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/.

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Do Multiple Marriages Matter?

Last month, Steve Harvey faced major criticism from the black community for meeting with #45. Lines were drawn in November when the election was over.  Black people didn’t want other black people to cross them when it comes to 45. Black people are mobilizing in multitudes when it comes to interacting with 45. They don’t want people crossing the lines. Especially people of color (POC).

Right or wrong it’s happening. The fact of the matter is that 45 hasn’t given POC a reason to believe that he gives a crap about us. We’re in a new America and we’re not sure how to navigate it. We take it day by day. So, when Steve Harvey decided to meet with 45 it sent shock waves to the black community. Why would he do that? He’s been very vocal about his support of Hillary Clinton so why would he meet with 45?

The backlash was horrific. Harvey couldn’t stop talking about it on his radio show for days. I was getting tired of tuning in. You met with him and you felt like it was a good meeting. Oh, well. But, let’s move on with the morning program. It’s over.

It doesn’t matter where you stand on the issue. My point is giving you background for why my post is titled “Do Multiple Marriages Matter?” One of the critics that was loud about Steve Harvey was Tony Rock. He’s a comedian and Chris Rock’s brother. Tony Rock was upset and made the following comment about Steve ““This n****r wrote a book on dating! You on your third wife, homie!””

I definitely don’t agree with the language Tony is using, but the question that always seems to bother me is whether or not we discredit people who’ve been married multiple times? Does it matter to you? Do you believe that a person who has been married more than once can advise you on dating or marriage?

I often wonder will people see the advice I give out in regards to marriage and divorce as not reality because my marriage failed. It doesn’t matter one way or the other to me because I know too many people that have had extra marital affairs, STD’s and children fathered outside of their marriage and are faking it for the fans on social media. Those people couldn’t suggest to me where to get a good steak dinner. This is one of the things you learn in therapy…

Healthy relationships.

Many divorced people realize that they were in unhealthy relationships. Sometimes after they are married. Should they stay in them? Would you take your advice from someone whose been married 25 years over someone who was married for 20 and is divorced?

The key is not just to get married but to stay married. Sometimes you have to grow and learn yourself before you find the key to your happiness. Does that exempt you from giving advice on dating or marriage?

In my opinion, I think it makes you more qualified to speak about what you went through, how you overcame and any learning nuggets you would offer. All those can be valuable.

People want to know about your trials and how you overcame. People also need honesty. No marriage is perfect, but we don’t want those that are truly unhappy in a marriage and faking it either. We need a kindred spirit that says “I’ve been there and you too can get through this.” I said this to a marriage counselor one time.

My ex husband and I were living in NYC and seeing a marriage counselor. It was our first year and we were struggling. My friends didn’t provide much help so we decided to see a professional. She was very nice. Smart. She seemed to get us.

Problem was…she’d never been married. So, she could speak on textbook but not experience. It’s different when you’re married and your emotions are in it. You need someone who says “Look girl, I’ve been there and you can get through this.”But, she couldn’t.

Do you need someone who has only been married once to give you advice or would you take advice from anyone that has been married even multiple times? Can they give you both dating advice and marriage advice?

Talk to me.

 

 

Does Length Matter?

As in the length you date before you get married? Not the question about a man’s penis. Get your mind out of the gutters! LOL! Seriously though, does it matter how long you date before you get married?

The reason that I ask is that I’m so in love with #ForeverDuncan right now. Hadn’t heard about it? Alfred, the groom, proposed to his girlfriend, Sherrell, at 12 pm and arranged their entire wedding at 6 pm that same day. He did everything. She had no idea. She is absolutely surprised and it was captured on social media.

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It was a beautiful sight to see a beautiful bride overwhelmed with love for a man that she could barely come down the aisle. I was literally in tears. But, you know that with every good thing there are always trolls that will spoil a moment. Like this post:

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So, I ask these three questions…

  1. Does the length of a relationship matter?
  2. Is 9 years too long to wait to get married?
  3. Would you wait 9 years to get married?

