Real Talk About Relationships and Married Life

Archive for May, 2013

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5 Character Traits That Help Women Achieve Relationship Success

happy couples budget 230Have you ever wondered why some women seem to have no problem “getting” really great men while others struggle in that department and seem to always pick up the “deadbeats?” Have you noticed how sometimes you can see a really great looking guy, seems like he has everything going for him, and you look at the arm candy on his arm and wonder to yourself, how in the world did she get him?

See, it’s like this. When men look for marriage material, they are looking much deeper than the coke bottle figure, the Farrah Fawcett hair, the perfect nails and skin, the great job or bank account. Mothers matter to men, and men in the market to marry are usually looking for some very specific attributes and some of these characteristics are home-grown and doesn’t fall very far from the tree in his back yard. When looking for a woman to marry, his mother becomes a key factor in that decision-making process. If he had a good mother and a healthy respect for his mother or the main female guardian figure during his impressionable years, then he will look for a woman who has similar attributes. If he had a horrific childhood experience with his mother or main female care provider, he will look for someone very different and literally run from any woman who reminds him of her. Either way, his mother becomes a big factor in the wife selection process.

Previously we discussed five mindsets that hinder some women from experiencing relationship success. Here, I want to talk about five attributes that help women to achieve relationship success.

Firm & Feminine Francis

Firm and Feminine Francis is a woman who says what she means and means what she says. She is strong yet is able to balance her strength with femininity. She commands what she desires and deserves through her actions. She does not let a man get away with games or walk all over her and she sets the tone at the onset of the relationships. She knows what she wants and accepts nothing less. She is not desperate and knows who she is and her value. Firm and Feminine Francis can inspire a man to be his best self by being her best self. She demonstrates in her carriage and persona what she is about and therefore, men who approaches her does so with honor and respect, because to do otherwise, would be to get shut down in the most feminine and delicate way.

Men love this type of woman because she brings out the best in him, helps him to feel a sense of freedom to express his creativity and vision, while not allowing him to be mediocre.

Confident and Cooking Caroline

Confident and Cooking Caroline has a strong sense of self and needs no man to define her or who she is. She possesses the ability to complement her mate and understands that the quickest way to his heart is through his stomach. Confident and Cooking Caroline is a great cook, has impeccable manners, and a genuinely warm person, which usually gets her labeled as one of those “southern girls.” She keeps her house and has no shame is doing so. She is not a big talker but rather a doer and a quiet companion. She is not a needy woman, and secure in who she is. Men love this type of woman because she is dependable, reliable and emotionally even keel. He can always count on her through thick and thin and she brings him joy.

Sensible and Sensual Sandy

Sensible and Sensual Sandy is the type of woman who has learned how to balance her career and her home. She is spunky, outgoing and is a master at multi-tasking. She may not be able to prepare the best home-cooked meal, but she can cook in other ways, and order up whatever she needs to keep her man happy. Parley is her strong suit and her counseling abilities, as well as the way she tends to her physical attributes keep all eyes on her. She just seems to make everything all right. Men like Sensible and Sensual Sandy because she is a great listener, knows how to shake things up, while keeping things balanced, she is a true helper, and has tact. She is the type of woman who can carry the weight if for some reason he can’t.

Nurturing Nancy

Nurturing Nancy is the type of woman who is like a man’s mother but in a good way. She has many of the attributes of his mother. Nurturing Nancy is good friends with her man’s mother. She learns how to make his favorite meals; she learns how to fold his clothes the way he is accustomed, she learns everything she needs to learn from the first woman in his life, and her home makes him feel at home and reminds him of when he was growing up. Nurturing Nancy has strong mothering qualities, while not letting him forget she is wife material. She is subtle in maintaining her dominion and “Queen Ship” while keeping things “hunky-dory” and at peace with his mother. Nurturing Nancy has a delicate and gentle hand. Men love this type of woman because she is graceful as she offers familiarity and stability.

