If there’s a contradiction that never ceases to amaze me when it comes to marriage, it’s the fact that it’s typically more women (than men) who desire to get married, and also it’s more women who initiate divorce (around 70 percent, to be exact; some stats say 80 percent within the Black community. Wow). When it comes to all of this, if there’s a consistency that I’ve noticed in the counseling sessions that link these two points, it’s that a lot of women went into marriage thinking it would be one way and then opt to leave when they find themselves being utterly disappointed.
As a matter of fact, that reason tends to come up far more than affairs, abuse, or even financial troubles do. Even though vows are supposed to be sacred and taken very seriously, unfortunately, a lot of people—husbands and wives alike—will break their commitment to their partner simply because they aren’t “feeling it” anymore. I’ve said it many times before because that’s just how much I mean it: unfortunately, the way a lot of people date, it teaches them to get divorced than to be married because they fall in love, break up, move on…fall in love, break up and move on…over and over and over again. So, by the time they do actually say “I do,” it doesn’t hold very much value. And yes, that is unfortunate. Sad even. Sometimes quite tragic as well.
Today, though, we’re not going to get deep into what people should strongly consider before getting married and definitely before getting divorced. No, what we’re going to explore is the fact that while a covenant union is beautiful (and purposeful) beyond measure, it’s also not for the faint of heart. As I also oftentimes say, “marriage ain’t for punks,” and it’s really not. No matter how much you love and (hopefully) like the partner you’ve chosen, there are going to be days when the last thing you want to do is stay married—maybe because you grieve your single life, maybe because of the sacrifices and constant compromising that marriage requires, maybe because marriage wasn’t what you thought it would be.
Whether you’ve been married for two or 20 years, if you clicked on this article because you can totally relate to having moments when you are simply sick and tired of being married, I’ve got some questions that I think you should ask yourself; ones that will hopefully help you to connect some dots and get the fuel that you need to stay in the love/marriage/until death parts us game.
What Was Your Perception of Marriage Before Jumping the Broom?
A quote that I’m not sure is exactly 100 percent true is “perception is reality.” The reason why I say that is because reality is based on truth and facts, and so, just because you see something a certain way, that doesn’t automatically make it factual or rooted in truthfulness (lawd, I could do an entire TED Talk on that alone).
And you know what? Marriage is no exception here. So, let’s start there. When it comes to what you thought marriage was gonna be, did you think you were going to be Cinderella with her Prince Charming (fairy tales, by definition, are stories told to children that aren’t even true. Plus, we don’t know what happened after the “and they lived happily ever after” part)? Maybe you thought it would be reminiscent of your favorite rom-com (that’s a script, and those are characters).
Perhaps you envisioned that it would be like a couple you know (people only tell others what they want them to know; always remember that). Or maybe, you fantasized that it was going to be more about someone giving you all of what you want and you doing very little or, as I tell brides often, that you were going to be a bride all of your life instead of just for one day (the rest of the time, you’re supposed to be a wife).
The reason why this question is super important is that it’s important to separate perception from reality/facts. Because sometimes, people leave marriages, not because anything is necessarily “wrong”; it’s simply because they have been so caught up in what they thought it would be that they lost sight of what it really is. The Bible often refers to this as “vain imaginations” — the ego feeding the mind with all kinds of random ideas…oftentimes ones that are so unrealistic that it causes people to participate in self-sabotaging behaviors.
Why Did You Get Married?
I’m not sure if I have a favorite Tyler Perry movie. I’ll just leave that where I put it (as a writer, I’m a big fan of people who actually hire writers, feel me). What I will say is a movie of his that I’ve seen, lawd, how many times has BET played it is Why Did I Get Married? and when it comes to what we’re discussing today, that’s something else that definitely needs to be explored to the utmost.
As a marriage life coach, I’ve talked to women who got married solely because they didn’t want to be single moms; women who didn’t want to deal with financial stresses and pressures alone; women who just assumed that was what they were supposed to do (either due to family, religion or social pressure); women who were afraid of being alone (this includes not wanting to be the only unmarried friend); women who thought that marriage had so many more perks than single living (eh, depends on who you ask and when you ask them) — the list is endless.
