RELATIONSHIPS/MARRIAGE UNDER-SIEGE

BY HERBERT MTOWO

Marriage Under Siege

The marriage institute is an extremely important institution not only in the Christendom circle but in every area of life marriage plays an important role to shape the future of a people, community, nation, tribe etc The business people, the politicians, the atheists, traditional and all look up to it and hope for .

It is one institution that is under severe attack and the enemy knows how vital it is to us and many generations to come. I strongly believe that at Jordan Touch Communications we are making a small contribution, to this noble cause of marriage and relationship building.

Am not an expert on this topic but as an author,counselor and public speaker this is one topic that i am so passionate about,having spent many years consulting in the field of HIV/AIDS has opened my eyes to the challenges that we have when it comes to marriage and relationships,i have had my own challenges when it comes to this topic,and that I feel my contribution on this topic will go a long way in helping one or two people out there.

We believe that there are many other organizations doing so much more to make sure this institution is continuously empowered. For example, one of my heroes James Dobson and Focus on the family, We thank God for His grace who has enabled us to find our place in this global cause to build, encourage and allow many to become faithful, handle their conflicts, faithfully love, forge  ahead during times of storms to stand and  not waver.

Looking at the marriages of many people, and bible examples of marriages of man and women of renown, I realized that was so many are sadly lacking. Some of the couples were career-minded and put all their efforts into their jobs, rather than their relationships. Others, especially women, put all their efforts into their children, and tended to let go of their relationship with their husband. Then when the children left home there is no relationship with their spouse and their life falls apart. You don’t have to be in this situation! Even if you are a stay-at-home mom or a career woman, you can still have an awesome marriage. Other are too spiritual they literally neglect their spouse in the name of doing God`s work, others are so dysfunctional that there is no order in the home, anything is permissible.

Others, are so soaked up in business matters and bring money in the home, but forget to be there for their children .Don’t neglect your marriage that is children and wife. If you want your marriage to work, take time to invest into it, the rewards are unbelievably incomparable.  There are some ingredients to spark and bring joy to your relationship/marriage that you have to cultivate and make sure they exist in your relationship. The lists of some of them are listed below, without much elaboration: Take note of them and till the ground in your relationship, to see it blossom and flourish to unimaginable heights.

  1. Make sure both partners are fulfilling their roles as according to the word of God.
  2. Communicate effectively.
  3. Don’t leave problems unresolved and spilling into the next day.
  4. Guard against triggers from the past.
  5. Accept and understand the purpose of temperamental differences.
  6. Give and show love unconditionally.
  7. Be prepared and ready to forgive always.
  8. Find time to pray together.
  9. Have fun(, take time to play)
  10. Plan together.
  11. Have you ever realized that every human has a desire for affirmation, love and care? All people deep down inside is a child just wanting somebody to give them attention. Make a reality check and find whether, you are being the husband or wife that is giving that attention? I just hope you are feeding that child? Make sure you are  feeding it with love, care, hugs and kisses, and all the good things Maybe are you tearing down and causing that gentle sweet fragrance to be withdrawn more and more, and hidden away more and more, because you keep hammering and hammering and hammering all the time. The more you hammer the more he/she withdraws and you say, “Yep, I sure had him/her convicted!” So you hammer him/her again and he/she withdraws more and you say, “Yep sure I told you I had a useless wife/husband.”

    Is it any wonder why she/he is sitting and not wanting to spend time with you and running away, because all you ever do is blast and hammer? I can bet she/he will never bring herself /himself right. Who would wants to sit around the place where you are getting hell fire, criticism, condemnation all the time? Just like you and me, we wouldn’t like to sit for a nice cozy afternoon in the midst of hell fire? Honestly who would ever like to do that? These are ingredients which look very irrelevant but they give marriage the extra mile and fuel it to greater heights.

    No, no, no! Why not give them a nice gentle stream to sit beside where the waters are cool and refreshing and gentle, and bring peace to the soul and they will stick to you like a fly. Are you a sweet-smelling flower? I don’t know how many of us have realized that, when you sweet smell, the bee just cannot help it’s an irresistible attraction that lures it. The bee wants to come and pollinate. It just cannot help itself, because the color is so beautiful and so bright, and the smell is so refreshing and appealing. It cannot help itself but to keep coming back. It is important that when you are in love, you make sure that you are still sending out that sweet-smelling fragrance.

    Are you that lily flower that just oozes with love and refreshing life in the presence of the Lord? Is it that which oozes from every pore of you so sweet, such that you leave her/him thinking, “Ooh, I must have and feast on more of you? Hey, it just tastes so good, and I can’t get more of you. Or are you a terrible house fly that is all stinky? What are you in your relationship? Maybe you are the one that destroys with poisonous venom or one that releases a beautiful sweet-smelling scent?

    Take time to break down the walls of your own heart and become that flower first and the bee will naturally be attracted to it. Surely, you don’t have to hunt down a bee and force it onto a flower. They all will come there by themselves. Just stand there and be beautiful, whether you are a husband or wife. Be appealing in your spirit and be every good thing. Cultivate all the fruits of the spirit, in your life. This I can confidently tell you that, love is the sweetest, sweetest aroma. It is the sweetest aroma to your spouse and the Lord when we offer up our love and sacrifice. It is like sweet incense to your spouse` nostrils. You know if she/he is thinking it is such sweet incense to their nostrils, do you not think that everybody else around you thinks it is a sweet smell too? Even God wants the sweet-smelling love into His nostrils.