Trustworthy & Tenacious Trudy

Trustworthy and Tenacious Trudy has a strong backbone and help things remain cohesive stuck together. She is the type of woman who keeps things organized and in order, while being a great friend and partner in business and play. Trustworthy and Tenacious Trudy is down to earth, real, a great ear and her counsel is solid. She is no fuss, no frills, and unpretentious. She is hot or cold, never lukewarm. Trustworthy and Tenacious Trudy is a deeply spiritual woman. She is not judgmental, but she will hold you accountable and responsible for your words and your actions. She is nurturing and steadfast. Men love this type of women because she is a great friend and accepts him for who he is, stands by his side and he trusts her and knows he can manifest his vision with her.

Whether a woman holds any one of these attributes or a combination of them, one thing for sure is, it is not something you can feign. In order to be marriage material, a woman must be authentic. If you attempt to gain a man’s attention based on superficial pretenses, then what you will get is a superficial man. The best attribute a woman can bring to the relationship table is her true and authentic self. That is the best place to start.

Your comments and feedback are welcomed and encouraged.

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Seven Processes to Inspire You to Go From Ordinary to Extraordinary Part 2 (Keys 107 Radio)

Atiya Linked-In Profile Photo from aubrey“Host Rafika welcomes back Author, Speaker, Trainer and founder of The Marriage Tree Atiya. Atiya returns to continue her talk about the process of going from ordinary to extraordinary as we explore the motivational key in the pursuit of love, peace and happiness as we open doors to endless possibilities. Check out Atiya’s website to purchase her inspirational books and find out more about The Marriage Tree, sign up for her newsletter and get a free copy of e-book The Beauty of Being Free and more. She’s the author of: From Ordinary to Extraordinary; Hidden Pearls: A little quaint book of poems; Petals of a Rose; and The Beauty of Being Free, produced empowerment messages: Love is Not a Game; The Real Impact of Abuse and Taking Back Your Life.

The Keys 107 identifies 7 keys that open doors to endless possibilities in the pursuit of life, peace, and happiness. We explore 7 keys such as spiritual, mental, physical, emotional, financial, art science & entertainment, and social. It is our intention to invite guests that specialize in specific areas that through informative dialogue offer solutions that motivates a progressive change and stimulates active action. We believe the 7 keys are the essential building blocks to taking you to the next level as you pursue love, peace, and happiness.”

CLICK On LINK TO LISTEN:   7 Keys to Go From Ordinary to Extraordinary Part 2

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Five Mindsets That Hinder Black Women From Relationship Success

black-woman-attitude with redThe majority of my blogs and articles are universal. However, in this particular post, I want to specifically address a mindset in the “Black Community” that is destroying the chances and opportunity for some Black Women to experience the real power and joy of Black on Black Love.

The biggest enemy to the relationship dynamic in the Black community is the lack of respect and honor of one another as Black men and Black women. No matter how messed up either may be, to say either is damaged beyond repair is further perpetuation of a conditioning process which stems back to the plantation literally and figuratively. Whether you believe slavery actually existed or not is irrelevant here. What we are discussing is a mindset which stems back generations that has not quite been uprooted. While it is true that Blacks cannot continue to blame others for the condition in the Black community and thus must take responsibility for its state, a logical person however would understand that there are certain principles and dynamics which becomes extremely relevant when discussing the science of mating – or as some may call it, “dating.”

I hear some Black women say things like there is a lack of available or “good” Black men out there or all men are dogs. It’s no surprise that the women usually making these sorts of claims are perpetually and involuntarily single. Ladies, it’s a mindset! So what I want to do here is shed some light on the reasons as to why you might be single when you would otherwise choose to be in a healthy relationship with your Black counterpart or why you go from relationship to relationship not finding “the one.” After reading this, you may want to ask yourself, “Do I hold any of these mindsets?” Then if you realize that perhaps you might and have the courage to acknowledge it, then you are well on your way to freeing your mind and opening your heart to allow true love to come in.

