“The WifeCode™…RELOADED”

5colorkeysnumberedHey, Wives!  Let’s be honest.  We all want to have stronger, more successful marriages.  I’ll even go so far as to say that we want stronger, successful marriages just as much as we want to be better, stronger, more powerful wives.  But somewhere in between accepting the marriage proposal and saying, “I Do,” we begin to succumb to the pressures associated with projecting the “ideal” image of what it means to be a good wife.

This is a particularly dangerous space for us wives to wander into because we’re often ill-equipped to navigate this space of uncertainty through to the other side—especially if we lack strong images and examples of what strong, successful marriages look like in our everyday lives.

If we’re not careful to guard our thoughts and manage our emotions as we navigate this space, we’ll struggle to strike a healthy, constructive balance between how to manage those outside expectations around how we should conduct ourselves in our marriages and remaining authentic to our unique truths as we live through the process of marriage.

Yes…marriage IS a process, and becoming a wife is the easy part of it.  Staying a wife is the hard part; which is why I felt compelled to continue my discussion on The WifeCode™.  I wanted to introduce some additional thoughts that wives can use to help them navigate their way through the process of staying married by addressing different areas of wifely development where we tend to stumble and sometimes fall under the immense pressure of trying to be everything to everyone EXCEPT to the one that matters the most—our husbands!

In the first five keys to The WifeCode™, we addressed the importance of maintaining healthy communication, cooperation, authenticity, intimacy, and balance in marriage. The next set of keys will dive a bit deeper into understanding different aspects about what it takes to manage the process of marriage, itself.

The WifeCode™ contains too much information to release all at once, so one key will be released each day over the next five days to provide time for reflection before moving onto the next.  Are you ready???  Join the WifeFilesConfidential e-mail list today to receive each key directly in your inbox as soon as it’s released!

The next key will provide key insight about the one thing that your husband needs MORE than sex to feel like a man!  Yes, there is such a thing, but it’s hardly ever discussed!

Can’t wait to share this with you, Ladies!

Copyright © 2017

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A Change Is Gonna Come—Recognize It for The Opportunity That It Is When It Does

Image of Woman Thinking Standing Outside With Back Against Wall Arms CrossedSometimes, you just have to take a moment to pause, reflect, refocus, and recalibrate your perspective on life relative to where you are in your personal growth, maturation, and development.  Good, bad, or indifferent, life happens, and when it does, it will always be accompanied by change.  If there’s one truth that I’ve learned about change is that, other than the love of God, it’s the only thing that always remains constant in life.

In much of the same way that we experience a change in seasons as the Earth rotates on its axis around the Sun, our human experience causes us to experience seasonal changes as we live through periods of transition, shifting, increase, and decrease.  These periods of change and transition always come to teach us about who we are by challenging us in ways that serve us by facilitating our growth in certain areas while cultivating our character and integrity in others.

These periods of change can present a tremendous opportunity for us to grow in the truth of who we’re created to be, if we remain open to the process and allow ourselves to not become complacent as we work our way through to the other side.  In these periods of transition, we’ll be presented with opportunities to stretch ourselves beyond the limitations of our current mindset so that we can experience authentic growth in every area of our lives.

“Pause and Reflect…”

I recently experienced yet another one of these periods of transition in my life; this one lasted about two months.  I learned a lot about myself during this transition; specifically, as it relates to my growth as a woman and as a wife.  I came to the realization that if I wanted to get better, I had to be better.

I decided to step away from everything that I perceived to be a distraction so that I could gain clarity about what aspects of my mindset weren’t supporting the kind of thoughts that would produce the level of change that I wanted to manifest in my life so that I could make whatever adjustments necessary to propel me forward, uninhibitedly and unapologetically.

I wanted to go forth and be unburdened and unbothered by the things that tripped me up before.  I wanted the next season of my life to be better, and I was committed to making the changes that I needed to make.  At that point, I still had my God, my husband, my family, my health, and a select group of true friends, so, as far as I was concerned, I was still winning.   Realizing that truth was enough to motivate me to keep moving forward.

“Refocus Your Thoughts…”

Prior to that period of transition, I’d allowed myself to become bogged down by all the stuff that had accumulated in my mind, in my heart, and in my spirit as byproducts of my life’s experiences since my last period of transition.  It felt as if everything that was going on in the world, in my community, and in my home started to weigh me down in such a way that left me feeling depleted and unable to be fully-present in the most important part of my life—my marriage.

That’s when I began to feel a shift happening within; telling me that I needed to get really clear with myself about exactly what I need to have in my life at that time so that I could be the best version of myself, from that moment forward.  Then, I knew I had to take a few steps back to identify ways to strike the balance between my roles as a wife…mother…daughter…sister…friend…confidant…businesswoman…etc….etc…so that I could be restored in a way that would allow me to reconnect with my true, authentic self.

Ladies, the key to surviving the seasonal changes and the periods of transition that will arise in life is balance.  Balance is the one thing that unifies the most important aspect of who we are internally with everything that’s connected to us externally.  Finding that place of balance is a tough because it’s so easy for it to become obscured by our own misunderstanding of its function in maintaining healthy relationships with ourselves as well as with others.

“Recalibrate Your Perspective…”

The truth of the matter is that seasons change and that periods of transition will come in our lives.  When they do, we must check-in with ourselves to assess where we are as we live through those periods of change and transition, regardless of how we feel while living through the process.  Doing so will help us to remain open and receptive while embracing the process that we must endure as we grow, mature, and develop into more complete versions of ourselves.

