Her Own Empire

So I was watching Starz’s Survivors Remorse and on the show Missy Vaughn played by Teyonah Parris and Reggie Vaughn played by RonReaco Lee are married.  It came out after Reggie was playing cards and lost $123,000 with “big wigs,” that Missy’s father had him sign a prenuptial agreement since Missy comes from money before they were wedded. Now the issue was the signing as well as the fact that as a married woman she didn’t work. Her claim is she keeps the house together aka a stay at home wife.  By the way they have no kids.  The father once he sat down with Missy and explained that the reason he made Reggie sign a prenuptial agreement is so that if the marriage failed, her husband wouldn’t be able to take her money and leave her high and dry.  Her mother interjected that she needed to work too.

So the issues that stirred:

  1. Prenuptial agreements.  Are they a thing to get if you have money or property?Some would argue that you are setting your marriage for failure.  Some would say it is in everyone’s best interest to get one.  Marriage is a partnership and apart of the partnership includes money.  Love is beautiful however being broke is ugly.  We need to talk about the importance of being financially sound before marriage.
  2. Stay at home wife-contributions and withdraws of said money-I was a stay at home wife for many years.  For me it was the best solution to paying high daycare fees.  It was more cost-effective to be at home.
    1. The Pros:
      1. Get to be the COO of your home.  You are the one that organizes and get the home together
      2. You if you have kids don’t have to wonder what your kids are doing cause you are the ones doing it for them
      3. You save money in the long run
    2. The Cons:
      1. Not having your own money comes with the challenges of having to depend on your husband to give you money or allowances. This works for some and not for others.  It depends on the husband that you have to be honest.  Most men talk a good equality talk on the surface but you have to get to the real nitty and gritty if that man means it.  Sorry to say most do not but they pretend to.  You have to be able to talk about it and be clear on what that looks like.  Does the wife still get to get out and do things women like to do such as keeping herself up, shop, or get a coffee if she wants?  If so what does the budget look like.
      2. Not having adult interactions because you are in the home most of the time.

Now let me put this is terms where my life fit in it and what I got from this.  Money in our home has always been an issue. I am going to be transparent because I KNOW for a fact that a lot of women go through this.  I love things.  I like the ability of being able to get the things that I like or want.  The drawback to this when I was a stay at home mom is that my husband rarely said no.  However what he had to do in the background to make sure that every time I swiped was part of the conversation that I didn’t want to have to have. I got to the point of not having of my own and having to rely on him.  This is a dangerous place for most women including myself.

Who puts it back if its gone?

The ability to do for myself is a beautiful thing. I know some women do not care, but for me I do. I am striving to be the type of women that if my husband does it is a bonus and not out of need.  The reason is my husband plain and simple is not the husband from the 1950s who takes shoveling out money on the chin.  That doesn’t mean he has an issue giving me the things I need and some of the things I want.  However there has been times when in conversation he would say it.  In the beginning I would read messages he would text on his phone. AKA get into his phone and find negative messages about what I was doing on all fronts of the relationship not just money by the way.  These are the things they don’t tell you about marriage or relationship especially ones that have only one partner being the only bread-winner or the main bread-winner.  If you have one that is constantly spending and not putting it back-who puts the money back?  The working husband and sometimes the working wife since men stay at home too.  If the husband or wife is stressed trying to figure it all out than the issue isn’t in the spending its in balancing.  I think both partners should be honest about that.  However ladies I know I have heard it and if you’re not careful go back to doing whatever at no respect for his hustle too.  The man may want to do more but if he stressed trying to put it back all the time maybe that’s the issue in your spending and not just in him giving or not giving.

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Now back to Reggie and Missy I could relate to the shock when Missy mom told her to get a job.  It’s the life of Riley when you can swipe and kick off to wonderland until you realize your mate doesn’t respect the fact that you have him working harder than ever to put the money back you keep using.  I know, it would be east to blame the man until you take your emotions out of it and come to reality that at the end of the day, money is made not wished upon.  She had the look of disgust when it came to the fact that she needs to work and secure her own so her father or her husband couldn’t make any issues with money. I am realizing more and more and maybe it’s because of my personal dealings that there really is no real we.  To be honest, he that makes the gold makes the rules.  Its frustrating but it matters on who you are with to be honest. And regardless of who you are marrying to recognize the financial state that your family is in.  Red bottoms when you are saving may not be in the cards. Asking for them and getting but not caring if that man has to work extra hours or cut back in another area to get them is an issue.

