Real Talk About Relationships and Married Life

Posts tagged ‘investment’


Why Not Sex Before Marriage


This is a message from Ingram Jones. It is a very powerful yet easy listening message. It behooves anyone to take the time to listen. SMILE.


Learning to Love Yourself, Even After Marriage

In this message, Atiya discusses the importance of loving yourself before marriage and after marriage, and how love for self is a pre-requisite to knowing how to show love to your mate and others. She answers a question that was presented to her in a coaching session. For more information, please visit us online at

To explore coaching with Atiya, please go to:

The Marriage Tree offers affordable, effective, and innovative 
Programs & Courses for couples and individuals that provides lasting results.

Authenticating Your Marriage

In this message, Atiya discusses how to Authentic Your Marriage and the importance of being honest and open to your mate.  For more information, please visit us online at To read the full article, please go to:


The Secret to Getting Him to Say, “I Do!”

Men marry women they need and not necessarily who they want. In this message, Atiya shares with women a few tips on how to encourage their partners to marry them. For more information, please visit online at To read the full article, please go to:


Developing a Wealth Consciousness for Your Marriage

In this message, Atiya discusses the importance of fiscal responsibility and being aware of how you utilize your resources in marriage. For more information, please visit us online at To read the article, go to:


Creating Togetherness in Your Marriage and Relationship


Two Words That Solves the Marriage Crisis

love-is-trustThere are two words that solve the whole marriage crisis. They are love and trust, and this applies to everyone whether you are married or single. For the single person, love and trust God enough to hold on to your vision of marriage until that special one comes. For the married couples love and trust each other enough to know that God sent the right one.

 I was very touched by an article written by Lesahaun Taylor, author of the book entitled, “It Was Me All Along” that I wanted to post it here in Dear Atiya with my comments.

 Article by LeShaun Taylor:

Often times we talk about the awesome pluses to being single. Freedom to come and go as you please, not having to ride an emotional roller coaster and being able to date multiple people with no attachments. With so much divorce, financial strains, and infidelity it doesn’t even seem worth the effort.

Some have determined themselves to be married to singleness. Divorce has become so common place, within the church and out, that our hope, innocence and belief system in love and trust has been damaged. I heard a wise man say how beautiful it is for a child to keep the hope and excitement for Christmas and Santa Clause alive.

It gives them something to look forward to and no matter what, that gleam in their eyes of excitement and joy is priceless. I will say this about being single, enjoy it but don’t put a ring on! Trust that the man or woman in your vision, is on the way to help you with the vision.

Comments by Atiya:

Great article and very timely. SMILE. I encourage abstinence until marriage. It is so very important to respect, love, and appreciation in marriage. While abstinence has always been a goal of mine from very young, I like many fell short of reaching it until now. In my current marriage, I finally achieved that goal, and I am married to a wonderful man of God, no doubt about it! SMILE.

What most people do not realized is that a Godly arranged marriage opens both husband and wife up to their healing from their past and those who are running from the commitment that comes with marriage is in truth running from their own healing. Likewise, divorce happens because one runs from their healing, or the other is refusing to go through the process of healing.

I would like to add though that, singleness is not just a mindset that people who are not married take on, it is one of the greatest problems in marriage that triggers all sorts of other issues that can lead to a one way trip to divorce court.

It is natural for someone who is single to have a single mindset. However, a supernatural mindset is needed for marriage, and when one walks through that door of holy matrimony, couples must be prepared for a new paradigm and learn to move with both speed and accuracy, because at that point, the couple is operating in another realm. If they are not prepared, not sincerely ready to walk that walk, or afraid of losing themselves, the ride can get pretty bumpy and lessons learned the hard way.

The world of singleness and the world of holy matrimony are very different, and if people would truly open their eyes and really look at what is going on around them, they would be able to see from a different perspective and a discerning pair of eyes. The problem is two fold.

Single people who hate singleness and do not prepare, understand, or hold the vision of marriage, consciously or unconsciously wages war on the world of matrimony. The marriage becomes invaded by inappropriate emotional attachments between married and non married persons of the opposite gender, thus breaking a bond necessary for marriage to thrive. This happens through things like facebook, twitter, other social media. This happens through friendships, job, church. The sad thing is that the persons who have been possessed fails to realize that they have lost their balance, and the married person will begin to see their spouse as the enemy and the single person will begin to unconsciously or consciously do things out of a lustful spirit such as go online just to see if the person is there, dress to gain the attention of the married person, make themselves always present and available just in case the married person needs them.

