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Monthly Archives: August 2013

WWL can finally be put to rest! (The case for Interracial Marriages)

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When I was in high school I had a few nicknames. Dently was my most popular one. Milkman was probably the funniest one. The most hurtful one, was WWL, which was based on the girls I dated.  WWL stood for white woman lover and it was based on the relationship I had with MT.  She was the one person, who truly understood what I went through as a kid in a predominately white school and just accepted me for being Keith. 

I never could fully understand why people felt the need to call me this.  What did my classmates expect. I went to a predominately white school. You can’t help who you fall in love with in high-school. At that time, you were just glad to have someone from the opposite sex to talk on the phone, or go to the movies. 

As I graduated high school, our relationship ended not based on the fact that we weren’t compatible, but at that time the possibility of maintaining the relationship until marriage wasn’t even considered with the acceptance of interracial marriages at about 40% for whites and about 70% for African-Americans. I knew the type of pain and scrutiny I felt in high-school, who wanted to continue that into adulthood.

Today, is the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s – I Have a Dream Speech. Not only have we come a long way in regards to Civil Rights, Voter’s Rights and a general love we have for one another as a nation. We have come a long way in regards to interracial marriages.

Americans’ attitudes about interracial marriage have changed dramatically over the past 50 years, moving from the point in the late 1950s when disapproval was well over 90%, to the point today when approval is approaching 90%. Census data indicate that black-white marriages in reality remain fairly rare — although they have increased from 167,000 in 1980 to 558,000 in 2010, they still represent less than 1% of all married couples. The major shift in attitudes about such unions, however, is a telling indicator of the general shift in views of racial matters on many fronts in the U.S. over the last five decades

These data are from Gallup’s Minority Rights and Relations poll, conducted June 13-July 5. The poll surveyed 4,373 Americans, including 1,010 non-Hispanic blacks.

Approval of marriages between blacks and whites is up one percentage point from 2011, when this attitude was last measured. Approval has generally increased in a linear fashion from Gallup’s first measure in 1958, reaching the majority threshold in 1997, and crossing the three-quarters line in 2004. Eleven percent of Americans today say they disapprove of black-white marriage, compared with 94% who disapproved in 1958.

Blacks’ approval of black-white marriage (96%) is now nearly universal, while whites’ approval is 12 percentage points lower, at 84%. Blacks’ approval has consistently been higher than whites’ over the decades, although attitudes among both racial groups have generally moved in a parallel manner since 1968 — when Gallup first was able to report reliable estimates of each group’s opinion. The gap between black approval and white approval in recent years has been smaller than it was prior to 1997.

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Like all married couples, you face challenges in maintaining happy and healthy relationship. It can be an ever bigger strain if you have to face challenges that have nothing to do with your marriage at all, but based the fact that you have different skin color. The best way to protect your marriage is to create an environment where open communication and establishing a strong family mission statement t with your partner will help you to overcome any obstacles you face. Here are five tips to strengthen your marriage.

  • The strength of your marriage will depend on you. Refuse to let what other people may say or think about interracial marriage bother you. As an interracial couple, you may be forced to deal with negative stereotypes –or hostile or derogatory comments from other people in your community who do not understand your relationship. Remember that the things these people say cannot get in the way of the love you two share and if they do, take time to talk to your partner immediately.
  • Show respect for each other’s cultures and family traditions before and during your marriage. Interracial couples still can face rejection or stress from their own families because of traditional beliefs that people should marry only other people of the same cultural background.

  • Lay down boundaries regarding your marriage with any family members or friends who try to interfere. Though it’s important to respect your family’s beliefs, it’s also necessary to defend your marriage to anyone who may try to change your mind about your marriage
  • Embrace the things that you and your partner have in common as well as your differences. The different parts of your racial backgrounds and cultures are likely to be some of the most enriching parts of your marital journey. Bringing these difference should prove to be even more fulfilling for both of you. Create your own traditions or cultural beliefs that you consider most important with your partner as you build your life together.
  • Remember that standing up to racism does not need to be an aggressive confrontation. This act can also be accomplished simply by making it clear that you will avoid interactions with someone who continues to be negative regarding your marriage. Firmly tell the person you will not spend time with anyone who expresses racist or insensitive views.

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I a great day to know that I can finally put WWL to rest.

Let’s keep the dream alive!

Strivers!  How have your views changed in regards to interracial marriages? If you are single would you consider dating someone of another race?

