Bride Price: Yea or Nay

This is a Guest Post.

Dont get it twisted, love is a beautiful thing! That was the verdict passed by our very own DBanj. What the koko crooner failed to add, however, is that the beauty of love fades away at the point of marriage, at least in Africa. Marriage, which should be the apex of love affairs, has become a sad albatross in the love adventure simply because of the many barriers we put in the way all in the name of tradition. Oh, how I hate that word with perfect hatred! I am speaking here in reference to the many stages of marriage rites in African cultures which discourage rather than strengthen marriage. The worst and pivotal part of these rites of passage is the payment of bride price to obtain the lady and have her for keeps.

Before putting my pen to paper, I floated the idea of the termination of bride price payment before a random cross-section of people of different age groups and traditional and educational leanings. Most of the responses I got toed the line of How dare you! bordering on even the mere thought of it being an anathema. I am utterly astonished that even educated folks who should be more enlightened, having gone through the scholastic rigours of the Ivory Tower, including and especially youths like me, have a hard time questioning the status quo. Its amazing how people just take traditions that have been handed down for generations and continue to propagate them without stopping to think about why exactly we do what we do.

Regardless of whichever tribe you hail from, you will readily agree with me that the man spends money ‘toasting’ the girl. He spends money for introduction (which they call knocking on the door) to inform the brides family of his intentions formally in the presence of his own family. He spends money for bride price. He spends money for traditional wedding. He very likely also spends money for the so-called white wedding in the church or mosque (without which most Christian and Muslim congregations will not endorse the marriage). There are also some who spend money on court wedding. All these, of course, involve several hidden charges apart from the expenses blown away on logistics. By the time processes are completed and conditions fulfilled, the couple is already deep in debt or thin on finances. Meanwhile, the girls family is happy to have been enriched by some lump sum.

Now, shall we tell ourselves and each other the truth, that this family neither loves you nor has your best interests at heart? How can people who claim to love you derive so much pleasure in milking you dry? Sometimes I think it is the failure of the intending couple to stand their ground and call their families bluffs that makes parents seem so able to wreck a marriage. Even if a parent from either side is quite troublesome, theres no child who doesnt know the weak points of his or her parents. Do you really think your families can run your marriage successfully? It is a lie! Gone are those days when people simply did what their parents or priests of whatever form wanted. These days, you decide what you want and do it.

So where do we go from here? First, I suggest parents should be reminded that they are the ones who should lay up treasures for their children, not the other way round. Their children are their legacy to the world. They should give to, not take from, their children. Put your money where your mouth is. Theres no need to place greater burden than necessary on a man whos perhaps already spent a lot of himself trying to impress your daughter. Thats a sure way to be respected by the couple: let parents sponsor the wedding, having certified that the couple has a means of comfortable livelihood. I think the Yoruba in Nigeria do that wellreturn the bride price and sponsor the wedding (not that there are no heavy hidden charges, though).

Second, we should realise that civilisation has changed the world. If you listen well, you will hear the man tell the brides father, I have come to pluck this flower from your garden, or something like that. We must learn to question preconceived notions. There was a time when girls stayed with their parents till it was time to marry. These days, ladies relocate, often far from their parents, because of work. How, then, do you pluck a flower from a garden that has it no more? The payment of bride price is obsolete because the flower is no more in its fathers field.

Third, the intending couple should decide that they, not their parents, will choose how to wed and maintain the marriage. If the essence of traditional marriage is parental blessing, white wedding is for spiritual blessing, and court wedding for state blessing, then why not have one occasion where all three get covered and save expenses? We need but one wedding, not three. Save the money for better uses. Besides, parents dont choose who their daughters should marry anymore, and so they should not be paid for their daughters hand in marriage.

Permit me to state succinctly that you own what you pay for. If the woman has been bought at a [bride] price, then shes no better than my jeep or tv set. Bride price payment is one denigrating tradition that immediately places the woman at a disadvantage. If you dont realise it, go find out from the typical village culture and youll easily agree that the woman never questions the mans orders. She is no different from a maid. This is the reason a man whose wife also goes to work would expect her to cook his food no matter how tired she may be, even if he has more spare time. Dont tell me that she will be valued because she was paid for; its the same way a jeep will be valued till its youth expiresas the womans surely will.

