Nobody loves you better than you…right? Danggone LIE! Many struggle with having a good relationship with self. This arises from many reasons. The struggle with self-compassion may be due to learned behavior, mental health issues that we’ve swept rolled up into the rug and put the rug in the garage or you have this awesomely damaging love-hate relationship with yourself that you can’t seem to balance. There are 3 ways this overwhelming inner battle will show up in your daily life.

  1. You tell yourself, and everyone else, “This is the way I am.” This overly complacent statement means you’ve dug a hole for yourself, climbed into it & have no plans of coming out regardless of the season, snakes or temperature! Making a conscious decision not to seek growth or to reduce deficits means you’ve no intent on changing, adulting with ongoing development and you expect people to repeat the mantra after you, “This is the way you are…” Your hope is others will hear and recite your mantra enough to believe it also and will subsequently not call you out on your stuff.
  2. You spar with obtaining balance in your life. Your moments are either good or bad…black and white…famished or full…lazy or overworked…too early or last minute. The Spartan-like battle of trying to secure an alleged “normal” middle of the road routine and structure feels out of reach for you. 58c05efa1d000037037cd491.jpegYou  see stability in the far off future…and you watch, without alarm, as it loses its equilibrium and crashes into your life! On a regular. Leaving pieces of random sizes for you to pick up, to save for a Goodwill donation or to use for a crafting class you’ve been meaning to start, but never have, but you know you could do it. Yeah…You may even do things you know are not good for you, but for whatever reason, seem to fit into the exact minute you’re considering it. Forget what this choice may do to your life long-term. Who really knows what the future holds anyway? And you go for it with, full force ahead, with a fleet of mental energy, a calvary of Arabian horses and no full thought or clear plan.
  3. Overthinking is not something you do. You live this way. You think, rethink and review those thoughts again and then think about what someone else said about something similar that you’re thinking. You confuse yourself, but you’re not quite sure if you’re confused because you must think this through. The only way to secure full transparency, and to make the best decision, is to consider, to reconsider, to reassess what you reconsidered and then to restart. The worst possible situation could occur, and God forbid, you’re not prepared for any possible scenario, script or playback. pause-button-e1376172552682.jpg rehearse everything that could happen in your mind to prepare for it. Being able to create every possible likely pending event, is impossible, so you’ve been told, but is that really true? Let’s think about that for a moment. Or two. Okay. 5 minutes. Just 5…Hmmm…You need more time for this one. Then, your thoughts begin to feel scary, because the thoughts won’t stop coming.

These three steps lock you in to self-damaging behavior, but you can break FREE. Personal growth doesn’t have to be scary, done overnight or completed alone. Counseling, a coach or an elder can get you through.

Going from one extreme to the other feels paralyzing and will have you doubting yourself. Everything in life doesn’t have to be a baby step or a grand gesture. Being steady in your lifestyle choices gives you the room to recover when life throws a monkey wrench and a whole monkey at you!

Thinking about what you’re thinking about, as well as what you’re going to do about No. 1 and No 2 listed above, will cause you to need sick days at work you do not have! This feels mentally exhausting, but you may not be able to control it. Get professional support to learn to be present…whatever the heck that means! Find ways to calm unrealistic fears and to figure out how to let those thoughts live without taking over your life.

Married and no sex. For months or years.

There are folks you know who smile, stay coupled up publicly & display the standard “usie” on social media, but hardly speak, sleep in separate beds & have a sexless marriage. Marriage without benefits begins well before entering the bedroom.

warning-no-intercourse.jpg believe it’s because of infidelity. Not always. Your spouse can become so disappointed in who you’ve presented yourself to be that they lose sexual interest in you. Don’t be so quick to blame the lack of sexual interest on another person. It really may be because you have a stank attitude that your partner is tired of smelling!

Hasan & I have heard many say, “Had I known he/she was like this, I wouldn’t have married him/her.” The reality of what the relationship requires can feel overwhelming. You don’t have to feel stuck by not knowing the small steps to begin recovery. Professional help or advice from an elder can bring your sexy back!

