4 Mistakes That Married Men Make

By Lanesha Townsend

Yes, both men and women can be guilty of things that not only make a harmonious union more of a challenge, but sometimes even sabotage the whole relationship. 

That said, there are some very male-specific habits and behaviors that many women agree need to be worked on…not only for women’s happiness, not only to strengthen the beautiful union you’re trying to build together, but even to help both of you be healthier.

“Over time, negative feelings in a relationship that aren’t addressed can lead to physical and psychological problems,” says Silver Spring, Md.-based psychologist Gloria Vanderhorst, PhD. These problems can include stress, anxiety and depression.

Here are some of the top behaviors that wives tend to be concerned with the most:

1. Being too self-focused when it comes to sex.

In the bedroom, many men overlook, ignore, or assume what their wives need to feel comfortable and get turned on. While going from zero to sixty in just a few minutes isn’t as much of a challenge for men, women’s bodies tend to work a little differently, and therefore need more pre-sex attention and time to truly get in the mood.

In addition, men often assume that sex all by itself is a demonstration of closeness; however, in order to enjoy sex more, women generally need to feel more emotionally connected to a man…prior to sex.

Next time: Prior to turning the lights down low, ask your wife what puts her in the mood, how she’s feeling, and what makes her feel special and sexy. Then, make an effort to do more of those things more often.

2. Not understanding her feelings and listening enough.

Instead of listening to their wives, men often go into “fix-it” mode, analyzing the situation, but overlooking what she’s really trying to say. Women want to feel that their spouse is actively engaged in the conversation…not just trying to solve problems.

“Empathy is the most important part of any relationship,” says psychologist Albert Maslow, PhD. “It’s the ability to recognize and share someone else’s feelings. Women want their feelings to be understood and validated. Men have to discover this.”

Next time: Listen to your wife, talk about how she’s feeling, and demonstrate an interest in what she’s saying, not just the facts of the problem at hand.

3. Assuming the “king of the castle” role

Consciously or unconsciously, men assign themselves the leadership role in the relationship, when actually, a couple’s relationship really needs to be one of shared leadership. Some men don’t get that being a man doesn’t always mean taking charge.

“They try to get what they want by being dominant,” Maslow says. “But it’s not about making demands or trying to overpower her. Women will pull away from that.”

For example, one common mistake that men often make is making decisions that affect the household without consulting with their spouse first, such as making a large purchase.

“Making big purchases such as buying a car without first consulting your wife is a huge no-no,” Vanderhorst says. In fact, she ranks it second only to infidelity when it comes to marriage-busting mistakes.

Next time: Acknowledge that marriage is a democracy, not a monarchy. Show your spouse the respect she deserves by being willing to compromise, and discuss matters that affect the household with your wife…before making decisions.

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What “Being A Wife” Really Means

By Lana Moline

As a wife of 12 years, when I hear ladies say that they just want to be married I wonder what that means.  In our 12 years we have seen so many ups and downs and I think I have just reached a point of beginning to understand what being a wife truly means.  I fell in love with a man and we got married and began to build a life.  However, I did not truly consider the responsibilities and obligations that  are included in this role.  Of course I expected to be by his side, support him and encourage his success but I didn’t really know how engrossed my life would become with his and yet while that is the case, he would still depend on my ability to stand as a strong woman.  That’s a fine line that bears a lot of work.

I’ve realized that his desire every day to put his best foot forward is sparked by my desire to be all that I can.  It is like igniting and maintaining a fire that can withstand the wind.  Wives don’t really have the option of checking out of life or not having a plan.  Wives must have a vision of being fruitful and multiplying because they are the mothers of the earth.  I am not specifically speaking in terms of having kids but what I am saying is that wives are responsible for nurturing dreams and preserving hope at all costs.  Sometimes that may mean putting on the hat of tough love, which I admit that in my relationship it is a little challenging for me.  Come on, I don’t want to be the one who tells my husband that he may need to improve on something but as his wife, I’m his last look in the mirror before he leaves out the door.  So he depends on me for the truth.  It’s easy to stay in the girlfriend role and canoodle all day long but as a wife, I’ve got to keep it moving.

