Learning to Become a Wife (pt. 3)

Communication: “2. means of connection between people or places, in particular”.

Any relationship that is absent of communication is absent of growth and vulnerable to separation, temptation, and resentment. Often times, couples will say, ‘there was a lack of communication’, when too much time has passed and now they want out of the relationship. Communication is associated with spending quality time or bonding time. At the root of many relationships, communication is the #1 proponent to a healthy relationship. Without communication, issues, concerns, and questions never become heard or addressed. So you can only imagine if a person has kept in their emotions for so long without being able to voice or communicate their emotions to their partner, how damaging it is to hold it all in for so long – which ultimately leads to separation if no one decides to take the time to communicate.

I often observe the word communication is only brought up when one or both partners have reached their limit. Someone will accuse the other of not communicating enough, not listening enough, not paying attention, etc. So what accounts to all of these communication issues? Well, I think a lot of it has to do with our pride. So why am I choosing to talk about this? Besides the fact that communication is a necessity for ALL relationships even platonic ones, I have seen how a lack of communication has affected my mental and emotional space. Therefore, it affects how I am in my relationship with my fiancé.

Recent events opened up my eyes to how important communication is. I know, I’m 26 soon to be 27 and was in one other serious relationship before my fiancé, and yes, it just registered with me how important it is to have good communication with your partner. Communication, not just a means to relay concerns or issues, but communication as talking about your days, how you are feeling today, and what your opinions are certain things are, etc. It’s crazy to think that sometimes it’s THAT simple, right? Yes, it’s that simple to talk about how work was or how annoyed you were with the lady standing in line at the store with you today. My fiancé would ask me every day, ‘how was work? How was your day? What did you do today”? My answers weren’t always the sweetest. You’d think, why? What’s the big deal about telling your partner how your day was, right? Right, I totally agree with you. That answer had more to do with me than him.

As I started this series, I’m at a very conflicting time in my life. I am stressed beyond imagination. My skin has even reacted to my stress and started breaking out in eczema and scalp psoriasis. This all started about three years ago. No, for those who have been following my story, it is not because of my fiancé. He just happened to come at the tail end of something I would’ve never imagined would happen to me. My stress levels started to become through the roof. I couldn’t handle it. So naturally my body shut down. I felt it made more sense to not show any emotion or passion about anything because my body needed all of that energy to make sure I won’t go crazy. I needed to make sure that all of the stress wouldn’t get the best of me so I chose to not communicate with my fiancé. Now, I see that it has caused me more damage than good.

Not communicating with my fiancé didn’t help anyone, especially me. I hate bottling my emotions. So why would it make sense for me to NOT talk to my fiancé about my day? We weren’t put on this earth alone, so why choose to go through the world alone? Almost every answer I gave was, “it was okay, I didn’t do anything”. Then go back on my phone.  Now imagine being in my fiancé’s shoes and feeling that cold, lame, pathetic answer every day – when all you’re trying to do is show interest in your fiancé. I can’t fathom the emotional toll it took on him every day. The past year the thought of that would wiggle its way into my mind. I started to reflect on it later that night or the next day of how I could’ve responded better. Then of course being the prideful woman I am, I shook off the feeling. I continued to tell myself, ‘it’s because I’m stressed’, until recently, God made me see how wrong I was for dismissing the love and care for the man that He sent for me.

So we had a recent setback. During the entire process I held my composure. I showed no emotion. I walked in and walked out. Then as the day progressed, the outcome started to become heavier on my heart. It was crazy how you can be your own downfall sometimes. Usually my fiancé and I would talk about what happened and we’d always get into a heated discussion. But this time it was different. Instead of trying to be the regulator of his venting, I sat there and listened. I listened to his points, some valid, some straight out of emotion.  I just noticed the difference was listening. Sometimes we just need to vent. Sometimes we just need to say things to get it off of our chest. Most of the time we say things in anger or sadness that we don’t strongly believe or mea but we just need to let it be heard. Frequently that’s was the case with my fiancé.

My fiancé wears his heart on his sleeve. He is very emotional and passionate about, well, almost everything. So he needs to talk and communicate, especially on topics such as sensitive as what we’re going through. Yet I was being selfish and wouldn’t allow him to communicate, which forced him to hold it in. During this venting session, I just sat there and listened. In the beginning I was talking back. I brought up questions and such. Then I just found it more peaceful in my heart to just let him talk. It turned out to be a great discussion at the end of it all! Now let’s get back to the rest of the day. Well, of course my emotions and mind come late to the party. As the day continued, I became more emotional. Eventually I was crying and couldn’t contain myself. Well you see how quickly that emotional roller coaster went down.

