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7 Things Married Couples Should Do...At The END Of Their Day

How you end your day can speak volumes to how your marriage goes...

Marriage

I'm pretty sure most of us grew up hearing that the way we start off our day ends up setting the tone for how the rest of it goes. And because of this, that's why it's a good idea to do things like pray/meditate, exercise and eat a good breakfast. But as someone who's been a marriage life coach for close to 15 years at this point, when it comes to couples doing what is needed to keep their relationship healthy, while I am a big-time advocate of morning sex (morning sex is king!), I actually believe that how a husband and wife choose to end their day is super critical to their union thriving—and lasting. It's partly because the evening is typically when the most concentrated time together is spent. Plus, even the Bible advises us not to let our sun set on our wrath (Ephesians 4:26-27). Sounds to me like even the Good Lord himself believes that how we end our day can speak volumes to how we start off the next one.

That's why I wanted to take out a few moments, just to share some tips on things that married couples can do to bring peace and emotional connection to the end of each day in their own homes. While this isn't the kind of topic that is discussed a ton, if you make a point to follow through with all seven of these suggestions, they could be what helps to turn the days that you share with your spouse into many, many years of wedded bliss.

1. Give Each Other Some “Recalibrate Space”

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If you work in an outside (of your home) office space, it's a good idea to get to work early. If you work from home, it's a good idea to not work in your bedroom. Why? Well, getting to work, at least 20 minutes earlier than your scheduled time, gives you time to get into the headspace that you need to be as productive as possible. When it comes to having a home office, that can keep you from knowing when to get off of the clock. Along these same lines, I usually say to the married clients that I work with that it's a good idea to agree to leave each other alone for a good 30 minutes at the end of each day.

Work requires that you have a totally different mindset than your home life and, as one husband once said (quite well, I might add), when you walk right into the door and immediately hear all of your spouse's expectations, abruptly switching gears can actually cause you to strip them (indeed).

This doesn't mean that you have to be rude to your partner (the Good Book also says "love is not rude" in I Corinthians 13). But what it does mean is, if there are things that you would like your spouse to do and/or there is a deep conversation that needs to be had, it can be beneficial, for you both, to simply greet one another and then offer up some downtime, in different spaces, so that you can later interact from a space of calm and a sense of readiness to handle what needs to be done inside of the home; especially after a long day of typically focusing on anything and everything but your house and/or what your relationship requires.

2. Share a “High” and a “Low” with One Another

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Something that I "took" from the movie The Story of Us (Michelle Pfeiffer, Bruce Willis) is a tradition that would happen, with the family, at dinner time. Basically, every family member would take a moment out to discuss the best part of their day (the high) and the worst part of it too (the low). The reason why it stayed with me is, not only is this a cool way to spark up a conversation, but it can also help those who weren't with you all day long to get a perspective of how your time away from them went. Plus, sharing a high and a low can also cultivate a perspective of balance—to not only focus on the negative. Back when I was mentoring girls, I incorporated this, and I also do it before I start sessions with married couples.

If you've never thought about taking this approach before, I highly recommend it. After giving each other some chill out time, ask each other, "So, what was your 'high' and your 'low' today?" Make sure to listen without interrupting. Also, don't feel pressured to always have to give advice about what your partner's high or low is. Sometimes, it feels good just to feel heard and acknowledged. Bringing that type of energy into your home, at the end of the day, can also make the rest of the evening go a lot smoother.

3. Eat or Drink Something Together

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Did you know that only around 40 percent of families eat dinner together 3-4 times a week and that 10 percent don't do it at all? The reason why that's so unfortunate to hear is because having a meal with the people you share a home with gives everyone the opportunity to decompress and reconnect. Just think about it—since everyone has their own lives and schedules, if you don't make a point and purpose to have dinner, you could go days (weeks even) without having some real heartfelt conversations. This is true whether you live in a household that has children or you don't.