As women, we bring something that is unique, valuable, and irreplaceable to the institution of marriage.  If only we remained true to who we are after we get married as opposed to projecting an image of what others think we should be after we say “I do…” it would be easier for us to identify with our authentic view of who we are with respect to how we see and define ourselves in our role as a wife because we’d see the essence of who we are versus our thoughts about what other people think about the image we should project, which would empower us to define what it means to be a wife based solely on our perception of how we see ourselves in that role.  It’s all relative…it’s all a matter of perspective.

Perhaps the most important lesson that I learned during this season of change in my life is that if I want to change my perspective (outlook) on my life, I must first change my mindset (thought process).    Now I understand the importance of striking and maintaining a healthy balance between each role that I play in my life and that no one is responsible for my happiness except me, I feel even more empowered to be the best…most authentic version of myself that I can be in every aspect of my life while encouraging you to do the same.

Copyright © 2017

 

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‘Tis The Season’ to Get Married…But Are You REALLY Ready To Become A Wife?

bride and groom at alter back to audience white flowersI can’t quite put my finger on it, but there’s something about the renewal that springtime represents that serves as a perfect backdrop for weddings; so much so that springtime is thought to initiate a period that has become affectionately known as “Wedding Season;” the period that extends throughout the spring, summer, and fall seasons.

This is the period when we see a steep uptick in the number of wedding ceremonies being performed.  This is also the period when it becomes easier for us women to get lost in the frenzy of everything weddings—especially if you are the bride, if you’re in some way related to the bride-to-be, or if you secretly long to become a bride (i.e. a spectrum that I’ll call “The Bride Continuum”).

As a *bride* on The Bride Continuum, it’s likely that you’ve dreamed about your wedding day for as long as you can remember— envisioning how he’d propose and how you’d accept…setting the scene in your mind and replaying it in your mind over and over again.

You obsess over every little detail as you go about the perfect wedding ceremony and reception—picking the dress…the invitations…the cake; filling out wedding registries; deciding on the overall color scheme and theme for the festivities; picking the bridesmaids dresses; deciding how big you want your wedding party to be; hiring the photographer and DJ; deciding on a venue; deciding what food to serve; deciding how you will wear your hair; deciding what shoes and jewelry you and your bridesmaids will wear; and, the list goes on and on.

You want to be sure to get everything right, so you make time to attend pre-marital counseling with your husband-to-be.  You do whatever you can to put your best foot forward in an effort to impress your future in-laws and extended family members ALL while trying your damnedest to maintain your sanity! And then it happens! Your wedding day finally arrives, and it’s time to get married!

The ceremony begins, and it’s everything that you thought it would be AND MORE!!! You say your vows, and repeat your “I do” with an outpouring of love that announces to the world that you’re his, and with that, you just become a wife!  So now what?  What, exactly, does that mean???  AND…more importantly…did you ever stop to think about whether you were REALLY ready to become a wife?”

wife placing band on husbands fingerChances are you probably got so wrapped up in the process of having a picture-perfect wedding ceremony that you didn’t take time to consider your level of readiness to endure the process of becoming a wife.  Yes…to everything there’s a process, and becoming a wife is no different.  There’s a process to becoming a wife too, but the kicker is that there’s no “how-to-be-a-good-wife” handbook…no cliff notes on how to be a good wife…no classes to take…no guidance on the subject—other than the insight that we’re able to glean from pre-marital counseling, other wives, and through observing what we perceive to be examples of successful marriages.

So…how do you know if you’re READY to become a wife? 

You’ll know you’re READY to become a wife when you can look deep within yourself and answer these three questions:

1. Are you HONEST with yourself about the WHY behind your “YES?”

Women accept marriage proposals for all sorts of reasons.  Regardless of the reason, you must be honest with yourself about your motive for accepting the proposal—in other words, what is the single biggest motivating factor that had the greatest influence on your decision to say “yes” to the marriage proposal in the first place?  Were you motivated by true love?  Were you motivated by money or material gain?  Were you motivated by your fiancée’s physical appearance/attractiveness?  Were you motivated by your ability to assimilate into a higher social class and/or social standing because of the social status of the family name that you’ll inherit after you say “I Do?”

Whatever the reason, you must be honest enough with yourself to own then confront the part of yourself that motivated you to accept the marriage proposal. You have to be honest enough with yourself to acknowledge the places of brokenness and invalidation within yourself that you believe saying “yes” will fix.  You have to be honest enough with yourself to identify the places within that need to be nurtured and healed so that you won’t drag unhealthy patterns of self-neglect into your marriage.

Despite your best efforts to keep your flaws and all your “other” stuff tucked away neatly deep down inside yourself so that the polished version of yourself shines through for everyone to see, all of that toxic build-up will be exposed…eventually.  If you’re either unable or unwilling to identify the truth behind your why, you’re just setting your marriage up for failure in the long-run because you’ll never be able to acknowledge your faults in the marriage—especially in terms of how you either contribute to or respond to whatever issues arise.

2. Are you WHOLE by yourself?

If someone asks you why you said “yes” to his marriage proposal, and if your answer sounds something like “because he completes me,” then it’s highly likely that you have no idea about the most basic truth about coupledom—that truth being that no one person can “complete” another person, no matter how strongly you feel as if that person fills a void in your life…a void that you never even knew was there.