Fast forward to the next day – my emotions are still in disarray. I then start to just talk to God, not in a calm manner either. I was angry, of course. I felt like I was being punished. I felt like I couldn’t catch a break. If you knew the entire situation and events leading, then you’d probably think and feel the same way. I still went to work after getting in a good 20 minute cry before work. Worked. Then went home. My fiancé came home and like clockwork, ‘Hi babe, how was your day? How was work’? Instead of giving him the cold shoulder, I told him. I hold him about work. I told him about me crying before work. I told him how I was feeling throughout the day. I told him how I felt at that moment. I told him so much. Then he told me about his day. It was beautiful to see all of his expressions. It was amazing to see how alive he was just telling about the lunch that he had that day. Just in that conversation, I felt so good.

With that conversation alone, I felt more connected to him. I felt like I found the answer to my anxiety and fears. That answer was God and communication. God allowed an unexpected outcome to happen in order to guide me to my fiancé. To make me realize that He is with me and it’s through my fiancé. All I needed to do was communicate with him. All I needed to do was allow him to talk to me about the small things because that leads to the trust and compassion to discuss the big things. I know that was a long winded way to say, communicate with your partner. You don’t realize how much it will help the both of you to just take the time to communicate. You have chosen to be with this person, so why not work for a deeper connection? Why allow the flesh and the ways of the world to come in-between your relationship? Instead, take the time to talk and celebrate the little victories.

I realized that my fiancé is much more vocal than I am. I also know that my fiancé reacts in the moment while I take time to process it then allow my emotions to take effect after. We have to learn how to communicate. This doesn’t happen overnight. Different events bring out different things in us so we are always evolving as much so with how we speak to one another. Communication is important but you need to put in the effort. Communication is about selfishly and actively listening with loving and caring intentions.

I know, it sounds crazy to view communication in your relationship this way – very dramatic. But listen, take time to reflect and see how often and for how long do you and your partner talk about your days? Do you talk about your feelings on the daily? When you do have a disagreement, how do you handle it? Have you learned how each other communicate? If you are choosing this person to be your husband/wife, it no longer is about you. It becomes ‘we’. To create an everlasting relationship you need to understand each other and what better way than to communicate?

Learning to Become a Wife (pt. 2)

As part 2 of this series of, Learning to Become a Wife, I wanted to focus on vulnerability. These past few days I have been hit hard with emotions. I felt every emotion you could think of. The first night, I cried in the dark. Literally as my daughter and fiancé were laying in the same bed as me, I was turned on my side facing away from them with tears streaming down my face. I couldn’t help it. It was an uncontrollable, ugly, quiet sob. I wish I could’ve taken a picture of it to remember forever (just kidding).

So many of us don’t realize how much of our past can affect us as we become adults. Many times it’s our emotions that grow immaturely – especially after years of trauma and underdeveloped coping mechanisms. Even after being with my fiancé for a few years now, I have yet become emotionally vulnerable with him. It’s not because I don ‘t want to, it’s because I can’t seem to let my guards down enough to. Do you know how damaging it is for a person to hold in so much pain, anger, sadness, etc. for years on end? Not just that but how crazy it can make a person to feel like discussing these emotions out loud is wrong? How we feel inside portrays how we are on the outside. Every day I struggle with my own. thoughts. Every day I have to give myself positive affirmations in order to realize my own worth.

Vulnerability takes some of that off of our own shoulders. Being vulnerable allows us to take some of that negative energy and release it. By releasing it, or talking about it, we are taking the first step in dealing with our pain and healing. From my experience in relationships, being vulnerable is important for both partners. We all want to be perceived as the strong one, but there’s only so much our human bodies and minds can take. When you’re vulnerable, you’re telling your significant other that you need them. You are telling your significant other that, you are unable to resolve this issue and you need help. It’s difficult to ask for help. I understand. I hated asking for help. I still do. But we are human and we are made for social interaction. So if you cannot be vulnerable with your significant other, then why be with him/her?

Love breeds vulnerability. It simply comes with the territory. If we talk about vulnerability in the sense of intimacy, then more people understand. When we undress, we are our most vulnerable. We become “open” to the other person. So why can’t we become “open” with our feelings, thoughts, and emotions? Let me tell you why. It is much easier to undress ourselves physically because within minutes we can clothe ourselves. When we undress ourselves emotionally and mentally, in the instance the other person doesn’t respond well to us, it’s hard to take your vulnerability back. That is why it’s so difficult to be vulnerable with people, even our significant others. Our fear of being hurt or abandoned becomes more powerful than the need to heal. It is during the healing process when we are face to face with our pain. During the healing process we are forced to deal with our pain.

When dealing with our pain, that’s when it’s important for us to be completely vulnerable with our significant others. We need to lean on our partners. They are there to give us that support. They are there to be strong for us when we are weak. As we deal with all of the emotional and mental turmoil, it’s our partners who are there to help us. But if we never share whole selves with them, how would they or could they know how to help us?