When it comes to your spouse specifically, while you might work different shifts or there are other things on your to-do list that could prevent you from always being able to sit together at the dinner table, strive to at least make a point and practice to eat or drink something as a unit. Maybe pour a couple of glasses of wine and toast each other or commit to having a late night snack before turning in. Something as small as this is a great way to let your partner know that reconnecting time is really important to you; that prioritizing something like this is your way of investing into your relationship.

4. Try to Lighten Each Other’s Load

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Proactive. I am a huge fan of proactiveness. Matter of fact, let me tell it, one of the biggest reasons why a lot of married couples struggle in their relationship is because one or both spouses spend more time being reactive (doing things to fix the damage after it's already been done) than being proactive (taking steps to prevent issues from occurring in the first place).

Whether you and your partner have been together for a year or for 10 of 'em, you probably have a "flow" to how things go when it comes to who does what in the house, who runs which errands, etc. Something that can send the message to your spouse of "I see you. I appreciate you. I want to make life easier for you" is to intentionally select something that they typically do and then do it "for them".

Remember, when you signed up to be a spouse, a part of what came with what was being a good support system for your spouse. Whether it's cooking a meal on a day when you don't typically do it, lending one of your talents to help your partner with a project of theirs or looking on their calendar to see what you can do to make their to-do list a little shorter, deciding each day to take some of the burden off of your spouse is one of the most beautifully proactive things that you could ever do.

5. Spend (at Least) 30 Minutes of Quality Time Together

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How crazy is it that (when we're not in a pandemic), couples, on average, only spend 2-2 ½ hours a day (including on the weekends) together? Hmph. No wonder so many office affairs happen, considering you're spending quadruple that amount of time with your co-workers (geeze). Anyway, the only way that a relationship can truly thrive is if you are intentional about nurturing it. One of the best ways to do that is by spending quality time with your spouse. Cook together. Watch a movie together. Take a walk after dinner together. Read to each other. Play a board game. Crank up a favorite playlist and dance. Find a way to carve out, no less than thirty minutes, that is nothing but you and your partner's time alone. It's a great way to (re)connect while also conveying to your spouse that they are a top priority—no matter what else may also be on your plate.

6. Do Something Physically Affectionate

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Whew. Marriage. Whenever I'm working with a couple, I ask them how long it's been since they've had sex, and they look up in the air like they honestly can't remember, I typically tend to say something along the lines of, "Man, if there's something I would definitely not want to deprive myself of, as a married person, is sex. With all that marriage demands, you guys deserve every orgasm you can find!" So yeah, I am a huge advocate of husbands and wives gettin' it in as much as possible (check out "Married Couples, What You May Need Is Sex. Every Day. For A Month. Straight.", "10 Simple Ways Married Couples Can Make More Time For Sex", "10 Married Couples Share The Keys To Their Totally Off-The-Chain Sex Life" and "10 Wonderful Reasons Why Consistent Sex In Marriage Is So Important"). But even when sex can't go down, there's always time to be physically affectionate. Hold hands while you're sitting next to one another. Cuddle while you're sitting on the couch. Kiss each other while passing in the kitchen or hallway. Not only will doing things like this help you to feel closer to your spouse, the purposeful acts of affection can convey calmness and sincerity too.

7. Go to Bed at the Same Time (at Least Three Times a Week)

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Back when I wrote the article, "7 Things Married Couples Do To Damage Their Sex Lives & Don't Even Know It", one of the things that I shared was there are studies which indicate that as much as 75 percent of couples do not go to bed together at the same time. This not only wreaks havoc on their sex life, but it can trigger overall marital conflict as well. I get that sometimes one spouse being a morning person while the other is a night owl, having extra projects to do or even wanting a little bit of time to yourself (especially if you've got children) can make going to bed together at the same time, seven days a week, a close-to-impossible task. But for the sake of pillow talk, more sex and honestly, a sounder night's sleep, try and commit to doing it no less than three days a week. Cuddling up in your spouse's arms (and maybe getting a little bit of midnight nookie sometimes too) can be one of the best ways to close out your night—and yes, start off fresh with a whole new day.

