Friday, February 24, 2012

Close the Door

Divorce is not just an end. It also represents the beginning of a newly defined relationship of a love experienced by the grace of God, and we can move forward into new relationships; love with more intensity and more fervor. We are more experienced now at how to love. Healing is the process of walking through the hurt of disentangling from the chords that bind us together in unity. Going through healing we can realize more about the vastness of God's love, and the capacity of our beings to love repeatedly, in quantity and in quality.

Getting through divorce involves taking good care of yourself.  Forgiveness is a major part of this care and of major importance in the healing process. I say this often - because forgiveness is everything. You have to forgive yourself, your ex spouse, and any other person you harbor unforgiveness toward, in order to achieve healing.  However, I also want to emphasize how much we benefit from personal care during our healing process. 

Whenever we suffer a traumatic loss, it is only natural that our defenses are down - everything from our immunity to disease to our emotional stability is at risk.  Also, you are getting divorced for reason(s), so you might experience feelings of inadequacy or question your self worth. It's the most important time to make sure you take care of you and get the door closed on this episode of your life.

There is so much that we can do to take care of ourselves, and I encourage you to at least explore the available options.


  • Find a counselor who is licensed and trained to help you sort it all out. You can do this through your church home, or through your area mental health organization. Most work organizations have a discrete mental health component of health insurance that will guide you in finding a counselor who is right for yourself and/or your children. Take that step - you will be surprised how much it helps to have guidance from a trained outside source.
  • Start a new physical routine, even if it is just walking. The physicality of that will energize you, give your mind processing time, and provide your body with much needed  exercise. A few weeks of even short walks, during 15 and 20 minute work breaks, will provide you visible results and mental clarity. 
  • Talk to your doctor. Let your family physician know that you are going through a difficult transition, especially if you are having marked emotional or physical difficulties. Your health is a total package, and your physician will have valuable information and resources.
  • Write it out. Keep a journal or a video log. A great way to get all of those thoughts out of your head is to put them down on paper or record them. Journaling gives a great sense of clarity. You might even start blogging! 
  • Pursue the experiences that bring relaxation and clarity.  Read your bible more, pray, practice yoga. Practice wholeness lifestyle activities that have healing qualities.  

Local to Columbus?  VITALITY offers  holistic tools to relax, unwind, refocus and recharge. You can even schedule your appointment on line, and though therapeutic massage, health counseling, meditation or natural medicine this center for well being plans to get you back to complete and total wholeness.





Thursday, February 23, 2012

$700 Winter Blast of Cash Giveaway

$700 Winter Blast of Cash Giveaway Event
Welcome to the $700 Winter Blast of Cash Giveaway hosted by Giveaway Promote. A fantastic group of bloggers have gotten together to give away $700 in cash to one lucky person. Check out the list of participating blogs at the end of this post. Complete the tasks below to earn entries into this giveaway. One winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries.   Bloggers, join us in an upcoming event! Sign up for Giveaway Promote's event mailing list to receive information via email about their future events.  
This giveaway is open worldwide.
It will end at 11:59pm EST on March 4th, 2012.
  a Rafflecopter giveaway   This giveaway is brought to you by:
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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Wrap Up

This is a wrap up post. I am wrapping up my 21 mommy blogger weight loss challenge (for 7 days, because then I am starting the next 21 day challenge). I am wrapping up a few days hiatus; and maybe I am wrapping up a salad to go at Panera which, it turns out, is not my office away from home, but just a place where I watch people between bouts of editing and writing.

First, my 21 day Weight Loss Challenge! Today I had a scone and decaf coffee for breakfast. I know good and well that is not in line with my weight goals, but I had it anyway. Mostly because it is raining outside, my kids missed the school bus, and I don't want to measure myself and share with anybody in the clearly watching and waiting mommy universe what my measurements are today and if they have changed substantially. I am going to share what has changed.

My outlook: So much support for a life change goal is amazing. Most times when trying to do something as difficult and trying as change the way you look at food and then the way you live with it, consume it, and treat your body as well, logging onto your computer is an escape tactic. Now, logging onto FB has sent me straight to the Challenge group to find out what the comments are, who has tips, to post my observations, successes, struggles. How immensely encouraging! This network has pulled me back from quitting so many times. That is part of the reason I am starting another 21 days - to accomplish everything I didn't the first go around, plus more in this environment.

