Tomorrow Is Not Promised…

I woke up this morning feeling blessed and happy after a wonderful weekend with my husband. I logged into Facebook and to my dismay read a status that affected the remainder of my day. A friend lost her significant other to a motorcycle accident last night. I paused, in shock, and then scrolled through my contacts to call her and was quickly reminded that I have few numbers as I managed to erase them all last week. A Facebook message felt so impersonal and saying nothing at all felt even worse. I decided to comment on her status to show some immediate support and as I found the words the tears were streaming down my face.

I couldn’t help but think about all the times I let my husband walk out the door without saying two words to him because I was “mad”, or how many times my son got up early to catch the school bus and I missed his departure because I overslept, the times that I’ve been so “busy” and have gone days and weeks without speaking to loved ones. Her status reminded me how precious life is, how time waits for no one and how cherished each moment we share truly is!

I cannot pretend to know my friend’s pain but I can learn from this tragedy and be wiser about the time I have here with the ones I love. We often hear tomorrow is not promised, neither is today. Cherish it all.

Please send prayers her way!

Lynette

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Infidelity is A Process: Drama is the Aftermath

I love Facebook for its freedom of speech platform! I truly do. There is often deeper meaning  in the posts, comments and videos that people take two minutes of thought to compile. It’s a “mini personal blog” and I often find it to be very thought-provoking, sometimes inspiring and other times downright ridiculous. This morning, the hypothetical question “What would you do if your husband had a child with someone else while you were married?” I found to be very thought-provoking!

I think the overwhelming consensus was leave his ass, it’s too much to handle. While I can agree looking at it from the context of the question only, it does seem to be too much to handle. However, my thought process went right to infidelity and overlooked the baby all together. When we face painful situations in life it is often easy for us to play the victim and paint pictures that make us look helpless and as if we had no control over the situation. The truth is, infidelity is a process and the drama is only the aftermath.

Unfortunately, the child becomes the easy thing to focus on because it can be seen, touched, and viewed by others. The same is true when there isn’t a baby present at all and we’re simply talking about “the other woman”.  Whether a baby or a woman, the problems festering behind closed doors have been exposed to the world. That’s a tough pill to swallow for anyone! However, I believe if couples face reality and realize that this baby or this woman was not brought into your life overnight (although it feels that way) then there’s a good chance the marriage has a chance of overcoming the infidelity. This is nothing more than simple cause and effect.

I’ve come to find myself rather irritated with any woman who wants to constantly play the victim in these situations. A victim is a person who is tricked or duped, harmed through actions such as rape, robbery, or accident. In essence, victims could not see it coming and they were helpless. Unless you’re in an arranged marriage, or one you did not willingly invite into your life, how in the world are you a victim? Marriage takes two. Yet, this concept seems to only be convenient when it comes to finances and family photos but not when shit hits the fan? Wrong! Infidelity is a process and there was trouble brewing long before the pregnancy hit the marriage. It also takes a woman who is very confident, strong and resilient to admit to herself that she more than likely ignored signs BEFORE they married, she ignored signs DURING the marriage and she ignored signs AFTER the cheating began (folks always need the hard proof).

The reality IS the hardest part of a failed marriage or one that’s in trouble, is accepting the role they played (whether they did the cheating or not). The drama of the phone call, the pregnancy, the lipstick, the messages found etc. are simply the aftermath! It’s the shot heard around the world but how many guns were silenced, hidden, taken and bullets dodged before it killed the marriage? The two people who are married (if honest with themselves) know for a fact there were too many to count. Infidelity is a process, none of this happens overnight, and you cannot attack a marriage that isn’t open for attack? EVERYONE knows when their marriage has hit that point but what was done about it then? Well, it’s a common approach to ignore reality and “keep up the facade”  for friends and family instead of reaching out for help. The problem with this approach is “small cuts” are easy to ignore until “the cut” is now a deep wound (such as a baby). The great news is, your attention is now back on your marriage! The bad news is, your attention is back on your marriage. Yea, that broken one that isn’t gonna fix itself! In addition, for many, it often alerts you to the fact that you still care and have now realized you DO want your marriage! But an added problem is, you want the old one? Before the drama, when it only had small cuts, it doesn’t look so bad now, does it? That “small cut” is now a deep festering infection in danger of killing the limb entirely. The options now are to live without this limb or fight to heal it knowing it may never function or be the same. The latter is much harder to do, and most choose to live without it. However, it doesn’t guarantee life will be better. If you never learn to address “the small cut” before it becomes in infection, this same system will follow you through the rest of your life because you don’t know HOW to affair proof your relationships.

