I Don’t Condemn Anyone For Choosing To Divorce & I Believe No One Should Condemn Me For Making My Marriage Work

By Neysa Ellery Taylor

For the past 72 hours, I’ve been taking body shots. No, not the type of body shot that involves drinking liquor off some strangers belly. I am talking about the world of boxing and the body shots that come from having hard blows hitting you in the stomach. That is the body shot that I am referencing. Why? Because I decided to share my testimony with a nationwide audience. That’s why.

I’m not going to go into a back story here, you can google my name if you want the details or just search my name on the blog. It’s all there for you to read. And actually that is how the problem arose. I decided to share my test and resulting testimony with a large audience. And that made some people very angry and very opinionated.

But opinions are like assholes – everyone has one, right? So it’s fine. Disagree with me. I don’t mind that. As a journalist (that is my full time gig) people disagree with me all the time. I am used to that. But I must say I wasn’t prepared for the onslaught of negative energy that came from my latest autobiographical post on blackloveandmarriage.com. The most negative remarks even went as far as to call me a bad mother. That remark had me ready to “vaseline up” but instead I took a break. But now I am back and ready to address it.

Here’s the deal: As I said before I’m not the poster child for marriage or infidelity. I in no way condemn anyone for choosing to divorce just like I believe no one should condemn me for making my marriage work. I don’t know what God told you to do, just like you don’t know how He spoke to me. You can choose to discredit my encounter with God if you’d like. I don’t have to convince you of anything. You know why? He wasn’t talking to you! He was talking to me. And I listened and stepped out on faith.

I share my story not for elevation or to be put on a pedestal. I share my story because:

1. It helps me heal. Writing helps me process and move forward. Publishing means you get to come along for the ride.

2. To show that God is able to repair a marriage. Even a jacked up looks like it’s over marriage.

3. To illustrate that in the midst of trials, you can grow and change for the better. (Damascus anyone?)

4. To show that forgiveness is real. God forgives me daily (actually much more often then that – I’m kinda a hot mess) and I am trying to learn to share that forgiveness with others.

5. To give hope to others. If there is another person out there going through a trying situation and hearing the voice of God in the midst of it, I want to let them know that it’s ok to trust that voice REGARDLESS of what everyone says.

That’s it. That’s why I write and publish. Am I looking for praise? Nope. But I will gladly accept prayer.

So for all the people that disagreed (hated on) my post, sorry that I riled you up. But I am just getting started. Your angst does not change my purpose or my pen. I am trying to live my life His way. All I’m trying to hear Him say at the end of my days is “Well Done.”

Neysa Ellery Taylor lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband, Chris, and their 4 children – Asyen, Maya, Preston, and Patrick. An Emmy-Award winning journalist, she hopes to share her passion for marriage and God through her writing. You can read more of her work at www.myriadthatisme.blogspot.com

A Married Couples Biggest Mistake-Don’t Let It Happen In Your Marriage

By Tzvi Nightingale

Not long ago I heard about a couple who were calling it quits and getting a divorce. They are not new in their marriage. In fact, they have been married for many years. The gentleman explained to me that it was not over anything dramatic such as an affair or significant change in finances, but simply that they “had grown apart.”

It always saddens me when I hear this because I know this could have very easily been avoided. I am sure there were many things I am unaware of that went on in the privacy of his marriage, and while I understand that each relationship is unique, there are nevertheless certain truths and rules of relationships that breed success, or failure  as the case may be here.

“Growing apart” is a slow and insidious process that many couples are not even aware of happening to them before it is too late.

It goes kinda like this: When a couple first meet they are very excited about one another. There is energy and discovery in the relationship and they spend tons of time together getting to know one another. The courtship process continues this way until the big day, the wedding, and then some. The first years are hopeful, energetic, happy and bursting with excitement.

But as the years go by and the young couple settles into a certain routine, new events enter and creep into their lives….

There is making a living, a child or two or three show up;

they have their interests, some shared, most not.

