Of In-Laws and Out-Laws

In-laws and Out-laws
Every where and no where
Where did they come from
And why are they so named?

Is’t all about benefits?
One thinking
You brought more
While the other
Supposed you’re taking benefits away.

Whose benefits anyways?

Didn’t God say
He or she
Would leave you some day.
That some day is now.

But In-laws and Out-laws
Suppose they’re never
Coming back again

Why make my life miserable
Just because I married
Your son or daughter

Can’t I just be?
Can’t I just be?
Can’t I just be?

The In-laws are good
Some are great
The best are those
Who welcome you
With open hands
And open house
They know
They’ve enlarged their family
With your addition
You are the daughter they never had
Or the other son they always wished for.

Their son or daughter’s happiness and peace
Is theirs also
No bother
Just mothering
And fathering
Just totally loving
They love their son
Or daughter
And have no choice
But to love you
Cos it’s one big happy family.

Out-laws. Out-laws. Out-laws. Must be so called for a reason
They never want you in
They don’t care. They compete with you for that son or daughter’s attention
They forgot
You also came from
Somewhere, someone, and some family
But care not they.

You wonder why
Because

The Out-laws think
You’ve come to steal their precious son or daughter
They banish you from everything familial
And strip you of all spousal benefits
As they vehemently guard against your happiness
Thinking you’ll leave soon
Little did they know
You’ve come to stay.

In-Laws and Out-Laws
Please love your daughters-in-law And sons-in-law
Like you love your
Very own Son or daughter
Hate your daughters-in-law And sons-in-law
And you’re
Hating your very own son or daughter.

Do remember Your son or daughter will join another family too.

I know

You all have a mutual connection
Whom you all love
If we all love
Life and marriage
Would be great

I love you anyways
You’re my second mother
And father
And sister
And brother
And family

Together,
We’re all
One big happy family
If we leave
The Law out if it.
The Law is the problem
But we can overcome it,

Let’s all be
In
In-laws, not Out-Laws.

Of Marriage and Divorce

They found each other
after experiencing others

On the dating field of romance, heartaches, and false promises
No other could match up

It was nice that
They experienced those
Just to wait for each other
And to know that they wanted none of the others.

They were meant for each other forever
They were meant to be, to meet, and to enjoy the bliss
Just the two of them.

They wanted to stop the clock from chiming and telling them the day was over

Their beginning was beautiful
They started out right
Enjoyed each other’s arms and might
They couldn’t have enough of one another
As they wanted to make the most of the moments with each other.

He asked her before taking any action
And she loved waiting to hear his thoughts on her decisions.

Oh what a heaven on earth

They got married
And began doing life together

Marriage was beautiful
They couldn’t have asked for more or better

“Marriage is honourable in all ...”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭13:4‬ ‭KJV‬‬

On the outside
They were promising and progressive couples

On the inside
They were trying to maneuver
this thing called life and marriage
But at least they were trying.

Then, the children came
The friends’ list expanded
The in-laws visited
The families invited themselves
The neighbors stopped by

Some left as soon as they came
Some stayed a little longer than they wanted them to

But boy oh boy
Seemed a little of each of them left with their boundless guests.

Work got working
Babies got kicking
Bills got higher
Stress seeped in unannounced

Health gave them a notice
hey friends, you need to clean up your slates”

They got weary
And left life little things undone

And suddenly

She was hurting
But he couldn’t see the pain
He thought all that was now necessary was to work to pay the bills
What happened to their usual getaways
And the annual vacations
All seemed to have vanished

Why wasn’t she no longer enough for him
Why doesn’t he call her again when he’d be home late
Why leave her out in the cold
To follow others
Why are his eyes roaming around
when the peace is right beside him
And the beauty is inside his arms and house waiting for his arrival.

Weekends are spent away from each other
The one doing what he or she wants
Except for the children’s noises
One couldn’t tell there was any soul in the house.

The friends, in-laws, families, and neighbors who came are living happily
But alas they are both languishing in hurts, pains, and misery

You weren’t supposed to trade places

Those people now see them
And look the other way

Do they know a thing or more?

Oh honey
You two need to talk

And yes, they talked
but not to or with each other
They talked instead
to and with the friends, families, and guests
Those who no longer really know them
But who still viewed them as they once knew them

That was part of the problem
My friends.

So, one wrote a note to the other
Guess who did
But “oh you’re too late”
I filed for divorce
You’ll be getting it soon.