Oftentimes, we get confused by and caught-up in the newness of the emotions that we feel because we begin to recognize and associate his presence in our lives with a level of fulfilled happiness that we never experienced before—a level of happiness that we believe completes us in a way that we never experienced before he came.  While it’s nice to live in the newness of what you’re feeling when you meet who you believe to be “the one,” you can’t let that feeling eclipse the woman that you were before he came into your life.

You owe it to yourself to present the most authentic and complete version of yourself.  You can’t do that if you’re not able to be honest with yourself about who you are at your core.  To get there, you have to be clear with yourself about your personal strengths, your weaknesses, and limitations so that you can do whatever work you need to do in order to be free of whatever you allowed to break you down.

Moreover, you will never be whole until you do this work for yourself.  No one can do this work for you, and the key thing to remember here is that you’ll ultimately attract what you put out.  You’ll never be able to attract the wholeness and completeness that you need your spouse to be if you don’t project a wholeness and completion.   It takes two whole people make a marriage work, because the whole unit will always be of greater value than the sum of its parts.

3. Do You know your WORTH?

I mean…do you really understand how much you’re worth?  If you did, you wouldn’t allow yourself to settle for less than your worth.  You wouldn’t allow yourself to settle for less than what you believe to be a match that’s consistent with the standards you’ve set for yourself.

In other words, if you identify certain standards that you’re not willing to compromise for the sake of not being alone, then you must treat those items as your “non-negotiables.” In doing so, you’re announcing to potential suitors that “THIS-IS-WHAT-I-EXPECT-FROM-YOU-BECAUSE-I’M-WORTHY-OF-BEING-TREATED-WITH-DIGNITY, -RESPECT, -AND-HONOR.”   If you don’t think of yourself as being worthy enough to set the standard for the type of person you allow into your life, you’ll allow yourself to settle for anything that breathes in your direction.

How you perceive your worth is directly related to your decision-making process regarding what you’re willing to allow into your life. The quickest way to identify how you determine your worth is to not allow yourself to fall into the trap of making decisions from a place of brokenness and desperation—especially when those decisions cause you to compromise your standards to accommodate acceptance.

If you can answer these three questions for yourself, then you just might be ready to become a wife!

Copyright © 2017

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Girl, You Were Chosen for This…Now Walk in Your Power!

marriage definition with wedding bandsThere’s something to be said about a woman who knows her worth in terms of the value she adds to every aspect of not only her own life, but to the lives of those around her just by being who she is.  Nowhere is this statement truer than when viewed through the lens of a woman who was chosen to become a wife; especially when that woman begins to understand that her worth and value are the keys to her ability to unlock her authentic power in her marriage.

That woman is often viewed by those around her as having it all together—the quintessential example of everything that a woman should be, and of how a woman should conduct herself.  Her character and integrity establishes the benchmark that other women aspire to reach.  Her style and flair makes her a trendsetter in her own right because she’s not afraid to define what femininity looks like for her on her own terms.  Her heart is warm and inviting, which creates in her a certain type of charisma that causes people to gravitate toward her because she’s so genuine, honest, sincere, and endearing.  Her beauty and her personality radiates from the inside out like a beacon that causes people to notice her even when she isn’t trying to call attention to herself.

That woman is intelligent, humble, enterprising, driven, and all-around grounded.  She seems to be happy all the time—content with who she is, and content with the life she lives.  She appears to be the picture of perfection…the perfect wife…the perfect friend…the perfect careerwoman…the perfect “everything” that every other woman sees and aspires to immolate.

The truth is that the characteristics inherent in “that woman” are present in all of us women. The problem with this is that, as women, we fall into the trap of basing our worth and value on all the ways that we don’t measure up, which causes us to lose our power because we no longer feel empowered to be who we are.

If we’ll allow ourselves to be vulnerable long enough to see our authentic selves beyond the veil of everything that we believe to be good and perfect about who we are, we’ll discover the greatest truth that lies in our core vis-à-vis the self-imposed standards of perfection that we damn-near kill ourselves trying to live up to—that perfection will always be limited by our perspective.  We all want to be “perceived” as “being” perfect because it’s much easier for us to live under the shadow of the illusion being everything that embodies perfection than it is for us to admit that we’re flawed.

woman-looking-in-the-mirror-1That’s the great irony in all this, and here’s why…  Our power is contained in our flaws.  In fact, when we hold the mirror of self-reflection up to ourselves, we engage in a never-ending cycle of compare-and-contrast as we begin to see who we are staring back at us.  We begin to see the woman who used to have it going on like “her” but somehow…in some way…at some point…stopped seeing our value and started settling for less than what we’re truly worth.

So…what do these thoughts about self-worth, added-value, perfection, and perception have to do with me, as they relate to the power that is inherent in my role as a wife?  I’m so glad you asked because the short answer is that they have EVERYTHING to do with to do with the power that you have in your marriage as a wife.  Still can’t see how?  I’ll show you…

Your attitude about being a wife (i.e. how you see and/or feel about yourself in your marriage), coupled with your overall perception about marriage (i.e. what you believe to be true about what and how you’re expected to contribute to your marriage in your role as a wife), is directly proportional to the amount of influence (your ability to effectively leverage your value and worth as an individual) to work in partnership with your husband to achieve whatever matrimonial success looks like (based on what you both believe to be true about what makes a marriage successful).

