get to know?

For instance, while out of town for a friend’s wedding and rolling with single friends, I met a guy who was quite hilarious. He is also from New York, also Nigerian, and is also a fantastic dancer, so we got along well, as he also did with my two friends. Near the end of the night, he sort of flocked to me and one of the other girls (the other went home early), even offering us a ride home. Nice, right?

Well, for some reason, I thought it best to distance myself all of a sudden. I started saying less, and while I took that ride (Uber prices were a trip…), I sat in the back despite my friend offering to. (Side note: she often offers to sit in the back of cars because I’m tall. Sweet girl.) In my mind, I thought, let me let two single people mingle and stay my black a– out of trouble. But during the ride, the harmless truth came out: He’s married, has a newborn, and was just trying to make sure my friend and I got home safely after the wedding. When we got there, he waited for us to enter our AirBNB and said, “Have a goodnight ladies! Great meeting you.”

“Get over yourself, Victoria” is what ran through my head as I prepared for bed that evening.

But the next day, I had a much different experience. The groom’s brother had been very charming and polite since my friends and I initially entered town. He often offered us rides and to show us around town, which we greatly appreciated. When I asked my girlfriend what she thought of him at the wedding, she relayed that she thought he was cute. It was clear he thought the same of her. So I took it upon myself to try and make a love connection happen, because what better time then around a wedding to do so?

Well, he offered to take her to the airport. I rode along, as my flight was leaving a day later, and sat in the back quietly as they chatted. After dropping her off at her terminal, he gave her a hug, as did I, and that was about it. No romantic moment whatsoever. I proceeded to sit in the front with him as he drove me to a brunch for the bride and groom. We lightly talked about the city I was visiting as he pointed to different shopping areas and venues.

“So, what did you think of ___?” I eventually asked, trying to kick my matchmaker skills into gear.

“Are you kidding me?” he said with a laugh. He proceeded, “She’s nice, but I’m not really interested in her in that way. But if I came to New York she would be a great person to hang out with and show me around.”

Noted. I let it go, saddened that I would have to pack away my matchmaking attempts. And that’s when things became quite uncomfortable.

“If I was going to talk to someone, it would be you.”

What I assumed were genuine attempts to be friendly also happened to be attempts to spend time with me so he could try and make a move. When I showed him my ring, which I’ve worn every day since getting engaged last year, he seemed disappointed. But what was really disappointing was the fact that he didn’t give up. On the longest of rides, he asked me if I could ever like him in the future, how I knew I was actually ready to get married, why it took my fiancé so long to propose (he said he would know by six months), and said if I wanted to “do something,” I wouldn’t have to worry about him telling anybody while giving me the eye.

I couldn’t get out of that car fast enough.

For a minute there, I wondered if I had been too friendly, if I needed to start making mention of my upcoming marital status straightaway, in the “My fiancé and I” kind of way to make it clear that I wouldn’t likely entertain advances. But, again, I also worry that such moves play into the idea that men and women can’t just be friends. In the case of the first guy, some men really are good guys whose intentions aren’t always what you think. Plus, in the case of the groom’s brother, in reality, my status didn’t matter whatsoever. He was determined either way. This was clear when he said “an engagement means nothing,” and kept trying to create hypothetical situations to encourage me to at least say some Erykah Badu “Next Lifetime” sh-t. Hard pass.

It’s tough. Even if you aren’t looking for a friend, it’s awkward to assume that every male needs to know you’re taken off the bat because you believe they might be out to hit on you. And it’s also quite interesting that by telling someone “I’m engaged,” I’m telling them to respect the man they don’t know and my relationship more than just respecting me and falling all the way back. To be honest, I would have loved to tell him that I’m not interested not solely because I’m in love with someone else who I wouldn’t dare hurt, but also because I’m just genuinely not interested. Because the last thing I wanted for him to think, which I believe he did, was that I’m not giving him the time of the day only because someone else is in the picture. He didn’t have the juice like that…

So with that being said, I don’t have any plans to step out on my old man (who just laughed — over and over — when I told him about the groom’s brother). But I did realize two things from this weekend and this ongoing issue: My fiancé probably needs to start coming to more social gatherings with me (a light SMH at him), and being friendly when off the market can be quite a complicated thing. But I don’t plan on ceasing from being either anytime soon.

