Cracking the He Completes me Myth

It’s a snowy day where I am so if you are dealing with the same weather I wish you warmth and the best hot tea or hot chocolate you can find.

So if this is your first time readying today let me just say that today’s topic might catch you off guard cause the dose of real is going to be strong today.  To my regulars, well let’s dive right in.

To my newly engaged, wanting to be married, or already married let’s debunk a myth today….he completes me.  I don’t know where this phase started but we must end this and quick.  Love is a beautiful thing no doubt but to suggest that a man or a woman completes you is just not true.

To complete something is to say that you aren’t whole.  Words have life and death in them.  We have to be careful of what we put out in the atmosphere.  A man doesn’t come on the scene and all of a sudden is a missing part of you.  I honestly think this is some conception we got from watching too many romantic comedies.

Set aside the wedding day and let’s talk about the marriage.  What’s the average wedding cost these days?  I’ll go with the about $30,000.  That’s almost someone’s yearly salary.  With all these reality television shows, the theme of go bigger or go home helps feed into all the prep of having these over glorified weddings.  Now don’t get me wrong we as little girls have dreams of what a wedding day will look like, but we need to also put time into what our marriage looks like.

One thing that will come up when you get married if you haven’t dealt with it is any issues you haven’t dealt with in your childhood.  Yes I’m guessing with ring shopping no one told you that part.  If you have issues you have laid dormant they have a way of popping up in the course of your marriage.  His being in your life will not fix that.

To my married ladies, how much time did you actually prepare for the marriage?  Did you go to pre-marital counseling? Did it help? Did you have to go to counseling during the marriage? Did you have serious talks about how you would navigate during the marriage with all the major topics?  These things are really important to do.

Do I think a man comes in your life and is everything you ever wanted.  Yes that’s how it should be.  Can he be like Kevin hart calls his fiance, a rib? Yes something that is a PART of you but not all of you.  We have to debunk this myth cause some women get married and forget themselves trying to be a perfect wife and don’t create a balance.  We have to debunk this myth so the minute this man leaves us or doesn’t behave the way we want them to we don’t lose it.  Yes if you and your husband break up there’s an immediate sadness and a lot of emotions that comes along with separation but some women can’t navigate without their man.

I’ve heard so many times I just can’t live without him and to them it’s a real feeling.  My mother told me real quick before I got married, love that man and be the best you can for him but keep in the back of your mind that you can be single at any time.  She was quick to let me know that life happens and you need to know that.  How many men die and the wife doesn’t know anything about how the finances were being handled, can’t write a check, doesn’t drive, can’t work, and is totally dependent.  Ladies I’m not suggesting that you live single-minded in a marriage that goes against everything I believe in.  What I am saying is that you got to be a whole women who is fine with a man, love that man, but also be able to be yourself with or without that man.

If you think I’m off let’s examine this a little further.  How many women who complain all the time about losing themselves in a relationship? A whole lot.  They will be the same ones who will say I just did everything to make the man happy.  Making your husband happy should be along with also making yourself happy and finding that balance.

Ladies we all know what it’s like to let anything whether husband or not just take over.  Lets change the he completes me to he compliments me or to just he makes me the happy.  We can be whole women who find the love that makes us just love love.


Ask Toi: Should I Marry my Boyfriend now that we are expecting?

That’s an age-old question.  Back in the days of our parents and grandparents if we laid down and got pregnant we got married no questions asked.  Even growing up I would hear the phrase “don’t make her a mother if you can’t make her a wife.”

There’s a lot to be said for a man who once you tell him you are pregnant that he felt the need to do the “right thing” especially since there are more strollers than weddings, but I would like to offer a different perspective.

Babies don’t help relationships that are already in trouble.  This misconception that the baby will make you stronger is a true myth.  Babies that come into relationships where both parents aren’t willing to work will just bring about more stress.

If you and your boyfriend weren’t discussing on a serious note about marriage before the baby I would say wait.  Marriage is work and trying to adjust to a new baby and becoming a wife when you’re not ready isn’t a good idea.  Now if you say but I love him… count up the cost.  Will you love him through all the stages of marriage?  Talk with your boyfriend and be clear he too is clear on marriage and ready to do the work.  Consult with another seasoned married couple you and your boyfriend trust.

Seasoned couples are the ones who have been married for at least 10 years who have been through some things and still love one another.  Then consult with a newly married couple so they can provide you perspective on those first years when they were most likely ready to throw in the towel.  Now add it up and add in sleepless nights, no free range date nights, overworked parents and be honest with yourself.

It’s better to have your boyfriend be there as a co parent and cross that hurdle than to get married and mess up the relationship.  I can’t make that decision for you but as I’ve tried to provide you some other ways of looking at things.  Can you make it through it all with a baby in tow? Most definitely but count up the cost of what it will all mean beyond just the love you have for your man right now.  Good luck to you and your new bundle of joy!


To that 13 year old girl

When I was 13 year old we had moved from Virginia to Pennsylvania.  During the transition and going to school, I had my first encounter with racism. 