Guys, dont let the girls father bully you by saying he spent a lot on her upbringing; your parents probably spent even more to bring you up as a responsible man. Girls, dont let your parents delay your marriage with their bad belle. If they are too greedy to forgo outdated tradition in order to make you happy, then walk away from them and elope with your man. If anything goes wrong in your marriage and you have to go back to them, they cannot reject you; plus, they wont need to bother about raising the bride price to return to the mans family. More importantly, have your personal stable source of income so you dont have reason to return to them. Let them curse till their mouths are bent like the scimitar and their throats dry like the Sahara; nothing will touch you under the cover of your husbands love. You belong to him, not them.

Nobody will live your life for you. In the final analysis, you will have to bear the consequences of your actions. Dont sacrifice your happiness on the altar of your fathers foolishness. Show him that you have a mind of your own. Live your [love] life to the fullest. You owe no one any explanation for that.



How to Know If Your Relationship Would Pass The Test of Time

Everyone, no matter how bad you think the person is, deserves to be in a relationship. However, the reality of the matter is that not everyone is able to stay in one. Even with the several articles on red flags on a first date, people still go into relationships which do not eventually pass the test of time. So, on one hand there are things to watch out for before dating a person and on the other hand there are factors that can help you make an informed decision before you eventually say “I do”.

A broken relationship, it has been said, is better than a broken marriage. Sometimes we don’t choose whom we fall in love with but we choose whom we stay in love with. In other words, you don’t stay in love with someone by mistake, it’s a choice. To buttress this point, Jessica Bunevacz says ‘relationships are not all about fun and good times, but all relationships are work’. In light of this, we would examine a few factors to consider in determining if your relationship would pass the test of time.


Family background and the way you were raised play a pivotal role in how you develop relationships with friends and folks. Truthfully, it’s hard to get a guy and a girl who were raised by a single parent and both parents respectively, to think the same way. This is because people usually bring their family experience to bear in relationships. The guy on the one hand who was supposedly raised by a single mother would definitely have a hard time being a Father because he never really had someone teach him how to be a father. Not being able to accept the effect of each other’s family experiences and make the most of them is a clear sign that your relationship is headed for the rocks.

How You Communicate With Each Other

Communication in a relationship is without doubt a key indicator of how long a relationship would last. Sometimes we mean what we do not say and other times say what we do not mean. In other words, the tone we use in communicating with our partner is used in determining meaning. For example, as simple as saying ‘Are you alright” could mean different things to different people. While one hand one person could feel that you are asking them if they’re mentally stable, another person could see it to mean that you’re simply asking if they have any form of general ailment. In 2015, some Engineers created a program that can predict how long a relationship would last based on ‘tone’. After analyzing hours of a couple’s speech, focusing on things like pitch, intensity, and acoustic warbles, they found out that not just the words you say, but how you say them are very important in determining the lifespan of your relationship. Stephanie Kriesberg says, in the event of a problem, we should learn to complain to each other and not criticize each other. For example, A complain would be ”I thought we had agreed to fix our wedding for next year, why the sudden change of plans”, while criticism would be ”So you think I don’t deserve to have a say in when our wedding would hold, how can you just change the plan when we had agreed on a certain date”? However, we should learn not to complain too much because it’s unhealthy for any relationship.

How You Express Jealousy

In every relationship, there’s surely going to be some form of jealousy (which sometimes snowballs into suspicion), especially from partners who are very emotional. However, jealousy is not as bad as people make it seem sometimes. According to a study carried out in 2013, it was discovered that jealousy is linked to positive relationship outcomes because it has a way of making people commit. Also, even the Holy Bible says God is a jealous person (Exodus 20:5). You may say it’s a different kind of jealousy but it tells you that there’s a good side to jealousy. Anyways, that’s a topic for another day. However, jealousy assumes its toxic state when you allow it go uncontrolled. I remember the story of a guy whose girlfriend called and asked where he was and after telling her he was in his car, she asked him to honk. Like seriously! WTF is that. For me, that’s jealousy taken overboard. The crux of the matter is jealousy drives relationships, albeit when handled in a matured way.

