All Articles Tagged "relationship"
It’s no secret that women find themselves in situations where they’re pulling the financial weight in a relationship. According to a Pew Study published in 2013, nearly 40 percent of women with children under 18 were the sole or primary earners in their family in 2011 based on U.S. Census Bureau data.
An income gap can cause tension in a relationship especially when a partner is struggling to locate a job. To find out how women can approach this situation with their partner, MadameNoire asked three relationship coaches to weigh in on the topic.
Motivating and uplifting
When your partner is job hunting your first instinct may be to step in with lots of encouragement. Kara Stevens, life coach and founder of The Frugal Feminista (and a contributor here at MN), suggests that women first ask their partner how they want to be motivated along their job search before jumping in. You may assume that your partner wants a hands on approach when they prefer little intervention from you other than cheering them on occasionally.
Either way, when you are being encouraging, remind your partner that they’re worth more than a paycheck. Stevens also recommends encouraging them to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors to use their skills outside of working for someone else.
Adding another perspective, Atiya, aka the Marriage Strategist, believes the best way to support a man during his job search is to “big up” his gifts and talents.
“Men need to be admired and appreciated,” she says. “When a woman consistently reinforces his worth and value as a man and reminds him of all the things she admires and appreciates about him, it helps to give him the necessary drive and positive energy to do more and better.”
Feeling resentful when a partner is out of work is common. To overcome it, Kandace Jones, certified life coach and author of From Stress to Peace, suggests that the working partner reflect daily on what they are grateful for in their partner.
“This helps take the focus off what they are not currently able to do, and re-connects the working spouse to what they fell in love with. When practiced consistently, this can diffuse negative emotions and help the couple avoid the exchange of harsh words,” Jones explains.
Atiya also advises women to avoid projecting disappointments and to be mature about the situation. Rather than focusing on her own needs, she must focus on the needs of her man and household as her actions “determine the positive energy flow in the house.”
Dealing with extended unemployment and financial difficulty
Stevens suggests women be understanding of how long it takes to find work in certain industries. Depending on the profession, a job search can take several months to a year. So before rushing into judgment about a partner’s extended job search, consider the type of job they’re attempting to secure. Jobs that pay more generally take a longer time to acquire.
During a gap in employment couples may experience financial difficulty and Stevens recommends implementing a strict budget and locating ways to make side income.
According to Stevens, “Adjusting your budget to find out what’s a need and what’s a want can streamline some of your expenses. Locate things that you can sell and try to find more streams of income through entrepreneurship. If the job search takes longer, you do have skills and abilities outside of work you can use to make money.”
Although hindsight is 20-20, she recommends preparing for hardship or job loss by “living below your means” and understanding that full-time jobs are not always secure.
Working as a team
As far as helping a partner find a job, tread carefully.
Jones explains that a woman’s intention may be to help their partner, but “it can be perceived as viewing the unemployed spouse as unfit to look for work on their own.” Instead, she suggests that women engage in conversation about their partner’s ideal position in order to turn what may be perceived as an attack into a discussion based on genuine support and interest.
In this episode of One Bold Move, we show a few series extras that didn’t make the final cut. Curly Nikki gives tips on maintaining natural hair for kids, YouTuber Missy Lynn gives advice for makeup newcomers, The Curvy Fashionista addresses plus-size fashion misconceptions, Mother/Daughter fitness duo Ellen and Lana Ector share their fitness inspiration and the co-founders of Black Girls Run! discuss whether you have to workout to stay in a relationship. What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below.
It isn’t just the season to be jolly. It’s also the number one time of year for fights with your significant other. If you want your relationship to survive the holidays, consider some of these tips.
Save First-Time Family Meetings For Another Time
The holidays are about family but there is such a thing as “too soon” when it comes to meeting the folks. Spare your relationship the stress and save the family meetings for a less-stressful time of the year.
Are you starting to forget what your friends look like? Using the royal “we?” These might be signs you’re spending too much time with your significant other.
All of Your Stories Are About Him
So even when your friends do catch you alone, they still feel like he’s there in spirit.
By Christian Carter, From YourTango
Imagine you’re seeing a new man. You’re spending more and more time with him, and the two of you are really hitting it off. Every time you’re together, you connect and grow closer. So … why isn’t he moving things forward fast enough? Can’t he see how great the two of you are together? Shouldn’t you remind him?