Five Mindsets that Hinders Black Women From Relationship Success

1. Bitter Barbara

Bitter Barbara is a type of women who makes many outward attempts at femininity, yet is hard to the core. She is a disenfranchised woman who has been deeply hurt by a man and consequently blames all men for her pain. She most likely gave one man all of herself unconditionally although he may not have deserved it. Bitter Barbara has spent years blaming all men for the actions of one or a few and is so hard on every man who would dare to love her like he is the one who personally hurt her. She has not been able to rationally separate the “baby from the bathwater,” therefore throws both out. What Bitter Barbara may fail to realize is that she perhaps had many “good” Black men come in and out of her life, but she couldn’t see past her pain.

Bitter Barbara does not understand that her pain is partly a consequence of her own choices, and therefore she must also take some measure of responsibility. When it comes to “love and marriage and the baby carriage,” not too many Black men are interested in a woman who is just plain bitter, and would assume deal with a white woman. Unfortunately this makes Bitter Barbara even more bitter.

2. Independent  Ilene

Independent Ilene is the type of woman who doesn’t need a man to take care of her. She has her own house, her own car, a decent to high paying job, can move the refrigerator and furniture or pay someone to do it for her. Independent Ilene can “bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan” and really only needs a male to help her “get her rocks off” and then again she doesn’t even need a male for that because she has her battery operated man replacement in the drawer. Independent Ilene has the attitude that Black men are intimidated by “strong Black women.” Yet, is misguided in terms of what a real “strong Black woman” looks like.

Independent Ilene usually has “daddy issues.” Her own “daddy” taught her either directly or indirectly that she must know how to take care of herself and that she doesn’t need a man to take care of her. What independent Ilene fails to understand is that when men think in terms of fun and play, she will fit the bill mainly because she can foot the bill. However, she is thrown off her square when men look for “wife material” and she gets passed over. She doesn’t get that it is her mindset that keeps her out of the running.

Independent Ilene doesn’t understand that there is a very big difference between male and man, and that a real man is not looking for an Independent Ilene or a woman who competes with him, rather he is looking for a woman who is feminine, loving, with mothering attributes. She also has not gotten the point that a “strong Black woman” is not measured by the ability to take care of one’s self; that is a necessary life skill to which all people must possess.

A “strong Black woman” first and foremost is one who recognizes that she needs a man. Second, a “strong Black woman” is one who understands the power of synergy in her relationship with her man and is learning to master the art and science of keeping her house. Independent Ilene has not grasped the fact that a real “strong Black woman” is not looking for a boy toy, she is set on connecting with a committed Black man who understands his role as a man and willing to fulfill that role and not allow an Independent Ilene to wear the pants that he was meant to wear.

Independent Ilene hasn’t learned that no matter how much money a woman has in the bank, a “strong Black woman” would not dare depower her man or handicap him by stepping into his role as a man. Further, Independent Ilene does not understand that no matter how many toys are in the drawer, there is nothing like the “real thing baby!”

Independent Ilene projects herself as above need of a man, yet a real man needs to be needed by his “woman.”

3. Religious Rhonda

Religious Rhonda is the type of woman who is religious, yet lacks spirituality. She is looking for Jesus incarnate and if Jesus were to knock on her door, he would not measure up to her standards either. Religious Rhonda is looking for a man who doesn’t exits. She refuses to accept that the only “perfect” man is one who may be perfect for her. Therefore, no man is ever good enough. Yet, she sits around complaining with her girlfriends who are “birds of a feather flocking together,” that there are no available “good” Black men because they are either in jail, in prison, homosexual or don’t want anything more in life.

Religious Rhonda is under the illusion that relationships do not take work and that, things automatically falls in place with no effort on her part. She has an attitude that the man must bring a whole list of attributes to the table, but she is unable to bring to the table similar attributes. She feels it is for the man to do all the work and for the woman to simply reap the rewards of his labor. She wants the status, but does not look at the substance.