I believe that as women, we get so caught-up in trying to be “perfect” until we lose sight of two of the most important things that should (1) serve to anchor us as we navigate the complexities of life, and (2) set us apart from the pack; those things being our sense of self-worth and our sense of value.  It’s easy to lose sight of how powerful we truly are when we don’t have a clear sense of either our worth or the value that we add to life as it unfolds around us when we don’t take the time needed to nurture our personal growth and development in ways that empower us to establish ourselves as independent, whole, and complete people before we get married.

Despite this truth, you were still chosen. Regardless of the reason, you were chosen to become someone’s wife.  But why?  What was it about you that caused you to be noticed above every other woman who could’ve caught your man’s eye?  What was it about you that made your husband feel, with such strong conviction, that he had to have you by his side as his wife for the rest of his life?  Flaws and all???

That’s the billion-dollar question.  Take a long, honest look at yourself in the mirror and then take whatever time you need to carefully study the answer being reflected back to you in the form of your authentic truth.  As soon as you’re able to answer that question for yourself, the balance of power in your marriage will never tip out of your favor ever again.  Still don’t see how?  I’ll leave you with this final truth…

Your true power is inherent in your husband’s ability to see you as an asset to your marriage—NOT a liability.  Your true power as a wife is directly proportionate to your ability to help your husband solve the problems that arise not only in your marriage, but also in life.  That’s why he chose you.  Your husband recognized that, by association, your worth and value would add to his life in such a way that would make him more powerful as a man because the covering, protection, and favor he’d receive simply because of who you are.  He saw your greatness and decided to make you his MVP for life because he saw you as being perfect team-player for this position in marriage.

Ladies, even though we might not be able to see our way clearly through, or even understand the whys and the hows that govern the symbiotic nature of the husband/wife relationship–especially when the complexities of those hows and whys begin to challenge the foundation of our marriages–as wives, we must never lose sight of the power of remaining solution-focused when working with our husbands to tackle any problem that comes up.  After all, that’s, in large part, what being a “helpmeet” to our husbands is all about.

We must remain focused on how we can work with our husbands, or rather, on how we can “support” our husbands through whatever decision-making process that he must go through to help him make a more “favorable” transition from being stuck in the obscure place of uncertainty to a place of empowerment from which he can effectively lead us forth the marriage.  Therefore, as wives, we should always remain cognizant of the impact of our worth and value on our husbands because our husbands will respect these qualities that are within us, as these are the qualities that attracted his attention in the first-place…among other things.

The key takeaway here is thaskeleton key in handt we lose our power whenever our husbands see us as a liability (i.e. as being part of the problem).  Whenever we chose to respond to him or to his needs with negative, unsupportive, disincentive, or any other type nagging rhetoric, we inadvertently tip the balance of power out of our favor.  At some point, our behavior will ultimately cause our husbands to look at us a little bit differently—especially if they feel as if our behavior is more negative than supportive.

It’ll all begin to snowball and go downhill from there because they’ll equate the negativity as a form of sabotage to the marriage.  You can look at any current set of divorce statistics specific to any demographic in the world to see the rate at which marriages are failing.  The one thing that all of these failed marriages have in common is that some problem arose in the marriage to which neither spouse could not find an appropriate solution.

If you don’t want your marriage to become another divorce statistic, help your marriage by being part of the solution to whatever problem or situation that comes up. You’ll always be stronger together, standing in unity with your husband, but to realize that strength, you must always use your power as a wife to work in partnership with your husband toward resolution.

Copyright © 2017

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Repairing the Breach—YES, It’s Possible to Trust Again After Trust Has Been Compromised

augument2One of the harshest realities that we must face as human beings is the fact that we’re going to make a mistake at some point in our lives.  That fact IS an inevitable truth.  Yes…we’re all going to make a mistake and fall from grace at some point, despite our efforts to hide all the not-so-favorable idiosyncrasies about ourselves …you now…those things we believe make us appear unfavorably through the eyes of everyone around us.

Perhaps the one thing that makes that truth so difficult for us to accept is that there’s another truth that makes it even harder for us to acknowledge our mistakes in the first place.  That truth is simply this—YOU’RE NOT PERFECT.  In fact, no one is.

If we could only stop trying to preserve our self-image long enough to truly comprehend the magnitude of that truth relative to how we understand the reasons why we do the things that we do;  I believe that we’d experience a level of freedom that would enable us to begin the work of embracing our personal flaws so that we can recognize and correct the internal patterns of dysfunction that often show up through the impaired judgment that drives our decision-making in the first place.

Life, in-and-of itself, will remind us of these core truths with every step that we take along our respective journeys throughout this human experience. The problem with this is that, as humans, we get wrapped up in the emotions associated with our respective experience so much so that we often forget that our ability to successfully navigate our way through life is contingent upon our ability to sustain relationships with people who can help us have a more enjoyable experience along the way.

So why, then, is it so easy for us to get stuck in a place of unforgiveness when our relationships have been breached to the point of causing us to lose trust because of the mistakes that were made by the other person during a moment of impaired judgment on their part?  Why is it so hard for us to move past the trespass and work toward repairing that breach and restoring the trust that was lost because of the offense that was committed?  Are there levels of offense that correspond with levels of forgiveness, or is there a way to determine how long it will take for the healing process to enable us to fix what’s been broken in our marriages so that we can move forward together as one?