“Finally, I Got It Right” Fantasia Talks Fasting For Seven Months Before Meeting Her Husband

June 23rd, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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Fantasia Talks Fasting For Seven Months Before Meeting Her Husband

Source: MajicATL

We’ve seen Fantasia’s relationship come up. From the fathers of her daughter to the father of her son, a married man, she’s been through some tough heartbreak. And those are just the relationships we know about. But when she met her husband Kendall Taylor, she was in a different space and doing things differently. It’s her relationship with her husband that’s inspired her latest single, “Sleeping With The One I Love.”

In a recent interview with Maria More of Majic 107.5, Fantasia shared her story.

On her new single, “Sleeping With The One I Love”

Now I finally got what God always desired for me. But it was me that was moving out of timing. It was me because I wanted it so bad. So that song just talks about going through all those bad relationships and now I’m sleeping with the one I love.

Prior to you finding him, do you feel like you went through a period of self discovery, like a reflective type space?

(To Maria:) I feel like we know each other. Do we know each other?

Actually, I was doing After Midnight, was in a Broadway show. I was doing it for seven months. And some people say, ‘Well, seven months is not a long time.’ But for Fantasia it is. I went on a fast and I decided that I was going to be in a relationship with myself and learn how to love myself again, plus learn how to let go. I had to let go of the other relationships. You can’t go into something good until you let go of all the bad stuff because you’ll find yourself steady bringing up all the old in a new situation. So I fasted for seven months. I read a lot. Everything that I watched was things that were good for my spirit, man. I watched a lot of T.D. Jakes. I watched a lot of things that I could deposit in myself that would lift me up, build me.

True story, I had index cards, I would write things on them and post them on the mirror in the bathroom. And I would speak it. Because you have to speak life. You have to speak what you want. You have to watch what you say because it’s power in your tongue. So as you get up every morning and you speak it, you’re speaking into your own life what you want, what you desire, what you need. And then of course, I talked to the man upstairs. I told him exactly what I needed in that seven months. I knew I needed a man that was going to come in and build me up because I was a broken woman. I knew I needed a man who was going to tell me how beautiful I was, that was going to tell me he loved me everyday because I had went through so many situations where I felt like I just wasn’t loved the right way. So I asked God for certain things. When I met my husband, he was fasting at the same time. So that’s how I knew. Because I told you I went through a lot of times where I was like, ‘He is the one. I don’t care what nobody say. He wear the shoes I like, he is the one!’ And I had to be patient. It’s hard to be patient. It’s hard to sit back and actually wait and allow everything— just let it be. And when I did that, finally, I got it right.

You can watch this clip from the interview in the video below.

Did You Consummate Your Marriage The Night Of The Wedding?

June 20th, 2016 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Wedding Day

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Sex happening on your wedding night may be expected from your partner, friends, and parents (if they’re that pressed to babysit nine months later). But does it really go down in the bedroom after you’ve celebrated your foray into marriage for hours?

Probably not.

According to research conducted by lingerie company Bluebella, only 48 percent of the 1,000 couples they surveyed had sex on their wedding night. Fifty-two percent of the women who were surveyed revealed they were exhausted after the reception ended or too drunk to perform any sexual activity. Others shared they were too busy enjoying their wedding festivities which made them delay consummating their marriage, while a handful of people waited a day or two to make their marriage “official.”

The study also noted that only “84 percent of people were happy with their post-wedding sex” even if it didn’t happen directly on their wedding night. “Unfortunately, weddings are not great foreplay. They’re joyous occasions, of course, but they’re rife with emotion, stress, and anxiety. Most couples end up getting drunk and eating large meals. You’re dancing for hours in uncomfortable clothing and shoes. You’re lucky to make it back to the hotel room in one piece,” sex therapist Vanessa Marin rightfully stated.

Emily Bendell, founder of Bluebella who commissioned the survey, also stated “it’s good to see that so many couples are saying ‘I don’t’ to wedding night sex. Couples are under so much pressure these days to have a ‘perfect day’ that it is refreshing that so many are defying expected norms and doing exactly what they want. If that means, saving the ‘wedding night’ until they can really enjoy it, then why not?”

