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Letter to My Younger Married Self – Maiden vs. Married

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Dear 28-year-old Diana,

It’s happened…you’s a married girl (ala The Color Purple)! Your teenage dream of finding the right man and being dressed in white to walk down the aisle to meet “the one” Cory ¬†A. Jones happened. I am currently 42 years old and have so much to tell you that will give you peace in your heart and mind about what to expect about marriage.

Remember when you conceived at age 15 and had a son at age 16? Remember when you thought your life was over when his father left him? Remember when you thought you were unlovable because who would love a girl who had a baby? Well, you met THE ONE who dispelled all those lies. You met THE ONE who gave you value and worth. You met THE ONE who gave you purpose. You met THE ONE who has great plans, gives hope and a future. You met JESUS! He is THE ONE who has never failed you, never left you and never forsaken you.

It’s because of Him, that you started to know who you were as a woman, mother and a potential wife. He’s the one that made the connection between you and Cory A. Jones, your now husband who you met at the worst job you two ever had. He knew who you would need to be beside you and be the father and step father of your children. He would also be the one to dispel the lies about what men do. You know. Those thoughts about past experiences that men will leave, men cheat, men are selfish, men leave their children, and on and on. He’s a good one, D. He will represent sacrificial love to you in good times and bad. He is generous and will shower you with gifts and heartfelt cards of encouragement (even though gifts aren’t your primary love language, you like it ūüėÄ). You’ll know that he’s the one not on day one but as years pass and good times and trials come, Cory will show you that he is not what your father did and he is not what your exes have done. He becomes a Godly man who yearns to grow in the Lord and seeks His wisdom on how to lead himself and his family. You should learn to accept that early on.

You’ll learn that marriage isn’t easy. It will take daily work of prayer, reading, counsel, and introspective analysis to continue to heal from past wounds of your father and past relationships so you two could conquer the future together.

When the going gets tough…

‚ĀÉ ¬† ¬†Keep fighting
‚ĀÉ ¬† ¬†Keep praying
‚ĀÉ ¬† ¬†Keep worshipping
‚ĀÉ ¬† ¬†Keep speaking life over yourselves
‚ĀÉ ¬† ¬†Keep loving
‚ĀÉ ¬† ¬†Keep the faith
‚ĀÉ ¬† ¬†Keep learning

Love,
42-year-old Diana

 

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Letter To My Younger Married Self – Love Overcomes!

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Dear 28 year-old Cory,

I know you’re dating Diana J. Novoa right now, and you will soon propose to her. Spoiler alert, she will say yes but the words coming out her mouth will be delayed for some reason (lol). Your Princess from Queens will in fact become your Queen from Queens (NY), your best friend and the love of your life. There’s some things you should know
before you say ‚ÄúI Do‚ÄĚ and I hope you‚Äôre sitting down‚Ķlol.

In all seriousness…you’ve picked a winner. When you lose your job after the tragic events of 9- 11 and the financial company you work for lays off a great number of you’ll, your lady will stand strong. Although you’ll were planning and saving up for a wedding, her faith and commitment to helping you get back on your feet did not waiver. When you decided to take a low paying assistant job at a record company instead of focusing on the level of pay you were accustomed to, your woman did not flinch. She just found a way to make it work. She knew your desire to break into the music business and was totally on board. You married a strong women of faith. Which is one of her best qualities. She assesses a situation and tries to figure it out. She’s a real team player and it will teach you that she can be trusted to battle adversity, she will not fold when things don’t go exactly as planned. I know that’s one of your concerns. You want a battle tested warrior chick. You’ve seen what your mother had to endure and toughness is a quality
you really appreciate. Diana has a ‚Äúcan do/will do/by any means necessary‚ÄĚ attitude.

During the first 15 years of your marriage the bond just continued to grow stronger. You guys have a, we’ll figure it out, lets see what the Lord has to say about attitude and your marriage received many compliments over the years as one that looks really strong and united.

Honesty is huge for you. I know you cling to the fact that your mother was a super hero on the¬†outside and was tormented on the inside. There were so many things you didn‚Äôt and couldn‚Äôt¬†understand growing up. Your mother dealt with a lot of pain, heartbreak, unmet expectations¬†and a general lack of love and support being the youngest of three. So as time went on and the¬†armor started to crack, it was a real emotional roller-coaster for you. One that manifested itself¬†into not trusting women. In not trusting women, you would leave any relationship at the first¬†sight of difficulty. But establishing a friendship with Diana, you were able to get to know who¬†she really was minus the pressure of dating, which I refer to as the dating hoax. The dating hoax¬†is when you put on your ‚Äúbest face/image/mask‚ÄĚ for the interview. Dating can seem like a¬†series of intimate interviews. But since you started out as friends with Diana, you established a
foundation of truth, because no one was ever trying to impress the other. There was no need to, we had no ulterior motives. We laughed, gave each advice and genuinely wished each other well. Rest assured you guys are still friends, you like being around each other and you’ll focus on being honest (not mean) and appreciative of how God wired each of you. You’ve grown to appreciate Diana’s love of family and being around people. She even convinced you to open your home to hosting a life group (bible study) and marriage mentoring group. You’re not antisocial but you do appreciate a quiet night of watching a movie over hosting families and their children, cooking, cleaning, facilitating a bible study which requires hours of study before your guest arrive. But you learned to love hosting, I know, I’m surprised as well.

Love will stretch you Cory, because when done right, it’s not easy. You will find that Love is not what you want to give, it’s giving what the other needs, but in a sacrificial way. You will have some problems in this area until you read, The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman as well as studying the word of God, specifically 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.

Biblically, love is patient and kind.¬†You‚Äôre kind but not particularly patient. That’s the New York City in you.

Love is not jealous,¬†boastful, proud or rude. You struggle with the proud part, you will have to be more vulnerable.¬†Keeping stuff in won‚Äôt work. The ‚Äútough guy/whatever/it‚Äôs all good‚ÄĚ thing in marriage is a trait¬†you must lose.

You’re not jealous, certainly not boastful and not knowingly rude. That pride is a deal breaker though; and I know where it comes from. You needed a certain swagger to keep your head up in your childhood to preserver. But as a born again Christian you are a new creation.

Love does not demand its own way. You certainly expect your own way, you will feel at times because of what you do, you expect to get your own way. You will have to work through that and not be so presumptuous.

Love is not irritable and keeps no records of being wronged. That is and has not been easy for you. You’re a score keeper, that’s why you love sports so much. Cory, you will sometimes keep score and that will cause you to believe and expect returns on your investment, for lack of a better word. It doesn’t work that way young brother.

Don’t forget the sacrificial aspect of Love. Love does not rejoice at injustice but
rejoices when truth wins out. That’s easy enough for you. You’re a fair man.

Love never gives up, never loses hope or faith and wins out in every circumstance. You’re not one to give up, you will be someone that’s open to marriage counseling, talks with other successful couples that’s been at it longer than you guys, visiting marriage conferences for tune-ups, reading books on marriage and speaking to your pastors when issues arise. You wind up doing pretty good my dude. Your wife feels like she’s the apple of your eye and second to no one, you have been able to prioritize really well. Even your kids know they must respect your bride at all times.

Overall, you’re doing pretty well 15 years in. But, it is a never ending effort. The minute you take your foot off the gas you literally roll backward. You must continually look to show how much you love and appreciate your spouse. And not in a job way, in a we’re not guaranteed tomorrow way.

Sincerely,

44 year old, Cory

 

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4 Lists That Can Save Your Relationship

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Before you drop that guy or girl due to boredom, examine how you are spending your time as a couple.

It maybe due to the fact that you have run into a routine just like Danielle Colley did which almost doomed her relationship.

What can help you get out of the rut is creating a series of lists that may put the energy you need back into the relationship and provide a closeness that’s second to none. A list like this can help remind you¬† what really matters, and help maintain positivity, clarity, and peace amongst the craziness of everyday life.

So as the weekend is approaching, you and your partner should sit down individually and create these four lists. By doing this exercise you may find some similar interests that you never knew you had. The four lists are as follows:

  1. Lists of Books you might read.- this list will give you different topics to talk about. You will get a perspective about a person you never expected when you are talking about a fictional story as opposed to what’s happening in social media.
  2. List of activities you would like to do together – according to a recent study 94% of couples¬† are happier when they spend quality time together versus 43% of couples that don’t. By having a list for activities that you would like to do will keep you from doing the same thing every weekend.
  3. List of new things you would like to learn – will keep you brain sharp as you progress in your marriage.
  4. List of places you would like to see – this will help you create long-lasting memories as you explore new places. Traveling to other countries not only give you the opportunity to see new things as a couple, it also gives you the opportunity to explore on you own.

 

So before you head out to another movie, or dinner, create that list so you can put that extra energy you need back into your relationship.

If you need so help brainstorming some ideas, or if you are stuck in a rut for some other reason, contact me for FREE 30-minute consultation at info@strive2succeedcoaching.com.
 
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Posted by on March 31, 2017 in Fun Friday, Uncategorized

 

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Letter To My Younger Married Self – A 7,000 Mile Journey For Love.

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To my 23 year old Barbara,
Congratulations! Tomorrow you will celebrate your wedding in Qingtongxia, China. You will have one sister, a handful of friends, a hundred or so new relatives, and 20,000 villagers on hand to share in your joy. It will be covered by national news media and bring instant fame to your in-laws, who can count on one hand the number of foreigners they’ve ever seen in person (most of them from this week!)
In a few months, you’ll double own on the love and get married again; this time surrounded by all seven sisters, plus 200 extended family members and friends in the U.S. You’ll have traded your red wedding dress for a long white gown (those puffy sleeves will forever say 1991!) and the humble rural courtyard for a glitzy hotel with a view of the New York skyline. Your husband will know only three people present.
In the short time between weddings, you will have moved from rural China to suburban America. It will mark the beginning of a lifetime of adventure that will include (spoiler alert) living in three different countries and raising two exceptional daughters, who will serve as testament to this marriage. You’re marrying outside your race, religion, native tongue and passport country; yet over the years you’ll managed to not let these define your marriage. Over the next 25 years, together you’ll strengthen and enhance the union of your two unique and complementary personalities.
Despite this rosy picture from the future, I’ll share a few things to consider as you embark on your journey.
Study Chinese
.
Yes, you already speak Chinese, but really make a concerted academic effort to learn to not
only speak and understand, but to read and write at a deeper level. The snowball effect of
studying a mere 30 minutes each week over 25 years will yield fluency you can’t even
imagine today. Flash cards and work books will suffice in the beginning, but it will get easier and more convenient with the advent of internet and podcasts. It will fulfill your
relationships with in-laws and extended family. You’ll be better equipped to have meaningful conversations with more people who know your groom but aren’t bilingual. You will not need to rely on him to translate.
Consider keeping your maiden name
Don’t run on autopilot. Take the time to contemplate the decision by recalling what you
bring, as an individual, into the marriage. If you adopt his name, anticipate what you’ll need to maintain your sense of self. Don’t lose your identity in the titles wife or mother. Fear not, your love of great white sharks and trampolines play a prominent role in your 49 year old life, but you will have a child who graduates from college before you go back for your master’s degree. Take time for yourself. It is not being selfish.
 
