Marriage Isn’t For Everyone

I have a confession.

Ugh!

I don’t know how to really say it.

Saying it out loud scares me.

But, we’re friends right?

I can trust you with this confession.

Okay, here goes…

I don’t know if I want to get married again.

Whew!

I said it.

I’m scared though.

What does that mean for my relationship with Mr. C? We’re planning our lives together. To be united as man and wife. To love without limits and live together legally. In God’s eyes. In man’s eyes. But, I don’t know if I want that anymore.

Not that I don’t want him. I love him. I want him. I literally thank God every day for the love this man has given me and continues to give me, but I have such negative thoughts about marriage. My last marriage left a horrific metallic taste in my mouth.

It felt like a sham. The fact that we still have to communicate for the sake of Munch reminds me of how horrible someone can change when love just doesn’t reside there anymore. I don’t want that with Mr. C. That’s what scares me.

I know he’s not my ex. He’s different. Completely different. But, marriage. Marriage changes people. Divorce changes people. Children change people.

Sometimes for the good. Sometimes for the bad.

Mr. C told me the other day that he wanted us to adopt. A little girl. A six year old girl after we got married. I laughed.

I later had a panic attack. I can’t do this. I can’t raise a child and go through a horrible custody battle if we don’t work out. I don’t want to divide up assets or create a shared custody schedule. I can’t put another child through the pain that I’ve already put Munch through.

I thought we had agreed to no more children. Hell, I almost cried when the doctor told me that my ovaries are acting 15 years younger than I am. What the hell? I don’t want anymore children.

Sigh.

It’s true.

Not now.

Not ever.

In a perfect world – I wish that my man and I can live and raise our children together. That we will laugh and love until we tire of each other. If we don’t ever tire, I pray that we shall grow old and gray and thankful that God gave us each other.

Not legally bound.

But spiritually.

Is there something wrong with that wish?

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

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Marriage Advice From A Divorcee

Late last year I read on Facebook a post from a “friend” that stated that he didn’t want to hear marriage advice from a divorced person. I was stunned. Wow! Since when did being divorce mean that you couldn’t give advice and probably better advice since you’re away from the responsibility of marriage?

But, I realized he wasn’t alone. Many people feel that way. They see divorced people as pariahs with no real value or definitely not advice that could be imparted on those that are married. What could you possibly have to say to me seeing as though your own marriage failed?

Honestly? We can say a lot.

See, I recognized the failure of my marriage. The marriage between two people that should have never gotten married, but believe that love would make everything alright. Love would sustain us. We were delusional. Love is never enough.

I had this awakening of spirit last weekend as I watched my brother marry. It was a beautiful wedding surrounded by beautiful people who loved the couple. The preacher encouraged them to keep God first because love wasn’t enough.

That’s where I find myself today offering these words to encourage/inspire you to take my advice and use it as you please. Moving from a wonderful moment to an epiphany of hope for people who want to marry. Words of wisdom and advice are all I have to offer and I pray that you are encouraged by these five pieces of advice:

5 Pieces of Advice for Your Marriage:

  1. Keep God First! This is the biggest and most important advice that I can give. I literally sat there in tears when my ex-husband and I talked to the pastor at the end of our marriage. He asked “Where was God in your marriage?” I sat there crying. We left God out. We had literally turned our backs on our faith and chose to do it alone. That is the worst thing you can do. Sometimes all you can do is just pray for your spouse. Get on your knees and cry out “God we need you. Something is going on and we need you to protect our house and our family.” Keep God first.
  2. Don’t leave. You can’t leave your house and stay out overnight if you are mad. No way. No how. Your marital home is a place of safety. If you leave the home and stay out all night you are literally inviting trouble into your marriage. You have to trust that whatever is happening, that you two will get through it. If you are a man leaving and staying out all night? How are you leading the family if you are leaving them unprotected? Nothing is solved by staying out all night. Stay and fight for your family.
  3. Keep the established routine. Some couples have a “No going to bed angry” and others have a “We don’t spend more than 3 days away from each other” policy. If your spouse travels a lot how do you keep it fresh? Your marriage? How do you make time for each other? How do you find the time to pour into your marriage what he/she needs. If you have a weekly “anything goes in the bedroom routine” you need to keep it. Everyone likes the established and agreed upon patterns. Keep your routines.
  4. Don’t say all you can say. This was the best piece of advice that a girlfriend of mine had given to me after I told her that I was divorcing. She said “I’m sorry to hear that. Don’t say all you can say.” I was confused and asked her to clarify. She said “Don’t say all you can say because you can’t take it back no matter what.” She was right. So, fight fair and focus on the issues. No name calling and remember don’t say all you can say. No amount of apologies can repair that damage.
  5. Do marriage check-ins. You need to do this. Preferably outside of when you’re discussing bill money or tough issues. I suggest quarterly. I suggest that you go into couples therapy quarterly to make sure that all is well with both of you. Make sure you are sharpening your skills to listen and advocate for a deeper and stronger connection with your spouse. If your spouse says that you are not meeting their needs be okay with it. Listen to what their concerns are. Hear what they are telling you and ask follow-up questions. Be willing to take the good with the bad to improve the overall health of your marriage.

