Are You Passing Co-Dependency On To Your Children?

By Darlene Lance, MFT

Research shows that codependency is learned in families and passed on generationally. It prevents the development of healthy, independently functioning individuals. When parents are codependent, codependency gets transmitted, unless they’re self-aware and consciously make an effort to respond to their children in healthy ways that counteract their codependent patterning. But because codependency is learned, it can be prevented and unlearned.

The problem is, like addiction, codependency is characterized by denial. This means you may not even be aware that you’re codependent and are unwittingly teaching it to your children, despite your best intentions. The most preventative steps you can take are to improve your self-esteem and communication. Some of the main symptoms of codependency are:

  1. Being overly focused on someone or something
  2. Low self-esteem
  3. Nonassertive communication
  4. Denying or devaluing needs, feelings, and wants
  5. Poor boundaries
  6. A need for control

Children learn who they are and how to identify, value, and communicate needs and feelings through interactions with their parents. Thus, how you communicate with your children is critical to the formation of their identity and to a large extent determines how secure their sense of self and self-esteem are. Here are traits of healthy families that allow children to develop into independent, functional adults:

  1. Free expression of thoughts, feelings, and observations
  2. Equality and fairness for all
  3. Healthy Communication
  4. Reasonable rules
  5. Nurturing and supportive
  6. Healthy boundaries
  7. Problem solving

As parents, here are seven key things you can do to ensure your children grow into independent adults:

1. Allow freedom of information.

One of the main characteristics of healthy families and organizations, even countries, is freedom to express thoughts and observations. Secrets and no-talk rules are common in dysfunctional families. For instance, forbidding mention of grandma’s limp or daddy’s drinking teaches children to be fearful and to doubt their perceptions and themselves. Children are naturally inquisitive about everything. This is healthy and should be encouraged, not squelched.

2. Show your children respect.

Showing respect means that you listen and take them seriously, which communicates that who they are and what they think and feel have worth and merit. You don’t have to agree with what they say, but listening to understand shows that you respect them and teaches them self-respect. Speak to your children with courtesy. Avoid criticism, which is destructive to self-esteem. Instead, praise the behavior you desire. You can set limits and explain negative consequences of behavior you want dislike without name-calling or criticizing, such as, “It makes me and others angry when you tie up the bathroom for half an hour. We’re all kept waiting,” instead of, “You’re selfish and inconsiderate to tie up the bathroom.” When you treat your child with respect, they will treat others with respect and expect the same in future relationships.

3. Accept your children’s feelings.

Many clients tell me that they weren’t allowed express anger, complain, feel sad, or even get excited. They learned to repress their feelings. This becomes problematic in their adult relationships and can lead to depression. With good intentions, often parents say, “Don’t feel sad, (or jealous, etc.)” or “Don’t raise your voice.” Allowing children to express their feelings provides a healthy outlet. Feelings needn’t be rational, nor do you have to “fix” them. Instead, comfort your children and let them know you love them, rather than try to talk them out of how they feel. Expressing feelings doesn’t mean that they should be free to act on them. Tommy can be angry at his sister, but it’s not okay to hit her.

4. Respect your children’s boundaries.

Respecting children’s thoughts and feelings is a way of respecting boundaries. Verbal abuse and attacks violate their boundaries, as does unwanted touch and sexual exposure or intimacy. This also includes tickling beyond a child’s comfort level. Additionally, children’s property, space, and privacy should be respected. Reading their mail or diary or talking to their friends behind their back are off-limits.

5. Allow children age-appropriate decisions, responsibility, and independence.

Codependents have problems making decisions and being interdependent in relationships. Children need support in learning how to problem-solve and make decisions. Parents usually err on one extreme or the other. Many children must take on adult responsibilities too young and never learn to receive or rely on anyone. Some children are controlled or pampered, become dependent and don’t learn to make their own choices, while others are given unlimited freedom without guidance. Opposite types often marry each other. They have an out-of-balance marriage, where one spouse takes care of the other, and both resent it.

