The Happy Nappy Bride

About weddings. About relationships. About the first year of being married.

Black family and marriage March 20, 2011

Filed under: Marriage — Happy Nappy Bride @ 5:44 pm
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I hadn’t heard about this Face Off series that Nightline put on with the title of “Why A Successful Black Woman Can’t Find A Good Man?”

Now, I know a whole bunch of you just sucked your teeth and rolled your eyes thinking, not this again.  I think it’s something to think about though.  I think that the program is mistitled though.  It would be aptly titled, State of the Black Family.  So I’d encourage you to look through the different conversations that are there…I’ve enjoyed it.  I especially liked Part 3 where you’re side swiped with the reality of Michelle and Barack Obama’s initial courtship.  It will check you, for sure!

These are conversations that need to happen in our community.  We need to talk about the real and not just the statistics.

Another teeth sucking moment?  Steve Harvey is one of the moderators.  Give it a shot though…it’s good!

 

What do you think? March 10, 2011

Filed under: Marriage — Happy Nappy Bride @ 4:32 pm
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A couple quotations from the latest Psychology Today:

When I ask Jean Twenge about marriage and happiness, the psychology professor at San Diego State tells me about her grandmother.  She ran a farm, gave birth to seven children, and was married to her husband until he died, shortly after their 51st anniversary.  It was a good marriage by all accounts.  “But she would have laughed in my face if I had asked her, ‘Was he your best friend?”

Now we expect our marriage partner to be our best friend and a great lover, a great parent and a soul mate, really good-looking and have a great sense of humor.  We have these expectations for marriage we can’t possibly fulfill.

Interesting huh?  I’d read this at the same time I read my Cosmo (trashy, I know) where the actress Michelle Williams was quoted as saying that we can really only expect another person to meet 60% of our needs…and if we get that, we should be pretty fired up.

I think these are right on!  One person can’t possibly be everything we want…isn’t that why we have community?  In that same PT article, the author talks about how our society is getting so insular. We stay at home to school our kids, we attend home churches, we’re working from home.  All of this puts even more pressure on “home” to bring us happiness.

What do you think?

 

Funnies January 17, 2011

Filed under: Marriage — Happy Nappy Bride @ 4:56 pm
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Can you believe those people used to be newlyweds?  LOL!!

 

5 Love Languages January 8, 2011

Filed under: Marriage — Happy Nappy Bride @ 7:06 pm
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I got a 5 Love Languages Devotional (for myself) for Christmas and I love it!  It’s a quick read since it’s a devotional and so far, they’ve been very useful for me.  Here was today’s…can’t wait to hear what you think:

“Where Change Begins”

As a marriage counselor, I’ve drawn one conclusion: Everyone wishes his or her spouse would change.  “We could have a good marriage if he would just help me more around the house.” Or, “Our marriage would be great if she was willing to have sex more than once a month.”  He wants her  to change, and she wants him to change.  The result?  Both feel condemned and resentful.

We think we see each others’ faults clearly, and we put forth a lot of effort to try to correct them.  But in reality, our own sin blinds us.  If we haven’t dealt with our own failings, we have no business criticizing our spouse’s.

There is a better way: Start with yourself.  Admit that you’re not perfect.  Confess some of your most obvious failures to your spouse and acknowledge that you want to change.  Ask for one suggestion each week on how you could be a better husband or wife.  To the best of your ability, make changes.  Chances are, your spouse will reciprocate.

All of them are good like that…and not too long.  It’s a great way to keep the main thing the main thing.  What do you do to keep your marriage healthy and on track?

 

Reading list December 19, 2010

Filed under: Marriage — Happy Nappy Bride @ 10:53 am
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I found a nice article over at Happily Married After called, “Marriage is a book: Not a chapter, page, or paragraph” and thought that he made a lot of nice points.  See what you think:

Thea and I had a challenging first year of marriage, as many newly married couples do. If we were to consider that those first few ‘pages’ of our marriage was indicative of the whole, we would have shut the book and returned it to the library. But we did not. And now by the end of the first chapter of our marriage – our marriage is much, much, much better. And we are so glad that we did not get caught up on page one.

Your marriage is a book. A whole wonderful story. Don’t get caught up on a letter, a word, a sentence, a paragraph, a page, or a chapter. Let the whole story play out. The best part is that we, with our hard work and effort, can write the story of our marriage in any way we’d like. And know this as well, our inattention and indifference to our marriage let’s outside influences write the story. And that’s when we sit and think that we don’t like the plot and try to exchange it for another book. It’s not necessary. You are the author and your story can be a good one. Finish the book.