    Yes, it is true marriage is under siege, but you and I have the resources to make it work. Love, pure, pure love, Love is like water in the desert. You know you have these flash floods in the desert where beforehand everything was dry, dry, dry.

Cutting your Spouse`s Apron strings.

HERBERT MTOWO

  • Is your spouse too dependent on his or her parents? Are your in-laws too involved in your marital life? If so, here’s help.

    by Sandra Lundberg

    Julie, you’ll never believe it!” exclaimed Susan. “Tom wants his parents to come live with us!”

    “Whoa, Susan,” Julie replied. “Slow down. Tell me what exactly is going on here. What did Tom say?”

    Susan took a deep breath. “Well, the other night we were talking about our finances, and the kids, and how things are really tight right now. He thought it would be a good idea for his parents to move in with us to share some of the expenses. Maybe we could even charge them rent, or the kids could stay with them instead of going to day care. Julie, I just can’t believe it!”

    Julie wondered why Susan was so upset. After all, having extended families live together wasn’t exactly a new idea. “In Bible days, multiple generations lived together all the time,” Julie said. “Just because we don’t usually do it here, I don’t quite understand why you’re so freaked out.”

    The resentment in Susan’s voice was clear. “Well, it would be just one more way for his mom and dad to try to influence our decisions.”

    “Oh! The issue is about boundaries and leaving and cleaving.”

    “Oh, yeah,” Susan said with sarcasm. “We have a real problem with the ‘leave and cleave’ thing.”

    Susan and Tom aren’t the only couple to have a problem in this area. Genesis 2:24 says, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” The King James Version calls being united “cleaving.” This refers to God‘s invention of a unique bond between husband and wife that’s not to be compromised by their relationship with their parents.

    Does this mean that we cut ourselves off from our families of origin? Not if they’re reasonably healthy. Maintaining relationships with our parents usually is beneficial. But problems arise if factors like the following are present:

    • One spouse relies too heavily on the parents to help in decision-making, leading the other spouse to feel insignificant.
    • One spouse looks to the parent, not the partner, to get his or her emotional needs met, leading the partner to feel ignored.
    • One spouse reveals details of marital conflict with his or her parents, leading the other spouse to feel betrayed.

    Let’s take a closer look at these and what you can do about them.

    1. Decision-making dysfunction. Couples need the freedom and autonomy to make their own decisions. Some parents are better than others in this area; many wait for their adult children to ask for advice, but others try to inject unsolicited wisdom. The latter are often deeply caring people who want the best for their children, but their behavior communicates a lack of respect and trust in the judgment of their child and his or her spouse.

      Family history can make this difficult water to navigate. Some spouses are used to asking their parents for direction; others make decisions more independently. If you and your mate have different habits on this score, conflict may result.

      If you’re frustrated because your spouse consults with his or her parents on decisions more than you’d like, the two of you need to work through this issue. If you feel threatened by your spouse’s behavior, share that diplomatically but honestly. Talk about how the two of you would like decision making to work. Would you prefer that the two of you make choices without getting input from either set of parents? Are there some decisions you’d ask one set of parents about, but not the other?

      Be aware that asking for parents’ advice can be a slippery slope. It may leave them feeling the door is open for them to give you input into other areas, or even to “correct” decisions you’ve already made.

      Credit each other and your in-laws with goodwill toward your marriage unless they’ve demonstrated otherwise. Sadly, some in-laws don’t seem to have a vested interest in the success of their child’s marriage. If this is true of you, you and your mate may want to recommit yourselves to “leaving and cleaving.” You may also need to seek professional advice to determine how best to establish and maintain appropriate boundaries with your in-laws.

    2. Emotional apron strings. If your spouse gets his or her emotional needs met in his or her relationship with parents instead of with you, there’s a problem. You may even feel as if your spouse is having an affair.

      Sometimes this problem begins when a wife feels frustrated over her husband’s seeming lack of interest in conversing about her day; she starts talking with her parents instead. Sometimes the husband is the frustrated one; it’s common for mother and son to have long or frequent conversations that leave the wife feeling ignored. Neither scenario is appropriate.

      Respect for each other is the key. In this situation, respect might require that the spouse maintaining an overly close relationship with his or her parents will decrease that contact in order to show love for the spouse. For example, a son whose mother is too close might say, “Mom, let’s limit our conversations to once a week about general things.” Or he may simply make the change himself, explaining it only if his mother asks him about it. In either case he would do well to save discussions of his goals and disappointments for times with his wife; these are the things that build intimacy in a marriage.

      This is not to suggest that children and parents should cut off their relationship under the guise of leaving and cleaving. But your primary human relationship now is with your spouse, not your parents. Your commitment to God comes first; then your bond to your spouse, then to any children you might have, then to your family of origin, and then to extended family and friends.

    3. Betrayal. It’s a common story: After a fight with his or her mate, a spouse goes “home to mother” or calls the parents on the phone and spills the details.

      This is detrimental to a marriage. It communicates disrespect to your spouse and makes it hard for the parents to maintain a healthy relationship with him or her.

      Even if you and your spouse reconcile within hours or days after your argument, family members may not know that. They might carry that memory of the fight you had, have a hard time believing that everything is okay, and remain suspicious of your partner.

      Expecting parents to referee your conflicts isn’t realistic or wise. It would be hard for them to be objective about your marriage. The best thing they can do when you come to them in the midst of an argument is to send you home to work it out.