Children resist control because they seek self-control. They naturally push for independence, which isn’t rebelliousness and should be encouraged. Age-appropriate limits teach them self-control. When they’re ready to test their wings, they need guidance to help them make their own decisions plus the freedom to make and learn from mistakes.

6. Have reasonable, predictable, humane rules and punishments.

Codependents grow up in homes where there are no rules or the rules are harsh and rigid, or inconsistent and arbitrary. Children need a safe, predictable, and fair environment. When rules and punishments are arbitrary, harsh, or inconsistent, instead of learning from mistakes, children become angry and anxious, and learn to distrust their parents, authority, and others. Rules should be explicit and consistent, and parents need to be united. Rather than base rules and punishments on emotions in the moment, think through what’s important and what is reasonably enforceable, which varies as children age and are more independent. Explain rules to older children, allow them to question you, and have good reasons to back up your decisions. Research has shown the physical punishment can lead to emotional problems in adulthood. The best punishments are reasonable, humane, and relate to the natural consequences of the wrong-doing.

7. Nurture your children.

You can’t give them too much love and understanding. This isn’t spoiling them. Some parent use gifts or not setting limits to show love, but this isn’t a substitute for empathy and affection, which are necessary for children to grow into confident, loving adults.

Darlene Lancer is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and life coach with a broad range of experience, working with individuals and couples for twenty-four years. Her focus is on helping individuals overcome obstacles to leading fuller lives, and helping couples enhance their communication, intimacy, and passion.

Ma’at Family Doing the D-Low Shuffle For Their 90 Year Old Great Grandma

There’s nothing like good ole’ fashion family time.  This past Sunday we went to visit Grandma/Great-Grandma to bring her some Easter Sunday entertainment.  She was happy to see us ……and during our visit the children had the brilliant idea to do the D-Low Shuffle for her.  She watched and cracked an occasional smile.  All in all we enjoyed ourselves and were happy to experience another moment with Grandma/Great Grandma.

Happy Black Marriage Day! 20 Ways To Celebrate Your Love.

By Aiyana Ma’at

Black Marriage day is right around the corner.

Black Marriage Day began in 2002 to create a cultural shift in the way marriage is viewed and celebrated in the Black community. Bet you didn’t know that it started with just 30 supporters initially. Hundreds of people celebrate Black Marriage Day every spring.


12 years after its beginning we thought we’d help to spark your imagination and give you some interesting and fun things to do this year. Whether you are considering celebrating this day for the first time or have celebrated since the beginning, I’m sure you’ll find something that appeals to you!

A Few Ideas To Make Black Marriage Day more Meaningful For The Two Of You

Bubble bath for two. Candles. Champagne. Need we say more?

Pick a TV show, get a season’s worth on DVD and make a running date to watch it together every night.

*Try brunch and a matinee; fancy restaurants are way more affordable in the a.m.

*Take a dinner cruise: The motion of the ocean sets off sensuous signals inside us (think water beds).

*Make your boo a personalized mixtape.

*Put a blanket in the backyard and have a picnic.

*A Night in Paris Without Leaving Home. You decorate your home like a restaurant in a foreign country. Make it as cheesy as possible while keeping it looking nice. Cook the themed food yourself. It shows off your cooking skills, your romantic side, your sense of humor and your creativity. <— (I really like this one.)

* Go wine tasting at a winery at a local winery event or get a couple of glasses, a bottle, and have a picnic lunch outdoors.

Ideas To Celebrate Black Marriage Day In Your Community

These ideas and suggestions come from the Smart Marriages Website. These are just the beginning of what you can do. Be as creative as you like and tailor the program to your community.

Ask judges and divorce lawyers to declare a moratorium on divorce – NO Divorces filed or granted during the week leading up to Black Marriage Day. Ask them to “schedule vacation” that week if that’s what it takes. Get this to the media!

Celebrate your own marriage. Teach by example! If you’re not married, offer to babysit so someone else can go celebrate.

Strengthen your own marriage. Read a book, attend a course. See for books and classes.

Create a “Ten Most Affordable (or best, or most romantic, or most creative) Marriage Dates” list/contest for your community. Get these to the media – radio, TV, newspapers, community newsletters. Ask radio stations to promote a contest – keep the focus on Marriage – not just any old date, but ideas for the best, most creative, or most affordable Marriage Date.