Get your hustle on too

I would encourage every woman to know the financial dealings of your home.  You should know the ins and outs of what accounts are in effect.  Know the numbers, know where the important documents are in the home.  Please use one of your gifts to make your own money even if your money isn’t as long as your husband.  Every now and again say no to your husband’s swipe.  This means that you will have to have something of your own to swipe with.  I know this world would tell us that we are women hear us roar, that’s cute too but roar with some dollars it’s one of the ways to keep respect in the finances of your marriage.  To those who do not have that issue, kudos to you.  For the rest of the world, always securing your own bag is best.  Trust and believe these men will respect you more when you can do a few things independent of you.  Even the ones who claim they are here for your personal growth lie constantly so get your coins all the way up.

The big issue is to ask questions and be transparent with your spouse about money. This goes for both parties not when and after your completely frustrated.  Money was always scary to me and I never wanted to take the time to get the full picture. I do not want to paint my husband into a tyrant that by no means is the reason of this blog.  It’s to highlight an area that causes more divorce in the country within marriage. Not having a conversation and having expectations that don’t match with reality.  Men you must have a conversation and be honest too.  Ladies we have to be willing to listen without emotion.  Most husbands want to see their wife happy they just don’t want to die killing themselves to get you to that point. Come to the table with something or find ways to always reinvent the wheel to bring things to the table, coupon to cut corners.  Then when you cut the corners don’t spend that too, save.  Help the household not just you or your bottom line. Also shout out to my dad who before marriage ALWAYS then and NOW drills the importance of having your own.  He would never want me to be totally dependent on my husband.  It has zero to do with my husband controlling me it has to do with being free to make decisions on my own and being totally depenedent is and will never be healthy.  Shout out to my husband who has behind the scenes has helped me be financially debt free, and to make sure that I am empowered to have my own.  He doesn’t stop me but encourages me to be my own woman.  Some can’t say that. Work out the dealings of your home and if you feel like things aren’t being heard on any side, than I would suggest getting someone who will not take sides to be a mediator.  As much as people think the issue of money is no big thing, it is a huge part of living with another person and working things out.

Also know that things will NEVER make you happy. Get your spirit together as well. Sometimes the desire to excessive spending could reveal something on the inside that you are dealing with that shopping bags can’t fill.

Fall Workout/Weight Goals

So Fall is going to be here in a few days.  Yes. So I can stop hearing all of those complaining folks talking about relax.  Nope now you can go and relax.  Let people live. Let the Fall lovers have their time I don’t want to have to Kanye anyone over my favorite holiday but I will.  I digress. Anyway with the Fall fast approaching I have made some new Fall work out/weight loss goals that I believe will help others too.  Fall is the beginning of cuffing season as well as it’s the comfort food season. People will start making pies, cookies, mac and cheese, and before you know it 10 pounds have snuck up on you.  To combat the heavier weight problems I have made up my personal goals that takes the edge off of everything.

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I am breaking all of the Fall holidays into smaller goals.  My overall goal is to maintain the weight I am in and by New Years not have to make a lose weight goal. Yes that means being at my goal weight and keeping it off.  That in itself is a full-time goal.  However if I look at the whole goal it may be too intimidating so here is how I am breaking up my goals.

September Goal

I have a walk and a 5K at the end of the month.  So all month-long, I have been working out.  I started out 3 days a week but as the month quickly ends I have been hitting the gym EVERYDAY.  This means when I am sick, when the weather is gloomy, nothing is stopping me from the workout.  This has helped as I have noticed how much stronger I have gotten.  This will help me on the run as I do not want to be the last one running.  I want to be able to come out of that race with pride.  I also have a girls trip the first weekend in October.  Because of the closeness of the dates I will be good to go as I know I will indulge in some food that weekend too.  My hope is we do a lot of walking.  If not I will have to do like I do at home on the weekends and work out with the things that are around us.  No I could care less if it’s just one weekend. I worked out just fine when I went to Chicago for my birthday so this girls trip will be no different.  I woke up when others was sleep and did what I had to do.

The only issue I am facing is that with my hysterectomy surgery I find the swelly belly thing to be irritating.  It happens that when you do too much your belly swells.  I can wake up with a flat belly and by end of day or if I work out too much which I do everyday now I look 2 months pregnant. It’s annoying but I will work right through it until I heal fully and that stops.

