Marriage

#lessonslearned: Top 5 Newlywed Mistakes in Marriage


Marriage

 

Look I’m new to this thang but I peep game. As much as I never thought I would be happily married….here I am being happy AND married. These are the top five things that are actually helping me steer away from certain marriage pitfalls. Also check out me and my husband on the 7th episode of the podcast Confessions From A Red Couch, make sure you subscribe and like the video

Trying to hold onto complete independence

Biggest lesson I’m still learning is that it’s not him taking care of me or me taking care of him. We are taking care of each, the weight is not solely on one individual. I have to fight daily to understand this concept, because I’m accustomed to taking care of everything by myself for myself. Now I constantly have to shift my thinking from ME to WE. There’s no more just put your head down and power through it.  Now we have to talk about certain decisions….which leads to the next mistake.

Communication is key AND Comprehension is crucial

It’s one thing to hear someone and another thing to listen. In a new marriage it is important that you listen to each other. Listen to you spouse’s words, emotions, message. Don’t just hear to respond. Don’t hear and interject your feelings. What they are saying has absolutely nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. It may not make you feel great hearing it and you may not even agree with it, but you have to listen. Effective communication and comprehension is key to keeping a marriage healthy and thriving.

Agree to disagree…..

You were two different people who lead two different lives before you got married. I know people sell you this idea that you *wILl FiNIsh eACh OthErS sEnTEnCeS* and be simpatico (excuse me while I gag). Y’all that’s all apart of a fairy-tale that DOES NOT EXIST. Stop putting that pressure on each other. You will not agree on everything and that’s okay. What’s not okay is to keep an argument going because you can’t let it go. Remember you married that person because you loved them for who they are, not because y’all agreed on everything. Let things go and come to a compromise so you can move forward in a loving life together.

Marriage is serious but I’m going to need you to laugh

Who ever told them marriage isn’t fun lied to you. My Nunny Bear and I literally crack each other up on a daily. Why? If I can’t laugh at the person I’m going to be with forever then what’s the freaking point? Like seriously, I would hate to be in a marriage when all we do is argue and frown at each other all day. I’d rather be single and happy then deal with that bullspit. Yes there will be times where you have to handle serious situations (health scares, finances, death, job loss, etc) but they should never steal the joy you have on your bond.

Sex is for more than procreation…..I DON’T CARE!!!

SEX IS IMPORTANT AND FUN!!!

I have no clue why people are lying about this.  And the men and women who are living this lie and using the bible…..didn’t read the whole book. They stopped too early, and I’m talking about Genesis early. Who hurt you so much that you don’t sex feels good…..NEW FLASH: IT’S SUPPOSED TO!! It’s how partners connect. Yes you can do it without physical touch, but it’s supposed to lead to that.

I’m not an expert by any means but I will say I had a lot of great examples in life. But also remember, I am the woman who never thought she would have had this amazing life changing experience. I’m not perfect and he isn’t either but we both fight to make this work in a positive way for as long as we both should live.

#LessonsLearned I Failed at….

 

 

Happy April!! I have missed you guys since the last post. But here we are back together again. I want to talk about something that very few of us like to talk about. Failure!!! The big F word. I wrote an earlier post about recovering from failure. Failure can be a driving factor to succeed or to do nothing. Most of the times we run from failure because it’s not fun to say we didn’t get the desired outcome. failure is the biggest teacher in life. It has taught me so many lessons, most were quiet and no one really noticed. Some were public and embarrassing. What I have learned is this, when you fail it’s not the end of the world. So here are some areas where I royally blew it and how it taught me to succeed and do better.

Failure at Explaining myself

A long time ago I felt it was necessary to explain my intentions. I wanted people to hear why I did xyz and what my emotional, physical and metaphysical reasoning for a decision that had nothing to do with anybody but me. I felt I needed the world to know my intentions for my every move. You know what happened…..I was still misunderstood. People would still get their panties in a bunch or twist my words to seem negative.
So I stopped. I started making moves without answering others questions. Writing this blog, my move. Starting a podcast….my move. It was liberating. I stopped worrying what people were thinking about my decisions and actions and just started living. It helped me to make important without asking for permission. I guess this leads into the next one…..

