Marriage, By Any Other Name?

When I was younger, I dreamed of having a “perfect” marriages. A white dresses (which would have been the only time I wore a dress), black tuxedos, a bridesmaid line as long as the eye could see. As much of a tomboy that I was, this was going to possibly be the most feminine moment of my life (and to date, I would say it still is, lol).

Growing up, I only knew of one type of marriage; and that was one between a man and a woman, living together, raising kids, loving one another unconditionally. Now, admittedly, I did not see that ideal scenario throughout my entire childhood; however, there are moments that I do remember that I would wish would be similar to how I would live with my spouse.

What I have grown to realize and accept is that there are so many other forms of marriage or I would call them “partnerships”, other than what one would consider “traditional.” I’d also argue that the traditional style of marriage is possibly one of the least popular.

Love is not a deal breaker in marriages, despite many of our childhood beliefs. I used to think that love was the one and only thing you needed in order to know that you wanted to marry someone. Being in a relationship for 11 years, 6 and a half married, I have now come to the conclusion that it takes more than seeing sunshine days and butterflies in my stomach to make for a committed union. Nowadays, many people may marry for different reasons that go far beyond just love. People marry someone whom they see they can build a prosperous future with, some marry but do not hold their spouse to a more traditional form of fidelity; others marry and choose not to share a residence.

So, the questions comes to mind: Is this wrong? Are people sullying the sanctity of marriage by having so many unorthodox rules and no boundaries? Who’s to say what is the right answer to a question like this? I know for sure, I am not.

Personally, I won’t go on record stating that any way that a person chooses to live their life with their partner is wrong or right. I do not feel I am the authority on someone’s else’s life and their lifestyle. I say all this to say that in 2019, the world is a lot less judgmental and holding to standards of the past. It is interesting and very intriguing to see the evolution of specific relationships, as it pertains to how men and women choose to join with one another in a union. I find it doesn’t bother me at all; and if anything, it brings about the urge for more intense dialogue on that person’s perspective, to gain knowledge and understanding.

I have never been someone to judge anyone else’s union and how they choose to live. To me, what one may see as “wrong”, another may seem as a perfect lifestyle for themselves; and as an impartial and imperfect human being, I would never hold my standards or expectations on someone else and the way they choose to live their life.

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Once I’m Gone

Just a little something I wrote, but never let the world see…

I tried so hard to be perfect for you,
Changed my ways, changed my look, even sacrificed for you,
I thought changing me would make you see that this was all real to me,
But in time, I found that nothing I would do could change you.

No matter how many nights I spent with tears soaking my pillow; our backs turned while I asked God why is this happening to me,
Why is what I thought was going to be the best thing that ever happened to me, turning out to be my worst nightmare.
I begged to know why I still wasn’t enough for you to find worth in.

I believed there was something wrong with me, in an effort to justify your thought process,
Put myself down, in order to build you up
All in the end to find out that no matter what I did, you would never change for me

Maybe you’ll care for me once I’m gone.
No matter what capacity that may be.
Maybe the emotional turmoil I felt when trying to simply love you will all make sense, once there is no one begging for your attention.

 

**Never give your all to someone who doesn’t appreciate it.  Work hard for someone who is willing to put forth the same effort as you, and you will then find the true meaning of love.

Spring Cleaning Your Relationships

With the springtime in full swing, it’s not uncommon for you to get the feeling to want to do.a cleanse of sorts through your life. Some people clean their homes, while others may focus more on their personal lifestyles and determine what needs to be flushed out and what does not. Starting the spring season by getting rid of any toxic of negative relationships is one of the great ways to start the season, and a way to make room for new positive relationships.

If you currently are dealing with someone or several people that do not bring any positive benefits to your life, who constantly bring your mood down, or who don’t mean any good to you or are always negative; it may be time to release them from your life at the inception of this new season.  There is no reason to bring that type energy into your Spring and Summer 2018 if you do not have to.  It may be time to make a clean break from those who are not in your life with the intention to bring you any joy or happiness.  This even includes some of your closest relationships; such as family and significant others.

Oftentimes, we hold on to what we believe are our most important relationships because of their title or their hierarchy in our lives.  In all actuality, even some of the closest people to you may only be meant to last in life for a specific period of time before it is time to cleanse yourself of them.

So, before the spring comes in full force, will you be taking a hard look at your relationships and determining who stays and who goes?

Forgiveness Is Truly a Gift

Learning the new developments of the Rae Carrutth story have taught me nothing more than this one conclusion; forgiveness is truly a gift for those who have studied and learned it thoroughly.

