My husband has cheated in the past, now he wants to go to lunch with the woman he cheated with?

Um absolutely not. If he’s attempting to work things out with you what would make him think it’s okay for him to be able to be eating with this woman?

What do they have to talk about?  He could go but when he did he should take his things with him.  No man is this slow to believe that this request would be okay.  After infidelity the last thing he needs to be worried about is meeting anywhere with the same woman he almost destroyed his marriage for.  I mean I would ask him why if you haven’t but I wouldn’t be sitting around okay with it.

Don’t give an ultimatum either.  Let him make the decision to do what he’s going to do.  Be prepared for it as well.  It speaks volumes that he is even concerned for this woman after being caught in the first place.  Am I to say that people can’t move past it, no very few do but it’s one thing to ask for forgiveness and then disrespect me twice.  He needs to figure out an action plan of reconciliation or a plan to end the marriage.  You can’t work on what you won’t confront and if he’s not willing you can’t make him.

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Spring into Expectations

Well its the first of spring and living in the East I woke up to snow.  Yes snow on the first day of spring, what a start.

When I think of Spring I think of warm weather, bunnies, Easter, flowers, and dresses.  My list may be superficial but it’s what makes me happy.  Spring is the season when things come into bloom.  All winter long we endured the cold where things have seemed to have died.

Spring is renewal.  I think about the areas in my life that could use some blooming.  Whether its finances, home life, career, it’s time to make changes.  Even though we woke up to snow for most of us, it doesn’t mean that I will allow that to damper my mood.  I still have the awaited joy that this day is all about.

What could you change today.  I know many women who switch out their makeup,  revamp wardrobe, etc and let me just say you should do those things while you look inward.  As much as we want to change-up our outside we should put equal time in getting ourselves ready for newness.

Ladies, we about to get summer time fine but how is your attitude?  What about how well do you treat others?  What about that man you been with who takes from you constantly?  Get rid of the junk.  Yesterday I started my spring cleaning.  You know that sho nuff cleaning where you scrub, clean walls – do the same in your life.

I have expectations of enjoying all I can.  Warm weather has a way of making you feel great about yourself.  But in case the weather has you down or you are suffering from and being down, here is my spring list for your physical and inward self:

Physical

1. Enroll in a new class.  Groupon is offering spin classes, kick boxing, etc.  Get active and do it for pennies on the dollar

2. Switch out your makeup-its time to get brighter colors, and either clean or obtain new brushes.  Check your makeup in general sometimes you may need a lighter foundation and don’t forget to hydrate. Also get manicures and pedicures as sandal season will be here, well when the snow melts anyway.

3. Dresses are so in.  Invest in a few pieces that make you feel beautiful. No matter the size there’s a look for you

4. Start a new project.  Want to make your home beautiful and don’t know how, research or attend home improvement classes at Home Depot, etc

5. Plan a sisters or friends get away.  Ladies keep in touch with your friends.  Even if you’re a mom or just a busy woman on the go nothing says spring more than girl talk, and fun times

Inward

1. Counseling-find a professional that could help you work on your issues.  Keep in mind that you are the only one responsible for your happiness there’s nothing wrong with getting help to get there.

2. Make a list of areas you want to change and make an action plan.  Write the vision and make it plain.  No need to just talk let’s see it and make it happen.

3. Make amends. Yes apologies for things you have done.  You can’t go higher if you’re not willing to clear the paths of things you have already done.  Keep in mind it doesn’t even matter if they deserve an apology.  The apology is for you not them.

4. Connect with family.  Sometimes family can hinder progress especially if you have a strained relationship.  Attempt to make peace with them as no one is an island.

5. Detox.  Yes get rid of toxic people.  If after you have made peace some people aren’t worth the investment.  You don’t need toxic people zapping life out of you.  It’s not enough to acknowledge them you need to purge them.  People say they want things to be different then its time to DO different things.

Spring or leap into expectations.  It’s up to you to make the best of the life you were given. I know some women struggle with being okay with putting themselves at the top of the list, but you must.  Make this spring the best it can be!! Happy Spring all!

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They Stay Watching

It amazes me when people do the most to bring another person down.  It comes from a hurtful place.  Hurt people hurt people.