      One exception would be conflict that involves violence. Getting to safety is the first priority. Taking time to be apart and see your parents can give you an opportunity to think and establish a plan to repair the marriage. It’s not helpful to just go home to Mom and Dad to vent, however.

    If you have an “apron strings” problem in your marriage, keep the following tips in mind as you talk with your spouse about it.

    1. Pray for wisdom and insight about what to say and how to say it.
    2. Tread lightly when it comes to criticizing your in-laws. Your spouse knows more negative things about his or her parents than you do, whether or not they’re expressed. Even repeating a complaint your spouse has made about his or her parents could be taken as an offense by your mate.
    3. Approach your spouse when you’re both rested, fed, and healthy. Right before falling asleep at night is not a good time to have this conversation.
    4. Remember that you’re a team. Because you’re committed to each other, you can work through this even if you don’t agree on the details — like your in-laws’ intent, how to best meet your spouse’s needs, or exact limits to place on parent-child conversations.
    5. If parents need to be confronted or informed, agree that their own child — not the son- or daughter-in-law — will do the talking. Protecting your marriage is a priority; the newest addition to the family doesn’t need another reason to be dissected by in-laws. Each spouse needs to know that he or she will be protected by the other, even if husband and wife disagree and the in-laws are meddlesome.

    If, after following these steps, you and your spouse are at an impasse about your in-laws, get the objective input of a therapist.

    Leaving and cleaving is tricky, but doable. The love and respect you communicate to each other when you value your marriage over your relationship with your parents are essential.

    After Susan and Julie talked, Susan realized why she felt threatened by the idea of her in-laws moving into her home. It was because she believed her mother-in-law wanted more contact with Tom than Susan was comfortable with.

    As Susan and Tom talked about it, she became less defensive. Tom was able to listen more easily and understand her heart. In turn, his own heart softened. He began to evaluate how much time he spent with his mom — and what he could do about those apron strings.

  • Unlike · Unfollow Post · 10 seconds ago
    • You like this.
    • Write a comment…

THE UGLINESS OF BETRAYAL

Most people have heard of Judas.  His main claim to fame is that he was the guy who betrayed Jesus Christ.  With a brotherly smooch (of all things), he ratted out his friend and mentor.  But long before this notorious event took place, there were tell-tale signs that maybe Judas wasn’t really cut out for the job of Apostle in the first place.

Judas was selected as the treasurer of the group.  One of the other disciples (John) revealed that Judas regularly stole from the treasury (John 12:6).  That was just one clue…but there were others.  For example, on one occasion Judas got really upset when a reformed prostitute brought a bottle of extremely expensive perfume and poured the entire contents on Jesus’ feet as an act of worship and thanksgiving.  Judas sneered at her behavior, considering it a stupid act and a complete waste (Matthew 14:1-10).

Jesus was well aware of all of Judas’ shortcomings…but for whatever reason, He allowed Judas to remain part of the group.  Maybe it was because Jesus and Judas grew up in the same part of the country.  All the other disciples were from northern Israel (Galilee), but Jesus and Judas were both from Israel’s southern region—they were Southern boys. It’s possible that they were even childhood friends.  But sadly, in the end, it was this friendship that led to Jesus’ crucifixion.  A sudden and ironic end to the most incredible ministry the world had ever seen.

The truth is that wherever you find a gathering of people of faith, you’ll invariably find a Judas or two.  Judas’ come in a variety of shapes and sizes.  They’re every gender and every race.  And they don’t just attach themselves to church groups—Judas’ attach themselves to individuals. Chances are you’ve got a Judas in your circle of friends.  They like to be associated with the positive things that others are doing—they want to be a part of your life.  We often overlook the red warning flags about these people—mainly because we hope to see God do in them what we believe He’s done in us.  But don’t fool yourselves—they’re bad news.

They’re gossips, whisperers and talebearers.  They’re experts at starting and perpetuating confusion.  They often complain the loudest, even when they have the least at stake.  They want to influence decisions regarding matters that don’t really concern them and that they don’t even fully understand. There’s never a dull moment when they’re around.  There’s also very little peace when they’re around.  Still, we tend to tolerate them…right?  After all, everybody deserves a chance, don’t they? Speaking of chances, you really don’t give your future much of a chance if you allow these Judas’ to hang around too long.

Because, believe me, Judas’ can tell when you’re about to cut them loose. That’s normally when they do their greatest harm.  In order to preserve and protect themselves, they’ll leave you completely exposed, broken and betrayed.

Which, in a strange way, is sometimes not such a bad place to be.  Nothing tests the legitimacy of our faith like a good old-fashion betrayal.  If there’s any cussing, swearing or brawling still left in our holy vessels, then there’s nothing like betrayal to bring it to the surface.  If we’re serving God for any of the wrong reasons, betrayal will usually expose that too.

Sailors know that a storm normally sends more than enough wind against your sails, but betrayal is one of the few storms that actually takes the wind out of your sails.  It often stops us dead in our tracks, derails our lives and disrupts our progress.  It’s like pulling that card in a board-game that sends you all the way back to the start.  Betrayal hurts—deeply. It forces us to re-examine our values, gather what’s left of our lives and try to move forward again.  That’s exactly what the eleven remaining disciples had to do, and, in the long run, it all worked out okay for them.

