He Said…She Said…

We change in marriage. We think we won’t but we do. We are ever learning about ourselves in the midst of change in marriage. Today’s question is what have we learned about ourselves since being married..

He Said…

What I learned about myself in marriage is the desire to change history and be in a family with a stable home (ie mother and father in the home) and provide that for my children since I didn’t have that. In that desire to provide that I put more emphasis on being an amazing father and not enough on being an amazing husband. What I didn’t realize that I have to make sure that I put time to my marriage in order to create the stable home. What I’m learning now is to put the same energy that I give my children to my marriage to continue an environment for both!

She Said..

I learned that it’s ok to have fun in marriage. It took so much for me to go back to the fun that we had in the very beginning trying to make sure I had the perfect food cooked, kids cleaned, and dotting every I. That was so stressful and causing me to lose focus on what mattered. So as to the T that I felt I needed to be, knowing that sometimes it’s ok to go take a nap and things would get done later was just as great! Knowing I can take on too much and be unwilling or too scared to admit I needed help had to drop.

So we were both trying too hard in one area but not enough in other areas and now learning everyday the balance to keep our own personal fuel, couple fuel, and family fuel is always a tug of war! I definitely think we are getting better at it for this stage of life!

Hoping you are learning and getting something from this series!

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He Said…She Said

Marriage goals…the thing we say when we think we see marriages being successful. Who defines marriage goals? Is it because people post with their husbae and the lighting is poppin? Is it because of longevity? Is it when someone inspires you that there is still hope that marriage is beautiful? It changes for everyone. What you set as your marriage goals varies from couple to couple! How your marriage is viewed can be misconstrued!

He Said…

I would say the whole #marriagegoals has a great premise but I know the average person is stuck on image instead of what’s behind the image. Nowadays people live on social media to the point where people think every picture they see is real life. As little as I post about my marriage you would think I’m getting divorced tomorrow. In my opinion the people who post the most have the most to hide. Maybe I’m just old. Overall I think people care more about hashtags and following over living in real life. NOONE has a marriage that doesn’t require work and EVERY marriage has room for growth and development. The true goal everyone should have with their marriage is the goal to be the best person you can be on your own. Yes every marriage will have times when one person picks up the slack for the other but if both people are not constantly putting in the work to make sure their marriage is full of respect, trust and communication then those pictures you love to flex with will be the only thing you have left in your marriage.

She Said…

I remember posting many times pics of my husband and I sometimes because we hadn’t had a post. Sometimes I posted and we had just argued the day the pic was taken but we smiled many times as if there was no issue. Of course we take pictures and they are not conducive to whether or not things are “good.” Some of our best pics was during times I was drowning in depression and in the most pain. Wanting this light of those around to see me “good” while I suffered in silence was a way of life. Since getting myself together and realizing more and more I had a need to please others around me that’s no longer my thing. I probably take a lot of pictures of he and I and don’t post them. They become just for us. When I do post it’s because I really want to. It’s not to prove anything because now we aren’t in a flight or fight mode. We work things out.

We don’t push ourselves to be more than we are! I’m not comparing my marriage to my friends. It’s not that I care how we measure up but I care more if we actually like each other than simply falling back on love. Love isn’t enough when you’re empty and feeling empty in your marriage! Love is the last thing because depending on how deep the offense is you might be too blind to see the love! So now when someone shouts marriage goals I say thank you but I always talk to my husband and do a deep dive into where we really are vs. what we appear to be! I would rather look disoriented to others and be stronger together than to be goals for someone and can’t find peace with the one I lay next to at night!

So that’s today’s question and answer session and we have really only just begun! I hope you learned something!

He Said…She Said

So my wedding anniversary is next Friday August 2nd! Yay! We will celebrate 7 years of marriage! With that being said I am doing a he said..she said series! This series will be done with none other than my husband Marques! I ask the questions and we both answer them.

Marques and I next month will have known each other 20 years! That’s a long time! Although we haven’t been together that long we have always maintained a friendship. We dated for almost 4 years while attending Pennsylvania State University. We went our separate ways and had other relationships and situationships and found our way back to each other. Now count in soon to be 7 years of marriage, 3 children, rough patches, almost ending our marriage, a few fights and bumps along the way we are here. Our love wasn’t a struggle love! We fell hard and fast but maintaining that love wasn’t without challenges. So here we go he said….she said!

What is one thing you would change in the marriage?!

