Find Time For Your Spouse. It’s Not Optional.

By Aiyana Ma’at

Ayize and I have been together for 22 years and married for almost 15. Our lives have changed so much since we first met and got together. We’ve been through so much together—good and bad, happy and sad. Whether we’re speaking somewhere, giving a workshop, or counseling a couple it never ceases to amaze me how often people ask us how we make it work and what’s the secret to making it work.

While there is not any one thing that has kept my husband and I glued together and hopelessly in love with one another there is one thing in particular that must be taken seriously and done if any couple wants to have even a lil’ bit of connection and undeniable passion for each other. It’s not complicated. It’s actually very simple but far too often I find that people make it way too complicated.

They talk about how hard it is to balance life…and trust me I understand. I, for one, have sooo many things on my plate I get overwhelmed at times by just thinking about it! But, guess what? No matter how much I have going on at any given time, no matter what my husband has that he’s working on, no matter how many PTA meetings, school projects, networking shindigs, business meetings, or talks we have to give—NO MATTER WHAT we make time for each other because one thing I know for absolute sure is this: What you value shows up in your actions, not your words. So, If I love my husband—If he truly is #1 then I know that my day to day life and activities need to reflect that. It’s what I DO–not just what I SAY, what I DEMONSTRATE–not just what I ARTICULATE that will truly show whether I’m really bout it, bout it or not.

Remember, taking the time to be with your mate is not just good for them, it’s good for you too.  There are many reasons why alone time together is important. Here are 5:

  1. You keep your relationship alive
  2. You can listen to what’s been on your spouse’s mind lately (and take corrective action if it’s necessary)
  3. You both feel happy when you can spend time with the person you love
  4. It gives you both energy to cope with occasional stressful moments in family life
  5. It helps you to learn more about the (seemingly) small things about each other…preferences,quirks,etc.

“Some of the biggest challenges in relationships come from the fact that most people enter a relationship in order to get something: they’re trying to find someone who’s going to make them feel good. In reality, the only way a relationship will last is if you see your relationship as a place that you go to give, and not a place that you go to take.” -Anthony Robbins

So, BLAM Fam….have you spent any quality time with the one you love lately?

Aiyana Ma’at is the wife of Ayize Ma’at, mom of 5, and co-founder and owner of this website,, as well as Aiyana is a Seeker, Motivator, Risk Taker, Explorer, & Overcomer. She is a self-described PurposePusher and does her best to live her life with self-awareness and intention. Some of her official titles include licensed psycho-therapist, certified marriage educator & relationship coach and speaker. She is clear that a part of the call on her life is to help bring insight and awareness to others so that they can “get out of their own way” and create the lives they want to have.

Last Minute, Inexpensive, & Romantic Valentine Date Ideas

So, it’s 2 days before Valentine’s Day. You haven’t bought a card, didn’t even really think about getting a gift, and have no idea what you and your boo will be doing on Valentine’s Day 2011. We get it. It’s not that you’re insensitive, cheap, or even lazy. There ‘s just so much going on in your life that you can barely get out for a “non-special” date, let alone Valentine’s Day. And, you know your sweetheart’s not all that into the V-Day hype so ya’ll will be allright–no special romance needed at your house, right?

Yeah, right(…in my best sarcastic voice). Don’t kid yourself.

Even those of us who sincerely don’t trip off the holiday and all the hype around it like to feel thought of, acknowledged, and…yes even focused on during this special day—especially when our friends’ will be asking “What did you do for insert your boo’s name here? or “What did insert your boo’s name here do for you? It’s nice to be able to have an answer—trust me. Because at the end of the day it really is about the fact that your special someone was important enough to think about…just a little bit. 😉

So, never fear! is here! We like this website because it has tons of things to do and places to go. And, the wide range of different things to do is great. They have Adventurous Dates, Unusual Dates, Indoor Dates, Cultural Dates, Sporting Dates, Theme Dates, Group Date Ideas and so much more. Check out some of the Last Minute, Inexpensive, & Romantic Date Ideas below. There’s something for everyone.