Religious Rhonda can quote the scripture like you wouldn’t believe. She knows the word frontwards and backwards; however she fails to understand the deeper principles of the scripture and its application that comes along with being a spiritual person. Religious Rhonda is related to Self-righteous Sally. As a matter of fact they are first cousins. When you see one you usually see the other as they are bosom buddies. You often see them both in the midst of conflict in spiritual houses. They are either hating on other women who have a man wondering how they got him, or a constant third wheel. Black men run from the drama that comes with Religious Rhonda and Self-righteous Sally.

4. Demanding Deena

Demanding Deena is so hard to please that no matter what you do for her she is never satisfied. Demanding Deena does not realize the difference between demanding something with her mouth and commanding it with her actions. With a Demanding Deena, everything is urgent and priority when it comes to her needs. She has an attitude that she is owed something and everything must cease until her needs are met.

Demanding Deena is very needy and believes that the source of her happiness lies in the hands of the man in her life. She is extremely frustrated and it’s obvious that she needs some sort of release, but fails to understand that she has unrealistic expectations. Her expectations of him are far above what is rational or even fair. There is no room for shortcomings as anyone she deals with must be on top of his game 100% of the time.

Demanding Deena is argumentative, controlling, hard, and bossy. Men usually just want to do whatever they can to get away from a Demanding Deena; and Demanding Deena has not realized that men are not interested in a woman with more testosterone than him.

5. Loose Lucy

Every man knows that Loose Lucy gives up the “coochie.” It doesn’t matter whether he is worthy or not, Loose Lucy believes the only way to get or keep a man is to open her legs. Loose Lucy believes that taking the relationship to the next level means having sex. Waiting for marriage is not in the context of her understanding of a possibility to attract the right kind of man. She has an attitude that once she gives in to a man’s sexual advances, he is obligated to her. Loose Lucy does not respect herself and suffers from low self-esteem. Loose Lucy perhaps might be a product of sexual abuse, molestation, or incest and perhaps struggles with the word, “no.”

In many cases, if a Loose Lucy has a baby, she will have babies by several different men. If she doesn’t have children in her younger years, she usually will bear children if at all later in life. Some Loose Lucies will get pregnant in an attempt to entrap a man, believing that will make him stay. Loose Lucy will sleep with friends, brothers, and maybe even fathers, sons or cousins. Loose Lucy is desperate for a man and when she feels one will take the time to wine and dine her or pay her mind, she will bear it all for him believing that this time it’s the one.

Loose Lucy doesn’t realize that her reputation comes long before she does; and those of the male persuasion who is wooing her often is looking to get laid then leave. There are two types of women that men deal with, ones to have fun with and one to bring home to meet the parents. Loose Lucy is the “booty call” not the altar call. She is a cow that every Tom, Dick, and Harry is milking and then wonders why no one is interested in buying the cow.

This might sound crass. But there is a reason why some Black women do not have a man. And to the women who would much rather publicly degrade all or most of our brothers for their actual or perceived shortcomings, and deemed them damaged beyond repair, keeps you involuntary single or in relationships that are fulfilling, because you are denying that you are part of the problem. While you may not be entirely the problem, you are however the key. Black women are the first teachers, the first nurses, the first nurturers in a man’s life, therefore, if what you see is an undesirable Black man then you owe it to them and yourselves to help them meet their obligations as a man by being a better woman.

Your comments and feedback are always welcomed and appreciated.
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This is Our World, Ep. 5 – Making Coo-Coo

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Seven Processes to Inspire You to Go From Ordinary to Extraordinary (Keys 107 Radio Live)

7 processes audio coverJust a note that I have something for you. The other day I was on Keys 107 and it was a really great show because I was able to offer some really useful tips to help you move forward in your life. I list seven processes that you can use to really get things going for you. It is an hour long but hey listen to it in spurts if you need to, but by all means be sure to listen.

