Our Relationship with Fear

I have this little book with all of the things I would like to accomplish. They say in order to live out your dreams, you have to see them on paper and get them out of that safe place (in your head). Well, first of all, I do not know who “they” is, second, writing them out does not always help. True, keeping your dreams and goals in your head (protected space is what I call it) can drastically reduce the chance of putting those goals into fruition. But I have learned that writing them down does not always get you closer. What gets you closer, is the actually putting in the work. So why do not we put in the work? I know one reason why, her name is fear. Why is fear a she you may wonder? I can only speak of for me, a woman. Here are some reasons that we live in fear:

1. We (women) are very protective of their families and rather be safe than take big risks that may put their family finances in jeopardy.
2. It is easier to never start than be told no and fail.
3. We often don’t believe in ourself and capabilities. We fill our heads with “who will listen, what do I have to offer, what if I am not good enough?” (I have been guilty of these self-deprecating statements).
4. We allow society to distinguish what our place is.

While some of those statements may be true, also understand what comes with being fearful.
1. Never living up to your true self.
2. Always wondering “what if.”
3. Giving in to the narrative.

Don’t give in to the narrative. It is better to be told no, or to have tried and failed, than to never try at all. Keep this in mind: 409 got its name because it (took the two scientists that created it) 409 times to get it right. Fear is an illusion, do not give it life.

What fear have you had to overcome?

Note: The statements above are solely the opinion of the author.

How Outsiders Influence your Relationship

Everyone knows the saying “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” Or “Lose lips sink ships.” Why is this not the same in marriages? Why are outsiders allowed to have an influence on what occurs in your home?

First, let’s recognize who the “outsiders” are that I’m referring to. My definition of outsider: anyone who doesn’t live with you (laugh…but I’m serious). Yes, this means your mama too. This is not to say that you can’t have conversations with your friends. But going into detail about the events that occur in your home produces the following consequences:

1: You open the door for others to have opinions on your life. You may not think this, but usually when you vent, cry, or complain or praise of your relationship, a response will follow.

2. When you express these concerns to others, do you trust they will keep your information confidential? So now you’ve possibly (unknowingly) discussed your relationship woes with more than one person.

3. Domestic conflict. Including others in your marital business will cause conflict with your spouse, and trust may decline. He/she may not trust that you will respect the confidentiality of what goes on in your home.

This is not to say, not have a close friend that you can confide in from time to time. We all need that,right? On a TV show I recently seen, the couple met with two other couples and they would get together monthly and discuss their problems and work on resolution as a team. If this works for you-great. However, there should be an understanding of what shall not leave the home.

Once you marry, that is your New union~a separation from your own life, depending on your culture/religion. One way to decrease conflict in your home is by not letting others in. Don’t let friends, family, or loved ones have power over your life.

Let’s Talk About Sex: the truth about foreplay.

I have two questions: 1. What is your definition of foreplay, and 2. Do you like foreplay?
Well, honestly, I haven’t met one person who doesn’t like foreplay😁. But first, let’s take a deep dive into what foreplay is, because to each person, the definition differs. According to Oxford dictionary, foreplay is “sexual activity that precedes intercourse.” I really would like to know how old that definition is (ha ha).I’m assuming that their meaning of “sexual activity” is petting, kissing, oral stimulation (massaging) etc. But let’s be honest here: depending on the length of your relationship, language of love, foreplay can be completely different. Now let’s explore that.
For some foreplay starts with the first kiss, first thing in the morning…even if your breath stinks. There are others who are turned on if their significant other takes responsibilities off your hand such as: cooking, washing dishes, running errands, bathing the kids, cutting the grass, ironing clothes. Foreplay can also be taking the initiative and paying a bill, being spontaneous!
According to an article in Psychology Today “Intercourse is not the key to most women’s sexual satisfaction.” So what does that mean for you? This means that the majority of women are not automatically turned on by sexual advances 5 minutes before you want to have sex…I’m just delivering the message!🤷🏾‍♀️
Foreplay is not just about physical touch, but also emotional and mental stimulation. Foreplay does not start right before sex, it starts first thing in the morning.
So tomorrow morning, start by asking your significant other, “Tell me what I can do to make your day lighter today?” I have tons of other questions I’d like to offer, but I want to read your responses? What do you wish your spouse/significant other would do more, or less of to put you in the mood? Or what do you do at home (already) that works for you? Let’s chat!

Last 3 Tips

So we are at the end, and these last three tips. They really mesh together, and are probably the most forgotten in relationships.

Checking In

One thing we often forget to do in relationships is check in with our significant other. How often do you ask, “Are you happy,” “Are you satisfied” or “What could I be doing better?” We get into a place in our marriages, where we feel its going great because we (individually) are happy. But what about your spouse, just because you are happy, does not mean that he/she is. We all perceive things differently-so do not assume that because you are happy, your spouse feels the same. Also, internally, we are afraid of the truth. So if you ask this question, and the answer is “No, I am not happy” then the what next comes into play. We hear no, but interpret, he/she doesn’t want me anymore. You will go through phases in your marriage, where you are honestly not happy. But this is where you communicate, learn, and grow. So check in with your spouse, as life changes, people change and grow. So communicate and grow together. Do not be afraid of the answer, be afraid of what may happen if you do not ask the question. I propose that you check in with your significant other at least every 6 months.

9. Dating (have fun)

When was the last time you’ve been on a date? Take a minute, think about it. How often did you date when you were courting? I know you are probably thinking “life gets in the way, we work, have kids, etc.” I get that; I am guilty of it. However, we have to make time for the things that are important in your life. What are the 3 most important things in your life? How much time do you dedicate to those things, and what is the result? Take time to shut off the world and give attention to each other. Carve out at least one night every two weeks-at least- for just you two. Low on funds, when the kids go to bed, put the phones in a different room, and enjoy a nice dinner and in-home movie. Better yet, have drinks in the kitchen or on the patio and refer to #8 above~ check in with each other.

10. Never Give Up

There is so much  more I could say, but this last tip sums it up: Never Give Up. Never stop loving, and never stop trying. It can be easier said than done, because quitting and walking away is often easier than going through the fire and hard work, even though success and happiness is on the other side. Choose the road that is often not taken. Resilience is key to mastering anything in life- including your relationships.

I hope you have enjoyed some of the many marriage tips I have shared over the course of two weeks. If you have any, that can give me and others insight, please share below. And click the link below for a poem by Maya Angelou that will perfectly sum it all up.