The Two Relationship Roles
Yes, it’s frustrating to spend more and more time with someone when it’s obvious he’s not taking the relationship to the next level (at least as quickly as you’d like). You might be tempted to talk to him about your relationship to make him see why he should make more of a commitment.
Before you schedue the “big talk”, you should know that there’s a dynamic that happens in relationships that can short-circuit this effort. When one person becomes the “convincer” — the person trying to make the other see why they SHOULD do something — then the other person naturally takes on the role of the “resister.” The more the convincer pushes, the more the resister resists! And if you’re the convincer in your relationship, your partner will naturally withdraw from you. You’ll start feeling insecure, and he’ll withdraw even more. It’s a vicious cycle.
Understand His Commitment Timeline
There are always exceptions, but men tend to move toward commitment at a much slower pace than women. A man needs to feel what it’s like to have you in his life before he realizes how much happier he is with you than without. This needs to happen gradually and over time.
A man also wants to feel that you want him, not just a commitment. He has his own fears — namely, that a woman is more interested in her own agenda than in him as a person. So the best thing you can do to speed up a man’s commitment pace is to steady your own. Stay present during the journey and resist the urge to focus solely on the destination. Make him feel, every step of the way, that you appreciate him and enjoy being with him.
Read more about maintaining your relationship at YourTango.com
By Amanda Chatel, From YourTango
I’m always quick to admit that my first time was a bust. Granted, losing one’s virginity is never as great as the sex you’ll have in the future, but the range of awkwardness can be pretty extreme. Let’s be honest: we all have weird, funny, and embarrassing stories about our first time. I’ve yet to meet someone who’s ever said their first time was magical and involved orgasm after orgasm. Have you?
We asked a few ladies their thoughts on their first time. Was it awkward like the majority of loss of virginity stories? Painful and bloody? Or something gloriously unforgettable. Here’s what they had to say.
The blood! The pain!
“My first time was excruciating. I thought I was going to die. I went to ballet the next day and I thought I wouldn’t make it through. Seriously excruciating. Almost more painful than my cyst rupturing. I was wondering why people liked it, and the guy was super genteel, too,” says Autumn, 25.
Read more about women and their first time at YourTango.com
Could our story be any more cliché? Foreigner falls for American girl. He’s in a pickle, she wants to help. They marry before they’re ready but it’s cool because, you know, happily ever after and all that. Only this wasn’t a romantic comedy, this was my life.
We met at a coffee shop through mutual friends and exchanged clumsy hellos while our friends did the flirting. I was wearing borrowed clothes that day, so I didn’t exactly own up to the belly shirt and low-rise jeans I was wearing. I had never been comfortable around boys, so I scrambled to hide my shy midsection while he pretended not to notice. Just as I began to console myself with the thought that love would probably find me in college, I mustered just enough confidence to glance in his direction –and that was when he smiled. Oh my god, that smile. It was energy and passion and electricity and magic and in that moment I felt strangely drawn to him. Stranger still was the suspicion that things would never be the same again.
We fell quickly and easily for each other. Whispery late night phone calls, make-out sessions in my Toyota, and a new appreciation for sappy love songs sustained us that summer. He was kind to me, attentive, and even though he was guarded and even careful at times not to reveal too much, that mystery only drew me closer. Beautiful days turned to weeks, weeks turned to months, and months, I secretly hoped, would turn to forever.
A few weeks into my freshman year, with no signs of our romance slowing down, my boyfriend revealed he was living in the United States illegally on an expired visa. To be honest, I didn’t really understand what that meant. The only “visa” I ever knew about was a credit card and I didn’t even have one of those. He told me he’d traveled to the States from the Philippines with his family in his early teens and only recently discovered his expired legal status upon applying to college. I suppose I should have been shocked, but I wasn’t. For the first time, his guarded nature started to make sense. So that’s why he didn’t have a driver’s license. So that’s why he wasn’t going to school.
Unable to work, drive, or seek higher education without proper documentation, he attempted to find odd jobs, self-educate, and find a solution. “How could this happen?” I’d ask over and over. “What does this mean?” my parents worried. The answer was always the same: he didn’t know –and uncovering answers to even the simplest immigration questions wasn’t easy. His father was a proud and private man, offering only the occasional “I’m working on it” when pressed.
A year later and no closer to a solution, I suggested we meet with his father’s immigration attorney. “You have two choices,” the lawyer said, “Go back to the Philippines and re-apply for a visa that you’ll probably never get, or get married.”