Their love story captured on social media is absolutely beautiful. As a woman that is now divorced I would say that the length of a relationship doesn’t matter. I’m older though. I’m in my 40’s and I don’t want anymore children biologically so there is no rush to the altar in order to have a chance at motherhood. However, when I was in my 20’s I had a two year rule…I would only date you for two years without an engagement ring and a promise for the future.

I know. I know. That’s ridiculous. But, I also know that a man knows within a year whether or not he can see himself married to you. The thing that we need to remember though…even if he sees himself married to you, does that mean you’re compatible for the long-term that marriage requires?

In my case, we definitely should have waited. We weren’t compatible and prepared for long-term. Maybe if we’d waited a couple of more years things may have been different. I doubt it, but you never know. That being said, I, at 41 am definitely okay with waiting a while longer.

Mr. C and I discussed marriage (I brought it up) after a conversation with a girlfriend of mine who wanted to know are we ready to take it to the next level. I said with certainty “No”. She looked shocked. I explained that I loved him, but I loved where we were more. We were taking our time to cultivate our relationship and create experiences with each other and our children. We don’t want anymore children so we have time.

She laughed. I then told him that I need at least two more years of dating (a total of 3) and then let’s see where we are at. No rush. No surprises. Love is great, but sustaining a healthy relationship is better. He agreed.

Now, will I wait nine years to get married? Probably not, but who knows. I think that it takes time to develop at a healthy pace. Whatever is healthy for your relationship is what you should do. Everyone’s journey is different and I guess in reality it doesn’t matter how long or how short the trip to the altar is as long as you’re doing it together.

Congrats to the Duncans!

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Check out their wedding video here:

 

 

Disclaimer: I own no rights to the pictures. I did  a Google search and found them.

 

The Masks We Wear – Part 2

This post is a continuation from yesterday’s post.

I was failing in my marriage. I was doing it all and creating an illusion that women who are married are supposed to do it all. Why? Because that is what I thought. That is what my other girlfriends were doing. I didn’t know.

I began to do everything I could think of to benefit my marriage. Thinking that if I pleased him then I would make him happy. But at what cost?  I was dying inside. Slowly. No one knew. I was enduring the “fakeness” of my perfect life.

Let me give you an example…

Every year I would send beautiful custom Christmas cards to family and friends. One year I had been working exceptionally long hours. I was exhausted. I didn’t want to send Christmas cards that year. I didn’t have the time. I literally signed each card. I told my husband that I didn’t want to send the cards and he said okay.

He comes back on December 20th saying “I think we should send Christmas cards this year. I mean we’re getting a lot and I think it would be nice.” I sighed. I got on-line and ordered the cards. I paid a crap load of money in shipping and got the cards out. I know you may be asking “Why?”

It was simple…he asked me too. I looked at it as though it was my responsibility as his wife to do what he’s asking. He didn’t ask for much. Why couldn’t I do it? In retrospect, I should have definitely said no. I should have explained the reasons and informed him that he was able to do it. But again…I was wearing a mask.

This mask wearing became one of the hardest things that I had to do. But, I took it off at the moment that I knew I didn’t want to be married anymore. He didn’t know me. I didn’t know him. I can’t blame him for everything because I created an image that wasn’t me and I was asking him to accept and love that person.

The next couple of years were about my self discovery. Loving and living in my new identity. The true me. I still wore a mask. Not in relationships. At work (most people do) and at professional gatherings only. I began to date with a clear understanding of who I am and what I want.

What did I find? Someone who could see me. Someone who could truly see when I left that mask on from work and tell me to take it off. Someone who could tell by the glint in my eyes that I was really excited about something or by the change in the tone in my voice if I was bothered by something.