What happened
What happened to the bliss and laughters
What began sweet, beautiful, loving, and peaceful
Has disintegrated
To hatred, ill-wishes, and bickering

Families split
Friends taking sides
The children taking solace in other things than their loving parents.

You dropped the ball somehow

Is this the end?
Whoever said something good can’t last forever

Is there an avenue of escape
Why believe the lies
And think that the grass is greener elsewhere
Could it have been tuft
Or miracle gro
Or they did their part to water and nourish their garden daily?

If you can’t stop this from falling apart

My friends, you can’t stop any other.

The difference between
A successful marriage
And one ending in divorce
Are many

Ever heard of
Mutuality and Communication
And Value
That is, valuing each other over and above those people who aren’t really in it with you;
And Prioritizing
Friends, there’s a lot we can prioritize about each other;
Ever heard of Respect, too
Or Praying or Faith or Wisdom?
I’m sure you’ve heard
Of Love
Because you both started there
But my friends
Love is nothing
Without the other attributes
Together they make the difference between
Marriage and Divorce.

“... because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. ...”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭19:8-9‬ ‭KJV‬‬

My dear, so you think you’re ready for marriage. How do you fair in these areas?

There was a time when there were no books on marriages nor on pregnancy and having children. Now there are ample books, including scholarly non-fictions and numerous blogs, on both topics to choose from.

I join to blog my perspectives, and to propose areas of development, for ladies before embarking on the journey of the most controversial institution of marriage.

Is marriage for everyone?

I’m torn in my answer to the question. There’s a part of me that remembers and answers according to Matthew 19:11-12; see below. And with that would say that marriage is not for everyone. There’s the other part of me that says “how do you know if you haven’t tried it.”

This post is for those who desire marriage. Being fully cognizant of the fact that nothing in life is guaranteed, after all you’re only one part of the union, I pen in the hope that being prepared and intentionally developing one self signifies that you are doing your part towards having the marriage that you desire.

So, you think that you are ready for marriage. Are you really? How do you fare in the following areas? Let’s find out.

You have a boyfriend and are going steady. You believe that you are in love and that your boyfriend loves you. That’s great because mutuality is key in a relationship. But I’m sorry to disappoint you by letting you know that love alone no longer sustain marriages. If you’ve been listening to the news, marriages are falling apart not after the first five years now, but after having been married for decades – 10 – 27 years! What happened to the love? Your guess is as good as mine.

Self Development

Self development is lifelong. However, I have noticed that most ladies don’t self-develop themselves for marriage. I didn’t because I wasn’t aware of the need to and nobody told me that I had to. In retrospect, I wished now that I did. I didn’t even go through a pre-marriage counseling as I wasn’t married in a church. Anyways …

I’m proposing an intentional self development for pre-marriage. I hope it’s beneficial to those who embrace it.

Ladies, you must intentionally develop yourselves in 6, plus 1, main areas before deciding to marry. The earlier your self development starts, the better you would be in marriage.
The foundational areas of self development which I believe are essential, for ladies, for a successful marriage, not in any particular order but merely to form an easy acronym, “PEMFESS + P” are:

  1. P – Physical (nutrition, health & wellness)
  2. E – Emotional (emotions/maturity) / M – Mental (of the mind toughness)
  3. F – Financial (yes, money)
  4. E – Educational (college is still important)
  5. S – Social (connectedness)
  6. S – Spiritual (higher connection)
  7. P – Productive / Work (job or business).

I believe that the above areas will develop you holistically and help build a strong/er foundation for your marriage.

The seven areas are interrelated. A success in one does not necessarily equate a success in the other, but a failure in one will definitely affect the other.

Read along with me as we think and talk through each area. To be continued.

Ladies and Their Last Names

Credits: Unsplash / @austinkirk

Is’t necessary for ladies to change their last name on marriage?

Credits: Unsplash / @beatriz_perez

First, what’s in a last name? Or, put another way, what’s in your last name? Some regions call it surname.

Your last name/surname is your legacy. Your DNA.

Traditions

In researching for this post, I found an article on the origin of last names. The article stated that

  1. People haven’t always had last names.
  2. China was one of the earliest civilizations to use surnames.
  3. For many years, surnames were passed down by mothers, and
  4. European last names had many sources which can be put into four groups: patronymic, locative, occupational or status, and nicknames.

Most cultures now take on their father’s last name. People change their first names all the time. I did legally from the long to the short form of my name. But it is rare to change one’s last name.