To answer either of those questions, you must be honest enough with yourself to own your part in anything that happened between you and your husband that could contribute to the trust issues that have either arisen or could potentially arise in your marriage.  Only you can do this work, and it will be well-worth the effort because doing so will lead you closer to your truth, which will liberate you so that you can move forward. You’ll need to take a long look at yourself within the context of what’s happening in your marriage to gain a clearer understanding of the mistakes being made along the way that are causing a rift between you and your husband.

The value of this level of self-assessment is priceless because, if you’re honest with asian-woman-daydreamingyourself, you’ll be able to recognize your character flaws in real-time while creating the space needed to allow you see how your vulnerabilities are contributing to your problems. If you’re not able to identify any flaws within yourself during this process, but can identify all your husband’s flaws, therein lies the problem.  At that point, it’s likely that you’ll always stay “stuck” in that place because you’ll never be able to see yourself outside of the confines of what you perceive to be everything that makes you “good and perfect” just the way you are.

Sure…I could make a list of all the ways that marital relationships and of how trust gets broken in those relationships; I could even spend a considerable amount of time highlighting everything that gets fractured and lost during the depredation of the marriage itself. That list would cover everything from infidelity to dishonesty and just about everything in between and anything that would contribute to the problems that contribute to the problems.

Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind here is that the TRUST that binds your foundation of your marriage with you husband, and that without a strong foundation, everything that your marriage is built on will crumble. Erosion is a slow yet continual process, and the damage that results can take months…sometimes years to notice. With that being said, Ladies, we must pay attention to the signs because they’re always present…albeit barely noticeable at times…they’ll still be there.

So, the question is: “IS IT POSSIBLE TO REPAIR A BREACH IN MY MARRIAGE; ESPECIALLY WHEN TRUST HAS BEEN COMPROMISED?”

The short answer is “YES.” It’s possible to repair the breach, even after trust has been compromised.

The not-so-short answer is in the process of “DOING” whatever it takes to ensure that the trust is restored.

So, the question then becomes “HOW IS TRUST RESTORED AFTER IT’S BEEN BROKEN?”

The answer is simply this: “THE ONLY WAY THAT YOU CAN RESTORE TRUST IS WITH COMPLETE HONESTY AND TOTAL TRUTH.”

Regardless of what happened to cause the breach or the events that led up to the loss of trust in our marriages, the fact of the matter is that we must own our part in what went wrong so that we can begin to recognize how we contribute to our own patterns of dysfunction in our relationships with ourselves and with our husbands.  The truth of the matter is that our marital relationships are merely an extension of who we are at our core and of how we see ourselves.

We get so caught-up in the idea of finding and spending the rest of our lives with that “perfect” someone that begin to lose touch with reality as we become overly-consumed with having the “perfect” marriage in which there are no problems, struggles, or discord of any type. The only way to combat this illusion is by living in your truth with complete and total honesty. That way, you and your husband will always occupy the same time and space together as one, which will leave little room, if any, for outside interference!

Copyright © 2017

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Should You Be the First to Apologize After an Argument?

man-and-wife-with-wall-inbetween-while-holding-handsIf you’ve ever been involved in any type of relationship with another person, you should know that disagreements can arise that have the potential to cause you to question everything you thought you believed to be true about that relationship. Those disagreements, if not handled properly, can create a rift in your relationship that can be of irreparable consequence.

Although extreme and destructive in nature, those types of disagreements are often preceded by undeniable events that can either take the form of words, deeds, or actions exhibited by one person in a relationship that serve to trigger a strong emotional response in the other person in that relationship. It is within the “emotion” of the response to that event that we as women become trapped in a state of perpetual dysfunction in communication because it becomes difficult for us to let things go—especially when we either feel like we’ve been wronged, or we believe that we’re right.

This dysfunction in communication often shows up whenever there’s a breakdown in our pattern of communication with others, which I believe to be directly attributed to our discomfort with feeling “vulnerable.”  Ladies, if we’re honest with ourselves, we should be able to see and admit the truth about how vulnerability fuels our need to protect and preserve our feelings above all else. Nowhere is this truth more pronounced than in our patterns of communication with our marriages—especially when disagreements arise that give way to the dreaded argument.

If you haven’t reached this point in your marriage, just wait.  One day, you will.  You’ll know that point when you reach it, as it’ll be unmistakable. It’s the point where the air between you and your spouse gets unbearably thick and suffocating; heavy with the stench of foul language and infused with random explicatives that serve to sharpen the sting that you feel as you come to the realization that you’ve never met this part of the person who’s standing before you.

As the words keep flying and the tempers keep rising, you somehow manage to snap-back into reality for a split-second, only to realize that this argument is REALLY happening! Yes, ladies, and this is where we elevate the argument to an entirely different level altogether…to the proverbial point-of-no-return for us as women because we’re hard-wired to win. Nowhere does that fact become more prevalent than in our need to win arguments.

From that point forward, we remain engaged in the argument, simply because we must prove a point—regardless of whether we’re right or wrong. Ladies, this is where we lose our power! At times, we have a tendency to talk too much, and while we’re trying to prove our point, we often miss important information that our husbands are trying to communicate to us. God gave us two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak, but somehow this communicative truth eludes us women.

