Posts Tagged With: wife

Are You Loved or Wanted?


As a follow-up to yesterday’s post, I thought I’d take it a little further and explore the underlying motivations of some of the relationships I myself have experienced and/or observed.

I was never the guy who went on lots of dates. If I approached girls at all (you know, shy introvert and all), they would be girls I found attractive and those I could see the potential for something long term.

I know there are many of us who sometimes get into a relationship, not because we are looking for love, but are instead longing for affirmation. We convince ourselves that we are satisfied with being wanted, although not necessarily loved. The fact that some person wants us becomes enough upon which to base a semblance of a relationship. Even if, in many cases, it is destined to fail because of the shaky foundation.

Of course there is a huge difference between being LOVED and simply being WANTED.

To have someone LOVE us typically means that they’ve committed to accept us; an imperfect person with all of our relationship baggage, emotional filters, and strange family dynamics. They’ve identified something within us that makes us someone they’d rather not live without.

To have someone WANT us often means that we are more akin to a possession. It’s not so much about who we are, but rather what we represent. We’re an award, proof that the person is capable of being with someone (anyone?), or perhaps we provide the person with bragging rights or some increased level of prestige. Depending on our previous experiences, either with family or prior relationships, we somehow find this acceptable.

If we settle for just being wanted, it can leave us feeling empty, unsatisfied and undervalued. And that’s an unhealthy dynamic for any relationship. Some people see being wanted as a means to an end. Some of the women to whom I’ve spoken are in their early 20s and are afraid that if they don’t settle for someone now, they’ll have no one later. They have convinced themselves that a relationship built on being WANTED can become one revolved around being LOVED. Unfortunately, shallow relationships rarely, if ever, achieve any depth beyond their initial superficial existence.

However, I can tell you unequivocally that LOVE is worth waiting for.

My amazing wife, whom I absolutely adore and thank God for every day, was 34 years old when she married me. That would seem late to some people, but we’re going more than 15 years strong and have six (6) beautiful children. As the Rascal Flatts song says so well, it was well worth the broken road that led us to each other.

So please don’t sell yourself short because of a false perception that you’re running out of time. Because when you have a fulfilling love, it can make the rest of your life feel like an eternity.

…entirely different.

Categories: intimacy, marriage, personal, relationships, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What’s Real


I used to wonder why people run to the scene of a car accident, or overload web search servers when the latest celebrity photo scandal breaks. But then I realized that it has more to do with the fact that we are drawn to situations that are outside of those to which we are accustomed. Car accidents happen, but they don’t happen to most people everyday. There’s a good portion of the population that are foolish, but 99% of us are not people in the public eye who decide to take naked pictures for our boy/girlfriend-of-the-week only to feign disgust when they sells them to TMZ.

Perfection should never be the goal.

What’s my point? My point is that what should be a simple 1 + 1 = 2 thought process is not computing for the masses. If our collective attention really is drawn to what is uncommon, atypical or rare (1), and people have long since mourned the demise of healthy marriages (+ 1), then why are some people uninterested (or so quick to dismiss) the discussion or promotion of successful relationship? (= 2).  We still focus on the relational train wrecks, the adulterous politicians, the bed-hopping socialites, and staged “reality” drama in the form of The Bachelor(ette)’s bevy of eligible (and some emotionally broken) men and women. Maybe it’s just a form of entertainment for people? A necessary distraction?

This is one of the reasons I purposely post stories about my marriage and my kids, because I believe that exposure to positive relationships has been completely overshadowed by recurring themes of hurt, fear, hopelessness, betrayal and despair. I do realize that we’ve all had bad experiences. Maybe it has to do with the old adage that misery loves company. Or perhaps people have such low expectations that they buy in to the belief that relationships are destined to fail.

In the past I’ve gotten private messages accusing me of making up the stories about my wife and kids. I’m like, really?? It blows me away. Honestly, I wouldn’t have the attention span to dedicate the necessary time to such an elaborate hoax. I barely manage to balance time to write here, work and invest in my family. A full time gig x3 for sure.

That being said, I am a huge proponent of promoting healthy relationships and will always encourage questions and responses on this topic. I don’t think we can have enough of them. I can’t speak for anyone else here, but I’m all about being real. REAL stories about REAL people experiencing REAL success.

As most of us have probably heard before, what you see is here is DEFINITELY what you get.

No life filters here.

Categories: opinion, personal, relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Static Intersections


Ever have one of those conversations where it seems like the more you try to explain, the more confusing it gets?

“No, that’s not what I meant.”

“See, you’re not hearing me.”

“I never even said that!”

“Wait, let me start over.”

You know, there comes a time when you realize and have to accept that your explanation only serves to further frustrate the person to whom you’re talking. For the most part, I try to avoid those moments whenever possible. The good news is that my wife and I are usually very good communicators. We talk A LOT. And that truly helps mitigate any potential misunderstandings. The bad news is that even under the best circumstances, confusion will sometimes still manage to creep in unaware and I have to step back, see it for what it is, and just laugh.  See, I’ve realized that I have to make a very serious decision once a discussion arrives at the intersection of confusion and frustration.

Doh! Life would be so much easier with a hovercar.

At this point, I find that it’s better to re-evaluate the wisdom of pushing ahead and risking hurt feelings or anger. Besides, the love I have for my wife outweighs any selfish need to win a debate. In those moments I ask myself a simple question: Why?

Why am I doing this?

What exactly am I trying to prove?