Marriage and Last Name

In several cultures, once married, ladies take on their husbands’ last name. But is’t necessary? When and where did it start? Does it have to continue unchanged forever? This is not about women’s lib. Let’s reason together. I think it is just a tradition that people are hard to let go of. Falls into the “it’s the way it’s done” and “we’ve always done it this way” kind. Read this article to find out more.

As I write this post, I remembered a guy who five years ago took on his new wife’s last name rather than follow tradition. Of course his family didn’t appreciate him doing that but … Initially, I also was apprehensive but later shrugged it off. Why not? Who says that it has to always be one way?

I recognize that some ladies will desire to change to their married name to showcase their new title/status. Society and sometimes the families (both the maiden and marital) insist that the lady change to her married name. If not, it is viewed as if the woman still wants to “roam the singles’ fields” and is not ready for marriage. That’s certainly not true. The change to marital name shouldn’t be mandated (or forced) for those who don’t desire it.

Divorce and Last Name

Noone married hopes for a divorce, but it happens. The after-divorce is one reason why some women retain their maiden name. Some might connote this as a self/fulfilling prophecy to which I disagree. On divorce, especially in a highly-contested one, the desire to continue to carry the name might not be present. Changing back the last name is easy, but it is a huge hassle to change one’s records (for example, career, academic, professional, credit, financial , etc.). It is not a one-time-take-care-of-it-all thing. You never know when you might have to prove your identity in the future because of the change. So what do ladies do? It’s the ladies’ choice. But if it causes disharmony, err on the side of peaceful agreement. An alternative is to use the maiden-married last name hopefully that soothes both parties,

Daughters of Daughters

Also, daughters easily lose their patronymic identity on marriage as a result of this tradition. What if those daughters bore more or only daughters? This might mean that the maiden last name might eventually be extinct. What do such daughters do? My suggestion is to include the mother’s maiden last name on their daughters (or even all children’s) birth certificates so the last name can continue and because it is an important part of their identity.

What are your thoughts on ladies maintaining their maiden last name, and continuing the legacy of the name, on marriage?

What makes a man marry several women?

Libido? Cupidity? Power (Clout) and Control, Social Status, Shortage of men, or simply because they can and the women allow it?

Your answer is as good as mine.

. . .

Polygamy is the act of marrying multiple spouses, simultaneously or sequentially, without first divorcing the other spouse.

Sociologists have different terms when the man marries multiple wives. The act is called polygyny; and polyandry when the woman marries multiple men.

The term globally used though is polygamy and it is widespread among men; rather than women. This blog prefers the term polygamy to polygyny.

Where is Polygamy Practiced?

While polygamy is illegal in most countries, it is still an act practiced in parts of Africa and Asia.

Polygamy was practiced up till 1993 in France! Click here for a list of countries’ current statuses on polygamy.

Justifications

Religion:

Religious reasons permit men to marry several wives. For example, the Islamic religious tenets permit men to marry a maximum of four wives, with a caveat that they can afford to take care of the women and treat them equally. However, I know tons of moslem men who can’t afford to marry one wife let alone four, but nonetheless indulge in polygamy.

Likewise, I have known devout moslem men, though rare, who married only one wife till death.

What is disturbing though is that Christian men also marry several wives! Granted that the Quran/Koran (Islamic sacred texts) permits the moslem men to engage in polygamous acts, there is nowhere in the Bible where it is written that a man can marry several wives. Some might want to exemplify Solomon or David or Abraham and his sons. Before you do, first, it was not a religious permission; the men chose to do it of themselves, and secondly, that was Old Testament (pre-Christ); and thirdly, please note that God did not sanction their actions.

The Mormon is another religion that allows polygamy.

To avoid mistresses

Some men justify the act of polygamy by claiming that it is better to marry the women rather than hiding to have mistresses outside the home. The sad truth is that the men still have mistresses anyways.

. . .

Another factor is that some women simply like to be “kept” women and be splurged with money and things. The men often pay the women’s rents or mortgages and everything else the women want and need.

Historical reasons

History tells us that men married several women in order to have help on the farm and in their businesses. Such that the children also were put to work prematurely.

Cultural pressures

Certain cultures pressure the man to take on other women for various reasons which include:

  1. if the woman suffers from infertility and is unable to bear children, or
  2. if the woman bears sole sexes (that is, all boys or all girls), or
  3. simply and wickedly to force the woman to succumb to the man’s family pressures to let her know that her in-laws still control the man and/or relegate the woman to an inferior position in her home!