I tend to have much less popular opinion than most, but I am not saying anything I myself haven’t experienced. I don’t call myself a “victim” and I have never pretended to be one. We allow cuts which tend to be completely manageable things like; I want more quality time, I want to go on more dates, I want a better job, I want us to spend less money, I need more sex, the kids are stressing me out etc. to turn into situations that create space and open the door for others to fill the gap. Don’t let a cut be the reason you ignore your marriage.  Immediately stop to take care of it, and heal the root issue before it grows into greater problems, greater pain, and greater excuses!

Do not let small cuts act as a deep wound in your marriage! I pray marriages never reach that point but when they do, you certainly know the difference between the two and you suddenly feel silly for letting something that was so small become so big. It’s a process, avoid the aftermath by actively being a part of the process to keep a healthy affair proof marriage.

Single? What Your Closet May Say About You!

closet

I woke up this morning to the site of a closet overflowing. Filled from top to bottom with shoes, hats, clothing and random belts and purses lopsided on the shelf. It’s clear our impending move could not come at a better time, we’ve outgrown our space. In years past, waking up to this site would have immediately put a crooked smile on my face and urged me to overlook really important things in life to reorganize this dastardly site. Thank goodness I’ve matured a bit in this lifetime.

Today, instead of the crooked smile it made me fondly look at my husband as I remembered my life just a few short years ago. When we began dating he would poke fun at the organization of my closet. The color coding, the neatly placed belts and shoes, the boxes filled with neatly stacked purses and more. While he appreciated the organization, I recall him saying to me one day “there’s no room in your closet for me?” He then went on to explain that I parked in the very middle of my 2 car garage, I utilized every single inch of space in the closet, all the drawers in my dresser and I often had a single Dr. Pepper in the refrigerator. I, of course, took his observations to mean that I was a super put together single woman powerhouse and what more could he want from me? The observations said to him the available space in my life was looking extremely limited and where exactly did he fit in this picture? After giving this clever metaphor some thought it turns out he was absolutely right! As much as I enjoyed spending time together I had never considered “making room for him” in that way inside of my tidy little life. I mean, why in the world would I ever consider a new system in my closet, garage, or Dr. Pepper runs? It had been that way for years! Well, you do consider those things when you open your heart to everything love has to offer. I was guarded, he recognized that and the clever metaphor was the beginning of the end of my single lifestyle as I knew it.

In four years I managed to take the color coded closet (still is on my side-ha!) and make room for his not so color coded semi organized WE closet. It started with me clearing a drawer for him and that drawer turned into a marriage. So you see, I couldn’t be happier to wake up to a closet that is far from the closet of my dreams. It will forever represent a part of myself that I had to let go and remind me daily of all that I gained by doing so.

My single closet is now a distant memory but I’d like to challenge any single women looking for love to inventory their single ways, how much space is available for Mr. Right?

Saturday Shenanigans

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Morning breath, Syrup, Eggs and Orange Juice

Sweeping, sleeping, dancing, cleaning and ringing door bells too

Chatty mornings on the phone, paper crinkling, and newsfeeds scrolling on

Cats meowing, dogs barking, and child’s play on high

Spooning in bed, playing footsie

Morning sex? Yes! Okay

Steamy showers, cologne, lotion, and coffee mixed with perfume

Kids bed head, curling irons heating, and laundry on the stairs

Open windows, cool winter breeze and sun pouring in

To do lists, trash overflowing, laughs and what to do on the brain

Dryer sheets, folding clothes, and possible nap time on the way

More sex, maybe? Okay, yes!

