The Keys to your success.

Reach for your goals

By Herbert Mtowo

How do you get yourself motivated to do the things you should do? How do you motivate yourself to do the things you want to do? Motivation is one of the most popular areas in the self-improvement field. Inspirational speakers are celebrated for their ability to make you feel wonderful. But if you are like me, that high wears off after a while. Then what do you do? Many of the motivational programs are “ten step formulas” or other recipe-like structures that make success sound simple and easy. The problem is that they are based on what worked for somebody else, but they don’t work for you! Otherwise, why are you reading this article? If motivational formulas were effective, there wouldn’t be so many books, seminars, and articles written about the subject.

Motivational programs are effective only when they align you with an inner wish that is aligned to what you want. The problem is, there is no formula for that! Take Biff Bifferson, such as. Biff made several million dollars in his widget marketing business. He has written every step he took, right down to the last detail. He’s really excited to teach you how to do it too, so he creates a seminar and explains everything you need to do to duplicate his success. But Biff is genuinely puzzled when only a few can do it, while the rest fail. Biff thinks that there is some magic in his action steps, not understanding that only when your personal creative process is aligned to those actions can you succeed. Biff doesn’t understand that he can’t teach you the personal alignment of thought and intent that lead to his success. He can only teach you the actions he took based on that personal alignment. This is the reason you have not yet had success. There are probably a few in the audience at Biff’s marketing seminar who think just like Biff; for them, his program will be easy because they are already aligned to it. But what about the others? They will fail; it’s as simple as that. It’s just common sense! No matter how good the program, if what you are trying to do doesn’t feel right to you, then you won’t do it. Either that or you will attempt to bull your way through and try to force it. But that’s like trying to put a square peg in a round hole.

The same applies to self-improvement books and seminars. Eckhart Tolle found enlightenment, but how many people who have read his book have done so? How many who have read “Think and Grow Rich” have gotten rich? I have never read that book myself, but I know some mighty poor people who have. Like me, you have probably already tried many self-improvement or success programs, but they haven’t worked as well as you thought. They haven’t worked because there is a crucial element missing from all of them. This I have realized every motivational speaker and writer has a particular audience that which they appeal to. Not all of them really make an impact in your life; it’s just that you aren’t wired up to their words. But that doesn’t mean that they are not great speakers or writers. So you must know what your inner wish is and know what is your taste then you go for it and pursue it relentlessly.

That missing element is your personal alignment to it. And no one can teach you that! However, you can learn to teach yourself! That’s the exciting news. The fact is that no one can know what is going on in your head except you. Nobody knows your likes and dislikes better than you. So the solution is to yourself establish the state of being necessary for your personal success. Guess what? That’s what all personal coaches, mentors, motivational programs and inspirations speakers are doing! That’s the BIG SECRET to success! What good does it do to study Biff’s successful formula (or anyone else’s) if you are not aligned to it? The answer is, it doesn’t do you any good at all. That’s why people spend tons of money and time looking for that special program, book, or seminar that will connect with them.

Here are the keys to success:

Key #1: Find a desire that lights you up.

Key #2: Align your thoughts and actions toward that desire.

Number One is the most important key. Folks, if you don’t have that desire, that passion, forget it! You won’t be motivated enough to create something that people will want! Or have the interest to see your project through to completion with the drive, eagerness and energy it takes to launch it out into the world. The key to success in anything is doing it with passion and joy, for these emotions link you at the most fundamental level with every being on earth. Passion, joy, excitement and well-being are who you are! When you are excited about your project, others will be as well. It doesn’t matter what you are doing. It’s infectious, in a good way.

I have heard of a jazz musician year’s back. An old guy with a croaking voice and an out of tune guitar came on the stage and began to sing. This guy sounded terrible at first — he missed every note, didn’t play well, and his voice trembled. But the crowd of several thousand almost immediately shut up and began to listen. Know why? Because that cat put his heart and soul into that performance. And why was he able to do that? Because he had connected with his passion and brought it out for everyone to see. And it was awesome! You could have heard a pin drop during the 5 minutes the old guy was up on stage. That’s what passion and desire will do for you. It’s why successful people always say, “I love what I do!”

In Conclusion

Key #1: Find a desire within you that lights you up.

Key #2: Align your thoughts and actions toward that desire.

That’s it.

Too simple for you? Do you need it more complicated than that? If you do, your road to success will be a longer and bumpier one. The first ingredient is the key. You have to find that desire within you that lights you up. Not someone else’s desire. If you look at successful people, even those like Mother Theresa who have dedicated their lives to others, you will find that their motivation comes from within. Even the most selfless person helps others because it feels good inside.

This isn’t selfishness; quite the contrary. All motivation comes from uncovering the desire that unlocks, for you, the creative energy of the universe. This is the energy that keeps the earth in orbit and the sun shining. It is the most powerful stuff in the universe. And it is who you are! All successful people have found that inner desire and have aligned their thoughts and actions toward it. That’s your job. Your job is to do these two simple steps. There isn’t any formula or recipe that can tell you how to do it. Bit now you at least have a plan. Now, when you talk to your mentor, you can direct him or her to lead you in the right direction.

There are probably a few in the audience at Biff’s marketing seminar who think just like Biff; for them, his program will be easy because they are already aligned to it. But what about the others? They will fail; it’s as simple as that. It’s just common sense! No matter how good the program, if what you are trying to do doesn’t feel right to you, then you won’t do it. Either that or you will attempt to bull your way through and try to force it. But that’s like trying to put a square peg in a round hole.

Advertisements

Faithfulnes in relationships

By Herbert Mtowo

It is a concern of every woman and man who has a clear knowledge of what is happening around us. In my talk to both men and women, this is a big challenge for society today. Unfaithfulness in my culture and most cultures I believe it used to be a men’s problem alone, but now women are also on the wrong side of relationships and many are now caught cheating or involved in affairs. Though it is common knowledge that relationships require effort and sacrifice to become what they are intended to be. How many of us are prepared to work and invest in their relationships, and enjoy the fruits?