The job(s) have their demands, kids get older; there is carpool, homework, after school activities.

They look for and buy a home and that too has many demands of time, energy and effort.

Not only is there mortgage, but new furnishings, fixing old ones, a sprinkler system that always seems to be on the blink, redoing the bathroom, getting rid of the old smelly carpet and “shall we choose laminated wood, engineered wood or solid; how about bamboo, I hear it is eco-friendly?”

And so the older the couple gets, the more stuff happens in their lives that demand their time and attention. And while all of these issues are certainly important, the couple finds that they no longer have time and energy for each other. Their relationship gets relegated to the back-burner because there are so many imminent and important things to take care of. And lo and behold, before they know it, not only is that spark from their dating days long dead, there is very little sharing happening between them. They gradually become estranged from each other.

If this couple who are now in their 20th year of marriage would go back in time and revisit those days of early courtship, they would find something fascinating. They would see that when they told their friends that they had “just met the greatest guy/gal in the world,” they didn’t describe him/her like this:

He is so terrific, he is going to make every mortgage payment on time and not only that, but every car payment too!… and for two cars!… and both cars will be luxury vehicles!!” He certainly did not tell his friends, “She’s the best… she is going to be so good at car pooling and making sure the house is clean and orderly and I just know that she is going to find the best pediatrician for our kids once we have some!!”

And while it is true that making mortgage and car payments on time are important, and finding a good pediatrician and caring for the kids is as well, this is not why you married this person. You married them because of who they are as a person, because you enjoyed spending time and sharing life with them. You married them for their soul, for their spirit, for who they are and not for what they would do or accomplish.

If you don’t fight for your relationship, then like every other thing that is neglected, it wilts and it dies.

But people forget that and lose sight of it because when they first dated it came naturally and effortlessly. But once real life happened and there was more on the table, they forget that they now have to make much more of an effort to be with one another. They didn’t shift gears to realize they have to fight for their time to be intimate – and I don’t just mean physically (although that too). They never told their kids, “No, it’s Daddy and Mommy’s time” and didn’t do the same to their jobs, their blackberrys, their computers and every other important obligation that seemed more pressing than each other.

Because if you don’t fight for your relationship, if you don’t nurture it, if you fail to constantly monitor it, then like every other thing that is neglected, it wilts and it dies. Maybe not the first day or week or month or year, but eventually it will … ever so slowly.

A couple “grows apart” because they failed to put in the necessary care and time to ensure that they grow together and toward each other. And while every couple is guilty of this on some level, those who have an awareness of its danger have a chance at ensuring it doesn’t harm their relationship beyond repair.

So put down your iPhone, get away from the computer, tell your kids to get lost (in a nice way), forget Home Depot and go get your spouse, get a bottle of wine, have a drink, look her in the eye and recapture what you had when you first dated her so very long ago.

Rabbi Tzvi Nightingale is Director of Aish South Florida. Tzvi grew up in Toronto, Canada, home of the perennially losing Toronto Maple Leafs ice hockey team. He is a husband and contributing writer at Aish.com.

BLAM FAM What’s Your Opinion: He Cheated She’s Pregnant What Should I Do?

This is one of the many questions sitting in our inbox waiting to be answered.  People need help yall and our platform is here to provide it.  Please help this viewer out by providing some of your insight.  THIS IS A REAL QUESTION FROM A REAL PERSON so please keep it real..but also be respectful in your response.