It is available as a free audio download. You definitely do not want to miss it. So here’s the link to download it FREE. That’s right FREE! Because in truth this is some really great stuff and people will pay for this kind of information, but I wanted to share it with you. Enjoy it and let it bless your life! SMILE.

Seven Processes to Inspire You to M.O.V.E. From Ordinary to Extraordinary

 

Yours Truly,

ATIYA

P.S. By the way, if you haven’t already, you may want to go to www.themarriagetree.net and sign up for the email list.

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Developing Mutual Respect in Your Relationship – Part 1

Paul Newman and WifeEvery relationship that is to be properly nurtured carries with it a rudimentary and fundamental need. Regardless if that relationship is one of parent/child, supervisor/employee, pastor/congregational member, or teacher/student, there must be the element of mutual respect.

Likewise, the marriage relationship is so profound that an intimate union between two people cannot and will not thrive without the quintessential component of respect for one another. When there is mutual respect in a marriage, the two people relating demonstrate a deeply insightful esteem for each other and matters of worth, value, or importance are rarely in question. It’s simply understood because the way in which they relate goes beyond superficial exchanges; and their interaction with one another is deeply meaningful and significant. When mutual respect exists between husband and wife, the couple has developed the capacity to understand not only their individual mental processes, but also that of their mates. Their response to their spouse is based on the premise of that understanding and driven by intentions to help improve their mate’s overall condition and state of mind.

Questions of worth, value, and appreciation becomes a factor in relationships when there is a lack of mutual respect. In such cases, honor is compromised. Therefore questions become raised between the two in terms of honesty, fairness, and integrity in one’s beliefs and actions. People’s actions can be characterized by the consequences or outcome of the action and by the intentions behind the actions. Further, people usually act based on their belief systems. When two people come into union, they bring with them their individual beliefs, and within the context of their relationship, they behave according to what they believe to be appropriate. However, belief systems can sometimes be an impediment to a healthy relationship, particularly when it is devoid of mutual respect.

The law of reciprocity is a very relevant factor in relationships in general. Yet how we reciprocate in a marital relationship manifests our level of maturity and even our love for our husband or wife. Reciprocity deals with giving like for like. Yet, the balanced perspective or idea of reciprocity in marriage is to respond to a kind action with equal or greater kindness. The law of reciprocity contains polar opposites: Positive Reciprocity and Negative Reciprocity. What often happen in problematic relationships is that the parties will engage in negative reciprocity instead of positive. So rather than their behavior be cooperative, it is retaliatory.

When an action is rooted in genuine love, appreciation and respect, the purpose, the why, or the intentions behind the action is never to hurt or cause harm. Husbands and wives must always ask themselves the question, “What is my why or purpose for doing and/or saying what I am doing or saying?” If the why or intentions is retaliatory versus cooperative then you are on the wrong track to a healthy relationship. Cooperative behavior is the working together for a common purpose and benefit; it unites. Retaliatory behavior is to avenge or take revenge and this course of behavior demonstrates a lack of forgiveness, which is a vital ingredient in marriage. Retaliatory behavior separates.

Important Factors for Husbands and Wives to Consider:

 

1. Always consider your own state of mind that directs your individual action toward your mate.

2. Explore the common benefit of your intended act, and ask yourself the question “Is this something that brings us closer together and for a common purpose, or is this at the expense of my mate?”

3. Examine your personal belief system to determine if it is a hindrance to a healthy relationship with your mate.

4. Weigh whether you are behaving cooperatively or retaliatory.

5. Inspect your actions to determine if you are behaving maturely and in the spirit of love and genuine concern for the health and well-being of your mate.

Please watch for Part 2 of Developing Mutual Respect in Your Relationship

Your comments and feedback are welcomed and encouraged.  SMILE. Thank you.