Marin suggests couples communicate about what their expectations are on their wedding night, even if it seems like a no-brainer. However if  a couple believes they must consummate their marriage on the same day, Marin suggests they have sex the morning of their wedding day.

But if that’s too unconventional for you, the sex therapist advises you don’t overeat or excessively drink throughout your wedding day because those vices won’t lead to passionate lovemaking.

h/t Glamour

Is This Petty? My Fiancé Has An Ugly Last Name And I Don’t Want To Take It

June 17th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Shutterstock

We all know that in this day and age of proud feminism and openly independent thinkers, many women are opting against solely taking their husband’s last name. While some women are proudly keeping calm and carrying on with their maiden name, others are hyphenating. But, of course, there are still many women who take their husband’s name and rock it as their own, whether it’s because they’re psyched at that perk of marriage, or because they just want to keep the peace.

But what is a bride-to-be to do when her fiancé’s last name isn’t a good fit with her own?

Like the commenter on WeddingBee who said she has a friend who isn’t so crazy about her married name: Carrie Larry.

Or my co-worker who said that as someone with such a unique cultural name, she isn’t excited about adopting the last name “Thompson”– no offense to anyone with that surname (it’s lovely).

Or this woman:

“I’m engaged to a guy with the last name Poots. and my baby will have the last name Poots. Nothings sounds pretty or cute with Poots.”

And this woman:

“I can’t decide whether or not to take my fiancé’s last name. I have a simple but unique monosyllabic surname that I like very much. I am also the last person in my family with the name- I am an only child and my father has only sisters. My fiance’s last name is boring and common- it is one of the top 3 last names in the US. I really do like the idea of our entire family (including future kids) having the same last name but I just don’t like his.”

And then, in a more somber situation, there’s this woman, who shared her story for The Stir. She took her husband’s name years ago, but still regrets it:

Twelve years ago, I was excited to dump my 10-letter mouthful of a maiden name for one that was half as long. I was ready to say goodbye to years of having to correct the spelling and the pronunciation of the very German name passed down through my father’s family for generations.

My new name was short and cute, and wouldn’t you know it, my husband and I now had the same exact initials — all the way through. And then seven years ago, I gave birth to a baby girl.

She got my husband’s last name, and I felt a twinge of sadness. The name I so proudly learned to write out in kindergarten had no business here. It had been erased.

So with all that being said, how does a bride-to-be deal with a name they doesn’t feel fits them? It depends on the situation–and the partner.

Some men are very progressive and understand that not every woman takes her husband’s last name these days, for reasons including personal preference and professional purposes. But then there are the guys who consider a woman not taking their last name to be a slight, as though she doesn’t want to fully unite with him. Depending on the situation, it’s good to just be as honest as possible when you feel like the name doesn’t work. I mean, “Carrie Larry”? I would have had to say something about that…

Then there’s always the option to hyphenate, which could create a mouthful, but might be the best way to go in some instances. Either way, I don’t think it’s something a woman should keep quiet about, especially if you worry that it could create some resentment down the line. Plus, considering that it takes quite a bit of time for brides to fully change their last names after the wedding (it’s a long process), you have more than enough time to stall while you figure things out.

It’s complicated, but what happens with your future husband’s last name depends on how you look at what’s in a name. Not to sound like a character from Roots or anything (though they were preaching), but some people consider their name to be everything. It defines you. But for others, taking a surname is but a small part of a bigger picture–becoming one with the person you love. Even if their last name is a bit on the fugly side…

But as always, that’s just my opinion. Where do you stand? Is this a petty issue? How would you deal with it if you didn’t like your future husband’s last name?

 

Do You Believe In The Seven-Year Itch?

June 13th, 2016 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Shutterstock

To me, the seven-year itch has always been a silly concept used to discourage people from getting married; however, new research suggests that this is actually a thing. In case you’re in the dark, the seven-year itch is a psychological term used to describe a decline in marital satisfaction around the seven-year mark.

According to the Daily Mail, a recent study out of Cambridge University suggests that couples are actually more likely to divorce after year seven. Cambridge University statistics professor Sir David Spiegelhalter also notes that if a couple survives the seventh year of marriage, the likelihood of divorce declines each year after that.