Schedule date nights
Observe them religiously. Give them the same priority you give to your daughters’ swim
practice schedule. Be more creative than dinner and a movie. Consider alternating turns
planning a surprise outing or activity for the appointed time. Remember that simplicity is
highly underrated. He’s more sentimental than he lets on. Similarly, schedule daddy-
daughter time. Give him time and space to develop his own relationship with your
children. Let him parent in his own style.
Don’t be a nag
He will respect and value your decision to delay a career to stay home with the children.
Recognize, however, that he will bear a self- imposed pressure as the sole bread winner.
Go easy on him as he transitions between jobs, and negotiates benefits for your
international assignments. (Yes, you’ll be back in China to raise your children.)
As you celebrate tomorrow, take a good look around. There are many faces that will continue to be present as you celebrate future milestones. There are some who will join your journey further down the road. There are others who will only be here briefly. That adorable 7 year old nephew who is dying for a ride in your wedding carriage will come to live in your home, and become a brother to your daughters. A second nephew will round out your household. Be patient and show grace.
Tonight, you are blinded by love. You cannot comprehend the enormity of his devotion. He is¬†leaving his family, friends, and country behind for you. For You. He will always have your back.¬†And you will always hold his heart. So tomorrow, and every day after: Engage. Say YES. Take¬†more pictures. They will document for future generations the story of the couple who loved each¬†other enough to say ‚ÄúI do‚ÄĚ twice.
Love,
The 49 year old Barbara.
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Letter to My Younger Married Self – Even if I Don’t Know It!

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Dear (Twenty-Two year old) Rab,
You are loving and wise beyond your years. At twelve years old, you told me that I would be your wife
one day. That really scared me to death. How does someone so young, know about this type of love.
I was certainly no expert. But you told me, “I have seen it from my parents and grandparents. I know
what I want.‚ÄĚ
So I decided to give it a shot. Everything was going great, until I turned 14. I started to mature and folks
began to notice especially the boys. You realized they were starting to notice, so you broke up with me,
thinking I better do it now before I have a reason and there is no way we can get back together. That was
another wise move. Even though we would date off and on, after the break-up, I needed to be
unencumbered until I was ready.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t capture the magic, I had with you. I tried! While still in high school, I met and
was engaged to another man. I even had a child with him, but in the end, it didn’t last.
So off I went to work in Boston, MA. We will still remain good friends, but in my heart, I knew something
was missing. You would feel it too. That’s why you will come and romance me.
After that, things will get really serious. At the age of 20, we will have a child and ultimately you will ask
me to marry you.
Well, today is that day. It’s our joyous wedding day and all of our friends and family have gathered here,
before God to bless this union. We both still have a lot of maturing to do however, true love and life
awaits us. We will learn and grow together.
I want to thank you for your solid work ethic and extraordinary ability to love me through any trial. As
we go through our marriage journey, please keep encouraging me to continue my education because it
will benefit our entire family. Thanks for allowing me learn the Truth about our God, Jehovah and share
it with everyone that I know and love.
Pour as much love and effort into yourself as you do others. I know that your high energy will infect our
home. Whether you are in a small apartment or large home, you are guaranteed to host loving
gatherings with family and friends. Our game nights with the kids will be awesome. Please plan on us
attending plenty of sporting events, Broadway shows, amusement parks and music concerts. You’ll have
Princess, Ninja Turtles, Power Ranger, and tea parties. Be ready for debates and open and honest
communication.
You’re a great listener now but you will hone your skills. You develop super powers to listen and process
information. For example, when you are busy eating, resting, watching TV, or playing a video game, you
manage to hear me. In fact, you can hear everyone in the room who is talking to you (your son, two
daughters and me). When I ask you what I just said you’ll recount each simultaneous conversation
succinctly.
When you are in good health, use your knowledge and abilities to accumulate genuine relationships and
not just material wealth. When your health is waning, may you be able to garner strength from your
loving strong bonds, support team, and family. We are the generation that our parents and
grandparents rely on, so thank you for your loving care and patience with them. The children are
watching you so, I’m glad that they love and respect your fine example as a doting husband and father.
May you be able to say that you lived out your dreams with the one that you love more than air. Plan
and budget your money wisely. Travel often. Go on vacation with the entire family and then take a trip
as a couple at least every two years. Maintain your love and strong marriage and it will prove to be a
blessing and protection to you. Just know that when your heart is full of love, you’ll have grandchildren
to make your heart and cup overflow.
Thank You for believing in me, even though I didn’t know it, right away!
I love you my Love!
Rhonda Harrison
 

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Letter to My Younger Married Self – Faith Prevails.

Dear 28 year-old Aileen,
Today you stand before a judge and commit to love, honor, cherish, and support Lazarus Dempsey, as his wife until death do you part. Right now, you do not understand what this all means. You have seen movie after movie of fairy tale romances and amazing weddings and I would love to tell you that your marriage will be just as romantic and storybook, but honestly it will not.

Your determination not to fail will keep you in this marriage at times when you feel like you want to leave. Coming from a broken home, and listening to your mother tell you that you will never have a good relationship with a man because her marriage fell apart changes you. You vow to never allow this to happen to your marriage and future family. You remember saying to your mother ‚ÄúJust because your marriage didn‚Äôt work, doesn‚Äôt mean mine won‚Äôt, just because your marriage ended after 13 years doesn‚Äôt mean mine will‚ÄĚ. However, what happens is that you now put a microscope on the men you date. You look for extraordinary signs of love and devotion from your relationships, you constantly look for proof that this man will be the one that will remain with you for life and if these signs did not show up within a specific frame in time, you ended the relationship. In trying to control this process you added countless years of heartache to your relationship life. You turned cold to relationships all together and focused on work. But you learned, you could not have found him on your own, your tests were not the determining factor it had to be God. Well young sis, You Made It, here we are at 16 years of marriage and you are having fun!

House Keeping

Lazarus is from another country and therefore there will be some cultural differences that will creep up from time to time to challenge your view on his commitment level and his love for you. When this happens, I urge you to remember the phone calls that he made to you every morning at 9am to wish you a wonderful day and to pray for you. Remember all the hours he waited for you on a Friday just to walk you to the train station because that was the only time you would allow him before you were married. Then pause and remember that those things did not stop once he said ‚ÄúI Do‚ÄĚ.

You are used to doing everything on your own because that is how you lived your entire life before your husband came into the picture. You will have a tough time letting this go but over time you will learn that you have to let go of some of it in order for the relationship to mature and for him to grow as a husband and a father and you as a wife and mother.

Lazarus has never said a disparaging remark towards you and your character, although you will have said many towards him that you will later regret. Remember that this is frustration and that you really can’t live without him.

Here are a few things you can look forward to over the next 16 years.

His unshakeable Faith

Your husband has a strong faith in God and is diligent in prayer and forgiveness. You will question his faith constantly. You will do this to mask your lack of faith and your loose relationship with God. Things have happened in your life that turned you from the word of God and at times seeing his faith in action will make you feel guilty and lost. Just remember that the Bible tells us we are to lead by example and that the husband is the leader of his home in Faith and Family.

Your Anger is Hurtful

When you get angry you hold it in until you can no longer do so and you lash out. Your husband is the brunt of all of this and it is not fair. Remember that you are not the only one that gets angry, you are not the only one with fears and disappointments. Lazarus will help you see this, as his approach to these scenarios is calm, cool, and collected. You secretly admire this about him but your silly pride will not let you acknowledge it. Remember to breathe during the storm and then speak, your words cut like double-edged blades and the wounds you inflict are deep. Don’t make him bleed for the things that were done to you and the people who made you bleed.

His humor is your balance

Aileen, you have so much love, laughter, and compassion for others and you rarely give yourself credit. You feel like you have to keep up this strong wall all the time because you don’t want to let anyone in. Your husband will make you laugh at yourself during times when you want to cry. He has a way of making you tear down the wall, if only for a moment. Laugh during these times and cherish them. These times will shape your marriage for years to come. You will come to look forward to these goofy moments with him because they really are saving your life.

The greatest gifts HE gave you through your husband

Four years into your marriage you will sit y our husband down and tell him the following:

“Laz, I may never be able to give you children. Things that were done to me in my past may have made this impossible. I know how important having children is to you and I do not want to stand in your way. I will understand if you want to leave me, in fact, I encourage you to go and find a woman who is able to bear children. I will hurt, I will miss you and I may be alone for a long time, but I will be able to live with all of that because you will have the children that I cannot provide.

His amazing response to you is as follows:

“Aileen, these doctors are not God and by the way they have spoken to you, I question if they even know God. We will have children in God’s time because God’s time is the best time. Do you agree?

You say:

Yes, but secretly you have a little doubt. However, true to our God and his amazing timing your daughter was conceived that night in January 2005. Your second child, yes, a second child will come in March of 2007.

Look at these wonderful gifts and their character and you will see the face of your husband, the strength of your marriage and the love your husband has for you. Your selflessness, as shown in this tough conversation, is one of the things he loves most about you.

Embrace Love

Throughout the years to come you will convince yourself that you do not deserve to be loved as deeply and unconditionally as others. You will tell yourself that because of your past you deserve less. I need you to open your eyes and realize that with Lazarus, you have gotten and will receive more than some people will ever feel in their lives. You are blessed, you are loved and you are amazing.

Your husband will call you ‚ÄúDumb Dumb‚ÄĚ from time to time to put out your fuse. This is a long running inside joke and it makes you laugh every time. Remember that communication, something you thought you were great at but have learned through marriage, is the key to your marriage. Remember your father told you ‚ÄúYou met your match with this one‚ÄĚ. Overall, you cannot see living this life without him and the family you share. He makes you possible!