October Goal

This goal is to look good in my Halloween costume.  Now please note yes I have already ordered it, have it and it fits. That isn’t the issue. It is making sure I look great in it.  Last year I was a girl Mario Brother.  It was cute but wearing it in the plus size section had me feeling super upset.  I looked like I was squeezed into it at that.  OMG.  Not this year.  I am going to be looking sleek and refined in my costume.  I ordered and have a medium and that in itself coming from a size 14 to a 8 is a blessing.  I will share my photos when Halloween comes.  I am not knocking plus size women, however I know for a fact that is not the size I was supposed to be.  Last year I was being lazy, and eating just to eat.  I wasn’t working out like I should have and the result was easily seen.  So this year I will be stepping out and looking like I should.

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November Goal

Thanksgiving is on the rise. I have already put in my holiday orders with my baker. Seriously I have.  I will be baking things on my own but there is something nice when you can take the edge off and pay someone else and get good stuff to share at the holiday luncheons and dinners.  That isn’t even adding all of the great holiday and winter drinks that I have recipes for, others make, and are going to be advertised….So now that my bakery orders are all in order I want to be able to not look like the turkey this year.  Have you ever looked at holiday pictures and been like Lawd, why didn’t someone tell me I looked like that?  I have and that will not be me this year.  I will look cute and ready to eat and not like I ate already and need to be pushing the vegetable truck this year.  I seriously love the way clothes fit on me now.  I have been able to remove the big clothes out of my closet and I have gotten a few cute pieces.  Once you get a dose of confidence after seeing your hard work, its hard to think about going backwards.

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These 3 goals will keep me until Christmas.  This Christmas I want to wear a cute Christmas pajama.  Christmas pajamas is always a serious thing.  Actually all of the holiday pajamas is a serious thing. I already ordered the kids Halloween pajamas and have them hanging in their closet.  I am not one for last-minute anything.  With that in mind the whole family always wears cute pajamas I just always snap the kids only.  Not this year I will be in the pictures with my cookies in tow.  I do not plan to stop eating my favorites. I plan on eating them in moderation.  A little, not the whole thing of anything. I have been really good with portion control and during the Fall when it gets colder I plan on keeping it hot in what I do and how I look this Fall.

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So your goals may not mimic mine but as you can see you can make monthly goals.  We all need something we can attain to.  For me its making sure I continue to look great as the holidays start to roll in.  Having a monthly goal and something I can work towards works for me.  It takes the edge off of the whole I want to have a great end goal of going into the New Year right and keeps me accountable.  Plus you know all of the get togethers, fall parties, potlucks, are all destined to try to take me out but I am aware of it all and ready to knock them out with some healthy dishes to share.

Recommitment 2017

So May is over. It’s been a great month for me but it’s time to get new goals for June. Another thing happening this June is we are officially at the half way mark to ending 2017. Time is flying. We are coming into a new season.

As we jump into this second half of the year what have you done with the first half? Looking for a new job? How many applications and interviews have you been on? Looking to end love but in the name of not being alone have you cut off the old draining love? Nope, he or she is still there? Looking for new love but haven’t stepped out to enjoy yours? Want to travel but haven’t even applied for a passport? Want to lose weight but won’t even work out at home on free YouTube channels? See the one main ingredient that is missing is action.

We all love to talk. We talk about dreams but won’t make the first step towards them. New Year’s Eve night and you will have a new set of things to do but haven’t put energy to at least begin the set you are supposed to be working on now. I know you have excuses we all do but the only person who hurts from uncompleted goals is you. It’s one thing to be working hard towards goals and not measure up but you can’t even begin to even complain if you have done nothing.

So what you gonna do? Simply dream? Simply talk? Just hope things just line up? Let me know how that works out for you. Anything you want takes work. It’s going to take effort. So let’s step it up. No more dreams without a plan. Be realistic in your plan. Start with one work out day. Change what you eat, pack your food for your day if you are serious about losing weight. Fill out 5 applications a day if you’re looking for a job or a better one. Call a recruiter and ask the questions and set up a tour if you want to go back to school? All of this requires energy and action.

We say year after year how this is our year but you really can’t believe it if you don’t work towards it. I blogged and stand by the premise that if you put half the energy you put into others around you-you would be a better person trust me on it. You can be a better person by working on your inside than out. So in this new month-take a step and leap.

Do you really want it that bad? Prove it to yourself.