I was in the top of my class and I always have been.  The new school I was attending my twin, and another girl I’ll call her Chanel to protect her identity were the only kids of color.  For me initially it wasn’t a big deal however over time it became problematic.

One day a girl I’ll call Shannon called me a nigger.  I was shocked.  She had no shame.  When I went to the teacher he was no help.  He didn’t seem surprised either.  My name is LaToi.  He called me Denise since LaToi is too ethnic.  I was just taken back.  I couldn’t wait to get home.  As any parent they jumped into action and asked me numerous times what happened.  I repeated the story.  My parents immediately called the school and set up and appointment with the teacher and the principle.

When it came time for the meeting my parents sat there with such glare and their anger could be felt throughout the room.  Another issue they had to deal with was the teacher changing my grade from an A to a D since I didn’t need the straight As I had gotten since 2nd grade. 

Shannon also made the days at the school miserable for me and my twin.  I hated going there for a little bit and school was the place I usually thrived.  As a parent myself of a school age child I can’t imagine what was going through my parents mind.  By the time the situation got handled my parents managed to have our local NAACP office involved to strengthen race relations in the school district.  Even though my parents were heated they showed me how to take the high road and make a change. 

Dear 13 year old LaToi,

You are upset no doubt at the experience that happened to you.  Even with the years that will come later, race relations in America will not get better.  As a young women you need to make sure that you stand on your principles and teach others around you to do the same.  You can make any change that you wish but you must be the change you want to see.

Last year Shannon apologized to me through a mutual friends facebook.  It was by far a defining moment for me.  As my children grow the talk about race will have to be at the forefront of our home for their protection, etc.

Dr. King’s legacy lives in me and I plan on letting my light shine amongst my peers by my example and for speaking up against racism no matter what form it comes in.


Body for days

So as always you can find me reading.  It’s just what I love to do.  Well today while relaxing I came across an article about body image.  I wasn’t shocked that the athletic build is one that they claim leads to more attraction with men.  But then I thought, who are these supposed men being interviewed?

Most of the men I know like a little more to grab on to.  Now before we continue let me be very clear, no matter what size you are the best body type is healthy.  There is a misconception that fat people are unhealthy and skinny people are the healthiest.  That’s not all true.  I know plenty of skinny people who are completely unhealthy. 

Back to what makes men attractive.  It’s different strokes for different folks.  If you are anywhere on instagram whether your page is private or not, you have gotten someone who is selling a waist shaper at some point.  Women are buying these things to have waist lines like Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian West, and many other shapely models. 

Men especially men of color seemingly love curves.  However as I stated before the best you is a healthy you.  So why are we allowing men to dictate what we do.  As much as some women don’t need a man they sure give the fashion and beauty industry billions of their hard earned money.  Not all of it is about doing what makes them happy. 

I’m a firm believer that there is someone for everyone.  Growing up I’ve seen some of the craziest pairings.  So to do the most for a man whose interest will change over time doesn’t seem right.  I’m all for women who want to get it right, get it tight in my Bubba Sparks voice but if you are making yourself over for a man, then what happens when his attention moves to the next. 

If we keep allowing someone to box us we can’t get mad with comes along with that.  Don’t get this twisted as if I’m on some anti-man campaign because I’m not.  I am on women being empowered to be the best them they can be.  I want men to do the same.  The truth of the matter is in a world of pretenders it’s up to us to do what makes us whole.  So ladies if you want body for days then get it.  Work hard, play hard and be consistent because it’s what you want.


Ask Toi: How do I tell my good friend her man is no good

We all have had that girlfriend or been that girlfriend who has made questionable decisions in the dating department.  A rule of thumb is that unless your friend is in harms way you don’t offer your opinion.  Yes I’m sure there’s a woman who would disagree and say that they offer their 2 cents in all their friends business no matter what, trust me your girlfriend has noticed and may even withhold information from you because of it.

Don’t say either that if my friend was my real friend I should be able to be real with them.  That statement is only half truth.  As an adult we all want to make a decision and not have another adult nit pick everything that we do and dating is no different.  It’s one thing to be “real” and another thing to be real nosey.  Even with an Ask Toi I don’t go around trying to solve my friends problems even though I’m pretty good at advice.  I stay in my lane, and then offer when asked. 

If your friend asks for your advice then I would be honest.  When it comes to the matters of the heart I’ve always found that friends have already made up their minds one way or the other to continue to see a no good guy.  It’s best to be a place of support for your girlfriend than to try to be the deciding factor.

As off as it sounds I know plenty of women who will date the bad guy just because someone said not to.  Not to say that that all women are like that, however the scale tips more for the latter.  Be prepared for your friend to be possibly upset with your opinion.  Yes friends get mad at each other.  What makes a friend is the ability to be mad and come back together at a later time.

I hope you understand that women are complex and dating is a touchy subject.  What you think is bad may not be the case for another women.  For some women even though cheating should should be a deal breaker for many it’s not when they have their blinders on.  So if your friend’s blinders are on don’t be shocked by any response you may receive. 

