Real Talk About Relationships and Married Life

Archive for October, 2012

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Being a Hero Instead of a Zero in Your Relationship

Every human being has amazing value and potential. However, simply having potential is not enough when it comes to love and marriage. It takes hard work to be in a thriving relationship where both people benefit and grow. It takes a whole lot more than, “I love you.”

When it comes to the substantive part of working that twosome thing, it really is, “What’s love got to do with it?” Sure love is the fundamental, absolutely necessary, and key ingredient in any viable and lasting union. It’s the “essential flavor” of it. But like any baker will tell you, it takes much more than flour to make a cake; and it certainly takes much more than that for it to taste good.

What we do with our potential makes a world of difference in how well we fair in life.

If you are not willing to turn that potential into some kinetic energy and bring some real substance to the table, then your relationship will suffer as a result of it. When you’re engaged in a partnership with someone else, your choices impacts that person. Whether those choices were made during the course of your current relationship or in the past, they can “potentially” impact your present, particularly if you have not addressed the matter.

We all make mistakes, but we must be willing to correct the mistakes and not make excuses for them. We must learn from our blunders and not keep repeating the same ones over and over again. Being “grown” doesn’t make you qualified to be in an intimate relationship with someone. It takes a certain level of maturity and willingness to take joint responsibility with your mate to create circumstances in your relationship to help it grow and the two of you thrive. Repeating cycles of bad choices and decisions is not acting responsibly or even being smart. As a matter of fact, it sets both parties back.

Healthy relationships don’t set you back, they help you to flourish. Now I’m not saying that you won’t or shouldn’t have issues or face challenges in a relationship. Life happens. What I am saying is that people in healthy relationships regardless of their struggles, struggle together each making considerable contributions to help their situation become better. The burden does not just fall on one person. They share the burden, making it lighter for both. It takes teamwork.

Everyone has value. However, everyone does not bring value to a relationship. How are you relating with your mate? Ask yourself the following questions to determine if you are being a “Hero or Zero” in your relationship.

10 Questions to Ask Yourself to Determine If You’re Being a “Hero or Zero”

  1. What do I offer in my relationship that helps my significant other to grow and evolve in their life?
  2. How do I complement my mate and his/her gifts, talents, and abilities?
  3. How is my mate growing as a result of my relationship with him/her?
  4. Are my partner’s circumstances improving as a result of my relationship with him/her?
  5. What is my significant other gaining from being with me?
  6. How do I contribute to my partner’s success?
  7. Do my actions promote the health and well-being of my partner and our relationship?
  8. Am I doing what is necessary to help my partner and our relationship thrive?
  9. Am I being resourceful or helpful in contributing to the financial health of our relationship?
  10. Do I have a vision and a plan for my life, and am I actively working my plan to improve my condition, my mate’s condition, and the condition of our relationship?

After you have taken a good hard look at yourself, look at your situation honestly and without the rose-colored glasses, and ask the next important question “Is my significant other being a Hero or Zero in our relationship?” After you have evaluated that, ask yourself one last question, “What am I going to do about it?”

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Want to Get Married?

From the perspective of men, there are two types of women: Those who they want to take home to meet mother dear; and those that they just want to have fun with. I know several men who for all intended purposes would be considered great catches. They are men who are not looking to date or play the field, but are actually ready to settle down to a “good choice.” I’ve listened as they discuss their challenges of finding a woman who is ready to be married, prepared to be in a serious relationship, and who does not come with a trail of baggage.

On the other hand, from the standpoint of women, there are very few available good men out there. I hear their cries as they vent their frustrations trying to find a man who is ready to be in a committed and exclusive relationship, who is able to provide for a wife, has cut the apron strings from mommy dearest, and who does not have a tribe of children by different women or wanted from the states’ child support division. I have met several women who have become disheartened while hoping, praying, and anticipating Mr. Right to walk into their life after finally shaking Mr. Wrong off of their arm, or kicking Mr. Game out of their house, from behind the wheel of their car, and out of their purse.

