Should I Remain Calm, or Curse Him Out?

It’s a known fact that when you’re in a relationship, at some point you and your partner will disagree. That doesn’t mean that each time you disagree it will rock your foundation. In my opinion, a disagreement in a relationship is the outcome of two completely different people trying to either make the other conform to their ways, or the two are trying to understand one another and meet on common grounds. Attitudes soar in disagreements and then it turns into an argument. In those intense moments, it’s super important to think about what your response or reaction will be. Effective communication is best. A screaming match, sleeping in separate rooms, going out drinking, or cheating won’t correct any issue within your relationship. Another mistake people make is talking about their partner terribly to family and friends when an argument has taken place.

We often make the mistake of dogging our spouse out to others behind their back. Simply put, words hurt. Even though you’re not saying it to them directly, you’re planting seeds about them in other people and putting it out there into the universe. Your words hold weight. Scripture says that the power of life and death lie within our tongues. We have to remember that old saying, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” No matter how mad you are, no matter how sad you are… Think about what you’re saying before you say it. This doesn’t mean you have to sit quietly and suppress your emotions. It’s more so the act of practicing self control and loving your spouse through your pain and/or anger. Most of the time it’s not what our partners are saying, but it’s how they’re saying it that truly affects us.

Our words tend to be a reflection of our heart.

I don’t know how many times my friends and I and have had to reset our thoughts about each other’s boyfriends because we only spoke about the negative aspects of our relationships. We share all of our negative thoughts about our partners, never putting an emphasis on the good they do. In turn, we’re sowing a seed in ourselves and those around us. Now, if you’re in a relationship with a jerk, it is what it is. There’s no good to report.

So… should I keep calm or curse him out? Usually my initial thought is to curse him out and throw something at him, but I choose to stay calm. Why? Because although my feelings are valid, they may only be for the moment. I have to take the necessary time to assess what my husband has said to me to see if I truly agree or disagree. If I respond the wrong way immediately, it makes it hard to come back and remedy the situation.

This isn’t always an easy task. Most times I feel like I’m shutting down my feelings and letting him “win.” However, when I take the time to calm down, I’m able to come back to him and ask pertinent questions about what he said. Afterwards, I’m either able to confirm the feelings I felt or realize that I didn’t hear any of what he said correctly. I tend to shut my husband out after I hear the first point that I disagree with and my emotions naturally take over.

A few months ago, my husband and I were in a deep debate about the future of our family, and it was taking a toll on both of us. I was seriously sick because it was the first time we actually disagreed and neither of us were hinting at conceding to the other. We couldn’t see eye-to-eye, and I was confident in my feelings. I had no plans of backing down. We eventually softened our hearts to one another, but it was after a lot of prayer and guidance from my spiritual mentor. Guess what? My stance was valid, but my way turned out to be the wrong way.  Had we gone with my decision, we would have surely suffered. I gratefully stepped back, and let God and my husband do the work. I wanted to curse him out every time I spoke to him, and I wanted to run to my mother and friends and talk badly about him just so that I could hear “yeah you are so right.” I’m glad I didn’t. Instead, I prayed without ceasing and sought godly advice from those loved ones.

Over the years, I’ve matured gracefully and gained a great circle of accountability. I had no need to speak ill about my husband to my support system because they were able to offer sound advice rather than just their opinions. Get your mind right, learn how to communicate effectively, pray without ceasing for yourself, your partner and your relationship, and get your circle in order! Lastly, “be sure to taste your words before you spit them out.”

 

 

Standards vs. Expectations

After days of scrolling through social media, I HAD to blog about my experience and thoughts on a few posts. They all had a similar tone. If your girl or man don’t (fill in the blank), you can’t marry them. Here’s the most recent post that sent me running to my blog. “If yo mama cooking and she don’t go in there to help you can’t marry her.” Of course there were thousands of responses, but you know I had to go to my husband to see what his thoughts were. His response (not verbatim), “The fact that he associates a woman in the kitchen being wife material is a problem to me.” He totally stans for women and I adore him for it!

As we dove deeper into conversation, I began to think about the difference between having standards versus expectations. We both agreed that there is a difference between the two, and find it to be one of the leading causes to men and women missing out on a good woman or man.

In my opinion, standard is the measure of the quality or value of someone. It’s the determining factor in whether you decide to pursue someone or allow them to pursue you. Expectation is what you believe someone should be or will do. If one does not meet your expectation, you may be disappointed, but not completely turned off.