Honor members of your extended family or community whose marriages have had an impact on your life. Write a note of appreciation for marriages that have inspired you. Or, throw a surprise party.

Hold a “How this marriage has had an impact on my life” or a “Why I think this is a great Marriage” essay contest for children in the community (lessons learned, examples set, why they want a marriage like this when they grow up, etc.) Award prizes, get the media involved. Marriages described could be those of their parents, relatives, ancestors or one of local, state or national significance.

Send a marriage-strengthening book or give a gift certificate for a class to newlyweds, new parents, or anyone whose marriage could use a boost.

Organize a Community Marriage Policy and get it signed during the week leading up to Black Marriage Day. See to get started.

Encourage civic, community and religious leaders to acknowledge Black Marriage Day with an endorsement, announcement or declaration and activities.

Ask media to include a Strengthening Marriage Tip, Marriage Article, Marriage Quiz -” Of the Day” for the full week leading up to Black Marriage Day. Send them the material! It’s only seven days……

Recognize the couple in your community, region or state who has been married the longest.

Ask local stations to run Public Service Announcements about marriage.


Happy Black Marriage Day!!! Why It’s Important To Recognize This Day!

Marriage rates in the United States have hit an all-time low, dropping from a 1960 high of 72 percent to just barely half. Leading family scholars are troubled. Studies show that children from cohabitating and single-parent households face increased risks for a wide range of social, emotional, and economic ills compared with their peers from intact, married households, whose numbers are rapidly dwindling. Black families fare far worse.

“The black community has the distinction of the lowest marriage rate in America,” says Nisa Muhammad, founder of the Wedded Bliss Foundation, the sponsor of Black Marriage Day. “When White America has a cold, Black America has pneumonia. And we don’t have the resources or history to rebound as quickly.”

In 1960, 61 percent of blacks were married; today the rate hovers at a dismal 31 percent. Seventy percent of black children are born out-of-wedlock. Their mothers are more often than not poor. Black children continue to have the highest rate of poverty. While the considerable gap in divorce rates between blacks and whites has narrowed (blacks still out-divorce whites), far fewer blacks are also marrying. Forty-four percent of them consider marriage obsolete.

Over ten years ago, Muhammad, a journalist raising her own five children, went searching for answers to the problems plaguing the African-American community. She found her way to a Smart Marriagesconference, and left “mesmerized” by all the information available about the benefits of marriage.

“Black married people make more money, their kids do better in school, marriage rescues blacks from poverty, their kids are less likely to go to jail, become teen parents and get divorced,” Muhammad says. “I started thinking, does anyone in the black community know this stuff?”

She asked around and nobody did. Even among the well-educated. She couldn’t find anyone promoting marriage within the black community either.

Mainstream cultural cues mostly excluded blacks. No black Bachelors or Bachelorettes. Muhammad thought “27 Dresses” was a cute movie, but notes that the average black woman doesn’t have 27 married friends, much less has attended 27 weddings. When Muhammad spoke at Morehouse College, a distinguished all-male black college in Atlanta, Georgia, she asked the young men in the audience to name a song where a black man says “I love you” to a woman in the lyrics.

“They look baffled,” she says. “They couldn’t name one song. College students being nursed on music that offers sex without responsibility.”

Relationship stories in the black community typically center on “somebody did me wrong” or “woe is me,” she points out.

When Muhammad couldn’t find anyone offering portraits of healthy marriages, she took on the task herself. “Our silence co-signs a lot of negative behavior. We say it’s not me, but then it becomes you. That bothered me.”

So she founded Black Marriage Day in order to shine a national spotlight on all the positives. Stories of black couples married 50, 60, 70 years. Relationship workshops, celebratory dinners, vow renewal ceremonies, inductions into a Black Marriage Day Hall of Fame. She praises President Obama’s example of regular date nights with the First Lady.


Reprint *3/25/12

Thoughts For Black Marriage Day: Let’s Get Married…The Sacred African Way!!!

