All Things Considered – Ten Reasons Relationships Fail

6 Comments

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. 🙂

Advertisements

Abodam!

1 Comment

He stares out of the window watching the birds play in the bath because it’s his only comfort. He wishes that he could fly away with them. Friends have abandoned him over the years and his family has too. He wonders if the birds would be loyal to his supernatural ability.

A woman in a white coat approaches and hands him a pink tablet. “Take your medicine” she says as he growls at the thought of being drugged for most of the day. “It’ll help you think clearly” she reassured.  But he knows different. It will only satisfy the staff and the others that call him crazy. He will sleep most of the day and feel groggy during the rest. His body once full of energy now drained because experimental medicines work against his natural self.

His life turned upside down when voices inside his head told him things that no one else could understand. For instance, one day a voice told him to pull the fire alarm in his building because the kitchen was going to catch fire. Rather than being a hero for preventing such a devastation, he was scorned because no one understood why he’d do such a thing. No one predicted the fire but him.

Shortly after, he barred the windows in his parent’s home because a voice told him that someone would break in otherwise. Although they tried their hardest not to believe that their child had gone insane, they couldn’t help but label him delusional and paranoid.

Other occurrences of the voices getting him in to trouble were sporadic but enough to scare his friends in to isolation. Soon he accepted the fact that he just might be crazy. His last episode landed him in this treatment center. He beat up a man because the voices told him that the guy was a rapist. The judge found him mentally insane and ordered that he seek treatment. To this day, he doesn’t understand why the rapist was a victim of a victimless crime.

Treatment doesn’t help – no matter what they have you to believe. The idea of being drugged and sleeping most of your life away is no way for a man to live. He might as well be among the walking dead. “Especially since they don’t understand me,” he whispers before he swallows the pink pill to satisfy the lady in white standing in front of him.

As dawn turns to night, he doesn’t move from his spot. Dozing in and out of pointless naps and embracing the voices within his head he sobs. He doesn’t understand why he’s made out to be such a crazy fool when the voices are just as real as you and I. “I’m not crazy.” He reassured himself and the voices seem to reassure him too.

The next day a preacher walked in to pray with him, just as he’d done every week for the past three months. This time the man looked up at the preacher and asked “do you think I’m crazy?” The preacher looked down at him and said “I pray for your mental health”.

Irritated, the guy asked again, “Do you think I’m crazy for hearing these voices that no one else hears?”

The preacher reassured, “God didn’t create you this way”.

The man snarled because he knew the preacher was not being straight forward with him. He had to become smarter in his approach.

“Do you talk to God?” He asks.

“Well, of course” the preacher responds.

“Then why aren’t you a patient in this hospital with me?” The man quickly replies.

Stumped the preacher looks around the room. “What do you mean?”

The man filled with emotion stands in front of the preacher, “If you hear God speaking to you, and no one else can hear him speak to you, then why am I the only one labeled as crazy between us two?”

With no answer, the preacher looks down at his bible. He’s not shaken or afraid, but for once in his life he realized that he didn’t have a justification for such crazy talk.

“Is it because you label your voices God, and mine are just voices? Or is it because my voices foresee things that no one sees?” The man exclaimed.

In a silly sort of way the preacher knew the man had a point. There was no mistaking that the voice of God was real, but he figured he shouldn’t doubt the man’s voices either. Especially if he were living to not judge him.

Hmmm.  Abodam [crazy] is only in the eye of the beholder uh?

– Written by Beatrice McClearn

Coverless Book

2 Comments

Yesterday morning I noticed a homeless guy sitting on a bench.  His duffel bag was cocked over the side of the arm rest and his head nearly fell in his lap as he slept his way through the passersby and loud engines.  As I approached him I was able to get a clearer picture of the frail old man.  His shoes were worn, although his jeans were fairly in tact.  Nothing but a sweatshirt protected him from the frigid weather, and his hands shriveled from the night before.  His hat seemed to keep him warm, but who really knows how long he’d been out in this weather and if the night was really so kind.  Right next to his duffel bag was a change jar, with a sign made out of cardboard “Need Food. Please help!”  And even though he wasn’t ‘working’ the change jar at the moment, something tells me that he won’t mind if it working for him until he awakes.