The security that comes with being a wife is priceless and when I think about the fact that woman was created from the rib of the man,  I can’t help but think about the function of the rib.  From all accounts of the sources that I have researched, a rib provides support and protection for the entire body.  So I encourage any single sister who consider themselves rib material to examine all that you bring to the table.  It extends far beyond accomplishments.  It’s about your willingness to follow through in tough times, your ability to nurse someone when the wounds are not physical and your tenacity in being a life coach for someone who you are in love with.  So here’s the caveat, it is imperative that you balance all of the things that I just mentioned all while taking excellent care of yourself because you would not be up for this lifelong challenge if you are not in optimal shape.  Take your time and prepare yourself to be the top of the line, PRIME RIB.

Lana Moline is an integral part of the Blackloveandmarriage.com writing team, freelance writer and poet who lives in Ft. Worth with her three kids and husband Emile. Married 11 years, both media professionals have vowed to maintain integrity in all aspects of print and broadcast journalism.Visit her atLana Moline Speaks.

Jill Scott Demands She Does Magazine Cover Spread With Natural Hair

We at BLAM want to give a standing ovation to the beautiful soulful singer Jill Scott, for taking a stand at telling Essence Magazine in so many words “you gotta love me or leave me alone”.

According to TheYBF.com,

Jill exclusively told TheYBF.com that she “staged sort of a coup” to make sure she could rock her natural hair for the cover of Essence Magazine.  The confident chick gave the magazine company a choice–either she did the cover spread with her natural hair, or she wasn’t doing the cover AT ALL.

CLICK HERE to read more.

Controversial YT Video: J.L. Ford Discusses Why Black Women Have Every Right To Be Angry In 2012.

In one of his many webisodes on women and relationships, author J.L. Ford discusses why black women have every right to be angry in 2012.


VIDEO: Black, Female, & Republican…So, What Do You Think About Mia Love?

Have you heard about Mia Love? If you haven’t you will soon. She is making waves in the Republican party and is hoping to become the first-ever black republican woman to win a seat in congress. She is a staunch conservative and a 36-year-old, first-generation Haitian-American She’s already mayor of Saratoga Springs, a small town in mostly white Utah and she drew sustained applause with a speech that combined her family’s journey to the U.S. and references to civil-rights icons.

Listen in to a few of her words at the GOP Convention and then tell us BLAM Fam…What do you think?



Is It Superficial Of Me To Not Date A Woman Because She Has A Weave?

Is it o.k. to have a preference for “natural” hair?  Is it superficial to NOT date women who have a weave?  This was the question we received from a viewer recently…. and in this video we share a piece of our personal history as we talk about natural hair, straight hair, kinky hair, weaves, press n curls and more in an attempt to shed some light the fact that the heart of a woman is not her hair.

Is Marriage Worth It For Black Women? These Sista’s Say, ‘Yes!’

By Ama Lawson

Month after month black women are bombarded with articles surrounding the “black marriage crisis.”  On top of that, movies as old as Waiting to Exhale and as recent as Think Like A Man have provided wide screen images of beautiful and successful black women who are dying to have some man put a ring on it.  Most of this media production seems to assume that all black women want to get married.

But is this an accurate assumption?  The social research and anecdotal evidence regarding marriage would not necessarily lead to the conclusion that marriage is even desirable.

First, the fact that approximately half of all marriages in the United States end in divorce is certainly not encouraging. Certain statistics suggest that African-Americans are more likely to divorce than their white, Hispanic or Asian counterparts.

Second, while social research overwhelmingly suggest that men benefit from marriage through longer life spans, increased access to sex,  lower rates of physical disease and lower rates of depression, the jury is still out on whether marriage equally benefits women.  Some studies suggest that married women are less successful, more depressed and less healthy than their single sisters!

Third, the presumed economic benefits of marriage may also be diminishing for some women.  Withgeneral male unemployment exceeding female unemployment for both the general population and the black population, it appears as if many black women and non-black women believe that marrying men, including the fathers of their own children, presents economic and emotional burdens that are simply not commensurate with any potential rewards.