Although your marriage had an unconventional start, your marriage is storybook, it is romantic and it is the most important relationship you will ever have. Looking forward to the next 16 years and the years to come. Continue to laugh, and allow yourself to be loved and give love every day.

44-year old Aileen

mrandmrs44-year-old Aileen

 

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Are You Ready?

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Letter to My Younger Married Self

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Dear 29-Year old Keith,

Tomorrow when you wake up you’re going to have a brand new title Mr. Keith Dent married man to Priscilla Gordon. I know that you have already been dating for a year and a half, but this will be different.

The vows that you just echoed to all of your guests at the wedding will take on a meaning that you can’t even comprehend.

Your view of marriage will be challenged many times over. It will make you question your choices, but in reality it will make you question your abilities as a husband and a father.You are used to a patriarchal marriage that was full of energy and was captain of the ship. Your wife will not share these same views. She’s an independent woman who was raised to speak her mind when things look ¬†out of whack and she will do so often. Don’t worry, it will be for your own good. Even after twenty years of marriage she will still continue to reiterate that you were the only man she would’ve married.

With that said, here are five things you will have to look forward to in your marriage journey.

Sharing in Caring.

This is maybe the most important thing you will learn. You’re wife is very generous, especially with the people she loves. She will expect the same from you.This will be evident when she buys you a honey bun as a surprise.When you eat the whole thing without offering her a bite, it won’t taste so good.

Your expectations as a husband will change.

Her strength and upbringing ¬†will be an advantage especially when you figure out that corporate America isn’t for you. When you take that job delivering papers to support your family she will never look down on you. She will support you every step of the way. She will embrace your hard work and will do her part because teamwork makes the dream work.

Your children will challenge you in so many ways.

When you were growing up, your dad was the true leader of the family. He was the breadwinner, the planner and the disciplinarian. When he spoke, you listened. But, when you were younger you didn’t develop your own voice. You won’t have to worry about that when it comes to YOUR kids. They will laugh at you and question almost everything you say. Be prepared to teach and coach. It will be worth it. Your children will be your biggest legacy.

You will learn conflict and love are part of the deal. 

When you first meet your wife’s family, especially her sisters you will be thoroughly entertained. They can be loud, opinionated and most of all competitive. They will never let you live down the times they beat you down in a game of Taboo and Street Fighter. Even though they fight with each other, you won’t be able speak ill of any of them. They will teach you that conflict is okay and that’s what being in a family is all about.

She will help you laugh at yourself.

You are going to end up making so many silly mistakes from going to concerts on the wrong night to not remembering when summer camp for your youngest son is two years in a row. Your wife will know how you beat yourself up over these things. She will help you laugh at yourself. You live, you laugh, you learn and you buy Luvs will be one of her favorite sayings.

All in all your marriage will be one of the most important fulfilling relationships you will ever have. It’s a tremendous blessing that you met Priscilla at Jasper’s wedding. Look forward to twenty more years of a wonderful journey.

Sincerely,

49-year-old, Keith

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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S2S Question of the Day – Divorce

Today’s question has to deal with Divorce. According to a 2011 article in Match.com, the year in which most divorces occur is during year 4?

Since the age of first marriages has increase, why do you think divorce is happening so soon? #s2sinmarriageqotd

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Posted by on November 21, 2016 in Question of the Day, Uncategorized

 

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S2S Question of the Day – Will You Vote?

It’s been a very exhausting 2016 election season with ¬†email scandals, sexual harassment videos and just an overall sense of uneasiness in the country.

With tomorrow being election day, the question of the day has to do with tomorrow’s vote.

What would you do if you found out that your partner voted for a different candidate that you?

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Posted by on November 7, 2016 in Question of the Day

 

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S2S Question of the Day! – Healthy Relationships

The question of the Day has to do with Healthy Relationships!

In a study from the University of Chicago, researchers found that when a husband has a high level of positivity, there’s less conflict in his relationship. Likewise, the way partners respond to each other’s good news matters too. In a study published in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, researchers found that the way couples react to each other’s good news‚ÄĒeither with excitement, pride, or indifference‚ÄĒis crucial in forming a strong bond.

So the question of the day is What does a Healthy Relationship look like? What components are necessary?

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2016 in Question of the Day, Uncategorized

 

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For Men, Respect is More Important than Love!

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Posted by on October 19, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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5 Ways to Make Your Love Grow according to Michael Jackson.

Yesterday was Michael Jackson’s Birthday. The King of Pop, is not usually known for his Love Songs, but one of his best is Lady of My Life (full version).

For Love Tune Tuesday, here are 5 Ways to Make Your Love Grow according to Michael Jackson’s wonderful song.

  • Trust

Just put your trust in my heart and meet me in paradise (NOW is the time.)

  • Work

And baby through the years going to love you more each day!

  • Realistic

No time for castles in space Or living in make believe.

  • Intimacy

Lay your body close to mine.

  • Assurance

You’re my lady all through the night.

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Posted by on August 30, 2016 in Love Tune Tuesday

 

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Strive 2 Succeed Question of the Day – “Me” Time

S2S QOTD! Do you have “me” time scheduled in your marriage?
According to Dr. Jane Greer, relationship expert and author of What About Me? Stop Selfishness From Ruining Your Relationship.
Here are 3 Benefits to scheduled alone time.
  • It fosters Self-Expression.
  • Helps you create your own identity.
  • Brings New Energy to a stale marriage.
  • Helps foster better communication
If you do have frequent alone time, what does it consist of?
If you don’t, why not?
 
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Posted by on August 29, 2016 in Question of the Day

 

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Have you reached out to a friend today?

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Sometimes a friend needs to hear from you just to know you care. It’s more than just FB updates or a quick tweet. ¬†Hearing a friend’s voice can provide peace that a person needs.

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2016 in Empowerment Wednesday

 

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Empowerment Wednesday Vol. 1 – Respect

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If you aren’t receiving the respect you know you deserve. Find out why by asking info@Strive2Succeedcoaching.com

 
 

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Strive 2 Succeed Question Of The Day – Respect

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Today’s Question of the Day is¬†all about respect.

 

How do you show your spouse that you respect them?  What would you like to see from your partner to let you he/she respects you?

 

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2016 in Question of the Day

 

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3 Ways Straight-Talk Can Help Your Marriage

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Honey, Does this dress make me look fat? Now that’s a question most of men aren’t willing to tackle because you know that you might have to stretch the truth in order to keep the peace at home. But, your constant stretching may lead you to start doing it on a regular basis. This lack of direct,honest communication may lead to you to not be trusted by your spouse.

How may you ask? Well let’s go back to the dress scenario. Let’s say you answer ¬†like most men do, and tell your spouse she looks wonderful. While your out on the town together, and she catches you looking at other women that walk by,or if you really don’t show her the attention on your date, then she will have a hard trusting you the next time she asks you something important.

According to Stephen Covey’s ¬†The Speed of Trust there are three reasons why it’s important to be truthful and direct when it comes to relating better to your spouse.

Talking straight is the act of being honest. It tells your spouse that if there is any issue or concern she has, she will be able to trust you will give her honest feedback

Talking¬†Straight¬†can help you leave the right impression. –¬†What that means is how you are communicating to her is so clear, there is no room for interpretation on her part.

Talking Straight will save time and aggravation. РThink about all the time and energy you have wasted over your marriage trying to clarify and convince your spouse that you were telling the truth. If you start to develop a posture of straight-talk it will add years to your life.

If you are having a hard time grasping this concept, answer these questions for me.

  1. What keeps you from talking straight. What type of fear comes to mine?
  2. Are you aware of the type of conversations do you have? How often do you spin?
  3. How often do you find yourself explaining your thoughts with your spouse?
  4. Would you ask her to give you feedback?

 

If you are having trouble answering these question, it might be time to contact a coach for support.  If that is you, please contact me at info@strive2succeedcoaching.com

I would love your feedback..Let me know how I’m doing?

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2016 in Truth Series

 

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The 3 B’s to Restoring Her Trust!

The 3 B’s to Restoring Her Trust!

How many times have you betrayed your spouse’s trust. If I asked you that question, you probably would say, “Only a few times, but it wasn’t that bad.” Man, you are fooling yourself.

If I asked your spouse, she would proabably surprise you with the the number of times you have betrayed her. There are instances¬†she just didn’t mention, because it was expected.

One major reason is that we gain our spouse’s trust through our action and not our words. How many times have we missed the boat on that (me included). It could be as simple as forgetting to lock the doors at night, or something more egregious like cheating on your spouse.

Trust must become a verb in your life. What you say will not have the impact you want if there isn’t action behind it. You can tell you wife, you are working on compromising, but if you continue to undermine her point-of-view then you come across as insincere. You can say you put her first, but if you don’t do them, your word have little meaning and trust is destroyed.

Believe you can change.

Countless marriage have been saved, even transformed when the person that violated the trust was able to restore it. It take a change in mindset. It will help if it become a sense of purpose and you spare no effort to please your wife and enjoy her.

Build up the Trust Bank

You have destroyed trust by withdrawing from the trust bank, now you have to put it back. This may take longer than you expect. One reason is the usually the withdrawals are larger than the deposits you put back in and your deposit may also not have a great a value a you realize. For example, if you have the tendency to be late for events that involve your spouse, then all of sudden you turn that around and start to come on time, you may expect a thing to be all good. What you fail to realize is you not coming on time, may mean something deeper than you know yet.

Be patient

And above all else, try not make anymore withdrawals that will erode the progress have already made.

Over the next few week we will examine 13 plays you must do to build back her trust.

If you feel you have exhausted all of your opportunities and you still haven’t regained her trust, contact me at info@strive2succceedcoaching.com. We will come up with a game plan get her trust back and have the relationship you want and need.

 

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2016 in In the Trenches

 

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5 Reasons Why Saying “I Love You” On Valentine’s Day Could Be A Bad Idea!

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Valentine’s Day couldn’t have been more perfect. You and your date had a romantic dinner. You bought a card that truly expressed your feelings and the night ended with a wonderful night of sex.

Then you said it! I Love You! Deep in your heart you knew you weren’t ready, but you got caught up in the moment. Now that the words are out there in the open, here are 5 reasons why your mouth may have written a check you’re not ready to cash.

When you say “I Love You,” you are telling your partner that the physical attraction and unique bond is so strong, no side-chick can come between you.

