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Monthly Archives: June 2011

You know my wife laughed at me? I needed it!

Yesterday as I was driving to NYC to drop off my children with my sister-in-law. I was prepared to have a few hours to myself and go bike riding along the West Side when, I was caught in Jersey City’s end of the month capital fundraising campaign. The police were pulling over unsuspecting drivers for going over the 25 mph speed limit, and I was the lottery winner. As I was waiting for my ticket, a few things came to mind; my perfect driving record for the  past three years was ruined, how much is this ticket going to cost me, is there a way I can get out of it.

The latter was definitely out of the question, but what really set me off was the cost of the ticket. Jersey City must really be hurting for money because it was going to cost me more to pay this ticket than the SADE concert and the cost of a good seat at the Yankee game combined.

This episode really set my day off, and I was about to just go home and brood which I am prone to do when bad things happen to me. Before I decided to do that, I figured let me call PG, my wife first.

Immediately she asked me if I was ok. I told her no and the circumstances behind it. Her response! Laughter! She said, “That’s it! That’s what you are upset about. Please, don’t let this one ticket spoil your day. Go for that bike ride.”

During my periods of silence as she talked to me, I took in what she said. I went bike riding and enjoyed the day. Oddly enough in Jersey City.

It’s refreshing when your wife can be a good student, but a better teacher. That’s why I married her.

 

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Posted by on June 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Marriage Music Monday – I’ll be By Your Side (Sade)

The people close to me know I love Sade. She is one of the sexiest women on this earth, next to my wife of course. Back in the early 90’s,  I had a life-sized poster of her beautiful face on my living room wall when I lived at 18B Marion Pepe Drive in Lodi, NJ. Her face was and still is a thing a beauty. I have all of her CD’s except the compilations, and I know most of the words to her songs.

When I met my wife PG, the life sized poster had to go, along with the black book. So when my wife presented me with tickets for
Father’s Day, I was elated, but a little conflicted. How was I going to scream and holler and possibly shed a tear for another woman with my wife sitting next to me? Since we had been dealing with a child illness during the week, PG had
felt she should stay home just in case. YEAH ME! I was going to let loose, but in a reserved way. It had been a stressful week.

Sade, as always was masterful with her non-dance moves and simple lyrics. And yes, she was as beautiful at 50, as she was at 25 when I  first ‘Diamond Life’ on the campus of Georgetown University. Towards the end of her show, Sade sang her song By Your Side. As she sang these words, something unexpected happened.

Oh, when your cold

I’ll be there to hold you tight to me

When your on

the outside baby and you can’t get in

I will show you, your so much better

than you know

When your lost, when your alone and you can’t get back again

I will find you darling I’ll bring you home

As the confetti started to fall from the sky, I started to shed a tear. But it wasn’t for Sade at all, it was for my wife. As the lyrics  suggest, I was grateful I had someone who would be by my side, no matter what. It had taken years of dating, difficult relationships, and self-reflection to find someone who wanted to be by my side and it was worth it.

This song that Sade so eloquently sung this past Friday was about being connected and never leaving even through the difficult moments. You should consider it an honor and a privilege that you were able to find someone who wants to be in your corner and vice versa.  In my opinion, once you get married you are supposed to be connected for life. But we aren’t. Too often we enter marriage for the  celebration. We can breathe easier now that we can get off the dating treadmill, or we have that sperm donor, or that meal ticket that will provide what we were really looking for. When the marriage finally implodes, we realize the connections were never there, I’ll just move on. We justify our action by saying, “Life is short. I should be happy.”

It’s understandable that all marriages won’t last. And you should be happy. But understand this, I can only hope that you exhaust all  options, and seek support to work as a couple on your issues before you break that connection. Or, you may find yourself singing another Sade song, “Is it a Crime.”

He tastes her kiss

her kisses are not wine

they’re not mine.

He takes

but surely she can’t give what I’m feeling now.