Sadly, women assessing this cold, hard fact may feel as though marrying a man would be like assuming the care of another child, because their potential mates would not provide additional earnings and would not engage in their fair share of domestic work such as cooking, cleaning and child-rearing. Perhaps it is for this reason that today — for women of ALL races — more than half of births to women under 30 are occurring outside the institution of marriage.

For women whose potential mates are gainfully employed, marriage may bring significant economic benefits as household bills are split in two and surplus cash may be used for nice family vacations, domestic help, private schools or piano lessons for the kids.

But still, a high-earning single woman or a single woman with family and a supportive social network should still be able to afford or gain access to child-care help, extra-curricular activities, and the other niceties (or necessities?) that go into raising productive little ones. Such a woman could presumably enjoy the company of family, good friends and an exciting sexual companion here and there — without the burden of housework and other inequalities that plague many women in their marriages.

So we ponder the question: is marriage worth it for black women?

With the odds being difficult that many black women will find a partner who matches them economically and socially, and the extreme length some are going through to get, keep, date, or even share a man, if you can take care of a child yourself — or don’t want children — some might wonder “what’s the point?”

Is there something to be said about marriage that transcends the allure of fulfilling the inner little girl’s dream of receiving dazzling jewels, wearing a stunning white gown and enjoying a kiss from someone dressed like prince at the wedding ball?  The vast majority of the single and married black women that I asked answered with a resounding “yes!”

Although Marie-Gabrielle Isidore, the twenty-something and single CEO and Co-Founder of Brand Haiti, concedes that marriage can appear scary because of discouraging statistics, she told theGrio, “Marriage is something that is extremely beautiful and I look forward to it one day.”  Marie-Gabrielle bemoans the negative media image of black women as not being worthy of love and protection from men and or society’s institutions. She feels that black people should work towards strengthening and empowering the institution, especially considering the ills of fatherlessness, which is linked to the poverty that severely impacts blacks.

Similarly, B. Araba Essien, the single thirty-something mother, artist and entrepreneur behind B. Araba Photography, agrees that marriage is worth it with all its pitfalls and risks.  However, she fears that some black women are not finding love because they are focusing on a potential mate’s height, titles and wealth instead of trying to foster a meaningful connection.  She elaborated, “marriage is worth it for black women, but we must keep our options, minds, as well as our hearts, truly open.”

I could not agree more with Araba’s determination to focus on establishing a meaningful connection.  As human beings we all long to feel loved by and deeply connected with other human beings. There is something unique about the love and connection that marriage provides because of its nature as a public commitment to engage in an exclusive relationship based on both sexual and emotional intimacy. This special intimacy often allows marriage to be a place where old wounds are exposed and current vulnerabilities emerge.

Spouses are called to be sources of love, healing and encouragement for one another.  It can be wonderful to wake up with a fellow adult and go to sleep with that same adult and to know that you have an earthly partner on this not-so easy journey called life.  Additionally, there may be an elevated sense of freedom in expressing and exploring your deepest of sexual desires with someone who has officially promised to love you for life.

Lurie Daniel-Favors, a married consumer rights attorney, mother and author of the upcoming book Afro State of Mind, Memoirs of a Nappy Headed Black Girl, embraces this idea of marriage being primarily about connection rather than a system of economic support or labor-sharing — which tends to be how the act is evaluated in recent reports.  “For the first time in modern history, marriage can be about two equals coming together to create a union between their personal and life visions.  Now that I no longer need a husband, I can truly enjoy the husband that I chose,” Lurie told theGrio.

Indeed, as a married woman I can truly say that my husband and child are sources of great enjoyment.  No, marriage is not easy and it may not agree with everyone.  Decision-making regarding financial obligations, household chores and child-rearing approaches can be contentious. Each spouse’s mood-swings, ego-trips, silent treatments or screaming fits can wreak emotional havoc on both partners. But in my experience, these negatives do not destroy the tremendous human value and joy of this age-old institution for any group of people, including black women.

Yes, when you look at the numbers, and weigh them against the alternative of permanent singledom, the struggle for marriage might seem pointless to many of us. But children and friends cannot replace real adult intimacy. It might be harder for us to find that real connection — regardless of whether you are gay, straight, or your “marriage” is more one of minds than on paper.

