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Marriage

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Destination Weddings- Pros and Cons

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Most brides want their weddings to be unique. Some are satisfied with creating  awe-inspiring decor while others prefer to experience the thrill of adventure. If you are a bride who wants a bit of both experiences, a destination wedding may be right for you. However, before you make your final decision it is important for you to weigh both the pros and the cons.

Pros

  •  The experience of another culture. Destination weddings often occur in another country. Experiencing another culture can be a fun and exhilarating experience.
  • Fewer guests. Since your destination wedding may occur in another country it is highly unlikely that guests will be able to afford the plane fare to attend your wedding. This means that you can limit your guest list to a few people and have a more intimate wedding.
  • Captivating scenery. Destination weddings often occur in countries that have luscious vegetation and pristine beaches. These features can offer the perfect scene for your wedding.
  • Move straight from the wedding into your honeymoon. It is quite likely that you will be having your destination wedding at a hotel. This means that you could get a special wedding and honeymoon package so that when the wedding is over you can stay a few more days for the honeymoon.

Cons

  • The costs may be greater than having a local wedding. This isn't always necessarily the case though. So, it is advisable for you to check the prices and do comparative analysis.
  • Your guest list will be smaller. If you are someone who likes large weddings, a destination wedding may not be ideal for you. Your guest list may be a tad bit smaller than you originally planned if you give your guests at least one year's notice. However, if you give them short notice then they will have less time to prepare. So, far fewer people will attend.
  • The unfamiliarity of the culture. Some people are able to embrace another culture graciously. Others are less able to do so. Additionally, being unfamiliar with the culture makes it less likely that you'll know when you're being swindled especially if you choose not to use a local wedding planner.

I think destination weddings are wonderful ideas. If you can afford it then go for it! However, don't neglect to weigh both the pros and the cons.

For more information about destination weddings click here.

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Rude by Magic

jjlkjlkj So you've found the girl of your dreams. When you look into her eyes you see heaven. She edifies your soul and inspires you to be a better man. There's only one problem- you have to get her dad's blessing before she'll marry you. She comes from a well-to-do family and her dad envisions his precious gem marrying a highly successful man. Definitely not the "cruff" you are. Nevertheless, you hop into your ancient car and roll with your crew to ask this man the big question. "Can I have your daughter for the rest of my life?" Before you can finish asking the question, he shakes his head and closes the door in your face. No matter how many times you ask, the result is the same. So what do you do? Marry her anyway of course!

This is the story line of Magic's hot summer track Rude which charted on the Billboard Top 100. Its groovy reggae beat makes you bob your head and tap your feet from the beginning of the song straight to the end. However, the beat was only the second thing that caught my attention. The first thing was this amazing story line. Oftentimes we can't help who we fall in love with. So what if you fall in love with a girl who society dictates is well out of your league? What if she falls in love with you too? Are you just going to end the relationship or marry her anyway? It's a question that isn't as simple to answer as Magic makes it out to be. Nevertheless, it may be worth the risk since her dad may come around eventually. So will you move forward in the name of love or just let her go?

Click here to watch the music video.

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A Lasting Bond

lljljjkljklj The past thirteen weeks have taken us on a whirlwind journey as we followed Tessanne Chin's progress on one of the best reality TV series,the Voice. Week after week we were blown away by her amazing talent and it is no surprise that her cover of the song "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" is now at the number sixty four position on the Billboard Top 100 Chart. Despite her amazing talent, however, she could not have gotten this far without the strong support system of her family, friends and Jamaicans both locally and internationally. One of her biggest supporters is her husband Michael Cuffe Jr. and, over these few weeks, I have observed some striking and powerful dimensions of their relationship that I believe many of us could emulate in our own relationships.

He Supported Her From Beginning to End

Michael Cuffe Jr. is an established individual in his own right...he is the HRM for Guardsman Limited, works part-time for RJR and hosts the radio program "Uncensored" on FAME 95 FM. However, despite his numerous obligations he found the time to travel thousands of miles to support his wife. Regardless of the sacrifices he had to make, he was there and quite happy to be there too. How many of us are willing to make the sacrifices necessary to support our spouses or partners? We may not be as popular as Michael and Tessanne Cuffe but each of us has special milestones in our lives in which we need the support of those we greatly cherish.  Sometimes we become so self-absorbed that we neglect the needs of our partner or spouse. It's time to break the habit.