Failure at Living up to others expectations

Lord knows I tried my hardest to fit into boxes others molded for my life. I really did, but it wasn’t comfortable. It always felt a pair of shoes that were ill fit. Just felt odd, like I was wearing a mask. It wasn’t until one day I looked in the mirror and cried because I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror. I was uptight, stressed, and closed minded. How could I love anybody else if I didn’t love myself enough to be myself?
I began to take suggestions about how and what I should have been doing with a grain of salt. Sure I have the degrees and titles but what would be the purpose of acting like I was better than anyone I was trying to serve? So I began to make sure that I was happy with who I was to myself and others. Did I care if I met others’ expectations…nope. This is my life to live not theirs, and I am going to live it being true to myself.

Failure at Checking and responding to email

This one may not seem as deep as the others but let me help you out. Important information comes through my personal, work and business email daily. If I don’t check either one with consistency AND follow up it could mean loss of a sponsor, missed parent/student communication, missed opportunities, and the worst missed money. I actually lost a job because I didn’t follow up with an email. Yes missed money all because I didn’t take the time out to read.
Now I check my email three times a day. I make sure I follow up with my school’s administration, my parents, my readers/listeners, and other opportunities. As of now some of those don’t pan out but the majority of the time they do. So I make it a point to employ a 24 hour rule when it comes to email communication. I flag unanswered emails and make sure they are priority. The age we are in now, email is a vital part of effective communication. I will never drop the ball like that again.

What have you failed at that has made you more successful now? Please comment the lessons you have learned from failure. I love to know what you have done to progress into a better person.

 

#lessonslearned Guide to Ending Toxic Relationships

Hey kids!!! Welcome back to another session on the red couch. To my faithful readers, I thank you once again for returning for more of my ramblings. To my new readers I would like to say welcome and thank you for reading. Now let’s take this ride together and see what happens.

Toxic relationships,no matter how much we try to avoid them, happen. Whether it’s family, friends or a significant other we have all encountered at least one toxic relationship. But here’s the truth you don’t always hear…..YOU DON’T HAVE TO STAY IN IT!! You have an absolute right to make sure your peace is never disrupted and no one EVER has a right to take that away from you, doesn’t matter who it is (stop letting your mama/daddy drive you crazy).
Here are ways to identify a toxic relationship

  • You are always the one giving in the relationship: You are giving the rides. You are paying for everything. You are giving emotional and physical support. You do all the giving and they suck it all up like a vacuum cleaner, never giving you anything in return but fake compliments and a raggedy thank you….sometimes.

  • They never show up when you need them: Got something special you want them to come to….well it ain’t happening. They will give you every excuse in the book why they can’t support you and it’s mainly because they can’t make it about them.

  • Can we say issa NARCISSIST?!?!! If it ain’t about them then it doesn’t matter.

  • Never ending drama that’s never their fault. So you start to notice their stories are always filled with drama about how someone did them wrong? They always make sure they look like the innocent one in the story, which means they leave out what they did in the situation.

I’m pretty sure you can identify at least one person that you call a friend, family member or significant other that has taken you on the toxic rollercoaster. I’ve been on that ride a time or two, but I realized that I didn’t need any of that foolishness in my life. So I began to reevaluate the relationships and took steps to get out (I stopped casting my pearls to the swine).

  • I affirmed my decisions to leave that person alone. Look at some point I knew if I wavered then I would get stuck in the same toxic cycle. I allowed myself to be okay with letting it go.

  • I set boundaries. Honey when they tried to come with weak apologies and empty promises I countered with what I wasn’t EVER going to allow them to do. Call it an ultimatum if you want but I knew they couldn’t stand up to those boundaries. It helped me to protect myself and my peace.

  • I had an understanding that things were ending with that individual because it was about me and my peace and not about them or their feelings.

  • I made sure I was less dependent of that person and their lack of support. I could support and love myself so much more than they ever could.

  • I surrounded myself with positive individuals that I knew would support and love me just like I would support and love them.

