Monday, September 19, 2011

Conquering Fear by Running Toward (Not Away from) It

Two Sunday's ago was the 10-year anniversary of 9/11. Commemoration events were held all over country and nation. You didn’t have to lose anyone in the attack to feel the weight of sadness that overcame the country as the events of that tragic day were relived and revisited.

At the same time that these commemoration activities were taking place, the city of New York was dealing with credible reports of a planned terrorist attack. The city amped up its police presence significantly, which only served to deepen the tension. Even if you weren’t necessarily thinking there would be another attack, the significant police presence and all the media coverage certainly helped to create a psychological atmosphere of fear.

This just proves that an actual action doesn’t always have to happen in order to fulfill a purpose. And, in the minds of terrorists, the idea that they can paralyze a nation and scare them into changing their travel plans or how they live is nearly as good as actually physically attacking them. After all, isn’t that what terrorism is: psychological warfare?

We all mourned the deaths of the thousands of human deaths and collateral damage that occurred during the attacks. However, the physical loss and impending disaster of buildings and planes being destroyed was only one part of what the terrorists wanted to achieve. The real objective was to create psychological terror. This has impacted decision-making from where we go, how we participate in the stock market, and how we buy. So, it would seem that the goal of terrorism is to create an unnatural, illogical state of mind that keeps you stuck in a mindset of fear.

Now, take that and apply it to our relationship. Ask yourself the following:

· Have you been a victim of terrorism in your relationships?

· Have past relationships created certain fears in you that you keep playing out over and over again, impacting your current relationship?

· Are your fears causing you to see danger where there is none?

This is emotional jihad and a mental state that is not conducive to happy, healthy relationships.

Whatever you fear has power and control over you. Do you know that 90% of what we fear will never happen? In order to break the cycle of psychological warfare that could be taking down your relationship, you have to learn how to run towards this fear – instead of away – in order to defeat it.

And, just like the terrorist threat in NYC where extra police were called out to stand guard and provide the appearance of intimidation, putting up defenses out of fear will not create relief or make you feel better. That’s because what you fear the most has already set up residence in your mind and paralyzing you and your relationship. However, running toward the fear will put you on the offense, helping you to conquer fear in a positive way.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Power Duo Set to Form Power Trio: Jay-Z and Beyonce Beyond Thrilled to Become Parents

Crazy in love and a baby on the way! Twitter accounts went crazy on the night of the MTV Music Awards when Beyonce announced her pregnancy on her terms. She posed on the MTV “black” carpet, clutching a small bump under her flowing gown, and then rubbing her belly at the end of her performance that night, leaving no one in doubt that there was a bun in that girl’s oven.

When you have the kind of resources that Beyonce and Jay Z have, not only is your first thought, “I wish I was that baby,” but it also reminds you that, although money isn’t everything, it does take the sting out of parenthood. They’ll be sure to have a team that is dedicated to the little mogul or diva in waiting. Sure, having a nanny or a team of nannies is great for getting over the rough patches and balancing career demands. However, it is good if both parents stay highly involved in their child’s upbringing.

We have yet to see how Beyonce will take to the role of mother although that beaming face seen around the world was really a breath of fresh air. The excitement and pride in being pregnant seems to be an early indicator that she will be a hands-on mom. While every woman handles the demands of motherhood differently (Have you seen Alicia Keys on the scene lately?), it can be easy to get out of balance easily even if you are on the Forbes’ list of wealthiest entertainers.

Suddenly, everything is work and children. It’s so easy to get lost in the maze of responsibilities. Beyonce has already talked retirement at age thirty to be a mom, so maybe she might retire her fashion house wardrobe and opt for a low-key look. The problem is that, with the lost appearance, comes a sex life that suffers. And, once that fizzles, so goes the marriage.

So, whether you are Beyonce or a lesser known diva, it’s important to think about balance and not losing yourself or your marriage in the process of motherhood. This may mean making some tough decisions to restructure, reorder, and set new parameters to keep YOU in the equation. Remember: your well-being constitutes the whole well-being of the family unit. When you’re not good, nobody is good. You can only give out from the best that you are as a person.

In the meantime, congrats go out to the famous parents-to-be. Recently, the media reported that Jay-Z was over the moon alongside his wife and was doting on her while Beyonce’s mom was also lending her support. Maybe even Uncle Kanye will come over and make up a rap lullaby on the spot. However it turns out, it looks like they are on their way to not only building an empire, but they are also working on creating a strong and balanced family unit full of support and love. And, if the response by fans is any indication, it would seem that most of us are happier to hear joyous news rather than salacious relationship drama!

