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!

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Boyfriend Drama

Having a boyfriend or girlfriend should be a nice welcomed addition to your life.  It can be fun, exciting, and new.  Sometimes when the newness wears off you may have a few things that lust allow you to check in the beginning.

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Are You a Real Couple?

Huh? Yes did you know that some folks get together and think its all love between them but in the end you may not even have had the talk.  You actually need to communicate that you and your boo are really an official couple.  Do NOT ever miss this step.  Even if you two had this conversation over sex, have the conversation again outside of the actual bedroom.  This will save you a few weeks in and possibly a heartache.  Being on the same page is the biggest thing that couples will need to be sure they are on.  Also what is your dating goal?  Casual? Dating towards a future? Kicking it?  FYI kicking sometimes means kicking it for sex alone, so be clear!

Jealousy

There is a healthy dose of jealousy in any relationship but when you find that the jealousy leads you not to both be able to live active lives separately and come together then, sis you get a problem.  No relationship should have micromanaging as part as criteria.  This is unhealthy.  I am married and the thought that I would be micromanaging my husband or he me makes me tired just thinking of it.  Two individuals need to be that-two individuals that are dating to see if they are compatible or just dating to date. Also micromanaging someone is a lot of work.  Its draining! This energy could be used to start a business, get physically fit, make money, something other than knowing where another individual physically is.  I am not taking time to smell body parts, checking mileage, checking phones, etc

Cheating

Cheating isn’t everyone’s deal breakers.  I think it should be.  The amount of disrespect it takes to do the most against the one you claim you are in love with or even a strong like, is sheer madness to me!  Also keep in mind the amount of STD that are out here in world makes zero sense to put my life at risk for a relationship.  Let me plug that no relationship is cheat proof.  Please manage your sexual health.  Do not tell me how long you have been with your love a reason not to get checked on a regular basis.  I wrote a blog on a previous doctor telling me that as a married woman who I didn’t need to be checked regularly.  She got the business.  I would be less worried about body count and more concerned with clean sexual health and great health practices.

Space Please

When I met my husband back in 1999 he was my first and my first adult relationship.  Not having someone manage our time we found ourselves up under one another all the time.  In the beginning I thought how great it was but there came a time where it became unhealthy.  Being up under someone all the time will wear down one or both of you.  Back up! Give space.  Even if you and your boyfriend have decided to live with one another, space is necessary.  Go and still hang with friends, continue the same dreams you had before you got all Ella Mai “Boo’d up.” Did you go to work?  Yes still go and get work done.  Don’t mess up your coins just to be on your phones, losing focus, or taking off to spend days with no love interest.  Being employed and in love is better than Broke and in Love!

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All up in The Business

Learn to keep folks out of your business.  The more hands on deck, the more complicated things can and will be.  Everyone doesn’t need to know every time there is an argument or fall out.  You do know everyone is going  to be as forgiving.  People wonder why there friends and family members can barely have descent relationships with their significant others and one answer is they know all the tea.  It’s hard not to give a side eye to someone who keeps off as raggedy human beings.  So to keep the drama down, keep folks out of your business!

If you are embarking on a new love take precaution.  Get to know the one you are taking this chance on.  Keep your life as rich as it was! Take your time.  Get to know how this new person reacts when they get mad with you and others around them.  Also if they have kids but aren’t active with them, find that out too.  No man should be out here making a whole new life and neglecting their kids.  No man who won’t care about his own flesh and blood won’t care about the things that concern you.  That’s a word! Too many women letting me dick them down that don’t even know what grade their kids are in.  If your new love doesn’t want you to be healthy, run! A man should want to get his life together and definitely would want their new leading lady to live her “best life” too!

Women’s History Month: Jasmine D.

Jasmine Drake is 32 years old. from Philadelphia, Pa, but she currently resides in California. She made the move to California with Ty (her hubby) about 4 years ago. Jasmine and Ty have been together for almost 17 years. She is an elementary school teacher. She is a Sagittarius. She loves sunflowers and French fries.

Sometimes we place so much pressure on ourselves that it makes it hard to pull oneself from that heavy load.  What would you tell your younger self?