I wanted someone who could see the real me. The me with the mask off and see all the imperfections and flaws and love that woman. I wanted to be loved for my yes and my no’s. My good days and my bad days and all the days in between. I no longer wanted to try and be perfect.

I just wanted to be better. And you know what? I am.

But, Before You Say Yes

I was at the nail salon last month talking to other clients. You know how women do? We meet another client in a beauty salon or nail bar and it’s like we’re old friends. That’s what happened. We started laughing and talking about dating, marriage, relationships and children. One of the women that I met asked me after hearing that I was divorced “Did you like being married?” and “Would you ever do it again?”

I paused. I’ve heard this question asked before. It’s usually beautiful and younger women who’ve yet to meet the man of their dreams wanting to hear some romantic notion of princes and white horses. I smiled and said “Yes, I liked being married and Yes, I would do it again.” She smiled. You could tell that’s what she needed to hear as she navigated the dating jungle.

I laughed. I said, “But, before you say yes I need to tell you some things.” I began to tell her what I wished someone had told me in my 20’s. I began to tell her things that I felt that every woman should know and do before they say yes.

Here’s what I shared:

  • Know and love yourself first. You must really know who you are as woman. What you like and what you don’t like. Who you are and what you value. Those should never change. Relationships change. People change, but your perception of who you are and what you want shouldn’t change. Otherwise, you will become The Walking Dead making your partner feel unsure of who you are and what you want. He will be confused by your needs and this will create problems. He won’t know if he’s pleasing you or some other version of you. Hold on to who you are and love her with all your might.
  • Take time for self. It is so easy to get married and forget the world. Forget your friends and forget that you had a life prior to being a Mrs. But, you can’t forget the self-care required to maintain a healthy relationship. If you forget to take care of you and are so busy running around like a chicken with your head cut off it will put a strain on your relationship. Go for lunch with your girlfriends. Go get your nails done. Go out to dinner with your sorority sisters. These things are designed to keep you focused. Plus, it is a great way for you to appreciate the wonderful man you have at home waiting for you.
  • Know when to communicate. I know as women that sometimes we want to jump in and tell our spouse all about our day. Everything that happened from beginning to end. Jane is so jealous of me. She hates me. I can’t believe I got passed up for that promotion, etc. Give him time to unwind. Allow him the opportunity to come into the door, get a drink, put his bag down, put his feet up and watch ESPN for an hour. Letting him have that unwind time will give him the opportunity to listen to you and be focused on your needs because you’ve just met his needs.
  • Let go of your past. We like to hold on to men from past relationships that we know still want us even though we are married. We may not call him or talk to him regularly or consistently, but we know we would drop it like it’s hot should our relationship start to go south and our husband cheats on us. Trust me sis, let it go. Let go of your past and don’t allow people in your present that aren’t there to respect your union at all times. Even in the worst times. Temptation is a b*tch and trust me when I say you don’t need that distraction.
  • Stay connected. It’s easier said than done, but trust me when I tell you that you will go through life changes. You may lose your job. Your spouse may get sick. You may have children. You may get extremely busy at work. Any of these things may happen, but you need to remember to stay connected to your spouse. This can be accomplished through your five senses: sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch. Examples:
    • Sight – See your spouse and compliment them immediately. Brighten their day by saying “Hey sexy. How did I get so lucky?”
    • Smell – Learn their favorite fragrance and make sure that they never run out. They don’t wear cologne? What about their favorite soap or body wash? Whatever the scent, make sure you know it.
    • Hear – When they tell you things that they need. Listen for their needs and don’t be quick to respond because you know your point is more important. Hear what they need/want and try to meet those needs.
    • Taste – Spend time in the kitchen together. You don’t like to cook? Neither do I but we can do fun things like chopping up fruit/veggies and having a date night blindfolded to make sure that we are in tune with each other. It’s something pretty hot about tasting pineapples and chocolate while blindfolded.
    • Touch – Often. That’s it. People need touch. Loving touches. Quick pinches on the butt. Rub their head. Embrace them from behind. Hold their hands. Give him a quick foot massage. Touch him. Let him know that you are present in the moment.

