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How To Make Sex Easier (& More Fun) When You've Got Kids

Here's how to engage in more of what brought your kids here in the first place. #wink

Sex

I really enjoy talking to married folks about their relationship. For instance, when I was discussing with a husband I know about why he thinks married couples don't have as much sex as they did when they were single (if they had sex while they were dating), he simply said, "It can be hard to be in the mood to have sex with your business partner and when you're married, you become that. You've got to be intentional about shifting gears." Along those same lines, that's what both husbands and wives have said can make sex after having children a struggle too—that you go from being sex partners to co-parenting partners, and between trying to get on the same page with raising children, finding time for one another and also making sure that you've got even a little bit of energy to make coitus happen…whew…it can be absolutely overwhelming, at times. And that's putting it mildly.

Still, if you ask any reputable relationship therapist, counselor or coach, they are going to tell you that if you want to keep your relationship healthy and thriving, you've got to make time for sex. Sex can't be seen as a luxury; for so many reasons and on so many levels, it is most definitely a necessity.

If you know all of this in theory, yet as a parent, you still struggle with how to make it all go down, I'm hoping that at least a couple of these tips will make it easier—and more enjoyable—to have sex with your partner. No matter how many children may be running around your house.

1. Have the “Sex Talk”

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If there is a huge mistake that I think a lot of parents make, it's waiting until a child is basically going into junior high before having "the talk" with them. I believe a part of the hold up is because people automatically assume that sex education includes graphic discussions and/or exploring sex prevention. The reality is, sex is what brought your son or daughter into the world and, if you're a Bible follower, plenty of Scriptures speak to the fact that God made it (Genesis 2:24-25, Proverbs 5:15, I Corinthians 6:16-20 and all of the Song of Solomon, for example), so there is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about.

And here's the thing—the earlier your children have an age-appropriate grasp of what sex is and that it's a way that mommy and daddy express love for one another, the easier it will be to have some "steal away moments". Also, you won't have to internally freak out as much, should your children happen to "catch you" in the act. They are already aware of the backstory. Everyone can recover and be just fine.

2. Create Sexy Code Words

There's the general concept of sex and then there's…sex. Listen, just because I'm all for kids knowing the mechanics of sex, along with its purposes (mostly, to "one yourself" with your partner, to share a profound level of intimacy with them and to procreate; in that order too), that doesn't mean I think that your children should be fluent in you and yours "dirty talk". Coming up with code words, so that you and yours can discuss sex without your kids knowing, is another cool hack. Pet names for body parts. Cute words for sex acts. These kinds of things can make it easier for you and your partner to flirt with one another, without worrying about whether or not your children are catching on.

3. Download a Sex Scheduling App

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If the challenge that you and your partner have is making time to have sex—not because you don't want to but because both of your schedules are really off the chain—something that you should consider doing is downloading a sex tracking app. It's literally an app that can help you to keep track of how often (or little) you have sex; it can help you and yours to schedule sex too. While it might not seem like the most romantic hack on the planet, I'm a firm believer that scheduling sex is far better than going weeks or months without any sex at all. A popular sex tracking app for iOS is called the Nice Tracker. A list of some other options (some that work with Android phones as well), is listed here.

4. Pull Your Bed Away from the Wall 

Something that a lot of my married clients say that they miss about sex prior to having kids is being able to be as loud as they want. Understood (check out "Ever Wonder What The Sounds You Make During Sex Mean?"). First up, there are things that you can do to help to soundproof your room. Installing thicker carpet. Sealing your door. Putting up a ceiling-mounted drape (a drape that covers one of your walls in order to drown out some of the sound). You can read more about this and other tips here.

Another wise idea is to invest in a mattress that nixes a lot of the squeaking that may come from your bodies moving around (you can check out a list of some of the best mattresses, for sex, in 2020 here). On the other hand, if money is tight and you're looking for something that you can do tonight, try pulling your bed a few inches away from the wall. Chances are, it's the headboard banging against the wall that is making a lot more noise than the mattress is. If it's not hitting the wall, it will significantly lower the chances of your kids hearing you—well, y'all.