A couple of days ago, you may have seen an article or two come out about a 15-page letter that Mr. Carruth penned to Rae’s girlfriends mother, detailing how he is now a changed man and how he has now had time to contemplate his mistakes and now wants a chance to fight for custody of his 18-year old son, Chancellor Lee Adams, who has been raised his entire life by his grandmother, Saundra Adams. His mother, Cherica Adams was killed by gunshots wounds inflicted by men who were said to be hired by Carruth to shoot and kill Ms. Adams, who were sentenced to 40 years in prison. As a result of the shooting, Ms. Adams died, and Chancellor suffered brain damage and has cerebral palsy. He has suffered several challenges from birth into his teenage and young adult life.

Rae is due to be release in October 2018, after serving 17 years in prison for his crimes. Mr. Carruth still strongly desires a relationship with his son, and even wants the chance at having custody of him, his argument being that Ms. Adams being older in age and not being around long enough to take care of him. Ms. Adams counters that argument, being confident that there is no way that he will ever have custody of Chancellor, being that he is the very person that wanted him murdered in the first place; and there are several viable family members in place that are willing to take Chancellor should anything ever happen to her.

What struck me to be quite surprising, is that Ms. Saundra even considered the idea of allowing Rae to even allow visitation to happen with Rae and Chancellor after he was released. I read an article that stated that upon his release, she was open to allowing the two to have supervised visitation. She stated that, “I’ve forgiven Rae already, but to have any type of relationship with him, there does have to be some repentance,” Adams said. “And I think this opens the door”

Girl, that’s strength; a strength I wouldn’t know I would have.

I personally have to applaud Ms. Adams in this moment, because I don’t know how many of us would have the qualities to dig deep enough to find it in our hearts to believe that a man has repented their sins, and trusted their own faith to forgive a man who murdered our child, disabled our grandchild and allowed them the opportunity to have a relationship with their living parent. I cannot say right now on this day in 2018 that I have developed that level of forgiveness yet.

I have to say that I believe that Rae most believe that Rae doesn’t deserve the privileges that he’s being given from Ms. Adams. I believe that in my spirit. He’s responsible for her murder and responsible for the dams he done to their child and its even a surprise that he’s being released from jail to see the light of day. In the letter he wrote, even Ms. Adams stated that she can tell that there are parts of him that she can read that are still the same him that she knew so long ago, but still parts of him that she can tell have matured and grown; parts of him she can see may have actually been changed throughout these years of being in prison. He states that’s he’s found God, he’s realized that he needs to take ownership for what he’s done and that he also needs to take responsibility in raising his son; however, one would beg to argue, do you deserve that right after the damage you’ve done to him?

How many of us face situations where we are not mentally, emotionally or spiritually prepared for? I believe this happens on more occasions than we’d like to admit; and we are caught in circumstances where we tend to forgive or make amends with people or compromise in situations where in our spirits we are not particularly ready to. I feel in reading these articles, although Ms. Adams may not have agreed with what Rae did to her daughter, she was ready to forgive him for what he had done, if he had truly done the work within himself to know that what he had done was wrong and he had repented his sins. That is a woman who truly believes in her Word.

Based on further things I’ve read, there is a lot of back and forth about him wanting custody and things of that nature, and I agree wholeheartedly that he should NOT receive custody of his child for many reasons; so I pray that whatever is done is done respectfully and in the best interest of this young man’s safety and well-being because at the end of the day, the focus needs to be on what will be for him and not end up being a fight and mud-slinging contest in the media between his grandparents and his father.

When the Family Feuds

Arguments are tough; they’re even tougher when you’re dealing with someone you love. Sometimes families argue, and the wounds and pain of those arguments are difficult to recover from.

I’ll admit, my family has not been the most normal. We’ve got our own sets of issues and problems within the structure, and some of the bonds that were once unbreakable are broken and in no place of reconciliation. It’s sad to see; however, the reality is that it’s going to be what it’s going to be and there’s no way to change it.

I’ve had several issues with family members in my adult life; I’m happy to say some have been rectified, while others have been broken so long I’m afraid they may be beyond repair. I do think of them often, wondering why things could not be fixed, but I tend to think of family just as one would friends. Sometimes, you only experience people for the seasons that they are needed in your life. Does that stop you from loving them? No. I still love everyone in my family, despite our relationships not being what the expectation should be. I just know that at this time, they may not be meant to be in my life at this time; and that’s ok.

Alot of people have very complicated family dynamics; some more dysfunctional than others. Whenever there’s a rift between family, it’s almost like the deepest knife cutting into your soul. You have to ask yourself whether or not it’s worth fighting for, and sometimes the answer may be no.