Here’s the thing about this particular point: when you know your why, it’s easier to navigate through your when and what. Example. I know a wife who got married (young) because she hated her home life, and she knew that her husband adored her. Problem was, he felt more strongly about her than she did about him, and so, when he lost his job, he wasn’t able to spoil her like he used to because she didn’t love him as much as he loved her, so she left.
A big part of the reason why she left is that her “why” was pretty shaky right out of the gate. See what I mean? Sitting within yourself in your “why” can be extremely revelatory. Definitely make sure that you do it.
Why Did You Marry…HIM?
There’s marriage. Then there’s the person you got married to. That said, there’s someone in my world who is currently going through a divorce (actually, sadly, there are a few folks). Something that she is currently unpacking is this very question. Oh, the layers. One is that the way he dated her isn’t the way he acted after marriage (he got lazy, he got entitled, he got assuming). Another is she ignored several red flags, thinking that they would just…go away (like his really unhealthy attachment to his mother). Another is because she believed he would support her career when he turned out to just want to control it.
Y’all, this is reason one billion why premarital counseling is crucial (for starters, you have a 30 percent higher success rate if you participate in some). When you’re all caught up in how someone makes you feel, you need an objective person to basically be like, “I mean, that’s cool ‘n all, but you do know that marriage is about a lot more than that…right?” And then, throughout your marriage, you should at least see a reputable marriage therapist/counselor/life coach a couple of times a year to “take y’all’s temperature” to make sure that things are still running (relatively smoothly).
Anyway, the thing about this particular wife is she and her husband have been in some form of therapy their entire marriage. I know him personally and can vouch for the fact that he’s arrogant and unteachable (basically because he thinks he knows better than everyone else). She’s also realized that she was looking for him to feel voids to the point where she didn’t make the time to get to know him better. And now she gets that her reasons for choosing him had very little to do with him at all. The therapy that she is getting outside of her marriage has revealed that she picks men who sweep her off of her feet only to expect her to do most of the heavy lifting once a commitment is in place — and she keeps doing that because she’s a colossal people pleaser...and people-pleasing is oftentimes tied into trauma.
She’s leaving her marriage because he refuses to actually let therapy do its job (he does it more to pacify her than anything else), and they really are at a stalemate because of it — and that has led to constant retraumatization for her, so I get it. However, when it comes to a lot of other women, they will just leave without looking into the mirror and tackling this question. That’s unfortunate, too, because if you don’t get the answer(s) to this one, a new man/marriage isn’t going to change anything. Chances are, all you’re gonna do is pick the same guy over and over again — because you’re on an internal loop that needs some work.
What About Him Has Changed Since Saying, “I Do?”
Not too long ago, I was having a conversation with a friend of mine about how we’re trying to figure out how to meet each other’s needs now that they’ve both changed quite a bit since we first became close. I’m telling you that it isn’t addressed enough that one of the main reasons why so many long-term relational dynamics hit walls is because one or both people expect the other person to always remain the same.
Not only is that unrealistic, but it also isn’t fair. And to make matters worse, it can be the ultimate gaslight to try and make someone feel bad for changing just because it might “shake up” your idea of them or result in you having to learn how to become more flexible when it comes to adjusting to their…shifts.
Listen, life is about evolving, and no one is designed to remain stagnant. So, if a part of what’s got you stressin’ is the fact that your man isn’t who he used to be, is that honestly a bad thing, or have you just gotten so comfortable that you don’t want to learn how to adjust?
In order for you to answer this question, you’re going to have to really think about how he’s changed — and then you’ve got to be honest with yourself that if the changes are improvements that require you to do some growing up…that’s a good thing. On the other hand, if the changes are simply different and unfamiliar, that’s what you need to discuss with him — not berate or condemn…simply discuss.
What About You Has Changed Since Saying, “I Do?”
When it comes to relationships, I’ve shared before that one of my favorite quotes is, “People change and forget to tell each other.” Keeping this in mind, just like he’s changed, it’s fair to say that you have as well — and the interesting thing about marriage is sometimes two people change at different times and paces.