Should the men alone be blamed?

Maybe the onus should be on the women? Why would any woman agree to be number 2, or 5, or infinite? Why would any woman, knowingly, still agree to marry a married man? What makes the woman think that she will be different? It is often a matter of time. Seems once the woman bears the children, the man is out fishing again for a younger or more beautiful woman, and the cycle continues.

. . .

While some younger women marry into polygamy because of wealth or fame, others do so because they believe that their marriageable years have eluded them.

I believe that there is a man for each woman. The gender ratio; that is, the ratio of male to female, according to world records is still insignificant. In 2019, female world data was 49.58%,, compared to 49.97% in 1960!

The above world data link is interactive. To compare the numbers for any given years, simply change the base year (in the picture below, it is 1960) and the comparable year (here it is 2019).

Polygamy is not a positive or progressive lifestyle. There’s a hypocritical living style where everyone claims to be happy, loving, and cordial with one another. The truth however is that none is as happy as they claim and everyone is fighting for the love and attention of the Patriarch who is often the glue holding the family together.

Even with maternal siblings (those who share the same mother), true love often seem to be lost or uncertain. Children are tagged as belonging to (or favored by) one parent rather than both parents. With this stance, the siblings are pitted against one another or against the other parent.

Is there any Derived Benefit(s)?

Frankly, the only beneficiary of polygamy is the man. He gets to have any woman any time he wants. He also tends to put the women on their toes competing for his attention, love, and/or money.

. . .

Seriously, though, there might be some benefits derived from polygamy. I do not however advocate this form of marriage.

A few derived benefits, if true love were possible and exists within the home and its members, are that each member of the family has unique strengths, gifts, and skill sets that can be (or should be) shared and would be beneficial to all. Rather than looking outside, family members can depend on one another for those resources they would otherwise pay for. Bottomline, there’s ample help to go round.

Downside of Polygamy

I sincerely believe that men who indulge in polygamy are inconsiderate and can be described as both selfish or self-centered as they only live to satisfy their libido regardless of the feelings of their wives or children. They are unable to love the women equally or unconditionally. It is a loveless full house! They also are ignorant of the possibilities of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The children become their mothers’ responsibilities as they do not have the full attention of their dad. Unfortunately, the mothers find themselves becoming “forced” single parents as they, not both parents, are responsible for the upkeep of their children.

There’s chaos where the man, wives, and children all live under the same roof. I often wonder about the sleeping arrangements and who gets to sleep with the man daily. Would it be on a rotation-basis? Or would it solely be the youngest wife? Again, your guess is as good as mine.

There’s also immense and unhealthy competition among the wives and the children. Should one woman’s child or children succeed (or be more successful), the other wives and children become jealous and envious. This often leads to the Joseph-saga (in the Bible where Joseph who was loved by their dad became the envy of his siblings. They plotted to sell him as a slave and lied to their dad that an animal killed him – some of us will remember the story and its ending). Some households resort to occultism and fetishes against one another. This is barbaric.

In addition, the first wife, who often is the oldest woman, sadly has to live in silence watching her husband daily exhibits his machoism with the younger women. What mental torture!

Many homes have been split (if not destroyed) on the demise of the patriarch of the family.

Final word

Whatever the reason(s) men choose to marry several women, or women choose to marry an already-married man, just as technology presently is to the world and is still evolving, the idea (or act) of polygamy is archaic should be eradicated in this modern world and its future.

Women should resist the urge to be second or nth fiddle, as well as the pressure to marry an “already-married” man. Don’t give up ladies, your man will surely come. No marriage is without continuous work. There is a saying that goes, “one wife, one trouble!” Marrying multiple wives therefore equates multiple trouble irrespective of the family front that appears in public.

Men ought to know how to love and love well. There are abundant resources to help those who need the help. Love is a continuous work.

Women are better off marrying monogamously than polygamously; just pray that the right man seeks you out.

Men, on the other hand, should do their part to curb their libido and control their appetite for more. Resist the urge to jump in-and-out of love and beds!

My two cents. Thanks for reading.

Feel free to comment below and share.

Fair Fighting Rules for Relationships

Written by Dr. Eric Perry Image Credit: Pixabay “An eye for an eye will only make the world blind” ~Mahatma Gandhi Arguments and relationships go …

Fair Fighting Rules for Relationships

I’m sharing Dr. Eric Perry’s blog on Fair Fighting Rules for Relationships. Click on the above link to read it.