My attitude: I have a physical condition, fibromyalgia coupled with atypical migraines, that limits me from doing things the way I would have 5 years ago.  My attitude about this has taken me some places where balance balls and yoga stretches do not go. Realizing attitude as an obstacle through relationship and interaction in just the short time of this challenge helped me reconfigure my thinking.

I am eating healthier, making healthier choices and yes, losing weight - slowly. Tonight I will measure myself and snap another picture.

Chicken Feta Wraps You will see a picture of this in a review coming soon!
Boston Bibb Lettuce
Chicken Strips (grilled)
crumbled feta cheese
candied pecans (crumbled - just a few)
Cherry or grape tomatoes
wrap (choose the kind that fits your diet)


Chop lettuce
toss in bowl with 1/4 cup of feta
sliced tomatoes -about a palm full or 1/4 a cup
chicken strips
1/4 cup of candied pecans - or plain if you like

Don't overfill your wrap (as I have been guilty of in the past); put the mixture in the wrap, fold the bottom up, roll one side over and continue rolling until wrap is completely closed. Slice wrap in half.

If you need something extra, use a low fat ranch dressing or low fat balsamic on your salad mixture before putting it in the wrap.





Saturday, February 11, 2012

Is Veggie Pizza a Diet Food?

Uhmmmmm...I guess it's not good when I start out a post like this, right? I was doing really well, sticking to my plan, appreciating all of the support, keeping my goal in mind, ticking off points in my mind and then in excel. Until....veggie pizza. I had it for dinner with a great salad, portion control excellent, lots of vegetables in the spinach salad.

It must have triggered a recessed trigger that flipped a nocturnal switch because the next morning, when I was heading to the fridge for egg whites, my mind was headed to the leftover pizza thinking egg whites had to be involved in pizza dough. I am absolutely sure all of the vegetables make it an awesome food choice. Three pieces must be a viable portion since it increases my veggie intake exponentially.

Except it also triggered another switch - the 'I think I messed up so I may as well call it a wash' switch. I counted that day as a bust. It wasn't a total waste, because there are very few unhealthy options in my house, but I consumed whatever I wanted of those options. The only time I stretched was to reach up to the top cabinet for a wine glass into which to pour Riesling.

The next day I got up, drank a bottle of water and had an egg white omelet. I stretched into yoga and got back on track. This is my life - a way of life, not a fad. Sometimes I am going to slip, but I am always going to get right back on track.

Have you had any bad days? I don't think I would be human if I didn't.

Here is a healthier pizza recipe, if you wanted to try it!

Eggplant Parmesan Pizza

Ingredients

  • 1 small eggplant, (about 12 ounces)
  • Yellow cornmeal, for dusting
  • 1 pound Easy Whole-Wheat Pizza Dough, or other prepared dough (recipe follows)
  • 3/4 cup prepared marinara sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced medium clove garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup thinly shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
and try this healthy dough recipe from she-fit.com!  Yummy!



Twitter for $25

In keeping with the "I  love me some ME," theme at Black, Divorced & Virtuous this month, enter to win a $25 EdenFantasys gift code on twitter tonight. How? Follow @BdandV on twitter, and log on between 7-8 p.m. EST for your chance to win. We'll chat a little about what kind of things you do that take less than 15 minutes that are solely for your own encouragement or pleasure.

Right in time for Valentine's Day and with free express shipping, EdenFantasys provides lots of ways for you to do something great for self! This adult fantasy site has everything from lip butter to bath robes and A-Z in between.

Visit EdenFantasys today, shop around, and do something for YOU for Valentine's day. I want you to pleasure yourself. Okay, maybe what I should say is that I want you to pamper yourself. I especially love the bath products.

If you are feeling like paying it forward and doing something special for a friend, you can even give them the gift of EdenFantasys in time for V-day!

So, go ahead and follow on twitter - @BDandV - visit EdenFantasys, and let me know in the comments what your Valentines day plans look like.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I am doing it...I am....



