Real Talk About Relationships and Married Life

Posts tagged ‘relationship’


Achieving a Marriage Mindset


In this marriage & relationship Video Atiya shares 7 mindset shifts that people can make in order to enhance or save their marriage.

Also read relationship articles by Ingram & Atiya on BLC Life.


An important message for all religious teachers, pastors, preachers

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Closing the Gap After a Communication Breakdown

Effective communication is important not just in relationships, but in life. In this message, Atiya discusses five ways to close a gap once communication has broken down.

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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

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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:


Achieving a Marriage Mindset

Atiya, founder of The Marriage Tree, in this message shares 7 mindset shifts that you can make in order to enhance or save their marriage. For more information, please visit us online at To read the full article, please go to:


Science of Lovemaking

In this message, Atiya shares 4 tips on how to spice things up in your relationship. For more information, please visit online at To read the full article, go to:


Keeping the Lines of Communication Open

communicationCommunication is one of the vital keys that unlock the doors to relationship success. The first part of the word relationship is RELATE, which means to connect. The last part is SHIP which is to transport or convey. Connections with others are made by establishing messages that are clearly understood by all parties. In the communication process there is the Sender, the Receiver, and the Message. Then outside of that there is the Interference. The goal is to eliminate the interference as to ensure that the message being sent by the sender is the actual message that the receiver receives.

A person’s orientation of mind, way of thinking, or manner of processing information can interfere with the message and hinder the intended message from getting to the receiver un-altered. Likewise, the same is true when a sender sends a message that is not in the language that the receiver would understand. Both conditions create interference. Therefore during the process of relating and communicating with your mate, it becomes necessary for both of you to make a paradigm shift in order to create a sphere of understanding. Understanding is a major factor in the lines of communication being open. Lack of understanding is the biggest cause of interference in the communication process, and the biggest factor in why communication breaks down.

Where there is mutual understanding, two people in a relationship are able to grasp the idea of their mate because they have taken the time to learn how their partner processes information. In other words, they speak their mate’s language and convey information that is readily understood by the one to whom they are speaking. Couples must learn to speak each other’s language.

One day I had a conversation with a man, he was telling me that his wife like most women nags. While to him his wife nags, to her she reminds her husband of things. He shared with me a situation where his wife asked him to fix something that needed to be glued. He told her he would fix it. He then saw an advertisement about some really fantastic glue that he wanted to get and use. Logically, this was the best glue and he knew he could really satisfy and please his wife by using this particular glue. Also, as gadget man, most men usually are, he believed he would also get some pleasure out of the project. For him a win-win was to use this specific glue. She wasn’t thinking in terms of win-win, she wanted it done.

His fore thought was to make his wife happy. He was excited about the glue because, “oh boy” here was another fantastic thing he could try. The only catch was he had to order the glue and it would take about three weeks to get it. No problem right? He knew how long it would take to get glue. He believed it to be a reasonable amount of time, and it probably was. The problem is he failed to communicate this small bit of information to his wife. Therefore, she kept reminding him to fix what she had asked him to fix. He felt she was nagging him about it and she felt that he was just taking his time about getting it done.

Now, if the lines of communication were actually opened between the two, he would have said to her something like, “Honey, I want to fix that for you and I am actually excited about using this glue to fix it. However, it will take about three weeks for me to get it, but as soon as it arrives I will fix this.”

Now, the wife may not necessarily want to wait the three weeks, but she most likely would have because she would’ve been clear on when the issue would be resolved and that’s all that mattered to her. She just wanted it done; she didn’t care how he did it, “just get it done.” Had she known when he would fix it and why, there would have been no need to keep reminding him. Had he told her what he was waiting on to fix it, he would not have been subjected to her “nagging,” at least not on that issue anyway.

On the flip side, the wife could have asked something like, “Honey, why is it taking so long to fix this?” That would have opened the door for him to say what the situation was. So the lack of understanding between the two is because the sender didn’t send the message clearly, and the receiver who was waiting on the message didn’t stop and say, “Hey what’s going on?”

Communication is a two way exchange and must be void of assumptions and presumptions because often both are incorrect. As I explained to the gentleman, generally speaking, when women raise the same issue all the time or complain about the same thing over and over again, men consider this to be nagging. Yet for women, what men view as nagging, is often either intended as reminders, pleas to accomplish task, requests to keep their word, or indication that additional information is required.

In the absence of communication several factors cause interference in the relationship, and the only way to remove that interference is to take the time to convey information back and forth until there is mutual understanding. Many couples lack the patience to communicate thoroughly as such. However, successful ones make it a point to communicate in this manner and consistently look for ways to keep the lines of communication open in their relationship.

Ways to Open the Lines of Communication

• Remove walls and barriers between the two of you.

• Discuss things as they come up, don’t let them pile up.

• Remember that your spouse or partner is not your adversary or someone you have to win against. Create a win-win. It’s important that both come out on top together.

• Use non-threatening forms of communication. Avoid being defensive and judgmental.

• Be compassionate and understanding. Learn what makes your mate tick.

• Be open and honest. Be trusting and trustworthy with one another. Be vulnerable to each other and protective of each other.

• Seek to understand your mate over being understood, then structure your message in a manner in which they will understand it.

• Don’t blame your partner when there is a breakdown. Look at how you can improve your message.