On our drive home from the meeting, he said what we’d both been thinking. “Maybe it’s time I go home. This isn’t fair to you.” He was right, but there was also this little matter to consider: we were in love.
For a hot second I considered taking route 60 to I-15. In four hours we could be in Vegas. I was 18, he was 19; it could work! I imagined standing in a chapel, me in my Levi’s, he in his worn Doc Martens. We’d commit to forever in one breath and blame the bravado of young love in the next.
But there would be no Vegas, for being foolish in love was different than being foolish with love. Sure, a quickie marriage could have solved one big problem, but it was almost guaranteed to create about a million more. First, there were my parents: would they forgive me? Would they forgive HIM? Perhaps in time, but things might never be the same following a stunt like that. Then there were logistics: how would we support ourselves? How would we pay for an immigration lawyer? As an 18-year-old college sophomore living at home, I’d be forced to quit school to attempt to support us. And on top of all that, immigration was a lengthy process. Who knew how long it would be before he was granted authorization to work? The idea of our well-intentioned “I do” had a big, fat “DON’T” written all over it – even for him. “It’s not supposed to be this way.” he said, “You deserve to have a wedding with your parents there and you really need to finish school first. We can’t do this right now, not this way.” He was right, so for the next three years I devoted my life to two singular things: loving him and finishing college as quickly as possible. Only then would he agree to marry me.
Read more about this green card marriage at YourTango.com
Could you be strung out on love? Addiction isn’t just for drugs. Some of us are stuck on relationships that just mean trouble in the long run. If you recognize these signs of an unhealthy relationship in your life, it could be time to go cold turkey on your toxic relationship.
You’re Keeping Secrets
Your standard response to “what are you doing tonight?” Is “nothing” because you know how everyone would react if they knew you were seeing him again.
By Cassandra Guerrier For YourTango
“I didn’t think you’d want to know.”
This was how my boyfriend of three years told me that he was leaving me for a different girl. A white girl.
In spite of all of the laughter and secrets we had breathed to each other in the night, he had been lying to his entire family about who I was and what I meant to him. Why? Because he was embarrassed of my dark skin. As a Muslim man coming from a strict religious family, he was afraid of their disapproval and so figured the easiest solution was just to leave me for a woman with Blake Lively’s complexion. I don’t know what was worse: The fact that I was blindsided by this or that all of his whispered reassurances over the years that his parents would love me had meant nothing. He had to make a clean cut from me and he had to do it without thought for how it would make me feel.
When I first met Harvey, I fell in love with his eyes and his skin before I fell for him. Even though ours wasn’t a groundbreaking love story, I don’t think I’ll ever forget how we met at the beginning of the semester. Sitting at the back of the classroom, I remember laughing in his face when he tripped over his own feet and landed headfirst in the seat next to me. He made a look of indignation that turned into what I’d come to know as his signature smirk, and then jumped smoothly into conversation as if he hadn’t just made a tremendous fool of himself. After that, we ran into each other at every turn. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but there was something about the way that he carried himself across a room that made me want to get to know him. Maybe it was his shy smile or his penchant for sarcasm, but just like that, I stumbled into his love headfirst and with abandon.
From the stories he shared with me, I knew that Harvey came from a small Egyptian family who practiced Islam. He confided in me that he didn’t really consider himself that religious and would often get frustrated pretending to be just to appease his mother. I loved hearing him speak about his family’s culture and the customs that they followed. Being of Haitian descent (with a tight knit Catholic family of my own), I couldn’t say that I shared the same struggle as him, but I understood what it meant to feel so disconnected from what was supposed to be your identity. Growing up, I was subject to a running joke among my friends that I would marry someone outside of my nationality and race because I always had crushes on guys who were not black. It eventually started to catch on to the point that my classmates teased me constantly, making comments like, “Cassandra probably wishes she was a white girl with the way she’s chasing after those white boys!” and “Why can’t you like someone in your own race for once?” I hated their bullying, and so stopped confiding in them (and really anyone else) about my romantic interests for years. Those days I felt like I was drowning.
Continue reading about this relationship at YourTango.com
Could the ship be going down without you knowing it? Here are a few surprising habits that can ruin a marriage.
Letting Him Do the Chores
When men do “feminine” chores around the house, like dishes and dusting, they have sex with their partners 1.5 times less a week. When men stick to masculine chores, they have more frequent and better sex with their partners. Go figure.