In Jesus’ situation, betrayal cost Him His life.  Thankfully, that’s not always the case, and as i ALWAYS SAY , “whatever doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger”.   So if you find yourself still breathing after you’ve been betrayed, take a moment to be grateful.  And while it may be true that betrayal shuts the door on the current chapter of your life, realize that it also opens another door to new possibilities.

Remember, betrayal happens to the best and the wisest of men…but God is still for you and He’ll be with you!  Don’t be afraid to embrace the road ahead of you (just like Jesus’ disciples had to do over 2,000 years ago).  You probably didn’t think it would come this way, but God has stretched His gracious hand right in the middle of your unfair, unjust, wrong situation—and He’s making it right.  He’s also positioning you for an incredible finish! So smile.  Take a deep breath… and go for it!

You might even want to consider sending your Judas a “thank you” post card once you get settled in the promise land.  But remember, there are also Judas’ in your new neighborhood—so don’t forget the lessons you’ve learned.

HERBERT MTOWO

Mistress or just being mistreated and cheapened?

Herbert Prince Mtowo

Mistress: A mysterious sexy woman that a married man sees in secret to have a romantic and sexual relationship with. This is the definition of a mistress. There is good sex, hotel room adventures, late nights, seductive phone calls, exciting secret dates, gifts and the thrill of doing something bad. But is being a mistress as glamorous as it seems?

Yes, BUT only at first. Being a mistress has its exciting moments and these are the moments that convince women to become a mistress in the first place. In the beginning, the mistress holds all the power. She is the one who has the married man under a love spell and she gets all his attention and time that he should be spending with his wife. She is the one he fantasizes about when he is with his wife and the one he misses. He urges for her company and longs to hear her voice. The mistress is the woman a married man makes first priority and will shower her with gifts to keep her happy. This all sounds fun and good, but it is very short lived and eventually, the light goes on and shines on the truth of what the life of a mistress really is and eventually becomes after the sexy stage is over.

Relationships that start off in deception usually end in deception. When a woman gets involved with a married man, she turns a blind eye to the fact that he is a cheater and an unreliable partner. She sees only what she wants to see and believes only what she wants to believe. She acknowledges the fact that he is cheating on his wife with her, but refuses to see that she too is a victim of his selfish behavior- choosing to make herself his victim. Men rarely leave their wives and family for their mistresses, which means that they string their mistresses along, having them believe that one day they will both be together with no more hiding around. Mistresses hang on to this fantasy, believing that their married lover truly loves them and will eventually be with them and this begins a long journey of emotional pain, emptiness and endless waiting.

There are of course cases when a married man will actually leave his wife to be with his mistress, this has been known to happen, but it is rare. Plus, if it does happen, the relationship usually does not last, even if man and mistress go as far as getting married. This is because when the relationship started, it was not planted on solid, honest ground. Instead, the seed of the relationship was planted on unstable ground, fertilized with secrets and lies- regardless of whom the secrets were being kept from and whom the lies were being told to. Secrets and lies disallow people from being their true selves- a part of you has to be put on hold due to the man-mistress circumstance. If the man and his mistress do end up together and get married, they eventually have troubles with trust, because of the way they got together. They both know that they are capable of cheating and going along with cheating and while they may actually love each other- all the facts defining their relationship has the greater influence, whether they want to acknowledge it or not.

Most man-mistress relationships do not get that far though and majority of the times, he will not leave his marriage for his mistress. He may believe at one point that he will, but his feeling of responsibility and need to be loyal to his wife and family take over and he therefore does not leave. Most men have affairs because of communication problems in their marriage or an empty gap that has grown in their marriage and they are unsure on how to approach. They long for good happy company again without complications, and an affair is a good escape for them- but it does not last forever.

 

What is it with men and commitment ?-[Final Part]

Why Men Won’t Commit
Barbara Dafoe Whitehead and David Popenoe just issued their State of Our Unions Report from the National Marriage Project at Rutgers (2002). This report contains an analysis of data gathered in focus groups led by Whitehead and Popenoe that explored the beliefs of men in their 20s about marriage and commitment. Barbara and David would be the first to acknowledge that such research lacks representativeness and sophisticated statistical procedures, but it is nevertheless a method of great value for the generation of further thought, theory, and hypotheses. Some things cannot be initially well understood in highly controlled research. I have scarcely had more enjoyment reading any document in our field. It’s a fascinating report.

Whitehead and Popenoe derived important insights about how men view marriage, their female partners, and the process of growing up. Here are the highlights in my reading of what they found. First and foremost, men report that they can enjoy many of the same benefits by cohabiting rather then marrying. Further, they report few social pressures to marry; not from family, not from friends, and not from the families of the women they live with. They also associate marriage, not cohabitation, with the possibility of financial loss. Another fear expressed is that, in marriage, a woman will want to have children sooner. Across a spectrum of possible changes, they are essentially saying they are not ready and that they would like to put such changes off as long as they possibly can—for example, until their late 20s. Essentially, they report that they are not ready for all the responsibility implied by marriage. To them, cohabitation without marriage provides all the desirable benefits of companionship without the potential risks of marriage.

Whitehead and Popenoe suggest that “men see marriage as a final step in a prolonged process of growing up.” There were two elements of their report that I found particularly intriguing; one disturbing and one semi-humorous. First, Whitehead and Popenoe suggest that many young adults today are seeking soul mates. Ninety-four percent (94%) of younger adults actually express this as the most important feature of what or who they are looking for in a mate (Popenoe & Whitehead 2001). Part of what they implied in that sentiment is that a soul mate is someone who will take them as they are and not try to change them. Disturbingly, some significant number of men essentially reported that part of why they were resisting commitment in marriage was that they were not sure their female cohabitant was their soul mate.