Another reason for no red hot lights in the bedroom is due to resentment from a buildup of issues. When no one knows how to fix or to recover from problems, the love bulb goes very dim. When you feed the same problems for years & years, people become mad, hold grudges & lose sight of what to do with the emotions. Sex is one form of stress relief. Remove sex & stress increases as well as the frustration from your marital issues.

Lastly, many have never seen balanced healthy affection & have no idea how give intimacy or to respond it. You may have a spouse who has never witnessed adults give a quick kiss, give gifts or hold hands just because. While these seem like easy skills to learn, remember easy isn’t easy for everyone. The display of love has to be taught.

Don’t let the facade of a good love life be your reality. Do the work to create real sexy love.

Before you marry, know your marriage budget. This isn’t about how much you can spend for a wedding, reception or for invitations. This marriage budget is about how much  your heart can afford to take or to lose. A heart is a sensitive resource and the cost of its repair requires a great deal of time, effort, tears, ice cream at 2 am and maybe even counseling. No one wants to pay this!

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We’re going to look at some basic requirements and actions needed when meeting someone online to reduce heart repair or damage!

1. Ask yourself, how much time and cash flow you have to invest to know if someone meets your criteria. If you cannot afford to travel to Timbuktu, quit following and liking the pics of the Timbuktu heart slayers on social media! If your Southwest Rapid Rewards will not let you be great enough to access Timbuktu love, then keep your love within a 2-block radius of what you have the capacity to do. Keep your love in your vicinity!

If your job does not allow you to take time off at this time to visit the Timbuktu Love Of Your Life, then consider local loves. Look a lil harder when you go to the grocery store. What about the man who always repairs your car? He’s kinda cute!

2. It only requires the cost of the internet or your already-paid cellphone bill to connect, to run game, to meet, to begin liking and to talk with someone online. A heart has much higher expenditures. In today’s technological world, you can virtually date someone in Turkey this Friday night and not speak Turkey-talk at all! However, your love language needs to be able to verbalize itself and to communicate correctly. Just because you can meet native Turkish citizens, Kemal and Ayse online, and talk for days, it does not mean your heart needs to invest in Tuonline_0.jpgrkish love. You don’t even have a passport! This contact will go no further than Instagram and Facebook. This isn’t fair to anyone at all.

It costs to do your due diligence to meet a person,  to see their home so you can know how a person lives, to meet their family and to go to the city the person resides in if she/he isn’t local to you. In addition, premarital counseling outranks many of the actions you can take to learn if this person is able to devote their life to paying the costs to loving you for life. Go HERE to get the help needed to make this happen. Wouldn’t it feel great to not only be in love, getting married, but to have a “shout-it-all-out” type of security about your partner? You can.

If you cannot afford the travel costs and time required to to court someone, OFFLINE, you cannot afford to marry this person.

Using your limited funds with cash and time as an excuse to not follow through with the basics for marriage means you exceeded your marriage budget. Stay within what you have the capacity to allow your time, money and heart to do.

 

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Many folks need counseling and even more folks who need it refuse to go. Within this pool of folks, there are couples who need major “Oh-Ma-Gawd” help for their marriages and relationships. Even less  will plunge into the deep end of marriage or couples counseling. A few couples may be brave enough to get their feet wet. These will be the ones who will attend counseling with “Games of Thrones-like” valor.

As we tell you what marriage counseling is not intended for, this first one is unique to us, Hasan and Naa’ila. Someone else may tell you the same thing, especially after we do, but for us, we insist upon operating with what we have laid out here.

