FELLAS As Much As It Pains Me To Say This…We Have To Be Better Husbands

By Ilex Bien-Aime

Yesterday I learned a very humbling truth and that is…….I had no clue on how to be a husband! When I thought about how something like that could happen it didn’t take me long to realize why. Let’s face it – I was not surrounded by men who knew how to be husbands. My father and mother were divorced when I was four years old. I lived with my grandparents from the time I was four to seventeen  and I know for a fact that my grandfather was the worst example of a husband! During my senior year of high school, I lived with my aunt and uncle and to be honest, that was the first time that I saw a husband that I could pattern myself after. And even he didn’t completely know what he was doing!

Many men – especially black men – are less than prepared to be husbands. This is mainly because often times we never saw an example of what a husband should be. Even though some of my friends grew up with both parents in the household, that did little to prepare them for the duty of being a husband. Most of our thoughts on what being a husband should be like come from a secular viewpoint. The world has a view of what a husband should look like and the Bible has a view on what a husband is. All too often the reason that men fail as husbands is because the world’s views and God’s view are totally different.

Look at the messes that we have made in our marriages. They say that in America the divorce rate is around 50 percent. Many point to the fact that we are living in a “Godless,” society as the reasoning behind this. Unfortunately the so-called “heathen,” are not the only ones getting divorced. Sorry to say but “Christians,” are getting divorced as well. I know a few pastors who have gotten divorced so it’s not just the secular community who is killing marriage. It is the lack of knowledge of what being a husband is all about that is destroying the sanctity of the institute. Sure, other reasons contribute to the decline of marriages but at the end of the day God holds men responsible.

Men think that being a husband is about being the hunter, gatherer, and protector of the home. While these things are parts of his duties, they are not necessarily what God says he should be. Husbands are supposed to emulate Christ, and as he sacrificed and died for us, we are supposed to do the same for our wives. We say that we would die for our wives yet we refuse to die to self. We don’t put our wives first in all things. I know I don’t and that is one of the reasons that I fail. We really aren’t taught marriage from a biblical precept. So we come into marriage thinking that we can be selfish and that things will work themselves out. We tell ourselves that we will fulfill our duties when she fulfills her duties – which clearly shows that we have conditions to our love.

We often lack sacrifice because we were taught to have this macho image. A man who sacrifices too much is considered a punk and is weak but that is not the true definition of sacrifice. There is a difference between being a doormat and sacrificing for your wife and the good of your family. Too bad many of us are not taught the difference. What we are taught is just plain selfishness. We are willing to give to our wives things that don’t take much for us to give, but as my wife says, “when the rubber meets the road,” we say something different.

I suggest that men read For Married Men Only: Three Principles to Ignite Love by Tony Evans. I finished the book in one day and in one day I realized that I have been lacking as a husband. It’s one of those things that make you feel like you were living in a matrix. I saw my duties as a husband one way days before and now I see my duties in a much different light. Fellas, I know you are probably going to say that a marriage is about more than just the husband and you are right. However, the family is our duty. God holds us responsible so we have to learn to be better husbands.

Ilex Bien-Aime is an integral part of the BlackLoveAndMarriage.com team. He lives in Washington, DC with his lovely wife. He writes as a man who has seen women mistreat themselves and who have allowed themselves to be mistreated. He writes as a man who wants to give his future daughters a guideline on how to deal with men. Lastly he writes what he writes because his female friends are always asking his opinion about these situations. Connect with Ilex at Iamsayingit.blogspot.com or via email atilexbienaime@gmail.com.


Sometimes What You Got Is Soooo Good You Gotta Share It!!!

by Ayize Ma’at

Since working with couples I’ve come across a lot of men that seriously question the purpose of marriage coaching, marriage counseling, and marriage education. I see the hesitation to engage so frequently that i’m not surprised when I encounter the reluctance and sometimes resistance to jump in head first. The general impression is that you are diving in shark infested waters where women and their issues are waiting to eat you alive. The fear of being ridiculed, ostracized, and even challenged, each make up a brick on the wall blocking your interest in participating. It’s real yall……however with that being said, I will unashamedly say that marriage counseling , marriage coaching, and marriage education has had an amazing impact on my relationship. My wife of yesterday is no longer my wife today…and i’m eternally grateful to the process of marriage enrichment.