Until they find a soul mate, however, they are willing to wait. They don’t want to “settle” for second best in their choice of a marriage partner, though they don’t have the same standards for a choice of a live-in girlfriend. (p. 12, Whitehead & Popenoe, 2002)
Put in my own rough language, some of these men were reporting this sentiment: “I’m happy here for the time being, sleeping with my partner and letting her care for me in various ways, but I am not sure she’s really ‘the one’ for me, and I’m biding my time here while I keep looking around or until I decide that she is the one.” I wondered as I read their report how many women know that their partners may still be “on the market?” How many think they are on a trajectory toward marriage when they are actually in a stationary, low earth orbit? Surely there are many women who are equally uncertain about a future with a particular man, and, therefore, prefer aspects of cohabitation to marriage for the time being. Yet, I have a hunch many of these women think that their male partners are more locked into a future with them than might actually be the case. That is sobering and sad to me.

On a lighter note, I found it amusing that the men were essentially saying that, when they are married, their wives will be allowed to tell them what to do in a way that is not part of the cohabiting compact. There is some clear sense that marriage requires a greater level of mutual dedication and responsibility—as if they are thinking, “When we’re really teammates in life, you will have earned the right to tell me when there is something wrong with my play. But, not until we cross that line and are clearly on the same team.”

Teammates can ask things of one another, but not until one crosses the line and signs with the team. I found this amusing because I was reflecting on this simple finding in light of the evidence of health benefits for men in marriage (Waite & Gallagher, 2000). Most all scholars assume, rightly so I believe, that a major reason for these benefits for men is that their wives tell them what to do in very important ways: “Why don’t you stop with the beer, that’s your third tonight?” “You need to go to the doctor and get that looked into. I want you to go this week.” “You have been working every night, running yourself ragged. You need to cut back.” “You need more sleep; how are you going to get it?”

I’m pretty sure that one major reason that men live approximately 8 years longer if they are married (and are otherwise healthier in various ways) is that their wives tell them what to do and they do some of what their wives tell them. So, younger men are likely seeing something as a drawback in marriage that may be the major reason why they will live longer if they become (and remain) married.

All of this is consistent, of course, with my theory expressed above that men see the line between marriage and not marriage in ways that are, perhaps, quite different from women; that men see this line in particularly clear terms. Women see the line, too, of course, but men seem to think that marriage will change them, and that being a husband is very different from being a boyfriend or live in partner. They clearly believe that a greater level of responsibility is required in the role of husband than in the role of boyfriend, whereas I really do not think that women have this same sense that they (women) are going to change dramatically when they cross the marriage line. Marriage seems to have a big effect on how men think about themselves, what they do, what a woman can ask of them, and what they’re willing to give. This may be the very reason why men are widely seen as resisting crossing the line between marriage and not marriage, especially in comparison to women. They believe that crossing the line has many implications for how they have to behave and what they need to give to their female partners. There are surely many exceptions, but I think, on average, it’s different for women.

What Happens When Men Cross the Line Deliberately?
Sociologist Steven Nock has been, for years, building the case that marriage changes man, amassing both conceptual and empirical arguments that show this is the case. In his book, Marriage in Men’s Lives (1998), he discusses how men’s belief systems about themselves and their wives seem to change when they cross the line. His argument rests on several points, with the major one being the powerful social role of “husband” that is associated with the institutional of marriage. These institutional forces have, historically, been quite potent and generally constructive—though there have been less constructive elements, as well, which Nock handles well in his book as he contemplates the nature of marriage in our modern culture. Nock shows how men begin to see themselves as fathers, providers, and protectors in marriage. He reports behavior changes, as well. For example, men earn more income when they’re married, work more, and spend less time with friends apart from marriage and family, spending more time with family and community around the family. In many ways, men allocate their time differently when they marry.
Other important changes in men when they “cross the line” have to do with the nature of normal, healthy sacrifices that are required in a good marriage over time. Recent work by Sarah Whitton, me, and Howard Markman at the University of Denver indicates the importance of sacrifice in relationships (Whitton, Stanley, & Markman, 2002). We theorized that people should be most willing to sacrifice for their partners when they have a long term view and they have a sense of “us” or “we” or team. In this research, sacrifice was defined as an act of foregoing immediate self-interest in order to promote the well being of a partner or the relationship. We found that sacrifice was seen as less detrimental to the self when males reported high levels of couple identity and when males and females reported having a long term view for the relationship. However, the association between sacrifice and commitment to the future was far stronger for men than women. The findings did not show that women are more or less likely to report sacrificing than men. The difference was more in the degree to which attitudes about sacrificing were tied to commitment to the future. For men to sacrifice for their partners without resenting it, they seem to need to see a clear future together and clear sense of being a team. For men to sacrifice for their partners freely and fully, they may need to be married—to have fully decided that “this woman is my future.” Whatever flips the switch for women is less linked to the level of commitment to the future. I have an idea what that is, and I will come to that shortly.

My main point here is that commitment in marriage changes men. Crossing over the line changes how they see themselves and how they behave. It changes how they view a relationship with a woman and how they are to act in relation to a woman. To be clear, I am not suggesting that marriage makes a dangerous man a safe man. I am saying that, on average, marriage changes the average man in the direction of greater responsibility and sacrifice to a female partner. Consistent with the major point I made in the previous section, this is partly why men resist marriage. They associate marriage with the expectancy of having to grow up. That step across the line will have a powerful impact on their lives. If they can, many men will resist this until quite late into their 20s.