  1. Marriage Counseling isn’t to be a place to mediate your problems each week. This is special and time-sensitive meetings with your counselors. Yes. COUNSELORS. with an “s”. With us, we tag team our couples counselings. You work with each of us. Counseling sessions aren’t a place to rehash or to retell the events, incidents, demographics, names and screenshots of history that got you in counseling. We do not want you to come to us to waste your time being storytellers and griots. After hearing about 2-3 incidents, we’ve got it. Indeed, we will never grasp the true depths of the pain and hurt the relationship or person has caused you. We don’t try to do so. We want to get a good glimpse of how you got there. Telling fifty-eleven stories that happened during the course of your 2, 12 or 22 year relationship will not ensure a deeper understanding of your overwhelming hurt. What it will do is cause us to consume the valuable time we have in our counseling sessions to help the two of you improve.If we didn’t care how long you remained in counseling, and sought to get your coins as long as we can, this would be ideal. This is not what we do this for. Our goal is to use old school wit and clinical interventions to get you and Bae where you want to be.
  2. Marriage Counseling isn’t to be a place to mediate problems weekly. Sure, there’ll be times when a couple comes to a counseling session with a bone to pick and meat stuck in between their teeth from the fight that began 2 days ago. We’re sympathetic to this and will gladly assist. Often, folks are in counseling due to their inability to resolve problems, old, new, past or current. These can be teachable moments. For us, each week, we plan for you to build onto the skill set we agree upon. Each session will increase your ability to practice this skill with Bae outside of sessions. We can’t do this if we’re putting out fires each week.
    Thus, you won’t find us beginning our sessions with the question, “So, what do you want to talk about this week?” We will have a plan for you.
  3. Marriage Counseling isn’t to be a whipping stick. There will be times one person will tell the other, “I don’t want to talk about this until we get to the counseling session!” Refer to Number 2. There will be arguments requiring you to table the issue until you get to us. However, using counseling sessions as a place to snitch or tattle tale on each other is not productive.
    When you give your partner the silent treatment until you get to counseling…or you won’t pay any bills until you get to counseling…or you have your nose stuck up in the air until you get to counseling…counseling begins to feel like a spanking over the knee.

You don’t have to fear coming to counseling and we don’t bite. Counseling will have scary moments and times of discomfort, but smooth waters don’t make good sailors.

This is how you grow and love better. Wouldn’t it feel good to be able to able to go to counseling and not be afraid of your name being tarnished? You can. How long will you wait for your problems to disappear by themselves? Cough…Cough…Not gonna happen! We know great things have happened for you in your life and God is a miracle worker, but even He looks for levels of effort.

Click here and ask an anonymous question to get rid of the anxiety you have about, “How much is all of this gonna cost me?”

Show your willing to put your money where your mouth is.

 

For some, the worst relationship you’ve got in your life is the one you have with yourself. You get through life, the day or a moment with others, but the chaos in your own head and heart won’t stop. The worry and overthinking continues. And continues.  You feel others are hatin’ on you. In reality, you’re hatin’ on yourself.

You feel you have no support & no one acts like they care about you, but YOU live like you can’t stand yourself. ?You won’t try to do better. You’ve been this way for so long you’re afraid to be better. There’s alot of comfort in this mental devil you know so well.
Fear is powerful. It will hold you back from all the things you see, with your own eyes, & will make you scared to create a life without doubt or stability. Fear will make crisis mode and drama feel safe as these two use their Morphin powers to distract you from your true emotions.

What if you could meet your authentic self and not feel like running away?
You don’t want to know your own value–to see how far you can go on this life. If you did, people would expect you to live up to this principle. Over and over again! And what if you can’t? And what if you could do it, if only every now and then? Wouldn’t that feel better than the way it is now.

But what if you can come really really close to liking your life a Lil’ bit more? Just what if? You can. It would require some work and being honest with yourself more than anyone else on earth. You can do it. Are you ready to try? 

You don’t have to make promises or guarantee yourself permanent success. Just a try.

Sometimes, all your relationship needs is a tune up that begins with the right question. The questions don’t have rehearsed answers and there is no right answer. The right answer is the truth. What is your love status right now? Are you on target with your love goals?
Wouldn’t it be cool to know where the two of you would like to end up with your relationship? Sure, there are days when it feels good to go with the flow, but for how long?

Do you want to be a life-long dater or do you want to marry a person you candate for the rest of your life?

Hey…do you have any relationship goals or are we just gonna “see what happens” with us? If the two of you are on the scenic route of the relationship, do you have any idea for what you hope to see?

If not, whatever shows up may be ok for you and if so, is this fair to yourself?

What Can I Ask To Give This Love A Check In? 