As y’all know, I coach for a living and “finish” is a word we use a lot…I’d never thought of it in terms of a relationship.  What did you guys think of the article?  I loved it, because I am prone to being a tad emotional (Like, oh my gosh this is the worst thing ever…my life as we know it is gonna end!  Then the next day, oh my gosh, my life is awesome…it’s just great being me!) and blowing things out of proportion.

What do y’all think chicas?

 

marriage stats September 30, 2010

Filed under: Black weddings,Marriage — Happy Nappy Bride @ 12:20 pm
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Obviously I believe in marriage and what it stands for, that it’s powerful and wonderful and a benefit to individuals, couples…even society.  But check out this article, “Census data: Marriages in 2009 at record low level“.  It talks about a bunch of other stuff besides marriage (income level, housing report, etc.), but I think the stuff about getting hitched is interesting.

“The new figures show, among other things, that marriages fell to a record low level in 2009, with just 52 percent of adults 18 and over saying they were joined in wedlock, compared to 57 percent in 2000.  On the issue of marriage among adults 25-34, roughly 46.3 percent reported they had never wed. It was the first time the share of unmarried young adults exceeded the 44.9 percent who were married.  The recession took a dramatic toll on the institution of marriage in America last year, new figures show, with weddings for people 18 and older at the lowest ebb in over a hundred years.”

Why aren’t folks getting married?  I’m not gonna lie, I’m surprised.  You’d almost think that the marriage rate would be higher in a recession…but I guess people don’t have to get married to live together and share bills and whatnot.  They don’t talk about cohabitation, but I’d be willing to be that that’s way up!

Did you and your honey consider waiting out the bad economy to get married?  I wonder how many dudes are ready to ask their girlfriend’s to marry them, but are sweating out the recession.  I talked a lot during my planning phase about the cost of weddings, it’d be interesting to see what the economic impact of not having all of those weddings is having.  Our small budget wedding cost $11k…and a month later we went to one that cost $50k.  Those are tangible additions to a sputtering economy.  So I guess what I’m saying is, go on and get married…it’s good for the country!

 

Love is… September 25, 2010

Filed under: Marriage — Happy Nappy Bride @ 7:58 am
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I have a confession to make:  I hate these comics.  I think they’re cheesy and the characters look funny and I constantly wonder who actually likes them.  I mean someone must like them because they’ve been around forever.  Awful!  Just for giggles, I did an internet search for “who likes love is comics” and there are all sorts of fan sites.  Ugh!

Now that I’ve sufficiently explained my dislike for the Love Is comic, I thought of them last night when I came home after a terrible day at the office and The Mister was there to listen to me complain and give me hugs and had a funny movie all queued up and ready to go.  He’s pretty awesome and to me…that’s what Love Is.

 

Marriage advice from a business consultant? Read on! September 11, 2010

Filed under: Building a life,Marriage — Happy Nappy Bride @ 12:33 pm
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This is the continuation of the previous post based on an article comparing how similar marriages are to business partnerships called, 15 Steps for Successful Strategic Alliances (and Marriages)”. When I first read it, I was struck by how similar the two relationships are…obviously there are differences, but there are a lot of crossing points.  If we add a whole bunch of love to these business ideas, maybe our marriages will benefit.

Spread involvement. Create more ties for more people. I like this one, because a marriage isn’t just the two people…it’s our families and friends as well.  Back in the day, it really did take a village to nourish marriages and families…now we’re all so separated.  I wonder if that’s hurting marriages…especially newbie marriages.

Build organizational bridges — formal structures. She’s talking about reporting structures, but what if we built in formal “meeting” time with our hubby’s…where we could talk about how things are going?  So then it wouldn’t be a “we need to talk” uh-oh time, but a “we always talk” less stressful time.

Respect differences. “Alliances are most helpful when they involve differences — when partners give each other something they do not already have.”  How about that quotation?  <sarcasm> That’s a toughie for me since I’m always right and how could anyone have a different opinion…but maybe it’s helpful information for you people.  </sarcasm>

Teach partners. Learn from partners. This one comes from a place of respect.  Meaning you understand and value the knowledge that your partner has…and actually listen to them.  For me, this one has been pretty important.  The Mister is super knowledgeable about internet stuff (social media, internet marketing, personal branding, yada, yada, yada) and I’m not…so his know-how has been instrumental in my increasing my presence in my work industry.  I told him yesterday he’s on my Dream Team: folks instrumental to my goal of world domination.

