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The Smart Woman’s Guide to Falling in Love With a Narcissist

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Every one has to fall in love with a narcissist one time in their life. It’s the best way to experience the total emotional spectrum in a relationship. It will provide everything from the opportunity to be charmed beyond your wildest dreams to eventually getting to the point where you can no longer stand this person.

So what are the steps to finding the narcissist of your dreams?

Step #1 – Make sure you are always dressed like a million bucks

A narcissist believes life is always about him. His appearance will be impeccable when your eyes meet. He will also be very quick to flatter your beauty and intellect because he is envisions the two of you together. So make sure the hair, clothes, nails, etc. are on point.

Step #2 – Be empathetic

Since a narcissist has no real empathy for anything or anyone he will be drawn to the mere fact that you can show that type of emotion towards them.

Step #3 – Let  his shame tug at your heartstrings

Most of the time when you are with him everything will be perfect. But be on guard. There will be a few times when he lets his hair down and talks about his shame. Be prepared to have it tug at your heart. Let me caution you, don’t try to help him acknowledge his shame, though. It may result in a fit of emotional rage.

Step #4 – You must have a fond appreciation for actors

Your narcissist man will be able to emulate anything you want them to be. If it’s a family man, he will dote on his kids and spoil them in all the ways that make him look good. Don’t worry about disciplining them, that will be your job.

Step #5 – Be prepared to move on

No matter how rocky the relationship will be and just when you think your relationship is about to turnaround, he will be out. According to an article in Psychology Today The narcissist loved being in a relationship—but only on his terms.

In the end you will gain clarity on the fact that your narcissist lover has severe emotional issues that you will eventually walk away from so the emotionally healthy one can find you.

Keith Dent is a relationship, life coach at Strive2Succeed Coaching. He is the author of the In The Paint: How to Win at the Game of Love and appeared on sites like The Good Men Project, MamMia, and The Real Dad’s Network. He also cohosts a FB LiveStream show called CouplesConversation.

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Posted by on April 19, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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6 Step Plan To Get Your Husband Off the Bench and Into The Game.

Ladies! Has your frustration returned now that Valentine’s Day is over and your husband is back to chillin’ on the couch watching countless hours of sports.

Do you ever wonder what is it about sports that men love so much? If you are still befuddled by this question the next time you get in your car and go to the store, turn on your local sports radio station. You will hear grown men so excited and passionate about getting their point across about a sports moment that happened days before sometimes even years. These men will wait up to 30 minutes to make sure they do so.

Men love sports because it’s fun, spontaneous, thrilling and exciting. Isn’t that how you want your marriages to be? Often times it’s the opposite, boring, and predictable.

So what do you have to do to win at the Game of Love? Here is a 6-step game plan to get your marriage back on track.

  1. Have a powerful slogan

Every season, teams that excel have powerful slogans to remind them of the goal of winning. In 2017, the Cleveland Cavaliers slogan for the playoffs was “Defend the Land”. So as a family you should come up with a slogan that defines who you are as a family and reminds each other why you are commitment.

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  1. Constantly reminding him his importance on the team.

On any given team, there players that don’t get a lot of credit, but are the essential to winning and losing. Your husband may be that guy. He may not be overly flashy, or the life of the party. He just gets the job done. You should remind him that his role is valuable and vital to your success as a couple.

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  1. To stay at the top takes work.

Your wedding with all the pomp and circumstance is like the ultimate championship game. Staying on top takes work, so you must challenge him not to get complacent. Treat your time together like practice where you learn new things about each other and make it routine.

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  1. Know when to call a time-out?

In any given game, you can feel the momentum shift to the other side. The coach will call a time-out in order for the team to rest, re-group and reassess the game plan.  You should do that in your marriage, especially if you feel the momentum shifting and it’s inevitable that they will. If you see your husband starts to become disengaged, no energy or just plain angry, or you aren’t happy. Don’t be afraid to call a time-out. If you let things go, you may lose.

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  1. Treat sex like a game.

Sex to a man is like a conquest. Treat it like one. In the bedroom, men feel great when you enjoy sex just as much as he does. It makes him feel accomplished. Overtime it gets harder and harder to set aside to enjoy this part of marriage. Do things like trash-talking (i.e. flirting), putting on your best outfit and creating a build-up to the main event.