A lot of men want to know how they will benefit from engaging in marriage enrichment activities. To answer that question I will provide you with 3 ways my relationship has changed as a result of constantly seeking to strengthen the bond between my wife and I.

1.)The quantity and quality of sex has improved.

I ain’t got to ask her a thousand and one times to “get some”. She actually initiates and gives it to me with her whole mind, body, and spirit. You ever get it so good you just gotta tell someone? Below is an email message I wrote to some couples back in February where I just had to share the “goodness” I got:

What’s up Everybody,

I hope yall had a wonderful weekend being intentional about connecting with that special someone.  I just wanted to pause for a moment and give my wife a shout out for being remarkable and to say thank you, thank you, thank you.  I’m doing this publicly  because IT AIN’T DONE ENOUGH.  Many of you on this email thread have heard me say that it’s married folks responsibility to make marriage attractive.  We can do this by not being ashamed, embarassed, or dismissive about the “goodness” that we got.  We gravitate to the applause in life….so stand up and clap for your spouse….I’m going to do that for mine.  Last week my wife sent me an email invite to a romantic dinner in our home….scheduled for last night.  There were rose petals in the shape of a heart on the dining room table.  The 4 chairs that our children would normally sit in were faced outward and pushed away from the table which made the experience feel exclusive.  I was pleasantly surprised when my wife walked from the kitchen and served me dinner in black laced lingerie.  WOW!!!! She sat on one end of the table….I on the other.  I couldn’t hold back the two tears that trickled down my cheek.  I was overwhelmed with gratitude.  We played valentine’s day checkers for about 20 minutes…pulled out the chocolate and stencils……..and then we……………………………………….. ?

I know someone else out there has a story.  I know someone else has a reason to say thank you.  I know someone else is itching to celebrate the “goodness” that they got.  Celebrate black love….it’s “OUR” love.

P.S.. Some of yall might say this is TMI….but it’s the TMI that needs to happen more often.?

2)My wife nags me less.

Prior to really seriously working on our relationship I felt like Aiyana was a gnat hovering around my ears. I felt like a part of her purpose in life was to remind of what I wasn’t doing, where we need to go, what I need to do, and how I need to do it. Needless to say this was problematic. I was feeling like……I’m a Grown Ass Man and I’m quite capable of remembering what needs to be done and respect the fact that I have my own way of doing it. Well guess what yall….because we worked on us and improved the quality of our relationship….she don’t be all up in my ear the way she used to be. Both her tone and approach have changed (kinda sort of softened) when it comes to tackling heavy topics. Instead of being an irritant to my ears…..her words now soothe them.

3)My wife respects me more

By no means is Aiyana disrespectful to me. Aiyana is strong willed and that can occasionally complicate conversations when we are trying to get clear on roles and responsibilities in our home. Aiyana used to fight me tooth and nail on things that I felt were in my lane…..such as vehicle repair and maintenance and it used to get on my last nerves. On some occasions I actually wondered why is she arguing with me about this when she doesn’t know what the hell she is talking about? However, since taking and teaching marriage education classes Aiyana argues less and defers more. She actually yields to my understanding in certain areas. I’m thankful to her for that.

All in all I thought our relationship was pretty good prior to going through the marriage education process…I mean we are best friends so we’ve always had an extremely tight, passionate, and love-filled connection. However after making the conscious decision to immerse ourselves in improving what we thought was good so that it could become even “gooder” a whole new world opened up. The wife I had yesterday is no longer the wife I have today and I’m genuinely excited about walking towards eternity with my wife, my lover, and my friend…..Aiyana Kai Ma’at.




CLICK HERE for our audio program SPEAK LOVE RIGHT


Move Beyond Infidelity By Managing Your Thoughts

VIDEO: Recovering from an affair can be a long and emotionally draining process. One of the most difficult barriers holding the one who’s been cheated on back from healing is their thoughts. If we can control our thinking we can help ease the transition from brokenness to wholeness and move beyond our hurt and pain to a place of peace & ultimately forgiveness.