The challenges to faithfulness are many, though the most commonly known are communication, sex, money and in-laws (I call them outlaws) contribute to straining relationships. But I still argue that there no justifiable reasons to cheat on your wife or husband or mate. The damage that can be done or brought on a relationship because of unfaithfulness is extremely difficult to carry. A lot of theories and schools of thoughts have varying reasons for this monster, some of them we will look into them in the next coming articles. Its not about who is good in bed, or who has the big dick or who can wiggle their body rhythmically, its about morals, character, love, respect and one truth that stands out is that both men and women want and appreciate faithful partners. I am yet to hear of a woman with a golden vagina or a man with a diamond vagina, God made us all beautiful, fearfully and wonderfully created. None of us were born expects in sexual matters, but it’s a skill we learn and improve with time to perfection. The madness begins when you have a desire for every woman like the, you feel for your woman or man. The bottom line is it is possible; to love one woman and one man and be faithful to them until death, yes it is very possible.

It has been said now and again that couples who pray together stay together, but I would like to add and say couples who pray together and play together stay together. Prayer and playing bond couples or families together, these are rituals, which we all need to practice frequently.

Internet has been the most commonly abused, when it comes to extra marital affairs and cheating. Its sad how technology has been greatly abused for the wrong reasons.  Several people are heartbroken, others cheat with their ex boy friends or girlfriends, friends, workmates you name them. It’s a crazy world, some women still have a bonding with their ex and some men the same too, they know their ex progress in their work, how many children they have, constantly they keep in touch with their ex’s friends so that they are updated with everything that is happening in their ex’s lives. That is playing with fire; if the two happen to meet by coincidence they will just undress and begin to make love, because their hearts are still knit together. Nothing hurts than having your wife or girlfriend cheating on you with their ex, it literally means they are married to you but their love and hearts still belong to their ex. It hurts and cuts deep, such wounds and hurts may take many years to heal, or eventually the union collapses unless God’s grace sees you through.

Past baggage (How much are you carrying)

It is common knowledge to those who are living for Christ that the devil’s best weapon is to use your past mistakes, failures, to discourage you and cause untold anguish. That is the same weapon the enemy uses to destroy marriages and relationships. I tell people now and again that, when you really want to enjoy the present and the future, don’t just burn bridges of the past relationships, burn them and never build them again. We fail to enjoy our loved ones today, simply because of failed past relationships. How do you keep longing for your ex, yet you are dating Mary of John or married to someone else?

image1

Most people start on new relationships without letting go of their past mates. The new man or woman becomes a victim of unresolved issues in the past relationship. This is a fact that, faithful men and women are now an endangered species, rare near extinct breeds but, believe you me there still is a remnant around, so if God gives you one, cherish them and love them without any reservations. Here at Jordan touch we would like to encourage you to be faithful to the one you married or you are in love with.

I am one of the men who are not ashamed to say, faithfulness and loyalty are the mark of a real man. When faithfulness is motivated by the fear of HIV, people can still get tested and find they are negative and have sex, they can still use condoms to protect themselves. Faithfulness should be based on respect of oneself, love for God and not fear of God, not fear of HIV. The reality of the matter is that condom doesn’t give 100% protection. So why would we trust our destiny into something that doesn’t give total protection. It can bust if not put properly, the shocking revelation I want to give is most women, don’t even know when it’s off, or removed during intercourse as they climax, and men like to do that often. You and your partner should take full responsibility of your future by making a decision today to be faithful, always to the one you love.

Get Involved (don’t be a spectator)

Both partners have a role to play, when it comes to faithfulness, it takes two to tango. In my talk, interactions with people and findings about couples, I have discovered that the needs, the challenges are all the same despite race or ethnicity.Commuincating how much you love someone, how much you miss them and appreciate them goes a long way  in stimulating marriage  and keeping the spark. There is no excuse for poor communication in marriage and relationships now, what with modern day media technology of internet, twitter, mobile phones, Skype you name them the list is endless. You can keep in touch with your loved ones 24/7 and tell them how you feel, love and miss them. You can’t be madly in love or crazy in love with someone and not communicate with them constantly. Strange some couples can hardly talk, at home even when they are away from each other for a long time. Marriage isn’t only about sexual intercourse there is a whole lot of things couples can do together, play games, sports, movies, have fun, joke, plan and the list is long, but research has proved that most couples cheat because they aren’t happy sexually. The point is, talk about your sex life with your partner freely like you do about any other topic. Others only touch each other when they are in bed; they haven’t   kissed for years or months. That’s a time bomb waiting to explode In your face, get involved with your partner, pray, have fun and enjoy them to the full. God gave human beings creative power, you don’t have to watch porno improve your sex life, the woman or man God gave to you is a continent to explore, you have so much to know of that body. The body of a woman is like a musical instrument, it produces music and sound when played, if you don’t like the sound of music, don’t break the instrument (Body), or dump it to get another one, learn the skill play it skillfully. Be a master with your musical instrument, and enjoy the sound it produces, to God’s glory. It can be a saxophone, a bass guitar, a lead guitar, piano it can adapt so well and be the type of instrument with the taste of music your ears long to hear. Treasure and value it, the same to our women our beloved women too. Look no further, that musical instrument can be just what you longed for, don’t jump into bed with every Tom and Harry.

 

Communication is the life of any relationship or marriage, neglecting it is the beginning of the end of the union. Money has been also an excuse for unfaithfulness, when it should never be blamed for that, I have met couples who still love each other to the bone even if they are struggling financially, I have met some who when struggling financially love flies out the window. Marriage is a big institution, which we need God to give us wisdom and knowledge to understand this mystery. God bless, remember it is possible to love someone faithfully and passionately.