When you say “I Love You,” you are telling your partner there is a promise of things to come. You are ready to talk about more than just what movie you are going to see or where you are going to eat for dinner. You are ready to talk about serious topics like marriage and raising a family.

When you say “I Love You,” you intend to stick around. This tell her that you¬†ready to do the little things that make her¬†smile, not just the normal “grand” gestures that usually happen strictly in dating relationships. You¬†are¬†also ready to COMMIT. This is huge especially if you are used to living life.

When you say “I Love You,” you are telling her you plan to put in the work to maintain and strengthen your love despite how crazy or emotional she gets. The more time you spend together, you more time you will get to know each others weaknesses and button points. It will be important that you acknowledge them and not use them to put a wedge in the relationship.

When you say “I Love You,” you are not just checking off the box in the relationship manual. A relationship is a marathon and not a sprint. Even though most days will be filled with love, there are some days not so much. You can’t just throw in the towel when you hit a rough patch. The two of you will have to sit down, communicate and figure out how you make it work.

Valentine’s Day is not just about cards and gifts. ¬†If you tell your woman “I Love You,” you are giving her so much more. Make sure you are ready.

If you are unsure if you are ready to make the next step and you want to make sure, contact me for a free consultation at info@strive2succeedcoaching.com.

 

Coach Keith

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2016 in For My Single Peeps.

 

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Your Relationship is Like Playing In The Paint!

If you have ever watched, or played a basketball game, there is a place on the court that is called “The Paint.” It’s the rectangular area on the court contained within the key. The key is the area that encompasses the middle of the floor underneath the basket. It is often shaded, which explains the origin of the word, and always has a semi-circle attached on the short side opposite the basket.

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In a basketball game this is the area where the big boys play. It’s also one of the most important areas on the basketball court. There is lots of bumping, shoving, and pushing in the paint. It’s also the place where you can get rebounds and score easy baskets. If you can’t master this area in a basketball game, you are less likely to win.

Being in a marriage there is similar to Playing In the Paint. In marriage, there are seven qualities that make it similar to this important part of basketball.

  1. When You Play in the Paint, you have to know your strengths. Dennis Rodman knew he was a great rebounder, and he worked on his craft to make sure he was an asset to his team. In marriage, you need to know your strengths as well as the strength of your partner, to ensure you are pushing each other to be their best self. thHUW9X37H
  2. When You Play in the Paint, you have to be able to trust your teammate. The Boston Celtics of the 80’s are considered one of the top frontcourt tandem of all time. They had ferocious grace and skill, but their best characteristic was they had each other’s back on the court. When you are marriage, you are competing against so much; work, the kids, outside pressures, that you have to be able to trust each other no matter what.
  3. When You Play in the Paint you will get angry. Some of the biggest fights, visible or not will happen in the painted area. It happens when you are in close proximity to each other. Marriage is no different. You are in close proximity to you spouse for the rest of you life. It’s normal. The most important part is how you handle your anger.
  4. When You Play in the Paint you have to be able to talk. It’s the job of the other team to screen and shield you from their player, so they can score. In order to play defense effectively, you will have to be able to communicate. In marriage, communication is the lifeblood to any marriage in order to establish goals and avoid any obstacles that may get in the way of being fulfilled,
  5. When You Play in the Paint you create an identity. The Detroit Pistons of the 90’s where also called the BAD BOYS, because they were known for playing hard nosed basketball and inflicting pain on their court to help provide and edge. In marriage, you want to create a set of core beliefs and principles that you will live by. This will clearly help move in the same direction as your marriage progresses. It was also help you establish a set of principles to pass down once the kids arrive.
  6. When You Play in the Paint  you have to be able to defend. Akeem Olajuwon and Ralph Sampson, aka The Twin Towers, made it almost impossible for offiensive players to score down low. In marriage you have to have a great defense if you are going to make it. In this instance, defense means the ability to handle your finances. If you struggle in this area, you will struggle in marriage.
  7. When You Play in the Paint you develop a special bond. The chemistry among the members that play in the paint can be very fulfilling. This play is taken for granted in a typical basketball game today, since centers are no longer the focal point of the team. In reality, these players are the unsung heroes of any team. In marriage, your sexual bond, is very important, but it is often taken for granted especially when the children, your career and take precedent. By paying attention to this important aspect can help you keep your marriage fresh and interesting.

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Excerpts from this blog is taken from Coach Keith’s upcoming new book In the Paint, How to Win at the Game of Love. If you are in reserving your copy, e-mail him at info@strive2succeedcoaching.com.

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2016 in In the Paint, Uncategorized

 

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Four Ways to Treat Your Husband Like His Favorite NBA Player.

Have you ever wondered when you ask your man a question, or ask him to¬†express his opinion on an important family topic, he gives¬†you the deer in head lights look?¬†In fact wives often feel ignored by their husbands. “He just says mm-hmm, as if he’s listening to me while I’m talking and he’s watching sports.”¬†¬†Why does this occur? This may be due to how the majority of men are raised.

Sports is a place where men begin to experiment true intimacy. According to William Pollack, author of Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood, sports do at least one thing that other activities don’t do. They offer an easily accessible arena in which¬†society’s structures about masculinity are loosened. It is here on the playing field, in the locker room, on the court that boys¬†can show unbounded expression and¬†can be emotionally intimate with other males. They can hug, cry and chest¬†bump without a moment’s worth of self-consciousness.

Sports also give you a clear idea where you stand in the pecking order. You know you are considered one of the best players on the team based on the fact that you are a starter. Their coach, or even their teammates selected them to be captain, which is one of the highest honors you can have as a young man. In shows him he is entrusted with the responsibility of lifting his teammates spirits when the obstacles become challenging.

As he gets older, those actions and feelings lessen as he transitions to manhood and join the ranks of the adult world of work and family. Your man will find other ways to maintain those exuberant feelings by becoming a rabid sports fan. The sports team he began watching as a kid somehow becomes part of his make-up, as if he is part of the team. He will follow every news article, Twitter feed, and sports talk show to keep up with the . When their teams win, they celebrate with them. When their teams lose, they take it harder than the players do.

So if your husband is into sports, you have to treat your marriage like it’s his favorite NBA player and use certain terminology that he will be able to understand.

Treat your man like he is the #1 pick.

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When LeBron James was selected as the #1 pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers, he single-handedly transformed the city over night. On the night he was selected, they showered the Gund arena in Cleveland with glitter instead of¬†torn tickets thrown in frustration from the upper deck. People stood and cheered. They hugged. They held up LeBron promotional fliers. Concession workers began selling James” wine- and-gold Cavaliers” jersey at $50 a pop.

It was excited because even though Cleveland hadn’t won a championship yet, LeBron represented Chance. Hope. Faith.

When you choose to say “I Do”, you are in essence telling your husband that he is the #1 pick and together you will be able to create a stable environment for you and your family during good times and bad. It will be essential that you create an All-In mentality, which means establishing mutual goals the two of you will work to achieve.

Know his strengths and weaknesses.

Elite players in any sport understand what they believe to be their strengths and their weaknesses. What they do is¬†¬†focus on playing to their strengths and improving their short comings. Part of making your husband feel comfortable is understanding his personality. The difference between dating and marriage is the fact that not only will you see his greatness, but also his idiosyncrasies. If some of those negative tendencies don’t mesh with the culture you are trying to establish as a team, there will be conflict. If you don’t address the conflict, you team can become disbanded before it really starts.

Establish a circle of trust.

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Michael Jordan didn’t win a championship until his 7th year in the NBA. One of the biggest reasons was because he didn’t trust his teammates.

In an 1991 article in the Baltimore Sun, Horace Grant explained why it was so hard for Michael to get over this hurdle. “When we first got here, he didn’t have the confidence in us for us to make the big shots,” Grant said. “But since we’ve grown over the years together, he knows that in order for us to become champions, he’s got to get everybody involved. He has confidence in us, so that’s enabled us to go to the basket a lot stronger and not worry about missing shots and things.”

In a marriage, there are no words more important that trust. In a marriage, trust is one of the most powerful forms of motivation, and inspiration. Your spouse wants to be trusted. He responds to your trust. He thrives on your trust. Whatever your situation, you have to be good at establishing, extending and restoring trust. – not as a means of manipulation, but as the most effective way of relating to and working with each other.

Sometimes during a game you have to call a Time out.

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Timeouts are a crucial part of a basketball game and can be the difference between going home with a win or a loss. Every team must learn at what stage of the game their time-out will have the best impact for success. There are several reasons why you may need to call a time out. You might have loss confidence in each other, you might just need to talk about establishing a different strategy as a couple, or you just may need a break from the pressures of marriage and family.

Calling a timeout in your marriage will never show up over the course of your marriage journey, but it will still have an enormous impact.. Of course,not realizing you need a timeout also have an enormous impact as well. Remember it’s your team it’s your call!

Utilizing these simple concepts in your marriage can have an enormous impact on your husband and can be the difference between success and failure. Especially if he is a sports fan.

If you having challenges reaching your husband and need help, inbox me at info@strive2succeedcoaching.com. Some of these concepts are covered in Coach Keith’s upcoming new book In the Paint – How to Win at the Game of Love.

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2016 in In the Paint

 

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Love Letter “E” is for Excuses.

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Have you ever used any of these phrases that started like this:

  • “The reason why I forgot is…..”
  • “It wasn’t my fault. See what happened was…”
  • Don’t blame it on me…”

Sometime and hopefully not often in your relationship we make these excuses when things go wrong. Ultimately with each excuse we are slowly eroding the very thing that’s supposed to keep us together, which is our responsibility. In our society we are so geared toward perfection; picking a perfect husband/wife, having¬†the perfect marriage, raising¬†the perfect family that when mistakes come to the forefront we tend to have an excuse why they happen instead of owning up to them.

One of the good things about mistakes, or obstacles is that help us grow stronger in our relationships and by trying to whisk away problems with excuses only weakens it further.

The longer your partner listens to your excuses, the sooner they will hear them as statements of guilt and not the statements of  innocence in which they were intended. The person being deceived will not be your, but you the excuse maker.

So in order to rebound from a myriad of excuses follow these steps:

  1. You must have an awareness of your tendency to make excuses.
  2. Understand the situation and the reasons why you would justify your actions.
  3. Understand that mistakes aren’t goals, but as an opportunity for growth and illustrate a need to improve your relationship.
  4. Taking responsibility is a choice
  5. By allowing your deed to stand on its own, you will regain the respect even though it may seem difficult in the beginning of this journey.