Hello, how are ya’ll doing? I’m okay but have an issue that I would like some guidance on. I’m a 26 year old newlywed married for 15 months and my husband who is 25 also, has been having an affair for over a year (at least that I know of). Come to find out he also has the person pregnant. He didn’t tell me until she was 4 months pregnant. And that’s only because I found evidence that he was still cheating. This isn’t the first time that this has happened in our 8 year relationship (we dated for almost 7 years before getting married in 09). When we were together about 3 years he cheated on me then also and got another woman pregnant. It was very shocking because at that time I didn’t know that he had ever cheated on me. I at that time thought we were on the same page. He was taking care of that child for some months but the mother of that child wanted him to leave me for her and he told her he wasn’t going to so she took the baby and skipped town. The reason I stayed with him is because I thought he changed. We were happy again and I was starting to feel whole. I was beginning to trust him again and now this. We don’t have any children together and I have PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome) which causes me to not ovulate regularly so I feel already like less of  a woman for that reason and then to have my now husband do this again hurts beyond anything. I feel like if I stay with him we may never get pass this, this time because he is going to be a father again with another woman who wants to be with him and eventually he will get another person or her pregnant, or he may leave me for the woman with his child. He says he has told her that he wants me but I don’t know if I still love him because he thinks I can really can get over this again or because I feel obligated as his wife to stand by him or because he’s the only man I have loved. Also he hasn’t introduced me to this woman and she is I think like 8 months. I feel like something is still going on between them and he is using me because he doesn’t want to start over with someone else. I don’t know what to do.

BLAM FAM….What’s your opinion?

It’s Time To Go To The Next Level. Online Couples & Singles Classes Have Arrived.

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VIDEO: So many of you have asked that we bring what we do online and the time has finally come!!!! Needless to say we are so excited about doing live interactive classes with singles and couples from all over the country at the click of a mouse. Technology is the bomb diggity (ok, corny I know…smile) and we are stretching ourselves, pulling all nighters, and getting it in like never before so we can create the kind of online class experience that will leave you so much stronger, better, and wiser then when you first step foot into our virtual classroom. We are ready for you! Are you ready to grow and learn? Class is in session!



Are Facebook,Twitter, & iPhone Blocking Your Romance?

VIDEO: Are you tired of chasing your man just to convince him to talk to you? Are you tired of competing with facebook, the i phone, blackberry, etc just to get some romance? Do you feel like your man is disengaged when you are speaking to him on significant issues? Listen in as we answer the question of a viewer who says she is tired of competing with electronics and the internet for attention. This show helps you to understand the way to get your spouse to focus less on their gadgets and more on you.

Farai Chideya Talks About Dealing With Thanksgiving Family Stress & Relatives That Get On Our Last Nerves

AUDIO: Ahh….Thanksgiving is one day away and many of us are preparing to receive relatives or are on our way to see them. There’s nothing like family to bring back warm & fuzzy memories, remind us of what’s important in life, and bring out the child in us. There’s also nothing like family to kick up old issues, remind us of why we only see some folks a few times each year, and bring the “I’m a grown ass (wo)man dammit!” out of us.

Thanksgiving can be wonderful, nostalgic, and healing to our souls but it can be downright stressful as well. Listen in to this NPR interview where Farai Chideya talks with humorist Brian Copeland, the star of the one man show “Not a Genuine Black Man,” and psychiatrist Ivan Walks, about ways of dealing with holiday anxiety.

CLICK HERE FOR AUDIO: 01 Dealing with Holiday Family Stress 1

To Read the transcript of this discussion, CLICK HERE.

Some Women Want To Get With Married Men…… Why?

VIDEO: What’s the attraction in messing with someone that doesn’t belong to you and messing up their relationship? There are a lot of woman out there that intentionally go after married men. Where is the respect ? Some folks are so focused on satisfying their own needs that they ignore the sacredness of marriage and the communal consequences of engaging in this “me first” behavior. This ain’t good!

Stephanie Modkins, an associated content.com writer, offered up her thoughts in an article she wrote with the following 5 reasons she thinks women date married men:

#1 The sex is hot. Just like a lot of men, many women crave sex. As a result, when some women meet a man that they have an undeniable sexual attraction to, they rush forward and pounce. Although it’s not always admitted to, this is one reason why some women just can’t let a married man go. They love the sex and, as a result, refuse to end the relationship.