He said

I don’t know if I should answer that in now or when it began because obviously in almost 7 years there’s been several stages! Very early in the marriage I would have changed when we got married! Initially it felt like more of a checking off of a box instead of the blissful feeling you should feel on your big day! I would have liked it to be a better presentation as well as it being earlier. I would have rather it been before we had our daughter vs after! It may be prehistoric in thinking but I think being married before kids set the standard and tone for your kids! Of course they may not see a difference especially now but it’s a personal preference of mine. I wanted us to be married first to help shape their ideals of relationships.I feel like we definitely have done the work but I would have loved to change the arguing, fighting, and yelling from both sides in the beginning. We definitely didn’t have the tools and I’m glad we did counseling! I like where we are now. You know what now….I would change my manner of dealing with stuff. You (Toi) tend to get over things faster. Of course in my opinion they are things that you have done so that makes sense. My tolerance over the years has decreased. I would love to change my tolerance of behavior. If something bothers me I tend to let it bother me for a long time. You (Toi) has challenged my mindset by asking me how long I will take to get over things and that has helped me to see things differently!

She said

I would change my mindset of marriage before we even got married. I grew up in a marriage minded church. It sounds good but it doesn’t produce sound people. No disrespect to the teaching but everyone was so super focused on marriage than being a whole person that may be able to unite with someone. Everything was about marital success that you had two unhealthy folks coming together for the sake of marriage. The ideals of marriage was flawed. I wasn’t out trying to live a happy life being single. Singleness was a life sentence that only could be cured by marriage. Once married having this lovey dovey marriage that isn’t realistic placed concerns on how I operated early on. For my part in the beginning I was more concerned with maintaining this “everything is okay” look while I was drowning on the inside with unresolved personal issues. Marriage is a mirror and I was super upset with what I was seeing but too stubborn and scared to fix it that I just blamed my issues on Marques!

I hope you enjoyed today’s he said…she said. I hope you learn something about us and about marriage. Our marriage is ours and it will never mirror another couple’s marriage! Marriage goals differ from couple to couple!

We will bring you a new question and answer segment every day for the next week leading to our prayers for year 7 on August 2nd!!

National Celebrate Your Marriage

Marriage is beautiful. You see couples all in love holding hands and with their kissy face and that’s the images people tend to hold onto! What they don’t see in the background is the work it takes to keep a marriage alive and fresh.

Marriage is two people uniting to become one. In this oneness no one talks about the mirror that goes up immediately. You see yourself as you work out the kinks of unity. Sometimes it’s the first time you see yourself in all of its rawness. This is why it’s important to pick the right partner. The right partner will stand with you and not against you as you face this mirror of reality. The right partner will do the work to walk beside you without outing you to their friends and family. The right partner will love you through.

One of the things that even a right partner can’t do is make you happy. There isn’t a happy wife, happy life. Too many couples extend that mantra with an unhappy wife or husband at the core. This means that the husband is bending and bending for a woman who even with best interest will make the union unhappy. It goes both ways for wives with husbands. Marriage is work. Weddings are fun. Never put more energy into the wedding that you forget you are building a marriage.

When we first got married we didn’t have all of the right tools. We thought our love and history would be enough and sadly it wasn’t. In the first year we were already in counseling even though we had premarital counseling to start off with. We saw each other as the enemy. I had my own issues that couldn’t keep up with my own ideals of marriage. Happily we were given the tools but we still bumped heads very often.

Today I know we are more partners than we were in the first year. We make sure our own cups are full before we try to gift, work, or sex our way through issues. We enjoy the marriage more. We are able to bounce back quicker from an argument than before. We have separated interests and friends that we enjoy. We do things together as a couple and as a family. We fight on the same team instead of breaking down each other. We keep core issues within and limit outsourcing to the wrong people. We pray and keep spiritually connected. We have sex often. We enjoy each other’s presence. We fight fair. We give each other a time out to come back and talk about issues. We don’t mirror our marriage with another couple. We know what works for us and that’s something to celebrate! Perfection isn’t the outlook, but imperfectly working on the same team to make sure we stay strong, in love, healthy in mind and spirit is always what Team Storr is about!

To all marriages may you pour back into yourselves and celebrate every small victory like you do the big ones!

Sunday Message: Change is good

Sometimes we fight change. It sounds good to say change is great but to actually go through it hurts at times. You have to be willing to go through change and when it gets tough don’t quit.

In the beginning of change it feels good and you’re super focused. Then about mid way through tiredness creeps in. You ask yourself why and if you haven’t been reminding yourself why or surrounding yourself with folks that push you towards change you may get weak enough to consider quitting.

  • Feeling weak and wanting to quit is not an issue but letting it stop you is a real problem! Often times we quit right around the time when change is about to take its proper place. Be encouraged today!! Change isn’t just something you speak about but you also have to walk in it! It’s hard to keep focus when you hang with the same crowds. Change your mind and change your circle naturally! No one who isn’t about to change will stay around you too much longer!
  • This Sunday is a new set of a new week! Take the time to change what didn’t work last week and apply change to it this week!
  • Sending great vibes!!
  • Bday Weekend Recap

    I had a great birthday not doing a whole lot. Since attending so many events I find relaxing is my number one go to. A night filled with good food, a workout out, adult juice and quiet works for me.