Leadership Thought #201 – Leaders Are Still Being Cultivated Every Day (via Ed Robinson’s Blog)

Great article this is Ed. thank you so much.

I finished teaching my MBA 501 class last night and as with many things closure is bittersweet.  You just start to get to know a group of students and then the experience is over.  It never ceases to amaze me how diverse and interesting a classroom full of graduate students can be.  I also admire their ambition and willingness to make the sacrifice to sit in a classroom at night after working all day.   It also can’t be easy completing the assign … Read More

via Ed Robinson's Blog

What is it with men and commitment ? Part 2

Why Commitment Develops?

So why would somebody give up any choices in life? What is it about commitment that would make the whole idea of giving up anything worthwhile? Figure 1 presents a model for how commitment develops. The reason commitment develops answers the question as to why one would ever make a choice to give up other choices in the first place. First, attraction develops based on partners’ similarities and differences. There is a great deal of mystery, thankfully, in the roots of attraction, but let’s assume for the moment that the attraction has developed between two people. Because of this, they spend more time together. As the relationship progress, the ongoing satisfaction between partners results in a growing emotional attachment. However, along with the attachment comes a type of anxiety. I believe this is a nearly universal phenomenon. Why do we get anxious? We get anxious because we start to think about and feel the potential for loss of something valuable (Stanley, Lobitz, & Dickson, 1999): “I like you, I like spending time with you, I enjoy being with you. What if you’re not going to stay with me? What if you’re not going to remain in my life?” While I think this attachment process is entirely normal; I also believe that people will vary in how they experience it based on their own attachment history in their family of origin or in prior, romantic relationships. It is important to recognize that the development of attachment is not the same as the development of commitment, nor is attachment the same as commitment.

Strong attachments between partners often lead to commitment, but this is not automatic. It is the formation of commitment—a clear series of decisions about choices and the future—that brings security to a relationship, thereby settling any anxieties about attachment. Attachment often pushes one to desire security but commitment brings evidence that one can actually trust that security exists. This simple model portrays what may be the most important role that commitment plays in relationship success and failure. Accordingly, marriage represents the highest expression of security between romantic partners. Therefore, a clearly understood, expressed, and regularly acted out I do is going to be the strongest foundation for relationship quality and security. Of course marriages are not always permanent. But, generally speaking, two partners derive a sense of permanence and a future when they look each other in the eyes and say I do and—by implication—I will. Couples clearly expressing and acting on such commitment will have an easier time in large measure because the long term perspective is in place to begin with, and that is crucial to help them. Weather the ups and downs that are inevitable in life together. Conflicts, set backs, and challenges that could otherwise threaten a relationship will be managed better because of the secure bond. The world`s [people] view of how commitment in relationships develops appear to be changing. In a report entitled Hooking Up, Hanging Out and Hoping for Mr. Right, Norval Glenn and Elizabeth Marquardt examined the dating experiences of women on college campuses, focusing on how they are thinking about their relationships and how relationships form (Glenn & Marquardt, 2001). One fact gleaned by observing the current dating scene among college students is that there are relatively few standards and structures for relationship development compared to past eras. Personally, I have been struck by how much has changed in recent decades. It used to be that there were relatively clear steps in relationship formation for a great number of people.

While I am sure customs have always varied by region and cultural background, relationships progressed along pathways marked by stages of commitment. For many, dating moved toward “going steady” who may have moved to a woman being “pinned” or wearing her beau’s class ring, and so forth. These actions represent emblems of commitment, with such patterns being ways young people practiced making commitments. It seems that such steps of practicing commitment are no longer existent for many younger people in America. In talking to experts in this field, I’ve come to the conclusion that it is not at all clear that anything else has replaced these patterns that have largely disappeared. In contrast, there is a general practicing of not committing, or not committing in any particularly tangible ways. I’m not suggesting—not at all—that young people should become, using Norval Glenn’s (2002) concept, prematurely entangled and thereby close out alternative options too early in a relationship. Yet, I am suggesting that some important symbols of commitment have been lost in recent years and I think the loss is meaningful. Such a shift in basic relationship development behaviors is clear in Glenn and Marquardt’s report.

It is also very clear in Popenoe and Whitehead’s (2002) findings that such emblems of commitment are no longer made in young adulthood. Rather, relationships and boundaries and futures are ambiguous as couples develop toward the possibility of marriage. Hence, with regard to the developmental model presented earlier, attachments without commitments have become widespread. This change, I believe, has consequences. Where We Find Few Differences between Men and Women in Commitment Before exploring the ways in which I believe commitment works differently for men and women, I want to look at a few ways in which men and women are quite similar with regard to commitment. In a nationwide, random digit dialing phone survey that we conducted in 1995, we found that married men are, on average, just as dedicated as married women to their spouses (if not more so) (Stanley & Markman, 1997; Stanley, Markman, & Whitton, 2002). Similar findings were also found in the large survey we conducted in Oklahoma. Additionally, in the Oklahoma study, there were no meaningful differences between men and women in terms of how trapped they felt in their marriages (Johnson et al., 2002). Being equally dedicated to marriage does not mean that people derive equal benefits from the dedication of their partners.

The benefits of commitment in marriage may be somewhat different between men and women. On balance, it appears that men and women both benefit from marriage, though men may benefit somewhat more; and women clearly are more likely to suffer the most when marriages fail or are of chronic low quality (Waite & Gallagher, 2000). I will come back to this point about benefits of marriage. In the same national poll noted above, cohabiting individuals were, on average, less dedicated to their partners than their married counterparts, even when controlling for length of relationship in years (Stanley, Whitton, & Markman, 2004). Hence, it is not merely institutional commitment that matters in our culture (i.e., whether you are married or not). Commitment to the institution of marriage does tend to differ between marrieds and cohabiters (Nock, 1995). More importantly, institutional commitment appears to be linked with interpersonal commitment (dedication) to the partner. Thus, some people may under-interpret the meaning of their partner’s reluctance (male or female) to move toward marriage in the future. Resistance of marriage may, quite often, mean uncertainty about the relationship, not merely uncertainty about marriage per se.