Last Minute, Inexpensive  & Romantic Ideas From

  • Build a fire, snuggle up, and read a good book or perhaps romantic poetry together. Make up some hot chocolate or spiced cider to enhance the evening.
  • Prepare a new dessert or main dish and serve it in a creative way to your parents or friends. Finish by washing the dishes together.
  • Check out the local newspaper’s entertainment section for free events.
  • Buy two cheap canvases and paint with toll paints or do finger painting and design a picture for one another. Choose something that describes yourself or something you appreciate about each other.
  • Go to the mall (or maybe Target or Wal-Mart!) and give each other $10 and see who can buy the best item for each other with it.
  • Select a dinner from the cookbook you have never tried. Shop for the ingredients and prepare dinner together. To add ambience, choose a type of cuisine and add decorations or dress to enhance the atmosphere.
  • After an amazing steak dinner, complimented by a beverage of your choice, head for a private hot tub. Set out candles and soft music for the perfect touch.
  • Make a recording of all the love songs you both like and play it while relaxing in front of a glowing fire (or while driving in the countryside).
  • Go for a walk together either in a crowded city or alone in the country.
  • Collect old magazines and cut out pictures that bring back memories of times you’ve shared together. Compile them in a scrapbook, and nurture the desire to spend time developing future memories.
  • Attend church functions together. Dances, discussion groups, and church meetings really help couples grow closer to each other.
  • Send flowers. Try adding a note or a poem. For greater impact, find a way to secretly add flowers to the vase every day, and include a secret note each time.
  • Drive around different neighborhoods in your area to find the most beautiful and oddest landscaping and yard ornaments.
  • Go to a river or small village and paint the scenery. Then give it away to an elderly shut-in in your neighborhood.
  • Go bird watching at an aviary or woods nearby.
  • Live in a mild climate? Take a walk on the beach. If you live near the ocean or a large lake, taking a walk on the beach or the shoreline at sunset or in the moonlight can be very romantic and peaceful.
  • When your date is far away or busy, do this: Before you hang up ask him/her to meet you in your dreams (in an open baseball stadium on the pitchers mound, in a canoe in the middle of the lake at sunset, etc.). Be specific.
  • Find a restaurant in a little town about an hour away. Stop every now and then to take pictures of each other (or have someone take a picture of you together). Take romantic pictures, funny pictures, pictures of the scenery. If you time it right, you can get a picture of the sunset. Get the waiter to take your picture together. Then, on your next date night, make a collage of your date together.
  • Blindfold your date and feed him/her foods of your choice. Be playful. It’s fun for the both of you! Be sure to let your date have a chance at this one. Once you’ve finished, watch a movie by the fire or just cuddle.


Pushing Through Chaos To Experience Connection

Pssst. We’ve got a secret for you. You’ve got to prioritize your relationship. There will always be stress of some sort that you’re dealing with (even the good kind). Always! You can’t wait for things to quiet down. You can’t wait until you handle this bill or that situation. You can’t wait! You’ve got to be intentional about connecting even when you’re confronted with challenges. Connection is the lifeline of your relationship and will sustain you and your sweetie during the toughest of times. But, guess what you don’t get out what you don’t put in. So, CONNECT! Like your life….or YOUR RELATIONSHIP depends on it.  😉 Stop Playing Start Pushing.

Are You Failing To Pay Attention To Your Partner?

Are you devoting all of your time and attention to what’s going on with reality t.v. and failing to pay attention to the reality of your relationship? 9 times ouf 10 when a relationship is on the brink of despair and at the door of no retuen and one partner claims to be totally surprised that they are even in this space it is because they simply weren’t paying attention. Never underestimate the value of concentrated time and attention and what it can do for your relationship. Listen in & let us know your thougths!


The ROUTINE: An Often Overlooked Enemy Of Your Marriage

By Daryl Campbell

Remember the early days of your dating relationship? What a time you both had. It seemed like every moment you got together it was music, fun and excitement. Some of your family and friends even hated to see you coming because the two of you were so into each other it made people nauseous. You are probably right when you say they were just jealous. And guess what? Neither one of you could have cared less. The relationship was fresh, spontaneous and exhilarating.