Friday, August 26, 2011

There’s Reality Television…and Then There’s the REALITY of Marriage: The Kim Kardashian Production…Ooops, I Mean, Wedding

While a week has already been passed and the loved up pair of Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries are lounging around the Isle of Capri, this Reality Royal Wedding continues to make the news. It was just reported that she made $17 million off her own wedding…that’s made, not paid!

Quite a long way for Ms. Kardashian – now Mrs. Humphries (as her track suit so elegantly stated) – since the days of the Ray J sex tape and season one of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” Now, a fashion icon and a lifestyle brand, Kim Kardashian epitomizes what reality television can do for a person. But, what does TV do to a marriage?

While we all wish her and Mr. Kardashian the best (let’s be honest, we know who wears the pants in this relationship!), I often wonder about the shelf life of a marriage between a high-profile woman and the man they marry, especially one that will continue to play out as part of a reality show (in this case, both the “Keeping Up” show and the second season of “Kourtney and Kim” set in New York). On top of that, Kim has even publicly mentioned doing a show with Kris à la Khloe and Lamar, her sister and brother-in-law.

While Kim is a pro in front of the reality camera, Kris is new to the game and may have concerns, especially when the first few years of marriage are already full of pressure and complex emotions as spouses try to settle into their roles and establish ground rules. But, to have a camera in your face at the same time can simply exacerbate any early problems. Let’s not forget other reality television marriages gone wrong like Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey, Jon and Kate, and Adriana Curry and that guy from The Brady Bunch. All of these examples illustrate that any relationship in its infancy is more vulnerable than when it has the time to mature, strengthen, and grow in resilience – off-camera, preferably.

Even worse will be the gossip mags and other sources of negativity that will be sure to attack their marriage and kick the rumor mill into overdrive. For example, he’s seen out at a restaurant with a female friend—CHEATING! She’s out of the country at a magazine shoot—TROUBLE IN PARADISE! It’s a lot of pressure for a young marriage to take. There is reality television and then there is the reality of marriage.

I only hope that Kim and her pro-basketball beau play it safe and keep their nuptials and their marriage as personal and private as they can. If they can carve out a quiet corner for themselves—and Kim’s move to the same part of the country as Kris’ team is a great start—perhaps they can get the time they to work on the growth and maturity that is essential to a healthy, long-lasting marriage.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Keep it honest!

I have a whirlwind ahead of me. I will be leaving for London today and shortly after I return a trip to Atlanta, GA and both sides of the state of Ohio. Also please check out my most recent media interview you can download it here:

Recently on an episode of how I met your mother Lilly was very deceptive with her husband Marshall. She ran up over $100,000 on personal credit cards without ever telling him. When it was time for him to decide upon which kind of job to get he was forced to taking the higher paying job which was going to make him personally miserable because they needed the money to pay off her debt.

It is important to be honest from day one about your financial situation. Now ladies I'm not saying to spill your beans on the first date. However, once you are seriously considering spending the rest of your life with someone it is time to come clean. Credit can have a minimum 7 year impact on the marriage.

Don't deceive someone into loving you! Be honest at all times.
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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

4 Things to Start Practicing Before You Get Married

Here are four things to practice before you get married!:

1) Compatibility – "That's the absolute, ultimate key,” she said. “Being congruent with your mate; being a suitable, compatible mate for a lifelong relationship.”

People should check to see if they're compatible with their mates before getting married, but they should also continue to do so even during marriage. “We can purposefully and wisely ensure that we're navigating ... through some of those channels of life, or courses of life, in unison.”

2) Communication – "Communication is sharing, talking, stay on the same page."

3) Authenticity – "Authenticity is just being yourself,” she said. “I think that we need to be able to be loved as the person that we really are. And we remove a lot of the barriers when we're just really ourselves and we give a clear picture of who our mate needs to love."

4) Acceptance – "Acceptance is accepting people for who they are, and accepting things for what they are, and they're not always ideal."

Sunday, June 26, 2011

My new web sites

I am very excited to have launched this personal web site. On July 5th, we will be launching as well. Best Marriage Keys is the premier online site for pre-marital and marital counseling. I look forward to sharing more with you soon.