Walking Over the Line vs. Being Dragged Across It
Premarital cohabitation has received much research attention recently. There is some important gender differences beginning to appear in this literature, that relate to commitment, and that shed further light on the themes presented here. This area of research has led me to think that there are some very important dynamics in how marriages form that have implications for men’s and women’s commitment to their partners in marriage. I want to explore some background from this area of research before presenting a hypothesis about men and women and how numerous couples’ transition to marriage these days.

In our larger survey in Oklahoma and surrounding states, we asked young men and women about their beliefs about cohabitation (Johnson et al., 2002). Of those 18-24 years old, 62% of men and 55% of women thought that living together would improve one’s chances in marriage. While Oklahoma is no doubt different in many ways from other states, I am sure that those high percentages reflect a widely held belief by young adults across the U. S. The belief that cohabitation prior to marriage improves one’s odds for marital success is widely held but it is also seriously flawed. It is a belief based on a theory of discovering compatibility and finding a fit, with the particular hope being that “we’ll live together and we’ll discover whether we’re compatible, whether we’re right for one another.” The problem is that this is a strategy selective for risky relationships with nothing in place to lower risks except the hope of breaking up if the fit is poor. Let me put that in plainer terms and then explain the point in detail: it is becoming clear to Galena Kline, me, and Howard Markman (and many others doing work in this area) that those who are at greater risk may be those most likely to act on this belief; yet the only way this strategy can work is if partners who are poorly matched do, in fact, break up rather than remain together. There simply isn’t another mechanism that most couples avail themselves of to otherwise lower the actual risks a couple may experience.

A theory we have developed, inertia theory , suggests that living together triggers forces that makes it more likely that a couple will get married, even if the fit between the partners was poor to begin with, or they were otherwise at higher risk. What couples may not realize is that ending a cohabiting relationship is more difficult (practically, financially, emotionally, and socially) than ending a dating relationship. In effect, constraint commitment (the source of the inertia) is increased by cohabitation, making continuation of the relationship somewhat more likely than if the identical couple had been merely dating, each retaining full access to separate places to live (Stanley & Markman, 1997). We suspect that this is the glaring fact that unsuspecting young couples do not see when they are acting on the belief that cohabiting can lower their odds of marital failure.

To put the underlying theory here in clear conceptual terms, we think that some cohabiting couples may move into marriage without making a deliberate decision to cross the line together. One of the places where we do see important gender differences in cohabitation research is with regard to commitment levels. In our national sample, selecting respondents who have been married up to 10 years, we found that husbands who lived with their wives before marriage were less interpersonally committed (less dedicated) to their spouses than men who did not live with their partners, even controlling for religiosity (Stanley et al., 2004). This research suggests that premarital cohabitation may be riskier for females than for males because some cohabiting men may not fully commit themselves to their partners in a subsequent marriage. Psychologically, they may not have really crossed the line of commitment to their partners in marriage even though they became legally married. In other words, while they may be married, a higher percentage of couple who cohabit prior to marriage likely did not have two partners who clearly and strongly decided to be married; they moved into marriage more from a process of being carried into it than from a process of making a clear decision. Perhaps one partner, more often the male, was actually coaxed or dragged across the line, so to speak, by the other.

What does all of this mean? I think it means that there are a greater number of marriages than ever before that begin with a “Maybe I do” rather than a clear “I do” at the root of the commitment underlying the marriage (Figure 3). Further, I believe there is evidence in the research on premarital cohabitation that men are much more likely to be the “maybe” factor in marital commitment. Does this matter? I think it does and I can express it best as a hypothesis for future research.

A Hypothesis about Men and Women: Commitment vs. Attachment Based Motivation
Drawing on those findings, I have come to a hypothesis that I hope to directly test in the years to come. My hypothesis is that attachment triggers committed and sacrificial behavior in women whereas a decision to be committed triggers committed and sacrificial behavior in men. In other words, women begin to give their best to men when they are strongly attached. However, men may be less inclined to give fully of themselves to women unless they have decided that a particular woman is their future.

This theory could, therefore, explain these phenomena I have covered here:
• Why men seem to resist marriage more than women, even though there is growing evidence that they see the importance of marriage, in some ways, more than women.
• Why commitment levels for men are very strongly associated with attitudes about sacrificing, but much less so for women.
• Why some, but not all, couples who cohabit prior to marriage are at greater risk, and contain men who score lower than other men on measures of dedication to their mates.
• Why male behavior reflecting responsibility in their lives and toward their wives grows when they marry. Related to this reasoning, I would hypothesize that this change will be found to be greatest and most positive when men make deliberate choices to cross the line, compared to scenarios where they slid across the line or felt compelled to cross it in some way that impairs (or reflects) lower intrinsic, dedication to the partner.

If the overall theory and specific hypotheses expressed here are true, they have important implications. For example, if a female thinks that a male becoming attached to her means that he’s committed, she may be wrong. He may not have crossed the line even if he agrees or suggests that they move in together. In cases where the sense of the future is ambiguous, people may grossly misinterpret what behavior, such as moving in together, means to their partner. While I may take this prediction back in the future (and ingest my words), I believe the tendency is generally for females more than males to over interpret what it means that a male is willing to move in with a female—at least in many parts of our society at this time. Some males are, indeed, very attached and seriously thinking about a future with a particular woman. But others may merely be thinking “this is great for now, until I figure out what I’m doing and who I really want to be with in life.” Such a disconnect puts women at greatly increased risks for adverse outcomes, especially if a child results from the union—which has become increasingly common.

