Can You Love After Losing a Love One?

Can You Love After Losing a Love One?

Losing the love of your life is a gut wrenching event that is hard to process.  The only way some people can cope with the loss is by blocking the pain out. So many times when something so traumatic happens to us, our subconscious finds a way to block it so we can continue to function in our day to day lives. Do you think you are really functioning or are you just going through the motions? How can you learn to open your heart for love if you have not dealt with the heartache you had endure?

Do you think GOD wants you to be alone for the rest of your life? I believe that GOD will give you someone else for you to give and receive love.  Although it is hard to understand why GOD takes our love ones away, but he still wants us to love again. There will never be anyone to replace the love you lost, but GOD gives us the ability to allow our heart to heal and make room for someone else. Some people may feel that if they love again they are replacing their love one. I  believe that GOD allows our hearts to grow where we can keep a part of our heart for the love one we lost, but allow a different part to grow and love someone else. You don’t have to stop loving someone to more forward in your life to love again. If you trust GOD with all of your heart, he will show you how to love again.

If you are feeling lost and afraid to love again, please give me a call so I can assist you in moving forward in your life.








Building Blocks Towards an Intimate Relationship

Building Blocks Towards an Intimate Relationship

Have you ever put together furniture from IKEA?  Their furniture is fantastic and upholds for many, many years.  However, the beginning pieces of the furniture assembly is the toughest.  IKEA offers furniture at a reasonable price, because they do not have employees that go out and assemble the furniture for you.  Instead, you receive a box full of multiple boards, screws, nails and instructions only in picture format.  Your goal: duplicate the amazing item that you saw on display via following the pictures.  Back in 2012, that was definitely the litmus test for my husband (fiance back then) and I and our relationship.

The assembly process took a good 3 hours to complete.  During that time, we had our fair share of frustrations, soreness and accomplishments.  The accomplishments outweighed the other two for sure, because we worked as a team and envisioned the same end product.  The same goes for developing an intimate relationship.  Gottman, a well noted researcher on marital stability, discovered that building an intimate foundation with a relationship includes three components: love maps, fondness and admiration, and turning towards.

Do you know your partner’s likes/dislikes, aspirations and/or stressors?  If so, you are in tune with knowing your partner’s love map.  Gottman noted that in the beginning of the relationship, couples are highly aware of each others love map.  However, over time love maps may be neglected.  Be aware when you need to update your partner’s love map by acknowledging their growth and changes.

Fondness and admiration can take you a long way in an intimate relationship.  This too can decrease with time if  you are not careful.  Praise and appreciate your loved one by expressing your love periodically and spontaneously.  Make sure the praise is specific, timely and recent.  For example, if your significant other received a new hair do today, compliment them the moment you notice them and their new hair style!

Do you and your significant other fill each others “emotional bank account”?  You can start filling up your partner’s “emotional bank account” by turning towards him/her.  Turning towards means paying attention to your partner and their words, actions and desires.  Being there for them and listening to their needs will help your relationship connection.

Keep the love alive in your relationship today by applying these three simple components!  If you are in need of assistance in accomplishing these building blocks, contact Family First Counseling.  We are here to help you and your significant other in discovering ways to improve your relationship!

Is Divorce Possible Before Marriage?

Is divorce possible before marriage

If you live together with someone before getting married, your chances of divorce increase significantly. Also, almost every problem people think they are avoiding by living together actually increases — abuse, infidelity, breakup, etc.

Even though cohabiting with someone might seem like a good idea — it is a practical disaster. The worst thing about cohabitation is the mindset that drives it. To understand this mindset and how it sets up a relationship for failure — you must first understand the mindset that is necessary for success in marriage.

Marriage is a covenant relationship that is a every important relationship that God has with man or we have with each other. The word covenant means “to cut”. The idea is sacrifice and total commitment — just as Jesus instituted the New Covenant with us in His blood.

We must enter into marriage with a covenant mentality. When we say our vows, “…for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health…until death do us part…” we must mean business. Covenant commitment lays the foundation for lasting love and mutual care.

In cohabitation, covenant commitment is absent. In fact, the spirit that drives cohabitation is the opposite of covenant. You see, in covenant, when a man and woman are getting married, the spirit of the vows they are making is one of assuming responsibility to “love and to cherish” each other in a sacrificial manner.

The spirit of cohabitation is the opposite. The primary reason people choose to live together is to see how good someone is at taking care of them before they will commit. This is why the divorce rate is so high if they marry. From day one — self was at the center stage of the relationship.

Today, half of all couples getting married have lived together before marriage. As I already stated, their chances of having serious problems or divorcing are much higher than couples that didn’t cohabit. But are they cursed without remedy? No. However, to avoid the consequences of cohabitation, there must be a real change in the orientation of the marriage.

Here is how you change things: You must make a covenant commitment that focuses on obeying God and serving your spouse sacrificially. You must get the focus off of yourself and get your foot out of the backdoor.

Because of their fear of marriage problems or divorce, our society has taken the approach that the best way to solve the problem is to live together without formalizing a commitment. In sociological terms we call this cohabitation. On the street it’s called, “shacking up” or “living in sin”. Whatever you call it — it just doesn’t work and it actually produces and multiplies the problems it fears.

God’s way is best. If you are living together — my advice to you is to either split up or get married. If you’re married and lived together before marriage, change the orientation of your focus from yourself to God and your spouse in a covenant commitment. This will remove the flaw in the foundation and give you a solid chance for success in marriage.