It’s as simple as this—the mouth is a powerful weapon. The words that we speak out of it have the power to either build up or to tear down. Ladies, if we’re honest with ourselves, we know this, and we even try to add a “little bit extra oomph” to season our words in just the right way to make them extra spicy—especially when we recognize that a simple discussion makes a sudden transition from being civil conversation and crosses over into the “Argument Zone.” That transition can happen so quickly that you won’t even realize that the shift occurred, but you’ll know that you’re there because before the argument gets too deep, you’ll wonder “how did we let things get to this point? And why?”

The answer to these questions should be simple enough. For instance, we arrived in the “zone” because we didn’t see eye-to-eye on some issue at some point during our conversation. Now we’re yelling and screaming at each other, engaged in an all-out verbal battle designed to elevate our points-of-view over those of our husbands’ all because we HAVE THE LAST WORD; regardless of how right or how wrong we are. But why? Why do we have to have the last word? Is the argument worth it in the end? What are we really trying to prove, and to whom?

black-couple_arguing-634x336

This, is where we must be completely honest with ourselves in examining the role that arguments play in disrupting our marriages. Arguments serve to perpetuate unnecessary chaos that will eventually drive a wedge of division between you, your husband, and everything that you worked to build together; which is where you begin to surrender your power as a wife without even realizing it.

The truth of the matter is that we could be more effective in maintaining the balance of power in our power in our marriages if we’d be honest enough with ourselves to examine our motives for allowing the argument to “go there” in the first place; and by that I mean to allow the argument to escalate to the place of getting way out-of-hand.

Ladies, this is where we must “Check Ourselves” first. How do we do that, you ask? By simply asking yourself two very important questions, THEN getting quiet enough within yourself to wait for the answer to come from within yourself. The first question that you must ask yourself is “What need did I have met as a result of participating in this argument to get my point across?” The second question that you must ask yourself is “What value, if any, was added to strengthen my marriage as I expended all that energy arguing?”

Two of the most important lessons that I learned as a woman, which proved to be vital to my ability to effectively communicate with my husband, are that I must (1) learn how to disagree WITHOUT being disagreeable, and (2) that I must listen twice as much as I speak. I’ve learned that this process is necessary because it allows you the time to process all of the messages that you receive throughout the communication process, which will greatly reduce the likelihood of misunderstanding the messenger’s intended purpose for sending the original message.

As women, we get so caught-up in having the last word until we miss critical moments in the communication process from which we are to learn—in other words, it is in those moments when we are supposed to learn how to strengthen our ability to become more effective nurturers of the communicative process in all the ways that matters most; especially when it comes to shoring-up the relationship with the person with whom we vowed to spend the rest of our natural lives.

Of all the lessons that I’ve learned and of all the wisdom that I’ve gained up until this point in my marriage, I’ve learned that the power of a simple apology can go so much farther in repairing whatever aspect of your marriage that was breached during your disagreement with your husband than trying to “get even” with him with your words coupled with a flat-out bad attitude.

As women, and as wives, we have to be able to get still enough to take a long, hard look at how we’re using our words in our marriages.  Do your words serve to either strengthen or strangle or your marriage, and how are the words that you choose to say during a heated debate support your efforts to achieve that end?

NOW PLEASE DON’T MISUNDERSTAND THE POINT THAT I’M TRYING TO CONVEY HERE—I’m not saying that you should not communicate your concerns to your husband, or that you should allow yourself to be verbally abused, as this is unhealthy. Conversely, you should not be verbally abusive to your husband.

There’s a very fine line between maintaining strong communicative ties with your husband, and letting your pattern of communication spiral out-of-control to the point of hurt feelings, being called out-of-your-name, and emerging mentally bruised and hurt because motives were not examined before initiating the conversation to begin with.

So, think about these things: Is the argument worth it in the end? Do you really need to have the last word in that argument? AND…Are you willing to be the first to take responsibility for your actions and apologize for your part; even if you feel as if shouldn’t have to?

Copyright ©2017

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Growth Is A Continual Process

on-the-air-micPSSSTTTT!!!!  Word on the curb is that WifeFilesConfidential is expanding into the world of podcasting!

Our podcast, WifeTalk™ Live with Tawni will feature candid discussions on topics that all wives can relate to, and will feature practical tips and information to help wives navigate the their way through the woes of the matrimonial unknowns to emerge on the other side of their “happily ever-after” WITH their spouse.

WifeTalk Live with Tawni” will broadcast weekly, and will be available for exclusive download on our website.  I’ve compiled a long list of topics to cover, but I want to make sure that your concerns are raised also.  As such, if you have a topic in mind that you’d like to submit, please either leave a comment or send an e-mail to wifefilesconfidential@gmail.com.

I can’t wait to get this podcast up and running!  This will be lots of fun! 

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Oh No She Didn’t—I Know This Chick Did NOT Just Hit On My Husband!!!

talk-to-the-handOf all the e-mails that I receive from wives asking questions about how they should “handle” different situations that arise in their marriages, I felt a strong connection one particular e-mail that I received in which a wife asked about how she should address a situation in which one of her acquaintances made repeated “passes” at her husband.

Although her concerns are specific to her marriage, the question that she raised with respect to how she should handle the situation speaks to the fact that her problem with her husband exists on a much larger scale and likely impacts lots of couples at some point in their respective relationships.  I’ve copied the text of her e-mail below for your reference, as well as to help establish the framework for my reply:

Dear WifeFilesConfidential,

I’m not sure how to start, but I’ll just go ahead and put it out there. My best friend and I have been friends since elementary school. Even though life has taken us in different directions at times, we always managed to keep our friendship intact and pick up where we left off.