• Make time to relate. Do not let others run interference with that time including social media, children, family members, work, church, or friends.

• Widen your sphere of understanding. Create safe spaces and common grounds.

• Practice talking daily about non-threatening matters to improve communication and build bridges between each other.

• Listen to your mate through your heart.


Fighting Fair in Your Relationship

fight fairIn the past, I have actually coached a couple who right there in front of me, got into an all out drug out war of words. For all intended purposes, the way they went at it, I might as well had popped some popcorn, got a coca cola, put my feet up, sat back and watched the entertainment. This couple acted such a fool. They went from name calling, playing the dozens to things being drug up from another lifetime. This couple argued about everything, and the arguments would start over something like, “Stop leaving your shoes in the middle of the floor.”

Some couples fight over the silliest matters but claim to love one another. However some of the immature exchanges and the foul way they handle each other leads me to ask the question, “What’s love got to do with it?”

Couples who behave in this manner fail to realize that they cannot take words back. Sure, they can apologize later, but the damage has already been done and the words have already made a deep impact. If you are one of those couples where one or both of you get so angry that you storm out of the house, name call, talk about his mama or her baby daddy of the baby that you’re not the daddy of , hurl insults or stonewall or attack your partner’s character then you are NOT FIGHTING FAIR. Further, ultimately your FOUL way of communicating will destroy your relationship or marriage.

First let me say that it is natural and healthy to argue. Arguing is no more than simply expressing your reasoning for or against a matter. It is healthy because through loving instances of discourse, very important communication is taking place. The problem is when people become disrespectful in the process and take the conversation out of the “safe zone.” (i.e. Name calling, yelling, playing the dozens, stonewalling, mocking, invalidating, etc.).

Stonewalling is not talking to your mate at all or not listening to your mate. Women usually stonewall by giving their partner the silent treatment. Men usually stonewall by totally refusing to listen or interact. Yet in these battles for power and winning, everyone loses – the husband, the wife and the children. Also, family and friends lose because they are often put in the middle or end up having to listen to the madness. It becomes very messy and in these types of situations, everyone’s hands get dirty. What they say about misery loving company, doesn’t even adequately describe what it looks like when husband and wife lose all sense of civility when fighting.

While fighting is a normal part of any healthy relationship, there is a healthy way to fight. So here are eight ways that will help a couple keep their relationship on track during an argument.

8 Ways to Keep an Argument Healthy

1. Open Your Discussion in Prayer – Opening your discussion in prayer will invoke a higher principle in the mix and help to temper both people in the exchange.

2. Use the LTL Formula – The Listen-Talk-Listen formula ensures that both parties will listen twice as much as they talk. Steven Covey in his book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, provides a habit that couples can adopt. “Seek first to understand, and then be understood.” If you and your mate practice just that one habit, there will be a whole lot more understanding in the relationship.

3. Create a Safe Emotional Space for Communicating – It’s important to create an emotionally safe space for your mate to be able to communicate. This is the responsibility for both people. Safety means no yelling, no character attacks, no blaming (you did this or you did that…), no invalidating (that’s stupid, silly, or crazy), no stonewalling, and no judging each other. Remember that your mate is not the problem, the problem is the problem. Make the problem the enemy not your mate. So the two of you can attack the problem as a united front.

4. Use “I Feel” and Avoid Extremes Such as “You Always” or “You Never” – When you use the words, “I feel” as opposed to you did this or you did that, it removes the defense mechanisms that people automatically put up when they feel they are being attacked. Also avoid extremes such as “always” or “never.” Extremes are usually an over exaggeration of the truth.

5. Don’t Interrupt – It is important to listen to your mate and not interrupt them or talk across them. If necessary, put time frames on bringing a discussion and put a time frame on rebuttals and go back and forth until an agreement can be reached. Even if you end up not seeing eye-to-eye, agree on how you will handle the matter in the future.

6. Use a Trigger Word – Trigger words or also referred to as “Safe Words.” They are words such as time-out, pause, stop, or uncle. The purpose of these words is to invoke them during an argument that is beginning to escalate out of control. The agreed upon word is used consistently when necessary during discussions to allow the two of you to cool down, then come back to the conversation. The timeframe for the pause or time-out may be 15-minutes, 30-minutes or an hour. It all depends on what you agree to. However, the two of you must come back to the discussion to resolve the matter.

7. Address Issues as They Come Up – It is important not to let anger build up. Discuss things while they are small instead of waiting until they blow out of proportion. Also avoid going to bed angry. Resolve your matters promptly so that they don’t become bigger than what they would have been if you had addressed them early on.

8. Ask Your Mate Resolution Questions – It is both natural and important to discuss the problems in a relationship thoroughly. Yet, once the problem has clearly been outlined from both perspectives, it is critical that both of you move the discussion to a problem-solving format. In other words, just don’t complain about it, now work together to do something about it. An example of a resolution question is, “Honey, how can I help so that you don’t feel that way?”

There are many things that happen in a relationship which triggers an argument or fight between couples. It happens; but just because you had a fight is not cause to be concerned. The time to be concerned is when the fighting and argument goes afoul. So couples remember to argue in the best manner and in a loving way. Remember that your mate is your ally, not your enemy. If you have been fighting in an unfair manner, make a paradigm shift and evolve your relationship to a more healthy state.

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