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Finding The Right Person

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Atiya Talks “Marriage & Relationships” on Grenada’s FRESH 102.7 FM

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What Happens When You Don’t Love Yourself Before Getting Married…

loving yourselfI was asked the other day, “What happens if you don’t love yourself before getting married, then during the course of the marriage you start to love yourself?” I had to think for a moment, so I told that person that they just inspired my next article. So, here it is.

Before you can adequately express and demonstrate love for anyone else, you must first have a love and appreciation for yourself. When entering an intimate relationship, particularly marriage which is designed to be for a lifetime, it is very important that you have a good sense of self. Because if you don’t, you run the risk of making a connection that in the long run does not benefit you or your destiny. Further, you may make a choice that ultimately will hinder you from being able to effectively execute the vision for your life or The One’s vision for your life.

If you get married, and during the course of your marriage, you develop a greater sense of self and begin to love yourself more, that is a beautiful thing. This epiphany will most definitely help you to clarify things and in some cases place you at a crossroads or in the valley of decision. One of two things will happen when you start to love yourself.

1. You will learn to appreciate and value your spouse more as a result of you developing a better sense of who you are and learning to love and appreciate yourself; or

2. You will come to the realization that you deserve much better than what is presently in your life and make the decision to move on with your life without your current mate in it.

I discuss this in my book, From Ordinary to Extraordinary, yet more profoundly in Chapter 1: Knowing and Embracing Who You Are; and Chapter 3: Learning to Love the You That You Discover.

Excerpt Chapter 1:

“The journey to greatness begins with knowing and accepting who you really are. To know you is to experience you. Life gives you those experiences, whether positive or negative. To find joy and contentment, it’s necessary to go within the essence of your being. To find acceptance, you must learn the many aspects of yourself and embrace the diversity within, seeking to completely understand the fascinating being of who you are. Only when you have learned to accept every aspect of yourself, including your so-called flaws, will you begin to see a glimpse of your destiny. It is your absolute truth.

Succumbing to fear, worthlessness, envy and an overwhelming need to please others is the act of holding back. It interferes with your ability to get to know yourself and the Ultimate Self. It is possible to find the “flawless” beauty within. However, it takes you looking into that proverbial mirror, which may sometimes be very difficult. Once you finally take a look, developing a high regard for what you see, may sometimes be very difficult…”

Excerpt Chapter 2:

“…Loving yourself is a necessary step to loving others. Before you can grow to appreciate and love yourself, you must first come into the knowledge of who you are and your connection to the Ultimate Self. Only through a recognition of and proper relationship with the Ultimate Self are you able to accept yourself as you are at any given moment.

Once you travel through the many experiences that life can offer, you’ll develop more of an appreciation and love for even some of the simplest of things. Authentic love starts with a connection to the Ultimate Self and the accomplishment of what you agreed to do in the context of that relationship. Some may refer to it as duty. Duty is that which you gave your word to fulfill. Thus, in the context of relationships, it is your word which makes you duty-bound, responsible, and accountable. True and authentic love is divine love. Divine love is based on principles carried into action on a consistent and continual basis.

Love is the ultimate law of the universe. It is inspiration in the creative process. Love is not simply an emotion that drives your impulses. It is decisive. To love is to live life. To love is to become one with THE ONE. In order to love completely, we must eliminate the vices of the world that we tend to grasp for fear of losing control.”

It’s important to note that because one does not love themselves prior to marriage, does not mean they are not loveable. It’s just that the danger in not realizing your own worth before entering a serious commitment can place you in a situation of not necessarily making the best decision for yourself. Often people who do not love themselves or see their own value will accept things or engage in relationships that they would not otherwise accept or engage in. As a result sometimes they end up being taken advantage of or even being abused.

Marriage encounters many changes. It evolves and grows. Without the proper nurturing and attention, it can and will deteriorate. In marriage, couples reflect each other. That is one way to look at the “proverbial mirror.” Thus, looking in the proverbial mirror, one must take a careful look at their spouse and see them in the proper light and perspective, while providing them with the necessary support to help them grow and become a better person. However, the care and attention one gives in marriage must also include a nurturing of one’s own self so that they can bring their best self to the relationship. The sign of a healthy marriage is a better you. Yet, how you view yourself and others is a matter of perspective and dependent upon the frame of mind you are in at the moment of looking.