Hope that helps!



Have you caught the new show Hindsight? 

It’s a new show where a young women goes back in time to end a marriage so she can obtain the love of her life.

I thought about this.  What if you really had the ability to go back and redo some decisions.  What would you redo?  Would you marry that man you were so madly in love with? Would you have taken that major in college?  Really think about the moments in life that you complain aobout often.

We complain so much we don’t take the time to appreciate what we really have.  If changing a decision is what you really want to do, you don’t need a time machine.  What you need to do is have a sit down with yourself and count up the cost.  Yes I’m an action plan type of woman so if you want change please believe me it’s not going to knock on your door.  You and only you have the power to make internal changes.

They say hindsight is twenty-twenty.  However did you know you can turn hindsight into foresight.  Yes stop letting yourself go into whoa is me mode.  Change is right in your hand and heart.  Make it happen!


Ask Toi: My husband verbally abuses me as well as recently punched me

Now as I write this, it breaks my heart that women are in situations that subjects them and their children to be in unsafe conditions.

Before I continue I would start off by saying that abuse of any kind is never ok.  Since you are abused I would suggest that you talk to someone you can trust as well as get help by calling  1-800-799-safe.  This hotline is available 24 hours a day.  I’m serious and willing to get you in touch with someone who can help you immediately.

I don’t know you but what I do know is that you need to get help and fast.  One thing that an abuser does is attack your self esteem.  They will overtime break you down to where you feel you can’t confide in anyone.  They isolate you from your friends and they usually have some type of hold on you often times being in the form of money. 

You say you got married at an early age and are a stay at home mom.  That’s not something that’s unusual in this market and economy.  Being that you are a stay at home mom and your husband is harming you and controlling you is very unique but typical.

You probably have been told everything from not being pretty enough to you have been out the work force for so long who would hire you.  Unfortunately your husband is a coward and has used your love for him to control you and mess with your self esteem.  He’s probably your world.  You can’t see past him cause even when he’s mean he comes back and shows so much love and affection.  That’s the game.  Abusers will make you feel that you didn’t do something and therfore they reacted in a way and if you only straighten up they could be the man you need.

You need to leave.  It’s one thing to work out your marriage because of minor infractions but abuse isn’t minor.  Abuse is serious and you must treat it as such.  You have kids.  I don’t know if they are boys or girls but that environment is no place for children.  He’s already called you out your name in front of your kids so they have been affected by this.

As a mother we strive to give our kids the best.  Can you say with confidence that you are when this man is harming you.  Now since I try to be as honest and I can let me say this: if you aren’t inclined to leave like so many women do, let me offer you some helpful suggestions. 

Being a stay at home with no money doesn’t mean that you don’t have rights.  Calling a local domestic abuse shelter for immediate shelter is vital.  If you have a male in your life that you can talk to I would.  If I called my mother and told her I was being abused outside of calling my dad to come and make things happen she would also advise me the following:

Get a plan

If you are planning to leave the worst thing is to just leave blind without a plan.  Get together important paperwork.  Keep packed clothes for you and the children in a safe place.  Obtain a separate bank account and have the mail forwarded to a friend you trust.  Any allowances given only use what’s necessary and put the rest in that account.  Get and obtain a disposable cell and keep minutes on it at all times.  Don’t give this number to anyone but a small network of close friends and family.  If you have your own car get another set of keys made and keep with the spare clothes. 

I know there’s a woman saying tell her to leave with nothing she don’t deserve it.  Listen yes that’s what I would do however since domestic abuse is something where some women don’t have the courage to leave helping her have an exit plan is the way to empower.

When you plan to leave isn’t in the middle of the night while he’s sleeping the time to leave is in the daytime while he’s at work.  However if your very life is in jeopardy leaving when you can make a break for it will work too. 

Your husband getting help is great but my concern isn’t about his help right now as much as you getting out safely.  Sometimes even telling a pastor or male that your husband respects helps on the surface but often times can make matters worst.

I know you want to be loyal to him in spite of what some other women reading this may think.  Leaving your husband and starting over is devastating.  It would feel like the worst thing in the world to do right now, but unless you tap into yourself right now, I fear something far worse would be on the horizon.  If you can’t do it for yourself please look at your children. Think about what would their life be like without your presence.  How would that make you feel? 

One of the things that make domestic abuse hard is as I conclude the person being abused knowing it’s abuse.  Sometimes we lose our way and we don’t get that we are in harms way because often times the abuse was was a gradual progression.  We often lie to ourselves first than friends that over time things will get better.  We without truth at times to love ones out of fear of being judged.  We rely on hope that love will conquer all.  Even if all of these things had any validity once physical abuse comes into play it’s time to save ourselves.

If you or someone you love is going through this, empower them.  Encourage her to seek help.  Get involved by getting her the resources she needs.  Keep in mind that you can’t make her leave but you have to be able to help her with an action plan.  Please be sensitive but serious.  If you know a friend is actively being abused call 911 always for help.