  1. Write it out. What is your vision?
  2. Research what it will take. If it’s money needed how much. Do you have a gift or talent that can help you make the money to get there? Do it. Get you a jar, decorate it and save towards it.
  3. Clear your mind. You can’t make space with new things still holding onto the old stuff. 

  4. Get around like minded people who already doing it. Get a mentor.

    So you have things to do. You don’t have time to sit around watching the world be great. You don’t have time to babysit what everyone else is doing. Time to make it happen. Recommit to you!! Invest in you.


    Stress Awareness: Emotional Stress

    Emotional stress is one of the stressors that attaches itself to one of the other stresses we discussed.  If your mind is all over the place, allowing you to think about all kinds of thing it will affect your emotions and can cause physical stress.  You can’t really be mentally or physically stressed and it doesn’t mess with your emotions.  They are sidekicks to yourself.

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    However you can calm your emotions to began to handle things and alleviate the other stresses.  One of the reasons is that out of your mouth your heart speaks.  What you talk about, give life to shows where you are.  When you say you are over something and you think you are but keep talking about it still has you.  When you aren’t phased by something is when you let things go.  So how do you handle emotional stress?  Getting to the root of what is tugging at your heart.  If you are hurt you tend to hurt others in your words, deeds, etc. Lashing out sometimes only reveals what is really going on.  However don’t expect the world to give you a pass just because something is bothering you. Everyone around is having a hard time and only really mature people even take the time to weed out your mess and want to assist you.  Others will tell you that they are here for you but aren’t.  These types of heart issues have to come from you doing some work on the inside out.

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    I have said it before sometimes writing things down or even saying it gets it out.  Once out you can own it and then find ways to fix it.  Not everything can be fixed.  There will be tines when apologies will never come from the very ones who are fully aware that they did you wrong.  There are so many people in the grave who have power on those of us who are living because we won’t forgive.  And although some take it as cliché, forgiveness is really for you.  It frees you.  It makes you whole.  You can be whole without someone apologizing to you when you learn to drop the charges against them.  It doesn’t mean that they deserve it.  It doesn’t mean you will forget about it.  It just means you don’t need to carry the weight of what others have done.  Let’s be honest, people are rude People are inconsiderate and people say and do mean things.  You don’t have to like it but nothing that someone else has done should make you not live the best life that you can. It’s like being miserable while the others around you continue their life.  This happens all the time.  It’s hard to forgive and move on but its worth your peace to do it.

    Take some time not to mask what you feel but to deal with it.  You may not be able to get closure but you can close the books to your heart and move to a positive place in your life.

     

    Ask Toi: My boyfriend is calling me little cute names and its irking me but this is a new relationship and I don’t want to mess it up, what should I do?

    The very point of new love is to get to know someone. If you telling your boyfriend that you don’t like something is an issue this relationship will not last.  Relationships are give and take.  Sometimes you have to speak up.  Best believe your boyfriend will have zero problems stating what he likes or doesn’t like.  I get that the first semi difficult talk seems to be happening, but you have to let him know.  Why let this man call you a little pet name that you simply don’t want to hear.  When he calls you this name its supposed to have you grinning from ear to ear not irritated.  Communication is key in any relationship.  Women feel like they can’t speak up unless all hell has broken loose and now you’re in full complaint mode.  Men think that all women do is complain because often times we let things go unchecked and then we confront after many times before we didn’t simply just be an adult and hash it out and leave it alone.  You don’t like it, sit him down and say hey I would prefer a different name.  Reality as simple as this situation is the bigger issue isn’t in a pet name but the reality that you are already feeling like you need to tip toe around him and that needs to change.  If you are in a relationship open and honest communication with yourself and then him is necessary. Any relationship where you can’t do both needs to be reevaluated.  Is the name the issue or your lack of ability to feel comfortable speaking up the issue?  Is it that you are afraid that rocking the boat?  Is your relationship in a good place or this a drop in a bucket? Sometimes the small things that irritate you about someone can reveal much bigger issues.  If the romance has died early on than you can either do the work to rekindle it or decide if its worth it all together.

     

     

    T.I.-Marriage is a distraction

    I love T.I. but my love for him will never cloud my judgement on whether or not I think the words coming out of his mouth is right or not.  His marriage has been under fire for many years.  Recently it has come under fire when his estranged wife “Tiny” Tameka Harris filed for divorce.