Differences between the Sexes in Views of Marriage and Commitment.

With this background on commitment in mind, I want to explore a theory about one of the major ways commitment is different between women and men related to marriage: Although married men and women may be equally committed (dedicated) on average, men see the line between marriage and not marriage differently than women do. Below, I review the research and thinking that led me to this theoretical statement. This is, to be clear, a theory requiring more thought and testing in the years to come; but it is a theory that explains a great deal of what people often see in the behavior of men compared to women.

The Desire for Marriage.

Let us look at some simple findings that suggest a difference between men and women in the view of marriage. First, various findings suggest that men, compared to women, see marriage as more desirable or important. In a 1998 poll, 39% of unmarried men reported that they would prefer to be married, whereas 29% percent of unmarried women reported that they would prefer to be married. In a 1994 with a similar question, but different wording, 59% percent of unmarried men said they want to get married, whereas 48 percent of women said they did. There is some evidence of a difference in men’s and women’s views of marriage having opened up on the past few decades in the Monitoring the Future surveys conducted by the Survey Research Center at the University of Michigan. Over the past few decades, roughly 38% of male high school seniors agree or mostly agree that people who marry have happier lives than those who remain single or cohabit (see Figure 2). While the percentage has remained unchanged for males during this period, between 1976 and 2000, the percentage of female high school seniors who think that marriage matters in this same way fell from 37.8% to 28.5%. This is an amazing gap opening up between young men and young women, with women increasingly coming to think, at least in high school, that marriage really does not matter. Of course, these data also make it clear that the majority of both young men and women believe similarly, but I think the change in female beliefs is particularly disturbing.

It is almost as if we have finally succeeded in talking young women into thinking that marriage does not really have a great bearing on their prospects in life—this at the same time, as I will mention later, it is becoming clearer that marriage may make a particularly important difference in how men treat women. Broadly speaking, all of these data show a 10-point difference in the percentage of males and females regarding beliefs about the value or desirability of marriage. This is a curious thing. The popular conception is that men are commitment phobic, especially about marriage, and women are the ones eager to move relationships toward that committed state. But these data suggest that men, maybe more than women, would be the ones pursuing marriage because they may actually see it as a more desirable or important step. What could explain this disconnect between the popular perceptions of men and the sentiments that men express? As I mentioned above, I think an understanding of how men vs. women see crossing the line between marriage and not marriage may explain a great deal. To build the case for this theory that there are important differences in views about “the line,” I will present findings from four sources, but I would point out that there are many other ways these arguments could be supported.

What is presented here are merely the steps on the path I took, and they are in the order I find most logically compelling for this presentation, not at all in the order that I encountered them:

1) qualitative, focus group research by Whitehead and Popenoe presented this year, and at this conference;

2) findings and thought from the work of sociologist Steve Nock;

3) findings from work in our lab on sacrifice and commitment; and

4) findings from our research on cohabitation prior to marriage.

Being successful


Herbert Mtowo

If you want to be successful, this is for you. You are going to learn how you can uncover the source of motivation deep within you. As you know, without motivation, you will never have the drive to take action. And if you do not take any action, you will never be successful.

The main difference between success and mediocrity is that success requires action. Successful people are action oriented. They tend to take massive action compare with ordinary people who just dream and think about their dreams. Therefore, this article is perfect for you because you are going to discover the 3 simple steps how you can unleash the motivation within you.

1. The first strategy is to think about your why. Why do you want to be successful? Why do you want to achieve what you desire? Why do you want to make your dreams come true? Your reason behind each of your dream and goal is going to drive you toward what you want in your life. After all, it is because of these reasons that you start to think about achieving it. Thus, know exactly why do you want to accomplish what you want can help you to stay motivated.

2. Next, try to focus on the rewards and not the process of doing it. Making cold call is what most people will procrastinate on. However, if you focus on the rewards that you are going to get from doing it, you will better motivate yourself to do it. Think about all the sales you are going to close, all the money you are going to get and buying your dream car and your dream house, all the rewards are going to turn you on and drive you into taking massive action.

3. Finally, tell everyone that you know about what you want to achieve and what your plan to achieve it is. When you do this, you are making a public commitment and you are putting yourself on the line. You will have no other choice but to take action and make it happen because you have no other alternative to choose from. You do not want to have your friends laughing at you because you fail to achieve it. And thus, you will motivate yourself to take action.


What is it with Men and Commitment, Anyway? Part 1

By Scott M. Stanley

Before looking at the question of how men may differ from women with regard to commitment, I want to address the general question, “does commitment still matter?” Is it such an important topic, to write, discuss about or it’s not worthy our great mind to dwell on? Read through am sure you will be surprised if not shocked by some of the findings around this issue. Let us begin by looking at some of the findings that were just released from the Oklahoma Baseline Survey (Johnson et al. 2002). In this phone survey of 2300 Oklahoma residents, those who had been divorced were asked about the things that led to divorce. They were given a list of ten things and asked whether each was a major contributor to their divorces. Commitment was the mostly highly endorsed item. In fact, 85% said that “lack of commitment” was the major reason for divorce.  I would not have predicted that it would be so highly rated in this day and age, much less the highest rated reason for divorce among the options presented.

Another finding coming from this survey released from Oklahoma supports the importance of commitment in marriage.  A question was asked of the currently married respondents:  “Have you ever seriously thought your marriage was in trouble?” Thirty-four percent said “yes.” Those who said “yes,” were asked, “Are you glad you are still together?” Ninety-two percent said that they were glad they were still together. A recent finding from the large-scale National Survey of Families and Households (NSFH) are consistent with this point from the Oklahoma survey.

