Over the weekend I had an opportunity to sit and chat with a number of different people and of course the topic of relationships came up. Not surprising, a number of questions were directed to me because of the transition I’m currently making from being unmarried. I don’t know why, being someone who has shared information about relationships for years, I feel even more certain about the perspectives I’m now able to share.
As I continue my transition from single to married, I’m trying to cover all of the foundational items before saying “I do!” One of the areas people sometimes neglect is the topic of family. No matter the love that exists between two people, it’s still VERY important to understand where a person comes from, along with the potential challenges associated with their upbringing. As I have mentioned many times, marriage is merging the histories of two individuals. This includes their goals, dreams, desires, appearance, health, finances, credit, debt, spiritual beliefs, children, nightmares, educational level, character, accountability and more.
When it comes to family, you get a chance to see the DNA of the person you say you love so much. This includes both the good AND the bad. You have to ask yourself the difficult questions like…
1. If the person I claim to love turns out like his/her mother/father, will I be okay with it?
2. Has the person I desire to be with learned from the negative experiences of his/her past?
It’s important to take a look at these questions because you don’t take someone to the altar with the intent of altering him/her. The reality is the person you marry will most likely remain who he/she is at the core, and there isn’t anything you can do to modify him/her. To make it clear…we call that unconditional love, something that is missing from a lot of today’s marriages. I digress!
Tamiko and I have had pretty deep conversations about family including both the good and the bad experiences. We both realize that our family foundations are totally different. She has documented some of her life’s challenges in her book Wounds to Wisdom…I’m Still Standing. I appreciate her so much for addressing the challenges of her past and expressing an intentional desire to provide something different for her family. I truly see manifestation of her desires in her children Destiny and Michael. They are awesome young adults who have respect for adults, love for their mother and desires for their future. This is one of the many reasons why I learned to love Tamiko so much.
Also, I had to be honest with myself when it came to my family. I grew up in a two-parent household that was pretty conservative and filled with structure. Many see this as a positive experience, which is true. However, I had to ask myself if there is anything I would do differently? My answer…be flexible and not rely solely on the basis of MY experiences. I believe we all have something to learn in life and family and must be open to the ideas of others.
Marriage isn’t the process of imposing YOUR will upon the life of your spouse. It’s about creating a foundation and environment that is in the best interest of your family.
No matter what people tell you…family matters when it comes to understanding your spouse/future spouse.
I was initially hesitant about sharing my story publicly. However, I’ve been very open about the past several years of my life as a single, celibate man. I have had an opportunity to share my celebrations and challenges over the years via my blog (www.chatkafeonline.com), book (www.canyoudoitstandingup.com), radio show, workshops and many other outlets.
Well the time has come for me to share a very different part of my journey. After many years of living the single life, and pursuing my life purpose, I have identified the woman, Tamiko Lowry, I look to spend the rest of my life with. YES…I’m preparing to transition from being a single, celibate man to embracing the role as husband and prayerfully father.
It’s a very different feeling making the intentional decision to move beyond just addressing myself and regularly taking into account the needs and happiness of someone else. The past several months have challenged me to think beyond being single and to prepare for life going forward with an attitude of compromise and sacrifice. Until you get this right your relationships will often end in failure.
Many were very surprised by the photos I shared of my lovely significant other, as they should have been. I never was a fan of sharing publicly my dating experiences because I never wanted to be someone who changed relationship statuses regularly like I see so many others do on social media. I wanted to wait until I was truly sure of my status and the future I desired to pursue before ‘going public.’ Even then I was hesitant. However, because so many people have followed me since 2005, when I started sharing my experiences publicly, I feel a responsibility to bring this phase of my life to you.
On May 11th I shared photos with Tamiko as part of a milestone celebration in my life…turning 40 years old. However, the public revelation was only the result of the hard conversations and work Tamiko and I shared in private. It was over a period of time that I realized that she embodied everything I could have imagined. The Bible says “He who finds a wife, finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” Well I’m ready to move into that favor!
The time has come for me to transition and I look forward to sharing the journey with you. Because I’m a big fan of Love and Money, a lot of the focus will center on that particular topic.
Because of the abstinence life I promote, I will let you know that this phase of my journey will go pretty quickly. Once you identify ‘The One,’ there’s no need to delay doing it the right way. Please join me along this journey…it should be fun and entertaining.
One of the things I’m excited about sharing is my experience learning about and shopping for rings. All rings are NOT created equal and I’ll provide details about that soon enough.
I also look forward to being a relationship expert who isn’t single…LOL. I’ve had enough with having to defend my ability to share relationship principles as a single man.
Workplace love can be magical–or a complete disaster
Kevin and Tammy Jackson first noticed each other while working for a large telecommunications company in Dallas, Texas. Kevin was a mid-level executive in charge of running an IT support team, while Tammy worked as a technology analyst. The two worked together for about two years within the same group, but never in a superior/subordinate capacity.
Kevin personally acknowledged his immediate attraction to Tammy, but made a decision not to pursue her to be in compliance with the code of ethics regarding workplace relationships. He didn’t want to risk his job and career in pursuit of the unknown, but had a special feeling about Tammy.
The two were able to build a solid rapport in casual work interaction, and on special projects within their group. Even through their arms-length relationship, there was an ever-increasing curiosity in the minds of both.