I would tell myself to see the beauty in my flaws. I would tell myself to love myself. I grew up with very low self-esteem and I just wish that I could tell my younger self to not be so focused on my physical appearance as compared to social norms and to really truly see the beauty in myself inside and out. 
There isn’t a woman who hasn’t made many mistakes in life, love or career.  We are always striving to find a balance in the things that we are, where we want to be, and we constantly beat ourselves over where we think we should be.  What are the lessons you have learned thus far?
I have learned that happiness is all that matters in love, life and career. What makes one person happy doesn’t necessarily make another person so happy, so we all have to first find what makes us happy and then build up from there. If it doesn’t make me happy then it’s not for me. If something doesn’t make me smile, then it’s not for me.
My Nana used to tell me that, life is what you make it. If you want something in life to change you have to make the change. The only thing that can hold you back is yourself. I choose happiness in life so I fill it up with things that make ME happy. Ty brings me happiness and creates the loving and caring environment for my happiness to grow, bloom and rejuvenate. I was so lucky to meet Ty at such a young age and for my first love to be my only love. We have ups, downs and all around, but at the start and finish of everyday we choose each other. I went to college the first time to get a job that I will make good money. I later learned that just working a job that pays good was counterproductive to my overall goal of being happy and that my work itself should make me happy, so I changed that and became the teacher that my kindergarten aged self always wanted to be. 
I have also learned that there is a lesson is every mistake. It took me a while to get where I am today. I don’t regret what I have been through to get me here, because it has all helped guide me to the woman I am today. I still make mistakes and I am still learning and getting better from them. 
That’s truly beautiful. It often takes folks years before they learn to be happy in their career and what they do verses only chasing the money.  Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In five years I see myself reaching new levels of happiness in my life. As I grow some things that used to make me happy, don’t have the same effect and vice verse. I want to be more in tune with myself, I want to make memories and inside jokes with Ty, I want to make more time for family and friends, I want to create new streams of revenue, explore the world, and become a mom.  
What is on my heart that I look forward to just “crushing” in the future is motherhood. My new focus in life is beginning a family. After the loss of our first baby during pregnancy, recovery was the focus. Recovery not just physically, but mentally, emotionally and spiritually. It was one of the toughest things I have had to go through in life. 
I always wanted to be a mom, but was very cautious about when to begin that journey in my life. I just wanted to make sure that I was fully prepared for parenthood and that we would be ready for the life long responsibilities that would come. My mother did it by herself and made a way and sometimes made it look easy, but she also struggled and I just wanted to improve on that with my family. When we said that we were ready, it was almost to easy- we got pregnant that month. We were looking forward to welcoming our baby girl to the world, but we lost her at 20 weeks and it was devastating to say the least. The physical pain was brief compared to the emotional pain that will seemingly always linger on. 
We are still working to start our family and becoming parents. When the time is right it will happen and we will “crush” it for sure!
Again this is why I dislike for people to put pressure on someone else who is either not a mom or desires to be a mom.  Sometimes people mean well but be careful on how you address women.  Let them go through their processes without the added pressure.  Jasmine from Toitime we are so sorry for you and your family and your daughter.  I pray continued peace as you continue to process that pain.
What are your accomplishments to date?
I don’t give myself enough credit for my accomplishments. Getting my masters degree was quite an accomplishment for me, because I proved to myself that not only can do it, I was awesome at it and graduated with a 3.97 GPA. Some other accomplishments I am proud of, learning to forgive the right people, learning to let go of toxic relationships, learning to speak up for myself, learning to let my light shine, overcoming depression, learning to be more vulnerable and open and learning to put myself first, just to name a few. 
What I liked about your accomplishments were the fact that you chose to highlight the accomplishments that will overall make you a better person.  I am grateful for any accomplishment but the ones that go past, education, past status are the ones that will pull you out on a dark day. The ones that will keep you grounded.
How do you feel about the #metoo movement?
I feel encouraged by the Me Too movement and how it has empowered people to speak up and expose those who have violated their human rights. I think that it is wonderful that the Me Too movement is challenging “social norms” and helping those effected to stand up and be seen and heard after being silenced for so long. I think that the Me Too movement is going to create a lot of change for the better for women’s rights in the future.
One thing that I do not like is how the Me Too movement can be taken advantage of and used for personal gain or notoriety. I have heard the stories of all the celebrities who have been guilty of abusing their power to mistreat women and I am glad that they are being held accountable for their actions. I just do not like a few of the stories that I have heard of women just trying to get fame or notoriety from using the Me Too movement to get in the spotlight.
How do you practice self-love?
I can be really hard on myself and sometimes I only see my flaws, so I have to remind myself to practice good habits of self-love. I practice self-love, by being gentle with myself and treating myself with care. Self love for me can be making healthier meal choices, treating myself to something I’ve been wanting, reading a book, exercising, indulging when I want to have a dessert, distancing myself from negativity, etc. Anything that can help me enjoy life, make me smile and be a better me is self love and I try to practice that in someway everyday.

