All Things Considered – Ten Reasons Relationships Fail

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Ever had the unsettling feeling that your relationship wasn’t headed in the way that you hoped?  Maybe you are one of the many who avoid relationships out of fear it will end like the countless others.   If this sounds like you, then no worries!  Below are ten reasons relationships tank.  Within each section you will also find ways to rekindle that old flame.   

  1. Sexalthough taboo to speak about openly, there’s no denying that relationships that partake in an adequate amount of sex per week are healthier.  Sex helps to create a harmonious connection in the spiritual and physical realm between you and your lover.  It’s a fact that many women make the mistake of withholding sex from their male counterpart as a means to punish them.  However, I strongly advise against this.  Sex can sometimes help bring the two of you together, even during a fight. It’s difficult to have angry sex or be upset too long after the act of intimacy. Women should realize that men are physical beings and denying sex is not the way to settle a dispute or get a point across.  On another note, men should realize that women are emotional beings and usually need more enticing from an emotional perspective.  Men should work hard to make sure that his women stays wet for him and him only.  He should do all he can to ensure that it’s always in the forefront of her mind that she needs to give her body to him.  For example, men usually like to entice a woman when they first meet by either stroking her ego or making her feel as if she’s a queen.  After a few sexual encounters, the package doesn’t look so appeasing.   To keep a woman always wanting more,  men should be mindful to show the same enthusiasm as he did in the beginning.  This may mean calling the woman during the day to tell her that he’s thinking of her, or even that he can’t wait to come home to make love to her.  The key to keeping a woman wanting more is to indulge in mental foreplay before pounding her with the physical.  And yes – physical foreplay should not be ignored when keeping a woman interest.
  2. Respect – simple uh? You may ask yourself why someone would stay in a relationship where they aren’t treated with respect.  Well, your guess is as good as mine, but we know it happens often.  Whether it’s snooping through your lover’s personal items, not respecting their time, or value in your life;  if not careful you can lose your lover easily.  Be sure to respect your partner’s mental awareness, physical space, emotional stance and their spiritual values. Often times people use the excuse that respect is earned not given. This is okay toward co-workers and even friends.  But when you go the extra step with someone to become exclusive, respect should become automatic.
  3. Too Dispensable – Plain and simple, you have to be indispensable in order to be valued. This applies to your career, your role in your church organization, and even relationships.  If your lover is doing all of the work while you sit back and reap the benefits, chances are you are on a rocky slope and don’t even know the rocks are moving.  We must keep in mind that our partners are human too. And no one enjoys doing all of the work.  Instead take some of the load off of your partner to let him/her know that you are indispensable.  My best suggestion would be to pick something that your partner hates to do (for example cleaning the bathroom).  Even if you might not enjoy cleaning, you know that your partner absolutely cringes at the thought of cleaning the bathroom.  Maybe you can take the initiative to clean the bathroom on a routine basis.  This way if your partner ever has to clean the bathroom, the first thought that comes to mind would be your willingness to pitch in and do the dirty work.  This can work for other items as well – just figure out what you can do to make yourself indispensable in the relationship. 
  4. Misguided Communication – how do you expect to learn and trust someone if the communication is limited? Amazingly I’ve met married women who have best male friends on the side.  My question to them was, “why marry someone other than your best friend?” Ironically, they’ve always skirted around the issue.  If you have open communication with your partner, then the honesty is certain to follow.  If you are unsure of how to communicate, try communication exercises.  Usually asking or revealing some of the most personal secrets are easier said over written text, e-mail or IM. As you become more comfortable with the response you receive you’re your partner, you will begin to speak openly on the phone or in person about anything that you may find difficult to say.  Before you know it, you will be an effective oral communicator with your partner on the tough issues.  Now, remember there is such a thing as being too open. You shouldn’t tell your partner things that will intimidate them or keep them wondering what you meant by the statement.  For example, do not ask your partner to have an open relationship repeatedly if you know he/she is against the idea.  And never mention that you are in love with another person, because your lover will wonder if he/she is good enough for you. These are extreme cases, but it’s necessary to remind you that there are some things better left unsaid.
  5. Live – be sure to live! Live your life with your partner but not for your partner.  It’s okay to hang out with family and friends every once in a while.  Your partner is not going anywhere – trust me.  This message is for women especially because too many times women succumb to their emotions and shun family and friends just to spend a little more time with their lover.  Not only is this hazardous to your relationships with your family and friends, but it’s hazardous to your relationship.  Men need space, they enjoy hanging with their friends and family, and quite frankly they enjoy the “alone” time they get when you are not around.  It doesn’t mean they don’t love you – it just means that they want you to leave so they can miss you more when they see you! Take a look at your situation and determine if you are smothering your relationship.  If you are, then plan to set up some time with your friends or family for the next two weekends. You will notice that he’s still around when you return and who knows it may add a little spice to your life.  But be careful not to isolate him completely. If you are taking care of all the items on this list you have done your job and your relationship forecast looks a little brighter already.