For the person who asked this question, I really encourage you to take the time out to read, “From Ordinary to Extraordinary” and complete the workbook, this will better clarify the wonderful journey that you are on. SMILE.

To get your personal copy of, “From Ordinary to Extraordinary“, please click here.

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The Power of Transparency in Your Marriage

lady-manThere is no doubt that communication is important in any relationship. For couples to win at love they must be willing to talk to one another about important matters. However, when we discuss the art of transparency, and it is an art, it goes far above and beyond simply having discussions about those things that really matter. Discussing things openly and without any hidden agendas or motives goes right to the heart of what transparency is all about. It is a manner of relating that places on the table all hidden information.

Couples who are completely open and transparent with one another have authentic relationships. These are couples who demonstrate being real with one another and do not hide or seek to hide matters. Now, it is not necessarily an easy feat to accomplish this because transparency in relating to your counterpart requires an amazing level of maturity and emotional aptitude. This manner of being with your mate or spouse encourages total openness and honesty. However, there must be an emotionally safe environment for transparency on this level to occur.

Let’s look at your relationship with your spouse from the perspective of four rooms. In the first room of your relationship there is information that is known to you and to your spouse or mate. The second room is filled with information that is not known to you but your spouse or mate is aware of as it relates to you. The third room contains information that neither one of you are aware of. Finally, the fourth room is filled with information that you know, but your spouse does not.

The goal of a transparent relationship is to move as much information as possible from all of the other rooms to room number one – that room where information is known by both you and your spouse. While many may challenge the need to communicate like this, I offer some strong reasons as to why transparent communication with your spouse is one of the most powerful and effective ways to cleave and place hedges of protection around your marriage.

Using Johari’s window, as describe above with the four rooms, the strongest relationships are formed when information is known to self and others. This is even more important with the person you have committed to spend the rest of your life with.

Transparent Communication in Your Marriage:

1. Closes the door from any external mischief-makers playing two ends against the middle or from enemies of your marriage who attempt to sow seeds of dissention. If you talk about things openly with your spouse, you are better able to work together to put strategies in place to handle problematic external forces and influences that work against harmonic relations between the two of you.

2. Demonstrates incomparable trust. If you keep lines of communication open about any subject matter and no subject is taboo with your mate and create an atmosphere of emotional safety in discussing even the hardest of subjects, you demonstrate with your action a profound level of trust that you have for your mate and are willing to expose information and receiving it responsibly. It places the couple in the position to have to trust the other not only with their heart but with information that may be extremely sensitive. This kind of communication requires commitment.

3. Builds an authentic friendship between you and your spouse. Real friends are very rare. When people are married, the best and strongest friendship one can build is with their spouse. Having your spouse as your best friend makes an “ordinary” marriage extraordinary; and the difference one can make by befriending their spouse is adding that little “extra” dynamic to the relationship.

4. Offers protection against infidelity. Infidelity happens in a cloud of secrecy. When things are not kept secret between husband and wife, and couples are able to openly discuss their weaknesses or temptations with each other, it provides an opportunity to effectively deal with risk factors and to implement strategies to strengthen any pillars in the marriage that might be crumbling.

5. Serves as a tool for healing and conflict resolution. Transparent loving communication helps to ease the pain that sometimes spouses causes one another. When you can fess up or sincerely and openly discuss your feelings and emotions with your mate, it provides a platform to work through issues maturely and lovingly. Words do matter. Yet, when couples take the necessary time to thoroughly share information that is needed for each other to “be okay” it offers a profound opportunity to heal and reconcile differences.

There is a saying that, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Transparent communication in your marriage might be difficult, but it is definitely worth it in the long run!

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