So we ended this month-long celebration with a bang.  Jasmine thank you for being vulnerable and stepping out of your comfort zone. I speak continued blessings as you educate our young people and that every goal that you have for yourself, your relationship and for your future!

jasmine

Women’s Month: Judith M.

As we continue to truck along during this series it will allow us to be able to get the behind the scenes of women in our own community. Today we talked to Judith Dumorney-McDaniel.  She is an Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, and Community Activist who has over 20 years of wide-ranging hands-on-experience in areas of Youth Development, Mentoring, After School, Education, Fundraising and Community Organizing.  She is the Founder and Executive Director of Teenagers in Charge, a non-profit organization establish in 1995.  Their mission is to help teens build their self-esteem, heighten their cultural and community awareness and most importantly provide them resources so they can learn how to take charge of their lives.  She is passionate about serving youth and others see her as a devoted community advocate, educator, and mentor.

She earned her B.A. in English Literature at the University of Pittsburgh and her MBA at Rosemont College.  She is a State Auditor with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of the Auditor General.  She is also a paid consultant with Episcopal Community Services and facilitates parent workshops and training through DHS’ Parenting Collaborative Workshop Series.  She continues to provide professional development training to a diverse group of adult volunteers, biological and foster parents throughout the city of Philadelphia.

She managed and led teams on many projects.  Mrs. Dumorney-McDaniel assisted individuals and groups learn how to obtain their 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization as well as hosted informative business-related workshops on entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and mentoring.  She is a consummate charitable volunteer, who believes in “giving back to the community what you took out of it.”

Her civic work and passion with children, youth and families who are homeless and live in foster care extends two decades.  She has worked with the Juvenile Justice Center, Public Health Management Corporation, City of Philadelphia, and other local educational and non-profit organizations.  Other non-profits including providing assistance to Mocha Moms, Inc. Philadelphia Chapter where she served as the former President and is the Charter Founder, a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., a non-profit organization committed to public service, an avid parent volunteer at Bodine High School for International Affairs where her daughter attends, and a long-standing volunteer computer instructor at the Haddington Multi Services for Older Adults, Inc.

She is married with one daughter, lives in Overbrook park and worships at Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church where she and her family are members.

Now that is the resume who has given her life not only developing her own skills set to be able to assist but actually does what she says.  Let that be a lesson to other women that no matter how decorated you are, there is something inside of you that you can give to others. Try finding something you are passionate about and use that passion to help others around you.

What would you tell your younger self?

I would tell my younger self to listen to my parents and align myself with positive people who are doing positive things as well as those who share the same morals and values as you. I would also suggest that I get involved in more extra curricular activities and always remember to serve!

What lessons have you learned about life, love, and career so far?

Life is too short! Live everyday as if it were your last. Love yourself unconditionally so that you will appreciate it when someone else shows you the same in return. As for your career, find a passion and turn it into a profit! There is no need to work a 9-5 job if you are unhappy so if and when that is the case-use your job to fund your dream!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I hope that I can officially retire in 5 years and then take time out to do whatever I want which is travel and see the world!

What are some of your accomplishments?

I am a wife and mother; I started a nonprofit organization in 1995 that still exists called Teenagers In Charge; I have won numerous awards and citations from the City, State and Congressional level; and I am an author.

How do you feel about the Me Too movement?  How do you plan on using this movement in your family or community?

I honestly have always addressed issues head on with my daughter and as a family so the “Me Too” movement does not apply to me. I try not to really get bogged down with platforms, marches and speeches that have no plan of action beyond the rhetoric! It is frustrating to me when there is NO action beyond the platforms. I personally feel that if we take the time to teach others about how to be proactive rather than reactive after the march takes place; we would see more results. We need more people doing the work and teaching our youth/adults how to take charge of their lives from day one and more importantly, show them the impact of what will happen if they don’t do what needs to be done beyond their cause. This will have more of an impact and that is just my personal opinion.

What are the things on your heart that you look forward to crushing (accomplishing) in the future?