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  1. Treat the kids like the rookies.

Your kids are just like tiny adults. They are going to need to understand the family slogan in order to thrive and excel. As co-captain of the team it’s the responsibility of both of you to give them the tools they will need to be successful. Make sure you challenge them, give them a voice and most of all have fun.

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Working as a team is never easy. It takes commitment to a desired goal, discipline, motivation, trust and a few lucky bounces of the ball. By treating your marriage more like a game, your husband can truly understand the importance of his role and will work to win.

Keith Dent is a relationship, life coach at www.strive2succeedcoaching.com . He has appeared on sites like The Good Men Project, MamMia and The Real Dad’s Network and is the author of the In The Paint – How to Win at the Game of Love.

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2018 in In the Paint, Uncategorized

 

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Here Are 5 Reasons To Choose Being Single, Than In a Bad Relationship.

Did you know this past January 8th, the first Monday of the New Year, is considered “Divorce Day.”  It’s the day where individuals that already cracks in their relationship inquire about divorce because the holidays are now over.

Even though most individuals that are ecstatic to no longer have the albatross around their neck, some of you  after a few days of singleness are contemplating your decision.

I’m here to tell you, do not be discouraged with your decision. Click here to read 5 Reasons Why Choosing To Be Single is Better Than A Bad Relationship.

 

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Posted by on January 11, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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Defend These 10 Vows If You Want To Make Your Marriage Last.

Defense is the action of defending or resisting attack. Yet, as men, we often feel that we don’t need to be on guard for anything especially when it comes to marriage.

On the other hand, women not only are they on guard for the things that happen in their marriage, they are on guard about everything that happen in their lives.

Men, for those of us that watch and understand sports, we know that defense is very vital important part of the game. It’s the only way you win. We all know the phrases, “A good defense beats a good offense.” “Offense wins games, defense wins championships.”

If a fruitful long lasting relationship is what we desire, then we must realize that at some point our relationship will come under attack. In order to win, we must apply these 10 principles to ensure our marriages last.

  1. Defend against not knowing your spouse

So we must understand your partner’s strengths and weaknesses as well as your own. Pushing and encouraging your spouse to be great can be very difficult if you don’t know your own. Marriages can be challenging when you are constantly focusing on your partner’s weaknesses.

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  1. Defend against not supporting or protecting her freedom.

We must understand that even though we both need and enjoy our spouse and vice versa, it’s also important for us to maintain our individuality. In particular, we need to feel like the decisions we’re making are truly coming from us. According to John Knee in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, when people feel forced or coerced into making choices — like they didn’t have any real choice in the matter — they’re less happy and less fulfilled. And, as you might have guessed, that lack of happiness is problematic for relationships.

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  1. Defend against not voicing your wishes, desires, fears and dreams.

We must understand that we have needs, fears and desires outside of our spouse. Our partners will never fully deeply understand us if we never voice them. It’s that lack of deep connection the leads to our relationships ending.

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  1. Defend against sacrificing your needs out of obligation just to make her happy.

Once you figure out what your needs are, discuss with your partner how your needs can be met. This can be easier said than done because your spouse will have her own needs and it may come in direct conflict with yours.  So be aware that fulfilling your needs will involve difficult sacrifices on her part.

Make sure that when you do make sacrifices you do it only with love and care, and not with reluctance or resentment. If can’t make sacrifices for the right reasons, it’s probably better not to make the sacrifice at all.

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  1. Defend against not being there for your spouse when she needs you.

Your partner will rely on you the most for support. If you aren’t there when she is distressed or that soft place to fall, she will find someone else to do it. Rather it’s other women or another man. Then she will begin to think. What does she need you for?

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  1. Defend against not nurturing her goals and ambitions; supporting her through misfortune and celebrating triumphs.

Your partner wants to feel support when it comes to taking risks. There is nothing more secure when your partner can go out and conquer their goals, and there is a cheerleader pushing them and congratulating them.

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  1. Defend against a boring, passionless marriage. 

It’s no secret that couples are happier when they engage in new, interesting things together. You are basically telling your partner that you promise not to let your relationship fall into a rut.  We’re going to keep dating each other, keep travelling and exploring together, and keep sharing novel and interesting experiences with each other for the rest of your lives

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  1. Defend against bailing when times get tough.