Toxic relationships are real and they do affect the majority of us. The key thing to do is to identify the toxic relationship and get out of it as soon as you can.

Thanks for reading!! I hope this helps you or someone else you know. Make sure you follow me on social media to get access to the live podcast that records biweekly. This week I will be talking about this exact subject with my good friend and guest Kimbrella ❤

IG: @RedCouchConfessions

Facebook: @confessionsfromaredcouch

Youtube: Confessions From a Red Couch

 

#Lessonlearned Confessions from the life of a Former Control Freak

Hey kids!!! I’m back from one of the greatest experiences in my life. I married my best friend and gained even more amazing family. Goodness the amount of love I felt on that day was just indescribable. It’s funny that it was only about 3 years ago when I thought I could never feel or would never allow myself to feel the love that I feel every single day now. It took some time, work, and prayer to get me to where I am today. Please believe I am so happy I’m here.

Okay, for all this “growth” let’s talk about where I came from. Not because I want to dwell in the past but I want to remember where I never want to go back to.

My life as a control freak or the politically correct term “type A personality” was absolutely full of umm stress and anxiety. It was utterly exhausting trying to control every single thing around me. At times I knew I looked like a crazy woman. Always trying to control my family to do what I wanted. Always wanting my students and athletes to be the best EVEN if it meant not giving an inch to let them actually have fun (well not my athletes…I made sure they had a good time 🤷🏾‍♀️ call me biased).

I knew changes had to be made and fast. Things were so bad that I couldn’t control my emotions. I could never have the appropriate emotional response to situations. I would laugh when I should have been sad. Instead of expressing my anxiety I would become enraged or just flat out break down. It was so bad I couldn’t even celebrate joyous occasions, always thinking the worst would happen instead of just enjoying the moment.

So here are ways that I began to deal with the control life:

1. I stopped thinking I knew how others would react. The dumbest thing in the world is trying to predict others reactions. You are not them (I had to scream this to myself in the mirror). Everyone is not you and you are not them. How you react to a situation is not the same way someone else will. Stop thinking you can control people’s reactions.

2. Stop making up situations in your head. It’s not reality its your own imagination. If you have a negative way of thinking then chances are EVERY situation you come up with is going to end horribly. For me this is so I wouldn’t get my hopes too high if things didn’t go my way which is utterly ridiculous because nothing has really been a life ending experience. Might not have felt good going through some things but I’m still here.

3. You can’t control people’s feelings about you. I have written a post about not being everybody’s cup of tea and there’s nothing you can do about it. And guess what most times you can’t change it, but it has nothing to do with you. You have to be able to keep on living regardless of the thoughts others have about you.

4. You can only control what you have direct influence over. Your thoughts, your actions, your emotions and your response. That’s it!! You can’t control anything else but this. So why not make sure all of these are filled with positivity, genuineness, truth and love. That’s all you can control.

Once I began living a this truth my life started changing for the better. Do I still have to remind myself of these things….umm yeah. It’s easy to fall back into the same pit falls but I don’t stay in them. I keep moving forward one day at a time.

Life with Him

We did it lol ❤

Catching up…..

Hey kids!!! I hope all is well. Sorry I have been a bit absent lately but getting ready for this wonderful day has driven me a tad crazy….but not completely. My fiance has been amazing during this process and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with him.

I’ll be back next week with a new entry: How to Stop Self Abuse. Love you guys have a great 3 day weekend and pray hard for me…..like really hard.

Issa WHOLE Bride 😊

#Lessonslearned The Ultimate Adulting Gift Giving Guide 2018

Lord somebody save me from the month of December!!! I have 3 more days of classes left and I’m trying to figure out how to get away with wearing hoodies and yoga pants. My only saving grace is that my kids are taking finals (because that’s what high school teachers look forward to giving…said no teacher ever). I’m at this point in life where I’m completely over adulting. It’s overrated!! All of this stuff that’s about to happen in the next couple of months is exciting but chile is too muuuccchhhh. I decided to talk to my friends to see what are some gifts that would make adulting easier.

Ladies and gentlemen I present your ULTIMATE gift giving guide to make adulting a little bit easier.