Why I Am A Black Male Feminist

By Byron Hurt

When I was a little boy, my mother and father used to argue a lot. Some mornings, I would wake up to the alarming sound of my parents arguing loudly. The disagreement would continue until my father would yell with finality, “That is it! I’m not talking about this anymore!” The dispute would end right there. My mother never got the last word.

My dad’s yelling made me shrink in fear; I wanted to do something to make him stop raging against my mother. In those moments, I felt powerless because I was too small to confront my father. I learned early that he had an unfair advantage because of his gender. His size, strength and power intimidated my mother. I never saw my father hit her, but I did witness how injurious his verbal jabs could be when they landed on my mom’s psyche.

My father didn’t always mistreat my mother, but when he did, I identified with her pain, not his bullying. When he hurt her, he hurt me, too. My mother and I had a special bond. She was funny, smart, loving and beautiful. She was a great listener who made me feel special and important. And whenever the going got tough, she was my rock and my foundation.

One morning, after my father yelled at my mom during an argument, she and I stood in the bathroom together, alone, getting ready for the day ahead of us. The tension in the house was as thick as a cloud of dark smoke. I could tell that my mother was upset. “I love you, Ma, but I just wish that you had a little more spunk when you argue with Daddy,” I said, low enough so my father couldn’t hear me. She looked at me, rubbed my back and forced a smile.

I so badly wanted my mother to stand up for herself. I didn’t understand why she had to submit to him whenever they fought. Who was he to lay down the law in the household? What made him so special?

I grew to resent my father’s dominance in the household, even though I loved him as dearly as I loved my mother. His anger and intimidation shut down my mother, sister and me from freely expressing our opinions whenever they didn’t sit well with his own. Something about the inequity in their relationship felt unjust to me, but at that young age, I couldn’t articulate why.

One day, as we sat at the kitchen table after another of their many spats, my mother told me, “Byron, don’t ever treat a woman the way your father treats me.” I wish I had listened to her advice.

 As I grew older and got into my own relationships with girls and women, I sometimes behaved as I saw my father behave. I, too, became defensive and verbally abusive whenever the girl or woman I was dating criticized or challenged me. I would belittle my girlfriends by scrutinizing their weight or their choices in clothes. In one particular college relationship, I often used my physical size to intimidate my petite girlfriend, standing over her and yelling to get my point across during arguments.
I had internalized what I had seen in my home and was slowly becoming what I had disdained as a young boy. Although my mother attempted to teach me better, I, like a lot of boys and men, felt entitled to mistreat the female gender when it benefited me to do so.  CLICK HERE to read more.
Byron Hurt is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and anti-sexist activist. Follow him on Twitter.

It’s Time To Man Up & Get My Money Right

By Ilex Bien-Aime

I was out with some friends a few years ago when a girl said that she wouldn’t date a man unless she saw his credit score. At the time that statement made me mad but my thoughts have since changed on that subject. For so long I didn’t understand the importance of getting my finances in order, I thought that if you had enough cash, you could buy whatever you wanted and though that maybe true to a certain extent, having good credit is just as important as having a lot of cash. Unfortunately, too many people are uneducated when it comes to financial literacy. We become too focused on keeping up with the Joneses, amassing huge amounts of debt that we spend years trying to correct.

God knows that I could smack myself for my stupid financial decisions in my teens and early adult years. My family never taught me about saving my money and as I look back, I seriously cannot remember a single conversation about credit. When I think of it, many of them were living check to check and maybe I thought that if I went to college, I would not suffer that same fate. I wish somebody would have said, “Ilex, don’t apply for that Macy’s card….don’t apply for that Burdines card…. don’t get all of those credit cards when you don’t know how you are going to pay for them”. Someone should have grabbed me by the back of my shirt when companies were trying to entice me with free t-shirts and pizzas on my college campus.

I remember thinking to myself that I would one day make enough money that bad credit wouldn’t be a problem -boy was I wrong. Being irresponsible with my credit has caused me a great deal of heartache throughout the years. A few years ago I applied for a job with the U.S. Marshalls Department and I was turned down because my credit was so horrible. Literally, I lost a dream job because of credit. I didn’t even know that it was possible to not be hired because of my finances. Besides not getting jobs, I realized that getting loans had become close to impossible. When trying to buy a car, I found someone to give me a loan but the interest rate was so high that it seemed as if I were paying a mortgage. This situation makes matters worse because instead of climbing out of debt, you end up sinking further into it.