The Rules are shared with couples mostly during relationship counseling sessions. I believe that Dr. Perry is a Clinical Psychologist. Check his website out and follow him.

I recommend these Rules for all relationships; whether you’re still dating each other (best time to learn the rules!) or newly-weds or even had some years in marriage.

. . .

Have you ever walked in to a home where the couples were yelling at each other? Worst still, calling each other names? And you stare, eyes wide, not knowing what to do? Loving couples are not supposed to do certain things, right? Or maybe I belong to another planet but can’t help myself sharing life on planet Earth.

. . .

Husband: “You never listen to me?!

Wife: “You never allow me to talk?!”

Husband: “You did the same thing last month.”

Wife: “Yes, because you did it first!

Husband: “You’re always competing with me!

Wife: “Shame on you for saying that! Who did I marry?

As the guest, what do you do? Walk back out the door? At least the rantings paused for someone to answer the door. They knew you were coming and you would have expected that they would at least delay the quarrel. But, no, none will budge.

The above rantings are not uncommon in households. But those rantings should be missing in loving homes.

There’s often an underlying problem that needs immediate attention. But some folks prefer to sweep issues under the rug hoping that it will quietly fade away. To this I always say that “it has a way of rearing its ugly head when you least expect it.” And a relationship that has both overt and covert personalities should find a middle ground very early in the relationship to avoid the above kind of rantings. Dr. Eric Perry’s Rules should help.

. . .

Love should not resort to name-calling or try to suppress or oppress the other’s voice or personhood. And, there should be freedom and mutual respect in a relationship.

Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 

2 Corinthians 3:17

All relationships should have Rules and boundaries. Set yours today.

✌🏽😊

If men only knew … 5 Things men ought to know

If only men knew the gift of God that He gave them, men would handle their wives with utmost care and treat them as precious jewels.

Out of the bones of Adam (Genesis 2:21-23), Eve, the mother of all living (Genesis 20:3), was formed. And His Word said, “…, ye husbands, dwell with them (your wives) according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.” (1 Peter 3:7)

That your prayers be not hindered!

Dictionary.com https://www.dictionary.com/browse/hinder provides the definition of: ‘hinder’ as: ‘to cause delay, interruption, or difficulty in; hamper; impede:

In case you still do not understand, God says that if you call on Him, when you’re being (or have been) mean to, or have manhandled, or abused (in any way, shape, or form; i.e., emotional, physically, mentally, financially, spiritually, etc; your wife, He might not answer you quickly!

Why men, or anyone for that natter, would want to go through hindered prayers beats me.

. . .

Do men not know?

It bothers me to know, or hear, that men hit their wives, cheat on them, lie, or engage in idle chatter about them, and worse yet, relegate their wives while loving and placing everyone else above her.

  • Don’t they know that charity begins from home?
  • Don’t they know that both man and wife have become one in the eyes of God, despite that your family members or the public are trying to separate both of you?
  • Don’t they know that whatever ill men do or send their wives’ way, comes back to them; sometimes even much more?
  • Don’t they also know that even if the wife doesn’t say anything and tolerate the “abuse” for the sake of the children and keeping the family together, that God, Jehovah El Roi, sees it all and will avenge on her behalf?
  • Don’t men know that criticizing their wives publicly shows much more the kind of men they are?!!!

It’s a spiritual principle

Even men’s parents ought to take second place after their wives. This is a hard pill for many immature men to swallow. “What? The one who gave birth to me now takes second place?! No way!” Before you stone the messenger; God also said this : “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife” (Mark 10:7, Matthew 19:5, Mark 10:7. Ephesians 5:31).

How I have heard rumblings and offenses at this specific God’s Word! Have men ever wondered, or even asked the Author, why He put this verse in His Book? Only the wise man would stop to think and ask.

. . .

I once was a Mary Kay Cosmetics consultant. Mary Kay Ash was the founder of beauty products established primarily to help women make some income while still maintaining their homes/families. Her business was based on a principle that God is first, family second, and everything/everyone else third (or last). She touted this principle to her beauty consultants stating that if they followed it, they were sure to excel. At the time, I didn’t have a relationship with Father God; only knew Him as someone up there. That has since changed and I haven’t deviated from the valuable principle since knowing Him.

. . .

I said that to implore men to follow this same principle because they are the head (of the house/family) from which the oil flows.

Men, your wives are your help mate to be cherished. Treat your wife like your queen. You are the head and king of your domain and your wife is your partner (or as I normally say, the neck). If the head tries to make a wrong turn, the neck steers it back or becomes stiff forcing the head back to its normal position!