So, today I got up and drank a bottle of water (12 oz) and for breakfast I had an egg white omelet (egg whites, red peppers, onions). Cool, even though I wanted to have apple pie. I did my yoga stretches and got to work on the laundry we amassed since Friday and while out of town. It will be interesting to see how I do on this 21 day weight loss challenge since my exercise is moderated because of the fibromyalgia.


I am relegated to Pilates and Yoga stretch exercises for now. I also find that I am not getting good points for sleep because I am not getting enough of it! I need to work on that - I am going to go to bed at least 1/2 hour earlier for the next few nights, consecutively. That might increase my energy. I have fatigue from the Fibro, and I often am up late. Hopefully more water, regular exercise, and earlier bedtime will get me some more sleep points!

For lunch today, I cannot tell a lie, I had a banana and a Clif bar. (I know, for shame), and a huge glass of water. I was trying to get some deadline issues completed.

Here's something I am really proud of, though. This weekend, I had to go out of town for a family emergency. Sometimes, being on the road causes me to make totally bad choices in food and water consumption. I knew I needed to do what was right, not just because of this challenge, but to manage my stress level as well.

I chose all of the right options for eating, I drank water the entire trip (opting for decaf coffee only twice), and I felt alert and unstressed because of that. I got some walking in, because there was no time for anything else.That was a great success!

So, today I need to sit down and plan out my menu for the week, plan my water consumption and more relevant exercise times. I still haven't posted my before picture and I promise to do that this week. It's not a fun photo op.

Don't forget to click on the links below, leave your comments, advice and questions! Maybe you want to take the 21 day challenge yourself?




Disclaimer: This post is in conjunction with the 21 Day Mommy Blogger Weight Loss Challenge with Dustin Maher. I am doing the Fit Moms for Life Program. I have received the program for free and have not been paid to write this post. All opinions are mine. For more information on the program please learn more about it here: Fit Moms for Life

Friday, February 3, 2012

Challenge To Life

I grouped up with some of my friends and committed to going meat free last month. Since my diet is mostly turkey and chicken - I don't eat fish, and I am not in love with beef, I figured this would be a no-brainer. The first half of the month I payed specific attention to meal planning, and it wasn't so hard to manage the challenge. I even supplied my sisters with homemade vegetable soup!

The end of January was a little more difficult. Fighting fatigue from fibromyalgia, I fell down on planning and slipped up a couple of times. Two times were with chicken breast, but the recipes were full of vegetables and not processed foods. Where I had my biggest slip ups were when we were on the road. Alternatives when traveling are difficult. My sister is Pastoring in Cleveland, Ohio and we make that journey twice a month. On the way home this past Sunday, we discussed the difficulty with on the road food choices. (In that vein, be looking forward to an upcoming review on EasyLunchboxes). Overall, I did fine with this challenge.

Now I have entered a 21 day Mommy Blogger Weight Loss Challenge with Dustin Maher from Fit Moms For Life. The system Dustin has created is based on creating healthy habits and his goal is to help 5000 moms get endless energy to outplay their kids this year.



One of my first tasks is to measure myself following the instruction provided on the  Fit Moms For Life workout and nutritional DVD; then weigh in AND TAKE MY BEFORE PICTURE (I'll share it all here - well maybe not my exact weight, but the rest of it. lol)!

Yes, that is a scary thing, but to give me encouragement, several of my blogger friends are taking the challenge too, and you can encourage us by clicking on the links in the next three weeks and leaving your comments, advice and questions!




Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Sweetheart Stroll & Nontle Jewelry Review & Giveaway

Welcome to the Sweetheart Stroll hosted by Freckleberry Finds!  A group of great bloggers have gotten together for some giveaways for Valentine’s Day. Be sure to hop around to all the other blogs participating in this event after entering the giveaway here!. The linky list will be under the Rafflecopter Form.

This giveaway prize is self-sponsored by Black, Divorced and Virtuous and Nontle Jewelry!  Enter to win a one of a kind jewelry piece valued at $45.

At Nontle Jewelry, every piece of jewelry is uniquely made, and custom made pieces can be ordered.

Because BD&V has determined that February is all about taking care of ourselves, we want to highlight Nontle Jewelry and how important it is to have at least a few pieces of signature jewelry in your collection. I am not the kind of woman who can keep up with a lot of pieces. Buying a few beautiful uniquely made pieces that go well with many different outfits works well.