Emotions can sometimes cloud the thought process. So I have to first understand and be clear about the purpose of what I’m saying, for myself. Once I determine why I’m having a particular discussion, it becomes a whole lot easier to convey my point without emotional distraction. Meaning, I cease trying to hammer my wife down with my perspective or somehow convince her I’m right by aggression or volume. I can put my ego and pride aside and either diffuse the situation or let it go altogether.

This works for online conversations as well. Just sayin’… 😉 

Categories: marriage, relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

FatCap (A Fatherhood Capsule Story)


At about 4:00am this morning, I was awakened by a knock on my bedroom door. My wife heard the thumping as well. In her semi-conscious state from under the covers, she gently nudged me with her elbow, followed by a muffled “someone’s at the door”. Not at all completely awake myself, the first words out of my mouth – I believe – were something that sounded in retrospect like, “I have don’t know my pants on.”

Folding back the covers to check and discover that I indeed had no pants on, I proceeded to scramble hurriedly into my pajamas and stumble toward the door where, upon opening it, stood my only daughter, crying.

With tears streaming down her face, she told me that she couldn’t sleep because her throat was killing her and had actually woken her up from the pain. Of course, with my heart swollen, I gathered her into my arms and led her toward the medicine cabinet in our bathroom… in the dark… not completely sure I wasn’t dreaming, but going with it anyway because, well, she’s my daughter and I’d fight the world for her. Even in my dreams.

I managed to pick out the medication she needed. Successfully measured it without spilling it (I think). Then hugged her tightly before praying for her healing, and for her to have a peaceful night’s sleep.

I got back in the bed and didn’t see her again until around 11:30am, downstairs in the kitchen.

And with a smile, she thanked me, told me she felt better, and was so glad that she was able to fall asleep.

I felt like a hero. A tired hero. But a hero nonetheless. 🙂

Categories: family, personal, relationships, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wakandan Ruminations


I went to see Black Panther this past Friday with my extraordinary and insightful wife of 14 years. As we pulled up to the theater and found a parking spot, we had an interesting exchange before going in. It had to do with perception, assumption, and judgement.

In our two decades of knowing one another – which includes 3 years of dating before getting married – one constant annoyance for us has been the misperception that we are an “interracial couple”. That is, in the commonly accepted sense of the phrase. The reason this is significant is because, at first glance, no one would know – and some may not believe – that my wife is, without question, African American. She is no LESS African American than I am, even though to many I more readily… look the part.

It is common knowledge that the spectrum of African American complexions is wide-ranging, making it nearly impossible for someone to look at anyone else these days and deduce with any certainty that they are, or are not, “black”.

You don’t know, so don’t assume.

But assumption is the recurring theme of our public interactions with people who look askance at the “interracial couple” going to see the “black” movie. Never realizing the two of us are far more alike than we are different. Despite the apparent difference in our skin tones. The truth is that the evidence of who we are, who we really are, cannot be ascertained from a glance. Much like the truth of this movie’s significance can’t be defined by the opinions of professional (or unprofessional) critics.

See, within that truth lies the beauty of what it really means to be… African American. Within that truth is the careful, deliberate, often meticulous navigation through society that takes place daily for every African American, regardless of their shade. Within that truth is also the reason why, after watching Black Panther, this movie, this work of fiction, this stylized drama… why it is a watershed moment.

Let me be clear that I fully understand that this is a “super hero” movie. It is a live-action, film adaptation of a comic book, and as such, has no bearing on real-life events. That being said, my head and heart were all over the place.

Why?

There are several reasons. Far too many to fully convey here. But I will attempt to pinpoint the larger one in the context of my feelings.

The African Nation of Wakanda

Wakanda is a country unspoiled. Unsullied by the invasion – or colonization, as the characters point out – of those who would trample its rich culture, prohibit the expression of its traditions, exploit its resources, and enslave its people. Simply put, Wakanda was free to evolve into a highly developed, technologically advanced civilization, while retaining all of its history, customs and beliefs.

For those of African heritage, nothing like this exists in the real world.

Not.

One.

Thing.

To this day, many African nations are considered third world countries. This label typically refers to economically poor, non-industrialized nations who are often reliant upon foreign aid. But seeing Wakanda on the big screen was like a glimpse into an alternate reality. Even stripping away all of its supernatural elements, it stands as a future that could have been. Could have.

But… it isn’t.

For me, segments of the movie stood out as an extended expedition into an incredibly complex and engaging world established through tribal unity, ingenuity, and intellect. It was the answer to the nagging question… what if? What if there was no slavery? What if there was no colonization of Africa? What if there was no systemic racism? This is Wakanda!

But… it isn’t.

Or rather, it never was, and maybe it will never be. And that… that is heartbreaking.

Because it has nothing to do with the lack of supernatural intervention, or the existence of Vibranium. It has everything to do with systemic racism, the deterioration and intentional disruption of the black family unit… the lack of community awareness and concern as a country, not just isolated pockets of effective collaboration … and a society that seems to have lost its compassion and consideration for others.

Wakanda then becomes a sad reminder of unrealized potential, all that has been stolen, and what now feels unobtainable.

But… it isn’t.

Even without vibranium, the technological marvels of Wakanda are not completely fictional. The unique customs, arts, and social institutions exemplified in the movie are very real. We now have a space and an opportunity to discuss errors of the past and make corrections for the future.

Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER..L to R: Okoye (Danai Gurira), Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and Ayo (Florence Kasumba)..Photo: Matt Kennedy..©Marvel Studios 2018

There may be some who think that what I’ve said and what I’ve seen… that it’s simply too late for us.

But… it isn’t.

Categories: commentary, current events, opinion, personal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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