Retrieved from Marriage Today

The Desire of My Eyes!!!

FFC image The Desire of My Eyes

I have been married now for 14 years.  When my wife and I first met, I was fresh out of the military and still firmly fit.  I must admit after a few years I noticed significant weight gain.  However, as long as my wife did not complain I remained the same.  A part of me was saying; “as long as she don’t say anything, I guess I’m okay.” I would also say things to myself;  such as; “well if she wants me to lose weight and buff up, she will say something.” Does this sound familiar to you?  If it does, let me be the first one to tell you; WRONG ANSWER!  No matter whether your spouse tell your or not, it is important to maintain a good physical appearance.  Not only should you do this for your spouse, but you should want this for yourself.  I believe that many relationships fail due to a lack of attraction for each other.  I have counseled many couples where the husbands especially, say that they’re no longer attracted to their wives. The lack of attraction most times is due to a significant weight gain, unkempt dressing, constant bad hair days, etc. We all understand that in some instances, things just happen.  Such as  uncontrollable weight gain during and after pregnancies, certain health problems, or even a season of depression.  In these instances it’s understandable. However, if things are within your control and your are just sitting back letting yourself go; you are WRONG! Think about it, the first thing that drew your spouse to you was your physical attraction.  He or she could have been attracted to your walk, your talk, the way you dressed, your shape, the way you wore your hair, your muscular physique, and or your beautiful  spirit.

Realistically, no one is going to remain the same.  No matter what, things will always fluctuate.  Whatever the case may be, I challenge you to evaluate your appearance.  Go on a “fitness bout!” Go shopping for some new clothes. Get a new hair do, slim down, or buff up. Whatever you have to do, just do it.  Make your spouse desire you and want you as much as they did when they first laid eyes on you.  It may be a good idea to include them in on your ordeal; you know, so they won’t think that you are cheating (another story).  Let them know that you have been slacking when it comes to your physical appearance and that you are striving to improve at it.  Tell them how much you want to make them proud to be your husband or wife. Believe it or not, there was a time where your spouse couldn’t wait to get you back in their arms again!  The sex and everything else was just crazy! What happened?  Maybe it is the attraction factor.  Its time to get it back. Get your spouses eyes back on you and only you!

Submission in the Marriage…

FFC image Submission in Marriage

I have been married for 14 years come November 27th of this year.  I love my wife and I love my marriage. However, it has not always been “smooth sailing.”  In other words, it has not always been easy.  Marriage is work!  It will only work if the two individuals put in work.  I must say that my wife and I each give 100 percent plus to ensure that our marriage is successful.  It may sound like a lot but its actually not.  Along with our Christian faith, we discovered a technique that makes being married easy. This technique is nothing new.  It has actually always been available.  It is called “submission.”  You see, in order for a marriage to be successful, both people have to be willing to submit to one another in the fear of God (Ephesians 5:21).  It is not just one person submitting, but both.  Well what is submission?  Submission is not just doing for one another.  It is actually doing for one another what you really don’t want to but… you do it because it is the right thing to do.  The bible teaches us many things.  One of the most profound things that it teaches is the power of submission.  If we submit first to God, then to our marriage, and even to certain situations, we will find out that not only will our marriage become better, but life in general will become better.  Don’t get me wrong.  Submission is not an easy thing to do.  However, it is attainable.  Start today and make submission in your marriage  your will.  Decide that you are going to submit.  After all, what do you have to lose, besides your marriage… Selah.

Who Wants That Perfect Love Story Anyway?


Who Wants That Perfect Love Story Anyway

Who wants that perfect love story anyway?

 Who wants that perfect love story anyway? In my best Beyoncé voice and inspired by her collaboration with Jay Z on the song “On the Run”, I sing…. Cliché, Cliché, Cliché. Yes, I am being cynical but really, who doesn’t want the perfect love story? Roses just because. Beach vacations every summer. White picket fence with 2 children and a dog. Love letters on the refrigerator every morning. Sex every night. Best make-up sex after a big blow-up. Chills down your spine at the sight of him or her. You get it right… Cliché, cliché, cliché. How about a little dose of reality. Roses are just for special holidays. Love letters, what are those? We can’t afford the picket fence yet. Sex is two, maybe three times a week. And sometimes there is just no making up! Sometimes love doesn’t measure up to our unrealistic expectations because they are, KEY WORD: UNREALISTIC! The foundation of our love story can’t be built on the inconsistencies of material possessions, unrealistic ideas of what love should be, or other inadequate measures. Society which includes celebrities, friends, and our families show us a very warped view of relationships. Either it’s the perfect love story OR your worst nightmare. WHERE’S THE BALANCE???? In my experience, the perfect love story is one that my partner and I are creating that is unique to our experiences with one another. And guess what?? It is not perfect in the dictionary sense of the word, but it’s perfect for us. It’s hard work and it’s easy, it’s pain and it’s pleasure, it’s frustrating and it’s understanding, it’s hurt and it’s healing, it’s bad and it’s good. It’s mine, it’s his, it’s ours! So I’m toasting in celebration of this cliché, “Love is what we make it.” So are you ready to create your perfect love story?

I invite you to journey with me on this quest of love. I’ll give you my perspective and experience of love as both a single woman and a committed partner. It is my hope that it will be an inspiration for both singles and partners alike. Stay blessed and beautiful! See you next week!