Sinner or saint we ALL have a past.  One thing I was always taught is to not be ashamed of my past.  Often times people will bring you down and attribute character flaws as the cement of who you are.  Although the past may be able to speak about how you might act, it doesn’t define you unless you give it permission to.

We all know of stories of people who have been in jail and when they get out they can’t get anyone to believe in their change.  What happens?  Unless they are set against allowing it to hold them,  they return to what they know.  You have to be willing to define yourself. You can always break cement although it may take work and rebuild.

Another issue with the past is the sting of shame.  People literally shame you for what you have done and want you to feel bad everytime they come in your presence and then say I want you to do better.  Listen some folks can’t just get past shame.  Shame is crippling but it  can be fought through.

Once the sting of shame is gone when the past is brought up you won’t allow it to affect you anymore.  Now im not on a campaign to tell all of your business, but when the opportunity comes let folks know yes that was the old me.  In order to do that one has to make the necessary changes.  You can’t change what you won’t confront.

Lastly understand that even with all good intentions, someone somewhere will have nothing better to do than attempt to hold you to your former self.  If you are looking for a happy wagon after you have changed you will be sadly mistaken.  Get it through your heart that some folks will never be able to celebrate your happiness.  They aren’t necessarily haters but they definitely have one vision.

Sometimes while making changes, you may have to walk alone for period of time.  It’s unsettling to walk alone because of the loneliness.  No one likes to walk alone but it’s necessary.  If you have lived a little like the old people would say there’s going to be a moment when you will be alone but I promise you it will make you stronger.

Don’t let the past hold you not another day.  Don’t let folks and their whispers stop you.  There’s a lesson to be learned in your mistakes.  Get an accountability partner to help you where you have a weak moment.  Be careful of who you share your heart with.  Don’t let your desire to be connected allow you to make a mistake in who you open up to.  Did you not know there’s always someone down the road that will need to hear how to make it out?  You don’t think that even in your mistake, it was supposed to count you out?  If you did, I’m here to remind you that’s not the case.  I got a few shy readers who are thinking I can’t help anyone but there’s a testimony in your life and someone is already watching, might as well make it a story of overcoming.

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Women’s Month: LaKeisha Dean

Being a woman means life, honor, power and love.  Women are awesome caregivers but what happens after a new baby when the balance between relationship, baby, and self tug?

For my mothers, think back on when you brought home your first bundle of joy.  Remember those days when the sheer excitement of new motherhood was almost nostalgic?  For Keisha, it was a whirlwind.  In those first few weeks after having her daughter Dalila, she had lost her voice. Her voice to communicate. The combination of the hormone changes that women go through after giving birth and her daughter being sick and in the hospital her first weeks of life had her completely mute. She had no idea how to communicate to her husband on how she was feeling because she didn’t even know how she was feeling. So her husband carried them both. He did a tremendous job being there for them.

Not everyone gets the experience of having their baby, having visitors and then going home to enjoy their baby.  Some women like Keisha get dealt with medical challenges on top of trying to figure out this new responsibility.  So if you’re a new or experienced mom getting back into the groove of things seem like the hardest thing.

Now that Keisha’s daughter is 7 months she feels as if she’s got quite the handle on her wants and needs and am able to balance out her life with some wants and needs of husband and self. It’s not the perfect balance just yet but her awareness of when one is lacking is on point.

How many women have had a new baby and have neglected a spouse or other children?  Its never on purpose but it does happen.  Balance is key to show love for all who our arms have to hold and love.  Men want to feel the love too so don’t forget your big baby while you’re taking care of the new baby.  Thankfully her husband is very encouraging, strong and openly communicates when the balance isn’t there.

Keisha has learned a few things.  After giving birth for 26 hours of natural labor has made her feel like Rocky. Every time she breastfeeds she feels like superwoman. And when shes able to do so much with her baby girl attached to her she feels like she runs the world with Beyonce. Being a new Mom has made her feel like the strongest woman ever. It really made her appreciate and love being a woman. 

Her heart’s desire for her daughter is that she would remain passionate about her dreams. She also wants her daughter to surround herself with people who support her and love her. Lastly to be fearless about those dreams. They are apart of God’s purpose for her. If any one or thing comes her way to try to steer her in another direction,  know herself enough to know where she needs to be.