Coach Keith

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Posted by on August 29, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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How to make your strong, independent wife powerless: 10 rules of marriage for an insecure husband.

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There is a phenomenon that is sweeping the country. It started in the deep south and is slowly making it’s way across the country. Insecure men are dating and marrying strong, powerful women. I wasn’t sure how they are doing it, except possibly using their fragility and sensitivity to do it. As a man, how do you look in the mirror and feel like you measure up to you wife? Until, I came across the rules from a husband that his wife lives by everyday.

An insecure man’s guide to making your wife feel powerless. Here are the 10 Rules:

Rule #1 – You must not have single friends and cannot communicate or spend time with them.

Rule #2 – Your wife must be home when you get home regardless of who she is with or what she is doing.

Rule#3 – Your wife must go to be when you go to bed regardless of what time of day or what chores need to be tended to prior to bed.

Rule #4  – Your wife must watch whatever you want to watch on TV and cannot read a book or do anything other than lay in bed watching your selection. And remember she must be naked,or in sexy lingerie at all times.

Rule #5 – Your wife cannot leave town for any reason regardless if its for work or family.

Rule #6 – Your wife must do as she is told and do not question.

Rule #7 – Must feed, wash and groom me as requested.

Rule #8 – When in public your wife must be seen and not heard. She can’t do anything that will result in embarrassment for you.

Rule #9 – Your wife must and I mean must have sex with your before leaving for work and before going to sleep. And must not complain about it either.

Rule #10 – Rules will change or added as you see fit in order to remove more power.

So what do you think about the rules. Will they catch on and make their way into your home?

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2013 in iLoveStrong QoTD, Let's Discuss

 

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Effective Communication will cure past mistakes.

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You have now survived your break-up based on the tools give in my previous post, When the Trap can’t be escaped! It’s time to prepare yourself when you meet the next person, at a friend’s social gathering, or at work, even at a wedding. Stranger things have happened when it involves LOVE.

You now understand what your attachment style is, but to be fully armored for your next relationship and to cure your past relationship mistakes, this tool will help you be fully equipped. Effective Communication!

What’s the Purpose of Effective Communication!

Effective Communication serves several purposes:

  1. Will help you save time. In this digital age, you can get caught up and entrenched in someone else’s life adding a potential mate to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. With effective communication, you can determine whether your potential partner will be able to meet your needs. Asking the right questions and being direct about what you need to make a relationship sustainable. If a person is truly engaged about your wants and desires and chooses to put your well-being first, the relationship has promise.
  2. Identifying your needs to your partner gives the opportunity to meet them. Most of the time in relationships we always work to put our best foot forward and avoid telling our partners about our weaknesses. Identifying those needs up front removes the mask and allows your partner to reciprocate.
  3. Judge verbal and nonverbal responses. – it’s not always what your partner says that’s important, but what they don’t say that can help you understand your importance to them:
    1. Does s/he try to get to the bottom of your concerns?
    2. Does s/he respond to the issue at hand or does s/he try to duck you.
    3. Does s/he take your concerns seriously or does s/he try to belittle you and make you feel foolish.
    4. Does s/he try to make you feel better or is s/he go on the defensive.
    5. Does s/he only concerned about the facts or are they in tune with your emotional security
  4. If you are anxious, effective communication can be used as a substitute for acting out emotionally. When your attachment system is activated, you tend to do something to bring your partner closer to the detriment of the relationship. Effective Communication will help you truly address your relationship concerns. If you’re avoidant, effective communication will let your partner understand your need for space within the relationship whether it be emotional or physical. This will help assure your partner that it’s not about them.

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What are the Five Principles of Effective Communication!

  1. Being emotionally brave. Be open and honest about your feelings.
  2. “Need”, “Feel” and “Want” are your best friends. These words will be crucial to expressing what you will need from your partner.
  3. Be specific. Part of effective communication will require you to be specific in order for your partner to truly understand.
  4. Don’t play the blame game. If you focus on your partner’s issues, it will dilute what you are trying to accomplish.
  5. Be assertive and don’t apologize. Your attachment style is based on who you are. Don’t feel bad about that. Own your personality. It’s the key to your happiness.

If you use these tools effectively, you will be on your way to a strong relationship. Remember, effective communication is a process, your concerns and deal breakers won’t be solved overnight, but if your partner is concerned about your well-being and have taken your interests to heart. It’s a great start,

Coach Keith

 

Material taken from Attached. The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find and Keep Love by Amir Levine M.D.