How You Make Sacrifices For Each Other

It goes without saying that one hallmark of a long and lasting relationship is your ability to make sacrifices for each other. Dr. Elizabeth Trattner calls it the ‘Jelly Bean’ test. You should ask yourself questions like is my partner willing to give up nicer things for the relationship? Is my partner willing to both share and sacrifice what they love (not just like) for me? It’s no strange thing that guys like to hang out with guys (especially to watch football) and girls like to hang out with girls (especially at the saloon) but are both of you willingly to put your relationship first at all times and your individual pleasures (which may include work sometimes) after? The bitter truth is you cannot really claim to love someone if you don’t love them at least as much you love yourself. The ability to continually make these sacrifices has far-reaching effects on how long you guys would be together.

The Approval of Your Friends

I know this seems pretty insignificant, especially with all the talk of ‘you don’t have to allow the words of people talk you out of something, if you believe it, go for it’. Yeah, I know, I say that to but just as the bible says “wisdom is the principal in thing”. I’ve also always said balance is a key factor in everything we find ourselves doing. A study carried out in 2001 by psychologists from Purdue University showed that people in love tend to predict that their relationship would last longer than it actually would. This is because most times (if not all the time), love tends to cloud our sense off thinking. People in love have the tendency to think with their heart and not their head but outsiders like friends and acquaintances, sometimes turn out to be more accurate in predicting how long a relationship would last, since it is assumed that they have a clearer mind on issues concerning your relationship.

Generally, nobody knows exactly how long a relationship would last. We can only make informed assumptions based on observations. Having a successful relationship requires a whole lot of work from both partners. It is to this effect that the theory of the six-question (how long have you guys been together, what is your relationship status, what is the age gap between both of you, highest level of education attained, how many relatives you see every other month, how many children between two and five years live with you) quiz came about. However, there really is no perfect way to determine what makes for long and lasting relationships but these factors and more are important in guaranteeing you a successful relationship.

Would love to hear you share your thoughts on this topic.





10 Ways To Make Your Marriage Rock

Marriage they say is not  bed of roses. You have to keep working at it to make it work. Your marriage would turn out as beautiful as you make it. Trust, Understanding, Love,etc. are some of the basic ground rules that can make a marriage work. However, there are other activities that you can enagage in to make that marriage to work and rock.

1. Men need three things . Before we got married, a good friend of the family gave me HERfavorite advice and it stuck. From Dr. Laura’s bookThe Care and Feeding of Husbands, she told me men need three things: food, sex, and a girlfriend. In other words, their needs are not usually as complicated {some are, but that’s another post…}. I made sure to remember the first two often, but the “girlfriend” part is important. While you can and will be “the mom” of the house, no man wants to be married to his mom, so don’t be one to him. This thought has stopped me multiple times from turning into that naggy mom that I can be to my 3 year old all day, and causes me to see him as my boyfriend, my partner, who needs attention from me as his friend, and no one else.

2. Pray together every day . when we got home from our honeymoon, and we were settling in for the night that first night back to reality, we climbed into bed, and my sweet husband went straight to his knees. he asked if i would pray with him. that’s the man i married . Lord first, us second, everything else comes after. we rarely sleep without praying together, and that alone has been such a strength for both of us through times that have been difficult.

3. A love note board. The first year we were married, we lived at my husband’s grandpa’s house. He needed a house sitter, and we needed a place to stay. It was cheap, full of their things, and we didn’t care one bit. Love notes were all over the house, hiding in cupboards, on the bathroom mirrors… there was a lot of love there and it was obvious. I was getting to know his family through the love they literally left behind. I found a little magnet white board at target and brought it home and wrote a love note on it for him to find, and the next morning, he had changed it to put his own love note… we still use the same little white board to help build each other up. sometimes he will put a scripture, sometimes it’s a “thank you for….” and sometimes it’s a “good luck drinking all that water!” a smile a day is good for the soul, and very good for the marriage…

4. The 72 hour rule . A while back I read this article that I loved about the 72 hour rule. Yep, you guessed it. It’s sex-related. Not that I think you should be counting the hours to meet a quota, or holding each other to it, “Hey it’s been 72 hours so uh….” But it’s something to discuss and keep in mind. I don’t need to tell you the benefits here, I think you get it. Just have more sex! And be the instigator more than the receiver.