Her biggest goal right now is jumping back in to her own goals. Everything hit pause right after baby but slowly she’s  been pressing play. she started teaching dance at 2 months postpartum,  dancing at 4 months,  working out at 5 months now working on securing a great job by the time her daughter is a year old to further her career. Although,  she’s not sure any job will be as great as being a stay at home mom with the happiest baby alive.

She wants every woman to remind themselves that they are worth it! Sounds so cliche but we are really worth so much more than we often give credit for. 

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Women’s Month: Wanika Hightower-Scott

These series have opened up the discussion for various topics.  Your feedback has been incredible.  I would like to introduce you to Wanika Hightower-Scott, a married mom of 2.

Being married usually is the marrying of two families together.  In an ideal world, both families blend well.  There are cookouts, birthday parties, holidays, etc but what happens when your village has to be cut? 

When you get married one of the phrases you hear is that the married couple is to leave and cleave.  However like most couples you don’t cut your family off.  You want to bring your family into your beautiful union.  At 24 Wanika had found the love of her life.  She had a baby and of course through persuasion of others marriage seemed like the natural step.

Ladies, I’ve always caution couples from marrying for the children’s sake.  Marry because you love your mate, willing to make your commitment work, and desire marriage.  Wanika found herself in a whirlwind of persuasion.  Now don’t read into this she loved and still loves her husband.

Balance in marriage is always hard.  To know how much you let others into your union is tricky no matter what.  After a few drama filled issues the stand that Wanika and her husband took to eliminate the village completley was hard.  Can you imagine the ones that you thought was in your corner having to say wait, let’s re-evaluate this?!  That’s what they did as a couple. 

Cutting out all voices and hands in the pot allowed her to know as a wife that she could make decisions and support her own family without influence.  She and her husband realized that they were strong enough to survive.  Her motto is “us against the world.” 

If you’re reading this and thinking that you couldn’t take that step that’s fine but consider this point, if anyone’s voice is stronger in your union than you and your mate’s than you need to cleave to your mate.  We all need support from time to time but a crutch in your marriage is actually more hurtful than you can ever know.

You made a vow between you, God, and your mate and if the ship sinks or fails it’s up to you and your mate to see it through.  It’s not that family or friends are a cancer to a marriage but it can be if you give them too much say.  No one should be involved with the intimate part of your marriage. 

Here are my suggestions to keep your marriage stronger:

1. Never tell family and friends pillow talk shared between you and your mate

2. Keep your mate first and make others respect it yes even your parents need to know this as well

3. Make your own traditions with your new family

4. Keep venting about your mate’s negative traits to a minimal, people don’t forgive as quickly as you

If you have a village that supports you consider yourself blessed.  In this age not all families are able to support without feeling as if they should have control.  I’m not against villages at all.  Some villages are a great tool to support a budding marriage.  However trust your instincts and always make you and your husband the priority. 

Lastly after talking to Wanika I wanted to know with all the things that took place in her marriage did she have any regrets?  Her regret isn’t in marrying her husband but in how early they married.  Marriage is hard already one and then marrying young isn’t for everybody because you need to know yourself.  Wanika would love for people to slow things down. 

I know many women who are in the same situation as Wanika.  I also know marriages who have fallen apart because of people becoming too involved.  It’s up to you and your mate to make the lines between you first and then make others respect it as well.  Sometimes people’s feelings will be hurt but if genuine respect can’t be given, you have to do what’s best for your family.

Ladies, what do you think is a parent, family or friend worth your relationship?

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Women’s Month: Enjolii Gantz

I’m sure you have already been getting your fill of these beautiful women.  It’s time to highlight another woman.

Enjolii Gantz is married and a mother of two, a daughter who is almost 5 and an eleven year old son.  She is ambitious and hardworking.  She takes being a mother and wife serious.  She jokes that in her circle often times she comes off as too real or harsh but that when you are a real friend if you can’t have truth amongst friends what do you really have?!

Had a recent chat with her about womanhood and the one thing that stuck out was woman being confident in themselves regardless if they have someone or not.  It’s no secret that most women crave relationship or companionship. It should come as to no surprise either the lengths women will go to obtain it.