He Knew Not to Shadow Her Spotlight

I am not privy to what occurs behind the scenes but, from what I can see, Mr. Cuffe did not allow jealousy to prevail in his relationship. He knew when to step back and allow his wife to bask in her moments and he has never been cocky or arrogant about his wife's success. Some people envy the success of their spouse or partner instead of looking for ways to support him or her. How can you create a strong and lasting bond with someone if you are so consumed with jealousy? A marriage or relationship requires that the individuals who are involved support each other wholeheartedly. Learn to lovingly support your spouse or partner.

They Both Graciously Expressed Their Love for Each Other

One of the things that has been lodged in my mind is a tweet that Tessanne had posted about a week ago. She was so excited that her husband was coming and her excitement mirrored that of a teenage girl who was excited about the arrival of her boyfriend. Simple things like thi,s and the moments when they steal kisses and looks at each other, solidify the fact that they are both madly in love with each other. In an interview with GCaribbean Mr. Cuffe stated "Being married to Tessanne Cuffe is the most amazing and smart decision I have ever made". They both married their best friend and are reaping the rewards of a beautiful relationship. We all can expereince this kind of love if we are  wise when choosing our partners. Don't give into feelings of loneliness and desperation...be patient and the right person will come along.

Tessanne's journey is just beginning and I know that one thing is certain...she will always be Mrs. Tessanne Cuffe. I will always admire their relationship and pray that it continues to grow stronger as the years progress.

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Keeping the Marriage Alive

 

Some people wonder how it is possible to commit yourself fully to one person for so long. With the high rate of divorce and people who are unhappy in their marriages, it is no surprise that the question is always raised...why get married? Personally, I am afraid of marriage and all it entails. Suppose I never find the right man...will I have to settle for what I get? Suppose the man I marry is not who I think he is? Suppose I can't handle parenthood?

Recently, I interviewed a lovely woman from my church who I admire greatly. She has been happily married for 21 years and shared some invaluable insight with me. Her lovely words of wisdom are shown in the interview below. I hope that her words will help those couples who are struggling to keep their marriages alive.

Do you find that with work and all of the responsibilities you and your husband have that you are drifting apart?

Not at all. Life is extremely full. Career, children, parents, church, community. We are always on the go but nothing beats coming home to each other. We are never out of touch. We call, text and WhatsApp through the day so we are in each other's day even if we are miles away. Our relationship is so elemental that it is the canvas to which everything else in our life is attached. It's the glue that keeps it all together. The greater the demands on us the more we rely on each other to rest, recharge and nurture so that we can cope with the demands. We make time for date night and couples vacations. But most importantly on a day by day basis we talk to each other. 

Has there been a point in your marriage where you felt that the relationship became lifeless?

Never! It's much easier to keep something alive than revive it when it's nearly dead!

 

How do you keep your marriage strong?

We have never consciously 'worked' to keep our marriage strong. Yet it has flourished without us really noticing it. I guess it starts with a solid foundation. If you marry your best friend then spending time together is a joy. If you enjoy many of the same things it's helpful. But you are not photocopies of each other. So being able to happily tolerate the others interests is also important. My husband loves to cook! So I eat and enjoy whatever he has prepared even if it means an extra hour in the gym to work of the calories! I believe there should be no completely exclusive interests. So he likes to play football with the guys but if she wants to sit on the side of the football field under a tree and read a book while the guys play this shouldn't be an issue. I find that couples who have 'space' that the other is forbidden to enter often develop competing relationships within that space. A solid relationship with God is invaluable. The marriage cannot fail if both parties remain committed and obedient to God. 

 What advice would you give to young couples who are beginning to feel the "seven year itch"?

Look critically at the relationship. Make each other your number one priority. Amputate (yes amputate!) any competing relationships. Get back to God and remember obedience is better than sacrifice. Love each other. It's as simple as that. Check 1Corinthians 13 if you have forgotten what that means.