Married couples who have not totally committed themselves to the process of marriage or whose intentions were not really on marriage at the onset but rather to get a woman or a man rather than a husband or a wife, or who is struggling to make that paradigm shift for whatever reasons breaks down the marriage and erects walls of division by not building hedges of protection around it. They are exposed by faulty reasoning such as this is mine and that is yours, these are my friends, those are your friends, and I need more space, not realizing that there is a huge gap of space that is filled with everything else other than the spouse. Married couples must have a shared vision for their marriage, because single visions in marriage do not work. It takes the spirit of love and harmony – we, us, and ours. Married couples must cover one another as not to leave the other exposed. Friendships and relationships must be healthy and whole and friendships of the marriage. How can two walk together unless they be agreed.

It takes a whole lot more than walking down the aisle saying “I do” or “I will.”

Singleness is a temporary condition that is designed for a short time to allow for the opportunity to prepare. Marriage is a lifelong journey and takes a lifelong commitment to the process and the ability to move within a new paradigm with speed and accuracy.

For husband and wives I ask, “Have you noticed that the words Listen and Silent have all the same letters?” God sent this message through a Godly friend who understands the vision of marriage. SMILE. This is no coincidence. The key is husbands need to listen more to their wives; and wives need to be more silent and let The One touch her husband’s heart.

Hopefully, the man gets the message before he falls and the woman gets the point before she loses her mind. A husband must love his wife enough to put her before everything else except The One. The wife must trust her husband enough to let go and let God. Husband and wives must never stop believing in one another. No matter what the world says or the world’s way of doing it is, a husband has the right to be in everything the wife does, and the wife has the right to be in everything the husband does. Whether they exercise that right in all cases, when they do, it would behoove the other to pay very close attention. There is a reason for it. Usually that reason is a warning signal from the spiritual realm which reads: Attack or Threat of Attack. Nine times out of ten, the woman sees it first, this is why it is so important to listen.

They both must understand that it takes working together to maintain balance and there is no such thing in a healthy marriage of “my business” or “your business.” It is about “OUR” business. This must be the attitude of married couples and they must come to understand that anything the other does or says impacts the other. That impact can be life or it can be death. That’s how serious this thing is.

Love is not a game, so stop playing the field; and what God has joined together let no man or woman put asunder!

Your comments are requested and welcomed.


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?”


Living Between Two Worlds – Married But Living Separate

I met a young woman who was recently married and only after three months of marriage, her husband had to return to his home country to tend to an elder relative. She at that time was unable to accompany her husband due to immigration challenges. The couple had only been married for six months and suddenly found themselves in the same predicament as countless other couples who are married, but living geographically separate as a result of military, employment, sick relatives, etc. This can be a very emotional and trying situation. These couples need support, inspiration, and encouragement, particularly newlyweds facing this devastating during one of the most important times in a marriage – that first year.

The first year of marriage is exciting, yet challenging. It’s a time when two people are learning about one another and adjusting to living as a married couple. When that time of adjustment and getting to know each other is usurped by an unexpected need for one spouse to go away, thus causing a separation of the unit, this can cause some additional challenges of cleaving in marriage. If you find yourself in this situation, don’t despair, remember it is only temporary and there are many creative ways to keep the marriage bed hot and the adjustment period a little adventurous making for some wonderful long-term memories and a more solid union. Lay a foundation of communication and trust; love and patience; compassion and sensitivity; creativity and imagination. Climb that ladder of success by taking five critical steps necessary to establishing an unbreakable bond. It is also key, when children are involved, to include them in the process when appropriate and during times that are set aside specifically for them.