So if you are a person that has a habit of making excuses and aren’t sure how live an authentic life, contact Coach Keith at info@strive2succeedcoaching.com for a free 30 minute consultation.

 
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Posted by on October 14, 2014 in Love Letter

 

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Love Letter “C” is for Connection.

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For most of us connection is vital to a strong relationship, but sometime fears, insecurities and entrenched habits caused by old pain prevent this flow from occurring.

The best way to circumvent those negative energies from overpowering your relationship is by initiating acts of connection. The best thing about it, is these actions can be done in 30 seconds  or less. To see how, click here.

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2014 in Love Letter

 

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Love Letter “B” is for Body Language

Wedding cake couple standing back to back, arms folded

You or your partner at times should as this question, “Do I want to be perceived as a person that is focused and under control. If the answer is yes then you must look the part before you can play the part.

A partner that gives off signals of vulnerability and insecurity will not act the part. Ultimately you or your partner and eventually your children will recognize the signals.

Wearing one’s heart on your sleeve all the time can be dangerous. Why would any spouse want to project through his/her posture and movement the language of frustration, uncontrolled anger, self-pity, fear, or complacency. You would not, I hope. So by the mere fact that your body is projecting these signals verifies you are distracted and it’s affecting everyday life.

The interesting thing is you may not be aware of the signals you are giving off, but the people around you are.

Take a basketball player who is so confident that it doesn’t matter how, or where he shoots he knows it’s going to go in. But when he is going bad, he is reluctant to shoot, or will constantly look to pass the ball to others, even though he is wide open. Now, the defense, or the person guarding that player will almost taunt him to shoot because in his heart, he knows that he won’t because he has lost confidence.

If a marriage, it is a vital part of communication that you learn to pick up on your partner’s cues. Remember 55 percent of communication happens through body language. This includes body and facial orientation, posture, shifting, leaning and touching.  The ability to assign meaning to your partner’s body language can improve both emotional and physical intimacy and help your marriage thrive.

Over the course of the week, think about your body language and the messages that it sends to your spouse. .Although it may feel hard at first, concentrate on expressing good feelings and appreciation through body language. Here are some ideas of where to start.

  • Add a good-bye hug and kiss before work.
  • Add a sustained kiss, not a peck
  • Show admiration and interest in your partner through your eyes
  • Lean forward to show good listening skills when communicating with your spouse
  • Evaluate how often you¬†fold arms across the chest like a barrier
  • Relax and smile with mouth, cheeks and eyes
 
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Posted by on September 8, 2014 in Love Letter

 

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Abusive Relationships: The NFL’s Domestic Violence Policy | Keith Dent | YourTango

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Since Greg Hardy has been in the news this week, I figured I would send you an article about what the¬†NFL’s should do around creating a new Domestic Violence policy? ¬†Here is my take on what changes could be made to be more pro-active from the Commish’s office.

Abusive Relationships: The NFL’s Domestic Violence Policy | Keith Dent | YourTango.

 
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Posted by on September 4, 2014 in In the Trenches, Uncategorized

 

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A May-December Romance – A Tragic Love Story!

V. Stiviano and Los Angeles Clippers owner, Donald Sterling had a May-December romance that has gone tragically wrong. Ms. Stiviano¬†was being sued by his ex-wife even though she was aware of their arrangement. Mr. Sterling’s remarks about his feelings about African Americans was recorded which led him to being banned by the NBA for life.¬†

Read more here on why this love story went tragically wrong. 

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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S2S Song of the Night – “You Know How to Make Me” – In order to Love takes vulnerability.

In order to have REAL you have to be vulnerable.

Vulnerable to Give!
Vulnerable to Receive!

Vulnerable to Lead!
Vulnerable to Receive!

Vulnerable to hurt!
Vulnerable to be hurt!

Vulnerable to teach!
Vulnerable to learn!

Vulnerable to talk!
Vulnerable to listen!

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2014 in The Ultimate Love Song

 

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The strength of a new marriage in the Indian community relies on taking seven steps.

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This past weekend, I attended my first Indian wedding, and it was one of the best weddings I have ever attended. Most of my delight was based on 7 steps the couple must take to develop a strong and healthy marriage.

What was so energizing was the love and the playfulness the new couple had for each other and the love that the over 300 guests had for them. The wedding ceremonies took place over a couple of days and there were several speeches that gave friends and family many opportunities to show their love toward the happy couple.

When we finally got to the wedding it was so picturesque inside and out with all the beautiful decorations inside the ballroom at the Breakers Hotel in West Palm Beach, Florida and the wonderful view looking toward the Atlantic Ocean.venetian07

The most beautiful thing of all was the wedding ceremony itself. Even though it was in Sanskrit and as a non-Hindu, I couldn’t understand 99% of what was being said. What helped was the descriptive program the bride and groom provided all their guests. The wedding ceremony was broken up into 8 sections. The one section that caught my eye was the “Sapthapadi” (The seven steps of Holy Matrimony). The purpose of these steps are declare your love to each other that they have accepted one another voluntarily.The seven steps symbolized these seven sacred vows.

  • The first step is for a pure household.
  • The second step is for mental, physical, and spiritual strengths
  • The third step is for wealth
  • The fourth step is for knowledge, happiness, and harmony
  • The fifth step is for virtuous, intelligent and courageous children
  • The sixth step is for longevity
  • The final and seventh step is for lifelong companionship

What’s so great about these steps is they don’t just have the couple concentrate on their devotion to each other as a couple, but they include the characteristics of what a healthy marriage should include. Even though divorce in the Indian community still remains taboo, I think it’s primarily not an issue based on the ceremony itself. If we could somehow include these words in our vows I wonder if our marriages would be stronger.Bride and groom holding hands on steps

What do you think about the seven steps?

Coach Keith

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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S2S of the Night – The Girl Next Door

When I was in 5th grade, I along with a young girl named Scherezade were the only black students in our 5th grade in Texas. Of course, everyone teased me saying that we were boyfriend and girlfriend. I, of course, wanted nothing to do with her, even though she was cute.

Fast forward, 10 years later when I saw her on a visit back to Texas. What I felt was echoed in the lyrics of this song.

If I would’ve knew the girl next door
Would’ve been you
I would’ve been nice to you
A little more kind to you
I would’ve looked twice at you
If I would’ve knew the girl next door
Would’ve been you
I probably would’ve shared my grub
Depending on how close we was
By now we would be so in love

Do you have a boy or girl that you couldn’t stand that looked absolutely wonderful years later?

 
 

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S2S Song of Night – Always and Forever (When was Your First Time?)

I remember the first time I heard a love song and thought of a girl. Her name was Sonia Rodriguez and I had to nerve to sing to her at the 3rd grade dance.

I remember mouthing these lyrics and trying to hit the high notes at the end.

Always and forever, each moment with you
Is just like a dream to met that somehow came true
And I know tomorrow will still be the same
‘Cause we’ve got a life of love that won’t ever change and

Everyday, love me your own special way
Melt all my heart away with a smile
Take time to tell me, you really care
And we’ll share tomorrow, together
I’ll always love you forever, forever

Unfortunately, it didn’t work, but It would be the first of many songs that would remind me about LOVE.

When was the first time you heard a song that made to thing about someone special.

 
 

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iLoveStrong’s Top Super Bowl Commercials 2014

The Super Bowl Commercials this year were very similar to the game. Very boring. Who knew that you could have so many car commercials jammed into one football game. Since Strive 2 Succeed in Marriage & Coach Keith love sports and relationships, , we were able to find some great one’s that focused on Love, just like last year’s¬†post. Here they are!

Honorable Mention – Bad Prom Night (Turbo Tax)- Because I had one of these, my junior year.

# 5 – The Stud Cow – You know I have to throw the one sexually explicit commercial in there. Since it’s all about relationships.

#4 –¬†Puppy Love¬†– I loved this commercial because sometimes even though we may seem incompatible to other people, we can’t help who are friends are, or who we Love.

#3 – Make Love not War (Axe Commercial) – This was good because, you weren’t expecting the outcome. Sometime’s that is how love is. It’s not always nice and neat.

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#2 РCheerios РThis commercial was fantastic because it had a gamut of emotions. I was glad they did another commercial especially  since the first commercial that introduced this family had so many haters. It was great to see the love of this interracial couple and the love between father and daughter.

#1 – Tuesday is World Cancer Day – With no words being said, this was clearly my favorite commercial. As the husband was driving miles to take his wife to her cancer treatment. ¬†That’s pure love right there. Don’t Leave, that’s what you asked of me! Priceless.

 

Which ads spoke to you tonight when it comes to LOVE? Discuss!

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2014 in Marriage Madness

 

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S2S Song of the Night – Daughters -John Mayer

My heart is a little heavy this evening. PG is leaving on Thursday to support a friend who lost her niece last week. She was just a senior in high school.

As I think about her and the recent death of Avonte Oquendo, it helps me to realize that the relationship between PG and me, not only extends to the two of us, but to our kids as well. If our relationship isn’t strong, it will affect how we relate with our kids.

Sometimes, divorce is inevitable, but if you have a plan for raising your children, they can thrive. On this night, I will think of the young girl the way John Mayer sings about it in ‘Daughters’

She puts the color inside of my world
But she’s just like a maze
Where all of the walls all continually change
And I’ve done all I can
To stand on her steps with my heart in my hands
Now I’m starting to see
Maybe it’s got nothing to do with me

Fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers, be good to your daughters too

RIP Syn and Avonte

Coach Keith

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2014 in The Ultimate Love Song

 

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S2S song of the Night – Hey Laura! Gregory Porter – Missed Opportunities

When it comes to love & relationships, we miss out on so many opportunities and there are 7 reasons why?

1. We get desperate and settle.
2.We go for Mr. Wrong and we let Mr. Right pass us by.
3. We get caught up into the game and not the reality.
4. We want it all too soon.
5. We are afraid. Can this really be true.
6. We expected too much.
7. If only we could change him/her a little to fit what we need.

The type of mistakes may cause you to feel how Gregory Porter feels about Laura. If that is you check out Coach Keith and schedule a chat session.