Yesterday was another kick in the gut for me because I was turned down for a company American Express card. Honestly, I am so embarrassed by that because even with a corporation backing me, lenders still see me as a threat.I’ve done a much better job with my credit in the past few years but I am still playing catch up. I am still paying back money for cards that I opened up in college and instead of having extra money that I could be saving, I am dealing with my past stupidity. I am trying not to beat myself up about this but I am no longer a single man. My wife has to take this journey with me and I can’t help but to feel bad that she has to suffer because of me.

There are too many people like me in the US. We put too much stock in trying to buy material things. We want to look like everyone else or better than everyone else but we can’t afford it. It’s not until something important comes along that we see how stupid we have been. My wife had a house before we met but I am imagining in horror what a lender would have said if we were going to buy our first house together. Because of my bad credit, the interest rate would probably be something ridiculous. I can’t change yesterday. They say that hindsight is biased for a reason. Clearly, if I knew then what I know now I would have done things differently. All I can do now is correct the wrong that I have done and be an example for others of what not to do financially. I want to get my finances in order so when my kids are older, I can show them a positive example and I can help them in their life pursuits. As a man and a husband I want to support my wife and not leave things on her shoulders. At the end of the day I am no longer a boy and now, it is time to man up!


Ilex Bien-Aime is an integral part of the BlackLoveAndMarriage.com team. He lives in Washington, DC with his lovely wife. He writes as a man who has seen women mistreat themselves and who have allowed themselves to be mistreated. He writes as a man who wants to give his future daughters a guideline on how to deal with men. Lastly he writes what he writes because his female friends are always asking his opinion about these situations. Connect with Ilex at Iamsayingit.blogspot.com or via email atilexbienaime@gmail.com.


First Year With Twins…A Father’s Point Of View

By Dan Brown

People always ask my wife and I: “How did you ever do it with two babies? I just can’t imagine it”. My answer is always the same…we just do. We just do what needs to be done. Yes, it’s hard. Yes, it’s exhausting. Yes, it’s stressful. But we find a way to get the things done that need to be done. That’s really the key, is finding a way that works for you and your spouse. I’ve listed some things in this article that have worked for us, maybe you can use some of the same things to help you through the first year.


Get into a routine


I can’t stress this enough. In my opinion, this is the most important thing during the first year if you’ve two or more babies under the age of one at home…get everyone into a routine and stick to it. Feed them at the same time, change diapers at the same time, put them down for naps at the same time, put them to bed at the same time, etc… This will make it a lot easier on you! If you feed them at the same time, you always know when they have been fed last. You won’t be wondering, “was that Colby I fed a half hour ago or was that Camden”? Trust me, you will find yourself asking those kinds of questions. If you put them down for a nap at the same time, you can take a nap yourself!


If you don’t get into a routine like this, you will always be feeding a baby, or changing diapers, or trying to get one of them to fall asleep. It won’t be long and you’ll be worn out, because there’s always be something to do.




I know that this seems impossible now with two children under the age of one, but you have to try and get enough sleep. I’m not saying that you can sleep as much as you did before you had children, but try and get as many hours of quality sleep in a row as you can.


When the twins were less than about 4 or 5 months old, and still not sleeping through the night, my wife and I worked out a system that seemed to work pretty well. Since she stayed home during the day while I went to work, we decided to sleep in shifts. Usually, she would go to bed between 8 or 8:30, and I would stay up with the twins. No matter what happened, they were my responsibility until about midnight or 1:00am. Sometimes they would sleep during that time, sometimes they wouldn’t. It didn’t matter, that was my wife’s time to sleep. Then, at around midnight or 1:00am, I would change diapers and feed them again before putting them to bed. I also went to bed at that time. Usually we could count on them to sleep for another two to three hours before they woke up again. That would put us in the 2:00am to 3:00am range. Then it was my wife’s turn to get up with them, feed them and change diapers, and it was my time to sleep.


This system seemed to work pretty well for us…it was a way for both of us to get around five or six hours of quality sleep in a row. The bottom line is to find something that works for both you and your wife because you both are going to need as much sleep as possible to make it through the next day.