  6. Appearancebelieve it or not appearance plays a huge role in your relationship.  Just because you are in a relationship, doesn’t mean that should stop doing your hair, wearing your favorite cologne, avoid shaving, or even breaking out the granny panties.  No matter if you are a man or a woman, you should keep in mind that your lover interacts with the opposite sex on a daily basis.  This isn’t meant to intimidate you but rather keep you on your toes.  The fresh smelling co-worker should not smell better than you, so keep your cologne handy.  The mother with three kids at the grocery store should not have a her hair done better than yours.  Of course, I’m not speaking literally, but I’m thinking in terms of how your partner sees you.  There’s no reason for a woman to walk around the house with a scarf on her head every time her husband walks through the door.  He should be able to embrace her beauty.  As for men, they should remember that women enjoy smelling a man’s cologne as well having a well groomed man around.  Be sure to keep yourself looking as hot as you were the first time you met.  Have you ever argued with a beautiful person? No matter how bad the argument got it’s difficult to see past their beauty.  So keep it poppin and be sure to keep their eyes rockin! lol
  7. Past Expectations – most of us have experienced heartbreak in our past relationships. What I want to make clear to you today is that you should be careful not to associate the actions of your present lover with our past. The old saying is true – don’t allow the past to dictate the present.  Constantly digging in your memory bank is unhealthy and will push anyone away.  No one wants to relive your past with you – especially if they are trying to move forward from their own.  It’s okay to be aware and keep “red flag signals” in the forefront of your mind so that you are careful not to get in another abusive, or unhealthy relationship.  However, you should also keep in mind that every person is different.  Example: Jerome was an ex of mine that use to turn off his phone each time he came home from work. I later learned it was to hide the calls from the women he was cheating with.  When Bobby came in to my life, he did the same thing.  I suspected that he was cheating also until we argued about it constantly and he showed me that it was just because he didn’t want to be bothered by anyone while he was in the house. I had to learn that Bobby was different than Jerome.  You must learn to do the same in your own experiences.  Also be sure to keep in mind that no one is perfect. We all make mistakes, either big or small. But it’s your duty as a loyal lover to accept the mistakes that were made and move from them. Never forget, but it’s unnecessary to stay with someone if you cannot forgive them for their mistakes.  And keep in mind that forgiving is not reliving.  So be mindful not to bring up their past mistakes each time you get frustrated with their behavior.
  8. Compatibility v. Complimentary – opposites attract right? Well – not exactly and not always! You must learn to separate being compatible for being complimentary.  Just because your lover is the complete opposite from you doesn’t mean that he/she is the right person.  Positive and negative energy can only co-exist for a short period of time.  Think about your own personal relationships and friendships.  More than likely you are paired with people similar to you. In order to be sure that your relationship will work, you must have equal yolk.  Someway and somehow your relationship will remind you that you must be 100% compatible in order for it to work.  Being complimentary is nice, but mainly for friendships.  Look at your lover and jot down things that you two have in common. This can be a clear guide to how compatible you are. 
  9. Never Say Neverah yes…the infamous never.  We’ve all said it. We’ve all heard it.  And no matter what side of the fence we are on, we know that it’s the wrong thing to say to our lover. Especially in an argument.  You must realize that when you throw the word “never” around in a relationship, it instantly puts limitations in your partners head.  Nine out of ten times your partner was not thinking along the term of never especially in an argument.  For example, if I clean the kitchen once a month, and my lover cleans it 10 times a month, he he may get amnesia during an argument and say that I never clean the kitchen. Well of course that’s a false statement, and logically I know that he’s acknowledging that he cleans it more than me.  But if he shouts that I never clean the kitchen I will feel underappreciated and that my work (no matter how little) has gone in vain.  Therefore, he’s thrown restrictions my way. You want to avoid this at all costs.  If you are someone that throws the term never around often, try thinking about another term in it’s place.  One that’s less threatening like “rarely” or “hardly”.
  10. Committment – last, in order to have a healthy relationship both parties must remain committed to the relationship.  A relationship can’t stand on 80/20 loving and not even 60/40.  There has to be a 50/50 give and take and both parties have to foresee the long term plan in the relationship. To keep things at a 50/50 level you must be sure to follow each step outlined in this blog.  No worries, it’s easier than it seems and it’s fool proof. 🙂

Jeremiah 12: 1-5 Saved Me From A “Fear Monkey”

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I’ll be the first to admit that having a strong international readership worried me.  There were many questions as to how I would be able to connect with those readers through my writing; especially when I have no idea how to relate to their culture.  Silly questions circled my head…things like will they enjoy reading erotica if I wrote one, and can they relate to divorce if I wanted to write a piece on it?