1. Self care package: this includes candles, face/skin products, bath bombs, bubble bath, essential oils, etc. Anything that will take care of the body and help focus the mind.

2. Journals/organizers: these are amazing to help stay organized, write down goals, thoughts, dreams, memories, important dates, everything that our brains forget because adulting is hard.

3. “ME” Time coupons: If your friends have families these are great for them. 25 min of quiet can go a loooonnnngggg way if you have a husband and kids.

4. For my single friends a steady/reliable cuddle buddy. Not a #$%@ buddy but somebody who will touch them in a NON-SEXUAL way. Touch can be so soothing if done right (please don’t go around touching strangers, ask first 😂😂).

5. Herbal supplements or a trip to Colorado or California 😏 I’m not going any deeper than that.

Anyways, look if you didn’t read anything else read this, CHRISTMAS IS A TIME TO BE WITH FAMILY AND LOVED ONES. Don’t go broke trying to give your way into people’s hearts. They’ll still love you even if you make a smart decision to give them a $1.50 Christmas card, and if they aren’t…%$# ’em🤷🏾‍♀️.

Me avoiding adulting

#Lessonslearned You might be a teacher if….Christmas Break Edition

To all my educator friends we have made it to the half way point and  I say HYFR (you can interpret those letters for your own enjoyment)!!! Congratulations! We are almost done. You have made it to the half way point and you get to take that much needed deep breath and reset for the next half. I know all the sugar from snacks, final reviews, silly questions about why do they have to do the review and everything else is testing your second to last nerve, but hang in there you have maybe a week and a half to two weeks until you get a small taste of freedom. Here are a couple things to help you enjoy this well earned Christmas break……

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  1. You might be a teacher who’s about to go on Christmas break if the last week of school you have no idea what to wear. You want to be festive and wear your ugly christmas shirts/sweaters but you also just want to put on yoga pants and a big over sized sweatshirt….the same one…… for the whole week. Why, because your just trying to get to that last day without really having to think about anything extra…..like wardrobe.
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2. You might be a teacher who’s about to be on Christmas Break if you are looking forward to all the wonderful sugary treats that will help increase your holiday weight gain but will give you enough of a sugar rush to make it through each day. Don’t worry you’ll add losing it to your New Year’s resolutions or just wait until the end of the school year to get rid of the weight. Don’t forget you still have to get through standardized testing and a slew of other spring shows, plays, concerts, etc. that will do a number on your stress weight. It’s all good though, you still look amazing regardless. 

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3. You might be a teacher who’s about to go on Christmas break if you’re excited about having a break from students, but also know you’ll miss them. No matter how much of a break we need, we still care if our babies (no matter what level) are happy and safe. There aren’t many of us who completely zone out and forget about the well being of our kids. 

4. You might be a high school teacher who’s about to go on Christmas break if you have repeated 575,000 time that the review is just like the mid-term. Because you’ll still get questions like “Is it necessary to do it” “Do I need to do all of it” “Is this a major grade” ” Why can’t I exempt”. Just smile nod and say yes, because you only have to see them for 6 more days (Bwhahahahha).

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5. You might be a teacher on who’s about to go on Christmas if you beat the buses out on the last day. You have pushed the kids out of your class. Sang wonderful goodbye songs. Gave the occasional high five. All with your bags on your shoulder so that you can get home to take the nap that you have been waiting for since the first day of school. 

So enjoy your much needed break fellow educators. You deserve some time for yourself and your family. Don’t forget to recharge for the next semester!!!!

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#Lessonslearned Sis…you can take that guilt trip by yourself

Hey Kids!!! I hope your Thanksgiving holiday was filled with family, love and good food. How was mine? Chile I slept, did laundry, cooked and found some amazing shows on Netflix. It was the most amazing rest time I have had in a while. For the first time since I have been teaching I was able to enjoy a break without thinking about if my athletes were eating right, if they were doing the workout, hoping they wouldn’t get hurt or if they were doing the holiday workout or just hoping they were doing the workout period.