As part of a report entitled, Does Divorce Make People Happy, a team headed by Linda Waite examined longitudinal data from the NSFH (Waite et al., 2002). Among the findings, of those who were very unhappy in their marriages at one time point, two-thirds of those who stayed together were happy 5 years later. These simple findings suggest that there is something wrong with the belief that many people seem to have: Once a marriage is down, it’s done. My impression is that people generally believe that marriages don’t recover and that the choice is black and white: either hang on in stable misery (perhaps some people’s definition of commitment) or get out. The fact is, some marriages are, indeed, like that. For any number of reasons, they will not improve.  However, there are also couples who hang in there and bounce back from difficult times. They endure, persevere, and continue to put one foot in front of the other. In the end, many get to a very different place in life.

So, at least for some couples, the perseverance that comes with commitment produces important, positive outcomes. This is also true more broadly, with couples generally doing best if they have a clear sense of future together (Amato & DE Boer, 2001; Amato & Rogers, 1999; Waite & Joyner, 2001).  These data I briefly present, along with a great deal of evidence in various studies not presented, suggest that commitment certainly does matter in marriage (and divorce).  Certainly, the average person thinks that it matters a great deal. Before I continue with other points, I want to highlight that nothing in this talk should be construed to mean that I am arguing that people should remain in highly destructive relationships no matter what else. When there is danger of serious harm, safety should be the overarching priority.

Is_your_man_commitment?

What is Commitment?

How do couples experience commitment? Our theory suggests there are two components to commitment: personal dedication and constraint (Stanley & Markman, 1992).   Personal dedication speaks to how intrinsically committed partners are to one another whereas constraints are the things that might keep couples together when partners would rather leave. Constraints are the things that accumulate as relationships grow and make it hard to break up, such as financial considerations, responsibilities for children, social pressure, and a lack of foreseeable alternatives. Despite the connotation, constraints can have a positive function in the lives of couples because they can help prevent one or both partners from making drastic decisions that unravel investment during periods of intense unhappiness. However, behaviors at critical times for many couples.  Of course, when someone is really unhappy for a long time in a marriage, constraints can lead a sense of feeling trapped. Constraints don’t lead to great, happy marriages. They mostly put the brakes on impulsive, destabilizing Personal dedication, on the other hand, refers to interpersonal and more intrinsic commitment processes, particularly in commitment to the partner and the relationship.  It has four important components: a desire for a future together, a sense of “us” or “we” (or as being part of a team), a high sense of priority for the relationship, and more satisfaction with sacrificing for the other.

There are two fundamentals that underline all of what commitment is about for couples. First, developing and maintaining a long-term view is crucial for marital success. Fundamentally, what commitment brings to a marriage is a long-term perspective that allows partners to weather the inevitable ups and downs in marital satisfaction. Second, commitment means making a choice to give up choices.  Giving up choices is not a prized notion in American culture. We want to hang on to everything. In fact, we’re generally reinforced to believe that we should hang on to everything and keep all of our options open.  Of course, at times, this presents a serious problem for individuals because one cannot have certain things in life by hanging onto everything in life.  It is like the proverbial monkey with his hand in the jar who is trying to hold on to so much that he can’t get his fist out. We end up with much less in life when we try to hang on to everything rather then being more devoted and dedicated to a particular path or partner.  So, while commitment remains crucial in so many ways to relationship and marital success, there are fundamentals to commitment that are at odds with much in American culture at this point, especially in regard to holding longer term views and making clear decisions to be committed.

To be continued.

The Causes of Divorce


By Herbert Mtowo

The number one predictor of divorce is the habitual avoidance of conflict. What’s sad are the reason couples avoid conflict is because they believe it (conflict) causes divorce. It’s like the cartoon where the couple explains to the marriage counselor, “We never talk anymore. We figured out that’s when we do all our fighting.” In the beginning, we avoid conflict because we are in love and we believe that “staying in love” is about agreeing, about NOT fighting. We’re afraid that if we disagree – or fight – we’ll run our marriage off into the ditch. We believe that if we’ve found our soul mate, we’ll agree about most things – and certainly about the important things. Later, we avoid conflict because when we try to deal with our differences things get so out of hand and our fights so destructive and upsetting that we simply shut down. After a few bad blow-ups we become determined to avoid conflict at any cost. And, we start wondering if we married the wrong person.  It shouldn’t be this hard.

 

Successful couples are those who know how to discuss their differences in ways that actually strengthen their relationship and improve intimacy. Successful couples know how to contain their disagreements – how to keep them from spilling over and contaminating the rest of their relationship. While it’s true that we don’t get married to handle conflict, if a couple doesn’t know how – or learn how – to fight or manage their disagreements successfully, they won’t be able to do all the other things they got married to do. Put another way, it’s hard to take her out to the ball game if you’re not speaking. Couples are often so determined to avoid disagreements that they shut down – quit speaking, quit loving.

 

Couples need to know what the research has found: that every happy, successful couple has approximately ten areas of “incompatibility” or disagreement that they will never resolve. Instead, the successful couples learn how to manage the disagreements and live life “around” them – to love in spite of their areas of difference, and to develop understanding and empathy for their partner’s positions. The divorce courts have it all wrong. “Irreconcilable differences” – like a bad knee or a chronic back – are not a reason to divorce. Instead, they are part of every good marriage. Successful couples learn to dance in spite of their differences. They gain comfort in knowing they know their partner, know which issues they disagree on and must learn to manage. They also understand that if they switch partners they’ll just get ten new areas of disagreement, and sadly, the most destructive will be about the children from their earlier relationships

Couples enjoy themselves as they gain mastery and become “relationship and wise smart.” Healthy loving couples also model the skills for their children which will slow the divorce rate in future generations. “Don’t tell us how to have a good marriage, show us.