An old acquaintance that we both graduated high school with recently reconnected with my best friend, and now that they’ve reconnected, I see the acquaintance on occasion when I see my best friend because she always manages to find a reason to be with her. I never really thought of as a friend, just someone I would make small talk with.

My best friend likes to host family events, and I’m always available to help because our families are very close and my family is always in attendance. So here’s the problem. The acquaintance has made a couple of passes at my husband during a couple of my best friend’s events! My husband told me about her advances, but not when they happened because he knows that I would’ve knocked her out and ruined my best friend’s events.

This is why I decided to e-mail you because I need to hear some advice from somebody outside of this situation. I’m the type of person who will slap first and ask questions later, and I don’t play when it comes to my husband and my children. I’m trying to decide how I’m going to handle this acquaintance because I don’t care for her much anyway. She crossed the line and I know that when I see her Its going to be a problem. What’s a wife to do?

Signed,

I Won’t Be Disrespected

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In response to your e-mail, I will say this: I COMPLETELY understand EXACTLY where you’re coming from! Trust me, I do. I recently found myself in a similar situation; one in which an acquaintance hit on my husband while we were at a party…AND I was in the same room! Talk about bold. What’s worse is that this chick wasn’t my friend…wasn’t even so much as a factor in my life. To be clear, the only connection that we had was through my best friend. Oh the drama!

My husband told me about her “advances” after we left the party. At first, I was like “why didn’t you tell me this while we were still at the party when I could’ve addressed her?”

When I asked my husband why he didn’t tell me what she did while we were at the party, and he told me that he knew that if I would’ve confronted her, the confrontation would not have ended in her favor. Lucky for her, I haven’t seen her since that day, so I haven’t had an opportunity to confront her.

But, in complete and total honesty, I’ve imagined slapping her to sleep one good time. But then again, I stop and think about God’s grace. Then I stop to say a quick prayer for her. Then I ask God to help me to forgive her so that I can go on with my life…the one that she obviously wishes that she could have with my husband.

So here’s the deal…you have to decide just how much disrespect you’re willing to tolerate. You already have the upper-hand because you’re married, and she obviously wants what you have. The key to “handling” your situation is to know how to use the power that is inherent in who you are as the actual WIFE in this situation. You have all the power, simply because you’re the wife. Think about that… about

As a reformed slapologist myself, I know how quickly one can reach out and slap someone for just about any reason. At the same time, I know that you have to stop and consider everything that you have to lose if your confrontation morphs into a brawl that you started when you slapped her and YOU end up with an assault charge. Is it worth it in the end?

My advice to you is that you explain to your best friend how this “acquaintance” disrespected your marriage, and let her know that you cannot be in her presence because of the potential for a confrontation. Reiterate to your husband that you won’t tolerate disrespect. Finally, be clear with yourself about the motives fueling your desire to “handle” this situation, should you ever find yourself in the acquaintance’s presence once again.

It’s far better to forgive her and free yourself of the excess emotional baggage that you’ve been carrying around since you found out about the “passes” that the acquaintance made toward your husband, than it is to keep holding onto a situation and allowing it to steal your joy in the present.

Copyright © 2016

Posted in Advice, Marriage, Sex and Intimacy | Tagged | Leave a comment

Confronting Your Fears and Conquering Them on National “Face Your Fears” Day…

heart-symbol-and-blood-pressure-cuffLet me just go ahead and get this out of my system, and say that this is getting out-of-hand, people! Now, I’m all for finding a reason to celebrate just about anything that is happy and positive, but it seems as if every day we wake up, there’s a new something or another to celebrate: “National Coffee Day,” “National Donut Day,” “National Friendship Day,” and the list just seems to go on-and-on.

I try to make a good-faith effort to understand the “what” and the “why” of it all so that I can appreciate the reasoning behind and the purpose for what’s being celebrated, which is why I had reason to pause when I learned that today is “National Face Your Fears” Day.

I didn’t pause because I became “fearful” in that moment. I believe that the reason for my pause is directly related to the fact that I recently came face-to-face with my own mortality when I learned that I have Hypertension. I didn’t become fearful because I lead an unhealthy lifestyle or because I’m significantly overweight or anything like that.

I became fearful when I realized that I have a very strong family history of hypertension, more commonly referred to as high blood pressure, and heart disease, which made me more likely to develop this condition. So there I was, predisposed to this condition, simply because of my genetics, but more susceptible to the effects because I wasn’t adequately educated about the impact that my family’s medical history could have on my personal health.

Wives, here’s the key take-away: pay close attention to your family health history because you could be genetically predisposed to a serious medical condition and not even know it…until it’s too late.

I thought that I was doing everything that I could to prevent this health outcome in my own life. Proper diet. Regular exercise. Etc. Etc. However, because I l took the time to look back over my busy life as a wife, mother, businesswoman, friend, confidant, etc., etc., I can see where I neglected to prioritize REST.

We all know that REST is a vitally important component of a well-balanced, healthy life, but it’s the one thing that often gets sacrificed because as women and as wives, we get so caught-up in getting-things-done in our marriages…in our careers…in our families…to the point where we don’t realize the damage that we’re doing to our own bodies until we get sick.

What’s worse is when we know that we’re sick, yet won’t prioritize our needs enough to create the time and space that we need so that we can get the  proper amount of REST that we need to allow our bodies to repair themselves naturally.