Look at most of the reality shows today and most are based on obtaining a man even if the man isn’t yours to begin with.  Enjolii’s hope is for women to see the value in themselves instead of placing a high value in having a man by their side. 

Again you know I there are women reading this and thinking that it’s easy for Enjolii to say because she’s married.  It goes back to the themes I’ve used consistently that just because you’re married doesn’t mean you have hit the ceiling of life.  You can be single at any moment.  Enjolii wasn’t always married.  There were moments where you want to be a wife but it shouldn’t over shadow you that you can’t function outside of your marriage.

The other issue is even in marriage people have it pinned that the wife is supposed to do it all.  That means take care of the kids, run the house, and tend to their husbands.  Women are changing what it means to be a wife but the burden sometimes is on the woman.

What happens when you aren’t confident in what you bring to the table?  What about if you get married but you aren’t fulfilled as a person?  Make sure that you are where you need to be before you bring someonelse into your life. A confident woman who is secure in herself won’t allow herself to accept some of the games that men play because instead of just settling, they inquire more.  You take the rush out of getting any person when you are satisfied.  Being satisfied single doesn’t always mean you have to like being single either.  It means you are okay until the right one comes along.

Also we have to instill confidence in our daughters.  They are growing up emulating what we do.  If they see you bouncing from man to man it will be common place for them to do the same.  Set goals, set standards on love and relationship.  Be clear on good examples of healthy relationships so they can emulate it in their own lives.

I for one applaud a woman who can recognize that it takes more than a wedding gown and ring to be satisfied.  Many women are chasing after the wedding, but what about the marriage?! Preparing for marriage happens in your single days.  It takes confidence to make a great sacrifice and it takes will to make it work.  Marriage isn’t all glamorous like others would paint it so don’t enter it likely.

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Women’s Month: Zanika Hightower

So this month we will be highlighting women from all walks of life.  I want to showcase women from every age, and stage with different ideas, thoughts and views.

Today I want to highlight Zanika Hightower.  Zanika is a 27 year old office manager for a medical office.  She is also a mother to an almost 6 year old daughter.  I had the opportunity to speak to her about what she felt she wanted people to know about her. 

I personally met Zanika when she and her family came to my home church in Lancaster, PA.  She is a twin it’s definitely one of the first things I knew about her. I’ve worked with her during various events at our church.  She’s definitely grown up now. Zanika is definitely a go getter.  She strives to provide for her daughter.   She’s serious about her career.  At 27, her wisdom  definitely surpasses her years.

During our conversation the one thing that struck out to me was her desire to be celibate.  Yes you read correctly.  Celibate.  Think about that for just a second.  No sex and you’re in your 20s?!  In this day and age I don’t know many women taking that type of stand.  Her reasoning was because she didn’t want to bring another person into her circle. Think about it when you have sex with someone anything can happen, STDs, pregnancy, feelings, etc.  She’s not ready to entertain the idea. 

She also didn’t want to keep giving herself to someone in hopes for a title.  I personally know many women who sleep with men just to get a man to love them, date them, or marry them.  Sex clouds the reality of the situation.   And in case you are wondering she’s been doing this now for 3 years.  Impressive since some folks can’t go days let alone years without sex.

Now before you start giving the side eye to the idea, yes she has a child.  That alone we know she’s not a virgin but it reminds me of the group City High’s lyric from the song Caramel “just because I’m not a virgin don’t mean I’m having sex with you.”  A baby doesn’t knock you out the game of regaining your sexuality.  You had sex and had a baby but that doesn’t mean you have to keep giving sex to a man.  It’s your body, and your choice and Zanika chooses to abstain. Zanika is definitely focused on raising an articulate little girl who is strong and able to make her mark and defy stereotypes. 

If there’s a young lady reading this on the brink of thinking thag they have to sex for a man and you don’t want to, then don’t.  You aren’t alone.  Your body is for you and only you should decide to give it.  Its one thing to have never given into sex, but an even greater challenge to withhold it after you have experienced it.  For that I applaud Zanika. Obviously she’s not the only woman who has done it, but how many stories do you hear in today’s sexed up society?  Ladies as we celebrate woman’s month, let’s embrace all women who are doing something positive.  What’s more positive than the message of loving yourself. 

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