5. Men who do housework have more sex. it’s true. women, especially those who are in full custody of your children most of the hours of the day, are tired, disheveled, and down on themselves about something . i generally like myself, but i am always wishing i had more time. more time to spend with my kids, more time to spend with kids AND clean my house… so when he cleans my house, or offers to make dinner, it’s mom porn. and he knows it.
husbands. you know what she would love??
a super hot and sexy clean house. Try it. she’ll thank you for it.

6. The 15 second kiss . i know you are thinking, “so it’s all about sex with you, huh?” no. {well…}this one we just started recently and it might even be my favorite. we read this sweet article recently on a marriage blog and i loved the idea of reconnecting daily. there are days when we come home, make dinner, often side-by-side, tidy up, hose down the kids, and once they get in bed, we flop on the couch and realize we haven’t even said “hi” yet! after i told him about the 15 second kiss, he grabbed me and kissed me for a good 15 seconds. it was sweet, not intended for anything other than that, but it does cause a reconnect. the whirlwind of the day comes to a hault and the phones get set aside, the tv stays off longer, and we remember what’s important in this crazy life. try it. it’s another smile a day… see #3 above. so easy to do, and brings us back home every time.

7. Give each other “me time” .  Everyone, regardless of what it looks like, needs down time. In my husband’s case, I know he needs time every night to do nothing but sit and watch a show. It’s his favorite part of the day, the power-down. it’s what he needs to de-stress and to relax. Not all men are created equal of course, some men need to get out of the house, some need the other guys… but they need their “time” whatever that is for them. What I need? Thirty bucks and a tap on the butt to go get a pedicure for no reason… same concept. {hint hint…}

8. Speak kind words. We were friends with a couple that whenever he turned his back, she was saying awful things about him. It was super awkward for us, and made us wonder how that worked for them. He was constantly saying how amazing she was: gorgeous, talented, and such a hard worker… She was always telling us what he can’t do, what he doesn’t do for her… it was heartbreaking. I love hearing from my husband’s co-workers what they have “heard about me”. It’s proof he speaks well of me and reminds me to do the same.

9. Brag don’t rag . Without fail, every time we have a girls’ night and the girls and I are up laughing about who knows what… it always comes back to “men always…” or “mine does that too!” we laugh a bit about the silly things they say or do, but in reality, mine doesn’t. My husband has never once said the words, “Gosh, I wish you could actually clean the house!” and he’s never once said, “So what did you do all day??” He respects my role here at home and my efforts to bring in extra bacon. And he knows it’s hard. {Besides that I am constantly reminding him it is…} He knows that it is nearly impossible to do it all and chooses to come home and help rather than say anything negative. Smart choice, by the way. {see #5} Whenever he begins a thought with “Can I just say something…?” I am always bracing myself, sure it will be the time he tells me to get my act together and be better and clean the freakin house and don’t look so nasty when I get home please!… but it is ALWAYS to tell me how great of a mom he thinks I am. When he treats me like a 10, I feel like one. And it makes me try harder at all those things.

10. Planned dates . i know you’ve heard this one, but now, more than ever, we are learning this is vital. a planned outing, actually without kids, and some time to not just talk about kids, is necessary. necessary because remember #1? he needs a girlfriend. he doesn’t have a girlfriend if you’re not dating! so get a sitter if you have to, call and ask him out {or send an evite} , but go on a real, “i have a plan and i know where i am going to take you tonight” date. there, i said it. and yes, i know it’s easier said than done…


Health, Relationship

8 Types Of Libido That Spouses Have

Why do you lay so much emphasis on sex and sexuality? From my opinion, I think sex is a basic thing; why give so much attention to it?’ This was a question I was asked while I was in South Africa giving a talk on sex and sexual health matters.

The first big misconception many people have is thinking that sex is basic and natural and should not be learnt. It is as a result of this discourse that sex education has long been obstructed as if it is not necessary to understand the mechanisms at which it works. Then again, this has caused a lot of damages to many homes.