There are obviously many more things that I could suggest, but trust me your marriage is a business. You get paid (whether literally, emotionally or spiritually), there may be acquisitions (children or parents moving in) or restructuring (death of a family member) and furloughs (someone could lose their job).  How you deal with these issues by building a strong foundation will let you know whether or not your marriage will turn a profit that year or not. Love is only the beginning.

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

 

 

Holding Crazy Accountable

I’m in a lot of Facebook groups and one thing that I come across a lot is that “women are crazy” comment. Whether it be in a dating situation that’s gone bad or in co-parenting situations – women are the root cause of the problem. LOL. Are we always the problem or do people not hold themselves accountable for their choices?

accountability-in-friendship-is-the-equivalent-of-love-without-strategy-quote-1

I’ve always believed that there are three sides to every story. His, hers and the truth. The truth lies somewhere in the middle. But, many people don’t accept accountability for their actions and like to blame everyone else for their shortcomings instead of looking back at the man or woman in the mirror. Are you that type of person?

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I hate when men say that women are crazy. Heck, men are crazy. People are crazy and in reality anyone can have a crazy moment and just lose their minds on you. These are called traumatic events, love.

No, for real, we all have the ability and power to lose our minds occasionally. Haven’t you done or said something you’re not proud of out of anger? Does that make you crazy or just annoyed and out of bounds? I think there is a difference.

When dating men that say that their ex is crazy, I ask a lot of questions. You should too. I ask some of the following questions:

  • What types of things did she do that were “crazy”?
  • What did you do preceding these “crazy outbursts”?
  • Did you break-up after she showed you her “crazy” side? Why or why not?
  • Do you believe that you are an enabler?
  • Did you seek therapy after the break-up?
  • Did she experience trauma that changed her mental health? Was there a death of a parent, child or close friend/relative?

You can learn a lot about a person just by asking questions. You can learn whether or not they take responsibility or accountability for their actions? How many of us do that in dating and/or in our relationships? Go deeper when getting to know someone. Men can be vague, but you have to know who you are dealing with so you can get beyond the surface.

You know how I feel about accountability. I know that many people will tell you to not ask about prior relationships, but I want to know. How a man talks and treats women in his life: his mother, his ex wife, ex girlfriend or child’s mother gives me an indication of how he views women. Does he talk about her always in a negative light? Why? Is he taking accountability for his part?

I’ve always said that it takes two people to get married and two people to get divorced. Two people make a conscious choice to have a relationship and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t but rarely is one person truly blameless. If you are is it that you ignored the cracks in your relationship hoping and praying that ignorance is truly bliss? Then when the relationship disintegrated around you did you lose it?

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Playing the blame game doesn’t get you far. Accountability is important not just in life but in our relationships as well. How can you strengthen your relationship if you are not holding yourself and each other accountable for the success and/or failure of it? You can’t and maybe just maybe you are the crazy one.

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Don’t Trust It – New Rule

It’s 2018 ya’ll and there are just some things you shouldn’t trust. What specifically am I talking about? Women and men that don’t have friends. It’s time for the truth…You can’t trust men or women that don’t have friends.

Why would you date someone that has no one in their life that loves and holds them accountable for their behaviors?  Friendships are a must with anyone over the age of 10. There is no way you can meet a man or a woman and they don’t have friends and you be cool with it. That is creepy as hell.

Friends hold you accountable. They know all your secrets and love you in spite of your faults. They trust you and you trust them. It’s a bond not solidified by blood, but more important because they don’t have to be there for you.