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I got to let my mind rest and think about more important things in life (like burning the mountain high pile of laundry I told my fiance I would take care of over break)

 

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So let’s talk about guilt trips. We all know that one grown person that acts like a two year old when they don’t get their way. They either throw a temper tantrum or try to pull on your emotions or use the whole fake tears and puppy dog eyes to get their way. The “If you love me you would…” or “I thought you were my friend but…..” oh this is my personal favorite ” I thought you were a Christian but…..”. Let me tell you something EVEN JESUS GOT MAD AND FLIPPED TABLES, don’t take my kindness for weakness. Sorry… I got off track.

Okay, don’t let these children in grown people’s bodies make you feel like you have to do anything you don’t want to. All you HAVE to do in life is live, eat food, stay your skin color and die….dassit!!! Don’t let these terrorist hold you and your emotions hostage. They will try to get their way at any cost and that cost could be your happiness and joy. 

Guilt trips are like those bad trips that you take that you thought would be a good idea but the whole time you’re sitting there with this face………..

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You knew deep down the group of people you were traveling with were full of s*%t and had a travel budget of a weeks worth of a elementary school lunch. Yeah that’s what I think about guilt trips. You take the bait because the other person makes you feel obligated even though you know their situation has nothing to do with you. 

How to avoid guilt trips:

  1. Recognize the guilt trip for what it is. If someone is making a “conditional request” or interjecting their sadness or anger to control you that is a guilt trip. These are ways that people are trying to control you by using emotions. Don’t fall for the okie doke. 
  2. Guilt trips are masks for something that is deeper, usually sadness, a “victim mentality” or anger. This person that’s trying to take you for a ride is hiding some deeper emotional issues. What they are really trying to do is communicate that in some way they are hurt by what they feel is neglect from you. When in reality they are just upset that you aren’t doing what they want you to do. I think about this with teenagers (not just boys trying to get the cookie because girls manipulate too) who pressure their peers into risky behaviors. They are doing this not because what they are doing is fun but mainly to get the other person to do it so they feel justified in their actions. 
  3. If the guilt trip works on you then you need to recognize that you are dealing with something that is deeper as well. If they make you feel guilty for something  then you need to look inside to see what is really going on. Guilt trips usually have nothing to do with the person that is being lead to feel guilty. Why do you feel the need to take the blame for something that has absolutely nothing to do with you? SO YOU NEED TO HANDLE YOU before jumping onto that Grey Hound bus that doesn’t have working restrooms and has a crying toddler every other seat for 72 hours (IDK what is wrong with my mind haha).
  4. Do not explain why you don’t want to go on the guilt trip with that person. There’s absolutely no real reason to explain yourself. Guilty people try to explain their way out of a crime. If you know the situation has nothing to do with you, why try to justify your actions? 
  5.  When confronting the guilt tripper DO NOT PLAY AROUND. Please don’t hmmm and haw around with your no or your decision not to fall for the trap. Most of the times guilt trippers are master manipulators and will twist your hesitation into something to benefit them. Make sure you keep putting the situation back on them. “Girl, I hear that you want to borrow $500 but I don’t have it. Let’s figure out a way we can help you budget your money better!”  ” Hey honey I’m sorry you don’t think I’m spending enough time with you even though I work 80 hour work weeks to pay the bills. What are ways that you can help out so I don’t have to work so many hours and have more free time?” (sorry ladies I had to throw that in there for the men). 

I hope these steps will help you form better relationships with others. I found that majority of us still operate as kids in grown bodies (me included). I think if we all work hard to deal with our inner issues we can communicate and relate to others in an unselfish way. I will have to say that I can’t take credit for all of my growth and deep self-healing (SIS, when I say I was a mess…whew chile).  After I started this blog and started learning from life lessons, we started a book series at church. The most recent book Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend has definitely had a major impact on my personal growth, I highly recommend it if you are wanting to do some self work. It will help you form healthy boundaries and take control of your life! 