She takes

but surely she doesn’t know how.

Is it a crime? Is it a crime that I still want you?

And I want you to want me too.

Allow marriage to provide warmth, when the cold inside your heart.

Allow marriage to provide a sense of openness when you feel shut out from the other things in life.

Allow marriage to provide a sense of peace when there is chaos on the job.

And be thankful there is someone ‘By your Side’ to be that provider.

So even though, I love your music and the aura that is Sade,
I am sticking with my provider, PG.

Do what it takes, or get the help you need to stay by their side.

Keith Dent is a certified relationship coach, and President of Strive 2 Succeed Coaching Services.  Whether it’s a discussion about who to look for in a soul mate, how to improve my relationship, or a discussion about the opposite sex and creating healthy relationships, couples are looking for someone to acknowledge their issues and provide solutions. I have been working with couples for more than 3 years helping them to explore their passions and dreams in their relationships, and the necessary steps to achieve them. He can be reached at strive2succeed@comcast.net for questions and appointments.

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2011 in Marriage Monday Tips

 

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Marriage Music Monday (the Boss Style) – I’m worried. I find myself attracted!

In honor of the Big Man, Clarence Clemons, I figured I would feature a Bruce song for my Marriage Music Monday segment. Not being a connoisseur of his music, there was only one song I could think of, “I’m on Fire.”

It’s about a man that longs for the affections of  a married woman. She kind of likes him in a way, but never acts on his flirtatious advances.

You may think this song would be more appropriate for ‘Uh oh, watch out Music Monday’, or ‘they are on their way to an affair Music Monday’, but it doesn’t always have to be so serious. It was clear the young sophisticated woman was attracted to the young strapping mechanic, but did she act on her feelings? No! Did it diminish her marriage? No!

At times, you may question yourself, or the motives of your spouse when it comes to their actions with the opposite sex. Should I be concern if he/she get their hair cut by the same stylist, or your make sure he/she go to the same Starbucks because they know there is only one cute barista that makes their soy mocha java the right way.

My wife could’ve have clearly cut me for the way I use to stare at women and she did on several occasions. But, as our marriage and our connection grew deeper, she realized that it was just part of my make-up, and I realized where my bread was buttered. I like see women who are put together especially when they have beautiful feet.

If your marriage is new and you have these types of feelings, you may think its missing something. How could I be attracted to him? Did I marry the right girl? How could I be excited to see this woman once a week? It doesn’t mean anything is missing in your marriage, it just means that you have human passions, and feelings. It also means your eyes work.

As long as you don’t act on them or try to pursue them, those feelings that are intense right will eventually fade.

Now if they don’t, you may need to find a new stylist or a different Starbucks.

Make it a great day.

Coach Keith!

Direct all comments at the bottom of this post, or if you have something more personal, e-mail me at strive2succeed@comcast.net.

 
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Posted by on June 20, 2011 in Marriage Monday Tips

 

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Marriage Music Monday – A Letter to my couples about to be Married?

Dear Bride and Groom,

I know it’s wedding season. Just like you, brides and grooms all over this nation are in different stages of planning for their wedding. They may have spent months, even years putting their blessed event together. This is it! The Super Bowl of your lives together.  At some point before the festivities, you might get some quiet, reflection time and these thoughts may come to your head echoed in this classic tune made popular by James Ingram and Patti Austin. “How Do You Keep the Music Playing”.

How do you keep the music playing?

How do you make it last?

How do you keep the song from fading too fast?

I expect they will, especially when most of your conversations heve been centered around a common theme, the wedding, the invitations, and the reception. Sudden changes or disruptions around that bond can cause a void in your marriage. You often feel a sense of fear of what will we do next; what will we have to talk about.