I want to address more issues related to homeless youth as this is my passion. Homeless youth in our country needs to be addressed and I am taking small steps on raising awareness about the issue and using creative platforms to make it happen! I am also looking forward to my book being a best seller!

What are ways that you practice self-love?

I date myself and spend quality time with myself, shop, travel, invest in my personal growth and development. I read daily affirmations out loud.

So with everything you read there are a few take aways:

  1. What are you actively doing in your own life?  She teaches girls how to take control of their life but there are a few adults that need to do the same.  Don’t talk about, be about it.
  2. When you do get your life together, give what you took out.  Don’t forget along your journey there are folks pouring into you.  Do not get big and forget that and give that back in return to someone else.
  3. Your Resume can be whatever you want but make sure while you are doing for others that you find a way to get a passion and find a way even if it’s using your regular job to fund that.  We live in an unhappy world but personal happiness is your job and your job alone.

You can find her on social media:

Twitter

Instagram

Teenagers in Charge Facebook

Judith also has a new book out!

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About the Author, Judith Dumorney-McDaniel and a little about the book: On January 15th, she celebrated her 50th Birthday! As a gift to herself, she wanted to make sure that she gave away her greatest gift to others because she wanted to leave a legacy and create generational wealth! It is with God’s permission that she presented to some and introduce to others, her first book entitled: Teenagers in Charge-a Blueprint to Unmasking the Greatness in You. The stories shared in this book will serve as a resource and is a rebirth for all teenagers who have had some challenges along the way. Although, it was difficult, these teens conquered it all through their hard work, determination, commitment and dedication. They felt empowered to make a positive change and beat all odds! They chose to redirect the negative energy and made a conscious effort to excel on all aspects of their lives. Some had a mentor and others have not but at the end of the day, they were able to identify their greatest gifts. A special segment in the book highlights young adults who served in a mentor capacity. They had an opportunity to share their own stories on how life was for them as teenagers, how mentoring impacted their lives and how rewarding it was for them to unmask the greatness in others. This book is a blueprint for all teens around the world, who are faced with adversity and have the audacity to be different because they are seeking to secure the greatness in them! 

To pre-order the book for 19.95 you can do so with Paypal

Let Love Be Great!

So this is the weekend when most people will take their significant others out and show them love.  Let me just say that everyone doesn’t celebrate this “man-made” holiday however let me encourage all in a few home keeping details.

  1. Just because you don’t celebrate doesn’t mean you have to do the whole “it’s not a big deal” on everyone who is celebrating’s social media pages.  I can’t tell you how many times it irks to see this.  I am not calling anyone who feels like this a hater because truth be told it is a man-made holiday, however stop being love killers because you either have love and don’t care, don’t have love, or just by your nature need to be a negative Nancy.
  2. Just because you do celebrate and you want to shower yourself, your loved ones in love do not shun those who do not celebrate.  Basically let people be great either way and do what works for you.
  3. This is not the time to jump on status that is not about you to tell everyone either way how miserable you are or less it’s an open-ended question, a poll, or you’re apart of a group that is asking.  This is code for stop with the unsolicited information so the world can know which side you are on.  Trust and believe if its unwarranted people don’t really want to know and that’s real.
  4. Married people, just because you live with you mate and you don’t make it a big deal in your home, its okay for other married people to indulge and vice versa.  This “holiday” isn’t just for those in the dating world and still trying to get “some.”  Some people need these types of holidays to be a bit more expressive than they would normally. Let folks live.  Marriage should be celebrated daily but let’s be real most don’t and little reminders of love in ANY forms can keep folks from the divorce line.
  5. Realize that the single folks that swore of relationships will showcase what they got just to let themselves or others know.  Guess what? Even if you feel a way about it, its okay for them to do that.  If one day our country can focus on spending a few bucks to tell whomever they want they love them, although love is free I say let them.  In this hate filled world I would rather see expressions of love than the hate that is quicky spread like wildfire.
  6. Pray for those who have lost love.  While some are looking down for those who do or do not celebrate there is a widow who misses the times when their significant other showered them.  Also the newly separated and divorced grieve during this time as well.  Learn to show compassion.
  7. Single folks try and this is a big try because let’s be honest its easy for me to say try when I don’t live that life anymore but try to find ways to celebrate you, celebrate in groups, or enjoy the day. I know that again its hard to do but don’t go batty for one day and putting your life and what life means into this one day. There will be a lot of flowers and candy going out to significant others who don’t even mean their mates well.
  8. Show love daily.  I love to hear the men especially complain about this holiday but if you ask them when was the last time they did the little things you can only hear crickets.  Do not be fooled into thinking that if you buy into this holiday that your relationships no matter which ones they are will be perfect because it won’t.  The thought behind the idea is to show that you love and want to do something nice for the one you love.
  9. LADIES, please get you man something.  Yes more than a sappy card.  Be just as creative as you want him to be.  What makes you think that just because he says I am good that he really is.  Try finding ways to make his day easier.  How about treat him too.  Too many men complain about what they do and they remember the times when it wasn’t given in return.  Men want to be shown just as much as we do. Step up your game this year.
  10. Be creative for those you love. I send things to my single friends, my grandmother, my nieces, parents, etc.  It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to say hey, you’re loved today and everyday.  Think outside the box.