It wasn’t just the international readers that had me on edge, but the older readers who come from a generation of virgins and morals different from my own. I asked myself over and over, “how do I write for them?”

Now, the answer didn’t come easy.   In fact, as I dug deep to find the resolution, my barrel came up empty.  Two or three more times of digging, and I put it in faith. “The answer will come!”

Sunday morning I sat at the computer staring at a blank Word document.  The cursor blinked steadily, and begged me to type.  But fear of disappoint surrounded my space and I doubted myself for the first time in many years. After a few minutes of doing nothing, I closed the top and went on to do other errands.

Two hours later, the owner of Butterfly Effects Soy Candle Company {Tylesha Juliano} calls with hesitation in her voice.  We discussed our doubts, which were lead by fear.  Now one may ask, “what are two successful women doing doubting their success?”  I can’t think of any answer but “we are also human.”

Needless to say ten minutes in to my second attempt to write, the screen remained blank, and the cursor still encouraged me to do something marvelous.  I wrote a few lines, but quickly erased them.  The content wasn’t worthy of saving…something was missing.

Around 5:30pm a feeling overwhelmed me and told me that I should go to church, a place of solace according to the owner of Premier Social Management. So I listened. Maybe God knew that the “fear monkey” was not too far behind. Maybe he wanted to rescue me from it completely.  So I listened.

When I walked through the church doors, I just knew that something would be said or read that would remind me I am great at what I do.  I opened my bible and the first thing I saw was a bookmark that I placed there nearly a year ago.  It was from the book of Jeremiah, Chapter 12, Verses 1-5. 

Jeremiah’s Question

1 Righteous are You, O LORD, when I plead with You;
Yet let me talk with You about Your judgments.
Why does the way of the wicked prosper?
Why are those happy who deal so treacherously?
2 You have planted them, yes, they have taken root;
They grow, yes, they bear fruit.
You are near in their mouth
But far from their mind.
3 But You, O LORD, know me;
You have seen me,
And You have tested my heart toward You.
Pull them out like sheep for the slaughter,
And prepare them for the day of slaughter.
4 How long will the land mourn,
And the herbs of every field wither?
The beasts and birds are consumed,
For the wickedness of those who dwell there,
Because they said, “He will not see our final end.”

The LORD Answers Jeremiah

5 “ If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you,
Then how can you contend with horses?
And if in the land of peace,
In which you trusted, they wearied you,
Then how will you do in the floodplain[
a] of the Jordan?

Ah ha! That was it! Jeremiah doubted himself, and not only did he doubt, he questioned his destiny.  That’s exactly what I was doing. I questioned my destiny, although it was revealed to me long ago.  I questioned if my writing was good enough and if in fact I should continue to write.  But after reading this scripture, I felt strong and determined to reach that destiny by any means necessary.  Essentially God was telling me to never mind the nay sayers, and never mind those who also doubt my talent.  Pay attention to the road ahead because it will be a bumpy one. 

And how ironic that I went to church to open the bible to see the passage that I bookmarked from the last time I saw the very same preacher send the message.  He explained that in an attack, the army (also known as the footmen) go in and weaken the enemy.  And after they’ve weakened the army, other militia (in this case horses) are called out to finish the attack.  Whoever is still standing at the end of the attack is victorious!

So with all of this said, I say to you, never give up! Small things will try to tear you apart.  And after that, bigger things will try to do the same.  But if you believe that you are destined to do something, then by all means do everything in your power to defeat the monkey of doubt! Keep the scripture close whether you are religious or not because there is nothing but victory in the word.

As for my fear…well, it’s diminished. I learned that I have much more in common with the international and older readers than I realized.  They’ve all been through struggles and doubt.  And just like me, each of them has a talent or a dream.  So if anything, my stories can help encourage them in some way. J

 

Greener Kids

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Help Mommy & Daddy Save Electricity – Help The Earth Smile

Unplugging items that are not in use is a great way to save the earth and save on an electric bill.  Most parents don’t realize that they can get their child involved at an early age.  Make unplugging things fun and exciting. If you turn in to a game or repeatedly show your interest in the earth, your child will often find themselves mimicking your way of life.