In reality, sex is cultural; it is the fruit of a learning process and it is something we all have to learn. Until we start learning, we might not be able to unravel the mechanism behind the female’s sexuality or the way the erection functions.

As such, today, we want to see seven ways couples can enjoy instant raging passion by being able to differentiate various types of libidos. I would advise you read this together with your spouse, so that both of you can find out which area you fall into. So, let us look into the arousal types of libidos.

The Sensual Libido Spouse.
This is a spouse who wants sex to be emotional, connecting and superficially physical. The spouse cherishes love play more than the actual sexual acts. This category of spouses is more of introvert lovers than extroverts. Bu the erotic libido spouses are spouses who want sexto be intense and passionate, at least some of the times. They want to explore all the wondrous varieties of sexual activities that are available. Though they can cope with periods of ordinary s*x, there are regular opportunities for adventurous and sizzling s*x. If you have a strong erotic libido, you get little or no pleasure from low key sex and this might cause problems in the relationship, because your partner might start feeling the pressure to perform at great heights all the time, which is never good.

The Dependent Libido Spouses 
They are spouses who need sex to cope with problems. Sex soothes them and makes them feel better. They are more sexually active when they have to deal with bad feelings such as stress, boredom or anxiety, pressure, loss of loved one, when they are sick or troubled. When such spouse does not have an understanding partner, the relationship is always under undue pressure because in such cases, if your partner doesn’t want to do it when you want because you are in an emotional state, you might tend to interpret it as lack of love and care. It would look like she or he is refusing to give you the medicine you need to… feel better. The reactive libido spouses are spouses who care more about the sexual needs of their partner. They sometimes even end up ignoring their own desires if they feel they are not what their partner usually enjoys. These spouses put a lot of effort into foreplay and can only climax once they are sure their wives have.

The Entitled Libido Spouses
These are spouses who assume that it’s their God’s given right to get whatever they want in their sexual relationship, regardless of the feeling of the other partner. Their mindset is, ‘If I want hot steamy sex, I should be given the opportunity to have hot steamy sex and if on the contrary, I want cuddling, my partner should provide me with just that.’ This category of spouses is very influenced by the ideas of sex in movies and books and they think they are entitled to have the same great sex as they watch on the screen.

The Addictive Libido Spouses

Even though this is a destructive type of libido, spouses with this type believe that until they have sex outside their matrimonial bed, they are not having the best of sex. Their problem is that they can’t seem to resist the urge of having sex outside their relationship. It’s not as if they don’t love and cherish their partners, it is just that they are constantly craving for more elusive sex. These spouses are filled with the mirage that marital sex is boring compared to the dangerous allure of doing it with a complete stranger or animal. Like any addiction, you are the one that controls the behaviours and not vice versa. So, instead of destroying your relationship, family, marriage and life, make up your mind to live clean, have a positive mindset towards the best things in life.

The Stressed Libido Spouses.
Such spouses are always on their toes, constantly worrying about their performance and about whether what they are doing is pleasurable or not. They tend to avoid having sex for fear of failure, even though they might still be very aroused. In fact, they kill their sex life before its actual death. These are the people who worry about no or low libido, erectile dysfunction and so on. But if you can take this unnecessary worry off, you can enjoy the sexual pleasure wholeheartedly.

The Disinterested Libido Spouses 
These are spouses with naturally low libido. They practically have no physical or emotional problem with having sex; they just seem not to be in the mood. If you’re one of those, you might develop feelings of guilt and defence because you’re not able to satisfy your partner. However, you must accept that you have not chosen to be a disinterested libido type. But for the sake of your spouse, you must learn the act of building your libido just as when people go to the gym to build up their body muscles.

The Detached Libido Spouses
These are spouses who usually feel sexual desire but are too preoccupied with other life issues to seek marital s*x. Being overwhelmed by financial or work pressure, you might think that sex is the last thing on your list right now, but be aware that this attitude does more wrong than good to the relationship. The compulsive libido spouses are spouses who have one main sexual body object or image object that triggers their sexual arousal. That is, a particular feature or shape or image in their spouse’s body is the only thing that will arouse them. For such people, just mere looking at the bosom of their spouse or the smell of their spouse’s underwears or the shape of their spouse’s vulva or man-hood or their spouse’s moaning or the colour of their spouse’s underwear, could trigger their arousal.