5. Turn a Sex Schedule into a Sex Game

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Back to scheduling sex. If you and/or your partner are all about being spontaneous, turn your schedule into a bit of a game. It can be a guessing game that consists of both of you trying to figure out which day and time works best for each of you beforehand and then having some sort of "prize" for the one who guesses right. It can be a sex flirting kind of game where, once the two of you pick a day, you surprise each other with a sexy text, a massage or some new lingerie (or boxer briefs or boxers in his case). It can be a truth or dare game where, after the date is set, answering a truth makes one sex thing happen while taking a dare results in something totally different. There really are all kinds of ways to make sex on a schedule fun. I mean, look at it this way—kids know that their birthday and Christmas come at the same time every year; they're still excited to see what awaits them. Catch my drift?

6. When They Nap, You Sex 

So, what if your kids are really young (like under five) and it seems like, no matter what you do, they are always up and needing something? Perhaps you remember when your little one was first born and the advice that you were given was to sleep whenever they did. The same tip can easily apply to sex. If your children are in a daycare, this tip isn't really relevant. However, if they are at home with you and either you and your partner both work from the house or even one of you does, make an appointment to have sex while your kids are napping. You can use the lunch hour to get it in and, with any luck, that could easily mean that you can have a sex session for no less than 30 minutes or so. Consider it to be a "sex date", if you will.

7. Have Your Own Toy Chest

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Whether it's to boost you or your partner's level of sexual confidence, you're looking for a way to bring more spicy into your boudoir or you desire tools that will help to intensify your orgasm, you can never go wrong with having your own toy chest—a sex toy chest, that is. As far as the kinds that are considered must-haves—a vibrator, some handcuffs, a few massage bars, a cock ring, a sex pillow, a waterproof vibrator and lots of bottles of lubricant are all things that can get you off fast, if there isn't a lot of time for foreplay (you know, because of the kids 'n all).

(If you'd like some other sex toy referrals, check out the articles on our site like "8 Crème De La Crème Sex Toys You Can Buy On A Budget" and "Intensify His Pleasure With The Help Of These Sex Toys").

8. Make Their Movie Night Your Quickie Time

Earlier this year, when I wrote "8 'Kinds of Sex' All Married Couples Should Put Into Rotation", one of the kinds that I mentioned was "quickie sex". Quickie sex is dope because it's spontaneous (which can make sex sexy as hell). Also, it doesn't make either one of you feel like every sex session has to be an all-night romp. Well, if you've got some early mornings in the week coming up but you really would like the release that comes from an orgasm or two, don't underestimate the power of putting your kids in one room to watch a movie one afternoon or evening, while the two of you go into another for a quickie. Shoot, if the movie is good enough, you should be able to get a couple of sessions in before they come looking for either one of you.

9. Don’t Limit Yourself to the Bed

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I've got a friend who believes that her children are conspiring to keep her and her husband from ever having sex. "It's like if they even sense that we're touching our bed, they're at the door knocking. Doesn't matter what time of day it is either." If you can totally relate, one way to get around this is to remember that, while sex in the bedroom is certainly comfortable, who said that it always has to happen there?

For instance, while I know that some kids don't care if you're in the bathroom either, if there does tend to be at least one place where they'll give you at least 10 minutes of free time, it's in that space. So, consider engaging in some shower sex or telling them that you're going to do something like clean out your closet while they're doing their homework and have your quickie in there. Hey, a hack like this might not earn you a lot of time, but at least you can get off. Besides, if you follow my final point, you can significantly up the chances of having some long, passionate sex…later.

10. Go to Bed at the Same Time

Here's something that you might find interesting (especially if you're engaged). If there's one thing that a lot of the troubled married couples that I work with have in common, it's the fact that they don't go to bed at the same time. While the reasons why are typically pretty innocent—one is a morning person while the other is a night owl or going to bed at different times helps them both to get some "me time" in—the reality is there's solid data to support the fact that couples who don't go to bed at the same time tend to have far more marital conflict while feeling emotionally disconnected from each other.

While I totally get that going to bed at the same time, each and every night, may be somewhat impractical, it's important to try and do it, at least three times a week. It gives you and yours time to bond, have some pillow talk and maybe get a little you-know-what in before falling asleep—and doing the whole mommy and daddy thing all over again the next day. Try it. You just might like it.

Are you a member of our insiders squad? Join us in the xoTribe Members Community today!

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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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When Ngozi Opara Sea started Heatfree Hair almost a decade ago, curly and kinky extensions weren't the norm on the market as they seem to be today, especially if you wanted those textures in quality human hair. Beauty supply stores mainly sold synthetic curly hair, and there was a surge of renewal for women who were just beginning to embrace natural styles, taking to YouTube to experiment with new techniques and styles.