 

When the Trap can’t be escaped. – Nine Strategies on how to Survive a Breakup.

In the previous blog we talked about being trapped in an anxious-avoidant relationships. Well, what if you can’t escape that trap? Sometimes you can try everything to make a relationship more normal and secure, but overtime the interaction between two attachment styles can become truly harmful. Unfortunately, in these cases, anxious and avoidant people can bring out the worst in each other, “Abnormal” becomes normal. So in order to regain normalcy in your life, exiting this type of relationship may be the only option.

Here are Nine Strategies that will help you survive the breakup.

  1. Ask yourself what life was like for you in the “inner circle.”  – Remember your life in his/her inner circle? It more than likely had some of these characteristics:
    1. When he/she was ashamed for you meet their friends.
    2. When you were the most likely the victim of his/her insults.
    3. When he/she couldn’t care less about your emotional, or physical health.
  2. Build a support network ahead of time. – Let your friends and family know what the relationship is really like. This may help you reconnect with the relationships you might have severed.
  3. Find a comforting, supportive place to stay for the first few nights. – You will need a strong support network to avoid the temptation to go back. Parents, siblings or your closest of friends.
  4. Get your attachments needs met in other ways.  – Find other ways to quiet down your emotions like a massage, plenty of exercise and your favorite restaurant.
  5. Don’t be ashamed if you slip up and reconnect with your Ex. – Don’t beat yourself up if you reconnect with your ex.  It’s important that you keep a level head because if you begin to feel bad about yourself, may cause you to want to go back.
  6. If you’re having a hard time, don’t feel guilty. Remember, the pain you are feeling is real. – Pain is inevitable in these type of situations. Your friends will try to get you to rebound quickly. Let them know you will heal in your own time, but you will heal.
  7. When you get flooded with positive memories, ask a close friend to zap you back to reality. – If you begin to paint your ex in a more positive light than it was in reality, give your friends permission to remind you.
  8. Play the game. Write down all the reasons you wanted to leave. – The goal is to deactivate your attachment system. The best way is to continue to look at your list to remind you of all the hurt  you received.
  9. Know that no matter how much pain you’re going through now, it will pass. – Greener pastures await.

I would love to hear additional tips on how you survived a break-up. Feel free to comment to add value to our Strivers.

Coach Keith

Material taken from Attached. The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find and Keep Love by Amir Levine M.D.

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2013 in Attachment Series

 

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Just the other day, a young lady contacted me about last week’s blog post, “Does your man make you feel trapped.” She was hype-ventilating as she was beginning to realize that her relationship had the characteristics of what I mentioned in the post.

The first thing I did was to get her to breathe, relax and tell her that all was not lost. Anxious-Avoidant relationships usually stay consistent over time, but they can change. Today, we will discuss how this type of relationship can be more secure. Here are 4 tips that can help lead your relationship to a more secure future.

  1. Model your relationship after someone in your life that has a secure mindset.
    1. Think of that person who gave you a sense of security.
    2. Remind yourself how they interacted with the world
    3. How did they respond in times of conflict
    4. What were the things they said to make people feel more secure.
    5. What did they choose to ignore or respond to.
    6. How did they behave when their partner was down.
  2. Become an expert at analyzing your relationship. – You will have to figure out how to reframe the state of your current relationship in order to move to a secure model. You will have to think about what are the situations that get you going, what shuts you down, your attitudes and expectations and how you can make adjustments to become more secure.

        In order to get started the both of you must create some alone time and think about all your romantic         partners past or present and write them down on a sheet of paper. The names of those partners will           go in column 1.

In column 2 you will write down what was the state of each relationship; what patterns existed; what characteristics stood out the most.

In column 3, what event(s) can you recall that either activated your anxiousness or de-activated your investment into the relationship.

In column 4, ask yourself how you responded to those events: What did you do? What were your thoughts? What were your feelings?

In column 5, which is the most important, describe what was your behavior as a result to the attachment issues you had? For example, you might continuously attempt to re-establish contact at all costs if you are anxious or always try to make your partners feel jealous if you have an avoidant attachment style.

In column 6, figure out how these behaviors hurts you or gets in the way of your happiness.

In column 7, what positive characteristics could you have utilized to move those relationships to a more secure one.