This is where the better or worse come in; in other words, to stay committed to each other. When a couple sees themselves as a permanent partnership, their perspective on problems tends to shift from being about battling against each other to being about “ride together or die”. Having this type of commitment helps people to stop treating conflicts as all-or-nothing, instead keeping the wellbeing of your partner and your relationship in mind. Acting as a team, puts you in a better position to face challenges together.

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  1. Defend against callousness and unfairness because, you are a team now and for always.

In other words your marriage isn’t about carefully keeping score to ensure that we’re each contributing to the relationship fairly and equally. Instead, you’re promising to always strive to contribute what you can, based on the needs of your partner. You have to trust that your respective efforts will more or less balance out in the long run.

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  1. Defend against taking your marriage for granted.

When you appreciate your partner, you’re happier and more committed to the relationship. When you express gratitude to your partner, they feel more appreciated, and that makes them just as happy and just as committed. So promise to never take each other for granted, but rather to appreciate what you have and express early and often.

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These ten things are the best defense to the offensive attacks that can ruin your marriage over the long haul. As Osho says, “The fully matured man has no fear defense; he is completely open and vulnerable.”

Keith Dent is a relationship, life coach at www.strive2succeedcoaching.com . He has appeared on sites like Your Tango, The Good Men Project, MamMia and The Real Dad’s Network and is the author of the upcoming book In The Paint – How to Win at the Game of Love.

 
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Posted by on December 8, 2017 in In the Trenches, Uncategorized

 

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Has Your Tinder Man Fallen in Love with You? Here Are The 7 Signs!

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Finding Love on Tinder is minefield that most people don’t want to enter.

If you are lucky enough to meet a nice guy, have meaningful conversations that lead to, casual dates, and a few hookups, it has a chance to develop into a relationship.

Love is an entirely different thing. You want to be clear that this relationship you are building is something that can become sustainable. Click here to read the 7 signs that his feelings for you is turning into something more.

 
 

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Raising Boys Is Hard, But I’m Still Thankful I Got The Job.

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I always thought  raising a teenage daughter would be challenging. From empowering her to be the best she can be to making sure she doesn’t get hurt by some boy or man. I had a lot to worry about.

To read more about why raising boys is hard, click here.
 
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Posted by on November 29, 2017 in Parenthood, Uncategorized

 

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Feed Her Love – #EmpowermentWednesday

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Is your love catered to her tastes? It’s common to give love the way we want to receive love. But your love language probably doesn’t match hers. If you are not sure if yours match, here is a way to find out.

If you would rather be more direct, ask this question: “Honey, do you feel the depth of my love? Not do you know it, but do you feel it? If not, how can I nourish your soul?”

Do you realize your love is crucial to her survival? It’s no secret many women feel malnourished by their husbands. Their closets may be stuffed with clothes and pantry stocked with food, but their souls are famished for attention and craving emotional sustenance from the one who promised to love them until “death do us part.”

Excerpt taken from: UNCOMMEN: Coach Brian Goins
 
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Posted by on November 1, 2017 in Empowerment Wednesday

 

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Marriage – Your #1 Priority

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On #EmpowermentWednesday, making marriage your top priority can be a difficult one, especially will all the other distractions in your life: work, kids, politics, fantasy football.

Think about what 3 actions you need to take in order for your marriage to be at the top of your to-do list.

If you like this quote, please share with other family & friends that need to read this today.

Coach Keith

If you feel this is an ongoing struggle for you and you what that to change, please contact Coach Keith at info@strive2succeedcoaching.com for a free 10-30 minute consultation.
 
 

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How Do You Admit Your Marriage Failed?

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In a new memoir, “It Takes Two: Our Story,  Property Brothers star, Jonathan Scott, isn’t shy about how he contributed to his divorce.

He states that “I think when you are young and you don’t really know what you want in life, you can commit to something and think at the time it is right.”

Most people give many reasons why they get divorce from infidelity, not having the same  vision,  to loss of intimacy, even finances. One thing is clear, we usually will blame the other person for the reason our marriages fail.

In #LOVETOPICTUESDAY, if you are one that has been divorced how did you contribute to the demise of your marriage? What tips could you give others that are on the verge of ending their marriage?