Yes I have on a onesie with a hood and YES this is THE book 

#lessonslearned: The Great Beginning

Hey kids!!! I kinda of jumped in this series #lessonslearned without really giving a background of why I even started this blog in the first place. So let’s go back down memory lane *cues Back down Memory Lane by Minnie Riperton* (Awwww yeah)

Confessions From A Red Couch was born out of frustration. I was frustrated with life. My job sucked, my relationship was dying, my mental health sucked and it was affecting my physical health. I was having frequent debilitating panic attacks and migraine headaches. I had lost some of my pillars of strength in life. I had just been diagnosed with a blood clot that appeared out of thin air. My hope was gone. My faith was gone. I couldn’t pray….matter of fact I didn’t even know what to pray. I was mad at everyone including God and felt there was no where to turn (depressing right).

So one Saturday night when I was confined to my house (Dr ordered time at home) I figured I would change my surroundings in the house. So I went to my library/front room (I call it the creamsicle room) and sat on my red couch and started writing EVERYTHING I was feeling that would have led me to commit suicide in that room. Every hurt, every pain, every frustration, EVERYTHING. I would cry, write and sleep (this was the cycle for 2 days) and when I finished I finally prayed. I finally opened my mouth and talked to God. I finally let God heal my heart and dry my tears. I finally let go and at the moment of release God presented me with the name “Confessions From the Red Couch”.

Now it still wasn’t easy. I always thought who in the world could want to read my ramblings. Who would actually read this foolishness? No one will be able to relate to me and my own personal pity party. Everytime I would write an entry someone would inbox me saying how my transparency helped them. Someone would always send an email about how they don’t feel alone in their situation.

I never expected this blog to really be anything, just a place to rant, but it helped save my life. God allowed me an outlet for not only me but for others. Am I rich from blogging? Nope. Do I do this for monetary gain? I want to some day, but for now I’m writing for the simple fact that I owe it to God to share my experiences with others. Are things better now than when I first started blogging? Yep, but it’s not perfect, and I’m okay with that. I’ve learned so much about myself and how to maneuver through life a little bit better.

Well….that’s all folks lol I really appreciate those who have stuck with me as a have traversed this thing called life for the past 4 years. Yall have stuck with me through a lot and for that I am thankful. Since the holiday season is upon us I’m only going to post once in November and December. I really need to spend time with my family and loved ones without any distractions. 2019 be ready for a totally revamped blog, a new podcast and some good old “merch” (aka merchandise). I love you guys be safe and keep being amazing ❤

I said yes to my dress all while being bossy lol

My blessings right here…..my hearts ❤

Me and my love…..✊🏾 Forever

#lessonslearned Dump that toxic baggage

Let’s talk about what afflects us all…..baggage. Some baggage we can chalk up to lessons learned and some of it is just garbage we need to burn in a trash heap. As much as we’d like to say that “Oh girl I’m good, just happy to be out of it” or “You know I’m just happy I can move forward to better” we still have to deal with the issues that we carry from the toxic dump nuclear waste of a situationship.

1. Take responsibility for your actions and responses only. If you did all you knew how to please the other person then that’s all that matters. You can only be responsible for the things that you can do physically and emotionally. In relationships whether friend, family, or significant other we tend to judge the success based on the response of others to our actions. You can not, I repeat, YOU CANNOT control someone else’s response to your best intentions.

2. Each situation is not like your last. Take each new relationship as a new beginning. They are not like the last person so quit treating and making them seem like they are. You have every right to wish the best in every new situation until you have a reason not to. But do not hold others responsib\nle for your hurt feelings.

3. Let go of the guilt. Things don’t work out for a reason. As humans we crave the constant praise and accolades for how well we are doing. That’s not life and most times you get it wrong. That’s okay!! If this relationship went horrible quick, whether it was your fault or the other parties fault, get up, forgive yourself and move forward. Holding on to the guilt from your past mistakes can keep from moving forward, in life and relationships.

I know it may seem like things won’t get better but I promise they will. I’m trying to make you understand that you have control of being a victim or a victor. Focus on the positives and moving forward. Life and relationships aren’t always about the good times, more so can you be a survivor and flourish through what life brings you. You learn from every interaction in your life. Please don’t let one or two keep you from living your best life ❤

You know just looking cute for my fiance and what not