All Articles Tagged "trust"

How I Left An Emotionally Abusive Relationship

May 22nd, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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From YourTango

Never is there physical abuse without emotional abuse, but unfortunately the reverse isn’t always true. During my first job as a therapist with a domestic violence organization, more than one of my clients said that they actually prefer the physical violence to the emotional violence, because at least physical bruises heal. Of course, it is more difficult to realize if your relationship is emotionally abusive than if it is physically abusive. Physical attacks are impossible to ignore, but verbal and emotional ones are harder to identify.

I can relate to this because I was also in an emotionally abusive relationship and it never occurred to me that that’s what it was until years later. I didn’t have a good enough sense of what behavior I should tolerate and what boundaries I should set, and so I didn’t know I was being abused.

My boyfriend and I were smart, attractive and well-educated. But no matter what my life looked like on the outside, I desperately wanted to be loved and so I endured him ignoring me and treating me like I didn’t even matter. I wasn’t good enough to be invited to his brother’s wedding even though we had been together for two years, but I was good enough for sex whenever he would visit. There was no reason for him to change his behavior because he got everything he wanted, when he wanted it. The harsh reality I have to face was that I let him get away with it every time.

 

I was lucky that he never proposed and that our lives diverged naturally. I don’t think I would have been able to see the destructive pattern I was part of without distance and time. It took me a couple of more years, and a hard break-up with a man I did want to marry to see what I needed to do in order to be in a healthy, loving relationship. There is a reason for the expression, “no one else can love you until you love yourself.”

Read more about this woman’s relationship at YourTango.com 

I Proposed To My Boyfriend, He Said No! Am I Wasting My Time With Him?

April 25th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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From Essence 

Dear Dr. Sherry,

I’m a 33-year-old female and I’ve been in a relationship with my boyfriend for three years now. I moved in with him after the first year, and now I’m ready to take the relationship to the next level. I got tired of waiting for the next step, so I proposed to him. The first time I did it he laughed, but it was after the first year, so I waited. The second time, he gave me some reasons why we couldn’t get married. (One reason was because I asked him.) I don’t want to be the eternal girlfriend, so I’m thinking of leaving him. Am I moving too fast or am I wasting my time? Please help!

Signed,

Anonymous

Read Dr. Sherry’s response at Essence.com 

Just Throw It In The Bag! The Do’s And Don’ts Of Commitment

April 15th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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From YourTango

While an initial spark is all it takes for a man to ask you out and crave you sexually, there needs to be something more for him to want to commit to you exclusively. He needs to feel that he can’t wait to make you his and that he can’t stand the thought of you being with anyone else.

Rather than having “the talk” or giving him ultimatums, wouldn’t it be great if you could create that feeling so that he is the one asking you for a commitment? You can if you practice these simple steps:

1. DON’T keep bringing up the “commitment” discussion.
When you feel anxious or worried about where your relationship is headed, it’s hard to resist wanting to know what he’s thinking.

But constantly trying to talk with him about commitment feels stressful to him and will only make him dig in his heels and retreat — even if he was on the verge of committing all on his own. So, no matter how much you’re dying to know what he’s thinking, resist the temptation to bring up this tender topic.

2. DON’T try convincing him
The more you try to make a case for how great you are as a couple, the more he feels cornered and manipulated. Your reasoning feels like criticism to him and makes him unable to share his true feelings.  That’s certainly not the vibe you want to create in a loving relationship.

A man falls in love when he feels like he can make you happy by being himself and sharing the deepest parts of who he is. By rejecting those parts, you make him feel wrong and cause him to protect his true feelings — and his heart — from connecting with yours.

3. DO share your good feelings
When you feel good with a man, let him know! By opening up and sharing your feelings, you allow him to connect to you and the positive experience you are sharing. It makes him feel good that he makes you feel good, and he’ll want more of that good stuff.

As you continue to lay a stronger foundation of positive feelings, it’s only natural that he will see you as a necessary and beautiful part of his life — and he’ll want to make sure you stay in it.

Read more about commitment at YourTango.com 

Why Mean Girls Finish First When Dating

April 15th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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From Hello Beautiful

We all know the cliche, “Nice guys finish last,” but what about us? Nice girls finish after way after nice guys. Think about it. There’s books dedicated to men loving witches with a capital B. When women are apathetic, no-nonsense and could care less about what people think often serves as a challenge for men and we all know that men love challenges.

Nice women who are loyal, supportive and just want honesty and respect in return usually get the short end of the stick. I know because I’ve been all of these things to men and have seen my stick get shorter and shorter.

Somewhere along the way, romantic and genuinely sweet gestures have become annoyances and expected, so they are never truly appreciated. Love cannot be bought or earned. The receiver of the nice treatment does not always feel love for the giver. In fact, they may feel manipulated, burdened or just ungrateful.

A few years ago, I met this adorable guy named Gavin. He was tall, smart, funny, ridiculously sweet and attentive. I thought I’d hit the jackpot. One night, Gavin wanted to hang out, but I explained to him that I was going to be celebrating my friend’s birthday at a local restaurant.