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This article is in partnership with Staples.

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In xoNecole's Our First Year series, we take an in-depth look at love and relationships between couples with an emphasis on what their first year of marriage was like.

It was a cold winter night in Chicago, more than a year ago. Your girl was scrolling through the fifty-eleven million options on Netflix to find something interesting to watch. I spotted this new show, The Circle, and have not looked away since. Produced by Studio Lambert and Motion Content Group, it premiered in January 2020 and has become my new favorite type of game show. Hosted by Michelle Buteau, The Circle is about contestants who are isolated in their own apartments and can only communicate with others via an online social media platform.

On season 2 of The Circle, the world fell in love with DeLeesa, the contestant who would eventually be crowned winner of the cash prize. She won the game by playing as a single dad named Trevor, who is actually her husband. As a true fan of the series, I figured it was only right to sit down with DeLeesa and Trevor to get the deets on how marriage has been for them IRL. So, let me take y'all back into time real quick, to the beginning of their love story.

It was 2007, and DeLeesa was starting her first day of school as a college freshman. She was getting adjusted to her new dorm and was introduced to her new resident assistant, *drum roll please* Trevor St. Agathe. They quickly became friends and Trevor helped DeLeesa find different activities around campus. After a year, they decided to take things to the next level.

Now, 14 years and two beautiful children later, the married couple have been focusing on doing whatever it takes to create the best life for their children. Since college, the power of commitment and open communication is what has kept DeLeesa and Trevor by each other's side.

One thing that we can all learn from The Circle and social media in general is that everything is not what it seems. When I connected with the couple, DeLeesa wanted to get the story straight about her and Trevor's love story. "I feel like people look at couples on social media and they think that things are perfect when that's not true. We went through stuff, too. We just figured out how to overcome it and move together as a unit."

In this installment of xoNecole's Our First Year, Deleesa and Trevor share how marriage is about work, navigating through the ups and downs, and prioritizing family. Here's their story:

How We Met

DeLeesa: I got to school early because I was starting [college] a semester late. I met him, we became friends, and I developed a little crush on him. One day, we were hanging out in his room and he just didn't want me to leave (laughs). So we were messing around for about a year. Exactly one year later, I told Trevor that I am not going to keep doing this unless he becomes my man. If he didn't make me his girl, then we were done. (Laughs)

Trevor: I tried to ride it out as long as I could (laughs). At the time, I was thinking, since I'm still in college, I shouldn't be tied down. But I knew that if I didn't make it official, she was going to leave. So, she was right, and we took it to the next level.

First Impressions

Trevor: I thought she was absolutely beautiful. She was pretty and the new girl on campus. So I knew she was going to get lots of attention. But I didn't want to be on that with her, so I continued to just be a stand-up guy. At first, it was the normal student-and-RA relationship. She would ask me what activities she could do on campus and I gave her a few suggestions. For a few days, we continued to hang out and I started to realize the chemistry we had between us.

DeLeesa: When I first met Trevor, I wasn't even thinking about going that [relationship] route with him. I was new to the school and I just wanted to be his friend. But because we shared bathrooms in the dorm, this man would just walk around in his towel sometimes. I couldn't help but notice him more after that. I just thought 'He is fine!' (Laughs) He was so nice and he never pressured me into anything, but, he knew what he was doing.

Favorite Things

DeLeesa: I love that he has unconditional love for me. I feel like that no matter what I do or no matter how mad he gets, he is still always going to be by my side for anything that I need. We have been together for a long time. Even though we had breaks in between, he has always been there for me.

Trevor: It's not just one thing for me, but I can sum it up: DeLeesa is everything that I wish I was. She is very much not afraid of what other people think and she is very determined to go after what she wants. She has that go-getter mentality and it is so attractive to me.

"DeLeesa is everything that I wish I was. She is very much not afraid of what other people think and she is very determined to go after what she wants. She has that go-getter mentality and it is so attractive to me."

Wedding Day

Trevor: On our wedding day, I was crying like a baby when I finally saw her. That is my fondest memory of that day: seeing my wife-to-be from a distance and instant water works. (Laughs)

DeLeesa: I really enjoyed our first dance. Our wedding was pretty big, and I planned the whole thing. I was very hands-on and it was hard for me to just have a moment and be present. But when we had our first dance, that was our time to just be with each other and not worry about anything else. It really hit me that we were married at that point.