I swear close friends are mind readers. Do you know how often I’ve called my closest friends just to talk when in actuality something was on my mind? They instantly knew it. They heard it in my voice. They reminded me that they knew me better than that and even though I may not want to talk about it now, they would be there for me. They would have my back. They would be there when I felt ready to let them in.

Man, I don’t know where I would be without my friends. When I’m wrong. They are there. When I’m right they are there. When I’m just barely holding on by a thread and my mind is trying to break, they reach in and grab hold and love me through my pain.

How can someone not have that in their lives? What have you done to make people not want to invest time and effort into you? I’m not saying you need to have a lot of friends, but you need to have one. One person that is not related to you that can speak of your character.

Think about this…many people who apply for government jobs and have to do clearance have to list character references. Let’s not forget about friends/family members who are going through custody cases. Who can speak to you? Who can reference your character and talk about who you are as a person?

You don’t have anyone? Then figure out what the issue is and get to making friends. It’s 2018, there is no excuse to not have friends. If you don’t, how can we trust you?

 

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

The Issue of the Ring

Last week while I was taking my amazing break (thank you to my guest bloggers) there was a video with a picture going around about a sale that Kay Jeweler’s was having for a ring that cost $24.99. The video that was accompanying the photo said that apparently everybody on this gentleman’s timeline had gotten engaged with this particular ring that cost $24.99. I’ve attached a picture of the ring for you to see.

The Issue

Whether or not a woman should accept a $25.00 engagement ring. If the woman did accept it, she should just be happy that someone wanted to marry her. If she wouldn’t accept it, she was called everything under the sun including: a gold digger, hoe, shallow, miserable, bitter, will never have a man and can’t get a man…all because she refused to accept a $25 engagement ring.

My Take

Mr. C and I had a lengthy discussion about this the other night and it got kinda heated. Primarily because I simply told him that I wouldn’t accept a $25.00 engagement ring. I explained to him that an engagement ring symbolized a man’s commitment and promise to marry you. A man marries for particular reasons: not wanting to die alone, procreation, increased wealth, financial benefits (think tax breaks), love and happiness.

That being said, does a man believe that is worth $25.00. If that is the best that he can do, then why is he marrying you? I’m in my 40’s and I’m a firm believer that we don’t get in relationships to struggle and try to build up people in our 40’s. A man should be built up by the time he’s 40. Can he have setbacks? Absolutely, anyone can, but I’m not dating someone in a broke stage. Get yourself to a better stage where you can afford to date me.

That being said, in the past engagement rings were given as a symbol of a future promise to the world that the woman was betrothed to another man. He put a ring on it. He removed her from the proverbial market. She was his. He was hers.

Fast forward to today’s standard and the ring debate is out of control. Engagement rings are optional for some and required for others. However, if you should choose to marry a woman and propose with an engagement ring, wouldn’t it ring true that you would know the woman that you are marrying? That you know her taste. You know what she would love.

When I first started dating Mr. C a couple of years ago, I sent him a picture of the ring that I had designed for my next engagement. Was it forward? Probably. But, I did it with a purpose. The purpose was to show him my expected standard of the promise of marriage.

Here’s what the ring looked like:

Ring 1

Ring 2

The price tag was $14,358.51. Mr. C was floored. I laughed and said that we could go to the Diamond District in NYC and get it made for about $8,500. He didn’t say anything. Fast forward to earlier this year and he asked me “Do you think it’s fair that I spend $8,500 on an engagement ring and I have college tuition to pay for my son?” I responded “You could finance it.” LOL.

But, I was serious. Later this year we had a genuine conversation and he stated that he wasn’t going to spend $8,500 on the ring. He gave me a number and we haggled over the price and I think we settled into a good number. I honestly can’t remember. It really doesn’t matter because we have time.

It’s not the cost of the ring in our case. It’s the expectation that you will marry me and I told him that I was fine with a diamond band and no engagement ring. Been there done that. But, a ring whether an engagement ring or band is the promise of his commitment to provide for me and our family. If he can’t afford to provide, then why should we marry?