Zero Libido Spouses
This category may also have spouses who previously had good or enough libido for satisfying s*xual relationship but along the way, some illness or aliment that were either not well treated medically, eventually had an effect on their libido. Such ailments include mumps, which is in most cases, a childhood infection. This infection is usually a virus infection which most of the time, has no medical cure, and as such, treatment is being given according to the symptoms it presented per time. When a male child is not well protected against these mumps infection, the resultant effect is usually that the virus would spread all over the body and would damage the testicle, scrotum of the male child. Unfortunately, the damaging effect is impotency. Sometimes, erectile dysfunction does not usually present itself until when the man is an adult or a young adult. And one of the ways the man feels the effect is when he doesn’t have a feel of libido at all.

Funmi Akingbade


How To Apologise

I usually get up early so I can read and think and drink a little coffee before the rest of my family is awake. A couple of days ago, I looked over and saw Tony asleep in bed when I got out of the shower, and my stomach was instantly in knots. I had gone to bed early the night before because I was in a foul mood. We were working together on our new #staymarried group, but our hard drive had crashed. We had minimal programs, no printer set-up, no ink for the printer. It was a big irritating mess and a giant waste of my time. Tony was working through the tech stuff, and of course that irritated me, too. Waste of time, all of it. Bleh. I’m going to bed!

Now, after a full night’s rest, I saw more clearly that I’d been fantastically rude and taken my frustration out on him. I saw him sleeping and I knew I needed to apologize. Bleh, again! I hate apologizing. I mean, why can’t I just be grumpy and even a little mean when I feel like it? Why can’t we all just move on? I mean, he shouldn’t take it personally, right? I was mad about the computer, not about him. Yet, there he was, laying there sleeping, forgiving me before I even muster up whatever it is I need – humility, is it? – to apologize. I hate it.

I slinked into the bed, waking him up slowly, and I said it. “I’m sorry. Will you forgive me? I was a jerk and was really rude to you last night. I’m really sorry.” … and, exhale. Wow, that wasn’t so bad. As I started the words, I began to actually feel them. As I heard myself, I believed what I was saying more and more. I WAS a jerk, he didn’t deserve that. I WAS sorry. I DID hope he’d forgive me.

He kissed my cheek, “I forgive you. I love you,” and that was it. I was relieved. I couldn’t believe how much I was dreading apologizing, how frustrated I felt when I saw him in bed knowing I needed to ask forgiveness. I had just wanted it to go away without me taking any action at all. I was so annoyed with the whole thing in the first place and, now that it was over, I was so light and thankful and even happy. I pranced off to the kitchen to make us some coffee, sat and had a few minutes to myself, and the rest of the day was perfectly normal.

So, I’m wondering, am I the only one that dreads apologizing? I should say, I used to be much worse. I’m the stone-walling silent-treatment type by nature, and it used to take me a minimum of twenty four hours to come around. I would gnaw on my own self-righteousness, getting as much of that bitter flavor in my mouth as I could. I would glare and ignore and even wait for him to approach me in just the right way before I could even fathom apologizing for anything I did, which he probably provoked me to in the first place. Dream girl, right?

Maybe it’s because I hate being wrong. Maybe it’s the pain of humility – though it isn’t actually humiliating. Maybe it’s the lack of self-control I have over my attitude in the first place that frustrates me. I would admit, yes, actually, it is all of these things. I hate apologizing for all of these reasons. When I need to apologize, I can easily think of even more reasons I hate it and even justify why I can’t or shouldn’t do so just yet. But, I’ve done it, and I’ll do it again. When I know I need to apologize, these are the things I try to keep in mind
Funny Apology

Tony’s never been that way. Not that he’s always right… although, I can hardly remember a time when he was actually wrong… but more that he always wants to reconcile as soon as possible. He has no need for grudges, no appetite for bitterness. He wants to move on and enjoy each other as fast as possible. Is that you? Are you quick to apologize? Quick to forgive? Quick to move on?
We’ve learned each other better over time, of course. I have always known it wasn’t the best thing to hold onto my frustration, but knowing and doing often have a gap – or even a chasm – in between. The gap has been narrowing for me over the years. Just think, I went to bed in a huff and woke up and apologized – not bad. Now, if I could have apologized for my attitude before going to bed, that might even be considered “ holy” – but I’m not there yet.