#2 She doesn’t think it’s hurting anyone. Have you ever heard the saying ‘what you don’t know won’t hurt you?’ This is a statement that some females who play the role of the other woman live by. They feel that as long as nobody knows (especially the wife) what they’re doing, it’s okay. As a result, this woman will never stop seeing the married man until things blow up.

#3 She loves the money. Some women barter sex for money. This exchange is as old as the bible. As a result, if a man has a lot of cash that he’s willing to spend on her, the other woman will go for it without any regret. It’s not that she want’s to hurt anyone or even be the other woman, she just needs help paying her bills.

#4 She believes all men are dogs.You’d think that a woman who thinks so lowly of all men wouldn’t wind up in a dirty affair. However, this idea is wrong. Because she thinks all men are dogs, she expects very little from them – including faithfulness. So it seems natural to her that a married man would cheat since that’s what all men do anyway. If you ask her about the wife, nine times out of ten she’ll tell you about the number of times she’s been cheated on by a man. It’s her justification for her actions.

#5 She needs to feel powerful. This point is where I believe Monica Lewinsky falls. Sleeping with the President of the United States probably lifted her self-esteem and made her feel powerful. It’s a trap women fall into who like to sleep with high-profile men. They get their energy and life from an accomplished man instead of finding other ways to build themselves up.

In conclusion, the other woman might just be holding onto a married man for reasons outside of love. She has her own agenda and unless it’s upset in some type of way, she will never let go. Monica Lewinsky capitalized on her infamy by writing a book and starting a business.

What do you think B Intentional Family? Why is it so easy for some women to go after another woman’s husband? Leave a comment or submit a video response letting us know what you think.

Overwhelmed? Discipline Makes Things Easier.

VIDEO: Whenever you find yourself in a space in your life where you are overwhelmed and it is impacting the quality of your relationship……it’s time to re-strategize, reorganize, and decompress. How do you intentionally lighten the load you feel? How do you unwind and re-establish that sacred yet seemingly elusive space of peace within your own mind and relationship? A wife & mom of 3 wrote in about how overwhelmed she is feeling with hubby, kids, work, school, bills, etc. She says that she & her husband unintentionally take their frustration out on each other and wants to know what they can do to gain some calm in their hectic lives. Sounds all too familiar! 🙂 Listen in and hear how we advise this viewer to reconnect.

And You Say He’s Just A Friend…

VIDEO: We’re re-visiting an old video that covers a basic relationship lesson that some people seem to have a hard time understanding. We’ve recently received quite a few letters about spouse’s maintaining questionable relationships with folks outside of the marriage. So, we decided it was worth running this issue again for those who are having a hard time getting it.

Now, It’s normal and healthy to have many relationships as you sojourn through life. However when you enter a marriage you need to make sure you appropriately manage the relationships you have with people of the opposite sex outside of your marriage. Is it ok to have friends of the opposite sex? If so what should those friendships look like? Listen up and commit this relationship rule to memory. You’ll be glad you did. Leave a comment or submit a video response letting us know what you think.

Is It Time To Man Up To Your Mother?

VIDEO: What do you do when you have a meddlesome mother in law all up in your relationship? Especially the kind that’s rude and manipulative and makes you wanna give her a piece of your mind!? We tend to focus on the antics and actions of the in-law in question instead of the actions (or lack thereof) from our spouse. Basic In-Law Rule: The spouse who’s parent is acting a fool has to confront his or her parent, lay down the law lovingly yet firmly, and must address any and all issues of foolishness until there is harmony or at least respect being demonstrated in the family. The other spouse should never be left to deal with this on their own. It’s just not fair or reasonable.

Here, we advise a young lady who feels that her mother in law is bringing division to the family and being plain old disrespectful. She says that her husband can’t see it. What we are suggesting is that she can’t see that it is her husband who is the problem here, it is her husband who holds the precious key to resolution, and it is her husband who needs to set the tone and man up to his mother—bottom line.