Hey¬†Laura it’s me sorry but I had to ring your doorbell so late

But there’s something bothering me I really am sorry but it just couldn’t wait
Is there someone else instead of me go ahead and lie to me
And I will believe your not in love with him
And this bloke can see, that the rivers of your love flow up here to me

 
 

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Mature Love has no surprises – 21 Questions you must ask before you tie the knot. – Part 2

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I hope you had a stimulating conversation with your partner around 21 Questions you must ask before you tie the knot – Part 1. Today we will explore list the final 11 questions that will help gain clarity on the type of marriage/relationship you want to have with your partner.

Remember, there are no right or wrong answers here! The questions are designed to generate discussion to a stronger relationship. Write if you AGREE or DISAGREE with each statement.

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11. If the phone rings, you should stop what you’re doing and answer it, even if you are eating dinner, talking with your partner, watching a movie together or cuddling.

12. If a close friend needs money, you open your wallet, no questions asked.

13. Casual flirting at parties is harmless.

14. You should feel free to discuss problems in your marriage with a close friend or family member whom you trust.

15. You enjoy receiving spontaneous invitations to go out with friends.

16. It’s okay if your partner invites a friend to your home without asking you.

17. It’s okay for you or your partner to have friends with the opposite sex.

18. You prefer vacationing with friends rather than as a couple.

19. You can’t bear to disappoint your mother.

20 If your parents lend you money to buy a home, they should have a say in your purchase.

21. Your spouse should always comes first, no matter what.

Now that you have completed both parts of the exercise, talk about one’s you agreed with and discuss why you gave your particular answer. This will strengthen unity prior to the big day. Then discuss the one’s where your answers were different. Decide which partner will go first and give them ample time to explain their answer without interruption.

The role of this exercise is to acknowledge the areas where you have agreements and disagreements, and get into the habit of talking about how you will live your daily lives given the information each of you provided.

When couples can embrace their differences, they can more easily face conflict without putting a wedge between their marriage.

Don’t let a few differences keep you from having the marriage you truly want. Coach Keith can help empower your marriage.

“Create your future from your future, not your past” – Werner Erhard

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Mature Love has no surprises – 21 Questions you must ask before you tie the knot. – Part 1

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In order to determine if you have love that is mature, you have to realize that your partner will bring his or her own ideas about to relate to others in the day-to-day course of your lives. You’ve had your own ideals on what marriage and partnership should be like, unless you lived together. I can also venture a guess that you never discussed your ideas with one another and expected that your marriage bond would just automatically make things perfect.

So take this time to answer Part 1 of these questions.  Decide if you AGREE or DISAGREE with these statements and if you can do it separately, that would be great.

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1.Work will always take precedence over relaxing together.

2. A platonic friendship with an ex is harmless as long as we’ve met each other.

3. It’s important to have close friends in common.

4. Holidays are times when extended family should gather.

5. Birthday and anniversary celebrations are important.

6. Entertaining is fun

7. It’s important to socialize with a spouse’s work colleagues.

8. It’s important to live close to your families.

9. When a family or close friends visit from out-of-town, they should expect to stay at your home, as long as you have room.

10. Your door is always open to family and close friends, even if they don’t call in advance.

Look forward to Part 2.

Coach Keith

 

 

Keith Dent is the CEO of Strive 2 Succeed Coaching. He works ¬†with couples to help them achieve the kind of relationship they envisioned when they first made their commitment to each other. Strengthening communication and revitalizing their understanding and empathy for each other helps couples regain the romance and closeness they long for ‚Äď even in their everyday ‚Äúreal‚ÄĚ world.
 
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Posted by on January 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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S2S Song of the Night – Heart to Heart.

When there are problems in your relationship, you can’t always demand that your partner bring their whole heart in order for things to get better.¬†You have to bring yours too! As so eloquently sung by Kenny Loggins.

Darlin’
Tell the truth
Don’t turn away
This is our last chance
To touch each others heart
Does anything last forever
I don’t know
Maybe we’re near the end
(So come and tell me)
So darlin’
Oh, how can we go on together
Now that we’ve grown apart
Well the only way to start
Is heart to heart

 
 

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When you are married, you some day have to Grow Up: How to distinquish childish love vs. mature love.

It hasn’t been a good month for relationships so far in January 2014. An Italian man asked to go to jail over living under “house arrest” with his wife and Dwayne Wade had to inform his newly engaged fianc√© that he recently fathered a love child.

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You may be wondering what is the big deal, or you may be so outraged as my man MoKelly was in his blog the Mo’Kelly report to just throw up your hands and say there is just no hope.

I say it comes down to one thing, mature love vs. childish love. A lot of people enter into love relationships for the wrong reasons. They bring the same vulnerabilities and emotional feelings they had as children. With that mindset, the same behaviors go along with it. As a child, who is unable to meet his/her needs, his caretakers or in this case his/her partner become all-powerful and expressions of praise and approval become emotional blankets.

Dr. Harville Hendrix states very eloquently that we unconsciously choose mates who reflect both positive and negative qualities of our original caretakers, in order to resolve the unfinished business of our childhood. That’s why people so often say “I knew she was the one as soon as I laid eyes on her” or “I felt as if I’d known him all m life.”

So what type of love relationship do you have?  Here are a few 5 examples:

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Childish Love                                                      vs.                         Mature Love

You fear abandonment.                                                                     You are secure and can tolerate feelings                                                                                                       of sadness and anxiety without being                                                                                                           consumed by them.

You need constant reinforcement that                                                 You trust that you are loved and don’t  you are loved.                                                                                  constantly search for proof.

You have no control over your emotions                                               You accept that you has flaws as well as others and you easily humiliated.                                                    do too and are not devastated and fearful when you make mistakes.

You fear change and resist stretching yourself.                                      You know that stretching outside your                                                                                                          comfort zone is good for you and                                                                                                                  overall  well-being.

You will do anything not to lose your relationship                                    You can accept loss, but never                                                                                                                     yourself.

Most relationships can work if you show up and commit yourself to grow up!

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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S2S Song of the Night – Come away with me!

Some time you just have to drop everything and tend to your relationship Norah Jones eloquently states in her video.

And I want to wake up with the rain
Falling on a tin roof
While I’m safe there in your arms
So all I ask is for you
To come away with me in the night
Come away with me

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2014 in The Ultimate Love Song

 

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When a kiss is more than a kiss! (Beyond Parenthood)

I usually don’t blog about the latest events on TV unless absolutely necessary, but a show that I watch had a very important topic that I felt my fellow Strivers would want to discuss.

In last night’s episode of Parenthood, Julia Braverman-Graham, played by Erika Christenson, best known for playing the crazy young Madison Bell on Swimfan confesses to her husband, Joel Graham (Sam Jaeger) that she was kissed by Ed (David Denman from The Office).

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What struck me about the issue was the raw emotion that was portrayed when a partner s feelings that their marriage isn’t right becomes realized when the truth is revealed by the other.

Later in the episode, as Julia attempts to reconcile with her husband and to “fix” things as she so often does mentions that she has contacted a marriage counselor for help. Joel vehemently admits that counseling isn’t necessary. He states, “No, I don’t want to see a marriage counselor because the problem isn’t the marriage, the problem is you!” “Ever since you lost your job, I don’t even know who you are.” He ends with, “You want to fix it, but I don’t think it can be fixed.”

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Powerful words coming from the man who originally wasn’t the breadwinner in the family due to his wife’s profile job, but was given the opportunity to do step up and he paid for it.

One item I would like to discuss was that he felt that his wife hadn’t been the same since she lost her job, but he never discussed it with her?

Should he have done so? If that happened in your relationship, how would you have address the life change?

 
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Posted by on January 10, 2014 in Parenthood

 

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All IN for 2014

Cause all of me

Loves all of you
Love your curves and all your edges
All your perfect imperfections
Give your all to me
I’ll give my all to you
You’re my end and my beginning
Even when I lose I’m winning
Cause I give you all of me
And you give me all of you, oh

In 2014, what will you have to give all of yourself to your partner?

Coach Keith

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2014 in The Ultimate Love Song

 

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Start 2014 off right with Strive 2 Succeed Coaching..Here’s proof it works.

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Hello Strivers! Today I received a nice note from a client based on my working with them. It’s great to here when clients are doing well especially after not hearing from them in a couple of months. ¬†Here is what they said:

I had a positive experience with my coaching services provided by Strive 2 Succeed. The sessions served as a mutual platform where I can express my concerns and not feel judged or attacked.
During each session I was given simple tools that I was able to carry-over in my day-to-day marital interactions. I was challenged to think about myself and my relationship in ways that I haven’t thought of previously. I am so happy that I took the chance and sought out the coaching services with Strive 2 Succeed.
-K.W.
 What goals would you like to achieve in your marriage for 2014?
How can Strive 2 Succeed Coaching help?
I hope everyone has a happy and safe New Year. And I look forward to sharing some great new posts and series during the new year.
Coach Keith
Keith Dent is the CEO of Strive 2 Succeed Coaching. He works ¬†with couples to help them achieve the kind of relationship they envisioned when they first made their commitment to each other. Strengthening communication and revitalizing their understanding and empathy for each other helps couples regain the romance and closeness they long for ‚Äď even in their everyday ‚Äúreal‚ÄĚ world.
 
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Posted by on December 31, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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In the Trenches: How 5 leadership qualities from Tom Brady can help improve your relationship!

If anyone could’ve have thrown in the towel this year it would be New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

Gone are¬†Wes Welker¬†(signed¬†with the Broncos),¬†Brandon Lloyd¬†(released¬†in March, still unsigned) and¬†Danny Woodhead¬†(now with¬†the Chargers). Tight ends¬†Rob Gronkowski¬†andAaron Hernandez¬†could be sidelined for completely different reasons; the former is recovering from his latest surgery —¬†this time on his back¬†— and the latter was arrested Wednesday,¬†charged with murder¬†and released by the team.

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Instead, he turned his obstacles into triumph, as the Patriots clinched the AFC East division title for the fifth straight year and is trying to gain the #1 seed in the final week of the season.

You may wonder despite the obstacles Tom Brady faced at the beginning of the year, how was he still able to be great. Perhaps 2013, wasn’t the best year for your marriage or relationship and you are hoping that it returns to greatness. You might want to take a page from Tom Brady’s leadership style to help your relationship get back on track.