Maybe it’s because I hate being wrong. Maybe it’s the pain of humility – though it isn’t actually humiliating. Maybe it’s the lack of self-control I have over my attitude in the first place that frustrates me. I would admit, yes, actually, it is all of these things. I hate apologizing for all of these reasons. When I need to apologize, I can easily think of even more reasons I hate it and even justify why I can’t or shouldn’t do so just yet. But, I’ve done it, and I’ll do it again. When I know I need to apologize, these are the things I try to keep in mind
As simple as the word sorry is, it could sometimes be a magical word

The DOs and DON’Ts for Making an Apology.
DON’T apologize for someone else’s feelings.
“I’m sorry you’re mad,” is not an apology. It’s condescending.
DO apologize for your own actions and attitude.
“I’m sorry I was rude,” is an apology that takes ownership. Be specific about what you did wrong. “I’m sorry for whatever made you mad” is NOT going to work. If you need some time to think and reflect on what you did, take it. It’s better to come with a real apology than a generic one that will probably end up creating a whole new fight.

DON’T add an excuse to your apology.
“I’m sorry I was rude, but I was really irritated,” means you’re not really sorry. You feel justified for the way you acted and you expect to be excused. One of the most memorable pieces of advice I’ve ever heard: When you say “I’m sorry, but …” you’re really just a sorry butt.

DO ask for forgiveness when you apologize.
“I’m sorry,” on it’s own, is just a statement. It requires no response. “Will you forgive me?” is a humble request that can rebuild a relationship. When you ask your spouse to forgive you, wait. Listen. Be prepared for them to say in response, “I need a minute, I’m not there right now.” When you are in the wrong, you are never owed forgiveness. Be grateful when you receive it.

DON’T expect a reciprocal apology.
Let’s say you were in a fight. You were both rude and hostile to each other and now you’ve decided to be the brave one and apologize first. Do not apologize expecting your spouse to apologize equally. They may not. If you expect them to, and they don’t, you may be tempted to say something like, “Never mind. I thought we were going to work this out together. I said I was sorry, you are obviously not sorry, so FORGET IT!” … Um… yeah… that’s not an apology. When you recognize you have done something wrong, just own your part of it. The end.

DO attempt to make a repair.
Once you get through the brutal, “I’m sorry. Will you forgive me?” it’s wise to make the next step and ask, “Is there anything I can do to make this right?” Then, be prepared to wear your underwear on your head as you head over to the Starbucks drive-through to order your love his apology Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Asking my husband for forgiveness as often as possible has proven to bring us closer together time and time again. My stubbornness and self-righteousness seem to have done nothing for our relationship at all. So, I’ll be wrong again and again. I’ll need his forgiveness again and again. Hopefully I’ll see it sooner rather than later each time. Hopefully I’ll remember not to add excuses on the end of my apologies. I will ask him to forgive me. I will await his response. I will push past the knots in my stomach to say what needs to be said, because I know I can count on a light kiss on the cheek and his arms around me reminding me that with each time we forgive each other we are committing to #staymarried.

by Michelle


How To Regain Trust in A Marriage 

Regaining trust in marriage is no easy feat. Losing trust in your spouse is one of the loneliest and desperate feelings that a man or woman might experience. Whether due to finances , infidelity, distance, communication , or more, not knowing if you can still safely have faith in the person you love can be a difficult feeling to overcome for the strongest of marriages. Here are 7 tips for regaining trust in marriage.