Join our xoTribe, an exclusive community dedicated to YOU and your stories and all things xoNecole. Be a part of a growing community of women from all over the world who come together to uplift, inspire, and inform each other on all things related to the glow up.

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

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Mj Rodriguez has been giving us all of our lives since she emerged on our screens as the ever-so-fabbbulous Blanca Rodriguez-Evangelista in Pose, in 2018. Since, she has captured the hearts of many all over the world, from LGBTQ advocates, to everyone in between. The beloved series officially came to a heart-wrenching end, after three seasons of tackling homelessness, sex work, the rejection that the trans community deals with on a daily basis and combined it with heart and dance to captivate millions around the world weekly.

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Sometimes, when things are a little "off" when it comes to our health, there are simple steps that we can take to get ourselves back on track. For instance, did you know that around 92 percent of Americans are considered to be vitamin or mineral deficient in some way? And since there are core nutrients that all of us need in order to function properly, it's important that we're aware of what certain deficiencies are directly linked to.

Today, that is the focus. Here are eight health-related issues that, oftentimes, if we'd just add more of a vitamin or mineral into our system, we will start to feel better in no time (technically a couple of weeks but you get my drift).

1. Muscle Cramping

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Something that happens randomly to me sometimes is I'll have a muscle that cramps up, seemingly out of nowhere. Then I'll snack on a banana and start to feel better. You know why? It's because bananas are high in potassium and potassium is a nutrient that our system needs in order for our muscles to easily contract. If you sweat a lot or don't have enough fluids in your system, you can become a high candidate for being potassium deficient. As far as how much your body requires on a daily basis, it's somewhere between 3,000-4,000 mg a day. Foods that are a good source of this mineral (that is also an electrolyte) include mushrooms, zucchini, cucumbers, sweet potatoes and lentils.

2. Lip Cracking

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If your PMS is off the chain or you've been catching a lot of colds lately, it could be because you need some more Vitamin B6 in your life. However, a telling sign that this is almost definitely the case is if the corners of your lips are cracking or even if your tongue feels a bit swollen.

The main thing to keep in mind with this point is if you're noticing indications that you could stand to have more Vitamin B6, there's a pretty good chance that your system has gotten close to totally running out. And just how much does your body need of this vitamin on the daily? About 1.3 mg. Up it up to 1.5 mg if you're over the age of 50.

Foods that are loaded with Vitamin B6 are peanuts, poultry, oats, avocados and pistachios.

3. Brittle Nails

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If it seems like no matter how much pampering you do to your nails, they are brittle and breaking, that could be an indication that you are low in iron and/or Vitamin C. The reality is that just our periods alone can make us vulnerable to having lower iron levels. And just how much should you be getting into your system? A lot of healthcare professionals recommend somewhere around 14.8 mg each day. As far as the Vitamin C goes, not only can you have brittle nails when you're not getting enough of it, this is a nutrient that makes it easier for your body to absorb iron too. 75 mg per day of it is recommended (120 mg each day if you're pregnant or are breastfeeding). Foods that are high in iron include beef, dark leafy greens, quinoa, pumpkin seeds and broccoli. Foods that are a good source of Vitamin C include citrus fruits, peppers, potatoes, berries and Brussel sprouts.

4. Allergy Symptoms

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If you've got allergy symptoms that are driving you totally up the wall or you're someone who deals with asthma or eczema, these things can be so much worse for you if you are low in omega-3. Long story short, they're fatty acids that pretty much every part of our body needs from our skin and hair to our reproductive system and our heart. Matter of fact, I actually read once that if you tend to have an excessive amount of earwax, that can also be a heads up that omega-3 is lacking. As far as how much is good for you, 1.1 grams daily is enough. And as far as foods that have omega-3 in them, those would be walnuts, spinach, salmon, chia seeds and eggs.