But don’t give up the fight or the dream based on statistics, if it’s something you want to make a reality.

Ama Yawson is a co-founder of Loveessence.com, a romantic networking site for black women who are ready for love and men of all races who are ready to love them in return. Ms. Yawson was inspired to create loveessence.com because of her own experiences in discovering romantic love. Ms. Yawson earned a BA from Harvard University, an MBA from the Wharton School and a JD from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and son.


Beyonce Reads An “Open Letter” To Michelle Obama

Check out this video of R&B sensation Beyonce Knowles expressing her appreciation to First Lady Michelle Obama for everything she has done for our country.

Michelle Obama has spoken of her deep admiration for Beyoncé. And the pop star’s feelings are more than mutual. After thanking the First Lady in a letter of appreciation, posted online in April, Beyoncé, 30, has now recorded a video of her words – calling Mrs. Obama “the ultimate example of a truly strong African American woman.”

“She is a caring mother, she’s a loving wife, while at the same time, she is the First Lady,” Beyoncé says. “No matter the pressure, and the stress of being under the microscope, she’s humble, loving, and sincere.” She adds: “Michelle, thank you so much for every single thing that you do for us. I am proud to have my daughter grow up in a world where she has people like you to look up to.”

Pastor Juanita Bynum’s Testimony: Admits To Sleeping With Men, Using Drugs, & Sleeping With Women

Of all the celebs that are coming out of the closet lately, the last one you would expect to do so would be pastor Juanita Bynum.   But then again, pastors are doing all kinds of crazy things these days and in all days past.  Bynum, during an interview on V-103admitted that she’s been around the block, getting with all kinds of men, sleeping with women, doing drugs and having a life that appears to be as wild as another prominent, wealthy Atlanta pastor we know.

“I’ve been there and I’ve done it all. I did the drugs, I’ve been with men, I’ve been with women. All of it,” Bynum said on the air…”

CLICK HERE to read more.

Rest And The Mom-cation

By Lana Moline

I am always incredibly torn when my children leave to visit their grandparents during the summer.  I have no doubt that they will be well cared for and that they will have a great time.  The truth is, I miss them like crazy.  When they were little, the sleepless nights were brutal and I wished for “me time” or just a moment’s break but now that they are at a point of independence, it’s hard for me to truly accept the fact that this is only the beginning.  They were merely loaned to me for a little while.

They are blessed kids because all of their grandparents are fantastic and contribute in whatever way they can from sewing all the bedding on their cribs when they were born to story time via skype to visiting just because – they are awesome.  I sincerely rest at ease knowing that they are loved and cared for when they visit.  What I never anticipate is how much my every day life is morphed into theirs.  Today I considered what I should cook, what I felt like eating and even what I was going to watch on tv and everything still centered around them.

God spoke to me clearly this weekend.  My pastor pointed out the fact that restoration is a combination of rest and recuperation and then today as I flipped the channel I heard a pastor share that we should stop trying to be everyone’s hero especially when we have run out of gas.  I was reminded that it’s okay to say “I am tired or I don’t know or I don’t feel up to it right now.” In the message he urged us to take our capes off and just get some rest.  My pastor said the same thing in his message.  He shared from I Kings 19:1-8 that sometimes what we need is to rest.  It’s a very confirming thing to be reminded that although we are mothers and wives, we are also still human.  I seriously needed to hear that up close and personal and then be reminded again today so I won’t busy my much-needed “mom-cation” with unnecessary chores.  In the end I’ve got to remember that although I wear all the hats, my charge is still the same – guard the temple and steward it well.

If you are reading this and need some rest, here’s your confirmation in 3′s:  I am telling you, I heard it today on Christian TV and my pastor said it too.  Get the rest you need.

Lana Moline is an integral part of the Blackloveandmarriage.com writing team, freelance writer and poet who lives in Ft. Worth with her three kids and husband Emile. Married 11 years, both media professionals have vowed to maintain integrity in all aspects of print and broadcast journalism.Visit her atLana Moline Speaks.