“Mommy look,” a young boy pointed as he and his mother made their way around the homeless man.  Careful not to get too close, the mother snatched her son’s hand, wrapped inside a cozy glove, and swiftly moved along.  When they passed, the young boy turned around and peeked his eyes above the hood of his coat to see if the old man had awakened.  It was at that moment, I realized that the woman’s aggressive response instilled a bit of fear in her son.  Unaware of what was happening, the old man continued to sleep.

Rather than continue walking, I made my way to a bench just opposite of the old man. I reached in my purse and pulled out my brand new BlackBerry.  I sat there for ten minutes pretending to pull e-mails from my company address.  In reality those ten minutes were spent quietly observing reactions of passersby.  Not that being homeless is unusual in Washington D.C., but rather taking the time to notice is quite rare.

At any rate, during my random observation I learned that the response of most people was inhumane.  The stares he received were cold, just like the weather and the temperatures he endured the night before.  A few people commented as they passed saying things like “he stinks,” or “I’m writing my local congressman.”  A few times I was certain that the old man was awake but rather too ashamed to raise his head.  So to avoid the blow of the stones he found solace in pretending he didn’t exist.  Afterall I guess he thought we felt the same – that he didn’t exist.

The cold wind began turning my bundled body to ice, so I got up from my spot and walked over to the old man’s jar.  I reached in my purse and pulled out the first bill I saw. The old man looked at me with helpless eyes and whispered “thank you ma’am” before I had the opportunity to put it in the welcome hole.  My heart stopped a bit as I remembered ridicule he’d endured in just the ten minutes I observed him. 

Something came over me and told me to put the $10 in his hand rather than the jar.  So I did.  He was taken back by the fact that someone would actually touch him rather than feed him money through a jar barrier. “Bless you,” he continued. This time he opened his mouth wide enough for me to notice that he was missing most of his teeth.  I didn’t want to speculate if it was due to a drug addiction or lack of healthcare, so I left it for what it was.

“No, bless you.” I say to him as I sit next to him on the bench. “I want you to grab something to eat with that money.”

“Yes ma’am.” He says. 

“Do you have family in the area? Anyone you can call?” I continue.

“No ma’am. I lost my house, my family, and my sanity all within a year.” He looked back at the ground and allowed the guilt to overpower him once more.

There was nothing I could do or say except, “There’s always a redemption period. Whenever you muster up the strength to allow yourself to go through that and move forward, call me and I’ll help you find a job.”

He nodded and I wasn’t sure if he took me seriously, but just in case he did I reached in my wallet and handed him my business card. I know it was a risky thing to do, but I felt it was the humane thing to do.  If I were Christian, I’d probably have asked, “What would Jesus do?”

I walked away from that meeting more touched by his situation than I was with my own.  I wasn’t certain if he’d call, but at least I may have given him hope.  In my eyes, that’s much better than cold stares and snide remarks. 

In today’s paper I read that a homeless man was found dead in the same area I met my friend yesterday.  I read the article repeatedly with a sunken heart.  I learned that he was the infamous James Tolson, former owner of Jay’s Tire Company a big name in NASCAR.   I learned that he sold his empire when he lost his wife and daughter in a house fire caused by a gas explosion, and that he gave all of his money to charities around the city before taking a few items and floating around the U.S.  He has one surving relative, an uncle in Philadelphia, who had unsuccessful attempts to find him after the incident.

I dropped the paper in disbelief.  “He gave up a life of luxury to find just a little bit of solace within himself,” I thought.  How could I be the one to judge him and think that he needed or would accept a job from me? Was I wrong?

This morning a young flirty couple replaced the old man on the bench.  My judgment and curiosity from yesterday was replaced with guilt.  How dare me. How dare the rest of the passersby?

– Written by Beatrice McClearn