Men, please love your wives “…, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;” (Ephesians 5:25). As you do, you will enjoy the favor of God and man, you’ll be blessed going out and coming in, and your children will honor you because, to your son, you reflect the man they aspire to be, and of how they would treat their own wives; and for your daughters, you will be the yardstick they use to measure men or their own husbands.

5 things Men ought to know

Men ought to:

1. Love their wives unconditionally. Charity begins from home. God says “two have become one.” Loving her is loving yourself. I haven’t met anyone who hates himself. In fact, God says, “love her as Jesus loves the church and gave his life for it!”

2. Treat their wives like queens. Because ”two have become one,” men, you are the heads and kings of your domains and your wives are your partners (or as I normally say, the necks). If the head tries to make a wrong turn, the neck steers it back or becomes stiff forcing the head back to its normal position!

3. Listen to their wives. Women have been naturally wired with instincts and intuition. They just know things. Men (and the family) would benefit greatly if they first consult with, and listen to, their wives. As an example, God told Abraham to listen to Sarah when she asked that Hagar be sent away (Genesis 21:12).

4. Cover their wives. Wise men know how to do this. But for those who don’t, it simply means that you do not embarrass your wife intentionally or otherwise, especially publicly. Even when she is the cause of the embarrassment, it’s wisdom to cover her than causing her shame or more embarrassment.

5. Cherish her and help with the chores.

  1. Let her know that she’s the most important person in your life; not your mom. Your wife is the one who shares bed with you and cooks your meals; not your mom. Your wife is also the first point of call should there be, God forbid, an accident; not your mom! If your mom is more important, maybe you’re not ready for marriage. Ouch, that’s cold. But, sorry men, you need to hear it since your wife couldn’t tell you. I’m not disrespecting mothers, I’m one too. There’s a reason you married your wife and not your mom; never forget that reason;
  2. Know your wife’s primary love language and demonstrate such to her. Men, you (or both of you) will be frustrated if you keep buying her stuff when all she wants is to spend quality time with you or vice versa. Giving and receiving the right kind of love improves the aura of the home/family.
  3. Skip outings just to spend time together or just for her to rest and recharge her energy.
  4. If you have kids, take the kids out so she can rest.

Men, now that you know, please do the right thing to, and with, your wife if you haven’t already been doing so.

Thanks for reading.

Stay blessed!

Love-first model for marriage and relationships

We posed the question, in our previous blog, should-love-or-marriage-be-based-on-a-business-or-love-first-model.

We talked about the business-first model and what relationships would be like if we adopted that model. If you missed it, click bit.ly/2Czm55T to read it.

Today, we review the other type of relationship; love-first model. It should be a no-brainer that relationships are based on love, right? No! It’d amaze even Venus that it’s not so!

What is love?

Dictionary.com https://www.dictionary.com/browse/love offers a few definitions of: ‘love’ as:

  • a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person;
  • sexual passion or desire.
  • a person toward whom love is felt; beloved person; sweetheart.

What is the love-first model?

It is the kind that marriages and relationships ought to be about. It is also the kind where each edifies the other above one self. The Bible provides us with a standard:

“Love suffers long, and is kind;

love envies not;

love vaunts not itself, is not puffed up,

Love does not behave itself unseemly, seeks not his/her own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil;

Love rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails: ….”

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:4-8‬ ‭KJV

This is the utmost kind of relationship everyone desires and/or should aspire to. But how do we get it?

How can we enter into this ideal model?

I believe that this kind of relationship is possible when men wisely choose their ladies and the ladies patiently wait for their other half to search them out. Then, there is dignity, mutual respect, and appreciation in love.

If marriages and relationships are based on the love-first model, there will be no occurrences of separation, divorce, or leaving one another. The relationship one enters into, will culminate into marriages till death does one or both apart. That, to me, is the ideal kind!

But since we do have incidents of separation and divorces, is’t then safe to say that either one of the parties chose the wrong partner to begin with or that one or both entered into the relationship under pretense or that the marriage or relationship was entered into for the wrong reasons? Maybe? Only both parties can tell.

Your choice

Now that you know what love really is, which would you choose as your model for marriage or relationship; the business-first or the love-first?

For the love-first model, pray and have a confirmation in your spirit that you are choosing wisely because the alternative (aka wrong choice) can be disastrous.

Love and Peace!

Should love or marriage be based on a business- or love-first model?