I think that’s why a lot of people will end their marriage and simply chalk it up to “Hey, we grew apart” when it really isn’t that simple. Even the Bible says that when a husband and wife get together, they “shall become one” (Genesis 2:24-25), and there is absolutely no timetable for that. That’s because marriage, Scripturally, is designed to last until death parts two individuals (a foreign concept these days, I know). And that’s a huge part of the reason why The Love Chapter of the Bible starts off by saying that “love is patient” (I Corinthians 13:4) and patient is where the big kids play.
Patient: bearing provocation, annoyance, misfortune, delay, hardship, pain, etc., with fortitude and calm and without complaint, anger, or the like; quietly and steadily persevering or diligent, especially in detail or exactness.
And this is why I oftentimes find myself rolling my eyes when folks profess how “in love” they are very early on because if it’s not shown with patience, I highly doubt that its roots go very deep.
All of what I just said, it’s setting the stage for how to handle things if you’ve realized that you’ve changed. Just like you should evaluate how your changes have impacted you, your man, and the relationship, you also need to talk to him about how he feels about said changes because looking for a way out under the guise of “we grew apart” is not honoring your vows or giving your marriage a fair shake.
Besides, it’s okay to change — to not be the same woman you were on your wedding day. What’s not okay is not communicating how all of that has altered needs, wants, and expectations. And so, instead, you just…leave.
What Kind of Tired Are You?Tired Black Girl GIF by MonA Hayslett - Find & Share on GIPHYGiphy
"Tired" is an interesting word. The reason why I say that is it doesn't have just one general meaning. It can mean that you're fatigued. It can mean that you're bored (check out "Bored All Of The Time? Here's What's Really Going On.”) An informal definition is that you're disgusted.
So, you already know where I'm going with this particular point, right? If you feel like you're tired of being married, another thing to ponder is what kind of tired are you? Don't just assume that the word itself is all-encompassing or a good enough reason to end it because, if you're fatigued, that's to be expected. A lot of things wear us out — rest and rejuvenation can get us back on track.
If you're bored, yeah… that's not a good enough reason to end a marriage either. In fact, that's got all kinds of immaturity written all over it because to break a promise, to end such a significant union (and, let's be real, business arrangement) and, if you have children, to intentionally put them at the well and long-term documented odds that come with the brokenness of divorce (you can read about some of it here, here, here and here), being bored just isn't good enough.
Now if you're disgusted — that is something worth unpacking on a few different levels. Are you disgusted with how your spouse is acting or not acting? Are you disgusted that you've shared your needs, and they keep going unmet? Are you disgusted by the fact that nothing seems to change no matter how much you want them to? Maybe you're disgusted with yourself for being so…disgusted. Perhaps there are things that you've been hiding from your spouse that you're disgusted about.
If disgust is the issue, it's time to speak with a professional. And in the meantime, you've probably heard somewhere before that it's never wise to make serious decisions when you're tired, hungry, or angry. Pinpoint what's got you feeling the way that you do, manage your emotions with a mental health specialist, and then decide where to go from there.
What Do Your Vows Mean to You…Now?
Sometimes, I feel like one of the best things that could ever happen to two people who are experiencing a low spot in their marriage is that they really think about what a vow is. It's not just something you say. A vow is rooted in serious intent. A vow is rooted in integrity. A vow is something that goes beyond how you feel at any given time. A vow is defined as being "a solemn promise, pledge, or personal commitment." And if you got married believing that God was a part of the union, it's also "a solemn promise made to a deity or saint committing oneself to an act, service, or condition," and there's a Scripture that speaks on that part:
"When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; for He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed—Better not to vow than to vow and not pay." (Ecclesiastes 5:4-5 — NKJV)
So, let's say that you said traditional marriage vows during your ceremony:
"In the name of God, I, _____, take you, _____, to be my wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until parted by death."
When you said it, did you mean it? And when it comes to where you stand now, do you still mean it? If so, what can you do to push through the "tiredness?" If not, what are you gonna do about the fact that you took vows and vows are nothing to play with?
You know, we live in a culture where very few people live by the code "my word is my bond" anymore. How much stock do you put into your marriage vows? How much does your husband? It's something else worth discussing with him as soon as possible.
Would Life Actually Be Better After Leaving or Just…Different?Giphy
You know, it’s been reported that at least one-third of individuals who get divorced end up regretting their decision. One reason is that the person you were going into your marriage isn’t the person you are going out and the dating pool tends to shift drastically over the course of time. Another reason is that if you don’t do some serious self-introspection, hopping into another relationship isn’t going to change much.