Here’s a snippet of what my standards looked like:

  1. He can’t smoke cigarettes.
  2. He has to believe in the same God as me.
  3. He has to have good hygiene.
  4. He has to be taller than me.
  5. He has to be able to hold an intelligent conversation.

AND MORE!

Here’s a list of what my expectations looked like:

  1. He must be able to cook like my father.
  2. He must be great with his hands (plumbing, mechanic, building, DIY).
  3. He must have a nice haircut. (Preferably like Morris Chestnut in The Best Man)
  4. He must be a football player.
  5. He has to be bigger than me. (Gotta be ready for this jelly)

AND MORE!

I wouldn’t budge with my standards, but my expectations were things I could soften up on. Maybe he’s not the best cook, but he’s responsible with his money. Okay, so he’s not that great at fixing things around the house, but he’s willing to learn. I love haircuts, but men with curls and locs are just as handsome. He may not be a football player, but he’s healthy and athletic. There’s a rebuttal for them all.

In the post earlier, I immediately thought “what if his girl didn’t know how to cook, but planned on helping her set the table and clean up?” Is she still not capable of being a wife? Maybe she’s not confident in her cooking skills, but is willing to take lessons? What if her mother never allowed her in the kitchen growing up, so she doesn’t even think about helping out in the kitchen? There are so many factors. I believe it is when we set high expectations in individuals that we become severely disappointed. Humans disappoint all the time! We’re not perfect. That’s why we have to simply view our expectations as a hope, but not a determining factor.

For example, a woman who is pregnant is not told that she will have her baby on a specific date. She is given an estimated due date. A date that she can expect to have her child(ren) on, before or after. When a business has a job listing posted, they list skills that are required and skills that are preferred but not required. That means that if one does not possess the preferred skills, the business will not turn them away. They simply hope that the candidate will have them. In my experience, the employer will say something like, “skills are preferred or candidate must be willing to obtain training.” What if we applied that in our relationships? I prefer my girlfriend to be able to cook, but if she’s not able to in the beginning, she must be willing to learn. That is actually a mix of expectation and standard. It allows each individual involved to be honest and determine which direction they will go in.

Now, as usual these are my thoughts and opinions. Some of my standards may sound like expectations to others and vice versa. All in all, I think we as people need to know the difference between standards and expectations, and make sure that we are putting emphasis on the more important one. I believe that expectations can be discussed with one another, while standards cannot. We also tend to set high expectations but take offense when we do not meet another’s expectations. “My man has to make sure that my hair, nails and toenails are always done,” but you can’t even take the car to a drive-thru car wash. Honestly, sometimes our standards are a bit extreme too. “My man has to make more than me, and I make $70,000 per year.” Okay, so this woman marries a man who makes $115,000 per year, but he loses his job because the company goes bankrupt. What next? Do you divorce him?

This post is not to persuade anyone to lower their standards. However, I am definitely one who says, lighten up on your expectations of humans and shift them toward the Lord (or whoever you believe in).

 

 

 

 

Treat Him Like A King

Lately I’ve been seeing posts on Instagram and Facebook where a woman will make a statement, and then say something like “treat your man like a king.” For example, a woman posted a picture of her partner’s clothes, shoes, accessories, lunch, and everything else he would need for the day laid out for him with the following caption: “When you get your Man [man] ready for work while he sleep [he’s sleeping] [be]cause  he have [has] to be there at 4am [.] Lunch packed, clothes ready, ran him a hot bath before bed, and when he gets home [sexual innuendo], nothing but King treatment when you [you’re] a hard-working man. I also saw another post where a women said  “If my man pays for lunch, I’ll pay for dinner. If he pays for movie tickets, I got the snacks. If he gets the bill I’ll get the next. 50/50 is where it’s at stop expecting to be treated like a queen if you’re not treating him like a king.”

I saw mixed views in the comment section of each post, but majority were “I’m not doing all that for no grown man.” I also saw responses like “I know my man wouldn’t do that for me, so I’m not doing all of that for him.” I made no judgement against anyone and their response because we are all entitled to our own opinions; however I was appalled at some of the responses I read. Here’s my thoughts:

First, let’s separate the two posts and break them down individually. I believe that going 50/50 in a relationship is for those who are girlfriend and boyfriend only. In that type of relationship, majority of your finances are separate, you have your own car, and if you believe in cohabitation before marriage, both names are on the lease so you feel obligated to split the payments for rent and utilities. When it comes to marriage, there is no 50/50. My money is your money, and your money is my money. So whoever decides to pull their card out first to pay isn’t doing the other a favor or saying “I got this baby.” You’re basically saying “we can use my card this time.” When you’re married, all your money should go into the same accounts. If you have the bills automatically drafted then there is no “I’ll take care of the electricity this month,” or “You didn’t put up your half for the rent/mortgage.” I’ll be honest and admit that my husband and I operated in this manner before we actually said “I do.” That mindset started before marriage because we already had our first daughter so we saw no point in going 50/50 when we were in a healthy relationship with one another. It makes me wonder… People who are in relationships and are cohabitants… do they go 50/50 on the child(ren) also? For example, one takes care of the pampers, wipes and milk while the other takes care of daycare and clothes? I’m not sure, but that mindset made no sense to my husband (fiancé’ at the time) and I.

I know a lot of married women and men dislike the idea of shared bank accounts because they still want the ability to do what they want without someone checking on them, or having to discuss a purchase. Well that’s where communication comes in. You have to put it all out there. Go over your budget to see what you have to pay for and how much it costs; what’s left over and how much you will allot for yourselves in order to treat yourselves. Separate bank accounts screams secrecy and “my money!” so loud to me and those are both negative elements that can lead to negative outcomes in one’s marriage. Why? Because finances are one of the leading causes of divorce in married couples. Why? Because married individuals are lying about their debt, their spending habits and create a war zone within their union. If you’re boyfriend and girlfriend, by all means keep it separate and 50/50. Why? Because when you sign that lease with one another and a break-up happens, you both have to come up with the money to break the lease. Or will you live with one another in suffrage until the lease is up? Everyone’s definition of Queen and King treatment is different, but going 50/50 on lunch, a movie date and dinner is not treating your partner like a Queen or King. I see that as simply seeing your partner as an equal and not expecting him/her to pay for everything while you spend your money freely on yourself. It’s an act of generosity and empathy.

Now when it comes to taking care of all your significant other’s needs in preparation for work the next day, I’m all for it. I don’t think one should expect that treatment from their partner, but I also don’t think that a woman should feel like she is taking care of an additional child while doing it. I’m a mother so I know that struggle of “I’ve been working, taking care of the kids and this house, I’m not about to be your maid.” Many of us feel like our husbands only go to work and that’s it. They come home take their clothes off, sit on the toilet for an hour or two, play with the kids for a little, eat and watch TV. Meanwhile, we’re washing the same load of clothes for the 3rd time because we keep forgetting to put them in the dryer, stopping one child from knocking their entire plate onto the carpet, all while trying to hold onto our edges. After all of that, who feels like getting their husbands belongings together like it’s their first day of school?

I strongly believe this act takes for one to know their spouse’s love language and their individual love language as well. This action sounds like an act of service to me. Maybe that wife appreciates her husband going out and working 12 hours in the sun and wants to see him relax. Maybe her husband responds to her in a positive way when he sees how much she’s done around the house and still managed to take care of him. I saw some women say that they begrudgingly lay everything out for their husbands so that they won’t wake them up and bother them when they can’t find something. Sounds about right.

I also see laying everything out as an additional way of being a keeper of one’s home. Just making sure that everything and everyone is ready for the next work and school day. It makes for a smooth transition in the morning and a stronger possibly of an on-time arrival. My husband typically likes to choose his own clothes and likes to put his wallet and keys in the same place each day (or he’ll forget) so I don’t have to worry about doing those things. Nevertheless, if he needed me to do it, I surely would. My husband works 14-hour days, and as a black man walks out our home into a world where there is a target on his back, and the weight of providing for his family weighs heavy on his shoulders. While he’s home with us, I want to make sure that I make his time as easy-going as possible, and do what allows for him to spend every free minute he has with the children. I know that if I don’t give him something for breakfast or provide some snacks, he may not eat until dinner. I refuse to let my husband wither away. I do it out of love. The Bible calls it agape love. When you do something out of pure love and don’t expect anything back.

As far as King status goes, he’s definitely my King on earth. In a world that views him as a threat, I see him as royalty so I will most definitely treat him like a King. I also believe myself to be a Queen; therefore I am married to my King. Treating him like a King doesn’t mean I become his servant, but I do acts of service. Jesus Himself served his disciples. I don’t view the act of taking care of my husband as taking away from me. It doesn’t mean that I ignore what the world thinks of me as a black women. It doesn’t mean that I beat myself to a pulp trying to care for our children and him. It’s all about perception. But I’m also married to a man where those things are not options. He reciprocates that agape love the best way he knows how and treats me like the ultimate Queen.

I’m grateful.