    I try not to believe everything in the tabloids.  For instance the reported infidelity on both sides no one really knows for sure but Tiny and TI.  However one thing that has been circulating is TI’s most recent interview where he states how he can be a better best friend to Tiny but not a good husband to her.  Now let’s explore this statement since I am a married woman if I heard that I was a distraction after giving my husband the best of me, having children and building a life regardless of what was going on I would be devastated.  I feel for Tiny in that aspect.

    Should he stay just to save face?

    However I wouldn’t have an issue with TI feeling and expressing the way he feels if he had this conversation with her privately and before the alleged affairs that took place. We tend to take the honestly out of marriage out. If your husband can’t come to you and be transparent even if it hurts that is an issue.  I know for my husband and I struggle in this area to be 100% vulnerable because we still feel the need to hold a person’s feelings when you discuss difficult situations.  It doesn’t mean someone is withholding information it just means that some things are difficult and may take time to bring to one another’s attention.

    If TI feels that he can be a better friend over a husband as hard as those words are to hear, it’s better to have the words said than to prolong the inevitable.  However I do believe that tact should always be considered.  The timing on something like that is everything.  This means to Tiny that even if she thought they could reconcile things, he is not in the place to do so.  He no longer wants to do the things that husbands do.  She has to get pass that type of gut wrenching hurt. She could be doing that in her own way.  I think she is still struggling.  If my husband and I had that conversation and I saw him or thought he was entertaining someone I know for a full fact I would be okay to see that or have it thrown in my face all the time.  It would take some time to heal that the marriage was over.  Have my husband had some extremely hurtful things that hit and cut like that?  Absolutely if I am honest.

    We tend to romanticize marriage.  We tend to think everything will just work out.  It doesn’t.  I do not like the ideal of divorce.  I didn’t marry to divorce but it happens.  You have to understand that going into it.  No you don’t look for it to happen but understand when it comes to the matters of the heart and will, things will never remain if the person you are working with stops working with you.  TI shouldn’t just stick it out for the sake of the kids, to make Tiny happy, or to prevent from divorcing altogether.  Somebody has to realize that a broken toy doesn’t always get fixed.  Women are lining their opinions on the matter and some not understanding what its like to be married.  Some are on team Tiny and reality is there is no need for Team anybody.  The team members that matter the most, one party doesn’t want to be married.  It sucks, it hurts, but I am sure like most strong women she is shattered but her pieces can be put back together.

    I can’t imagine what it feels to be in Tiny’s shoes.  She can’t even grief the marriage because she is in the public eye.  I am sure that Tiny and TI have had good moments.  I am sure they keep things together for the children.  I am sure that they are trying to work on things to get them to the point where they can be cordial.  I am also sure that is not without pain and not without hurt.  Tiny has been there for TI even during the time of his incarceration.  He I am sure has been there during difficult times as well.  They lost a child together, they have been through Hell and back.  People think that in marriage you won’t change but marriage changes people.  Some for the better and some it can go left.  I know couples who take years to get to this point still holding on to what was. Loyalty is pricey.  This is why its hard for people to give it to just anyone.  They know that you put yourself out there and the return on investment can be everything or nothing at all. Marriage is work but it takes both partners willing to make it work for it to work.  I wish them both well.

    What your Married Friends Won’t Tell You

    So I am going to a wedding today.  I know without a doubt this union is just going to be a beautiful celebration of two people who really do love each other and who are both committed to being there for one another.  Going to weddings when you are married is supposed to remind you of your own vows.  You get that rush of feeling when you think of the nervousness of both individuals and you remember how you felt doing the same thing.  Marriage is a lifetime committment and that committment can be easy-going but filled with the ups and downs of life.  So here are a few things that married people don’t share but its true.