If you are unsure of the direction of your marriage and you need clarity, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation at info@strive2succeedcoaching.com.

 

Sincerely,

 

Coach Keith

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Love’s Holiday – #LoveMusicMonday

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Would you mind
If I touch, if I kiss, if I held you tight?
In the morning light?

Would you mind
If I said how I felt tenderly tonight?

Again ’cause, I never ever felt this way
In my heart before, oh
Love has found its way
In my heart, tonight, yeah

 

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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4 Ways to Know if Your Marriage is meeting Your Needs.

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Can you believe that even though you are married, you might not be meeting your partner’s needs?

For example you might assume that you are no longer have to check-in with your spouse every day, since you go to him or her. On the contrary, you might have to do it more because other distractions like work and kids can keep you from really connecting. And if this is one of your partner’s core need, this can really cause friction in your marriage.

So if you want to know if your partner’s needs are being met here are FOUR questions that you should ask to get the dialogue going?

What are your partner’s 3 basic core needs?

According to Willard Harley, author of His Needs/Her Needs, failing to make your partner happy is one of the main sources of conflict within a marriage. Most successful couples don’t get married because the sex was so incredible they needed it all the time, or they knew they would be financially set for life. People get married because they feel their partner will meet their most important needs. If you don’t  know what they are, then you should ask.

What are your needs?

This is important because if your needs aren’t being met, you surely aren’t going to meet your partner’s needs. If you are without your needs being met, then you resent your partner for it. Make sure you are clear on what you need and communicate that to your partner.

Are you ready to meet their needs?

This may involve some adjustments on your part. Let’s go back to the check-in example. If you have a very busy schedule, you will have to be strategic on how you show your partner that his/her need to hear from you is being met. You may have to carve out time on your calendar or be creative on how you check in. The question you want to ask yourself, “Is this person important in your life and will you do what it takes to make them happy?”

Will your partner meet your needs?

If your partner is tuned in, he/she will make sure that your needs are met. If not, you will need to have a frank conversation before go elsewhere to have your needs met.

 

If you feel your needs aren’t being met, but you are having difficulty talking about it, please contact Strive 2 Succeed Coaching Services for a free consultation at info@strive2succeedcoaching.com.

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2017 in Question of the Day, Uncategorized

 

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Why Are We So Consumed by Infidelity?

We as a society may be consumed by Infidelity because couples have a difficult time answering these questions that are about to be examined in Esther Perel’s new book The State of Affairs.  The book goes on sale this Tuesday.

  1. Are we still passionately in love with our spouse?
  2. Are there some fulfillments that even a good marriage can’t provide?
  3. Do erotic desires sometime trump emotional needs?
  4. Is it okay to love more than one person?
  5. Are we a nation that can no longer be monogamous?

 

These are just some of the questions that are affecting our ability to step beyond the boundary of marriage.

What other challenges do you think we face as a society?

 

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2017 in Question of the Day, Uncategorized

 

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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 😀). 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…

⁃    Keep fighting
⁃    Keep praying
⁃    Keep worshipping
⁃    Keep speaking life over yourselves
⁃    Keep loving
⁃    Keep the faith
⁃    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 “I Do” and I hope you’re sitting down…lol.

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 “can do/will do/by any means necessary” 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’t and couldn’t 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 “best face/image/mask” 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’re 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’t work. The “tough guy/whatever/it’s all good” 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 “I do” 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.”
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 “Just because your marriage didn’t work, doesn’t mean mine won’t, just because your marriage ended after 13 years doesn’t mean mine will”. 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 “I Do”.

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 “Dumb Dumb” 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 “You met your match with this one”. 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—either with excitement, pride, or indifference—is 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. – Think 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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7 Reasons Why 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 interested 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

web site fun couple football

 

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 – Cheerios – This 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 – even in their everyday “real” 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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Couples Conversation

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Check out the latest version of Couples Conversation.  It’s a way to discuss important topics that can affect any and all types of couples.  In this episode Aileen Grenon and I discuss this article What Sleeping with Married Men taught me about InfidelityWhat Sleeping with Married Men taught me about Infidelity, is touching in nonsexual ways important in relationships, especially for men and the changing in gender roles based on the Rocket Mortgage Commercial.

View the show by clicking here.

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2018 in Uncategorized