Ask Toi: What do I Tell my Husband who invited his friend and his friend’s mistress to dinner?

This is a bit much. It’s one thing for your husband’s friend to cheat on his wife. That’s his choice but to have your husband basically aid him is not cool.

Birds of a feather flock together. You can have friends who do questionable things often times if they know you are going to be the morality police they may tell you but not involve you. That’s how my friends roll. They also know since I’m going to call them out on their mess they ask me if certain things done in my presence would be offensive. Sounds like your husband’s morality line is wide enough to be accepting of his friend’s ways. If your husband’s friend knew that your husband was cool with it it’s no wonder that this invite wasn’t an issue.

The other flip is that your husband isn’t aware of your morality line. I’m team wife all the way. My husband knows I will call him and his friend out so no need to even involve me. Even if there’s a wife that I don’t particularly like I’m still team wife. Ain’t no way in Hell we breaking bread with active cheating. I’m loyal to my husband but the loyalty goes both ways he wouldn’t betray me knowing how I feel about certain things. Your husband has very little respect. Any man reading this and thinking “well my wife should be good since I’m good” is pure trash. I would imagine if we set up a sting you doing questionable stuff towards your wife too!

I believe your friend has a right to cheat meaning I don’t condone it but it’s his choice. However I’m pissed as all get out that he would be that open. This is not I made a mistake with another woman this is a whole mistress aka a side relationship. Just the amount of diseases (condoms don’t cover everything) he is potentially bringing home is enough for me to cut him! Yes I said cut him.

I would say you tell your husband that you’re not comfortable with it and that you decline the invitation and have a conversation with him about his participation. Something about this makes me leery about his own morality and you need to see this as an immediate red flag!

There no way to involve other folks without their knowledge and I wouldn’t want to be uncomfortable. Men if you cheat than either be bold enough to speak up and if you can’t the less you involve others the longer it allows you to be secretive until you get caught because 9 times out of 10 you’re going to get caught. This is 2019 somebody is recording, snapping, and setting you up in case you think they aren’t! Don’t be dumb!

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!

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!

Ask Toi: I cheated and my husband holds it over my head, should I leave?

I can’t give you that answer. I wonder if you two have done the work to heal. If you have been seeing a counselor and you have talked or are talking it out I would say let it run its course. I think regardless of who cheated meaning this goes for women and men, the person who is holding the cards is usually the one who has been cheated. You can’t determine how long that person grieves this betrayal. That is what it is your husband feels betrayed. Men are also wired differently they could be a cheater but don’t get over being cheated on. Women also cheats for other reasons than simply sex. So you need to figure out the reason that you cheated and if that reasoning has been resolved. If not you may find you doing it again. So I would seek counseling in addition to martial counseling. However you also aren’t trapped into your marriage. If its worth to go through this pain you may find that you and your husband to be stronger. But it has to be both wanting it. If you find that only you are interested in making it right, you have to make that decision. The only thing is that counseling will help so that you don’t take the same patterns into another relationship. I remember my husband going to counseling and our counselor let us know it’s not an easy fix. It wasn’t about cheating but the same principle applies. Counseling isn’t a fix. It helps you weed out your feelings and helps you determine your threshold for love and work. I wish you peace as you continue but ONLY you can determine how long you should work or if you should throw in the towel. I would say counseling is the best way to go about it to start the journey.

Valentine’s Day Message

I would like to say Happy Valentine’ Day to all who celebrate this holiday. Sending you love and peace today and everyday.

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To my husband, I love you! Another year of love to push through this life with! To want to still wake up and pray with you and push you to being your best self as you do the same! To wake up feeling safe in body and mind-I don’t take that for granted. To know you are being honorable in a world of Futures……….thank you!

To my children, mommy absolutely adores you! Y’all turn up to that candy so y’all can turn down at bedtime so mommy and daddy can drink our wine and fall asleep on the couch!

To my friends and family, have a loving day!  Some of my best points in waking up to text messages of encouragement from dope friends who are out here trying to be whole and happy is the best!

To my readers, I send you abundant love!