Five Critical Steps to Keeping Your Marriage Strong

Step 1 – Build Protective Hedges

Placing hedges of protection around your marriage is about setting healthy boundaries that keep those from the outside from sowing seeds of dissension knowingly or unknowingly and about helping to insulate you and your spouse while not isolating the two of you. Ways to protect your marriage, especially during a separation include:

  • Keep the lines of communication open and practice transparency.
  • Be honest about your fears, concerns, and how you’re feeling.
  • Inform one another of your schedule and share any plans with each other.
  • Take care to emotionally bond with your spouse making him/her the first person you share exciting news with, share concerns with, ask advice from, share important information with, laugh with, spend time with, etc.
  • Avoid spending time alone with people of the opposite gender who are not relatives. For example consistent lunch at work, talking on the telephone or chatting via social media or texting, carpooling, play-dates or meet-ups. This sets up a scenario making emotional bonding possible with someone other than your spouse.
  • Have each others back. Be a true friend to your spouse. Warn one another when someone is moving in too close. Discuss when uncomfortable situations arise and create a plan of action together to address them.
  • Establish clear boundaries and discuss boundary issues with your spouse.
  • Avoid going to clubs, bars, parties or other venues where alcohol is served as to impair judgment or minimize defenses. Also, avoid intimate social-settings, which place you in close proximity to the opposite gender.

Step 2 – Block Out Competing Forces For the Greater Good

  • Blocking out competing forces for the greater good can sometimes be very difficult because often these competing forces manifest as a face that we know, love and trust. Long time friends, family members or associates sometimes in their effort to help may actually do more harm than good. Words carry weight and sometimes the weight might be too heavy compromising the integrity of the marriage, making it necessary to lighten the load. Some common scenarios include the following.
  • A Friend or Mate – Your friend of many years asks you the question, “Are you sure he will be faithful to you?” or “What if you meet someone really handsome and kind?” These statements, while perhaps are not meant to be hurtful, are actually extremely dangerous to the marriage as it has the potential to set up doubt in the mind of one spouse toward the other. In the scenario of a geographical separation, in moments of loneliness or frustration, these little seemingly “harmless” seeds can take root in the mind of a spouse who at that moment may be struggling to cope. In this case, it is important to be firm, straightforward and possibly distance this person.
  • Big Brother/Little Sister or the Home Girl/Homeboy – There is a pre-existing relationship built over time as a result of parents who were friends, you were neighbors, grew up together, or one guided the other (i.e. coach, teacher, trainer, minister, etc.). The relationship is familiar and there is a certain amount of trust and comfort. It appears to be a situation where he/she just wants to come and support your games, catch a movie, or meet at the mall. Nothing is really suspect and the constant presence of the person appears to be non-threatening. Yet, there is an undisclosed secret attraction of which you may not have been aware. Here, it is very important to establish healthy boundaries, not giving in to obligation of the relationship. A better understanding of leaving and cleaving is helpful.
  • The Damsel in Distress – Women play this game with men (sometimes subconsciously) for emotional support and comfort. A woman being a damsel in distress is constantly seeking attention and comfort. She manifests herself in ways such as regularly needing advice around husband or boyfriend issues. Something always needs fixing in her home or she is always in need of help with something. Men love to be admired, appreciated and needed. They sincerely want to help, but the ‘Damsel in Distress’ has another agenda – to get closer to you or your spouse.

Step 3 – Enhance the Romance

  • Have dinner dates and date nights with spouse via skype or other video calling methods.
  • Play online computer games together such as chess, checkers, scrabble, etc.
  • Send E-cards, love letters, emails.
  • Send postal mail, locks of hair, and fragranced articles of clothing to make psychological connections and impressions in your spouse’s psyche.
  • Call regularly and as often as possible as to imprint the voice of your spouse in the ear right to the heart
  • Say I love you often and in as many ways as possible.
  • Keep smiling at each other. Laugh together and have fun.
  • Engage in creative intimacy (Pillow talk, love talk…use your imagination).
  • Send photos, gifts, and care packages.

Step 4 – Institute Systems of Support

  • Surround yourself with healthy and seasoned married couples, mature same gender friends and/or balanced relatives who can help provide a safe emotional environment to share concerns or challenges with.
  • Start or attend a support group of other couples who are geographically separated and working to strengthen their marriage in order to help each other cope and offer healthy social outlet and activities.
  • Get counseling if necessary to help cope with the separation.
  • Spend time with relatives, no need to lock yourself up in a room or in the house; take up a hobby or skill.

Step 5 – Plan for the Reunion

  • Plan activities to help the one who had to go away to get re-acclimated back at home.
  • Plan dates which do not immediately involve sex.
  • Have exciting welcome back surprises.
  • Slowly close the space between the two of you. Remember, your spouse has been away for awhile, he/she will need time to re-adjust.

Your marriage is an investment. If you desire to get a return on your investment, do what any good investment broker would do – Protect your resources!

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