You can be exceptionally vulnerable to challenges early on in marriage because usually you have never experience adversity. Everything is great. In the dating phase, you focus on if he/she is the one. The passion and chemistry that you have between each other can overpower any subtle challenges or obstacles that are evident to an innocent bystander. As your dating relationship progresses, you begin to discuss the future and how great it will be to committ yourself to the other. Finally, when the gentleman finally pops the question over the Jumbotron, or in a movie theatre, the whirldwind of excitement goes into overdrive.

It’s great and it should be. Weddings are wonderful and should be celebrated. These thoughts are natural, even expected. It’s how you handle them that’s important. As you are about to take those final steps down the alter, consider these 5 tips to bring calmness to the next stage in your relationship.

  1. If you have fears about your upcoming marriage, face them. If you avoid them it will diminish all you have worked for up to this point. – Don’t allow your fears about the future to feaster. If your intuition is telling you there is a problem, discuss it. Avoiding it will deepen not only doubt in your partner, but in yourself.
  2. Embrace that you will have to stretch in you marriage. – In order to grow in your marriage, you will have to go beyond your comfort level. You and your partner will go through a set of growing pains of flexibility and compromise to have the type of marriage you want.
  3. Your primary relationship is with your partner, not your wedding planner. – If you have issues regarding details of the wedding, do not use your wedding planner to do it. If you can’t discuss important details with your spouse around the wedding, how will you do it when you are married?
  4. Committment is not just for the wedding day, it’s an ongoing process. – Your marriage will go through challenges..Its at these times you will have to remind yourself that I am committed to this man/woman even through tough times.
  5. Don’t keep your feelings of gratitude silent. – Sharing openly with your partner that you are thankful for them and the journey you are about to take can go a long way to deepening your connection.

If we can be the best of lovers
yet be the best of friends
If we can try with every day to make it better as it goes
With any luck than I suppose
The music never ends.

Take this to heart, and things will turn out great.

Sincerely,

Coach Keith

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2011 in Marriage Monday Tips

 

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She Said/He Said (York version #2)

Welcome to a new segment I call She Said/He Said. It’s an attempt to empower newly married couples by reading stories of couples that have persevered to remain married 20+ years. According to Divorce Magazine, first marriages on average last 7.9 years. If you have the opportunity to stay married to the same woman/man for over 20 years it should be celebrated. And if you want to reach this milestone, why not receive information from some of the masters.

In the second edition of She Said Vs. He Said I had the pleasure of interviewing Bryce York and Tonya York currently of Columbus Ohio. I met them at my church, several years ago. The are very warm people so I am not surprise why they came together, but let’s hear what HE SAID.

  1. What was the initial thing that attracted you to your wife/husband.

As a photographer, she caught my eye right away. I couldn’t help, but notice her beauty inside and out. She was flat out beautiful, and easy to talk to. I am amazed even to this day how I get caught up by her quirky, sweet, personality. It’s very infectious.

2. When was the moment that you can remember. He was the one you wanted to  marry?

With me being 6 years older than she was, I pretty much knew right away that she was the one for me. She was a little thrown off by my easy going attitude, so it took her a little more time to be convinced. I am so glad that she did.

3. In your 20+ years of marriage what has surprised you the most about  marriage?

It’s like working out, you when you are in the gym putting the work in, you feel great and you see the results of the work. The minute you drop off and get complacent, the results show as well. You don’t have the same energy and excitement. So in marriage you have to constantly work the communication, intimacy muscles to see the results. I also realized that I have to be the builder and protector of the relationship.

4. What are the three things that have helped you maintain your marriage longevity?

Prayer, Communication, and the ability to fall in love with each other over and over again by keeping the marriage fresh and exploring new things.

5. Knowing what you know now, would you have approached marriage in a  different way early on? How?

I would have taken more control of the finances. Sometimes my laid back demeanor can be misinterpreted as not having an opinion. But as a man with a thinker’s temperament, I kept my thoughts internal. I definitely would have been more open with my communication style.

6. What are 3 things modern day couples should do in order to achieve  longevity in their marriage.

Learn to understand the needs of your spouse

As a husband, serve your wife in such a way that it creates a long lasting bond.