I’m not promoting anyone not being close to their loved ones, because if there are ways to mend relationships then you should; however, there are times when some relationships may not be as great as you would like them to be. There’s no harm in putting forth the effort to try, but if it does not work out, then it’s best to love them, but understand that all relationships are not perfect and sometimes you have to play the hand you are dealt.

How to Stay Young When Your Relationship is Feeling Old

Being married for 5 years thus far has taught me a lot about myself, my spouse and the idea of marriage as a whole.  The one thing I have learned is that there are times when you can feel quite old in your relationship sometimes, and it is not the best feeling by any means.  Along with the growing pains of marriage, we all have gotten to a point in our marriage, where we can sometimes feel a lot older than we are.  There are a lot of contributing factors to this; jobs, kids, chores and other daily responsibilities in the house, bills, you name it!  When you’re thinking about all of these things, it is difficult to remember to keep your relationship young and fresh all the time.

Since I’m sure some of us have been in this predicament before, I also know that you would want to know how to fix it.  Well, I have thought of a few things that will make you feel young again, when your relationship is getting older and older by the minute.

Make time for one another: A lot of times, we mistake the time we are around our partners as “quality time” when in all reality, we are just existing around them while we continue to move on with everyday life.  It is worth taking actual time out to spend time connecting with your partner, and it will make all the difference.  Making time for your partner, that does not involve dealing with the children, washing the dishes together or focused on other obligations or activities is a good starting point for reviving the newness of your relationship.

Spontaneity: Have you ever wanted to surprise your partner with a random lunch date, a day trip to your favorite place close by, or even a kid-free, responsibility-free weekend out of the blue?  If so, then being spontaneous is for you.  Doing random things at the spur of the moment can bring life back into you and your relationship, because you are learning to let go and go with the flow with someone you truly know you can have a good time with.

Intimacy: Intimacy on all levels is a great way to rekindle the spark in your marriage.  Whether it is physical, emotional or even spiritual; having a level of intimacy in your relationship really helps improve your connection with one another.

Dating: And no, I don’t mean dating other people while in your relationship, LOL.  I believe that “dating” your significant other or spouse gets lost in the daily routine of married life.  With all the responsibilities and priorities, going on a romantic date may always seem to fall to the bottom of the list; and even if you try, there may be something that always comes up.  Scheduling and planning time to actually date again can really turn things around in your relationship.  It allows you to learn new things about your partner (maybe things that you did not even know or things that have newly developed over the years), and it can be fun “getting to know” your partner all over again.

All of these steps and many more are guaranteed to make you have a differnt outlook on your relationship, if you feel like the newness is starting to wear off, and you both are getting comfortable.  Trying out new things is almost like dating all over again; before the commitments, babies, jobs, bills, etc.  If you truly find excitement in making your relationship feel young and new again, focus on these four items to really enhance your relaltionship and take you both on significant and meaningful journey towards a happy, healthy relationship.

Take On Life’s Responsibilities One Moment at a Time

We all do this; we tend to believe we have eyes in the backs of our heads, multiple arms and legs, superpowers, the ability to correct the past, right all the wrongs and predict the future all at one time. We want to be able to change the world for the ones we love when we get hit with the hard unshakable truth; we can’t do all of these things, and we definitely cannot do them all at once.

Sure, we may be able to conquer one or two of these amazing feats (lol) for someone, but I’m sure you get my point. Handling multiple things in your life or in your loved ones lives at one time does not make for a productive person and it doesn’t end very well. You have to learn to capture one great moment at a time, which is more amazing than bragging about all of the things you attempted to accomplish at once, but couldn’t.

I know that a lot of times, we want to impress and show the ones we love that we care, so we’ll oftentimes say yes to all of the things they want us to do. Then, we’ll go to work and pile on the commitments and work projects we need to do because we want to impress our bosses. Then let’s not forget the things that we want to do for ourselves. So now, here you are; sitting in a corner with a mountain of responsibility on your shoulders and trying to do all of them at once! You are not a juggler, and I’m pretty sure if you tried to, you would fail miserably.

We have to get out of that mindset and learn to handle things one at a time. You have to learn to enjoy things and prioritize things one moment in life at a time, one milestone at a time, one deadline at a time. No one can learn to appreciate all the efforts you put into what you do for them, if they are hiding behind the million-and-one other things you did along with it.

Learn to set each thing aside and take your time. Some things do not need to be rushed, and everything deserves its own chance to shine.