To my single readers and friends-I know today is hard. You question your when.  It hurts and its okay to say it hurts. People will tell you how you should feel and how to process today. I say process it in a healthy way.  Process it in your way! I get it. I used to wake up and decorate my apartment and watch all of the girlie romantic comedies, go out on dates or hang with my family or friends. Night was hard especially if you feel or don’t have anyone to hang with.  It will pass but it doesn’t change the depth of feeling you feel today! I understand!  Sending you an extra genuine dose of support!

Mature Love

Let’s face it with the wave of reality television society obviously loves drama. We thrive on. We take it in.  We gravitate towards it. In the last 2 years I have taken on a journey to dismiss a lot of the drama in my life in the form of television and media. In addition to that in the last few years I have eliminated drama in my personal life and especially in marriage.

I think about the wonder years of college. Here I had come from this small town and I had recently been holding on to my high school sweetheart. I was so torn on keeping up this relationship but happy to start this new adult life. With limited time I ended one relationship and set out on a journey to find myself. In the midst of finding myself, I found a new relationship. In the beginning I kept telling myself to keep my options open but I fell hard and heavy with this tall glass of water who I later would end up marrying and having a family.  Oh the relationship goals I hear people speak of when I post my beautiful family is encouraging.  It encourages my husband and I to honor each other more and to be the example to ourselves and children.

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Let me dip my baby toe into the early years when we weren’t as gracious in relating to one another as we should. The drama and fights and break ups to make up were really out-of-pocket. My college years were filled with too much of it.  Our friends God bless their hearts had seen their fair share. From me moving off campus, to not being able to go down the street without a fight, goodness. Yes not anything physical but all that ratchet yelling could have made a lot of this reality television look like Elmo’s World. We were in love and I will speak for me unable to handle and know what adult love was supposed to look like. The cursing each other out, seeing or attempting to see other folks (depending on who you ask), acting a fool in public, breaking up and making up and not telling others, just exhausting to write let alone live. Back in the day it seemed like a whirlwind. It seemed normal. Everyone on campus knew we were toxic and out-of-pocket. Just a mess!

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Separating and allowing space and time and for me to honestly deal with some inner struggles led us back to each other. People think we just woke up one day and decided to give this thing called love a try. We were tested in that love several times almost ending our marriage. What turned things around from college and marriage was living and learning about myself. Finding out what worked for me. I found out my passions. I had learned to live with myself enough to not allow someone else to come into my space that wouldn’t allow me to be me. This allowance has come up several times in our current marriage. The ability to let your partner balance their lives with you is necessary. One day in our car we were at the point of divorce, he looked at me and said, “are we in or out?” He said if we are in lets stick together and make it and if we are out, lets find a way to be honorable with our children.  He looked me in my eyes and I knew he wasn’t playing.

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We at that moment lived by our mantra” us against the world.” We had stated that mantra in college but it solidified with me and him that day. That was at least 2 years into our marriage. There are no cute pictures you can take when two people have kids and are literally walking around like hateful roommates. What picture can you show when you are at the point of no return?  what picture can you show when you have enough and only doing the bare minimal?  So I always go back to the picture below.  When we were happy and made the decision to love each other forever. The time where we were so in love that nothing before that mattered and now nothing after should be to the point where we can’t work together.  We are willing to be with one another and this picture reminds me to take a mental break, wait for an answer, love despite of, and go back to the basics of what makes us, us!

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We don’t have the answers. We live each day but we know what works for us. We were friends first. We have “truth moments.” We give each safe space to be vulnerable.  We are learning to listen and talk to and not at each other. These are things that we learned in counseling the first months of our first year! I stepped out what we should be in our marriage and looked at the value of what we are able to make and hold on to when disaster hits. We are stronger together because we still want to be teammates in this thing called life.  As holidays like Valentine’s Day comes we love love or at least I who loves all holidays love these and any love related holidays, but to know that we are working through things and have matured beyond the college days is a miracle of staying the course! I want to leave a highlight with you, don’t think you have to struggle to get to this great point. If you can avoid it, please do so. Know yourself before you enter any relationship. The best thing is to work on you, get counseling before considering dating because uniting with a person can be a trigger in itself, and be clear about boundaries.  I am not glorifying bad behavior.  You can have healthy love. I am glad that we did the work to get to where we are. Nobody wants that perfect love story, but our love story is perfectly fitting for us!