Now, before you think that I’m a gold digger understand that love doesn’t pay the bills. Tell me what bill you can pay with love. Being broke isn’t cute. I’m not about struggle love or poverty penis. Love is an emotion and not a tangible piece of currency.  I like this quote by Bougie Black Girl on her FaceBook page:

Love doesn’t pay for diapers
Love doesn’t pay for gas
Love doesn’t pay the rent or mortgage
Love doesn’t buy food
Love doesn’t put clothes on a child’s back.
Love doesn’t keep your lights on.
Love doesn’t pay for childcare.
Love doesn’t pay for doctor visits
Love doesn’t fix a flat tire or repair an engine.
Money does.
Love brings people together. Money makes sure a marital union is financially secure. Money creates a legacy and passes down multi-generational wealth. Stop demanding Black women to settle when Black men and everyone else won’t.

We need to stop believing that we can’t have expectations for better. My ex-husband and I were young and in our 20’s when we got married. He still got me an engagement ring that cost $2,500 and he was only making $35,000 at the time. That was .07% of his annual salary before take home. We were poor. We were young. However, he was determined to get me the ring that he knew that I loved.

So, if he could do that in our 20’s why would it be acceptable for someone to think a woman should be happy with a $25 engagement ring. I spend more than $25.00 to fill up my gas tank. Many of us are walking around with shoes that cost more than $25.00. If you can spend more than $25.00 to get into a club, pay for drinks, on tennis shoes, on tint for your car or for your clothes, why shouldn’t I require more for a commitment on my finger?

Talk to me. What’s your take? Would you marry someone who proposed with you with a $25.00 ring? Why or why not?

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

 

Girl – Fall in Line

Yesterday, I posted Real Men Lead about how to know whether or not a man can lead. Now, I want to talk about women submitting. As stated in yesterday’s post…you should only submit to your spouse. Not your boyfriend.

Is it hard? Yep, but you have to know that submission is what is required for a union to work. You can’t solely focus on the ring and the wedding and miss the signs that the man can’t or won’t lead you. He has to be able to lead the family.

I know that when Mr. C and I marry that I will be able to submit. Why? I’m older and wiser now. When I married last, I remember the pastor saying that a “house can’t have two kings Tikeetha. You have to submit.” I laughed and said “I’ll submit. He’s the head, but I’m the neck.” He sighed.

I didn’t realize what I was doing. I didn’t accept my husband’s role in the marriage and I didn’t understand my own. That is something that I’m so serious about this time. Letting a man of God lead our family. I am vowing to give that to Mr. C.

Many of you may be asking how I can knowingly submit to this man. I’ll tell you how, two reasons:

  1. Because I prayed to God to send me Mr. C. and HE did. Mr. C is my answered prayer
  2. Because the Bible tells me too.

Women, we need to understand that our role in a marriage is not to break or destroy our men, but to be their rib. Your rib protects your vital organs. We need to protect him. We can’t lead our house. That is our husband’s job. We need to submit to his leadership. Can you?

If you are struggling to submit to his leadership maybe it’s because you don’t trust his leadership and if you don’t trust his leadership then why did you marry him? It’s something you need to ask yourself. You need to work together to get back on track because trust is fundamental in a marriage. If there is no trust you can’t operate with one mindset that the marriage is the of the utmost priority in the household. Your goals for the family must be in alignment.

If you examine where you are with trust, it may be time to seek out professional counseling to work on rebuilding and securing your strong foundation. You two deserve to have a great marriage and you just need to be willing to put in the work. A good marriage requires two people willing to work at it.

Now, if you are not married and looking for guidance as to what you need to do in order to submit. I want to offer this disclaimer: You can’t make someone submit. You can’t. If you are married and your wife is choosing not to submit you can’t force her. You can suggest counseling because there are issues that your wife may be dealing with because submission is not something she wants to do.

Just like in my last marriage, I will offer this advice I received “A home can’t have two kings.” I know some women may be thinking “Well, I’m not a king, but a queen and I can do it by myself.” Then I offer this…“Why didn’t you stay single and run your own queendom?” Marriage is a partnership and you must understand your role.

