Archive | September, 2011

WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT?

23 Sep

What do these women have in common: Taylor Armstrong,  Rihanna, Nicole Brown Simpson, Tina Turner, Farah Fawcett, and maybe even you? If  you follow celebrity news, you know the answer, domestic violence, because their  relationship problems have been and regarding Taylor Armstrong is currently in  the national news.

Domestic violence is an evil that does not discriminate; it crosses racial, economic, social and cultural boundaries.
Unfortunately many women suffer in silence and shame. I was motivated to write this blog as a result of the Nancy O’Dell interview with Taylor Armstrong, the Beverly Hills housewife who has come forward and is openly talking about the abuse she suffered at the hands of her now deceased husband. For those who follow the show, you know that her husband recently committed suicide. Taylor stated that she is telling her story because she wants to encourage other
victims of domestic abuse and let them know that they are not alone. Isolation is no friend of a victim of domestic violence – yet many victims often suffer in silence, are ashamed and alone; their friends and family not knowing that
they are even being abused.

One in four women (25%) has experienced domestic violence in her
lifetime.

(The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and The National Institute
of Justice, Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence, July
2000. The Commonwealth Fund, Health Concerns Across a Woman’s Lifespan: 1998
Survey of Women’s Health, 1999)

Domestic violence is a sensitive issue for me – I
have early memories of my own mother being the victim of an abusive
relationship. At the tender age of seven, I had the number to the local police
department memorized knowing that at any hour of the night or day, I may have
to call the police to come and restore peace in our house. I still have vivid
memories of many “morning afters” having to help my mom nurse her wounds
because she was too ashamed or too afraid to seek medical care. As a result of
the domestic violence that I witnessed at search an early age, a definite deal
breaker for me in a relationship is verbal, mental, and/or physical abuse.

In a national survey of American families, 50% of the men who frequently assaulted their
wives also frequently abused their children.

(Strauss, Murray A, Gelles, Richard J., and Smith, Christine. 1990.
Physical Violence in American Families; Risk Factors and Adaptations to
Violence in 8,145 Families. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers)

For some women, domestic abuse is a relationship deal breaker; however there are many women who endure years of abuse. It’s easy for someone not in the same predicament of the abuse victim to say, “she should
just leave him;” this is much easier said than done. Walking away from an abusive relationship is never easy. Many victims of abuse stay in the relationship out of fear; fear of retaliation, fear of further harm or violence, perhaps
even fear of being alone. Many abuse victims are being controlled financially, and have been isolated from their family.

No woman should have to suffer in silence. There is
support for victims of domestic violence.

www.abusedwomen.org/resources

www.womenlawyers.com/domestic

www.heart-2-heart.ca/women

National Domestic Violence Hotline,
1-800-799-SAFE

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Date Night ~ Not just a movie

16 Sep

I recently saw the movie Date Night starring Steve  Carell and Tina Fey, as Phil and Claire Foster. They like so many other couples who have been married for a number of years have settled into married life with  kids. They go to work, come home, have dinner, then off to bed. A wake up call for this couple is when they learn that another couple who they are friends  with is in the process of separating because they have grown bored with each  other. Afraid they may be going down the same road, the husband, Phil Foster wants a date night where they do something different, in his words, they wanted one night where they felt new.

The challenge for every couple that has been married  for a significant amount of time is to not take date night for granted. This should be a time when the married couple forgets about everyday life and focus on each other. One rule my husband and I have concerning our date night is that we do not talk about household business/affairs including the kids. During our date night we talk about and focus on each other.

If you are consistently having a date night – similar to us, you may run out of things to do and have grown bored with the same old dinner and a movie. I did some research and have compiled a list of my favorite 25 things to do for a date night that veer away from the same ole same ole:

  1. Like  the Fosters, if you live in the suburbs venture into the city for entertainment or if you live in the city, visit a quaint restaurant/attraction in the suburbs,
  2. Cook a romantic meal together at home complete with a table set for two,
  3. A  slumber party for two, dinner in bed and each other for dessert,
  4. Visit  a theme park together,
  5. A  laser tag or paint ball excursion,
  6. Visit  a local zoo, museum, or botanical gardens and hold hands,
  7. A picnic in the park and feed the ducks,
  8. Attend a concert together,
  9. Attend a wine tasting,
  10. Visit a dance club and dance the night away,
  11. Attend a poetry reading,
  12. Do a hot air balloon ride over the city,
  13. Do a couples massage,
  14. Dinner and then the planetarium,
  15. Brunch at a fancy restaurant and a matinee,
  16. Take a dinner cruise,
  17. Go to a happy hour,
  18. Attend a street fair and sample foods,
  19. Go skating at an ice skating rink,
  20. Go to an indoor climbing gym,
  21. Do a hayride,
  22. Try out a local bed and breakfast,
  23. Visit a pool hall and play pool,
  24. Hit balls at the golf driving range,
  25. Take a walk on the beach.

The list is endless, the list above are a few suggestions to keep date night interesting. Have fun!

9-11-01: A Day I Will Never Forget

11 Sep

Every 9-11, I take the time to reflect on what I was doing on 9-11-01, the day America was attacked. I remember waking up early preparing to travel to Atlanta for business. Like every morning, I was watching the local early morning news. I was in the bathroom combing my hair – when a news flash interrupted the local news and announced that a plane had crashed into one of the twin towers at the world trade center in New York City. I left the bathroom and was standing in front of the TV watching and listening intently thinking, “oh my God, what a tragedy;” when the second plane hit the tower. I remember the anchorman conversing and saying, “there’s no way this is a coincidence folks, America is under attack!”