  1. Work hard.¬†We’ve heard that marriage/relationships are hard work and yet we still might not do what the work that is necessary in our relationships. Tom Brady sets the tone by working hard every day and pays attention to the littlest details.
  2. Takes¬†control, but doesn’t take over.¬†One issue that may challenge our relationship is if we feel that our partner isn’t working hard enough around certain things i.e. the household, or raising the children, we may just take control of the situation and do it ourselves. What makes Tom Brady great as a leader is that he knows when to step in, when to pull back and when to motivate the entire team. He also knows when to let others do their job and hold them accountable for it.
  3. Takes¬†ownership for his mistakes.¬†Tom Brady knew this year would be different. As we stated earlier, Brady had lost his top five receivers. With new receivers like Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins, he understood their would be some growing pains and frustration. Did he throw them under the bus, when they didn’t meet his expectations, no! He took ownership for his own failures. Earlier in the season he stated,

    “I‚Äôm not making all the right plays, either,” Brady told WEEI radio. “It‚Äôs not like the rookie receivers are messing up all the time — no, not at all. Look, I‚Äôve been really able to count on those guys. They‚Äôve done an incredible job. I think we‚Äôve got to improve in all aspects of our offense, and that will hopefully remove some of the burden that is fallen on the receivers right now.¬†We have a lot of veteran players that aren‚Äôt playing right now, too, that if they were playing, the burden would be spread around to different guys who have actually been able to, would shoulder a lot of that responsibility that‚Äôs now fallen on the younger players.

    “And the younger players are doing a great job. They‚Äôre working really hard. Their attitude is great. It‚Äôs been fun to work with them. Hopefully it all pays off in November and December when if we can ever get to a point

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    ¬†where we have a lot of our guys back and healthy and playing really well.”

  4. Communication.¬†Communication isn’t just about talking to each other, it’s much more. It’s knowing and understanding your partners non-verbal cues and trying to get on the samepage. This year when working with the new receivers, Tom Brady took on a new role as teacher to constantly instill what the expectations were and how patience and constant practice would pay dividends toward the end of the season when it counted most.
  5. Make time for your priorities.¬†Finally on order for your marriage/relationship to get back on track, it must become a priority. When Tom Brady is on the field, he is working and it’s all business. When he is off the field, it’s all about family.Screen-shot-2013-05-21-at-3.07.56-PM

If your relationship was a little rocky this past year, what quality from Tom Brady can you use to get back on track for 2014.

Coach Keith

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2013 in In the Trenches, Uncategorized

 

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Don’t let the Holidays force you into bad choices.

ImageNow that Thanksgiving is over, we are quickly moving to the Christmas holidays and ringing in 2014. So that means countless office parties, winter weddings and holiday soirees, What that also means is that means another opportunity to meet the love of your life, or to end another year where you will check “single” on your 1040-EZ form.

Fear of being alone can cause people to make bad choices when it comes to relationships. In fact according to a  new study by the University of Toronto (U of T) study has found published in the December edition of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found fear of being single is a meaningful predictor of settling for less in relationships among both men and women.

“Those with stronger fears about being single are willing to settle for less in their relationships,” says lead author Stephanie Spielmann, postdoctoral researcher in the University of Toronto’s Department of Psychology. “Sometimes they stay in relationships they aren’t happy in, and sometimes they want to date people who aren’t very good for them.” She adds, “Now we understand that people’s anxieties about being single seem to play a key role in these types of unhealthy relationship behaviors.”

“In our results we see men and women having similar concerns about being single, which lead to similar coping behaviors, contradicting the idea that only women struggle with a fear of being single,” says co-author, Professor Geoff MacDonald of the University of Toronto’s Department of Psychology. “Loneliness is a painful experience for both men and women, so it’s not surprising that the fear of being single seems not to discriminate on the basis of gender.”

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So if you fill the tug at your heart to settle for someone who might not be worthy of your time, Here are some tips to avoid a potential bad choice.

  1. Educate yourself! The mainstream media this time of year is filled with really unhealthy messages regarding relationships, for example that you need another person to make the holidays complete. These romantic notions work great in books and the Hallmark channel but are highly destructive if taken literally. You are always a whole and indivisible being, capable of immense self-love, self acceptance and self sexuality.
  2. Tell yourself you are making a choice to be single! This is a paradigm shift that may help you in the long run. By consciously making the choice, if will shift the way you view your life and how you live it when it comes to sharing it with your co-workers, family and friends.
  3. Be self disciplined! Instead of remaining the victim of your own fear of being single, take control! Tell yourself that you will actively remain single for a the holidays. If you do plan to date, try to make sure the dates give are fun and give you ample time to get know someone.
  4. Do what you want! In the end your relationship status is a personal choice, there is no right or wrong, no good or bad. Instead of being the victim of cultural assumptions and societal norms, take the time to find out how you really would like to engage with other people. What kind of status would you choose if there was no pressure, no assumptions? Take your time and find what’s best for you. If you think something is a good idea then there have already been many others who think the same, and have most likely blazed a trail for you to follow. The way you engage in relationships, or don’t is not what’s important, the important thing is doing in consciously, and doing what’s right for YOU!
  5. It’s ALWAYS better to be single than to start a bad relationship! There’s not much more to say here. Getting into,or an unhealthy, bad relationship simply out of a fear of being alone is a really bad idea. It takes a lot of courage to take that leap into being single, but it’s always, 100% of the time worth it when the relationship is causing more harm than good.

Strivers has there ever been a time where you wanted to get into a relationship out of fear of being alone? What did you do to avoid it?

Let’s make the holiday season a great one.

Coach Keith

 
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Posted by on December 3, 2013 in For My Single Peeps.

 

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3 tips to manage your first holiday as a married couple.

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I remember my first Thanksgiving, married to ‘PG’ as if it was yesterday. We crammed about 15 people in our cramped one-bedroom apartment. We rented tables and chairs so we could serve our guests and even played a fierce gave of Taboo. Oh, the memories, but it was also a source of anxiety. So much so, that we haven’t hosted a Thanksgiving since.

If you just got married in 2013, this is the first time you will be celebrating the holidays as a married couple. The holidays are a great time to re-unite with your respective families, but it can also be a time where you feel anxious, fearful and tense depending on the expectations each family puts upon you.

Acknowledging some of your feelings to your partner can help alleviate the tension the two of you may develop over the long holiday weekend. I just worked with a couple and one of their goals was to begin to create memories as a family as opposed to relying strictly on their extended families to create a wonderful event.

Here are three tips to keep in mind when you embark on your first holiday season as a married couple.

  1. Make an effort to maintain transparency. – Since this is your first time hosting Thanksgiving, or going to your respective in-laws as a married couple, the holidays are a time to catch up and to take stock in you year. You may hear such things as, “Are you thinking about buying a house?” “When are you going to start thinking about having a baby?” ¬† According to Suzanne Lachmann, Psy D. in NYC¬†The holidays can create a feeling of transparency in front of your seemingly judgmental tribe of family and friends. All the troubles you wanted to keep concealed seem to become exposed, or feel like they will. It‚Äôs as if you‚Äôre suddenly forced to share parts of yourself that make you feel¬†shame. If you convey your transparency as part of your journey it will help you to alleviate the parts of your life were you haven’t reached your milestones as of yet.
  2. The anticipation of being sentimental. – Good, as well as bad memories are usually made during the holidays. There’s a pressure to expect the holiday season to be fantastic, especially as the first year as a married couple. Memories aren’t something you conjure up in advance. You have to live in the moment. So in order to calm, yourself during this time, think how you can just enjoy the weekend. ¬†Apply some of what you would normally do in your day if no family is around. That might include things like: going for your afternoon jog, or visiting your favorite coffee shop.
  3. Maintain expectations. – In your first year of,¬†there‚Äôs another less-explored pressured experience that comes with the expectations of¬†being¬†the child or guest. The expectation is to demonstrate that you‚Äôre marriage is ‚Äúgoing well‚ÄĚ or to show your love and affection toward one another, despite what may be going on in your marriage. Most couples don’t realize how challenging the first year of marriage can be and your friends won’t ¬†either. You play your part in order to impress, appease, or decrease others‚Äô anxiety. Discuss with your spouse how you will approach a sensitive topic that may provide anxiety hope for keep you from feeling transparent.

Once you acknowledge and then work towards accepting that the holidays set an unrealistic standard for transparency, sentimentalism and expectations and created strategies on how to deal with them as a couple, you may find yourself able to let go and live in the moment. Ironically, by releasing your view on the holiday spirit should be, you may find the memories that you desire.

Coach Keith

Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Did you know women between 16-24 in the U.S. are 3x as likely to be DV victims? See why!

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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In the Trenches – How do I help them forget about the Ex.?

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In 2012, after 14 years of marriage, the Indianapolis Colts felt it was time to move on. Sent packing by his only NFL team, one he transformed from afterthought to Super Bowl champion, Peyton Manning said goodbye to the Indianapolis Colts with a shaky voice and tear-filled eyes, then got ready to find a new place to play quarterback.

“Nobody loves their job more than I do. Nobody loves playing quarterback more than I do. I still want to play. But there is no other team I wanted to play for,” said Manning, who turns 36 this month.

This Sunday, Peyton Manning will return to the place where he called home amidst a lot of fanfare. Some of the Indianapolis Colt fans are really looking forward to his return, but not in a way that you would think. Angie Six, devoted Colts fan, and blogger puts it this way.

In college I fell in love with a sports fan, and his enthusiasm was contagious.  Shortly, after I we got married, we moved to Tennessee. It was 1997, we were in the middle of SEC country, and a kid named Peyton Manning was king. There was something about the guy I couldn’t resist. His dorkiness, his antics at the line of scrimmage, his work ethic, those commercials. I watched football just to watch him, and suddenly found myself caring about the rules, the players, and other teams. But it was mostly about Peyton.

Come Sunday, my loyalty is with the Colts. Peyton is the big brother who left for college when you were a kid. Now he’s back. You missed him like crazy, but you can’t wait to show him how big and strong you got while he was gone. You want to wrestle him, pin him to the ground, and then hug it out.

With all the attention focused on Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck, the Colt’s current quarterback has rarely been mentioned in the conversation. But,

Luck is dealing with something Manning never had to contend with: following an icon. He could go on to have a very good NFL career and still fall short of the standard set by his predecessor.

According to Brandi Mitchell, author of the The Blended Family Survival Guide, blended families have become the new norm.

More and more people are having children before marriage, and the reality is that most people who do have children before marriage, end up marrying someone other than the parent of their child. Add to that the rising rate of divorce and remarriages and about 1300 new blended families are created in the U.S. everyday.