 

Enjoy your Valentine’s Day weekend!!  Remember don’t find yourself loving on someone else’s mate.  This is not the time to be a celebrated side piece.  Remember side pieces gets ransacked candy and broken hearts.  Invest in someone who is all into you and you alone. Being a part of and being the only one are two different things.

 

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“My married friends are worst than my single ones…”

I want to knock on wood, pray to baby Jesus the Black and the White one, go in a trance that I never have to know the betrayal of a husband in the form of another woman having my husband’s baby.  We have planned not to have any more children.  By we I mean I made the decision and my husband supported it.  I don’t know what would have happened if we weren’t on the same page.  For me it came down to the lack of wanting to go through the newborn phase, being pregnant in the first place and my health.

Cheating is not an option to me in marriage let alone a baby.  I feel like everyone has a right to their list of what they will or will not tolerate and for me cheating is a deal breaker.  I think you end up pouring salt in the open wound if by cheating whether male or female and a baby is formed from that sexual bond.  I can’t even begin to explain the level of disrespect and how that would send me into a fit.  Have I been cheated on before? Yes. Am I with the man who cheated?  No.  It is just not tolerable for me.  I keep seeing stories on television, and in real life of this happening.  Let’s keep it real, men and women been cheating since Jesus was a baby.  I try my best not to judge as I don’t really know what I would do if I was in the same situation.  Can people change? Absolutely they can if THEY want to.  I watched a woman go off on a man who fathered a child outside of their union. The way she was giving him the business I had to remember that it wasn’t my issue because I was on the low feeling some type of way. The type where I had to put down my own pitch fork and not attack my own husband on sight for another man’s discretion.  The hurt in her eyes and voice was enough to break me and I am not even in a relationship with the woman.

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How can a man or woman who sees this devastation continue the pattern of hurt and abuse.  I know the answer is hurt people hurt people but the reality is we have to call a spade a spade.  People once they see you will tolerate certain bad behaviors will continue to do the same as they have always done.  A baby is nothing to play games with.  Think about the couple who has been trying and then that man or woman goes and gets pregnant or impregnate another woman leaving the one in the relationship feeling hurt and empty. A baby is a lifetime bill, and lifetime responsibility.  I can’t say even with all of my knowledge I  would be able to just blend another family to mine like that? Call me Petty Wap because I just can’t see it. Babies cost money so that means that the child fathered or mothered outside of the marriage or relationship is taking away from the central home. It’s never the child’s fault. However I have heard people jump on others for not willing to accept the child and go on like it’s all good.  Some can’t get over it to the point where they function as a unit and just simply move on.  I think every situation is different.  I mean in times where this even comes up in the back of my mind I hear whoop ass.  I would hear divorce papers.  I would hear taking the kids and rolling.  I mean you can’t tell me you wouldn’t think of at least one of those scenarios.  Its human nature.

Why do we tend to forget that especially ladies?  We judge harshly if a woman stays but often times we are dealing with our own issues and stay even when things don’t look or sound right in our own situations. How do we forget that?  Love is simple but the repercussions of taking and engaging in love aren’t always so black and white. When you love you take on some grey from time to time.  This is not an argument to just take whatever is dished.  I think we all have our breaking points and at some point we end things.  It may take a few frogs to get there.   For my ladies as much as we want to blame the other “heifer” remember there were two people involved.  If you are married the one to go after is your husband.  You have no idea what lies were told to her to get her in the bed.  Men will say things like I am leaving my wife. Ladies, its cheaper to keep her always remember that.  Most men aren’t going to elect to break up their home for a side piece. They just wanted to know if they still got it and for most men ain’t nothing better than some new……

Yeah i am trying to spare the church mothers who may read this the ending of that last line.  I am not saying that if you have a friend that betrayed you and slept with your man you wouldn’t feel a certain way.  However I am saying we give men passes and go straight for the woman involved.  Why give your man a pass? Why? So he gets off free and only sustains a few silent treatments, arguments, and a few yelling matches, and he’s good?