Blair cartoons and sneak away

Closed door romance, music, and what did I forget to do?

Door knocks, Lifetime and mangled hair dos

Jeans and tees, no ironing

All the food you can eat

Cheat day, sleep day, me day or we day

Saturday Shenanigans, the best! Who cares what we do!

Party of Two: Vegas Wedding

Shabazz Wedding

Shabazz Wedding

Marriage is a big step to take in life, in fact, it’s the biggest step you can take. Taking that big step for a second time, well, there’s a lot you learn to do better and smarter than before. The thought of getting married in Vegas seemed almost taboo to the both of us. Growing up in homes that believe love and family are the only thing, it seemed strange to consider a wedding for two. I’ll be honest, we didn’t consider it. In fact, we’d agreed we would not get married in Vegas when we decided to vacation there. Our November get a way turned into a memory we will honor for the rest of our lives. November 5th, 2014 was as unplanned as much as it was planned. We knew we were getting married, we just had no idea it would end up being in Vegas. The criteria for our wedding was always easy; simple, affordable and about us. I think the last part was the most important piece of criteria for the wedding; getting married was about us. Planning an “about us” wedding gets more challenging with every guest added to the list. I had no interest in a celebration designed for guests and not the guests of honor!

I know some brides may feel compromised because it’s “her” day. It was the total opposite for me. It wasn’t a glamorous day or a day filled with the usual hustle of “getting ready”. In fact, I got married with the make up in my purse, the curling iron in my luggage and we had breakfast at the House of Blues that morning. It was an ordinary day, 75 degrees and sunny, a normal day. I like normal, and I love the irony in him being the only one there to support me and I him! I love our parents, I love our children, and I love our friends but he and I are the only ones that need to put the effort into this journey of love. I can’t think of anyone I would have wanted to have there more than him.

I don’t feel cheated because we saved thousands of dollars. I don’t feel sad we didn’t have an audience to validate our love. I am proud of us. We made our marriage about the journey, and not the day.

Whatever wedding you choose…Encourage prosperity, love, and strength…choose love, save the show for the TLC network! Happy planning brides to be!

The Wife with a “Y” AKA “Wifey”

Photo courtesty of Pinterest

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

The Wife with a “Y”, lifestyle or cover up?

In this day and age the term wife and wifey have become completely synonymous. Why are so many women getting caught up on the “Y”? It’s being flaunted as if it’s an imaginary ring, an equally strong commitment or a substitute for the bigger issue, is this man going to marry you? While I strongly believe marriage is not for everyone, any woman willing to be called wifey more than likely wants to be married, is hopeful that is the direction the relationship will take and secretly holds this as her deepest desire for the man she’s with. No need to be coy, when you know you know but the feeling ought to be mutual.

Let’s face it ladies, men will do what you allow them to do. Respect is defined by showing what you want for yourself, and setting the standard that nothing less than what you deserve will be acceptable. Dating endlessly, living together with no goals and allowing yourself to serve in a household as wife with a “Y” has to raise some eyebrows for you? Why the “Y”? What not action?

The urban dictionary defines wifey as “a real lady, not your only but your favorite, different from them hood rat chicks. Sexy in every way possible, when she smiles it’s sexy, even when she’s mad at you it’s sexy. That same dictionary defines wife as the woman you marry and live with for the rest of your life. Now, we all know there are much more detailed accounts of the meaning and purpose of a wife in the bible, Quran, dictionaries and other literary references. The underlying point here is the wife with a “Y” is on top of all the rest (the rest of what? Aren’t we in a relationship), and she’s a step above those “hood rat chicks”. I am no expert here but does that say to anyone else he’s just not that into you?

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Don’t get caught up on the “Y”…

(1) A man who intends to marry you wouldn’t settle for the wife with a “Y” either. Let’s face it, he looks and is a much better man with you in his life. If you’re dating a man who doesn’t know this after all the years invested, RUN!

(2) A wife knows there is no “list” to be on top of. Not only is she the favorite, she is the ONLY 1 and number 1.