In fact statistics show that:

‚ÄĘ 50 percent of all Americans are involved in some type of blended or stepfamily relationship, which is about 75 million Americans.

‚ÄĘ 30 million children under the age of 13 are currently living with one biological parent and that parents current partner.

‚ÄĘ And, 1 in 3 people are a stepchild, stepsibling, or stepparent.

Many people are also getting married later in life, which means the chances are extremely high that when they do marry someone or get in a serious relationship, that person (or sometimes both people) will usually have a child, sometimes  MORE THAN one child with them.

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So, if you are a new spouse replacing an ex. that was so revered, how do you start to carve your place into the family. In our In the Trenches segment, here are some tips:

Establish your own Love Bank style.

According to Dr. Harley, author of His Need/Her Need there is a place within each of us is a Love Bank that keeps track of the way each person treats us. Everyone we know has an account and the things they do either deposit or withdraw love units from their accounts. It’s your emotions’ way of encouraging you to be with those who make you happy. When you associate someone with good feelings, deposits are made into that person’s account in your Love Bank. And when the Love Bank reaches a certain level of deposits (the romantic love threshold), the feeling of love is triggered. As long as your Love Bank balance remains above that threshold, you will experience the feeling of love.

Acknowledge the challenge.

You knew that your spouse was bringing a child from a previous relationship into the marriage, so that part of your situation can’t be a shock, just like Andrew did, when he was given the reigns as the Colts starting quarterback. If you’re shocked about having to come up with a plan to resolve difficulties, get over it! Nobody said this would be an easy hill to climb. You need to sit down with your spouse to discuss money, discipline, childcare and any other issues that you haven’t mutually agreed upon yet.

Create a personal relationship.

Make a commitment to developing a relationship with your stepchild that has nothing to do with your spouse. Set aside some special time in which you and the child can interact alone. You also need to stop thinking of your stepchild as “his/her kid” and regard the child as an individual. Make no doubt about it, you are a pivotal person in that child’s life.

Andrew Luck

Being interviewed before his Sunday Night match-up Luck had this to say,¬†‚ÄúI figured if you can take of your business, if you can hopefully win some football games then it becomes easier on that end.‚ÄĚ

And the same goes for you as the new partner in a blended family. If you can take care of business, and enjoy some wins with the family, it will become easier over the years.

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2013 in In the Trenches, Uncategorized

 

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In the Trenches – Never Give UP!

Just when you think the game is all over, a miracle happens. Yesterday, in the region of New England, the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots pulled out the most improbable wins in their games yesterday. According to ESPN Boston, with 1:20 seconds left in the game, the New England Patriots had a 5.3% chance of winning the game, while the Boston Red Sox after not even remotely scoring a run had a 3.8% chance to win trailing the Detroit Tigers 5-1 in the 8th inning.

In dating, I am sure there have been times where you decided there was no hope in finding a partner and felt that it was time to give up. In fact , according to the 2012 study by the National Center for Health Statistics, over 40% of women and 16% men will have never marry and get the feeling that it’s time to just focus on my career or being the best aunt and uncle I can be. When you are In the Trenches and feel that way, think about these two games and these 4 tips that will help you to never give up.

Tip #1 РHave a game plan and stick to it.  

If you are dating on your own, or have turned to on-line dating, have a game plan for the type of partner that compliments you and not completes you because you are already complete, and stick to it. The longer you go without a partner the tendency you have to stay with the first one that shows just a little interest even though he/she isn’t right for you. This weekend I came across a Amy Webb from a Ted Talk episode that did made sure she stuck to her guns.

Tip #2 – It takes only one.

We always think that we have to meet so many men/women in order to find the one. In reality, you only need to meet one, but he/she just has to be the right one. So if you put your best foot forward, and over time if you can minimize your anxious/avoidant behavior. (See my Attachment Series)

Tip #3 – Never Give Up.

031021soxfan2Despite what the your fans (family & friends) may it will never happen, you have to keep believing it will. It may take months, or years, but once it does, you will be overjoyed when it does. Just ask the RED SOX and Patriots Fans last night.

If you are in the trenches, can you remember a time when you thought there was no chance you would be in a relationship?  I would love to hear your story.

Coach Keith

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2013 in In the Trenches, Uncategorized

 

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5 reasons why a WedLease still leaves you empty?

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Paul Rampell is a lawyer in Palm Beach who specializes in estate planning wrote an Op-Ed piece in the Washington Post about the possibility of WedLeases over marriage.

Marriage is a legal partnership that is supposed to last a lifetime ‚ÄĒ one lifetime to be exact, that of the first of the spouses to die. Rampell felt that generally speaking, that is too long time for any partnership. Our behavior dictates that people, circumstances and all sorts of other things change. The compatibility of any two people over decades may decline with these changes to the point of extinction.

So we should borrow from real estate and create a marital lease? Instead of wedlock, a ‚Äúwedlease.‚ÄĚ

Here‚Äôs how a marital lease could work: Two people commit themselves to marriage for a period of years ‚ÄĒ one year, five years, 10 years, whatever term suits them. The marital lease could be renewed at the end of the term however many times a couple likes. It could end up lasting a lifetime if the relationship is good and worth continuing. But if the relationship is bad, the couple could go their separate ways at the end of the term. The messiness of divorces is¬†avoided and the end can be as simple as vacating a rental unit.

So like In real estate, why don’t we have the option for shorter term marriages. For example, since we have become accustomed to prenuptial agreements and postnuptial agreements, why not a marital lease to help minimize the high divorce rate.

Here are 5 reasons why a WedLease will still leave you empty.

  1. WEdLease contract won’t stop the pain. – If there are two people involved in marriage, there is bound to be some pain at some point, whether it be the first year of marriage or in 20 years. The benefit of marriage, is to hunker down and work through it.
  2. Limits on time and increase the distance. ¬†If you aren’t really vested in the marriage, you will bide your time until the WedLease ends. How will you do that by putting as much distance between your lease spouse as possible. In a marriage, it is your responsibility to work hard every day to keep it fresh.
  3. No opportunity to repair the damage. ¬†Even after the WedLease has ended due to a bad 5 years, you will still pay for the damage to the other partner. It’s always great to hear when couples continue to thrive in a marriage even after they had a serious setback.
  4. You are constantly keeping score. When you enter into a WedLease agreement, you will continuously be keeping score. So if you decide to renew for another 5 years, you, or your partner will make sure you get what you deserve as a result of each and every misstep by the other. Marriage is supposed to be about partnership. Teamwork!  When you win, your partner wins.
  5. You are constantly¬†accommodating¬†and not growing! When you enter into a marriage, it’s with another human being. With any team, you have to work together awhile before you start to kick in on all cylinders. It’s very empowering when you see your partner grow for the better and you feel you had a part in that. ¬†In a WedLease, you would have to constantly accomodate the other partner until you feel comfortable.

Would you support a WedLease? What terms would be crucial for its success?

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 4, 2013 in iLoveStrong QoTD, Uncategorized

 

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Letter to My Younger Married Self – It’s Just Right!

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Dear 26 year-old Carrie,

 

I send this to you to let you know that you’re doing the right thing.

I know how precious that feeling is to you.  I know that, even as you are in your early twenties and so unsure of what life holds after college, you know that you want to do the right thing.  Above all else, it is this desire that propels you in everything you do.  I should know, young Carrie, as I’m you many years down the road.

Joe is right for you.  And you can’t see it now, but he’ll be better than others that are coming down the pike.  He doesn’t look like the type you dream of, but he’ll outshine all of them.  Not because he’s taller or stronger, although he will be taller and stronger than every other guy you meet.  He won’t outshine the rest because he’s smarter than most, although he is.  And he’s not better because of his position in society or his money.

 

He’s better because he will accept you for you.  You know what I’m talking about.  That secret world you have inside of you that nobody knows about.  That secret person inside of you that you hide from everyone else.  You’ll be able to share all of that with him and he will understand and he will accept.  It might not seem that a guy like him would be impressed by a wallflower like you.  Here, in this college setting, everyone knows him while you remain nameless by most.  Don’t doubt that you have something to offer him that nobody else ever gave him.

 

You will grow with him and let him be himself.  You will help foster the best inside of him.  And he, in turn, will coax out of you some of the most amazing things.  Things you are afraid to say, afraid to write, afraid to admit about yourself.  Let him be that strong man you need by showing him you are the strong woman he can enjoy.

 

Just be gentle with him.  This road will lead you through dark places.  Accidents.  Deaths.  Operations.  There will be times you question your very self.  And he will be there to hold you and put you back together.  When nobody understands, he WILL understand.  

 

When the baby dies, he won’t stop loving you.  He will convince you that you are not ugly.  He will help you find yourself again.  

 

Nobody will ever get under your skin or occupy your thoughts like he will.  Conversations with others will pale in comparison.  People won’t believe how happy you make each other.  It will be an amazing road.  

He’s very convinced of the correctness of his thinking.  And he will think you’re the only one for him.  Let him be right.  


Love, 38 year-old Carrie

 

 

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Letter to My Younger Married Self – The Best Things are Sometimes Surprises.

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Dear 28 year old Lani,

You didn’t marry the man of your dreams. He is the one you’ve prayed for and he’ll surprise at some times. The vows you make today will be tested every day and you will learn the meaning of integrity through your commitment to each other. You had 5 years to learn about him but it’ll be like anew as your husband, so be fair and forgiving. Don’t overthink nor be self-conscious. He will love you selflessly and always be the first to apologize because he can’t stand seeing you disappointed. He cherishes you that much.

You will be reminded to appreciate every moment together and not to take each other for granted. So don’t. Even at moments of disagreements and when you think you’re right. Every year will go by quick, even faster with a child. You will raise the most precious boy together who will fill your life with joy and drama. Yet, you will always find time to keep that fire burning because after all that you do, you’re still alive. He will worry about you, cry with you, get frustrated, grieve, want you, be challenged in his habits and pray for you more than ever. And you will do the same with all of your soul. You will love each other through it because it is all worth it. It will not be easy but nothing neither of you can’t handle without God and community of friends who truly love you.

Enjoy this day. Though it might seem as part of your bigger life “plans”, you are making the right choice with this man. You will love each other more with each passing day. Trust and believe that you will need it. Hold him up. Hold it down. Don’t know what the years to come will bring but he will be all the man you need. Love it all.

Still very much in love,

34 year old Lani

 

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