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How I’m Learning Not To Sweat The Small Stuff In Marriage

Marriage

Being in a relationship with the same person for 10 years is no easy feat.


You will feel the highest of highs and at some point the lowest of lows. You will experience death together, the loss or growing apart of friendships, you will break each other's hearts and rebuild them piece by piece. At least, that is what I have had to do.

In our one and a half year of marriage, I have had to humbly accept the fact that yes, despite being together for so long as a couple, marriage is a whole different ball game.

Being married millennials and creatives living in Los Angeles on the pursuit of our dreams, we have not been able to follow the same "marriage rules" our parents, siblings or any other married couple we know has. What may be completely out of the question for our parents -- i.e. studio sessions with the opposite sex well past 12 am, meeting anywhere you can to get a script finalized or working with people one-on-one in their homes is definitely not ideal -- it's a large part of not only the LA creative culture, but also the industry. It often puts us in positions that are uncomfortable to say the least, but we are learning and growing through it together.

While we are both still getting the hang of what it means to be married and making, breaking and rewriting our own rules as we go, I have found a few things that help me stay sane and keep moving forward no matter what, the main thing being not sweating the small stuff.

1. Sh*t happens, let it go.


I used to be crazy. Not in the literal sense but I definitely fell under the category of crazy girlfriend. I broke TVs (well just one), yelled and cussed in his mother's house, threw things during arguments -- I was that girl. I had a lot of mental turmoil I hadn't dealt with from my past relationship and let all of that negative energy seep into the next relationship. Every little thing triggered me into a full-on meltdown. It didn't matter how small or big the issue was, I reacted the same. Everything that went wrong felt like the end of the world to me and I simply could not let it go until the situation was resolved to my liking while ignoring his feelings and how he might have wanted to handle the situation.

In taking a step back and really looking at not only how bad I was hurting him but also myself, I made the decision to start thinking, acting and reacting differently. You have to realize that everything that someone else does is not a reflection of how they feel about you and not allow everything that doesn't go how you want it to, to push you over the edge. When you face conflict with your spouse, ask yourself is this going to affect me tomorrow, next week or next year?

There are so many fights we now look back on and laugh, not even remembering why we were mad or what we were fighting about in the first place. If it's something small, you have to start letting go, sis or you will literally drive yourself crazy.

2. Keep your girlfriends out of your bedroom.

Your girlfriends should not know every intimate detail that goes on in your life. Every fight, misunderstanding, and makeup session does not need to be relayed to your girlfriends. I used to tell my friends everything; it was my way of getting things off my chest and just feeling better. Before I got married, I made the decision to stop doing that. It's not that I don't trust my friends but I also know that confiding in them is in no way going to fix whatever situation my husband and I are going through.

How many times have you confided in a girlfriend, then you and your man resolve your issues and your friends brings the issue back up to you and you find yourself back in that negative place emotionally?

It's not that they are purposely trying to bring up old news, they could just be checking on you, but now you are mad all over again. Or maybe when you first confided in them, they were more mad than you were, which made you think you should have reacted differently or more harshly to your spouse. Unfortunately, even when well-intended, sometimes girlfriends can heighten disagreements between you and your partner. As much as you may just need a good venting session, try instead to write out your thoughts -- get everything you need to say out, every curse word, every bad name -- then delete it. Try talking to your spouse once you are calm and let him know how his actions affected you and really listen and try to understand his feelings as well. If you absolutely feel like you have to tell a friend, tell one that is non-judgemental and understanding so you know you won't be hearing about your fight weeks later from her.

3. Trust your gut.

I have an amazing intuition and my husband does as well. We know when we are lying. We know when something is wrong, even when the other one is smiling and seemingly happy. And we know when to give the other person space. As creepy as it may sound, my husband is literally like my twin; we share many of the same bad habits and we just seem to know each other deeply. In trusting your gut, you have to know what you should make a big deal over and what to let go of. You should also know that no girlfriend's advice is going to be greater than your own intuition and feelings. It doesn't matter what your parents, society, or best friend feels you have to do, you know what you feel is right in your marriage and what you can or cannot live with.

Look at your own moral compass and decide what situations are things you two can move past and what are deal breakers, and talk about them as the topics come up.

You chose your spouse for a reason. You loved him and decided that in some way your life would be even better if you marry him. Marriage, especially as millennials, will always come with a learning curve but if you married the right man, despite anything that can and will come your way, the good will definitely outweigh the bad.

Featured image by Getty Images

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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

Featured image by Shutterstock

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