    1. You will get on each others nerves-I know in the fairy tales the man and woman marry and then they live happily ever after but in planet Reality, it’s not true all the time.  Your mate will get on your last nerve and then resurrect that nerve and get on it again and again and again.  Yes and some more.  This is the closest person to you and they know all of your ups and downs as well as your triggers.  Love is forever but staying in that forever moment take works.
    2. You will not be in a blissful state of euphoria every minute of your marriage.  Cue in the flowers, lingerie, and happy smiles marriage is work.  I think I said that before but marriage is work.  You will have to be intentional in creating happy spaces of your marriage.  You will also need to be prepared for the down times as well as make sure you are already on a stable foundation.
    3. Your first few years are the hardest.  You may find that your temperament will change as you ride the waves of this new life.  You may argue for the first time since you called your little baby boo, teddy bear, love muffin yours.  This will pass.  If you notice that you are having more trouble than most than seek counseling.  But know its normal to disagree.  Don’t stress and if you can’t find a solution than let an argument settle and come back to it.  Take a time out.  It’s okay. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither do all arguments.
    4. Sometimes you will crave your own space.  You got married to be one, but you don’t have to be joined at the hip.  However there will be time when life pushes you more and more together and if you aren’t careful can push you away from your own dreams.  You have a help mate which means someone to help you along the journey of life but not to be your life.  Make time to love on each other and still have to cultivate your own passions.
    5. Life changes.  This has to be said.  Marriage is not just a piece of paper.  It binds you in spirit and love.  That changes the game altogether.  You are no longer on an island you are responsible for each other and the family and life you have.  Going with the flow isn’t easy for everyone that is why the person you pick to spend your life with is super important.  You want to be sure that the person is willing to take care of you if you lost all of your limbs, lost your mind, or got severely sick.  Why pick a person who will run at the slightest sign of danger.  You are wasting the time you could be with the one who really wants to be just be there.  They should want to be there just because they love you and love doing for you and with you.
    6. Sex is important.  I know you hear stories of wives who only have sex 3 times a year: birthday, Christmas, and anniversaries.  Although it’s not my place to say how often a couple should be having it, if you ask the couple separately there will always be one that wants it more and the other who wants it less.  Whether you believe in sex before marriage or not, talking about sex and the expectations should be discussed before hand.  Why be married to the one person who is to fulfill your needs and find out that they aren’t going to or have no intention of doing so.  This is crushing, especially in lines of honoring your vows.  If you are to honor your vows and that means not sleeping around than you should be able to be sexually free with your mate.  This takes time and being on the same page outside of the bedroom.  Also be realistic.  Once babies, sickness or anything else life swings your way will change-up the rhythm.  It takes two to tango.  If you hear from a married friend that something is wrong in the timing of sex in their lives, always remember there are always two sides and in the middle is always a big misunderstanding. Communication and the lack thereof is always the culprit.
    7. Communication is a big issue in marriage and it can make or break the relationship.  Money is tied or sometimes seen as number one but communication is the culprit before money.  If you can’t communicate and if you struggle like I do at times than you must have someone willing to help you close that gap or is patient. You have to be able to open up.  Men you will definitely know you are marrying or have married the right one when you don’t want to communicate but its something about the lady in your life that pushes you past your comfort level of opening up. How you say what you say is actually more important than the words you say. Saying hey you lost yourself and you look horrible is way off track than saying hey what is going on and how can I help you get back to your happy place.  See the difference. I tell my husband all the time you can the same thing and use tact and tact will get you everything with me.  Its super true.  I love that man and if he comes correct 99% he can get whatever he needs within reason.
    8. Money is something to be on top of. I don’t like money talks. I hate them to be honest.  I always feel like I am being talked to like a child when it comes to money.  I am the type that is like just tell me what I need to contribute to and move on but it doesn’t always work that way.  You can’t be afraid to know where you stand. I encourage every woman who is reading this blog if you are in a marriage to know the ends and outs of what is coming in and what is coming out. You should have copies of every important financial document and know the status everything concerning you and your households.  Do you know how many women just because they are stay at home moms or aren’t working that don’t know this information.  If something happens to that man you can’t write a check, drive, or even know if you can bury that man-nothing. Change that.  You need to be partners in life which means that you must be partners who have full rights.  Every partner should have all the cards facing up.
    9. Happy wife, happy life is a lie and a truth at the same time.  Happy wife starts with a happy wife than you can do things to make her happy after her happiness is fulfilled.  Let me share a little confession, I am not that happy wife all the time.  This takes practice. I would encourage all soon to be wives and those wanting to be wives to do some work on yourself before you join yourself to someone.  It takes a lot of out of the marriage to constantly try to make a miserable person happy.  You can kill a person trying to do the most.  Once you have a happy wife than men its up to you to make sure you keep her love bucket full and vice versa the same applies to the ladies.  Love on yourself and never forget the reason why you got married is the key to keeping you as an individual happy therefore making a happy marriage.
    10. Marriage isn’t for everyone.  I know we know about the divorce rates but that isn’t supposed to scare you.  Marriage is what you and your mate put into it.  What people don’t tell you is to never judge your marriage off of what others around you do.  What makes one marriage work never applies to all marriages.  So be careful comparing and water your own garden.