The One

DeLeesa: Well, the thing with Trevor and I is that we broke up a lot. We reached nine years of being on and off. By that time, we said to each other that this would be the last time we were going to break up. We were going to try our best to do everything that we could to stay together. And if we didn't work out, we were going to go our separate ways. For me, I really wanted us to work because I did see him as my future husband and my children's father. So it was the conversation we had to not break up that was my "you are the one for me" moment.

Trevor: It was something that I always knew. Young Trevor would say, "If I had to get married, this is who I want to marry." When I knew it was time to take things more seriously with her, it was after we had that conversation. Another confirmation that DeLeesa was the one was when we had to move to Canada from New York. I thought to myself that this woman must really love me to pack up and move to another country for me. This woman trusts me so much and she is my forever.

"The thing with Trevor and I is that we broke up a lot. We reached 9 years of being on and off. By that time, we said to each other that this would be the last time we were going to break up. We were going to try our best to do everything that we could to stay together."

Biggest Fears

Trevor: The questions that popped into my head were, "Can I do it?"; "Can I be a good husband to her?"; or "Was I truly husband material?" You can't take a test for that or study to get those answers. You have to just do it, apply your morals and values, and do the best you can. What has helped me with this is continuing to reaffirm how we feel about one another—affirmations that let me know that she is happy and I am doing a good job. Marriage isn't that much different from what we have already been doing this entire time. We just wear rings.

DeLeesa: My biggest fear [is related to the fact that] I am a very independent person, [so] if I do not like something, I can be out, quick! So with me, I questioned if I could stay put and fight through the bad times within a marriage. I would question if it is worth sticking it out since this is a lifelong commitment. What has helped me get through that is reminding myself that I can still be independent within my own marriage. I can still do things on my own and still share my life with someone I really care about.

Early Challenges

DeLeesa: I feel like I have been really good at keeping my relationship with my friends balanced with my partnership with Trevor. So when we first got married, my personal challenge was me trying to juggle between being a good wife and still making time for my girls. I really didn't want to lose sight of who I was in the process of marriage.

Trevor: My work at the time forced me to travel a lot. So when you are in that honeymoon phase, it's important to have quality time together. It was hard with my job to enjoy life together as a married couple in the beginning. Yes, we have been together for a long time. But this was different. Not being around my wife as much as I wanted to was really hard for me and the both of us. Our communication started slacking and we definitely struggled during that time.

Love Lessons

Trevor: There's two lessons that I have. One lesson is that I am a husband first. I have spent a lot of time not being a husband so it can be easy for me or anyone to continue to behave that way. But my wife always has to come first, no matter what is going on in life. When you're married, you have to reinforce that. My second lesson that has helped in our marriage is making sure I do things in order to make her life easier. It can be the simplest thing, but for me, it is a huge priority.

DeLeesa: My biggest lesson is being able to learn from each other. For example, if he is doing simple things to make life easier for me, I am learning from him how to show up for him to make him happy. It can be easy to just receive everything he is putting forth, but it has to be give and take for us.

"I am a husband first. I have spent a lot of time not being a husband so it can be easy for me or anyone to continue to behave that way. But my wife always has to come first, no matter what is going on in life. When you're married, you have to reinforce that."

Common Goal

Trevor: To do everything in our power to ensure that our girls have the best possible life. Everything that we do at this point is for them. Before children, I may have moved slower working toward certain things, but there is definitely an added fire on how we approach things because of them.

DeLeesa: I agree. The number one goal is to be the best parents we can be. We want to set up generational wealth and we want them to be culturally aware. We want them to grow up and be proud of everything we have done for them.

Best Advice

DeLeesa: My advice would be don't go looking for advice, honestly. A lot of people are going to have an opinion about your life and sometimes that may not be the best for you. People can have different intentions and may give you the wrong advice. So I feel that if you need to vent, then yes, have someone to confide in. But don't take their word as facts. Try to figure out your marriage for yourself. Stick to your intuition and what you want to do, no matter if you are being judged for it.

Trevor: The things that matter are to be patient, listen close, choose to be happy, and love hard. I also think when people come to terms with the fact that marriage is work, then it is more possible for people. There are honestly more things to be happy about with the person that you marry. You have to keep all the things that you love about that person at the forefront to get you through. Once you do that, you will be fine.

Follow Deleesa and Trevor on Instagram @leesaunique and @trev_saint and their family page @itsthesaints.

Featured image via Instagram/Leesaunique

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