Be prepared to change yourself. “Partners must be willing to be influenced by one another.  This can mean learning the other’s language and style or inventing a new one; changing to the other’s system or creating a joint one.”  Like I said on the other post, this lady could be a marriage counselor!

Help everyone win. My goal is for The Mister to think, “boy am I happy I married Dawn…she’s the greatest lady God ever made and I’m the luckiest man alive.”  I’d say that makes him a winner!  I know that I’m a winner because I think he’s one fantastic dude.

Get closer, change course, or exit gracefully. Yay to getting closer and changing course (when necessary), but boo to exiting gracefully.  I think we should expect to change and evolve over the course of our lives.  We just need to be sure we understand that changes will happen within each person…people evolve so relationships should as well.

So there are the 15 steps…what did you think about them?  Obviously some of them just don’t fit in the context of marriage, but I thought a lot of them did translate over.

 

real talk: marriage remix August 28, 2010

Filed under: Building a life,Marriage — Happy Nappy Bride @ 10:25 am
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Here’s a link to a great article titled, “8 Things No One Tells You About Marriage“…it’s a good one, check it out!  I’ve been having that I-suck-at-this-being-a-wife-thing feeling and it made me feel much better.  Here’s a quote from the end of the article (with my thoughts included):

But I am completely clear in the knowledge that many of the deepest frustrations in your relationship are an opportunity for you to confront yourself (from Dawn:  Ewww, who wants to do that?!). That can be difficult to accept (from Dawn: Ya think?!)— after all, it’s so much more comforting to keep a running tab of your hubby’s deficits (from Dawn:  Got my list right here!) and tell yourself that his failings are the only thing standing between you and a better marriage (from Dawn:  They’re not?). But if you let it, this bumpy journey toward self-awareness (from Dawn:  Self-awareness is for suckers) can be one of the more fulfilling rewards of a committed, long-term relationship — you’ll learn to love your quirks (from Dawn: My “quirks” are pretty annoying and I wonder why anyone is my friend, let alone how I got someone to marry me!) and be compassionate toward yourself (from Dawn: I could probably use a little of that compassion), just as you’re learning to do with him.

That’s the strange beauty of marriage: It’s full of hard times (from Dawn: Full?!!!!  Sheesh!) and hard lessons that no one can ever prepare you for (from Dawn:  seriously…NO ONE). But in the end, those are the things that give richness to your life together (from Dawn:  I agree.  The Mister knew about me and my quirks and still wanted to be with me.  He loves me and my annoying habits.) — and make your love even deeper and stronger than when it began (from Dawn:  I want that!!).

Anyhoo, check out the article, then come back and let me know what you thought.

 

more baby talk August 24, 2010

Filed under: Building a life,Marriage — Happy Nappy Bride @ 9:12 am
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The other day when I was getting my nails done, the lady doing my toes started chatting with me and asking about my new marriage.  Then, predictably, the convo turned to babies.  Now I go to this shop all of the time:  went there with my bridal party, have taken my step-daughter there…they know me by name.  And here’s one of the things that I hear a lot from the ladies:  have a baby to solidify your marriage.  I mean, she didn’t say it just like that, but that’s the gist.  She actually said that marriage would be “better” once we had kids.  For unmarrieds, this is generally seen as being the most ridiculous thing ever, but for marrieds…apparently not.  It seems that anchor babies are all the rage.

Another thing that I’ve heard since I was a youngin was when folks marry who’ve already got kids, they need to have their own right away to make it harder for one of them to leave.  I guess the reasoning is that if you have a kid between the two of you, then you’re more invested in the relationship.

Surely I’m not the only one who’s heard this kind of stuff.  Am I wrong to think it’s hooey?  Call me crazy, but I’d hope that The Mister is all in with me already and I don’t have to trick him into staying with me by having an anchor baby.   Plus, I’m pretty sure I read in a Psychology Today that folks who have kids have more arguments, less money, and have less bedroom shenanigans…that’s a better marriage? Now if I remember correctly, the article also said that even with all of those negative characteristics, people love being parents and wouldn’t change it for the world.

Of course The Mister and I plan on having some kiddos, but I’d hope that the desire behind it wouldn’t be to make sure the other person doesn’t go running in the other direction.

Have you guys heard of stuff like this?