Know Your Spouse

By HHerbert Mtowo

Marriage is the best! Marriage is great! Marriage is heavenly!

Now check your mate!

I want you to take a little time out to have some fun! I remember a program once that was always fun to listen to. It was called ‘Check Your Mate’. Basically it was a game to see who knew their spouse the best. So are you up to it? Do you think you REALLY know your spouse? Well there is only one way to find out!

Below are lists of questions that will tell you for sure. Simply type in the answers and send them to your spouse. The real test will come when they respond and tell you how many you got right and how many you got wrong! So get ready… steady …GO! Check Your Mate Answer each of these questions and send them to your spouse for marking. If both of you play this game you are in for some laughs. And who knows, you might learn a few things about your spouse you never did before!

1. What is your spouse’s favorite color?

2. What is your spouse’s idea of a romantic evening?

3. What does your spouse love the most about your body?

4. What character traits does your spouse love the most about you?

5. Which of your habits does your spouse dislike the most about you?

6. What kind of gifts does your spouse like to receive?

7. Where does your spouse love to touch you the most during love-making?

8. What makes your spouse feel attractive about him/her?

9. What is your spouse’s favorite outfit or pair of shoes?

10. What are your spouse’s goals for their career or ministry?

11. And finally… What is the one thing that you could do; that you know would immediately cheer up your spouse when they are having a bad day?

Do not end the game here! When you mark your spouse’s answers, add a few more questions of your own! Or even better, try to think of one thing they do not know about you and tell them about it! The Lord has created something so special between the two of you. As you continue to open your hearts to one another and to the Lord, you will just keep getting closer.

Everyone has days when you fall down and things do not go as you planned, but get up and keep going again. Look past the conflicts and take that time to just say, “I love you.” It is amazing how just a bit of love can go a long way. I trust that you have as much fun with this project as I did. I cannot wait to see what your results were.

A testimony of a Restored Marriage. [Based on a true story] PART 2

About   this time my husband has moved out and I really almost had an emotional breakdown.  Everything he took with him left a gaping hole where things had once been. Our home did not feel like a home and our kids were so affected (another fuel to my anger) and hurt and sad. My husband’s blinders were on so tight he wouldn’t even talk to me about their pain.  He was still very much a part of their lives but he would not talk about what was happening to them (the guilt was too overwhelming to do so).  Emotions were off limits and he tried to pretend that things would get better with time.

At this time I’m starting my stand. I put my ring back on and I laid my husband at the foot of the cross and took my hands off him.  I knew God would bring him home, not me or my attempts to guilt him into waking up. I was reading my bible and praying throughout the day and even praying and sharing with our children that God would restore our family and that they’d witness the power of prayer. I went back to everyone I had ever said anything negative to about my spouse and told them to pray for us and him and that God was going to do a miracle.  I decided  to not listen to what the world says  which is “move on, you deserve  someone else, people can’t change unless  they want to” and listen to  God and trust Him that He’d touch my husband  and heal him.

God gave me so many signs to keep standing. On rejoice ministries people talk of seeing a COVENANT truck as a sign of encouragement to stand for their covenant spouse. I looked up the company and realized I’d never see one as they don’t travel through my area.  It was about 2 weeks later when I saw a red truck pulling a long white trailer. I was waiting to turn right at a corner and they were turning left ever so slowly. I was annoyed. I had to wait for this longgggggggg Ford truck to turn pulling this longgggggggg white trailer.   When they finally got fully around I pulled behind them at the light.  I burst out laughing out loud; the back of the trailer was completely bare with nothing on it but the word COVENANT at the bottom. I just put my hands up and praised God for the sign.

Every time I saw my spouse I was hoping to see his ring back on. I never did.  He was polite but kept his distance when around me. I noticed new clothing, a new style of dress.  He often would not meet my eyes and would come over and leave so quickly at times. Other times he’d take 20 minutes to get out the door.  I always thought it was because he was thinking of asking to have something else to take out of the house. Now I know otherwise.

A   letter came in the mail – he had withdrawn money from his 401k.  I was   LIVID! I wanted to pick up the phone and confront him because I didn’t   know if we were going to divorce and that 401k money was partly mine   legally but God placed it on my heart TO BE STILL so I kept quiet.   Father’s Day was coming. I didn’t know what to do.  He had the kids for   the weekend so I prayed about giving him a card.  God gave me peace   about doing so and so I put his card in one of the kids’ overnight bags.   He contacted me and said thank you for the card. I was shocked.   I was going to church that Sunday and asked if he wanted to meet me there with the kids. He agreed.  DOUBLE SHOCKED.  He came to church with the kids and wow, when God wants to get a message to you he will get it to you. The sermon was on THE PRODIGAL SON and they speaker spoke about how there are so many prodigals out there. Children who have left their homes to run away and FATHERS & MOTHERS WHO HAVE LEFT THEIR FAMILIES TO PURSUE SEXUAL IMMORALITY.  WOW talk about an uncomfortable service! LOL my husband was sitting next to me, we looked like a happy family if you didn’t know what was going on but he was fidgeting the entire time.

I invited him over for 4th of July. He declined and sent me a visitation schedule for the month and said maybe this would help make a smooth transition so we’d have less contact.  My heart sank. Because of the kids we had a lot of contact, now it seemed we would not.  I still knew God would do what he wanted to do.  Our 16th anniversary came and the Holy Spirit told me “get him a card” I prayed for God to help me find the perfect card and have never looked so hard for one in all my life. I think I visited 3 Hallmark stores and went to 2 different Targets and a Papyrus! LOL I finally found the “perfect card” and when I went to check-out, the cashier read the card, I remember thinking “how RUDE!” and then she said “wow this is the perfect card!” Wow, thank you God for confirming that for me.