Danielle Benson, owner and jewelry designer, launched the business in 2005 and the website in 2009. Each piece is created only once, so no other person will ever have your signature pieces. Although she is an internationally sold designer, Nontle Jewelry designs are  affordable for all women (and Nontle Jewelry makes signature pieces for men as well). The website has some really great tools. I especially enjoy How To Wear Your Jewelry, where help on how many ways you can actually wear your jewelry and with what kind of outfits is provided.

Nontle Jewelry, Official Fashion Designer for Fashion Week Columbus,  has been featured in some amazing places including various magazines and runways. Visit the website at www.nontlejewelry.com to see What's New This Month and highlights from the Fashion Week!

Visit Nontle Jewelry's website or go visit on Facebook and tell them I sent you! Get a 'Uniquely U' piece during "I Love Me Some Me" month!

or

Enter on the rafflecopter below for a chance to win the blue piece pictured to the left or another unique piece from the 2012 Collection valued at $45 - yes, that means two people will win a signature piece from this international collection!
Please be patient the rafflecopter may take a few seconds to load, and if it doesn't, click on the word 'rafflecopter' and be redirected to the entry form!   
Good Luck Everyone!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway ENTER TO WIN !

Until Death Do Us Part: 8 Reasons For Marital Failure Amongst African Americans

In our usual effort to bring you
Until Death Do Us Part: 8 Reasons For Marital Failure Amongst African Americans
By Dr. Umar Abdullah-Johnson, Psy.D., NCSP, M.Ed.
November 6, 2011) -- Discussions about the epidemic are everywhere, from the latest best-selling novels to academic discussions on college campuses, to passionate discussions between Frat brothers & Sister circles. The question everyone wants answered is "WHY?" Unfortunately, many of the traditional reasons you have been given for the premature romantic meltdowns amongst Blacks are inaccurate and insufficient. These very same factors were present when successful Black marriages, created 30 or 40 years ago, were forged but yet many a couple managed to stay together.

Original Post from the above noted site
As a child therapist, who spends much of my time navigating the parental relationship in order to create an atmosphere of normalcy in which our children can function, and as a doctor of clinical psychology, who studies the emotional and psychological conditions that give rise to relationship difficulties that are unique to African-Americans, I have discovered that there are several themes running through failed families that if brought to your consciousness may help you escape a dead end relationship, or be able to help resuscitate a dying one back into new life. 
 
With nearly most Black children being reared in single parent households it shouldn't come as a surprise that the ADHD diagnosis has been on the rise, which in most cases has nothing to do with any neurologically-based brain dysfunction, but rather a family-based emotional dysfunction that I refer to sarcastically but truthfully as "Absence of Daddy from Home Disorder," which is the real ADHD. If we want to save the Black community, we have to save the Black family, for if the most essential of institutions is destroyed then almost no other can function effectively. 
 
1) SEARCHING FOR SECURITY: UNMET EMOTIONAL NEEDS FROM CHILDHOOD - Because so many of us either come from families that were dysfunctional, or had relationships with parents that were dysfunctional, it's not difficult to understand how one's unconscious conflicts may lead you on a search to find what you never had (i.e., SECURE ATTACHMENT TO A CAREGIVER, ATTENTION, ACCEPTANCE, LOVE/INTIMACY, APPROVAL, TRUST, RECIPROCITY). Because one's relationship behavior, under such circumstances, is largely under the control of unconscious impulses it should come as no surprise to you that selfishness ranks at the top of the list of reasons for relationship dissatisfaction. When your dating or mating behavior is largely driven by an unmet childhood need, your partner simply becomes a means to an end, but NOT the end itself. Thusly, you end up using and exploiting them, for what they can give to you, without offering anything in return. You must become conscious of how your poor relationships with parents, or siblings, is continuing to play out in your romantic behavior, transforming you into an exploiter or victim of emotional exploitation. Before settling down, you'd being doing yourself a huge favor by having an in-depth discussion with your bride or groom to be, to ensure their reasons for marriage are not based upon attempting to overcome childhood insecurities that have plagued them for most of their lives. 
 