“Seven years is the peak risk time for divorce during a marriage,” said Sir David.

He went on to say that while some may expect the likelihood of divorce to increase again later in the relationship, there’s no evidence to support this theory.

“[The risk of divorce] just steadily declines as we get used to each other. It’s a four-star statistic, the seven-year itch.”

Of course, you know your marriage better than anyone, so there’s nothing that a study can really tell you about your relationship that you probably don’t already know. However, the results of this study raise an interesting question: What is it about year seven that makes staying together so difficult?

Marriage Is Good For Your Heart In More Ways Than One

June 13th, 2016 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Shutterstock

Marriage comes with obvious benefits to one’s emotional health; however, science now suggests that married life can also be beneficial to your physical health.

According to CBS News, evidence from a new study implies that married people are more likely to survive a heart attack and are generally released from the hospital sooner than their single counterparts.

“Our results should not be a cause for concern for single people who have had a heart attack,” explained Dr. Nicholas Gollop, clinical research fellow in cardiology at the University of East Anglia and the study’s co-author. “But they should certainly be a reminder to the medical community of the importance of considering the support a heart attack survivor will get once they’re discharged.”

For their study, which was presented last week at the British Cardiovascular Society meeting in, England, researchers analyzed data collected from more than 25,000 heart attack patients in England. Their probe revealed that married people are 14 percent less likely to die from a heart attack than singles. Scientists also discovered that on average, married heart attack patients spent two fewer days in the hospital than single people who survived heart attacks. According to researchers, more than anything, this study highlights the importance of both physical and emotional support during times of illness.

“A heart attack can have both devastating physical and psychological effects — most of which are hidden from the outside world. These findings suggest the support offered by a spouse can have a beneficial effect on heart attack survivors, perhaps helping to minimize the impact of a heart attack,” shared associate medical director of the British Heart Foundation, Dr. Michael Knapton.

However, Knapton was sure to note that this kind of support can come from many avenues — not just marriage.

“Enrolling in a cardiac rehabilitation course, for example, will help you to recover physically, psychologically, and also help you to meet people with similar experiences, who know what you’ve been through,” he shared.

Is There A Link Between Your Sexual Number And Divorce?

June 10th, 2016 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Shutterstock

New research from the University of Utah suggests that there is a potential link between a woman’s sexual number and the possibility that she will experience divorce; however, it’s not what you think.

While the study did find that women who married as virgins are most likely to still be married five years from their wedding day, researchers made similar findings when it came to women who had three to nine partners before saying “I do.” However, there was a sharp contrast between brides who had zero to one premarital sex partner and those who had two. Brides who only had two premarital sex partners the second most likely group to end up divorced.

“In short, if you’re going to have comparisons to your [future] husband, it’s best to have more than one,” explained Nicholas H. Wolfinger, University of Utah department of family and consumer studies professor.

The study also found that women who had 10 more partners were the most likely to end their marriages.

“This is the result most readers of this brief expected: A lot of partners mean a lot of baggage, which makes a stable marriage less tenable. It’s also entirely likely that the correlation is spurious, the product of certain personal characteristics,” Wolfinger wrote.

Institute for Family Studies/NSFG, 2002-2013

Institute for Family Studies/NSFG, 2002-2013

Wolfinger set out to explore the developing relationship between premarital sex and divorce over the years. To do so, he reviewed results from the CDC’s National Survey of Family Growth conducted between the 1970s and the 2010s. As for why the premarital sex habits of men were not included in the study, Wolfinger had this to say:

“Unfortunately, the NSFG doesn’t have full data on men’s premarital sexual behavior and in any event they recall their own marital histories less reliably than do women.”

H/t Komo News

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Travel Trials: I’m Not Attending My Best Friend’s Destination Wedding Because Of The Zika Virus

June 8th, 2016 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Zika Virus

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(As relayed by Lauren R.D. Fox based on a culmination of experiences)

My best friend and her fiancé decided to have a destination wedding in Fiji and I was elated to travel to the Pacific Island to witness their union.

Serving as the Matron of Honor, I planned my friend’s bridal shower, bachelorette party and even assisted her while she shopped for a wedding dress and shoes. And although I believe I have been beyond supportive, my friend is no longer speaking to me.