Gain sighed heavily, “And after?”

His desperation was adorable in the first couple of weeks. He loved spending time with me and was never shy to vocalize that. But after the hearts and stars in my eyes began to fade, I became increasingly irritated by his urgency. “After, I don’t know. It’s Lisa’s birthday, so we’ll probably be out,” I rolled my eyes. “I have to go babe. I’ll call you when I’m done.” I hung up, ready to complain to my girlfriends about how thirsty Gavin was becoming.

“I can’t believe you’re complaining about your boyfriend wanting to spend time with you. Why are you even with him?” One of my girlfriends challenged my disdain.

Continue this story about being nice in relationships at HelloBeautiful.com 

On The Road To Happiness: How To Fall In Love With Your Life

April 11th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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From YourTango

You’re walking down the street on a beautiful Spring day. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and a gentle breeze of sweet air is blowing through the trees. Everything is perfect in this moment, and you feel the magic of the Universe come alive.  But then, a thought pops into your head:  This is such an amazing moment, if only I had a boyfriend to share this with me.  And then, suddenly, your mood shifts.  You go from being happy and peaceful, to being sad and anxious.  What happened?

So often we focus our attention on the things we don’t have, rather than noticing and appreciating the things we do have. A lot of this has to do with our American culture, no doubt. Marketing has done a great job of convincing us that we are not really happy right now…that in order to experience *true* happiness, we must have whatever they are selling. Only then will you be truly happy, as if that *thing* is some magical key that unlocks your door of happiness.  They do this with cars, retirement accounts, technology, sex, drugs, and even love. When was the last time you saw an advertisement for a new dating site that promised you unlimited joy and happiness by finding the love of your life on their site?

We’ve become so accustomed to this, that we no longer even need outside marketers to remind us of our current unhappiness and need for something else. We now do it ourselves. Whenever we feel a moment of happiness, we quickly remind ourselves that we can’t possibly be truly happy because we don’t have a boyfriend yet, and the new iPhone just came out and we can’t afford it, and we have no plans for dinner tonight. And if only we had those things right now, *then* we would be truly happy.  But here’s the irony…you can never have it all. Because no matter what you have, there will be always more to get. Our Universe is infinitely abundant; there is always more to expand into and accept into our lives. So when do you have enough to just be happy right now?

Read more about happiness at YourTango.com 

Criticism Kills Your Relationship: How To Stop It Now

April 8th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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From YourTango

A Simple Antidote to Criticism― Love’s Poison — Stop It. Here’s How…

Over the years, many clients have complained about critical partners and how they feel that their every move is under surveillance. Both men and women suffer the strain of life under a microscope and the stress of intense scrutiny by a partner.

If unaddressed, living with a highly critical and/or judgmental person can be one of the most detrimental relationship dynamics. Unhealthy criticism undercuts the basic cornerstones of good relationships: the feelings of safety and approval. Its corrosive effect often makes vitality or spontaneity impossible.

To survive psychically the criticized, judged partner crawls under a shell of self-protection.  Some develop an intensely defensive personality to shield themselves from the harsh lash of the critical partner. Others hide their “authentic selves” as a protective mechanism, letting out only the part stamped “partner approved”. They may feel the need to shrink their personality to avoid criticism which can result in loss of self.

Another tactic is called “distancing” when a partner surrounds him/herself with a safe buffer zone from which he/she responds as if from afar in a polite way. Friends, work, children, exercise, texts, instant messages, ipads, facebook, screen games, television, books and newspapers can serve as buffers. So can withdrawing and becoming emotionally unavailable. The partner preserves him/her “self” by building a wall to keep the critical partner away.

Read more about criticism and love at YourTango.com 

#Facts: How A Man Knows He’s Dating A High Quality Woman

April 4th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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From Single Black Male 

I came across an article over on Thought Catalog titled “13 Ways You Know You’re Dating a High-Quality Woman.” Here are some of my favorites or most cosign-able items from the list, and a few thoughts to go along with them:

4. She has a part of her life that doesn’t involve you. Friends, hobbies, career — whatever. She’s confident and independent enough to not need your involvement in everything she does.

You really don’t need to do everything and be everywhere together. In fact, I don’t even think that’s healthy. Men still like to hang with the fellas, and we’d like to hope that our sig others would still want to see their girls. Besides, what else is there to talk about when you know everything because you’re always there?

5. You wouldn’t think twice about inviting her into different parts of your life: a barbecue with your college friends, a dinner with your parents, a fancy work party — she knows how to handle herself in different settings. She’s mature enough to make a good impression with your colleagues and wise enough to know letting loose with your friends and having fun doesn’t mean she’s immature.

7. When she is in a situation where she doesn’t know people, she introduces herself confidently. She doesn’t cling meekly to your side waiting for you to facilitate every social interaction.