2) SELF-HATRED: LOOKING FOR SOMEONE TO LOVE YOU - Many people are their own worse enemy but are totally unconscious of this fact. When something goes wrong in your life do you chalk it up to a learning experience, or human error, or are you one of many Blacks who begins to replay old abusive audiotapes from memory, with your parents' voices (or older siblings) disguised as your own. Do you beat yourself up without mercy, or are you able to comfort yourself when you make mistakes. If your inner voice is that of an abusive and overly punitive parent, chances are you suffer from self-hatred, and it is this self-hatred that is driving you to find a mate who can put out your self-inflicted emotional arson with their cool waters of love and compassion. You can spend a significant portion of your life trying to find love until you come to the realization that you will not be able to reciprocate the love you find if you do not ALREADY love yourself. No matter how much another person loves you, until you love yourself, you will never be able to love them in return appropriately or effectively. In fact, they may choose to walk away from the arrangement after having their emotional forces sucked dry without reciprocity. You don't need a lover, you need a therapist. 
 
3) MATERIALISM MELTDOWN: BUYING HAPPINESS - Needless to say that in a capitalistic society the corporate-owned media will actually be able to convince some African-Americans that marrying someone with economic potential, and the education to go along with it (i.e., MBA, JD, MD, PhD, PsyD, etc) may actually brainwash you into thinking that to find a person who appears able to help your purchase an upper middle class lifestyle may lead to lasting happiness. Nothing could be further from the truth. Listen to me carefully, "money buys pleasure, it can never buy happiness." In fact, the pleasures that money buy often lead to addictions that destroy relationships. This is not an invitation to a life of poverty often so well propagated by the religious sector, that many Blacks erroneously find poverty to be a blessings, but rather this is just a dosage of psychological realism that peace of mind cannot be purchased. Many Black marriages simply dissolve when one superficial partner is no longer content with the "financial ceiling" their partner has hit. A high maintenance partner, man or woman, spells disaster. These individuals are self-centered and emotionally distant. They never get the last laugh as sooner or later old age creeps upon them, and the wisdom of contentment begins to haunt them, but not before then with they give up their self-centered capitalistic mindset to begin the search for an intimacy and love that cannot be purchased with a credit card. 
 
4) ESCAPING MISERY: LOOKING FOR A WAY OUT OF YOUR PAIN - Many of us look for relationships not to satisfy our unmet needs, or our economic desires, but rather as a life jacket to save us from dealing with personal challenges that we don't care to address. All of us have things about ourselves that cause us great discomfort (i.e, problems with relatives, health concerns, dietary issues, professional barriers, unfinished goals, problems on the job, unearned degrees, poor relations with our children, emotional concerns, etc), but yet we don't have the resolve or discipline to face them. Just as an alcoholic or drug user reaches for substances in times of inner pain and turmoil, you simply reach for a new relationship. As all drugs must ultimately reach a point of tolerance, where more is required to retain the desired effect, as soon as one relationship is no longer sufficient to distract us from our personal emotional issues, we discard it and reach for another. RELATIONSHIP ADDICTS, Blacks who cannot be without a romantic partner, is a very real and prevalent concern in our community. Being addicted to relationships is certain to land one in an ongoing, yet unfulfilling, cycle of relationships that are devoid of true reciprocity and intimacy. The problem with relationship addiction is that the relationship cannot save you from yourself, nor can it ever serve as an effective band-aid for your inner conflicts. It's better to fix yourself than destroy someone else's life. Anyone who cannot be alone long enough to develop a relationship with themselves can never build a happy one with another person. 
 