And then it happened. You cannot quite put your finger on when exactly it took place but it happened. Whether it occurred sometime after you got married or six months into your dating relationship is inconsequential. All you know is the music, fun and excitement went on permanent vacation. What took their place? The routine.


One of the mains reasons many couples get blind sided by the routine is the seduction of familiarity. You naturally want to become well acquainted with the other person in the hopes that it leads to greater intimacy between the two of you. That is the point of relationships. Unfortunately, familiarity also inspires a certain amount of self-satisfaction. In other words consciously or unconsciously, many couples tell themselves the prize has been won so there is no need to continue the game.


While some people do not consider this a big deal, in essence it is a planted seed that can spell trouble somewhere down the road. It is only a hop, skip and a jump from familiarity to routine to dissatisfaction.


Now there is no question that your relationship is going to have certain amount of routine due, in some part to circumstances beyond your control; for instance your work schedules may only allow the two of you to get together on specific days and times. However there are things you can do to keep the relationship fresh:


1. The Thrill of the Impulsive


When your relationship was just starting out, spontaneity ruled. The two of you did not even think twice about hopping into a car and going to places you had never been or trying out a new restaurant with food you never heard of. There was something thrilling and wonderful about not knowing what you were getting into yet still having the courage to explore anyway.


Routine tells you to be rational and self conscious. What if people are looking or you run into someone you both know? The answer is “who cares?” Sure being spontaneous may not work out every time but do it anyway and go with the flow. Unplanned adventures big or little have a way of adding excitement and in many cases some serious laughs to the relationship which is very healthy and great way to reconnect.


2. It is Not Your Birthday


Or anniversary or any other major routine event but do not let that stop you from buying small gifts for each other. In fact you can just as easily create your own special days. It could be the anniversary of your third date or the time you both laughed through the worst movie you ever saw. Occasionally giving a small gift for no particular reason lets the other person know that they are always in your heart.


3. Date Again


Not just going out to dinner either because that also can become routine. Instead plan a time outside of your normal schedules and treat it like you did during the early days of the relationship. Get yourselves spruced up. Go at it with the mindset that you are making every effort to make a good impression. Having a special time together at least once a week can throw a beautiful monkey wrench into the routine machine. .


It is nothing out of the ordinary for a relationship to lose some of its zing over time. The problem comes when couples accept the routine as normal and do not do anything to restore the excitement and unpredictability they once had. You can always reverse the process by being spontaneous, give small gifts for no reason other than to let the other person know you love them and start dating again like it is the first time. This all requires constant effort but the payoff of an exciting relationship is well worth it.



Daryl Campbell is a writer and entrepreneur with an extensive background in customer service. He has owned and operated Campbell Marketing L.L.C. for over six years.

How To Reignite The Fire In Your Marriage

By Eric Dunbar

Do you remember the day you recited your wedding vows? It was without a doubt one of, if not the happiest and most memorable days of your life. But something has begun to change and you’ve noticed that the flame of your romance is not as hot as it was then, and because the light has grown dim you’re having a bit of trouble reading the rules of maintaining a good healthy romantic relationship in your marriage.

Here’s how you can relight that ever so important fire of romance that once fueled the marriage bond between your spouse and you. But before you strike the match you must settle in your mind that men and women are build quite differently. Men are by nature protectors and providers and are built to respond to logic before emotion, and women on the other hand, are concerned more with details than logic. Here’s what I mean:

If I were to call my friend John to confirm an appointment on Thursday of next week, as soon as John answers the phone I would go straight to the point which is, “Are we still on for our appointment on next Thursday?” But if Sandra were to make the same call to her friend Marcy, she would more than likely ask about each of her three children and her husband Michael before finally getting down to the reason for her call, which is to confirm their appointment for next Thursday.

So starting with the men, here are some simple rules you might want to adapt in your marriage that could yield surprising results.