Here’s why.

After helping her plan the most important day of her life, I told her I won’t be able to attend her wedding. My husband and I are trying to become pregnant and there is currently an outbreak of the Zika virus in Fiji. Initially, I was going to take the risk and attend her wedding despite the CDC’s travel warning for women who are trying to conceive or are expecting their first child but I realize now my future child’s health is more important.

The Zika virus causes fetuses to develop eye defects, hearing loss and impaired growth. They can even develop microcephaly and other brain defects. Although I’m sure my friend knows this information, she is giving me the cold shoulder. I know her wedding day is important to her, but outside of her fairy tale picture I have an image of a perfect life too and that includes giving birth to a healthy baby.

Am I a bad friend for not attending my friend’s wedding or is she acting like a Bridezilla?

 

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Are These The “Big Four” Factors Of Divorce?

June 6th, 2016 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Many elements come into play when a person is trying to determine whether or not they want to end their marriage, and there’s no question that these elements will to vary from person to person; however, researchers with the Institute of Family Studies believe that they have narrowed down the top four — or “big four,” if you will — factors in divorce.

To arrive at their findings, researchers conducted a national survey of 3,000 married Americans, whose ages ranged from 25 to 50. During these interviews, participants were asked the following questions, which were pulled from the National Divorce Decision Making Project. The guiding questions included:

1. How many married people have recently thought about divorce or thought about it in the past? How often or long have they had these thoughts?

2. To whom do these married people voice their thoughts?

3. When spouses are thinking about divorce, does it mean that divorce is imminent? Are they willing to keep working on the marriage or are they looking for a way out?

After reviewing the results of the interviews, researchers found four common themes in divorce-related decisions, which is how they established the big four factors in divorce.

1. Kids

Children turned out the be the number one factor when trying to determine whether it’s worth it to stay in a marriage or leave. “Participants were highly concerned about the toll a divorce might take on their kids,” researchers explained.

2. Happiness 

Personal happiness levels —not only in connection to how people feel in their marriages, but overall happiness — was the second biggest factor.

“Participants commonly talked about their jobs (or lack of work) and their feelings of satisfaction with life in general. Looping back to their marriages, the prospects for work, or the possibility of enjoying their own life choices without the influence of their spouses made for fantasy scenarios in our participants’ minds,” said researchers.

3. Finances 

Whether or not couples felt like they were capable of staying afloat financially without one another also played a role in whether or not they pulled the divorce trigger.

“And on both of our ends we think about the effects on our son and, you know, what if we just stuck to our guns and we just got a divorce? Would we, would either of us be homeless? Without each other we probably couldn’t afford our standard of living. Take my income out, or leave me with just mine, or taking my income and leaving him with just his…our standard of living would be totally different,” Andi, who has been married for 13 years, told researchers.

4. Love

Love came in last as far as the “big four” are concerned. Ironically, it wasn’t always that “I can’t leave because I can’t live without you” kind of love, either.

“So I do try to fool [myself] into thinking [I’m] in love. And I think that you can. The times that I’ve been really desperate where I thought I was seriously considering divorce… I call it ‘you fake it until you make it.’ I’ll pretend that I’m in love with him because I know it makes my life easier if he feels like he’s really loved,” explained Carrie, who has been married 14 years. “And then I start absorbing those feelings. The positiveness of actions will leave a lasting impression on you, and you kind of fall into love again, you know? Then, you go through life and everything gets boring again (laughs) and you do it all over again.” 

How To Keep Your Temper From Ruining Your Relationship

June 3rd, 2016 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

Fussing and fighting takes a lot of the positive energy out of a relationship. It also manages to leave you incredibly exhausted. When you focus on being mad, it’s harder to get to the real reasons behind your anger issues. When something is done that you don’t like, here comes the same old argument. Again. And if you have a real temper, those disagreements can turn the volume way up on your relationship and put it in a bad place.

So how can you dial down the drama? Controlling your temper and allowing it to take a back seat to your positive feelings for your partner can keep frustration from tearing you apart. Practice these calming techniques and you can keep your buttons from being pushed so easily.

From a simple “woosah” to a stress-relieving exercise program, these tools can keep us all from saying something we don’t mean when the moment gets heated.