My mind drifts to the many thoughts I had: I was thinking do I go to the airport, do I drive to work, or do I stay home? I was so confused. I decided to drive in to work and remember the eerie feeling that loomed over the city; rush hour traffic was moving at a snail’s pace, and it was obvious everyone was intently listening to their radio trying to figure out exactly what was happening. I remember there were no reports of accidents that morning. I remember on this day that every race and every color in America united as one. It did not matter if you were black, white, red, or yellow – what mattered was that America was under attack and a piece of everyone died that day. I remember how polite, how helpful, how nice everyone was in the days and weeks that followed – the pure patriotism and heroism brought me to tears many times. I remember hearing someone say, “these colors don’t run;” I remember thinking we are truly one Nation under God.

On 9-11-01, the most important colors were red, white and blue. Now 10 years later, I often wonder what has happened to the oneness. Are we still ONE nation under God?

“I Stayed in a Bad Marriage for the Kids…”

10 Sep

Would you?

Are you tired, fed up, and frustrated with your marriage? Have you contemplated divorce? What is stopping you?

In doing research for this blog, I uncovered the top reasons some people note as their reason for staying in a bad marriage, number one, “I did it for the kids.” The second most  popular reason cited was money or finances and the third was fear of the unknown.

4Love suffers long and is kind; love does
not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not
behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6
does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all
things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1 Corinthians 13: 4-7

1 Corinthians 13:7 says that love endures all things. When is enough simply enough in a bad marriage? And what exactly is a “bad” marriage? The answer depends on the individual and their particular circumstance. Every person has a different threshold for what they can endure. For some people physical, emotional, and/or verbal abuse is a definite deal  breaker – for others, they may be able to endure. There are some who can endure  chronic and habitual cheating by their spouse, but there are others who pack  their bags and leave. There is no golden rule concerning exactly what is a bad  marriage and how long one should stay in a bad marriage. There is however a school of thought concerning bad marriages, divorce and how it affects the  children that are involved.

One study has shown that the children who have the worst time with their parents divorce are those who “never saw it coming.” Those children who witnessed marriages where there was little to no communication, the environment was not hostile or violent, and one or both  parents appeared to be at least moderately happy. The same study showed that  children who were more accepting of their parent’s divorce were those who on  the other hand actually witnessed a hostile environment where there was  physical, mental, and/or verbal abuse. These children felt as though the  parents being apart made everyone including them happier.

Another study examined a number of couples five years after their decision to divorce or work on their marriage and the couple’s level of happiness. The study uncovered that among the spouses who rated themselves as having a really bad marriage – some separated, but of those who chose to work on their marriage, 2 out of 3 reported five years later that their  marriage was happy; that 80% of those who said that their marriages were “very unhappy”  reported 5 years later that they were happy;  and that those who chose to separate were no  happier than those who chose to stay together as those who chose to divorce and remarry were no happier than those who chose to stay together.

So what does all this mean? I interpret the research results to mean that there is something to be said for couples who chose to stick it out and work on their marriage. This says that there will be ups and downs in a marriage, but with both partners willing to work on the betterment of their marriage that the unhappiness does not last always.  Regarding children and how divorce affects them, I’m no expert, but studies have shown that children are very resilient and tend to rebound a lot quicker than adults. And in some situations, staying  together for the children can be just as harmful, if not more so, than a divorce.

The decision to divorce or stay in a marriage is a highly personal one and I suggest that any couple or individual contemplating divorce seek out counseling before doing so.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.
But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

IF LOVING YOU IS WRONG

2 Sep

I Don’t Want to be Right!

Why are some women attracted to married men?

If loving you is wrong I don’t wanna be right
If being right means being without you
I’d rather live a wrong doing life
Your mama and daddy say it’s a shame
It’s a downright disgrace
Long as I got you by my side
I don’t care what your people say

Your friends tell you there’s no future
In loving a married man
If I can’t see you when I want to
I’ll see you when I can
If loving you is wrong I don’t wanna be right
If loving you is wrong I don’t wanna be right

Excerpt from “If Loving You is Wrong” by Luther Ingram

I felt the urge to blog about this subject after reading
another blogger’s post, Women Who Pursue Married Men

The Women Who Pursue Married Men | Ivy says.

and then the chorus to this song resonating
in my mind for several days.

My research revealed a few reasons and much  speculation regarding why some women pursue married men (and some men pursue
married women).

The top reason I found was NSA sex (no strings attached),
there are both women and men out there who simply want NSA sex and the best
place to get this from is a married person – you know they are going home to
their spouse; the second most cited reason for pursuing a married man was the
woman has commitment issues (and maybe even low self-esteem) and there is safety  in having an affair with a married man – no commitment, he’s already married;  and the third most popular reason cited was the idea that this is a happy woman, is married to a “good man”, I want that – in other words, a deliberate home  wrecker. Other miscellaneous reasons were, some people just enjoy ruining other  people’s lives and married men don’t need to be trained.

Are you wrong to give your love
To a married man
And am I wrong trying to hold on
To the best thing I ever had
If loving you is wrong I don’t wanna be right
If loving you is wrong I don’t wanna be right

Excerpt from “If Loving You is Wrong” by Luther Ingram

My question is, “whatever happened to the bond that women
had – the sisterhood of women?” There was a time when a wedding band actually  meant something; that this man was off-limits – he is married. Now-a-days you  hear of predatory women who actually enjoy pursuing married men. How sad is  this? I know it takes two to tangle, and the man is as much to blame as the woman  in the affair, but in the words of my grandmother, “chile [woman] you cannot do the same thing that a man does, because you will be looked at differently. A man can run around and have multiple women and it be fine, if you do it, you will be called a whore.” Similar to the women who pursue married men; do we have a name for them? Of course we do. What about the men who pursue married women? They’re not talked about as much.

Is this fair? No. Is this the truth? Yes. We live in a society with a double standard. I don’t make the rules, I just live by them.

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