5) POST-TRAUMATIC RELATIONSHIP DISORDER: THE GHOST OF RELATIONSHIPS PAST - In an attempt to acquire happiness, which cannot be obtained from any outside source, including people, many of us do not allow ourselves sufficient time to heal from long-term relationships, or short-term exhausting relationships, that have sapped our emotional, spiritual and psychological energies. Between relationships we all need a period of fasting, where we give our minds and souls the opportunity to heal and rest, before we attempt to "get it right the next time." We always hear talk about the need for dietary fasting and spiritual fasting, but now is the time for me to introduce the concept of relationship fasting. Yes, a period of NON-DATING, that should last at least a season (3 months) before you infect some innocent person's life with the negative energy of a past relationship. Just as with all traumas, you need time to re-stabilize your inner self and regain a sense of reality. When you don't give yourself TIME OFF from forging new romantic attachments you risk spoiling what otherwise would have been a perfectly good relationship with your psychic baggage from your previous love(s). You are not able to trust, love, commit, reciprocate and be emotionally available for fear that he or she may be a rendition of the previous failed partnership. If you are still afraid, that means you are still suffering the aftershocks of post-traumatic relationship disorder, and should not be dating. This is one of the biggest problems with relationships in our community, as too many of us are spiritually infected with the unhealthy energies of past encounters, not to mention still in love with previous partners, thusly wasting the time of an innocent person who has healthy relationship needs that you are not able to fulfill since you are still preoccupied with someone who is no longer in your life, or shouldn't be. You have to get over your past in order to get on with your life. There is a season for everything, including a time to heal.


6) TYRANNY OF YOUR INNER CHILD: THE PAIN BODY EXPERIENCE - Everyone, regardless of Race, has a pain body. An inner child who has never really grown up, and has been wounded in some way during our earlier years. This inner child usually sleeps and never bothers us until something happens, usually something that causes an intense insecurity, embarrassment or fear, sufficient enough to awake the sleeping inner kid and causes him/her to have a temper tantrum. When we date we are usually selling our conscious better selves to our partner, like a good salesperson we tend to hide, consciously or unconsciously, the negative aspects of our character, which tend to reveal themselves until an experience occurs that lessens our ego's desire to hide its TRUE SELF. So you've been dating for 3 years and now she's pregnant, or the two of you decide to co-habitate, or get engaged, or get married. Now, finally, the real you will begin to reveal itself. That's right, not just the positive side of your personality that has been on display the past 3 years, but the negative side of your personality is about to show itself for the very first time, and in full effect. Once your partner's pain body has been awaken, that tyrannical inner child, you are face-to-face with a person that you never really knew. You have never seen him/her under real stress until now, and you realize you have been sold a false personality picture, and you thusly decide it's time to end a situation that has been 3 years in the making but only 3 months in duration. This is why most Black divorcees do so within 2 years of jumping the broom - they never saw their partner's pain body until it's too late. That is why, as a therapist, I am in full support, despite opposition of religious circles, that pre-marital co-habitation is a must. Only when you actually share 24 hrs a day with your mate-to-be will you truly be able to assess who they really are. It is so very easy to hide one's negative traits behind a false fa├žade of being the "perfect catch." Until you have seen his/her pain body, regardless of how many years into the relationship, you are still dating a stranger. 
 
7) WE DON'T HAVE ANYTHING IN COMMON: THE CLASH OF VALUES - One of the biggest misconceptions regarding Black marriage is the need to have things in common. This is so not true, you don't need to have anything in common (i.e, careers, hobbies, interests, etc) EXCEPT VALUES. Two people may appears to be twins on the outside, coming from the same types of homes, same religious backgrounds, same careers, same hobbies and interests but yet be total opposites INTERNALLY. Non-identical values are destroying Black families faster than fire consumes wood. At the top of the list is finances. You may love to spend money, and live paycheck to paycheck, but your mate values saving over the long term, and not being a spendthrift. Such a clash of values is likely to erode the foundation upon which the marriage stands. Another is GOD. You love going to worship service, and it's a regular part of your weekly routine. However, your mate, who is of the same religion and claims to value God as much as you do, doesn't see the need to attend bible study or Friday/Sunday worship at the Masjid/Church. This is going to cause a major conflict because it heightens the true values gap that exists between the two of you. Some of the others include intimacy, in-laws & friends. You may like to spend more time with your friends that your family, or you mother may like to play a bigger role in your marriage than she should, or you think that physical intimacy one night a week should be sufficient while your partner values regular intimacy as a foundational aspect to his/her marriage. Clashes over values can be easily avoided by making sure they are discussed during the dating/courting process. When you clash over values it's because you really didn't take sufficient time to get to know your mate. You were so busy focusing on your own values that you didn't bother to study his/hers. 
 