You can start by explaining to your child why it’s important to unplug things such as their TV. radio, phone charger, and video game consoles.  Most importantly why it’s a good idea to turn off the lights and use natural sunlight from an opened window whenever possible. If you teach them why the benefits go beyond you trying to show your parental authority, then your child will probably be more apt to following through with these techniques well in to their adult years.

Remember that in order to be successful in this earth-friendly lesson, you must first apply the lesson. So be sure to think, live, and breathe earth-friendly to show your child that you are actively participating in giving back to the earth.

Making Home Affordable

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There’s some confusion about the Making Home Affordable (MHA) efforts.  Below is a simple breakdown of the plan rolled out in March 2009.

Congress has asked that Fannie Mae oversee the MHA program and ensure that lenders are doing their very best to exalt all options for a borrower before foreclosing on a property.  There are two major program options under the MHA umbrella – Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) and the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).

HARP might be best for borrowers who are, and have been, current on their loan for the past 12 months. Usually borrowers who are applying for the HARP have a high interest rate, and their house is under water by up to 125% of the original loan amount.  Under the HARP a borrower must do an appraisal on the property. Other fees and taxes might apply, but no worries, if your loan is backed by Fannie Mae you can shop around to any Fannie Mae approved lender.  If your loan is backed by Freddie Mac, you must go to the same lender but there is a cap in fees. For non-Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loans, participation is optional by lenders. To find a participating lender, you must contact the lender and ask if they are approved. General requirements for this program include:

  • The borrower is the owner of the one-to-four unit property.
  • The amount owed on first mortgage is same or less than value of house.
  • You must have income to support the new payment structure.
  • The overall refinance will benefit the life of the loan.

If you believe you qualify for the HARP, please contact your lender immediately and ask for options.

HAMP is beneficial for those who have experienced, or will experience hardship in the near future. The program is pretty much the last resort before considering the property for short sale or foreclosure.  The goal is to get the borrower’s mortgage payments at 31% of their gross monthly income. Any loan backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac must participate in the HAMP program. The property is the primary residence of the owner looking to modify their payments.

  • The loan is less than $729,750.
  • The mortgage was acquired before January 1, 2009.
  • Payment on the first mortgage is more than 31% of the borrower’s current monthly gross income.
  • The borrower can show proof of hardship (example: unemployment for 9 months, divorce, death of spouse, etc)

Be warned, the payment terms are extremely strict and one can be dropped from the program if more than a day late on the trial modification periods set up by the lender. Trial modification periods can last 3-6 months before being reviewed for a permanent modification plan. Also be aware that this option will be reported to credit agencies that the borrower is on a modification plan. General eligibility requirements include:

If you believe you qualify for the HAMP program, please contact your lender’s loss mitigation department. If you choose to speak with a HUD counselor specializing in the HAMP efforts, please contact the HOPE hotline at 1-888-995-4673. They will work with your lender on your behalf to make sure that procedures are followed.

Please remember that the lender has the resources to deem the borrower eligible or ineligible for the programs and that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do not work with borrowers directly. The easiest way to remember the scenario is this – borrowers are the customers of banks, while banks are the customers of the investor (in most cases Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac).  Any restructure must go through their servicer directly. If a borrower believes that they are not being accurately evaluated, they can go to the investor as it relates to the Making Home Affordable initiative.

For more info on the MHA program, please visit www.makinghomeaffordable.gov.  You can also visit www.financialstability.gov.

Chapter 7 or Chapter 13?

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I decided I could help spread knowledge to those who are possibly considering bankruptcy.

Financial difficulties can cause great distress in our lives. Given the recent downfall of the economy and the nation’s road to recovery, many are wondering if bankruptcy is the best option to protect their assets. Below are a few things you should know before you file.

A Chapter 7 is the most common bankruptcy filed. A Chapter 7 allows individuals to liquidate assets to absolve most of their debts and get a fresh start on their financial future. Filing a Chapter 7 does not automatically mean that you will lose your home or your car. In fact, clients are often able to retain possession of key assets.

A Chapter 13 is a restructure of debt. Often this is the best solution for individuals who do not qualify for a straight liquidation solution. The Chapter 13 plan allows individuals to pay a portion of their debts according to a court determined plan. The plan typically spans 3-5 years, and is geared toward individuals who own, and wish to keep, their property.

For more information, visit www.hopewell-law.com