1. Write Down Your Feelings
The first step to overcoming your feelings of distrust is to identify them. We highly recommend starting a journal . In your journal include entries about what happened to cause your feelings of distrust – was it something your spouse said or did? Or was it something deeply rooted within yourself that happened during childhood or another tragic event prior to marrying your spouse? By identifying the root cause of your feelings of distrust you will be able to get to the heart of the matter.
Let us be clear: this isn’t an easy thing to do. Be prepared for a fight. Not a fight with your spouse – but a fight within yourself. It is totally normal to feel insecure and scared to delve into the root cause of your distrust – but if you want to have a healthy marriage, it is something you have to do. Journaling gets your feelings out of your head and in the open where you can look at them from a different perspective. Acknowledging your feelings and allowing yourself to feel as you do will help you to take steps forward to rebuild trust with your spouse.
As you continue to work through your feelings and take steps toward a stronger marriage, make regular entries in your journal so that you can review the road that you took along the way. It will amaze you how far you have come in your personal growth as well as the progress you’ve made in your relationship.

2. Be Honest with Each Other
Once you have come to terms with your feelings, be completely honest with your husband/wife. Share what events caused you to feel as you do and how your trust in your marriage has been bruised. Talk with your spouse about what you plan to do to rebuild your trust and ask him/her what steps he/she plans to take so that you may work together to rebuild your marriage.
Don’t rush this part of the process. This is the time when you will realize just how important focused listening, loving one another, and leaning on God for wisdom and patience will get you through this process. Also, don’t be afraid to seek outside help if you are finding your communication is breaking down and you are not making the progress both of you desire to see. It is very important to diffuse any arguments between the two of you and find some one to help you work through this obstacle.

3. Identify Your Needs
As you work through your plan for rebuilding your trust, share with your spouse what you need from him/her. Explain what emotions and commitments you need so that you are in a place to continue to grow. In turn, ask him/her what you can do so that you can grow and rebuild your relationship together.
Don’t be afraid to admit if you aren’t able to give them what they need. Sometimes this happens. But if you are willing to at least try and learn to be able to give them what they need (so long as the need is healthy and not abusive) let them know that, too. There is no shame in admitting you need help in any area of life and it is best to be able to admit that and deal with it than let it linger and silently grow into resentment.

4. Give Yourself Time to Heal
Regaining trust won’t be a process that happens overnight. It will require you to remind yourself of the steps each of you are taking and how, together, you’re working to rebuild what you had before the challenge to your marriage. Over time, the reminders, in combination with continued growth (from both of you) will lead to a renewed sense of trust.

5. Take Baby Steps
As you work together to regain your trust in your marriage, take tiny steps until you are ready for larger ones. Perhaps the passion disappeared with the trust…then don’t expect yourself to regain it immediately. Taking small steps such as making his/her lunch (for work) or sending a “thinking of you” email during the workday will help you to begin adding the romance back to your marriage…a little bit at a time.

6. Date Each Other Again
Once trust has been lost, it’s important to go back to your beginning: dating each other again . When you’re emotionally ready, you must start from scratch at proving to one another why you were meant to be. Going out on a series of dates, complete with working to win one another’s heart , will help you to refocus on how your relationship began and where you can go (again) together.

7. Review Your Growth
Once you feel that you have renewed your trust in your marriage, review the entries that you made in your journal as you grew. Look at how far you traveled. Reviewing your journal will help prevent the challenge from getting in the way of your marriage in the future, as well as help you to see the personal growth that you’ve endured. Sharing your journal with your spouse will allow him/her to see into your journey and the steps that you’ve taken so that your trust in your marriage could be restored.


What Next After the Trust is Broken 

If you broke your arm, one hour wouldn’t pass before you got the right team in place to start its healing. Yet, when our marriage is broken we often keep the pain hidden from those around us.  Shame and disappointment keep us from reaching out, so we shoulder the burden alone.

If you want to heal from this, you both need help. Counseling is necessary if you want to work through the fracture.  The numbers show that when a couple seeks counseling, over 90% feel positive about the steps forward, however measured. Those steps, in turn, act as the first movement toward reconciliation.

To start, the partner who cheated must confront the parts of her that are broken.  The infidelity reflects a lack of self love or an insatiable need for outside validation.  Her brokenness could have brought about this betrayal in your marriage, but if you want to save it, you both must find a way forward together. Seeking an outside, neutral perspective will guide you through the pain.

If there is still love between you, reach for a counselor, reach for your friends, but most importantly–reach out to save it.  Now.