One day I woke up, and started to feel really sick. I was in a lot of pain, and decided to go to the emergency room when I couldn’t get an appointment with my primary care physician. What I learned about my blood pressure and how it’s related to my overall heart health during that visit literally caused me to put myself on pause as I began to recognize that I, too, can, and will die. Right then-and-there, I made up my mind to do whatever I could prolong that process as long as humanly possible.

In the months that followed my diagnosis, I did everything that I could to learn about hypertension and heart disease, and took the steps that I needed to get my blood pressure under control without the assistance of prescription medication. Perhaps the most interesting thing that I learned about hypertension and heart disease is the impact they can have on a woman’s health and the impact they have on mortality rates among women.

The one thing that I learned that literally made me face my fear of my own mortality is that hypertension is considered to be the “silent killer,” simply because you can have this condition and not even know it until it’s too late because you can have it and not experience any symptoms. I went to the ER because I had what I felt the worst headache of my life. I’d been experiencing headaches up to that point, but little did I know that my headaches were a warning that something within my body was going terribly wrong. I’m so grateful that I listened to my body, and was able to get some help when I did. Otherwise, I could be dead right now.

So here’s the truth: we all fear something. Perhaps it’s a profound fear of heights. Or maybe your fear is of something more practical, like spiders…or snakes…or clowns. Regardless of what your fear is, the key to overcoming it is to confront that fear head-on. You have to confront that one thing that makes you the most vulnerable and leaves you the most exposed so that you can move on with your life. Doing so will diminish the power that your fear has over you, thereby liberating you to be present in your life as opposed to being a prisoner within it.

Copyright © 2016

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WifeCode™ Key 5: Keep It All In Balance

5colorkeysnumberedUp to this point, each of the preceding keys to the WifeCode™ spoke to different issues that arise in marriage and cause us wives to stumble into a place of uncertainty within ourselves—a place that often leaves us confused and unsure about how to navigate our way through those issues without disturbing the delicate balance of power within our marriages.

Those issues can have a strong influence on our overall thought process, which can be to our detriment because they can make us question just about every aspect of our how we see ourselves as wives. If we’re not careful to maintain a strong connection with the identity of the woman we were before we got married, those issues will impact how we see ourselves as wives, how we relate to our husbands, and how we understand the power that we have in our marriages.

In the preceding keys to the WifeCode™, we addressed the importance of maintaining open, honest, and healthy patterns of communication with our husbands, of standing in absolute unity with our husbands at all times, of ensuring that our husbands know that they have our full support in everything, of “taking care of home,” and of presenting the most authentic version of ourselves in everything…in every way…and in every situation.

The fifth and final key to the WifeCode™ will serve to anchor each thought expressed in the preceding keys by shifting the focus from maintaining your power in your marriage to preserving it.

So…how does a wife do that, you wonder? Preserve her power??? The answer is quite simple: through BALANCE.

Marriage is, in-and-of-itself, one big balancing act. As a wife, you have to find a way to find a way to strike the balance between being everything that you need you to be, everything that your husband desires you to be, everything that your marriage demands you to be, and everything that society dictates you to be—all at the same time AND above and beyond being the woman that YOU were created to be.

As women, we tend to fall into the trap of working twice as hard to live up to all of the expectations that get superimposed on us by people whose opinions about how we handle any aspect of our lives or our marriages shouldn’t matter because, after all, it’s really none of their business. As a result, we start believe that we have to be able to handle it all so that it APPEARS as if we have it all together, or else we run the risk of being perceived as “less-than” or “not good enough” in the eyes of people whose opinion of you shouldn’t matter. And just like that, we leave the door wide open for the outside influences to walk into our situation and upset the balance that keeps our lives flowing smoothly.

Eventually, those outside influences begin to demand more of our time, effort, energy, resources, and attention. When they do, we begin to divert time, effort, energy, and attention from the most important areas of our lives to supplement those things that now demand more of our attention. This is the point where everything that we have going on in our lives begins to fall out-of-sync with the overall balance that’s required to maintain and sustain healthy marriages. That’s why our power in our marriages often hangs in the balance, and, in most circumstances, causes our power to get tipped out of our favor.

Why??? The answer is quite simple…it’s because those outside influences have the power to make you question the two of the most important aspects of your identity as a wife: (1) your worth in your marriage and (2) the value that you add to your partnership with your husband. Herein lies the problem, Ladies.

The problem is that we continue to question ourselves. We stop believing that we’re enough. We start believing the hype about what a wife is, and about what she’s supposed to contribute to marriage. Then, we start believing that we’re not enough just as we are. We stop looking to the Spirit that guides us from within for the answers that we need to navigate the complexities of marriage. Instead, we begin to look to, to seek out, and to uphold what other people think, believe, and say about how we should handle ourselves in our marriages and how we should operate in our roles as wives.

Herein lies the problem because our sense of self gets devalued as we continue to fall further out-of-balance through all of our doing. Ladies, if we are to preserve and maintain our power in our marriages, we have to be able to strike-the-balance between the many roles that we play as women both within and outside the confines of the institution of marriage.

In other words, the key takeaway to this installment of the WifeCode™ is that our ability to preserve and maintain our power in our marriages is directly proportionate to our ability to preserve and maintain balance in every aspect of the many roles that comprise our lives as women. Yes. It is possible for us, as women, to have it all; but we must remain cognizant of what, if anything, we’re willing to risk as we work to achieve that end.

 

Copyright 2016

 

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