In fact, divorce rates tend to jump almost 20 percent per remarriage. Another reason is that, even if you don’t feel about your partner the way you once did, oftentimes it’s still irrefutable that they are a good person — and good people can be hard to come by out in these streets.
So yeah, let’s end here. If you’re tired, you don’t need to ignore that. Being tired is definitely signaling some things. Yet before throwing in the towel (or doing something that could jeopardize your marriage, like cheating), please don’t romanticize that things would be better if you left.
If that’s what you’re thinking, this is something else to tackle with a therapist/counselor/life coach so that you can see past the rose-colored glasses of what you think reality would be like into the facts of the truth. Because, oftentimes, leaving a marriage doesn’t make life better; it just makes things different…and the differences can come with a whole ‘nother set of issues that can end up wearing you out too.
Yeah, I know this was A LOT to tackle, yet hopefully, if tired of being married is exactly what you’re feeling right now, this all has given you some real food for thought.
In the meantime, remember that being tired is oftentimes fleeting.
Ending a marriage? It is not.
Please choose wisely, sis.
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- 10 Men Told Me How They Feel About "Marriage Pressure" ›
- What Should You Do If You Feel Like You Married The Wrong Person? ›
Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at email@example.com. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
If there’s one part of the face that seems to be the most vexing to correct, it’s the under eyes.
This delicate area has a way of being tipped off by our irregular sleep patterns, stress, and the straining that comes from our computers and phone screens. From puffiness to dark circles, it can be irksome to find the right products to soothe our under-eye concerns. Thankfully, there’s one solution that delivers a brighter and more awakened look over time, and that’s under-eye masks and eye patches.
Eye patches are giving our under-eye bags an eviction notice because they can’t hang our glowing faces rent-free. The beauty of these patches is that they are designed to bring your eyes targeted results through concentrated doses of active ingredients directly to the skin under the eyes. Typically made of thin, gel-like material and infused with ingredients like niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, caffeine, and even green teas, these small but mighty patches depuff your puffiness, brighten your dark circles, or tighten fine lines.
While every under-eye differs in its needs, every eye can benefit from an under-eye mask or patch that suits its concerns. And to help, we’ve put together the best under-eye patches to hydrate, soothe, and brighten your eyes.
The KNC Beauty All Natural Retinol Infused Eye Mask, 5-Pack, is a retinol-infused, all-natural product designed to rejuvenate your eyes. It promises to provide hydration, smoothness, reduced puffiness, and brightness without the use of chemicals. With ingredients like retinol to refine skin texture and stimulate blood flow and aloe to soothe and reduce redness, it's like getting 8 hours of beauty sleep for your eyes.
These cooling hydrogel under-eye masks from Topicals promise to fade the appearance of dark circles and discoloration in just 15 minutes. The set includes six masks and offers benefits that brighten, hydrate, depuff, and cool your under-eye area.
Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C Power Brightening Hydra-Gel Eye Patches
Grab these eye contour gel patches to brighten the eye area and combat signs of aging using a powerful form of vitamin C called THD Ascorbate, which is 50 times more potent than traditional vitamin C.
BeautyBio's Bright Eyes consists of 15 colloidal silver-infused eye gel patches designed to provide instant depuffing, brightening, and revitalization to the delicate eye area within 10 minutes. They also contain natural collagen to help diminish the appearance of fine lines, which we love.
These viral hydrogel masks offer moisture and nourishment to rejuvenate tired-looking skin. Their Snail Secretion Filtrate contains "Mucin," an effective moisturizing ingredient that soothes damaged skin and delivers deep hydration, making it suitable for dehydrated and damaged skin types. Your under-eyes will thank you.
Try these caffeine-infused patches to reduce puffiness in the under-eye area. The product features clean, vegan ingredients such as caffeine, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid for deep hydration and moisture delivery.
The Forever Eye Mask is designed to be the “last eye mask you'll ever need.” This thin, lightweight, and reusable eye patch can hold gels, serums, and creams close to the skin for better absorption, helping your skincare products work more effectively.
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