These two go together. A high-quality woman makes our lives easier. If even for a few minutes at a time. It can be difficult when you’re out at an event and trying to network or catch up with people, but you can’t focus on the conversations because you’re worried about her in the corner, or you’re constantly trying to weave her into chats. Don’t get it twisted; it’s polite and we should be proud to introduce her to people. However, it shouldn’t feel like a chore. This is another time where independence comes in handy.

Read more about dating at SingleBlackMale.org 

The 6 Wackiest Break Up Lines We’ve All Heard

April 4th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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From YourTango

We’ve all heard them and, most likely, we’ve all used them: the lame, not-at-all creative, not necessarily believable breakup excuses. They are cliché, catchphrase, and so common they deserve a place in the dictionary…. or the trash can. They may be all these things, but they are also here to stay.

But, that’s not even the most annoying part. The worst thing about lame breakup excuses is that they are rarely honest: if someone is breaking up with you, you want to know why, and you deserve to know why. What you don’t want is someone with an excuse that reads like it’s written on a teleprompter. “I (insert name here) am just not ready for all this…” And Blah, Blah, Blah.

That is, of course, the bad news. The good news is that lame breakup excuses provide us with, at the very least, blog material. We can poke fun at them, and poke fun at them we will. So, I give you some of dating’s dumbest, lamest, and corniest breakup excuses:

“It’s not you, it’s me”
Ah, the “it’s not you, it’s me” excuse. An oldie, but not a goodie. The lamest thing about this excuse is that it is a bold faced lie. The person who is using it is really saying, “It’s you, I’m awesome.” If it really wasn’t you, they wouldn’t be initiating a breakup to begin with.

“I’m not ready for commitment”
Taken straight from the “How to Waste Someone’s Time Handbook” comes the commitment excuse. Milli Vanilli blamed it on the rain, and the people using this excuse are blaming it on fear of obligation. What do they have in common? They are both full of crap (yet, in the spirit of full disclosure, I must confess that I still have a Milli Vanilli tape…and yes, I listen to it). People who say they are not ready to commit really mean that they are not ready to commit with you. If they weren’t ready to commit with anyone, then why would they be dating in the first place? An exception to this may be the people who insist, from the start, that they aren’t looking for anything serious. They may genuinely run from commitment like Kanye West runs toward a mirror.

Read more about breakups at YourTango.com

“A Man Would Suck On A Cow’s T*tty If The Cow Would Let Him. ” How To Remove Crazy Thoughts About Men

April 3rd, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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From YourTango

I made a comment recently saying, “No other person is a threat to us unless it’s violence.” Whether it’s your husband’s secretary, the cute guy working behind the reception counter at the gym, a the hot lady dancing near your husband on the dance floor and giving him the eye of interest, or a co-worker and so on, it seems that many women and men have moderate to high levels of jealousy regarding their spouses/partners.

Here are six examples of thinking patterns that support jealous thoughts and feelings:

  1. High-risk Thinking: If my partner finds another attractive, then my relationship is at risk, as they may steal them from me. All others are a risk to my relationship security.
  2. Fantasy Thinking: My partner will never find anyone more attractive than me, I will be his/her end all be all. He/she will never have interest in being with another sexually because they are completely fulfilled, aroused and satisfied by me; therefore, when he/she thinks differently than my fantasy, I am hurt, rejected and threatened.
  3. Fear/Self-Loathing Thinking: Oh, s/he is better looking than I, I am ugly/fat, of course my partner will want another, I know s/he’ll leave me for him/her. I hate her/him!
  4. All Men Thinking: All men lie and cheat, I should expect it. He looked over at her, I know he’ll cheat on me. A man would suck on a cows titty if the cow would let him.
  5. Backpack Thinking: My ex cheated, so I can’t trust that someone will be faithful. Even if my partner/spouse seems trustworthy, inside I don’t believe it. They’re guilty even if they haven’t stepped out (yet).
  6. Projection Thinking: Look at the attention they are giving to him/her, I bet he/she wants to sleep with them. I need to question, pry, spy and accuse, because I can’t let my partner know I’ve had thoughts of cheating on them.

Read more jealousy at YourTango.com 

Should You Go On A Last Minute Date?

April 2nd, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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From YourTango

When a man calls very last minute to ask you out on a date it’s easy to turn him down.  You’ve got plans.  You have a life.  You’re don’t have time to sit around and wait on him.  Fair enough.

But what’s it costing you?  If you’re not available or spontaneous to date, you could lose a quality man.  It’s a missed opportunity.

Now if you’re thinking, “he should call before” or  “I don’t want to seem too available.”  I get it.  It’s nice to plan ahead.  It’s great when he calls in advance.

But there’s something you should know … Men often make last minute plans because that’s how their brains work.  Generally, they can only think of one thing at time.  So if he’s been working, working, working and finishes, he shifts his thoughts to play and that’s when he thinks about you …

How much fun it would be to see you …

How he’d love to see you laugh …

And that’s when he calls.

And if you’re not available, you risk his asking out someone else.  He could see your being unavailable as his not being your priority and move on.

And there’s nothing worse than the thought of the “coulda-been-your-man” in the arms of another woman.

Read more about dating at YourTango.com