I sent him a text and asked if he could meet me in the parking lot of his apartment and gave him the card.  He had nothing for me but I had prayed that God would send 10 prodigals home in lieu of my spouse having something for me for our anniversary.   About 20 min later he sent me a text and said Happy Anniversary <insert his pet name for me>. Thank you, I didn’t forget.  A week later he asked me out.

It’s been almost 7m now since that date and slowly but surely things are coming out.  My H often says “I think back to last summer and I just shake my head.” I even asked him once something he said that was particularly painful and he said ‘I said that? When?”,  It’s like he doesn’t even remember which  fortifies  what they say at Rejoice Ministries, Satan is their mouthpiece  when  they’re in sin.

My H as told me about 3 times a week (it was every day at first) “thank you for standing in the gap” and   “I’m so glad I’m home.”  He said he had no peace and there was a   constant chatter in his head.  I asked him when he knew he should be at home and he said “as soon as I left but I was too prideful to return right away.”  Just recently (and I might have shared this in another post) he said “I am so sorry I fell prey to the deceit of believing what I had with someone else I didn’t have with you. It took me hitting the ground off the slippery slope to realize I already had that x100.” Wow.

God wants to speak to you. He won’t tell you EVERYTHING because His ways are not our ways but He will give you insight. I remember when my spouse was gone, the Holy Spirit told me, “he will not return longing or craving or missing the other person but he will return full of guilt and shame.” I almost fell out of my chair one day when my husband said out the blue, “I hope you know I’m not missing craving or longing to be with.  And oh boy did he have shame. I think the first 60 days he sat around the house like a deer in headlights. He looked shell shocked. It was heartbreaking to see.

I share this not to brag, oh no.   Not at all. I pray no one feels that way. I share this because I know this is a testimony for others to gain strength from and stand just the way others testimonies have done for me.  My testimony does not match theirs and yours will not match mine. It will be unique and different so it will reach people who need to hear what you went through.  I can honestly say with all my heart I would go back to day one just to get where I am with God now. I was a Christian before but I was a baby Christian. I did not   know God’s word; I did not really know what God could or would do. I did not know God would speak to me. I did not really know that God has a plan for me even in the midst of my pain and confusion. That he would work out all the kinks and straighten it all out. Not in my timing and not my way but in His way and his way is PERFECT.

For  I  know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to  prosper  you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  …  Jeremiah 29:11

I pray this testimony will be a blessing to someone.  I leave you with my favorite scripture Proverbs 3:5-7 and a prayer I prayed every day because I wanted God to fight this battle for me in the spiritual realm: Psalm 35.

Also Google “marriage restoration prayers” there are many out there already written up that you can pray with your spouses name in them with scripture.   Pray Hosea 2:6 over your spouses caught in the deception of adultery.   Ask God to strengthen the hedge and to bound God’s commandments around their neck and write it in their hearts. To watch over them when they’re sleeping and guide them during the day. Trust and know God is doing it.  He goes after his lost sheep and who is more lost than a prodigal spouse?

1 Peter 5:8 says: “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” He wants to devour families and marriages. Stand alert! Put on the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) over yourself, your spouse and your children.

Blessings to you all. Sorry this is so long.

A testimony of a Restored Marriage. [Based on a true story] PART 1

After I read this story, I felt it would be noble to share it on this site and lots many people around me. It’s worthy reading over and over again, especially now when we go through different challenges when it comes to relationships and marriages. All details and events in the story are as they were given word by word, nothing has been edited, except that the true identities of the people involved has been kept a secret. [HERBERT MTOWO]

I first want to say to all those that are hurting – I KNOW WHAT YOU ARE GOING THROUGH and I am so completely in agreement of the pain you’re experiencing. I also know however that WITH JESUS he can heal ALL WOUNDS. We may not be living the way WE want to in the present moment but God has a plan and it’s perfect. He’s not a magician. We don’t get to pray and then POOF our problems magically disappear but He WILL do what He says he will. God says he will never forsake us and he will help us THROUGH our circumstances. Not over them. Not under them. THROUGH THEM. God wants us to cast our cares on Him (1 Peter 5:7). The problem is what we really want Him to do is hear our prayers and then act on them according to our timetable, our rules and our script. God is using this time while our spouse is away to REFINE US. He wants us to TAKE OUR EYES off of our spouse. To take our eyes OFF OUR CIRCUMSTANCE and have FAITH and TRUST HIM that He will do what he says He will do. Hebrews 11:1 says: Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. While we stand, while we wait, we don’t SEE changes. We don’t SEE God working but He is and we’re having faith and believing and KNOWING that God is doing what He says He will. That’s faith!

I prayed about retyping this. I thought for a moment maybe it wasn’t meant for me to share it after I lost it when I timed out but I prayed about it and I am praying that what I share, that with the blessing God has given me and wants to give everyone that through Jesus, I will touch someone and solidify what God wants from us. We, us, people, we are like the ISRAELITES. God delivered them from slavery and promised them safe arrival in THE PROMISED LAND. It was ONLY AN ELEVEN DAY JOURNEY. Instead it took them FORTY YEARS TO GET THERE! Why? They grumbled! They complained! They put everything else before God. They had just been delivered from darkness and were still complaining about what they didn’t have because things were not as they wanted. So God let them wander. Isn’t that like us today? Blinded by sin whether it’s pornography, gambling, adultery, sexual immorality, greed, fornication, lying, stealing, drugs, disrespecting our spouses, not loving our spouses, holding grudges, not forgiving? My husband was in OBVIOUS sin but I was a sinner too, my sin was just hidden behind closed doors and I didn’t even know it was sin! I complained to anyone who would listen about what my spouse was doing. I was mad! I had resentment and bitterness. Let me tell you, forgiveness is like CANCER it spreads and what it breeds will spiritually kill you. My dad walked out on my mom and she is STILL bitter, still resentful and that was over 19 years ago. I was headed down that same path, more consumed by what my spouse was doing to me then letting it all go and letting God heal me.