Divide and Conquer


For those of you guys out there that still believe it’s a woman’s job to take care of the baby, that’s just not going to work with twins. If you expect your wife to feed the babies, dress them, give them baths, change all of the diapers, put them down for naps, she’s going to be very tired and very irritable. You know how the saying goes…”when mom’s not happy, nobody’s happy”.


So guys…get used to helping out. That includes helping out with the babies and around the house. Don’t be afraid to change a diaper, make a bottle, do the dishes, sweep the floor. In fact, it’s even better if you do these things without being asked or told to do them first. Trust me, it will be easier on everyone. Having two babies at one time is very time-consuming…there are always lots of things to do. Pitch in and your marriage as well as the babies will reap the benefits.


Make time for yourself


As anyone with kids can tell you, once in awhile you just need to get away and have some time for yourself. As much as you love your kids, sometimes you need time without the kids. My wife and I are both pretty flexible when it comes to allowing each other some time away. I don’t mind when she goes to a movie with her friends, or plays bunco (whatever that is!) with the neighborhood bunco group. She gives me the same freedom to play golf or go fishing once in awhile with my friends. As long as neither one of you take it to an extreme, you should encourage each other to do it.


You also need to make sure you work in some time where you and your spouse spend time together without the kids. Don’t feel guilty about it…think of it as a sanity check! My wife and I try and get our parents to watch the kids once in awhile while we go out for dinner or even for a weekend away. We just feel more comfortable having our parents watch them rather than a babysitter, but that’s really more of a personal preference thing for us. However you do it, just make sure you and your spouse make some time for each other without the kids.


The house just isn’t going to be as clean


This is an important lesson for first time parents of twins. Before my wife and I started having kids, we were both kind of anal about keeping the house spotless, straightened up, and things just so. It hasn’t been that way for quite awhile now…and you know what, it just doesn’t matter. Our house is usually a mess, the dishes don’t get done as soon as they used to, and I don’t cut the grass whenever I see a blade of grass higher than another. With all of the responsibilities that go with having children, especially under the age of one, you just won’t have as much time as you used to. Get used to it!

I Am So Grateful For My Wife

 By Ilex Bien-Aime

What is gratitude? Merriam-Webster defines gratitude as the state of being grateful. The Macmillion dictionary defines it as a feeling of being grateful because someone has given you something or done something for you. No matter the specific definition of the word, we can all find a reason to be grateful. I am grateful for life because many people never reached my age. I am grateful for family and friends because many people have no support. I am grateful for my job because unemployment is extremely high right now. I am grateful to God for loving me even though I don’t deserve it and for giving me my wife even though I don’t deserve such a wonderful blessing.

My marriage is in no way perfect but as I always say to my friends, “I will take my marriage over being single any day.” I think back to my dating days and I realize that a great woman is not as easy to find as people assume. People always say that a good man is hard to find but trust me when I tell you, a good woman is equally as hard to find – and not every woman is marriage material. Like some women, I have been lied to and cheated on. I have been led to believe one thing and the reality was something totally different. There was a time, like most people, I wanted to give up – but I am glad that I didn’t.

I am so grateful to have found a woman who is willing to show the same love and respect for me that I show her. When she goes somewhere, I trust that she has my best interests at heart. I am so happy that we have the ability to work things out because most people would rather throw relationships away when they have issues. I am so lucky to have found a woman who does not need me to make her life. She already had a life and she chose to allow me in it. My wife knows how to handle her business and yet still makes me feel that I am needed.

If you knew me, you would know that I love to give gifts. And nothing makes me happier than to see the woman that I love happy. In the past I felt as if people mistook my kindness for weakness. At one point I started to see myself shut down but I am glad that I found a woman who is just like me when it comes to showing how important we are to each other. I never wanted to change as a person because some people did evil deeds against me. My wife helped me regain my trust and ability to give. She brings me home clothes just because she thinks I would look good in them and though I may not always like what she picks up for me, I am thrilled that she thought about me!

I am grateful that someone could see past my imperfections and still decide to stay with me. I know that my wife is a hot commodity because she is beautiful, educated, financially savvy, and just plain sexy. She could have had any man in the world and yet she chose me. I don’t think poorly about myself, but no matter what you think about yourself, it is still an honor when someone voluntarily chooses to spend the rest of their days with you and only you.