 

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Is He Really Mr. Wrong?

relationship2 Your heart smiles everytime you hear his voice and see his face and you are swooned by the way he cares for you when he is around. With every touch and every kiss you can feel yourself falling deeper in love. Are you meant to be together? He is so wrong yet so right. So close yet so distant. Your heart wants to do what your mind is saying you shouldn't...what should you do?

Love is more than a feeling. It is a commitment that requires hard work and compromise. So, how do you know whether you should accept him as Mr. Wrong or allow the crazy emotions you feel inside to cause you to accept him as Mr. Right?

Are You Willing to Enter His World?

There is nothing wrong with being with someone who gives you new experiences and takes you out of your comfort zone. However, if you believe that being in his space compromises your values and makes you uncomfortable then he is not the right guy for you. Think about it. If you enter a relationship with him and he wants to go to a night club, for instance, but because you are a Christian you feel uncomfortable in those settings either of two things will happen: he will become frustrated with how tense you are and avert his attention elsewhere or you will be forced to compromise to the point where you become someone you're not. The right man will take you into the right world...one in which you both are comfortable and are able to enjoy each other completely.

Are You Comfortable With His Friends And Family?

Some people don't realise that when two people decide to get married they are not only marrying each other but they are also marrying each others parents and relatives. If you have a serious issue with the way your man's relatives behave and you are very uncomfortable around them then he isn't the one for you.

Does He Encourage You to Become a Better Version of Yourself?

Your partner should force you to do things that make positive changes in your life. Partners in relationships should encourage each other to embrace opportunities and do things that will cause each other to advance, They should support each other. If, for example, he is only interested in influencing you to smoke weed and go to night clubs then he could never be a positive influence in your life regardless of how much you love him. Let go and move on.

Choosing the right life partner is hard work but it is not something that should be taken for granted. Make the right life choices and commit your heart to Mr. Right.

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Intimacy

Warm fingers caressing your body. Sweet kisses on your lips. These are the ways in which the media has caused us to view intimacy...the coming together of two people in blissful coitis(as Sheldon Cooper from the Big Bang theory likes to call it). Although I am not discrediting that physical intimacy creates a deep "soul connection" between two people who are in love, I would like to challenge this by saying that it is not the "be all and end all" of the intimacy needed in a relationship. There are three types of intimacy that I believe a relationship must have: 1. Spiritual Intimacy When the Bible speaks about a man and woman becoming one I think it goes far beyond the uniting of two bodies in sex. Both the woman and the man in the relationship should be so connected to God that they each have to seek Him in order to find each other. When they have found each other, that spiritual intimacy should result in them being able to spend time together learning more about God and deepening their relationship with Him. The closer they are to God is the stronger their relationship will be.

2. Mental Intimacy A couple should be able to relate on an intellectual level and should become so close that they are able to read each others thoughts. How do you develop this mental intimacy? This mental intimacy can be developed by communicating with each other regularly and getting involved in activities that you both enjoy. As you take the time get to know each other more, your bond will strengthen.

3. Physical Intimacy As I said earlier, I am not discrediting the fact that there is a need for physical intimacy in a relationship. However, we do need to be careful of how far we take this intimacy before marriage because if it leads to sex, our souls unite with that of the one we are intimate with. Let me put it this way...have you ever wondered why it is so hard for you to let go of someone you have been physically intimate with? It is difficult because that intimacy leads to a uniting of souls...a bond that is very hard to break. Physical intimacy between two people who are in love can be magically but I believe it should be reserved for marriage and should also be explored after the other forms of intimacy have been developed.

Spiritual, mental and physical intimacy combine to bring us into a "true love" experience. The strongest relationships are those in which all three elements are actively pursued and maintained. Let's not follow popular culture and minimize our relationships to sex. Instead, let's deepen the bonds with our partners through placing more emphasis on physical and spiritual intimacy.