“What’s in it for me?” “You rub my back and I rub yours (or scratch or poke yours depending on how I’m feeling about you! Lol). Sounds so cold, unh? Yet, these selfish and shamefacedly statements have now become cliches in households.

Why does anything have to be in it for you? What about the other person? Why have we starved love and become so hungry for the $dollar (or money, for those who don’t spend the almighty currency!)? What happened to us all?

I could rant endlessly in the hope that some “expert” somewhere could answer my questions.

With the above outlooks on love/marriage, falling in love or getting married becomes scary. Should it? Let’s talk about it and consider both models.

Business-first model

Dictionary.com defines ‘Business’ as:
https://www.dictionary.com/browse/business

  1. an occupation, profession, or trade:
  2. the purchase and sale of goods in an attempt to make a profit.
  3. a person, partnership, or corporation engaged in commerce, manufacturing, or a service; profit-seeking enterprise or concern.

Marriage is honorable …” Hebrews 13:4a

Types of businesses

There are different types of businesses; the top four are:

  1. Sole proprietorship
  2. Partnership
  3. Corporations
  4. Limited Liability Companies.

The business-first model in marriage is similar to a Partnership. In all businesses, it is wise to have an agreement/contract that clarifies expectations. The contract in marriage is called the Prenuptial Agreement or Prenups, for short.

My humble opinion is that prenups are business-in-marriage documents that should have no place when the marriage is grounded in love.

However, I can envisage why one person (or both) favors prenups before entering into the marriage.

For your information, prenups are not relegated to famous and wealthy folks. Average, everyday, working-class people have been known to request prenups before marrying. I wonder why anyone would marry prenuptially! Personally, I won’t.

Comment below if you would marry someone who presents you with a prenup. If not, why not? Thanks.

If a business model is applied to marriage, it implies that three scenarios are imminent:

  1. either one person profits, and the other losses;
  2. both parties win; or
  3. both parties lose!

Let’s expatiate on each scenario in reverse order

The third scenario (both parties lose; lose-lose) means that the outcome was a fallout, separation, or divorce. Is it safe to say then that both parties were misfits to start with? What caused a fallout or the ultimate decision of a divorce? What differences were so grave that could not have been forgiven, or as Californian courts will rule, were irreconcilable? Are we so callous with one another such that we take the “it’s my way or the highway!” stance? Maybe, we all should choose our significant others wisely before heading on the crooked road.

The second scenario (both parties win; win-win) is the ideal. But remember that the goal of starting a business is to make a profit; aka ROI, return on investment. In a marriage, what would those investments be? Using children as an example, as I couldn’t think of a better one,. Neither party didn’t begin the marriage with children. Each party brought something; the man contributed his sperm and the woman her eggs. “The profit” is the children?! What would we say about those in a second or third marriage who brought children into the new marriage. Blended home profit? What other examples can be used? Furniture, cars, etc. with the outcome (profit) being a home?! Maybe. What if one party does not have the furniture or cars? Should they still start a “business” together or the items become “ours” rather than mine or yours? Or as in a real business partnership, the type of partnership will be defined; that is, who would be the active, dormant/sleeping, limited powers, etc. partner? I’ll like to hear your thoughts on this.

With this scenario, it appears that both parties made the right choice of “business” partner, right? We all might need to take cue(s) from this type of business-first love/marriage.
How then would the profits be divided? 50/50 or ratio relative to your contribution?

The first scenario (win-loss) is a troublesome one. Were both parties, the onset, aware of what the outcome would be? Why would anyone knowingly enter into a losing business? Were there any part of the contract that was latent, ambiguous, or intentionally omitted? If so, should there still be a contract – shouldn’t the contract be voidable, void, and/or rescinded? Let’s ponder on these for a moment. Some relationships are doomed even before they begin because everyone saw and knew that it was never meant to be nor was it going to last. Only the people involved couldn’t see nor know it! I could name a few examples but I don’t want to be litigated! You probably know one or two as well.

. . .

Each of the above scenarios is worth pondering on. If you or I were to enter into a marriage or relationship, which scenario would you or I choose as our ideal? I know for sure that I would 💯 choose the second win-win scenario and I hope that you would, too.

What could humanity do to avoid a losing love/marriage? What sustainable relationship tips can we pass on that can help others and especially the younger generation?

Please comment below.

We’ll continue with the other model, Love-first in our next blog. Till then,

Love & Peace

Thanks for reading.