    I spent my birthday working only a half a day. No half day in the office and a half day at home working, straight half day working period. Once home with the kids I took a shower and my husband brought me my order from Hip City Veg. It was my first time as I continue to add vegan restaurants to my line up. I ordered the smokehouse burger (vegan), sweet potato fries with sriracha sauce and the birthday cake non dairy milkshake.

    Smokehouse burger

    birthday cake milkshake

    Vegan or not this meal was amazingly everything and more. I love great tasty food. I wanted my birthday night to be calm. I did manage to get a workout in so I felt even better! After eating and a few adult drinks I happily fell asleep! My night was made!

    Shout out to Go Vegan Philly for making me another amazing vegan cake! I had more cake than I could ever have. I haven’t had cake especially vegan cake since the big switch! I definitely have made up for past times. You can definitely insert the Rihanna song!!

    vegan vanilla cake

    Saturday I finally was able to attend my son’s soccer game. I didn’t even realize how busy I had become how I hadn’t attended my son’s game for this season! He did amazing by the way!

    My husband arranged for my girl friend and I to have dinner together at one of my new faves, True Food Kitchen! What I love about them is their seasonal rotating menu. Since the last time I was there for Valentines Day weekend, there were different meals present for me to choose without feeling like I was only limited to the same options. I have to shout out Marques for working covertly with one of the besties, Kyla to make it happen!

    Vegetable soup

    Hey Kyla

    kiwi mousse with strawberry

    I’ve gotten a lot of amazing gifts this birthday and so much of my friends who knew my heart! I’m honored that I was thought of. I’m grateful for an amazing weekend which ended with a little trip to Ulta and ended with a bubble bath, a good book and I was in bed on Sunday by 8pm. If that wasn’t the most peaceful weekend I don’t know what was?

    Never forget to sign up for birthday rewards! And brand that you already utilize and patronize, should be your number one go to. I love getting freebies or discounts on the very things I already use or will use!

    Until the next one…..let’s get this personal New Year going!!!

    Ask Toi: How to Forgive a Cheating Parent?

    Reader’s father cheated on their mother and reader needs help….

    It’s hard to not have your parent on a peddlestool especially a father. As a kid you may have been sheltered from the things that were really going on. That’s understandable, that’s what adults should do. They shouldn’t be as open as they want with their lives for the sake of children. We know in these times some folks don’t care and do whatever they want to do. With that in mind, you’re an adult now. The wounds don’t hurt any less by finding out about your dad’s infidelity. Keep things in perspective. It’s okay to feel like you have lost respect for him. That’s actually quite normal. You’re not a kid you can express how you feel. You can also make a decision if you want to continue a relationship. I am not on team cut him off in any way. I don’t know him enough. I know in time it can be repaired if he’s willing to do the work to do so. If you’re willing to forgive and move forward is going to be key as well.

    Also keep in mind that at the end of the day, your dad has to live with his decisions and most importantly your mother is dealing with it mostly. Take some time to process it. Deal with it and do not wave it under a rug like it’s no big deal.  As an adult it may help to speak to your dad one on one. Remove him from your mom and have an adult conversation. Speak candidly and maybe even go to a public place to keep you in aligned to attempt to remain calm when you speak. Remember you don’t have to take his issues on as your own but you can be verbal about where you stand.

    You may hear, I am your father respect me. You can respect title and lose respect for your dad. He has to work through earning respect as harsh as it sounds.  Keep in mind that his pain doesn’t just sit with your mom and him but the kids adult or not feel the brunt of the betrayal of the family too. I don’t get why people don’t see the other side of it. Talk to someone you trust that can be a sounding board to help you through and not just someone who wants the details of what happened. If your mom and him work it out that’s great.  If they do not, that’s their marriage to work through. Support your mom in what she needs too. She is hurting too. Take a break from trying to fix it all. You are their child but not a child. You do not need to bandage this in any way to make it okay. It’s not your fight.  Be firm when you speak, say what you mean but don’t be mean when you say it.

    I pray you receive closure. I send love your mom’s way and clarity to your dad. I pray he is remorseful and willing to do whatever it takes to restore balance in the family structure without taking offense to the responses. I find men tend to think that once the cheating comes out, the children and women are to GIVE this level of instant respect without ever acknowledging the pain. I find it hard to understand the lack of understanding of the pain of the betrayal. Your dad can’t shrug this off like no big deal. The family ideology has been broken. He needs to be in the forefront to fix it. Everyone will need grace during this time!