Click this link to see how Hasan and Naa’ila do it in a vlog. Hasan was totally surprised and did not know what question was coming his way! How did he do? Let’s find out!

Single Ladies,  I need to speak with you privately please. ((Pours Moroccan tea & passes a plate of cookies)). Have a seat. We need to chat a bit…

You continue to have a couple of experiences requiring us to have a

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couple of conversations. Let’s talk about things to consider prior to marriage and courtship…

1. The man likes you. He likes your attention. He may not like marriage with you. Don’t seek to persuade him into a marriage he doesn’t want. If he doesn’t put forth the effort to marry you and to create a life with you after the wedding, leave him be. Don’t assume he needs a lil help and you got it. In a marriage, you’ll quickly grow tired of getting it for him. He may marry you now & ignore you later. Some men can’t handle the pressure & cave. Then, you’re abandoned & feel used. Don’t blame him. Check yourself! Let a man be a man!
Isn’t the benefit of a relationship and the nature of a manwhat you want? Wouldn’t it feel good not to concern yourself with some things because he’s got it?

2. Men will lie or “be persuasive” to stop you from talking to other men. If not #engaged, he does not deserve this level of commitment. When a man wants a woman, he seeks to #marry her. If he does not rally you in as his own, he doesn’t mind others tasting your flavor cause he does not want a drink. He will only sip on your time and comforts as long as you allow him to do so. Don’t limit yourself to men who seek to consume your time without contributing to your life long-term. If you want marriage, act like it. When he doesn’t move on! Sure, you’ll say, “But I like his company!” And he probably likes yours also. And that is all. 

3. Talking about #marriage, the #wedding date, kids, outfits…and no setting no wedding date is NOT engaged. It is strumming you along. You’re not a guitar. Don’t be played! Do not allow a man to use you to practice being an event planner.

4. A marriage contract should include the basics & enforceable non-negotiables. A #divorce threat/option isn’t the way to enforce preferences. If a list of the reasons you will leave the marriage is all youhave, your position is weak. You want negotiable terms in a marriage contract, not walking papers!

Many don’t know what to say or how to negotiate. Learn how! We can show you how to uncover what you need to be inspired to be in a relationship. Wouldn’t it be awesome to know exactly what to say to a man about what makes you fall and remain in love without sounding like a dating profile?  This is what the “Ossie and Ruby Dee of Counseling” can do for you.

 

Hmmm…So folks believe going to a member of the clergy before marriage, 1-3 times, is premarital counseling. Ohh…ok. ?  We’re surprised cause few actually get premarital counseling.
Truth be told…& we know you want the truth…most folks get premarital advice-not counseling. If we had a brick for every couple in marriage counseling with us who had been to “premarital counseling” with their pastor or imam, we could rebuild the yellow brick road!

premarital-counseling-todo-listHasan & I created & teach our own 6-week, State of Georgia-approved, premarital course covering eight “I-Didn’t-Even-Think-About-That” areas. ??  Don’t worry. Get happy! No need to doubt if your Bae is like #HurtBae or Romeo. Get our  Details  and tell your friends before another breakup or divorce is born! ?? But for right now, we’re gonna give you some premarital info to help you navigate these heart highways:

1. Don’t go to premarital counseling because you PLAN to marry. Use premarital counseling to decide if ya’ll SHOULD marry each other.

2. Don’t wait until you have a wedding date, cake & the giggles to set up premarital counseling. If you do, you want premarital advice, not premarital counseling. There’s a difference! You can get good advice from a member of the clergy, married mentor or an elder. With good premarital counseling, ya’ll may change or cancel that date!

3. Do not lie or embellish the truth to prevent heartache or out of fear someone won’t marry you if they know learn a previously unknown truth about you. Divorce causes more pain. ?

4. Accept recommendations given by the premarital counselor. If you know you ain’t trying to hear it & your mind is made up about getting married. Cool! Think through the what you want to get from premarital counseling.  Real talk…counseling is not meant to tell you what to do. You’re grown! However…a counselor isn’t there to lie to you because you paid them either. At least Hasan & I don’t…

5. Know you may learn surprising ??? information about the other person in the premarital process. Use a counselor who provides individual sessions, for each of you, so you can recover from the shock attacks you may get on the heart highway!