Although it is not the biggest problem in failing relationships, listening is certainly worthy of being called one of the biggest problems of most failing relationships. This simply means that at least one of the people in the relationship is not very good at listening. Most often it is the man – and even if it is the woman who has a problem with listening, men, you know we’re the ones who get labeled for not listening. So you might as well learn the art of being a good listener. Here’s how:

Now as a male I can tell you that listening can sometimes be the most difficult and challenging of challenges in a marriage and this is why I refer to listening as an art. Fellas, it is extremely important that you learn how to listen to your wife when she is conversing with you. This is one of the ways she vents the frustration of her trouble filled day. She simply wants to be heard. You either listen to the frustration or become an addition to the things that are frustrating her.

As I said, listening is an art, and art takes time to perfect. The key to being a good listener is in the mindset of the listener. You should listen not only to hear what your wife is saying, but listen to understand what she is saying. Even if what she is saying is not important to you at the moment, in time it will become useful information, trust me on this.

Don’t Forget the Gifts!

Sometimes we get so overwhelmed with the everyday struggles of life until we often forget the little things that give so much meaning to our lives. Growing up as a child I remember the many gifts that my parents gave to me, but looking back, the big, expensive gifts are not as memorable as the little, seemingly insignificant ones. Like the time my parents gave me a pencil with the words “genius” inscribed on it because the kids in my 3rd grade class called me stupid. Every time I felt stupid, I pulled that pencil from my book bag and I felt like a genius.

One good way to light a romantic fire is to stop on your way home from work and buy your wife a gift, any kind of gift. It doesn’t have to be a diamond ring, although that would be a nice gift if you could afford it. Your gift could simply be it a card or some chocolates – but not the chocolates – you might get blamed later for the extra weight gain (just kidding ladies!). Gifts of any kind are always romantic, and bringing home a gift is one of the kindest gestures that a man could make to his wife. The gift, no matter what it is, simply says to your wife, “I’ve been thinking about you”. Just remember men, romance starts with a thought.

Here are two well appreciated gifts that will rekindle that romantic fire:

Cleaning the kitchen – It has been said that romance begins in the kitchen. Fellas this does not necessarily apply to fondling your wife in the kitchen. Have you ever considered cleaning the kitchen every now and then? Such action will let you spouse know that you care about the daily events of her life and you really appreciate the hard work that she contributes to the family.

Time alone – Giving the gift of spending time alone should be utilized by both spouses. Both husbands and wives need time alone and allowing your spouse to spend time alone on a regular basis is a thoughtful gift that will not go unrecognized. This is certainly one gift that will do a lot for strengthening your marriage. All too often partners in a marriage are not afforded quality time alone to do things that they each want to do for themselves. This should not only be included on your gift list but it should be added to your list of things to do to keep the romantic fire burning in your marriage.

Now it’s your turn ladies!

We have just learned that the display of love and affection is at the top of your list of the beginning of a romantic encounter, but what about your husband? What is the principle motivating factor that ignites his furnace of romance?


Contrary to what you believe, men are romantic too. They’re just slower starters than women, but once you get your man rolling, he’s sure to sweep you off your feet the way he did before you were married.

To begin with, just about any woman you ask would say that men are predictable. Although men are capable of dealing with several projects in their thought process at one time, when it comes to their spouses they think singular. For example, what women call romance, men interpret as sex. So ladies, just how do you get your husband to be that romantic guy that you married in a way that pleases both you and him?

For starters, try going back to the time in your relationship before your glorious wedding day, to the time when you were dating. Do you remember the walks in the park, dates to the movies and to dinner?

Then remember this: the things that made for a good romantic beginning are the same things that you’ve got to do to keep that romantic flame burning. Try holding your husband’s hand when you walk through the mall the way you used to; spend more time together, alone, like you did before the kids were born, and you’ll be amazed at how romantic he can be.


Now here’s a word that irritates a lot of married women, but respect is somewhat of a missing element in many of today’s marriages. Women are driven by love whereas men are driven by respect.

To a lot of women the very mention of the word respect is like a dirty word. The perception of respect that many women have been taught is that it has to do with being subservient to men. But respect does not mean that you have to bow down to your husband, it simply means that you should value his role of leadership and position of strength in the marriage. Respect him now, and he will romanticize you later.