As if that is not devastating enough, then there’s the viewpoint of media who asserts fewer people are getting married, especially among communities of color. So, the billion dollar question becomes, “With all of the available “good” men out there, why aren’t our sisters making the connection?

Mr. and Mrs. Right

Sisters, it must be noted that in order to meet an available man of good quality, you must be an available woman of good quality. If you are one who is waiting on Mr. Right to walk through that door, it is very critical that you are Mrs. Right prepared on the other side of that threshold.

Many women, some of whom I know, are holding out for a man that doesn’t exist. Others are waiting on Jesus himself. There are several women who find themselves 10 plus years divorced or forever single as a result of looking for the “perfect” man and having a list of criteria that is not only sometimes utterly ridiculous, unrealistic, but let the truth be told, if someone held them up to that same standard, they themselves would not meet the grade. The only perfect man out there is the one that may be perfect and compatible for you. Don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating for you to settle for less than what you deserve. You are justified in having standards and being firm with respect to those standards. I get it. Infidelity is not an option. A man not taking care of his children is not an option. One who does not have a relationship with God is not an option. Yet, what I am saying though is that every relationship takes work, and if you think you are going to meet a man, push the relationship forward without having the straightforward, heart-to-heart dialogue, perhaps you are not looking at the situation in its proper perspective. Communication is the number one component necessary to inspire a man to take the relationship to the next level. He needs to know before he does that love dance, that his heart is safe with you.

Knowing What You Want

One of the most critical mistakes that many women make is, they expect men to read their minds. How will he know what you want, unless you tell him? You have to be mature enough to have deep and serious discussions. Men protect their hearts like we protect our minds. How do you expect for him to understand what the expectations are and visa-versa if you do not talk about them and put them on the table? As women, we expect men to be able to provide, protect and to profess their undying love for us consistently without fail. We expect men to work for the relationship, but are you willing as a woman to put forth the same effort to make him feel respected, admired and appreciated? Do you make him a priority in your life? If you are making him an option, then perhaps he too is making the relationship one.

There are plenty of eligible men out there who are actively looking for Mrs. Right to show up. For most men, who are pursuing that special woman – that forever kind of “I do” love, the glass slipper often fits a woman with the following characteristics:

  •  Feminine – A woman who loves being a woman, dressing like a woman, smelling like a      woman, taking the feminine disposition and not being intimidated or threatened about her femininity and womanhood. In other words, it is not necessary to squat, lift that 5-gallon of Hinckley Springs water jug to place it on the dispenser although you might be able to do it 6-days a week. When a man is present, don’t be afraid to step aside and let him flex.
  • Not Overly Independent – A woman who appreciates chivalry, and recognizes that while she can do it alone, she really does need and want a man in her life. In other words, it’s okay to let him bring home the “bacon,” while you fry it up in a pan and never let him forget he’s the man.
  • Appreciates a “Good Man” – A woman who appreciates a nice new set of luggage and has no problem getting rid of old baggage such as unhealthy male and female relationships, bad habits, uncivilized behaviors, foul mouth, unresolved emotional issues, baby daddy dramas, and who does not blame her man for issues from past relationships. In other words, stop trying to send your man to prison for what another man did to you. Deal with your issues and stop blaming him for them or expecting him to accept them in his life because you chose to accept them in yours.
  • Says What She Means and Means What She Says – A woman who is decisive, knows what she wants, not afraid to ask for it, firm and unwilling to compromise her integrity. In other words, stand on your principles and what you say and by all means stop giving up the “cookie” before marriage. You are      worth it – make him wait for it, he’ll appreciate it and respect you more.
  • Realistic – A woman who is unpretentious, objective, mature, balanced and does not have unrealistic expectations or high standards that no person on the face of the earth could reach. In other words, stop expecting a man to be perfect. Every human being has frailties. If you are searching for something wrong, I guarantee you will find it, and if you stick around long enough in the relationship, you are sure to see some weaknesses. However, are those weaknesses and frailties deal breakers? That is what you have to decide. If you look for reasons as to why the relationship won’t work, you are bound to find them. Examine if it is a healthy and whole relationship and determine if it has the ingredients necessary to stand the test of time.
  • Appreciative, Loving, Compassionate – A woman who is a friend and who appreciates the little things he does and helps him to believe he can conquer the world, and makes much ado about even the      smallest of things he does to demonstrate his love and appreciation for her. In other words, get rid of the urge to knit-pick every little thing he does until he feels he has to walk on egg shells. Don’t take things so serious all the time. Relax a little.
  • Willingness to be Vulnerable and Transparent – A woman who is willing and able to talk about and through the hard stuff such as spirituality; love and intimacy; sex, sexual preferences, STD’s, sexual partners; health; finances/spending habits, children, fears; dreams, aspirations, goals; education, emotional challenges, vulnerabilities, infidelity, commitment; the past, the present, the future; successes, failures, death and life.