Make sure that time is set aside with one another to continue to strengthen the relationship.

 
 

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She Said vs. He Said (York Edition)

Welcome to a new segment I call She Said/He Said. It’s an attempt to empower newly married couples by reading stories of couples that have persevered to remain married 20+ years. According to Divorce Magazine, first marriages on average last 7.9 years. If you have the opportunity to stay married to the same woman/man for over 20 years it should be celebrated. And if you want to reach this milestone, why not receive information from some of the masters.

In the second edition of She Said Vs. He Said I had the pleasure of interviewing Bryce York and Tonya York currently of Columbus Ohio. I met them at my church, several years ago. The are very warm people so I am not surprise why they came together, but let’s hear what SHE SAID.

  1. What was the initial thing that attracted you to your wife/husband.

The initial thing that attracted me to Bryce was his personality.  He’s very  down to earth, easy going kind of guy, and great person to be with.  I’ve never  seen someone give as much as Bryce does.  I’m very safe and secure with him.

2. When was the moment that you can remember. He was the one you wanted to  marry?

Bryce knew he wanted to marry me was within a couple of months.  However, it took me a little longer.  Keeping in mind that Bryce is initially 6 years older than I am, so I wanted to be absolutely sure he was the one for me. It only took an extra 4 to 6 months.

3. In your 20+ years of marriage what has surprised you the most about  marriage?

Bryce loves me like it’s our first date.  His love is very unconditional, very constant.

4. What are the three things that have helped you maintain your marriage longevity?

Prayer, Communication, and the ability to fall in love with each other over and over again.

5. Knowing what you know now, would you have approached marriage in a  different way early on? How?

I would not take the little things for granted, our journey has taken us to several destinations and I wish I would’ve have concentrated on the important things that keep us together. Since I am a high energy person, I am constantly moving forward. I would take the time to sit still.

6. What are 3 things modern day couples should do in order to achieve  longevity in their marriage.

Pray

Trust each other

Make sure that time is set aside with one another to continue to strengthen the relationship.

 
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Posted by on June 9, 2011 in She Said/He Said, Uncategorized

 

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How some Time away can vitalize your Marriage! (Marriage Music Monday)

This past weekend, I attended the Soul Hoyas Reunion event at  Georgetown University.  This annual event  is a way to bond with old friends to get caught up to date on our lives since  college, participate in community service and just plain let loose , flirt with old crushes and party.  After a very successful and enjoyable weekend, I found myself reflecting and  communicating to friends that couldn’t attend how much fun we had. You know what I also felt, I longed  to return home where I belonged, my wife and kids.

Around 7:00 Sunday morning after I watched ESPN, prayed and showered, I packed up my  belongings and journeyed home. When I was on the highway, I called  my wife to let her know I was driving back to New Jersey. I sensed she was  anticipating my return not by her words, but by the tone of the conversation. She was excited.

Her excitement is clearly expressed by today’s Marriage  Music Monday selection, “Get Here (if you Can)” by Oleta Adams.

You can reach me by railway

You can reach me by trailway

You can reach me by an airplane

You can reach me with you mind

You can reach me by caravan

Cross the desert like an Arab man

I don’t care how you get here

Get here if you can

There are hills and mountains between us

Always something to get over

If I had my way, surely you would be closer

I need you closer

Having separate time  and interests will help vitalize the marriage. It can be energizing to  participate in a hobby or an activity that is solely your own. It allows you do  have some private space plus it gives you something else to discuss with your  partner. Marriage entails a lot of togetherness, but just because you’re  married, you don’t need to be joined at the hip. So as an assignment if you don’t  have an activity that you have just for yourself, find one and have your spouse  find one, too.

Make sure each of you  has time away from the other with friends, family, or alone. Enjoy your  separate interests.

It can be the key to keeping your marriage fresh.

 
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Posted by on June 6, 2011 in Marriage Monday Tips

 

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