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Marriage

When we get to a certain age (usually 20 or 21) almost everyone we see is asking us....so where's the boyfriend/girlfriend? When are you getting married? Aren't you giving your mother any grandchildren? For me, my own mother keeps hinting at wanting me to settle down with someone and get things in motion. All of this pressure leads me to wonder...when do we really know it's the right time to get married? I firmly believe that, as a young woman, I must have certain things in place in my life before I settle down with anyone.

A Permanent Job

It seems as though there are quite a few people who frown upon this idea of the "independent woman" but in today's society it is imperative that a woman be able to stand on her two feet. More often than not a husband and wife have to be a two income household in order to meet the myriad of bills and financial obligations that arise. Furthermore, ANYTHING (illness, divorce, infidelity, death) can happen in the marriage and if the woman is not able to finance her expenses then she is going to end up in serious problems.

Aside from these obvious arguments for the independent woman, I believe that it is important for a woman to be able to take GOOD care of herself for her own self worth and validation. NO man should be able to laud anything over me or make me feel as though I am inferior to him because I don't earn my own income.

An Education

Having an education is crucial for a woman because it not only means that you will be able to apply for some of the best jobs but you will also be able to interact with your man on an intellectual level. A man should be able to look at me and know that I'm not just all about good looks....I have substance and he should have the same in order to be with me.

This is one of the reasons why pursuing my masters is so important to me. I want to be able to get my ideal job but I also want to be able to share this with my partner (whenever I do get a partner) and interact with him on another level.

Healthy Self-Esteem

It is crucial for a woman to be able to love herself completely before entering into a  lifelong commitment with someone. That way she will be able to add more value to the relationship since she won't have to be looking to her husband for constant validation. Women with a greater sense of self worth also tend to do very well in life and can therefore be of greater support to their partners.

Willingness to be Selfless

Some women believe that relationships are all about them and their needs. A relationship is about an equal partnership between two people who love and care about each other...people who are willing to satisfy each others needs. At least that's what it should ideally be. If a woman is not in that place where she can be selfless and look out not only for her own interests but also the interests of her partner, then she really is not ready for a life long commitment.

Marriage is a serious commitment and in order for it to work, I believe that it is important for both parties to be completely positive they want to take this step with each other. I am preparing myself by following the steps listed above....ladies, what are you doing?

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What Most Women Look For in a "Hubby"

3347884_kopia Although the characteristics that a woman looks for in a man she wants to be her husband differ for each individual, there are some fundamental things I believe every ambitious woman wants to see in her man. I hope every man reading this will take notes.

Ambition and Focus

You may not have all that you want now but you should at least be putting plans in place to get there. Some men are just all talk and no action. Others are all over the place...not really certain what they want to accomplish with their lives. When a woman sees that a man is going places she will be willing to be there to support and encourage him along the way regardless of how rough the journey may be.

Comfort

A woman wants her partner to be someone she can be herself with. She doesn't want her man to make her feel like something is wrong with her and with her values. If the two of you aren't compatible then you just aren't compatible...let her go before things get too serious and it becomes hard for HER to let you go.

Comfort further extends to being able to share her deepest thoughts and emotions with her partner. If she feels like you aren't interested or you aren't listening to her then she WILL find someone who will listen which could spell trouble for your relationship.

Him Haffi Look Dappa

Don't get me wrong, he doesn't have to be the sexiest man alive but when a man looks good it makes his woman feel great walking beside him. Some men just throw themselves together and give no thought and time to preparing to go out with their women. The clothes don't have to be expensive and you don't have to wear expensive cologne but at least make an effort to look decent...you expect her to do the same for you right?

Charm

Women are easily swoon by charm. However, many "hubbies" turn the charm off when they know they have the girl. I've never understood fully why because if you have the girl you should do everything in your power to keep her right? Keep the romance alive in the relationship and she'll be yours for life.

Relationship with the Creator

For non-Christians this isn't really important but for Christian women it is a MUST (whether she realises it or not). The man is the head of the household not only in financial matters but also in spiritual matters. There is this quote that says "A woman should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him in order to find her". This is SOOO very crucial when building a relationship with someone you hope will be your lifelong partner.

These, I believe, are the key elements that ambitious women look for in men who they want to be their lifelong partners. Become this man and I guarantee the right girl wil come along.

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