6. Be open! Don’t limit your thinking. Limited thinking limits your options! You deserve a solid plan to begin your start for wedded bliss and not a wedded bummer!

Hasan & Naa’ila
“Ossie & Ruby Dee of Marriage Counseling”

There are some fool-proof and signature differences between a single and unmarried person. We defined a single man in our last blog. Today, we’re gonna sniff out the unmarried person. An unmarried person may be single, divorced or widowed. They show up with all types of relationship history. The primary brand and seal you should seek on this person is that he or she desires a committed relationship. This person has a lifestyle that reeks commitment in some form or fashion in their life.

Tip No. 1: This person is committed to more than Jordans, their passport, car or designer bags.

For an unmarried person, commitment will peep out in ways such as a stable job history, an attachment to a program in the community or a long-standing relationship with a family member that extends bunmarriedeyond the mandated holidays, graduations and birthdays.

Tip No. 2: They slay, but it doesn’t get in the way.

An unmarried person has taken some personal inventory, but has also done some marriage preparation. They exude some self-awareness, but not an ego. An unmarried person may have a few coins saved or secured a few prized personal possessions, but this doesn’t interrupt who they are. This person understands they have a life, but an unmarried person seeks to add value to their existing life with meaningful companionship. Basically, they look good, and carry themselves well, but they aren’t stuck up.

Tip No. 3: They got baggage.

An unmarried person has been seeking marriage without success, and they ain’t happy about it. In the process of the search, shots were fired and they got hit! An unmarried person has been hurt, but this is where they will be different. They won’t lie about it. An unmarried person admits their dodo stinks, but will use some Febreeze for your smelling pleasure. Now, they won’t tell you err’thang, but their attempts at honesty will be genuine. You should also be able to ask questions and get the real deal from the folks in their life to be found in Tip No. 1. Her aunt, who she loves dearly, should be willing to talk to you at the door, one-on-one, after the family dinner. Talk to the people around this person. Ask a question. And then another question. If everyone tells you how great this unmarried person is, and nothing else, they don’t like you. Everyone has  flaws and someone should tell you the truth.

These three tips should help you better identify your target while single to shed the layers of your unmarried lifestyle. An unmarried person is more than single. This person has a life that is prepared for a husband or wife to make their entrance into their life.  There is a transition between being single and being unmarried. You don’t want to go into marriage as or with a single person. They will  learn to make the shift in the marriage. No one wants their husband or wife acting single! If you don’t have your affairs in order yet, start changing your habits to attract your future husband or wife.

Everyone loves a quickie! Here are some hit-and-run love dovey’s you can do without too much effort.

You and marriage can look good very quickly with these 5 changes, but you have to do them. Simply reading them or trying to decide if you think they will work will not be enough! These small things go a long way to build trust & show gratitude.19059604_10155330887686303_8768946637038501587_n.jpg

1. Arrive when you say you will & call ahead when you won’t. Don’t call when you’re supposed to already be somewhere to announce your tardiness!

2. Do an extra chore around the house, including cleaning up after yourself danggone self! Pick up your dirty socks & get all your “woman stuff” from around the sink! The man can’t even brush his teeth for bumping into your facial products!

3. Reschedule a regular activity you normally do alone & arrange to hang out with your husband/wife. Don’t play basketball this Saturday. Cancel the pedicure appointment. Schedule in your spouse!

4. When you feel angry, just shut up & go pray. Don’t say nothing until you’ve prayed. Then, refer to #2. Sometimes, it really is that simple.

5. Greet each other with words and touch for at least 6 seconds after work or coming home. Make it a true welcome! Six seconds of touch or a hug has been proven to change lives. Start with your own life.

HERE’S A BONUS FOR THE MEN: When you go to the kitchen, think of her too! Bring her a beverage or a snack too. Please do not come back and sit next to her with nothing for her! This small gesture means so much!

Try one or more of them and let us know how quick the magic happens for you!