(3) The wife with a “Y” is the “cool for now” chick, “side chick”, “when I’m low chick”. There is a reason you have to carry that extra letter around and it’s only removable when he finds “the one” which probably isn’t you.

(4) If being introduced as his boo thang/wifey/baby mamma/down chick etc. (depends on the day) doesn’t make you cringe? A quick self-esteem check is most likely in order and if you check yo self and it’s not ok (which it shouldn’t be) RUN!

(5) A man with a plan doesn’t need the “Y”, he’s already answered the question of why he should marry you and is showing you the path to becoming his Mrs.

These are the rules of engagement ladies. The wife with a “Y” should be asking herself that exact question, why the “Y”? No more cover up.

Lynette

The Busy Husband: Why it Works

busy

I’ve only been married to my husband for a little less than 30 days but prior to taking our vows we’ve shared a life together for a little over 4 years. In this time, I have fallen in love with every little thing I like and also the things I dislike about him. One thing that has always been blatantly obvious to me is the high energy schedule he liked to keep. In the beginning, this high energy schedule was so much apart of the attraction I had to him. His ambition and ability to manage so much and still be so dedicated to his children, his job, and our relationship truly blew my mind. As our relationship continued and our lives began to merge I realized I would most likely never have the husband who is content to go to work each day and his career be the only purpose of his sole existence in life. What did that mean for me? Well, while his approach to life is tremendously admirable it’s not always easy for the spouse to withstand the demands of extracurricular activities/hobbies on top of the everyday hustle.

My husband’s most time-consuming venture outside of work is coaching little league football and basketball. This was a part of who he was long before my existence and upon initially meeting him he was devoting anywhere from 15-20 hours a week meeting the demands and responsibilities of coaching. I’m not exactly a coach potato myself yet somehow this demanding schedule we both kept worked and we found time to tend to and foster the growth of our relationship. I suppose the key word in that is “we found time” and this is what we’re still doing today. We make it a priority to spend time together despite the many hats worn in a day. My husband loves to remind me “there’s no competition and there is no comparison. I am #1” and I love to remind him “his actions will always speak louder than his words and as long as he shows me I will believe it.” Well, perhaps these little reminders we’ve given one another is just enough to keep us both on our toes and consciously reminded that our relationship is worth preserving. He manages to gain my support more and more with each passing year and it is nothing short of his actions proving to me just how worthy he is of the time he spends away from home. Ironically, the more support I show him on his extracurricular affairs the more time he wants to spend with me (see the positive cycle brewing here)? I no longer have to ask him to scale back or say no to a team event after an already busy week and he no longer commits to anything major without talking to me first. We’re in the habit of loving one another the way we want to be loved, showing support on both sides and practicing a mutual respect for our individuality within this marriage.

It’s not as easy as it seems, it takes a lot of communication and a lot of work to get there. I know some are still trying so…

To the skeptical or those who “don’t know how I do it.” The truth is, some days I don’t know either but we both share that same sentiment and I think of him when he’s getting off work going straight to practice. I know he too is tired, and I recognize this and acknowledge I’m not the only one. So does he. To the skeptical, I challenge you to realize it’s a sacrifice for everyone but ultimately happiness is what’s driving us all. Neither one of us are interested in coexisting in this marriage, our goal is active happiness and that isn’t easily captured unless we both are living the lives we’ve always wanted to live. For me, handling dinner 3 or 4 nights a week, reserving quality time around games, or hosting a sleepover for the team is an easy trade when my reward is a husband who is always smiling, so loving, appreciative and excited about life, OUR life that we live together. To the skeptical, I challenge you to identify the root cause of the problem. It very often has little to do with what’s occupying the time and everything to do with how you feel about the time spent and what you’re getting in return. Talk to your partner if you feel like there are no benefits to your support as there always should be on both sides, communication is key!

The last thought I will leave you with:

The energy “the busy” husband pours into his family is nothing less than pure quantifiable evidence that the pursuit of happiness is a real and tangible piece of life to hold for each and every one of us. We can be part of one another’s journey or enemies of the quest. Choosing to be part of the journey and reaping the benefits of happiness is why it works!