By Minister Mxolisi Ozo-Sowande / (aka Bro. Mxolisi T. Sowell)

As we journey through the month of March, and over 300 organizations around the nation (USA) observe/celebrate Black Marriage Day, some words from Dr. Llaila Afrika (in African Holistic Health, pg. 351) resonate within my soul:

“The female/male relationship is microcosmic of the culture . . . (it) transmits and translates culture . . . (it) is the smallest functional unit of the culture . . . The Black wholistic female/male relationship is for the upliftment of the culture,” with a major function of this relationship being the rearing of children who have what it takes to “advance the culture.”

Dr. Afrika goes on to assert that the positive result of such a dynamic is that “the culture (i.e., village) serves the relationship and the relationship serves the culture. It takes a village to have a marriage . . . it takes African-centeredness to have a holistic African cultural marriage.”

Another voice vibrating within is that of Dr. Molefi Asante (cited in the book, Friends, Lovers and Soul Mates by Drs. Derek and Darlene Hopson, pg. 49): his belief that to be whole, Black people must place African values, culture, and history at the center of their very beings. Asante says, “We have a formidable history, replete with the voice of God, the ancestors, and the prophets. Our manner of dress, behavior, walk, talk, and values are intact and workable when we are Afrocentric.”

Adding to the strength and convictions of those voices is the voice of Dr. Marimba Ani, speaking before the 2011 annual convention of the Association of Black Psychologists, where the following was among her comments: “Culture is the immune system of a race . . . the armor that protects a people against genocide . . . African culture is the unique expression of the African soul. It cultivates, nurtures and cares for the African soul as nothing else can. It makes us part of the global African family. It imparts to us the power of our ancestors. It has got to be the foundation of any educational system that we have . . . We need to rebuild our cultural system!”

If we follow the wisdom and admonition coming to us from ancient Kemet – and other traditions as well, calling on us to open the books that contain the enduring words and practices of our Ancestors, to read and heed the preserved ingredients of our cultural system(s), we would likely understand and agree with Dr. Afrika’s profound expressions: “In an African centered relationship, each person was viewed as a sacred presence of God . . . An individual served God by serving their mate . . . Relationships between Black women and men founded on correctness, justice, harmony, balance, reciprocity, truth, propriety and order (Maat) are African centered . . . (are unions) of God . . . the balance of the spirit, mind and body . . . (are) given to African peoples as another way to serve God.”

We do, indeed, need to rebuild, restore, and renew ourselves according to that cultural system!

The Five Major Initiation Rites of our traditional African way of life provide an excellent foundation for the beginning of this restoration process. These are rites that evolved as our ancestors responded to their collective perceptions of Creator, Ancestors and Prophets speaking to their hearts and souls. They include the rites of Birth, Adulthood, Marriage, Eldership, and Ancestor-ship.

(See Prof. Manu Ampim’s essay on these rites at this link: )

These rites, which continue to be nearly universal in one form or another throughout traditional African life, provide foundation for a way of life that includes this pertinent point of view: That a person is not truly an adult until they have married and had children!

Additionally, this way of life holds that a new life (an infant) is not a complete being until she or he has been thoroughly initiated into the values and principles of the family-community-nation; and that the family-community-nation has an abiding responsibility to provide the necessary environment, training and inspiration to assist each individual in discovering and fulfilling their life mission and unique contribution.

(View my reflections on these Initiation Rites at this link:

In simple terms, our African cultural way of life places high priority on preparing and developing men and women who know one another to be a sacred presence of God, who hold marriage in high esteem (who are, indeed, ready for their Black/African Marriage Day), and are eager — along with Ancestors, Elders and others, and every institution of the culture — to fulfill their roles to carry forward and “advance the culture” in and through succeeding generations. Our African cultural way of life absolutely needs Adults of this spirit and character as marriage partners and parents, and in other roles that might be required for the perpetuation of that sacred, inspirational, family-community-nation environment.

The overriding priority of that sacred environment is to inform and inspire each individual relative to his or her potential to manifest Godliness (Maat) not only in marriage but in every circumstance of life. No doubt, something easier said than done.

