Men Need Relationship Advice Too!!

BY: - 9 Jan '13 | Marriage

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Much of the relationship advice that I hear or read now-a-days is geared towards women.  I can’t turn on the TV, pick up a book, or read an article on the web, without hearing someone telling women, and especially black women, what they need to do to have successful healthy relationships.  And for the most part, I am happy to take what I need and to filter the rest of it.

I ran across an article the other day written by Dr. Corey Guyton, Black Women are Not the Only Individuals Who Need Relationship Advice,   where he says he too was guilty of focusing primarily on giving Black women advice early in his career:.

“I AM GUILTY AS CHARGED! At one point in my writing career, I focused specifically on giving Black women advice about dating. At the time I thought I was doing something noble, but now that I have been in the profession for some time and had an opportunity to explore the works of many writers, I have realized that writing to Black women has become the popular thing to do.”

“Unfortunately, a lot of us do not fully address the totality of relationship issues in the Black community because one cannot find a solution to a problem if all parties are not addressed. As I have always been told, it takes two to tango and there are two sides to every story. For anyone who has aspirations of getting into the business of giving relationship advice or if you are currently giving relationship advice, realize that this business should not be about building your name on the back of the easy target, Black Women.”

After reading Dr. Guyton’s aricle, my first thought was that I agree;  Most of the advice that I see is geared towards women.  I have also noticed, that at least for our site, women make up the largest part of our audience and most of our writers are women.  And since we ask our writers to write from their own personal perspectives…then most of the articles and advice will be geared towards women.  And the same goes for our male writers…they are talking to the men when they write.  (By the way, we are looking for more male writers.) And then there are many articles that are geared towards the relationships as a whole.

But Dr. Guyton’s article made me think of something else that I read every day on this site and around the web…..Men and Women blaming each other rather than addressing the issues they they are bringing to the relationships.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read:

“That’s nice..but what about the men, they need to be working on themselves too!”

“Or, women need to make some adjustments too…what about them.!”

Not every article or book is going to address both sides of the equation.  There are going to be some that are geared specifically for men or women.  So, while I do believe that we could use more articles that address men, I also think that people should be careful not to miss out on learning what they can do improve their situations.

BMWK – what are your thoughts.  Do you agree with Dr. Guyton? If you are married, does your spouse read relationship articles or books?  Do you read them together?

About the author

Ronnie Tyler wrote 475 articles on this blog.

Ronnie Tyler is the co-creator of BlackandMarriedWithKids.com and co-producer of the films Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage, You Saved Me, Men Ain't Boys and Still Standing. The proud mom of 4 has been selected by Parenting Magazine as a Must-Read Mom and is one of Babble's Top 100 Mom Bloggers.

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9 WordPress comments on “Men Need Relationship Advice Too!!

  1. Jaz

    I agree. Great article. Things do seem more geared towards women. Your right about the blaming. I have been guilty of this. There do need to be more things geared towards men. However, I don’t think most will read them.

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What Is The Silver Lining in Your Current Relationship Struggle?

BY: - 10 Jan '13 | Marriage

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Photo Credit: Juicefif

Photo Credit: Juicefif

I am always hopeful when a couple contacts me with the expectation of improving or saving their relationship. In that moment, neither of them are able to feel or sense the optimism that I see because they are right in the middle of the storm. Contacting a relationship professional is no easy task for a couple. It requires courage. Knowing that they will have to be completely honest, share things that are uncomfortable, be vulnerable and be called out on their mess is quite scary. So when those couples are able to walk into my office in spite of all that, I am hopeful. It shows commitment to the union and more importantly a willingness to make things better. That willingness is always the very first step. At the time a couple schedules an appointment with me, I am confident that both partners are interested in a solution to their struggle. My hopefulness comes from the fact they made the call to me instead of a lawyer.

Living with, loving and sharing a life with another person can be completely insane at times. Patience grows thin, frustration sets in, disagreements happen, in some instances a little more frequently than we would prefer.  And, it all comes with the territory. Couples must not be blindsided when challenges arise in their marriage. The battles themselves aren’t as important as how they handle and overcome those struggles.

With each challenge we face in our unions there ought to be a lesson learned, some sort of growth and the partnership should somehow be made stronger as a result. There is a silver lining in most of the difficulties that life and love throws our way.

If you are having trouble seeing the positive in your relationship challenges, below are a few new ways to look at some common situations:

Dealing with disagreements: Couples should learn something new about their spouse and apply it to how they treat him/her moving forward. If in the disagreement, your partner shared how certain actions made them feel, that new information should be taken into consideration and the particular action would be monitored and ultimately eliminated. An opportunity to develop and improve are always a win win.

Handling communication challenges: There are so many creative tools to aid couples in perfecting their communication. From practicing the various levels of listening to attending communication-focused workshops, resources are always at your fingertips. One partner may have to take the lead by being the effective communicator until the other catches on and follows suit. The silver lining is this can be corrected with effort from both partners. Also, keep in mind this isn’t the worst thing a couple can experience. If this is your greatest challenge, your marriage isn’t in as bad a shape as you might think.

Experiencing marriage’s rough patches: Many marriages go through periods of constant bickering, boredom and inactivity. This, however, is a revelation that the relationship needs work and the foundation has become a little weak. Couples are provided with an opportunity to take immediate action. Whenever a marriage finds itself in this cycle, it is time to go back to the beginning in order to rebuild that foundation. Remembering what drew you together, and recreating some of those magic love moments that occurred early in the relationship is a must. Couples must take time to get reacquainted, refresh and renew and be willing to sacrifice and shed those bad behaviors that are wreaking havoc on the marriage. A chance to start over is a definite plus.

When things are at their worst, but you both find yourself still there and fighting for your marriage, that is the silver lining. And although it doesn’t feel like it at the moment, there is hope. It is up to both partners to find it and use it. I challenge every couple going through a situation right now to look for their own silver lining and use it to turn things around.

BMWK, what is the silver lining in your current relationship struggle?

About the author

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter wrote 537 articles on this blog.

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter is a Certified Life & Relationship Coach, founder of Life Editing and Author of A Conversation Piece: 32 Bold Relationship Lessons for Discussing Marriage, Sex and Conflict Available on Amazon . She helps couples and individuals rewrite their life to reflect their dreams. Tiya has been featured in Essence and Ebony Magazines, and named one of the top blogs to read now by Refinery29. She resides in Chicago with her husband and two daughters. To find out about Couple's Coaching visit www.lifeediting.com.

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