Conclusion (and Paradox)
An ancient Greek philosopher, Zeno, described a paradox that I believe is relevant to the themes presented here. He was a philosopher who focused, in part, on the nature of continuums and discontinuities. He posited numerous paradoxes about these and other subjects. Here is one of his masterpieces. Imagine that you’re in a room and you walk halfway between where you are and the wall. Then you do this again, walking halfway between where you are now and the wall. And again, and again, and again. And. well, you get the idea. Zeno noted that if you keep going halfway between where you are and the wall, you will never get to the wall.

Is_your_man_commitmed?


Now picture the wall as a line. If you keep going halfway between where you are and the line, you will never cross the line. You’ll get right up to the edge of it, you may even get dragged over it, but you’ll never cross the line from a deliberate choice. Half steps and measures don’t result in the full commitment that a deliberate choice confers and confirms. A deliberate choice brings the fullest sense of mutual dedication in life, together, which in turn causes marriages to thrive. There are many couples who, through any number of pathways, make a very clear decision to cross over the line, as partners in life. They have this understanding as a base from which to move into the future. But men who have not yet committed to their female partners will, understandably so, resist crossing the line. They may inch up to it. They may dangle a toe over it. Yet, without the clear, deliberate step over, the commitment is at best, Maybe I do, not the firmly expressed and embraced I do.

Marriage_means_Commitment

Climbing the hill toether

By Herbert Mtowo

Song of Solomon 2:6 His left hand [is] under my head, and his right hand embraces me.
7 I charge you, O you daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that you do not stir up, nor awake [my] love, until he pleases. 8 The voice of my beloved! look, he is coming leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills. 9 My beloved is like a roe or a young hart: look, he stands behind our wall, he looks out at the windows, showing himself through the lattice. 10 My beloved spoke, and said to me, Rise up, my love, my beautiful one, and come away. 11 For, look, the winter is past, the rain is over [and] gone; 12 The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing [of birds] has come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; 13 The fig tree puts forth her green figs, and the vines [with] the tender grape give a [good] smell. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away. 14 O my dove, [that is] in the clefts of the rock, in the secret [places] of the stairs, let me see your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.

The passage above can best be understood if it is interpreted to describe the wonder of the final climax in love making. It begins with the intimacy of holding and touching, and leads finally to the fullness of the sexual experience. Notice especially the consideration that each one gives to the other. Yet how often does this truly happen in your experience? How often do both you and your spouse give each other enough consideration to make sure that both have a fully satisfying experience during love making? If you do, then you will understand some of the symbolism of this passage. The first stage is one in which you embrace and begin to touch each other. The sense of touch is probably the most important of all in love making. But where do you touch your lover to bring them the greatest experience of pleasure? This is something that varies from person to person, and each one has a nervous system that might be different. We all have parts of our body that are more sensitive than others, and they are not always the same for every person.

So which parts of your spouse’s body experience the greatest sensation of pleasure when touched? This is something that you should have found out by experimenting a bit. Or were you so keen to get to the orgasm that you did not take the time to touch, fondle and stroke each other? For a man, the sensation of penetration can be so strong, that he needs little else to come to a place of climbing that mountain leading to the final peak of the love making. But for most women it is not quite the same. A woman needs to be touched and stimulated far more then a man, because she is not immediately aroused by the sight of her husband’s body, as he is by hers. But there are no fixed rules. Each one is different, and you should take the time to explore each other’s bodies to create the most wonderful love making experience possible. Often the longer you take to climb that mountain leading to the peak of pleasure of the sexual experience, the greater your final experience will be. For the man it might involve holding back until his wife is fully aroused. But this is not always the case. Sometimes even a man needs some kind of foreplay and build up in order to fully enjoy the experience of love making.
So take the time, and if necessary, make the time to be tender with each other, and to touch each other, rather than just rushing in and getting it all over with. It is an investment which really pays off. A woman, who is given this consideration more often, is more likely to get excited about making love more often. But if you just rush in to satisfy your needs before considering your wife, then do not get angry when she finds excuses to not make love tonight. The passage above describes some of the feelings that come when love is approached the right way. Touch soon leads to talking, and expressing your love in words, or just emotional sounds.

Notice the woman describes the voice of her husband as he is quickly aroused, and he wastes no time on moving into the position for love making. But he is not a selfish man. Instead of satisfying himself immediately, he waits for his wife to catch up. He encourages her with the words, “Rise up, my love, my beautiful one, and come away.” He knows that once he has come to that peak, his part will be over, so he holds himself back, and encourages his wife to rise up first and be satisfied ahead of him. He speaks a lot more to her, painting some beautiful pictures to help her relax and come to the orgasm first, so that they can then move into it together. The chapter ends with a lovely description of the woman encouraging her husband as he too comes to that wonderful place that God has created for us to reach in this wonderful experience of love making. The two have become fully one and the experience is so wonderful that you feel it can last all night.