8) BLENDING THE UNBLENDABLE FAMILY: YOUR CHILDREN OR OUR CHILDREN - Co-Raising children, even if the children are biologically your own, can be a very difficult issue to tackle in marriage. However, when you have children and your mate has children of his/her own, brining all of those personalities under the same family governmental system can be quite a challenge. Sometimes, we never prepare ourselves for the fact that marriage truly means "what is yours is also mine." Thusly, it becomes difficult for us to allow someone else to chastise our children. When partners feel that you don't want them raising your children they begin to question the commitment your have for them overall. Think about it, what better way to show trust and true reciprocity than to allow him/her the opportunity to share in the decision-making duties of their non-biological children. When you are not able to do this it creates a trust gap in the relationship that can only widen with time. Still further, when you differ over how the children should be raised and discipline techniques, or even just the need for discipline itself, things can begin to get really rocky in that once peaceful household. As a therapist, I have seen the Black mothers' traditional over-protection of her son lead to standoffs with her new husband, who refuses to share power, nor should he, with a spoiled teenage boy. I have also seen where a biological father's love for his daughter has prevented him from making it clear that his wife is not one of her girlfriends. When these small fires are not stamped out of existence, they threaten to burn down the entire marriage. Before settling down, spend some time with your mate's children, get to know them, and ask yourself if you can tolerate those particular personalities for the rest of YOUR life. Study how different your discipline approaches are, and whether or not you can find common ground, especially when you don't share the role of biological parent. Most importantly, check your own possessiveness, and readiness for having another person treat your children like their own. If you are not ready for this, then you are not ready for marriage.

These are just a few major issues that can threaten, add oftentimes destroy, what could have otherwise been a happy marriage in the Black community. Certainly, a book can be written about each of the above-mentioned issues, and I plan to follow-up by doing just that. Nonetheless, we should want what's best for our children, and that is a safe and happy home with their biological parents. None of us are perfect, and there is nothing wrong with moving past a terrible situation, as staying in an emotionally unfulfilling relationship, just for the sake of the kids, can end up hurting the children more than you. Let's face it, we live in a psychologically unhealthy society, where the pursuit of material, economic & professional accomplishment has reduced the importance of family and children to being nothing more than social assets we use to given the impression that we are psychologically healthy, when in all actuality we are rotting from the stench of American Capitalism. Just take a look at the suicide and homicide rates in the Black community, and you will see that we are a people in crisis. Still further, just take a look at the rates of depression, bipolar & borderline personality disorders in our community, and you will see that our people, a historically faithful people, are now dying from spiritual hunger. 


Domestic violence and child molestation are two taboo topics that neither the Black Masjid or Black Church is willing to discuss openly and honestly, which leaves it to crusading Black behavioral specialists, like myself, to set the record straight as to why so many of us are living as "functional depressives." The Black family is facing extinction because the spiritually-grounded non-materialistic African-American personality is facing extinction. Two spiritually unhealthy individuals cannot build a healthy family. The point of intervention should not be the family, but the individuals who created it. Stop putting the cart before the horse, career before family, and money before GOD. 
 
Umar Abdullah-Johnson is a Doctor of Clinical Psychology, Nationally Certified School Psychologist, Certified K-12 School Principal, and political scientist. He is an expert independent special education evaluator. He trains educators, principals and mental health technicians on various psycho-educational topics, including ADHD & disruptive behavior disorders. He is an outspoken opponent against the mass psychiatric drugging of Black boys in public schools, and the mass diagnosing of Black children as mildly mentally retarded and learning disabled. He has appeared on the Tom Joyner Morning Show, the Bev Smith Show, and countless radio and talk shows across the country, in Africa and in the Caribbean. He will be speaking at Arcadia University's Black Male Development Symposium in Philadelphia on May 12th, 2012, HBCU Charles Drew University, Keck Lecture Hall, in Los Angeles on December 2nd 2012 & the 12th Annual Central Texas African-American Family Conference in Austin on February 16th 2012, discussing the topic of his highly anticipated upcoming debut book, "The Psycho-Academic War Against Black Boys: From Grade School to the Grave Yard." He is Founder/President of the National Movement to Save Black Boys (NMSBB), and a blood relative of Frederick Douglass, the 19th century Abolitionist & Orator. He can be reached for consultation or lecture scheduling at DrUmarJohnson@yahoo.com or (215) 989-9858.