Marriage is a beautiful way of life. Yet, it takes a certain mindset, which goes far beyond walking down the aisle and saying, “I do.” Preparation is key, and at every turn, it is a process which takes work, commitment and a willingness to work together for the good of the whole.

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Synergizing Your Relationship

Companionship is one of the beauties and blessing of life, particularly when that companionship involves romantic love and intimacy. A relationship between a man and a woman is designed to enhance both people. However, what most fear and what often happens is one of the parties in the relationship loses themselves in the process and sometimes start to feel hopeless. But it does not have to be that way.

A synergistic relationship is one where two or more people are able to effectively work together to produce an outcome that neither would be able to obtain independently. The marriage relationship is an interdependent one and both husband and wife depend on one another and above all they both depend on the Creator to make things happen in their lives and the lives of their family.

When a couple is deciding to get married, they must be willing to work together on all levels for the very relationship depends on their ability to effectively and cooperatively work together. Disagreements and differences of opinion are normal ordinary occurrences and they do come up. However, what makes a relationship extraordinary is when the two can synergize and become bona-fide partners in life. Synergy is a collaborative approach which facilitates mutual respect and helps in overcoming those times when you may not see eye-to-eye.

We all have gifts and talents. No one person in a relationship has the right to advance their agenda over their mate’s and visa versa. In order for a relationship to thrive, there must be a new agenda established which includes the gifts, talents and creative expression of both parties. What often disturbs the harmonic flow of the relationship causing feelings of not being fulfilled is when one party is left out and their passion or dreams are deemed as less important or insignificant.

It is a wonderful and amazing feeling to be able to work well with your mate. On the contrary, it is very devastating to be with someone who does not support you or believe in you and what you bring to the table. This is why, before marriage you must assess the gifts, talents and life mission of your potential partner and how well that matches your gifts, talents and life mission. You do have a life mission right? SMILE.

Open and honest communication is very important in any relationship. It is even more critical in the marriage dynamic. There should be no walls, division, or secrets. This is how trust is built into the relationship and this is how it is maintained. So the old adage, “What it took to get him/her, is what it takes to keep him/her,” rings true.

There are many ways to get the dialogue juices flowing. Here are some tips to get you thinking synergistically. SMILE.

The TOP TEN TIPS to Synergize Your Relationship

1). Outline and discuss your gifts, talents and passions with your potential mate.

2). Be open and honest about what is important to you and what really matters.

3). Discuss with your potential mate what is important to him/her.

4). Talk about ways the two of you can work together and how you can synergize what you do.

5). Discuss workable solutions and agree on ways to overcome areas of disagreement or differences of opinion before the marriage, and stick to the plan in marriage.

6). Make a list of businesses and opportunities that can be created working together using both your and your partner’s gifts, talents, and passions.

7). Work on projects together before marriage to get an idea of how well you work together.

8). Promote each other’s talents. Service to one another increases love for one another.

9). Observe the strengths of your potential partner and see how they cover your weaknesses.

10. As soon as the two of you know you want to get married, take the time to construct a life mission plan together which encompasses both of your dreams and life purposes.

Marriage has its challenges, but together and with The One’s help, you can conquer them all.

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