Lastly I am grateful for the struggles of the past because they let me know how wonderful a real relationship can be. I am also grateful for some of the struggles in my marriage because they help me grow as a person. I see what I have as a gift from God, so I am grateful for every minute I have these blessings!


Ilex Bien-Aime is an integral part of the BlackLoveAndMarriage.com team. He lives in Washington, DC with his lovely wife. He writes as a man who has seen women mistreat themselves and who have allowed themselves to be mistreated. He writes as a man who wants to give his future daughters a guideline on how to deal with men. Lastly he writes what he writes because his female friends are always asking his opinion about these situations. Connect with Ilex at Iamsayingit.blogspot.com or via email atilexbienaime@gmail.com.

I Was Saddened By The Shortsightedness Of Some Men…But There’s A Lesson To Be Learned Through It All

By Ayize Ma’at

A few weeks ago, in response to a barrage of immature and disrespectful virtual opinions about me….I found myself asking the question…..What the hell is a SIMP?  And without a moments hesitation I received a response from more than one guy saying “You nigga”.  Now before I continue let me give you a little back story.  Exactly 1 year ago….Jan 19th 2011 I posted a video on YouTube titled “Women Today Ain’t Like Women Of Yesterday (check it out below if you haven’t already seen it).  That video was met with a massive applause by many women because in the video I essentially expressed that men don’t really know that women today ain’t like women of yesterday because we really didn’t take the time to get to know them yesterday and we still aren’t taking the time to get to know them today.  Again, many women loved it….some fellas felt it, and a small number abhorred it.  That is until recently at least….lol

A few weeks ago I started receiving a bunch of comments on this video which led me to believe it was either placed on somebody’s website or it was promoted in the virtual environment somewhere which was provoking such an outpouring of responses.  One of those responses came in the form of a 2 minute video of some dude who had recorded himself laughing as he watched my video on his computer.  I was thinking “really dude”.  It’s weird watching someone watch a video of you.   Here are   some of the comments that were made on Women Today Ain’t Like Women Of Yesterday:

– This is one of the WORST simps I have seen on youtube. He is EXACTLY what feminism has done to BM, made them a joke of a man who grovels to women for appeasement. How dare he compare BW of the past to this RANCID generation of thug lovers, mammies, ghetto gaggers & nigga haters!!!

– this nigga is weak a typical “momma made man”

– Mangiiiiina aleeeert!

– We’ll see how long this SIMP empowers women when his REDBONE leaves his ass.

– Dude get you a big ass glass of MAN UP. Nah, you need the 3-liter bottle cause you ain’t got no testosterone in your system.Taking a ride on the SIMP train and about to get his ticket punched.

– Oh I see, you’re one them niggas that thinks The Color Purple movie was a true depiction of black relationships. You are a pussy ass nigga dawg and your wife OBVIOUSLY wears the pants. You’re really trying to argue that men aren’t naturally supposed to lead? Kill yourself, and if you didn’t know your wife is fucking another dude. I promise you.

– captain save a hoe

– Forsaking your manhood and playing second fiddle to a woman just to be able to “smell it”.

– SIMPING at its finest SMH!

When I received all of these comments I was like “Wow!”  I wasn’t really offended, more than anything I was amused and saddened by the short sightedness of the men who made these comments.  There was a compulsion to “get back in the lab” and create something to challenge, inspire, and encourage men to get beyond their “ball size” and the junior high preoccupation with “who has the biggest dick on display”.  There was a compulsion to express to them that their mind and spirit has the capacity to extend far beyond a 12 inch ruler and getting to know women deeper and more completely through effective communication will only increase the value of their relationships and their lives.

So again I went to the lab…and started working on something that will hopefully meet that goal (Due to be released in April).  Until then let’s keep striving yall.  It’s way bigger than me….It’s way bigger than Aiyana….It’s all about the growth and development of healthy family’s and healthy community’s.  We’re going to do our part and we’re challenging you to do yours.  Check out the video below if you haven’t had a chance to and as always remember STOP PLAYING and START PUSHING.