Marriage is respectable.  I really would rather my husband divorce me to be with someone else than to cheat on me.  I really would.  Like hey come tell me you want out and let’s get you out than for me to find out that you out here making romantic getaways, bending some woman over in a car or some sleazy hotel or even in her home while I am at home with your kids.  I can say that for me because that’s how I would feel.  I am not the built-in sitter while you go and do your thing and leaving me with the possibility of a baby or even worst a STD.  Let me warn some of my men and women who play dumb. A condom is a barrier which is not 100%.  Let me repeat that, condoms will not protect all of your sexual organs.  I want to live a healthy life so if my husband put my life in jeopardy that’s the disrespect.

I was on a social media one day and a newly single friend of mine made the comment that his married friends were “worst” than his single friends while they were out.  I believe that. It makes me nervous because in love there’s always room for betrayal.  I am not suggesting they should go hand in hand but I do believe you open yourself up to that hurt by loving someone. Married men or women to be honest feel the need to fight to be free. Why not just get out?  Oh yeah you don’t want to pay to play. You don’t want to figure out child visitation schedules.  You don’t want to have your family ripped up because your clit got hot or your penis got stimulated.  Interesting.  You would rather roll the dice and hope the love of your life is just one of the ones willing to play Russian Roulette with you?

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Let me speak on reconciliation.  Even though cheating is my deal breaker it doesn’t mean that I don’t have 5 seconds belief that people can work hard from the point of divorce and make it work.  It can happen.  Trust me it can.  However that is a lot of work. Most people will not be willing to do the work.  I spoke to a friend who I won’t mention by name but she told me that her husband cheated.  She said that in the beginning, he was all in.  They were in counseling.  He took the lock off his phone. He wined and dined her.  He brought her gifts.  Then when he felt like he had paid his debt and she should be over it, he went back to the same things that lead to the infidelity in the first place.  He no longer opened up in counseling.  He locked his phone tighter than a national bank.  He began taking calls on his cell away from her.  He went back out and coming home at 6am with no calls as to his whereabouts.  If you cheated on someone if you really mean to change you keep the change.  You don’t get to put an expiration on it.  If you do it only shows you were attempting to give a band-aid instead of the necessary surgery to provide real healing. She said it was at that moment that she filed for divorce and let it stick.  He came back with the same tactics when she filed.  He wanted to be a better man. However better wasn’t in him. You can’t get what’s not in a person to give.  Every actor has to lay their part done.  He laid his down and she left.

IF you are a cheater and haven’ been caught please understand the old saying, nothing hidden that won’t be revealed.  It simply means what’s done in the dark will come to the light.  If you think you are above slipping you are sadly mistaken.  When you get caught if you know you have no intentions on changing with real change than say that and give that man or woman who so they can then do what is best for them.  Do not bring your mate on a journey wasting yours and their time when you know you still want to do your dirt.  Do your dirt and figure out a way to be a family under the new terms of a separate house.  If you cheat it’s not meant for you to live harmonsly like nothing happened. You have to suffer.  For every action there is a reaction.  You can’t be looking for a loving response after that.  Both spouses need to be willing to work.  If you say you forgive but you still bring it up than you haven’t forgiven.  Let me break one thing down on the forgiveness talk, if you are the one who cheated and you are still doing questionable actions than YOU can’t use the whole forgive me response when you know you still acting suspect.  Align your actions to be honorable that way when it comes up you have an answer that is satisfactory. You can’t still creep and tell your mate stop treating me like I cheated but your actions say you are cheating.  Accept that.  Stop trying to win the fight when you already lost the war.  Do better and knock it off or decide to part ways and then find someone if you can find them who will be okay with you having more than one sexual partner. That is key.  You can’t just find someone who is okay with you being newly single and not committed.  They have to understand that you intend to be in other sexual relationships and be okay with it too.