In ancient Kemet, Maat was understood as the intelligent, creative energy-spirit-power emerging from what can be viewed as a radical, transformative development at the core of the Creator’s being, giving rise to all existence and to the obligation for humans to be diligent in pro-active moral behavior in all things. In The Husia, our ancestors’ perceptions of the Creator’s thoughts/words in that radical, creation moment are expressed thusly: “I formed it from the desire in my heart; I laid the foundation through Maat.” Other translations reflect The Most High saying S/He worked “magic” on Her/His own heart in order to facilitate the birth of Maat and the emergence of creation. Thus, it was understood that the Godly pro-active morality that the humankind is to pursue and practice requires a radical, transformative development at the core of our individual and collective existence, giving birth to an undying desire in our hearts for Maat to be the distinguishing character and driving force in all that we do.

As above, so below. As with Ancestors throughout the spectrum of our traditional African way of life, let it be with you and me.

Marimba Ani has argued that our African culture is “amazingly resilient,” continuing to survive in spite of the most culturally destructive force (u.s./western culture) in history. Perhaps that explains why there are as many successful Black marriages as there are, given the severely anti-African forces – social, educational, economic, political, as well as individualistic concepts of manhood, womanhood, marriage and family – that work against our well-being at all times. She goes on to assert that our solutions will come not only from denying the “European world-view” as a basis for human organization but that there must be a spiritual component in our organizing efforts and in any view of the future that is projected as our goal.

“Our Africanness has existed within us primarily on an unconscious level,” Dr. Ani posits. “But the forces of evil are strong. European colonialism is powerful and the unconscious survival of the African heritage is not enough to subdue it. This survival must be moved to the level of conscious awareness, so that it can be used for political analysis, motivation and commitment. . . . The African world-view revitalized, can again be a life-giving force. It promises ‘eternal life’ to its descendants.” (Let the Circle be Unbroken: Implications of African Spirituality in the Diaspora, pgs. 50-53)

There are numerous resources to inform and inspire us for the revitalization of our African cultural way, for marriage and all circumstances of life, including:
Selections from The Husia: Sacred Wisdom of Ancient Egyptcompiled by Dr. Maulana Karenga – (containing a significant number of admonitions and insights relative to marriage and family, as well as a host of Teachings for character development in general, including The Declarations of Innocence/Negative Confessions)
Friends, Lovers and Soul Mates: A Guide to Better Relationships Between Black Men and Womenby Derek S. Hopson, Ph. D., and Darlene Powell Hopson, Ph.D. – (featuring a vast spectrum of issues to be considered and discussed in the process of “self-knowledge” and fruitful relationships)
The Ten Virtues of the Egyptian Mystery System – (Control of your thoughts * Control of your actions * Devotion to purpose * Faith in the ability of The Master to teach you the truth * Faith in your ability to assimilate the truth * Faith in your ability to wield the truth * Freedom from resentment under the experience of persecution * Freedom from resentment under the experience of wrong * Cultivate the ability to distinguish between right and wrong [that which is loved from that which is hated] * Cultivate the ability to distinguish between the real and the unreal [have a sacred sense of values])
Kwanzaa & the Nguzo Saba: Something Sacred for & from the Souls of Black Folksby Minister Mxolisi Ozo-Sowande – (for a deeper-than-superficial presentation of the Principles, Symbols and Precepts of this tradition and their potential for serving as a blueprint for the restoration of the souls of Black folks)

Let it be that we open these and other books, with our hearts and souls wide open, to allow a plentiful harvest of radical, transformative moments to occur in great abundance throughout the Global African Family. Let Black Marriage Day, the sacred African way, be the exhilarating, unending norm once again, forevermore!

Ankh, Udja, Seneb!!!

My Mother In Law & Me…Being INTENTIONAL About Building Our Relationship

By Aiyana Ma’at

*This pic is of me and my mother in law whom I affectionately call “Mom Sharon” at a Prayer Breakfast on a Saturday morning. I stole it from my hubby’s Facebook status. :-)* 

One day last year ago my mother in law gave me a call and said that she had been meaning to do this for awhile and just hadn’t but wanted to see if we could spend more time together.