Ayize Ma’at is Co-founder and President of B Intentional, LLC, the Relationship Education company that owns and operates Blackloveandmarriage.com, the premiere cutting edge Marriage and Family web publication with the largest collection of love and marriage advice videos for African Americans. He is a Marriage & Relationship Educator certified in various Singles and Marriage Education curriculums and has a passion for inspiring others to grow and gain a deeper understanding of love. He is a devoted husband and the proud father of 4 amazing children.

The Positives Of Marriage Outweigh The Negatives

By Ilex Bien-Aime

This message is for the fellas out there, we need to be careful when we speak to our non married friends about marriage. I was talking to a friend the other day about marriage when one of his friends over heard us. He said something that really made me think about the way married men portray marriage. Often times when we talk about the subject, we say negative things. Instead of truly focusing on the positives, we usually speak unflatteringly.

Often times married men make marriage seem as if it were the worst thing ever. Before I got married I can’t tell you how many times I heard guys call their wives things like the warden or the slave master. It seems as if many of us are saying that our wives are trying to control us or take away our fun. I used to think to myself, why am I going to get married because married men seem so miserable. In my opinion when we do this, we do a disservice to our single friends.

Don’t get me wrong, marriage is difficult. If you are expecting me to say that everyday is like sipping Piña Coladas and making love under the pale moonlight, you would be sadly mistaken. When I talk to my friends about marriage, I try to give them a more positive spin. I tell them that often times marriage is difficult because human beings are flawed. I can’t go around speaking negatively about my wife without seriously acknowledging my own issues. Let’s face it, we are selfish beings. When we get married, often times we think of ourselves as two individuals living together but not truly as one. We want to do what we want to do and go when we want to go without considering the other person.

I get mad at my wife sometimes and honestly I have negative thoughts but as I said before, human beings are selfish. My wife is truly my help meet and she has my best interest at heart. She may suggest to me that I don’t spend money on something, not because she is trying to control my spending or take away my fun, she does it because she can see things that I may not see or choose to ignore. I can be an impulsive shopper and I end up buying things that I don’t need or plain just don’t use. When I am fighting with my wife about these things, at that moment I am thinking that she is trying to control me but often times afterwards I realize that she is trying to consult me.

Honestly, I have no business speaking negatively about marriage and some of my friends don’t either. Marriage has been great to me. I have a beautiful wife who has my back and wants nothing but love and respect from me in return. I know that I have a friend and a partner who I can confide in and that feeling is comforting to me. Yes marriage is difficult and sure my wife is not perfect but I wouldn’t trade her for the world. So the next time someone asks me about marriage, I would tell them that it is work but the rewards outweigh the negatives!

My name is Ilex Bien-Aime and I live in Washington, DC with my lovely wife. I write as a man who has seen women mistreat themselves and who have allowed themselves to be mistreated. I write as a man who wants to give my future daughters a guideline on how to deal with men. Lastly I write what I write because my female friends are always asking my opinion about these situations. Connect with Ilex at Iamsayingit.blogspot.com or via email atilexbienaime@gmail.com.

This One’s For The Fellas. Charles Barkley Is The New Spokesperson For Weight Watchers

Last week, NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley was introduced as the newest spokesperson for Weight Watchers’ new online campaign aimed strictly at men.

During his exclusive introduction interview, the TNT basketball analyst said that after retiring from the league in 2000, he packed on 100 pounds to his 6’ ft. 6” frame, ballooning to a whopping 350 pounds.

Barkley said he got his ‘wake up call’ when he paid a trip to the doctor.

“The doctor said, ‘Hey, dude, if you don’t lost some weight, you’re either going to get diabetes, have a stroke or drop dead. It’s either A, B, or C,” Barkley told USA Today.

As a result, Weight Watchers approached Barkley, and signed him on for the organization’s newest campaign entitled “Lose Like a Man.”

“I felt bloated and big,” says Barkley, who said he lost 14 pounds on his own, then shed another 27 pounds with the help of Weight Watchers.

Check out Barkley’s newest Weight Watcher’s commercial below:

Allright BLAM Fam: Does Barkley’s weight loss give you a little boost of motivation when it comes to losing the weight you need to? Keep it real. 😉