5. Weakness

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Magnesium is both a mineral as well as an electrolyte that helps to regulate muscle and nerve functions and keep your blood sugar in balance. Well, when you don't have enough magnesium in you, it can cause you to experience extreme amounts of fatigue and weakness. A part of the reason why is because magnesium is what helps to keep your potassium levels where they should be. So, when your potassium levels are low, your muscles will not perform with as much strength as they should. Somewhere around 315 mg each day is what your system requires. Foods that are loaded with magnesium include whole grains, pumpkin seeds, halibut, bananas and dark chocolate.

6. Hair Loss

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One of the main things that all of us need in order for our hair to flourish is zinc. It's a mineral that assists with hair tissue growth and repair, fights dandruff and, it also helps your scalp to produce the sebum that it needs for your hair follicles to remain healthy. That's why it makes a lot of sense that if you're low in zinc, you could possibly suffer from some hair loss or, the very least, hair breakage. What can keep your tresses in good condition is if you consume around 8 mg of zinc daily. Foods that are high in it include Greek yogurt, cashews, black beans, sesame seeds and kale.

7. Sleepiness

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OK, if you're out here getting less than six hours a night on a consistent basis, that's probably not an indication that you are lacking a nutrient; what that probably means is you are sleep deprived.

However, if it seems like no matter how much sleep you get at night and/or naps you take during the day, you are still sleepy as all get out, what that could be telling you is that you are low in Vitamin B12. I can personally attest to this because I was sleepy a lot (and I get no less than six hours a night and sometimes a nap) until I started taking a B12 supplement. When you're low in this vitamin, it can trigger sleepiness or even sleeplessness because it plays a significant role in maintaining your energy levels.

It's kinda crazy that a lot of us are Vitamin B12 deficient when most of us only need .002 mg a day of it. Anyway, foods that are a good source of this nutrient include liver, fortified cereals, shellfish, nutritional yeast and milk alternatives (like almond or oat milk).

8. Food Cravings

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Last fall, I wrote an article about signs that you've got a sugar addiction going on (you can check it out here). One indication is if you're constantly wanting to eat sweets all of the time. Well, along these same lines, if you're experiencing food cravings, that too could mean that you've not some nutrient deficiencies happening. Sweets typically mean that you can stand to have more magnesium or tryptophan. Fatty foods mean you need more calcium. Red meat, caffeine or the desire to chew ice means you're low in iron. Salt is oftentimes connected to dehydration or an electrolyte imbalance.

Wanting to eat bread all of the time could also mean that you could use a tryptophan boost (because you are looking for something to make you feel better and bread is a comfort food. Tryptophan helps to produce the feel-good hormone serotonin so that you don't want bread as much). Foods that are high in tryptophan include tuna, cheese, turkey, milk and apples.

While I certainly wasn't able to tackle all of the nutrient deficient-related issues that exist, take this as a bit of an intro cheat sheet. Again, if you are currently experiencing any of these issues, try getting more vitamins and minerals into your system. You might be surprised just how big of an impact...a little bit of tweaking can make.

Join our xoTribe, an exclusive community dedicated to YOU and your stories and all things xoNecole. Be a part of a growing community of women from all over the world who come together to uplift, inspire, and inform each other on all things related to the glow up.

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I can honestly say that I haven't used Cantu since I went natural back in 2016. It's not that I don't like the brand — let's be honest, Cantu is the holy grail brand that a lot of us probably started our natural hair journey with. It was and still is affordable, accessible, and effective haircare. I somewhat strayed away though because it's very easy to get caught up in trying different brands that some products honestly just get lost in the sea of haircare. Nevertheless, Cantu has dropped a few collections that I couldn't help but try. One of their most recent drops is the Jamaican Black Castor Oil line which works for all hair types but is made with 4C hair in mind.

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As the sun shines and the weather heats up, we're inching closer to a breakout summer like no other. With most of us excited to be outdoors with our loved ones, it's time to get into the looks we've been mentally preparing for the past year and a half sitting at home. While I've gotten accustomed to the basic black and heather grey combinations from the loungewear overload we experienced, those dark days are finally over and I'm ready to brighten up my summer wardrobe.

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