Let me share. In 2009 my husband just after our 15th anniversary had a VERBAL BLOW UP. We were having a minor disagreement and BAM out of nowhere he let out an explosive verbal assault on things I had never heard from him before. He didn’t want to die an average man doing average things. WHAT? His life was boring and he was sick of the routine. WELL WHO ISN’T AT TIMES? He noticed how I was more of a mother than a wife. SAY WHAT? He felt like something was missing and didn’t know what. I didn’t know at the time of this verbal assault (that lasted 3 hours) it was directed at ME. He wasn’t happy with me! He felt average WITH ME. He thought something was missing and *I* couldn’t fill it. I did not know that my husband was already imagining having an affair at this time. I didn’t know at this time that thoughts were already in his head about pursuing someone other than me. An affair starts IN THE MIND. It starts slow and builds. A person has lust in their heart sometimes and it grows until they act on it. Some people have had it growing from as far back as their childhood; they may have been sexually abused or grew up in a home with pornography in a parent or a family member. Some people like my spouse harbor unexpressed feelings for years. My husband grew up in an emotionally repressed home. His mother was manipulative and vindictive and he wasn’t allowed to speak up/out against things that bothered him. I did not know this until now. I always thought my husband was laid back and went with the flow.

I didn’t know all the years we were married that my husband craved an emotionally SOUND environment free of confrontation and belittlement and that he craved affection (his mother never expresses any even now). Combine that with me and my childhood issues of having a father emotionally distant to his family and a mother, sister and brother who was very sensitive and craving his attention and often winding up on the floor in a blubbering mess, I vowed to NEVER be sensitive to ALWAYS speak up and speak out and to SAY WHAT NEEDS TO BE SAID. An explosion waiting to happen right? My spouse (and a lot of our spouses here) start building someone else up in their minds. That person becomes ALL THAT THEY THINK WE ARE NOT (and maybe we haven’t been.) I had grown to become resentful of my husband the last 4-5 years. He never defended me when his mother lashed out at me or tried to do something vindictive to me. I took him not speaking up for me as a sign of weakness which was what? A flashback to my childhood and NO ONE was going to have me under their thumb so I started believing in my mind that my husband did not even DESERVE my respect. God calls wives to respect their husbands. (Ephesians 5:33) I didn’t. I started holding back affection too. I build up in my mind that since he couldn’t do what I wanted him to do then I wouldn’t do what he wanted me to do. Oh how wrong was my thinking! My husband wasn’t weak; he just never learned that expressing himself was HEALTHY and that some confrontations are GOOD. He held everything inside until it manifested out loud because God says what we think on we act and do.

My husband started believing after 15 years and never so much as looking twice at another woman that he couldn’t get what he craved from me so he looked elsewhere. Once our spouses build someone else up in their minds, we get torn down in their hearts and they believe that person is what they need, want, deserve.

After a few months I found some emails of my husband flirting with another woman online. She commented on photos of his family saying “you have a beautiful family” and then promptly sent him a link to photos of her on the beach! I knew he had never met the person but they were having some sort of online flirt fest. I was so hurt and wounded. My husband was mortified! We cried together all day he was so upset he did what he did, I was so shocked and I believed him when he said nothing had happened. He even called her on the phone in front of me and broke off all ties. I was relieved and thought if this is our only down in 15 years I could live with it. Well, guess what? The thoughts were still there about him not being happy. The enemy was still putting in his head that he could never find happiness here with me so Satan dropped someone else not much longer that was also online. This person was more than willing to be the other woman. I knew nothing. This affair was basically going on under my nose. Oh the betrayal! I had no idea. I found out by accident of course and immediately said I wanted a divorce. He denied it but I had proof and so eventually he relented and said yes he did. He looked stuck but didn’t say he would stop which was fine with me, I wanted out. I was so mortified and so shocked I went the very next day to get on anti-anxiety meds. I thought the tears would never stop. I also went to see a Christian counselor and she said “what if this one thing was the worst there is in all the years of marriage you’ve had?” I thought about that and told my H I would give him another chance and forgive him. He said “thank you but I’m still going to talk to this other person.” WHAT? Oh my GOSH I’m wounded and bleeding here and I’m telling you I will give you a second chance and you throw that back at me? Unbelievable I was dumbstruck. I couldn’t believe it. We were almost at 16 years now and He was choosing the affair over his wife? I lashed out, begged, pleaded, condemned, verbally abused and physically lashed out at my husband for a month! He was still in the house and I would catch him texting this person or going outside to text or chat with. I couldn’t take the blatant disrespect. I could not believe who my husband had turned into. It was like Dr. Jekyl Mr. Hyde. I didn’t know him anymore it seemed. Someone had taken him captive (and it was – Satan had taken him captive – 2 Timothy 2:26). I even asked him do you still love me. He said yes but I’m not IN love with you. Ouch. Some days he was in tears over what he was doing other times he was aloof distant and arrogant almost. It was surreal to watch, After a month of that, he left. He said “this isn’t working for me” and left. I said “well of course it’s not working, you’re still pursuing the affair!” and I physically lashed out again for one good measure. Ticked off is not the word. I felt rejected and treated like garbage. I was obsessed with thinking of how I could get even. I figured out who the other person was and contemplated about sending them a nasty email. I wanted EVERYONE to know what had been done to me and I wanted him to feel HORRIBLE. I kept hearing a voice saying “I’m not done with you both yet.” I didn’t know at the time God was trying to get my attention but because I was so focused on being revengeful and focusing on what had occurred, I didn’t pay attention. I didn’t WANT to pay attention.

I started going online to the midlife crisis forums and venting there about what was happening and found out about Rejoice Ministries. I did not want to hear anything they said either. I just wanted to make my husband pay for what he did to me.