Housewife – Part Two: To be or not to be

This is a second part of the blog series Housewife. In my previous blog, [Housewife: A Case for the Title], I made a case for the housewife and included the benefits and disadvantages of being one. As stated in that blog, being a housewife is a choice just like any other career. But the career of a housewife falls under the nonprofit sector; whereas most careers are for-profit. The main difference being that the nonprofit careers come with salaries and some perks and benefits that are short compared to the private sector’s. However, being a housewife has neither salary nor perks.

Read along as I make another case for ladies/women who desire to be housewives advising them to critically scrutinize some side-issues before making the decision. Did I hear you mutter ”what’s she talking about now; she’s contradicting herself?!” No, I’m not. I just want to offer a deeper and often overlooked challenge of being a housewife. So, let’s talk about the other side of being a housewife.

. . .

A familiar scenario

John and Jane were happily married and looked like every inch of an ideal power couple which they were. John had a great job as an engineer in one of the top engineering companies in the City. They went on various vacations and short trips and all seemed well. They live in a nice home on the outskirts of Chicago. They have nice cars too; John drives a BMW 5i and Jane an Acura SUV. Within five years, they have had two kids. After the birth of the second child, it was harder for Jane to return to her job as a banker. They both decided that Jane stay home to care for their children. Jane agreed and began her career as a housewife. Within a few years of that decision, the impact of Jane’s salary was obvious and felt very hard. Jane couldn’t have new clothes, shoes, visit the salon, nail shop, or the massage/spa; all of which were regulars when she worked. Now with two kids, all funds and attention were focused on the children’s planning and saving for college. Meanwhile, John could purchase a shirt/pant or two occasionally to maintain his professional look. The vacations were relegated to the neighboring parks and their parents. It didn’t take long for Jane to start resenting the decision to be a housewife. 

Get it in writing

The mistake she, and other women, make is that they ignored the blindsides. They also agreed to the career choice of a housewife without a written contract or agreement. A mutual oral agreement is great as long as everyone is good, happy with one another, and/or life, and everything is going great. An oral agreement can however be denied, misunderstood, and orally revoked by either or both parties. What then is her recourse? 

In the above instance, Jane’s banker career was temporarily terminated. Should she return to the banking industry, her skills could be deemed obsolete and she would in essence have to start afresh depending on how long she was absent from the industry or she may have to switch careers.

Falling out of love?

Another often overlooked issue, but extremely important, of being a housewife is that of falling out of love, which is sometimes inevitable else there would be no divorce rates at all. Falling out of love often leads to divorce. I don’t pray that anyone’s marriage end in divorce but the cold truth is that every marriage has a 50% probability of ending that way irrespective of the length of the marriage. We hear and see this all the time and everywhere; particularly in Hollywood!

. . .

I digress to congratulate couples whose marriages have stood the test of time and are still flaming the love fire several years after tying the knot. Kudos to you. We acknowledge that you had to put some work into sustaining your marriage. This will be a blog for another day.

. . .

Consider a financial footing

In our instance, should the marriage lead to a divorce, Jane will have no financial footing to pursue her side of the legality as she has no she-money. Yes, she might borrow from her parents and/or friends except, of course, she lives in a community property state that could award her half of the joint property and assets in a court judgment. The community award however will be after the divorce process. But she might be cash-strapped during the whole process.

A few bad men however have also been known to hide money and properties in a divorce. Without her own money, the woman has no way of investigating the act(s) should she unfortunately be in such a situation.

. . .

My advice to women is to ensure that the decision to be a housewife is

  1. Mutually agreed
  2. Communicated; not orally but written
  3. If possible with terms and conditions; for example, the woman takes a me-time/day for herself to rest and rejuvenate. On such times/days, the man/husband takes over the duties/chores and not leave them till the woman returns; and most importantly,
  4. That the woman has her funds either by working from home for a few hours or some funds be allocated to her from the joint account.

The fourth point above is from a realistic and practical point of view rather than from a women’s liberation standpoint. Every woman needs her-own money for simply feminine things; for example, buying sanitary items, attending events like birthday parties, or fixing her hair, and pampering herself. Kate Bahn, an economist, agrees as she found out when she took a year off, not for housekeeping, but to complete her dissertation quicker. Read her story here:  https://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/aug/19/women-finance-housewife-control-money

Ladies, next time the decision “to be or not to be a housewife” comes up, Think-Talk is expecting that you will thoroughly consider every aspect of the non-profit career before saying Yes. It’s called loving smart 🙂