My beloved [is] mine, and I [am] his: he feeds among the lilies. Until the day breaks and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be like a roe or a young hart upon the mountains of Bether. Would it not be wonderful to experience this every time you make love? It can be possible if you both consider each other, and go about pleasing your partner first instead of satisfying your own desires first. Song of Solomon 2:16, 17.
It is indeed true, as the Word says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

Cimbing up the mountain making love

Finding solutions to your problems

The unconscious mind that produces your dreams possesses undoubtable wisdom and can help you in all ways. You only have to translate the meaning of dreams according to the right method (which was discovered by Carl Jung) in order to find real solutions to various problems that keep torturing you. I simplified Jung’s method after discovering a lot more concerning the meaning of dreams.

Today learning the dream language is as simple as learning a common language made only by words, like Spanish or French. You simply translate dream images into words.

The unconscious messages are poetic and philosophical. They are not empty words. Many times, only for being able to understand the real reasons why you have a certain problem you will already be relieved.

You make many mistakes in life, and you have many absurd ideas. When you try to find solutions for your unbearable problems you are blocked by many obstacles because you cannot realize your own absurdity.

For example, you insist on working in a field that is not compatible with your psychological type only because you believe that you’ll make money this way. You have many false friends who don’t care about your happiness, and keep irritating you. You have a problematic relationship but you cannot admit that you are wasting your time.

Your life is basically characterized by many contradictions that keep increasing and keep causing new conflicts because you insist on following your absurd ideas. You want to fulfill your desires without paying attention to various limitations that prevent you from attaining your goals.

You cannot see the truth because:

* You keep being influenced by the wild side of your conscience (anti-conscience), which is totally absurd.

* Your behavior is determined by your psychological type, what means that you pay attention only to the points that you want to observe.

If you belong to a psychological type based on thoughts, you tend to build your life based on what you think that should be good for you, without paying attention to the way you feel.

If you belong to a psychological type based on feelings, your life is based on your emotions. You tend to make ridiculous extravagances and act like a child.

If you belong to a psychological type based on sensations, you care only about having pleasures in life. You accept immorality without thinking twice. Nothing is more important for you than the way you feel.

If you belong to a psychological type based on intuition, you live thinking about tomorrow without paying attention to what is happening to you today. Nobody can understand your sudden reactions.

On the other hand, if you are introverted, you live in your own world. Your own opinion is sacred.

If you are extroverted, you are a person without personality. You always agree with everyone else.

You are so absurd that the wise unconscious mind that produces your dreams in order to save your mental health must work very hard in order to show you how crazy you are.

For example, I will analyze the dream of a 55-years-old man who lost his job and who has various problems with his partner. She is his second wife. He has two children from his first marriage and another child with his second wife. He had a violent argument with his oldest son about the way his son is living the day before he had this dream.

He dreamt that he found three big snakes in an open field where he was walking alone. He tried to kill the snakes with a gun. However, the snakes disappeared. He didn’t know if he had managed to kill them, or if they were running away. In the end he had no bullets, but the same snakes appeared again.

A snake in a dream represents a bad event that will correct a certain mistake that the dreamer is making. Since he found three snakes, this means that he will have to face many bad events in order to correct various serious mistakes.

The fact that he tried to kill the snakes with a gun indicates that he believes that he can eliminate various dangers through violence. However, his failure shows him that he won’t be able to escape from suffering. The bad events will be always waiting for him.

The three snakes indicate three mistakes in three different fields of his life. The unconscious mind will show him why he lost his job, and how he will be able to find a good job now. The unconscious mind will also help him fix his relationship with his wife, and have a positive relationship with his children.

When you understand the meaning of your dreams, you understand what kind of mistakes you are making, why you are making these mistakes, and how you can finally stop making mistakes in life. The unconscious mind helps you become a balanced human being.

You become as introverted as extroverted. You develop your four psychological functions, instead of acting based on only one well-developed psychological function, and another one or two half-developed psychological functions.

You acquire total consciousness. You always understand the meaning of your actions. You never act without thinking. You never disregard the human pain. You always know what is good or bad. You immediately find all the solutions you need. You are always calm, mature, and self-confident.

Solutions to problems...

The Mystrey of life

Sometimes though I just have to bite the bullet and assemble something myself, because it is the only way to buy that particular item. Life doesn’t come pre-assembled either. You are given the pieces and it is up to you to put it together yourself as best you can.

You can’t order life ready made. It always needs assembly. The pieces are all there but we each put them together differently. There are no instructions and sometimes we don’t get it right first time, having to take things apart and put them back together again several times before our life is the way we want it to be.

I went to see some friends recently and they had just got back from buying a new set of bookshelves. My friend had got the shelves put together at last when he noticed that the grain was upside down on several of the shelves. It wouldn’t matter too much and they would work just as well, but he insisted on taking the whole thing apart again to get the shelves the right way up. His wife thought that it would be fine as it was, but he preferred to take the extra time to get it just the way he wanted it.

Life is like that too. You can have it put together and functional, but then feel the need to take it apart again so that you can reassemble it slightly differently. This may be your own choice just to make it fit your personal preference, or it may need adjusting to fit new circumstances. Whatever the reason, taking your life apart and reassembling it gives you the chance to improve your life and make it more satisfying.

You are never going to assemble your life just once and then leave it at that. Life tends to need reassembling many times through one lifetime. What works at one stage in your life won’t fit you later. It can be exciting to reassemble your life or it can be a nuisance. Look at it as an opportunity to improve your life and tailor it to the new you, and it will help you keep positive as you fit all the pieces together once more.

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