Now, I had a lot more advice to share, but I didn’t want to overload the sister. I’m a work in progress and I learned more after my divorce than before. Great relationships take two people working selflessly to make their partner happy. Are you up for the challenge?

Fairy Tales

I can remember stories, those things my mother said
She told me fairy tales, before I went to bed
She spoke of happy endings, then tucked me in real tight
She turned my night light on, and kissed my face good night
My mind would fill with visions, of perfect paradise
She told me everything, she said he’d be so nice
He’d ride up on his horse and, take me away one night
I’d be so happy with him, we’d ride clean out of sight
She never said that we would, curse, cry and scream and lie
She never said that maybe, someday he’d say goodbye

The story ends, as stories do
Reality steps into view
No longer living life in paradise – or fairy tales

-Anita Baker Fairy Tales

I think a lot of women grow up believing in Fairy Tales. Not just the Disney one’s but the ones our friends, family and society try to weave for us. You know that fairy tale that love is all about roses, horses and being saved by your prince. Love is Perfection. Love and marriage = happy endings.

Well, if you’ve discovered my blog, you know that I don’t believe that. I’m here to tell you the truth…life just doesn’t work that way. There is no perfect person. No perfect ending. No fairy tale for you to believe in. Relationships take work. A lot of hard work and determination to put forth your best effort.

Many of us don’t put forth our best effort. We may say we do, but in reality we are selfish in relationships. We do what we want and say what we want and still expect the other person to just deal with it.  Sound familiar to any of you?

I love Anita Baker and when I was going through a painful period in my divorce this song would be on replay. These words spoke to the state of where my mind was:  She never said that we would, curse, cry and scream and lie. Dang. I felt that. I couldn’t understand how we got to that point. The point where it all fell apart and I sat looking at the broken pieces of glass on the floor and seeing my soul reflected in them.

That was some painful sh*t. I had to realize that the dream of marriage wasn’t what it was cut out to be. It was a lot more than just parties, great sex and travel. It was two people trying to make something work that they had no idea about. We couldn’t both be selfish.

We had our first big argument on our honeymoon. I thought it was a sign. Who the hell argues on their honeymoon? I cried. I felt alone. I wanted an annulment. Yes, I was acting like a spoiled brat but I was believing in fairy tales. When did you ever see the Prince yelling at Cinderella?

That disillusioned followed me through my marriage. He was not my prince saving me. He was the boogeyman. I was putting my own irrational restrictions on him. I didn’t need saving. It wasn’t his job to save me. I was imagining him being something that he wasn’t. But, here’s the kicker…I didn’t even tell him that I had all these unrealistic expectations of him.

I expected him to know what he should be. Now, we all know that men say that they aren’t mind readers, yet here I was trying to make this man read my mind. I wanted him to guess the role he was supposed to play and just play the dang role. I didn’t want the man that he was, but the one who would slay dragons and make everything better for me. I would be unhappy and wonder when would my prince arrive? Why wasn’t he here? When would he show up. He never did.

LOL. I told ya’ll I was tripping, right? I was disillusioned.  But, it’s true. I own my part in my own unhappiness.

So, what I’ve learned is that I had to change my mindset. Think about who I am and what I bring to the table. Take that and decide what I wanted. Do a needs assessment. Stop believing in fairy tales and figure out me.

Stop looking for someone to rescue me and look for someone who would be loyal. Someone who would support my dreams and make me believe that even after we argue that we will still love and respect one another. Someone who wouldn’t curse me out or lie to me. Someone who would see this flawed woman standing before him and love each and every scar. Someone who I could do the same with.

There’s no fairy tale when you make your expectations known and attainable. It’s no fairy tale when you truly just want a wonderful human being to love you just as you are. If that happens, trust me you can make magic.