It’s now at this point you should share your personal inventory with a relationship coach, i.e. Coach Keith, your therapist, or a personal friend that can withhold judgement and honestly give you a different perspective on how to move to a more secure model.

3. The path to a more secure relationship is a continuous journey. Whenever a new situation or conflict occurs use the chart from previous relationship.

4. Learn to always accept disappointment or accept that your partner has certain shortcomings and develop strategies help strengthen your life personally. Such things as:

    • Admit to yourself that in certain areas, their mate is never going to be an active partner, and stop urging them to change.
    • Stop taking personal offense when their mate pushes them away and accept that it simply his or her nature.
    • Learn to do things on your own and don’t expect your partner will always join you.
    • Engage with like-minded friends in activities that their mate doesn’t want to participate in
    • Learn to be thankful for what your mate does do and not what he or she doesn’t do.

5. If those clashes continue to a source of intimacy collisions, and irreconcilable fights, it might be time to let go. 

In the next blog, we will analyze how these clashes can go from bad to worse and how to develop strategies to leave it behind.

 

Material taken from Attached. The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find and Keep Love by Amir Levine M.D.

Learn how to Escape the Trap!

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2013 in Attachment Series

 

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Sunday Love

So Jacob worked seven years to pay for Rachel. But his love for her was so strong that it seemed to him but a few days.Genesis 29:20 (NLT)

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2013 in WWJS @ Marriage

 

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Does your man make you feel trapped without escape?

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If you are an anxious woman and you are dating a man whose M.O. is to constantly avoid intimacy it may feel like a trap without an escape hatch.

Consider this example, you are dating a guy for 6 months and you experience the same disagreements over and over. You are constantly complaining about his obsession with staying in contact with his former girlfriends on Twitter, while he can’t stand when you are checking up on him every time he goes out with his boys. He feels you have separation anxiety and are too jealous. He makes sure that you know it as well. And you know, he is right. You, as a person that has an anxious attachment style can’t control it when these feelings are activated.

Being in this type of relationship is like riding a stationary bike. You are constantly peddling, but going nowhere.When it comes to intimacy and closeness, you are dealing with opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to an anxious-avoidant couple. When one person, “the anxious” tries to get closer, the other “the avoidant” does everything in its power to squash those feelings. According to Dr. Amir Levine, author of Attached., the closer the anxious tries to get, the more distant the avoidant acts. To make matters worse, one partner’s constant need for closeness further reinforces the other’s need to pull away.The type of relational is a vicious cycle and they both remain in the relationship “danger zone”.

Are you in this zone? Here’s what your relationship constantly feels like:

  • indexThe Kinda Qa effect – you will never feel like your relationship is solid. When he decides that he wants to feel close to you, which will mostly involve sex, he will do so. This will activate your intimacy levels to a high level each and every time, only for him to pull pack which will leave the thrill ride over.
  • Be prepared for your self-esteem to take a hit. – In order to exert their independence and power, avoidants will say and do things that negatively affect your self-esteem leaving you feeling need and incapable.
  • If your relationship lasts, you will constantly question if the grass is greener.
  • You will fight about everything else except what you should. – All your fights will be about little things with the undertone of why we aren’t closer.
  • You feel lonely in the inner circle. – You will be dismayed why you are treated like a pariah, when you should be treated like royalty.

How these characteristics translate to your dating reality.

Even though you have fallen in love with this avoidant man, you will find that it’s almost impossible to receive the same love back without conditions.

  1. You will make concessions to the boundaries that are drawn – Your man will have specific rules that you will have to maintain in order for the relationship to exist.
  2. Your intimacy differences will spillover to every aspect of your shared life;from the way you sleep together to how your raise your kids. With every new relationship development the intimacy gap may get wider and wider.
  3. Conflict is often left unresolved to maintain the boundary. In order to resolve any conflict, both parties must create a certain amount of closeness in order to achieve it. While that a sought after emotion for the anxious, it’s uncomfortable for the avoidant.
  4. With every conflict situation you lose more ground with your avoidant man. As you try to reach out to reconcile with him,  he meets you with more hostility.

The trap without the escape continues and any hope of a normal, intimate solid relationship is washed down the drain.

In order to move toward more security, in the next blog we will provide ways for this type of couple to feel less threatened figure out how to activate/deactivate those core emotions to get out of the “danger zone”.

What are your thoughts on this matter? How has your man made you feel trapped?

Coach Keith

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2013 in Attachment Series

 

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