WOW! This may seem small to you but it was huge for me! I was so touched by her desire to be closer and her willingness to take a risk and see if she could make it happen.

And you know what? That one simple yet profound gesture instantly elevated us into another space where we now make it a point to connect, connect, connect!

So, what’s the BIG LESSON here?

If you want something to be different in your relationship (any relationship) you have to take a risk and ask for what you want.

You can RE-CREATE any relationship you have….all it takes is a willingness to try. I’m so thankful for our new found connection. It has inspired me to re-create a few of my other relationships too! So, now it’s my turn to take a risk and ask for what I want. I’ll keep you posted!

Are there any people in your life you’d like to see more, know better, or connect with more? Leave a comment below and let me know how you plan to make it happen. 90% of the time the only thing standing in your way is YOU.

Love y’all……



Do You Have A Valentine’s Day Family Tradition? Why Not Start This Year?

By Sheila Anderson

Often the fondest childhood memories stem from family traditions that were lovingly repeated throughout the years. Family traditions have family at the center of a celebration spending time together and creating lasting memories. If you don’t already have a family Valentine’s Day tradition, why not start one this year? It could be the beginning of many wonderful years of Valentine’s Day memories with your family.

A Valentine family tradition doesn’t have to be expensive. The main idea is to spend time with the family together. Here are some inexpensive ways you can start a Valentine’s Day family tradition in your family.

Make a Food Treat Together

Most people associate chocolates with Valentine’s Day, but how about making a different treat together that your family can share together. One fun treat you can make are Rice Krispies hearts. All you need is the basic Rice Krispies squares recipe, heart shaped cookie cutters and red sprinkles. Lightly grease the insides of the heart shaped cookie cutters and press some Rice Krispies squares mix into the cookie cutters. Then remove the cookies cutters and add the sprinkles. Repeat as needed with the rest of the mixture. It’s simple enough for young kids to help out.

Another simple idea is to bake a cake in a heart shaped cake mold. Make some red (or at least pink) icing and then the kids can decorate the top with sprinkles and heart shaped candies.

Play a Family Game

Games are a great way for families to interact with each other and have fun at the same time. Choose a favorite family game and have an enjoyable time together. Make sure that it is a game everyone enjoys so nobody feels frustrated or left out. It’s also fun to learn a new game together so the whole family is at the same level of expertise.

A card game that has hearts as the central theme is a good match for creating a Valentine’s Day family game time tradition. Capture the Hearts is a simple card game that the whole family can easily understand and play. The object of the game is to win as many hearts as possible. The only card knowledge required is to know the order of the cards.

Each player starts with 7 cards and plays 2 cards face down in front of them each round. The top card cannot be a heart. After each player has selected their cards then everyone turns over the top card. The player with the highest card wins all the remaining face down cards, hopefully containing some hearts. In each subsequent round, deal 2 more cards and continue play. The player with the most hearts in the end wins the game.

Watch a Family Favorite Movie

The movie doesn’t have to be mushy and sentimental, as long as it is a movie that the whole family enjoys. It doesn’t even need to be a movie you’ve seen if it’s a movie that the whole family wants to see. Pop some popcorn, or eat some of the treats you’ve made for Valentine’s Day, and enjoy some time together.

Exchange Homemade Cards

Instead of shopping for cards try making cards at home. You’ll save money and have nice keepsakes. The cards can be as simple as folding a piece of paper and cutting out a heart with one straight edge of the heart along the fold. Write a customized message for each member of the family on a separate heart card for each. Encourage the other members of the family to do the same and you’ll have a nice time exchanging special heartfelt cards.

Holidays are very special to children and Valentine’s Day can be made even more memorable if you create your own family tradition. Your children may even use these traditions when they are grown with their own families.


Sheila Anderson creates free printables for kids to provide fun and educational paper based activities. These free printable activity pages and worksheets can be found at


I Love You Baby….A Special Shout Out To My Wife

I firmly believe that if more men did MORE of this…..there would be FEWER divorces, FEWER teen pregnancies, and FEWER young black men being incarcerated BECAUSE there would be more whole and healthy family’s.  Many of the problems our youth face can be traced back to a broken home…..GET YOUR HOUSE IN ORDER MEN.  Tell and show your woman that you love her.