So back to me crying late at night, in bed, in the dark. The next day, I texted my fiancé to apologize for being so short and and rude to him the night before. At that very moment, I felt something in me to share with him how I was feeling and what my thought process was. I felt so terrible about myself and I knew I needed someone to tell that to. With a quick phone call and short text, I felt like some weight was lifted off of my shoulders. Imagine if I didn’t open up to him, imagine if I didn’t have anyone to open up to. That mental and emotional pain might’ve gotten so bad that I couldn’t resorted to other means of “healing”. With me opening up and becoming vulnerable with him, I also brought us closer together. Our connection deepened a little. As silly as that sounds, it’s true. The more and more vulnerable we become with one another, in a relationship, the more we are leaning onto one another.

I think being vulnerable also allows us to deepen our trust in our significant other. I know as the years went by and the more open I was becoming with him, I started to trust him more and more. I was beginning to feel like, he’s my comfort. I started to feel like I mattered to him more and more. This doesn’t mean that he never made me feel like that from the start. It’s just a heightened feeling when you confide in someone and they perceive it well. All I can say is, choose a partner you can be vulnerable with. Don’t choose someone that dismisses your pain or your thoughts and feelings. Choose a person that invites the strong you and the vulnerable you. We all love to be strong because being strong makes being alone easy. Being vulnerable makes being married worthwhile.

Learning to Become a Wife (Pt.1)

*God put this on my heart to type out. God has been working hard on me and teaching me different ways to improve myself every day. I want to start a series of the many ways he is teaching and guiding me. One of these ways is teaching me how to become a good wife.*

For the past three years I have been with my Fiancé. Over these past three years I have learned so much about being in a relationship again. I’m also learning about how to love and care for someone else besides myself. After my long-term relationship for 7-8 years, I  went into a selfish stage in my life. Suddenly, I didn’t have to worry or care about a significant other. I didn’t have to worry about making sure I was good enough for another person. All I had to worry about was being happy and good enough for myself. Then after those two years of blissful single-ism, I not only found myself moving towards being a committed relationship, but in a situation I would have never imagined in a millions years I would be in.

My fiancé is a man of courage, honor, and love. Everything he has taught me, intentional or not, has shaped my idea of what love is. From the very beginning of our dating, he let me know what his intentions with me were. Believe it or not, he let me know that he wanted a marriage and kids the very first date. I was a little surprised. I thought it was interesting how a man could KNOW that he wanted to be married and have kids at such a young age. Of course we all know that men mature at a much slower pace than us women. I didn’t put too much thought into it though. As the days went by, we quickly grew closer and closer. Immediately I knew he was different.

How “honeymoon” stage came to quick end when we found out something that changed our lives forever. As quick as our infatuation took off, the cruel reality of our situation came even quicker. Our relationship was continuously put through the test. At every stage of this new journey I was expecting him to run. Every turn, every new hurdle, every disappointment, I expected to come home and see his things packed and disappear from my life forever. As luck would have it, he proved me wrong every single time. Still I would wait for that final straw to strike when he would turn to me and say “that’s it, I’m done!”

To have that type of state of mind in a relationship is unhealthy. You can’t build a strong relationship if you’re expecting it to fail.

Sacramento, Ca

As some of you may know, I dream of traveling. I’m still trying to make that happen financially but I know I’ll figure it out soon. In the meantime, I just visit my most frequent past travel destinations. One of them happens to be Sacramento, Ca. I love the atmosphere there. I love the food. I love the nightlife. I love it all! One day I hope to live there; especially when we decide to expand our family. Here are a few photos of my trip there a few weeks ago. Enjoy!

My daughter is BLACK

My daughter is Asian and black. You might only see black. You might be turned away from the color of her skin or the texture of her hair – she’s black. You might be so driven from your unexplainable hatred for who she is, black. You might want to discriminate against her because of who she is, black. You might feel the urge to beat her, shoot her, slice her throat on the BART station in Oakland because of who she is, black. But just like your daughter, niece, granddaughter, mother, sister, she’s human. Just those women in your life, she’s loved. Just like those women, she has a future to look forward to.

Pay no mind to her, I don’t even care if you completely ignore her, just please don’t hurt my daughter because she’s, black. My daughter, she’s black. My daughter is just walking to school, if she’s in your way kindly ask her to move. My daughter, she’s black. My daughter, she’s just trying to learn in the same classroom as your white daughter. My daughter, she’s black. My daughter, is only trying to sell some lemonade this summer to buy some new toys. My daughter, she’s black. My daughter is no lesser than you. My daughter who is black is stronger and better than a person with your level of hate.

My daughter, who is black, will love people of all colors. My daughter will only judge a person on their merits, character, morals, and virtue. My daughter will not be ashamed of her beautiful brown skin and curly hair. My daughter will be resilient in the face of adversity. My daughter will be a voice for those who are too scared to stand up for themselves. My daughter is black and I will go to the ends of the earth to let every color hating, race discriminating, man or woman know that my daughter deserves to live and exist in this world no matter how much they cannot stand the color of her skin or the texture of her hair.