To sum it all up for both men and women romance has nothing to do with sex, but it has everything to do with the moments before sex. To women romance is emotional; to men it is interpreted as sex. But even the sex is better when you give it your all.

Romance… what a beautiful thing!

Eric Dunbar is the owner and editor of Golden Entrepreneur, where you will find online business tips, articles and great software tools to grow your online business.

Don’t Take Your Marriage For Granted

By Nancy J. Wasson, Ph.D.

It’s not enough to rely on a marriage license to hold your relationship together. Relationships need time, effort, energy, attention, and nourishment in order to thrive. Think about it like this: Your “first child is your relationship” and this relationship “needs as much care and attention as a human infant.”

It’s not enough to say that spouses “shouldn’t” walk away from their marriages or “shouldn’t” divorce. The reality is that many unhappy spouses do walk out the door, and marriages do wither away and die a slow death.

Read through the following list and see if any of the behaviors mentioned apply to you and your marriage. Each behavior represents a “land mine” of trouble in a marriage:

1. “If your partner isn’t complaining, everything is probably okay.”

It’s important to keep communication channels open and to take the time to routinely listen to your spouse and talk deeply about any issues or concerns. Don’t take for granted that all is well if your communication has dried up.

2. “If you let your appearance go, it’s no big deal.”

No one likes to feel that their mate doesn’t think they are worth the time and effort to look their best. Being taken for granted in this way won’t keep your romantic and sex life sizzling.

3. “It doesn’t matter that you’ve stopped doing the little romantic things to show that you really care.”

When a partner stops making romantic and thoughtful gestures, the mate often concludes that the partner’s love is lessening. The mate then feels taken for granted, and romantic feelings may dull.

4. “Now that you’re married, you don’t have to express appreciation or say ‘thank you’ as often.”

When a partner doesn’t show appreciation or say “thank you,” the mate can feel unimportant and taken for granted. The mate may start thinking, “She’s only married to me for my paycheck” or “He doesn’t value my contributions to the marriage.”

5. “If you’re too busy (work, hobbies, friends, etc.) to spend quality time together and share some fun activities, it’s okay because you’ll make it up to your spouse later on.”

People can’t be “put on hold” for week, months, and years. Neither can relationships. If you take your spouse for granted in this way, you run the risk of losing your emotional connection and discovering that when you’re finally ready to devote time to the relationship, your partner doesn’t want to be with you.

The commitment you and your spouse made to each other at your wedding is unlikely to be enough to sustain your marriage at a high level of quality over a period of years. If you want more in your marriage month to month, you have to give more – consistently and continuously.

Remember, your relationship is like a garden. You have to care for it consciously and consistently if you want it to produce fruit. And we all want the fruit of love in our marriage, don’t we?

Can You See Being With The Same Person Forever???

VIDEO: What do you feel when you ponder the idea of being with your partner forever? Is there overwhelming excitement or are you muddled in misery? This question is designed to give you a gut check…so take a second to check in with yourself and see how you really feel about ya’ll.

From Quality Time To Heart Time

After sitting down and watching a movie that moved us both emotionally we decided to record a video to capture what it means to go from quantity time…to quality time…to heart time.  The movie gave greater perspective to the idea of “true love”.  In doing so it inspired within us a moment of intimacy where we experienced some intense heart time.

You Got To Know When To Hold Em’ Know When To Fold Em’

VIDEO: In life and in relationships there are moments when you find yourself at a crossroad… tired of living like you’ve been living, scared as hell and unsure of what your next move should be. This young lady shares the turmoil she’s been experiencing in her marriage and asks what she should do. Confusion is all around it seems…but I once read somewhere that Confusion is the mental and emotional outgrowth of knowing exactly what needs to be done, and having that knowledge clouded by the belief that you are not good enough, smart enough, or strong enough to do it. There is a fear that if you do what needs to be done, you might not get it right or that somebody will get mad at you, etc. The natural response to this self-defeating mental chatter is for the intellectual mind to shut down resulting in what we call confusion. The truth is that when we find ourselves at these crossroads in our lives we need to trust the small still voice within, do what is necessary, and trust and know that you will make it through.