What’s up y’all we are Ayize & Aiyana Ma’at….a married couple that has been together since high school. Yup…high school sweet hearts. We have Fo’… not four… but Fo’ incredible children…who keep us on our toes all the time : ) We are relationship therapists, coaches, and experts that have been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Network, Dr. Drew’s Lifechangers, TV One, and other media outlets. We are helpers…we are healers….and we are here to serve you.

If you or someone you know would like to have INDIVIDUAL or COUPLES coaching from us please CLICK HERE

To learn how you can work with us, have a business around whatever your passion is, and EARN MONEY ONLINE…. CLICK HERE

Household Duties….Whose Job Is It?

By Lauri Przybysz

Most people have been raised to expect that certain jobs are done primarily by one sex or the other. Despite these stereotypes job assignments aren’t written in stone. Many couples shift their roles and responsibilities several times throughout the years of their marriage. Is it time for some job reclassification in your marriage?

The issue may be more serious than you think. One of the main causes of domestic problems is domestic – as in, housework. Who picks up the used newspapers? Who takes out the trash? Who will empty the dishwasher? Who walks the dog? Sound familiar? Neil Chethik polled 300 husbands across the age spectrum for his book, VoiceMale: What Husbands Really Think About Their Marriages, Their Wives, Sex, Housework and Commitment (Simon and Schuster, 2006). “Housework showed up right after money as the top issue of discord,” he said. “It was higher on the list than sex, higher than raising the children, ahead of every other issue you can name.” In other words, couples can build a happier marriage by finding better ways to share the mundane tasks of their life together.

Sometimes a wife clings to more than her share of the housework out of a need to meet the expectations – real or imagined – of her mother or friends. Even if her husband is willing, the quality of his help leaves something to be desired, in her mind. Or if a man prides himself in a spotless car, the way his dad always did, he may be against  letting his wife take on that task.

Blending our two worlds and creating a partnership of life and love sometimes comes down to changing how we wash the dishes, make the bed, or store the groceries. We can let go of our idea of perfection in order to accept the help of our spouse. Sharing tasks means more time at the end of the day for us to appreciate each other. It is about making our relationship a priority.

I Hate Being Black!!!

By Ayize Ma’at

The pain that black folks experience runs deep.  There have been hundreds of years of self-hate passed down from generation to generation in the black community.  The consequences of generational scars have been aptly coined Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome.  Neither you or I can escape it….it is what it is.

While we all may deal with remnants of slavery in some form or fashion, it’s rare that you see or hear African Americans overtly dissociate from their race.  Many people develop maladaptive coping mechanisms (i.e. the mutation of nigger to nigga) to depersonalize the psycho-emotional pain attached to traumatic historical experiences.  In the above video you see a lot of that….denial, dissociation, and repression as a means of survival.

To all the folks who feel like they feel…THERE’S A BETTER WAY YALL.

Black is NOT synonymous with bad, ugly, painful, ghetto, dirty, cheap, or ridiculousness.


Genius was birthed out of blackness…from the womb of a black woman came the founders of science, mathematics, history, technology, and spirituality.  From the virility of a black man came the original architects, poets, professors, politicians, schools, etc.


It’s imperative that we all engage in a process of cognitive reframing by studying who we were, changing who we are, and realizing who we can be….so that we minimize the effects of Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome.  This is not a maybe….IT’S A MUST.

Greatness is awaiting all of us…

But we must take the first step toward it.  Embrace all of you as you put one foot in front of the other.

Hold your head high….and say….


Ayize & Aiyana Ma’at (founders of this site) are relationship experts and internet marketers who have been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Network, Dr. Drew’s Lifechangers, TV One, and other media outlets.  They are helping people build healthy relationships and build home based businesses.  To learn how you can MAKE MONEY while working from home CLICK HERE.  To get INDIVIDUAL or COUPLES  COACHING from Ayize & Aiyana Ma’at CLICK HERE.