5 Things You Must Know Before Submitting:

  1. You have to deal with your own issues before marriage. Making sure that you are mentally healthy and ready for the partnership and unity. Deal with any trust issues you have. Your husband should not pay for the problems of the past. Work them out in therapy and enter your marriage mentally healthy and ready to submit.
  2. You are the rib. You are not the head. You are not leading the marriage. You are supposed to understand that it is a partnership and that your marriage is a priority. Let him lead and be the support. You have to support your husband. Support his choices and decisions knowing that he is following God and will do what is best for the family. Protect him from harm. Have his back and love him through both his good and bad days.
  3. You will sometimes feel alone in your submission. But, you’re not. Ultimately, what is happening is that when you submit to your husband, you are submitting to the will of God and that will is what is working in your marriage. You have to trust this and trust your husband.
  4. Submission means willing to receive direction. Your husband is directing the family because he can’t do it on his own. Realistically speaking, he shouldn’t. It takes two people to make sure that your foundation is firm and your bond unbreakable. Allow him to delegate and follow his lead.
  5. Submission allows your husband to love you completely. If he’s not competing for the role of leader he can love you and focus on the best interest of the family. That means that he will be invested in protecting his family. The family unit stays in tact when you both are working towards the common goal that marriage is a journey and you’re not in a rush to get to the destination.

Savor it sis. Let the man love and lead you the way you’re supposed to be loved. Be giving. Be gracious and be submissive.

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Real Men Lead

Let’s be real. We all want a man. A real man. A man to lead us. To lead our family. To be the true head of the household.

Can you imagine it? Do you have that already? Isn’t it awesome?

For those of you that don’t have that now or are looking for it, this post is for you. For those of you that are fortunate to have this kind of man, you are blessed. Keep living your happy lives knowing that two become one when you are united. I love it.

Now, one of the things that I’m realizing is that many women say that they want a man to lead, but don’t know how to submit. Let me clarify this…submission is only in marriage. Not dating or living together. Don’t shack up and submit. If you can shack up then you should get married so you can submit to your husband because let’s keep it real…it will be hard to submit once you transition from living together as boyfriend and girlfriend to married folks.

Been there and done that. That’s why Mr. C and I aren’t shacking up with our children until we jump that proverbial broom. The day that we say our vows, will be the day that we stand before God and our children and pledge our lives to each other. It is the day that I will know that my prayers have been answered and God has sent me the man to lead our family.

I will completely submit to my husband’s lead. I will follow and love and protect our family something fierce. I will pray for him and our children as I do myself and encourage his dreams. I will trust in God’s will as God has trusted him to lead.

Submission is easy when you know that the man that you are with is a good leader. Real men lead sis. Let’s cut to the chase. Leading is not instinctive in many cases, neither is submission, but I’ll discuss that later. Leadership requires sacrifice, a strong work ethic and a brilliant mind. Does your man have those qualities?

A man that will lead you needs to know these 5 things:

  1. He needs to know and follow God. This is absolutely the most important thing. How can a man lead when he’s not being led by God? He can’t. He is just winging it. You will go through things in your marriage that will try to break and destroy you. Who will your man lean on? Will he pray for you? Will he pray for guidance from God? Will he pray for your marriage? A man can’t lead you if he’s floundering out in the wilderness with no compass. God is the compass sis!
  2. He needs to know his issues and is seeking to work on them through therapy or has resolved them. A broken man can’t lead. No way. No how. If he has trust issues, money problems or a problem being faithful, he is broken. He can’t lead and you can’t follow. Don’t try to fix him sis. Keep it moving.
  3. He needs to be an investor in your marriage. That means that he has to put your marriage first all the time. ALL THE TIME. No ifs, ands or buts about it. Your marriage must come first. Your marriage is an investment that he will spend time watching and working on to make sure that the investment yields a tangible profit…happiness.
  4. He needs to have a fighting spirit. Marriage is not easy. Everyone goes through things. It’s a part of the cycle. Sometimes it will get too heavy. There may be illness, infidelity or just a lazy spirit in your marriage. He needs to be fighting for your marriage even when you don’t. Divorce should not be an option.
  5. He needs to be able to delegate. A man can’t do everything. No one can do everything. But, if he can delegate his needs to you it will bring you closer. People that try to do everything by themselves either burn themselves out or fail miserably. Trust me. I speak from experience. Being able to communicate his needs and want and delegate some responsibilities to you will allow you both to develop closer as a unit and marriage. Unity is the key.

Now, that you know what it takes for a real man to lead. Are you married to a man that is leading you? Have you ever dated a man that knows how to lead?

Tomorrow’s post will discuss a woman’s role in submission to a man.

-To Be Continued-

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.