Ask Toi: What is the Worst Part about being Married?

Well let me put some thought into that question.  Marriage is beautiful but since I stay on the keep it real train, I have to say there are some drawbacks.  A lot of women can’t wait to be married.  They have no idea that it’s work.  They have no idea that often times it can distract you from what you want to do.  The days of just getting up if you remove the kids from the equation and just doing my own thing don’t fully exist. I miss the days where I didn’t have to have a plan.  I miss the carefree days of not having to wonder did I feed another person let alone myself.

Marriage makes you have to think of another person and their needs and how it will all fit in a larger setting. This isn’t something that I would want to exit my marriage for but it does make it hard when you want to do just do you and you can’t.  I don’t have a worst part but I can highlight some of the challenges we faced during our marriage that we have overcome.  One of those challenges was in the beginning we lived with his mom to do a 5 year plan to pay off bills.  In one regard it benefitted us financially to save and pay bills. The draw back was that we were in someone else’s home.  It didn’t mentally or emotionally work out in our favor.  I know now that I am unwilling to live with another person outside of my husband and kids.  The mental anguish that it gave was too much and in order for us to stay married that’s how it has to be.  Again others have done the same thing and have survived and have even liked it.  I have been an independent flower all my life. I watched my mom has us in shelters and from other folks’ home.  Once you get your own going backwards to someone else’s rules and the way they do things just doesn’t work for grown people.  Most people will act on the surface that it works but since people are people will always push their agendas.  The same happened and because of it, I now know that if we should be in the same situation it could be a breaking point for us.  I know that isn’t something to say but he and I are honest about that.  We won’t sugar coat it.  One thing I appreciate now that we are out is now my husband is more aware of my needs.  He is one to be sure that if I am even going into a challenge to check on me often.

Another challenge that I know I personally had in my marriage was not communicating well.  I think most couples go through it.  There are better days but some days are truly the type of days where you have to really push yourself to keep entering your home.  Its like having all this love for a person but still wanting to slap them and their parents at the same time for having to deal with whatever the issue has thrown.  I am sorry but that’s about as real as its going to get.  Everything in marriage ain’t lingerie and smiles.  There are times when fights occur.  You will have moments where you have to stop dishing the silent treatment and deal with things.  Those moments make you cry.  It can make you mad but it will produce growth.

Lastly the use of the word divorce.  We had moments when that was our reality.  I would caution all couples that are married or planning to be married to NEVER use that word unless you ready to sign that day.  Being mad is one thing, but being mad enough to threaten the word or the use of divorce is never a good thing.  We were headed for disaster. We had to come to the realization that the kids weren’t going to hold us together.  Either we were in or continue being out.  There was no middle.

I have nothing but love for my husband.  He is my college sweetheart.  The love is there but the knowledge that the work lining up with the love is more apparent.  I was one of those sugar cookie kids who got married and had all of this high hopes of what my first year would be. I imagined me leaving love notes all over the place.  I imagined myself just skipping off to the sunset.  I can’t say I didn’t leave  notes in that first year but I probably said more curse words than I had ever before too.  We fought and we fought hard.  I had moments when I thought I would have been better off with an ex.  He and I have talked about this so don’t act like you getting a fresh brew of tea.  You aren’t.  We are human and flawed but perfect for one another.  We have made it through things most people would have been packed up and left. Did I mention my suitcase of clothes for me and the kids that stayed in the car?  Yeah I found myself being a runner.  I run naturally but I found myself running for every little thing.  He came home late, I’m out.  He spent more time with his friends than me, I was out.  Any excuse would tip me over the edge.  I wasn’t ready and if you are like I was, you better count up the cost.

Please know that you can weather the storm through babies, depression, lost of jobs, etc. It will happen.  There’s no escape.  But if you love and truly have love for the woman or man of your dreams, you can do it.  Our motto is “its he and I against the world.”  We know that and live by that.    We had to learn that we were and are on the same team.  Instead of trying to win all the time and seeing the person as an enemy we had to change the mindset.  If you are married you know what I mean.  You know that moment that you ASSume everything.  You know what that usually leads to.  Assumption can lead to more martial strife than anything.  You think you know the person so well that you use what your mind has already told you about what “may” happen and then you go off on that.  I have had plenty of I thought you said arguments than a little bit.  Be clear on what your goals are.  If not than you will find yourself battling for days, weeks even months for something that wasn’t even to be.