One of the Best Things You Can Do for Your Marriage But Nobody Does It

BY: - 18 Jan '17 | Marriage

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I’ve said it before but it bears repeating. We are all imperfect. Sometimes, we do things that make absolutely no sense to anyone else in the world…but makes total sense to us. We second guess ourselves and overreact unnecessarily. Sometimes we don’t know how to apologize or don’t even want to apologize when we are wrong. And, we don’t often consider the results of our actions. Simply put, we make mistakes.

Marriage will draw deep things out of you that you never knew were there… marriage will make it known. – Leroy Scott, MA, MDiv.

These are things humans do. You won’t stop being human just because you get married. Marriage sometimes causes even more of our imperfections to surface as we relax and eventually show our true colors.

Own Your Stuff

One thing I’ve learned in my own marriage and in coaching couples is that we have to recognize and admit our flaws. I’m finding that this is where many couples struggle the most. It’s difficult to own your baggage. Some can’t come right out and say “I don’t listen very well” or “I’m jealous or a bit insecure.” I think some of us are afraid of the effect owning our baggage might have in our relationships. Here’s the secret though, we aren’t fooling anyone. Whether we admit it or not our partners are going to eventually see our imperfections on their own. Wouldn’t it be better to let them know in advance?

One of the best things you can do for your marriage is to own you, all of you… your strengths as well as your weaknesses.

I can’t tell you how much frustration I could’ve prevented if I had shared my own communication challenges early-on in my marriage. Or if I had been honest about needing a little time to understand and appreciate my title of spouse. My husband and I probably would’ve had an easier go if we knew early on what our individual challenges were going to be.

I do understand that sometimes couples aren’t aware of their individual challenges, until they actually begin to merge their lives. But the moment they start to recognize how they feel in certain situations, it should be communicated to their spouse….make it known!

In addition to sharing those imperfections with your spouse, you should also explain your why. For example, I could’ve told my husband that I struggle with communication because I was shy growing up and I’m just now discovering my voice and how to really use it. Hearing that would have given him a deeper understanding of who I am and why I do certain things, causing him to be more patient with me as we work through our communication barriers.

Now, this can’t be used as an excuse and I should be seeking ways to improve, but it gives my husband a little insight into my behavior. Without my expressing this to him, we’d be stuck in the same place trying to figure out what’s wrong.

How to Learn Better Communication

Get our expert-led video training on better communication from the comfort of your own home.

Click here to learn about our BMWK Effective Communication Course!

One of the best things you can do for your marriage is to own you, all of you… your strengths as well as your weaknesses. I recommend this for all couples. It’s healing and healthy to discuss your imperfections. Share with your spouse what you feel might be a personal challenge for you in your relationship, and why and how you will continue working to improve in that area. Trust me, this will do wonders for creating a safe nurturing environment for your marriage to prosper.

BMWK, have you owned your stuff in your marriage?

About the author

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter wrote 635 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 more about Tiya, and her coaching, visit and


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Battle of the Sexes: 9 Ways Men and Women are Different

BY: - 18 Jan '17 | Marriage

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Generally speaking, there are just some things that men and women do differently in relationships! And the problems in many relationships occur when couples don’t learn how to accept each other’s differences which leads to arguments, frustration, and overall unhappiness in the relationship. If men and women would just put a little more effort into accepting each other’s differences, trying to understand each other and learning how to compromise, we would have so many more amazing loving relationships (and less breakups and divorce.)

Here are 9 ways my wife and I are extremely different. But instead of letting these differences frustrate us, we’ve learned to see humor in them and to compromise with each other…

1)  We entertain differently…

If we are having people over I think since we are opening up our home then they can bring their own food and drink. My wife on the other hand will have a spread of food, drinks, hors d’oeuvres, desserts, and all the fancy little forks and plates and stuff as well. What I thought was chilling with friends becomes a page straight out of Southern Living: Guide to Entertaining Edition.

2)  We miss the kids differently…

Maybe it’s just me or maybe it’s a dad thing but when my daughter is away with her grandparents I don’t feel the need to call multiple times to check on her. My wife on the other hand, has the numbers on speed dial and calls often. So…am I a bad parent because I don’t Facetime (video chat) her at least 3 times when she is away.
3) We prepare for company differently…

Hey look…I’m all for having a presentable house.  But all the dusting, cleaning baseboards (I just found out what those were), and making sure all surfaces are fingerpint free…nah, I’m good on that! In fact, if you need all that done we are going have to call in some help or hire someone.

4) We vacation differently…

When I go on vacation I like to spend most of the time relaxing and having lots of down time. Why does my wife see vacation as the time to create an itinerary that starts at sunrise and ends at damn near midnight?! I don’t want every second of my vacation scheduled to the max…that’s what I’m vacationing FROM!

5) We watch TV differently…

If I’m watching TV, I’m doing just that…watching TV. Not watching TV, cleaning up,talking on the phone, and everything else at the same time. Men like to do one thing at a time so if the game is on then I’m watching the game. Stop getting mad at us because we don’t want to multitask while we are watching TV.

6) We listen differently…

If I’m in the middle of doing something, my hearing becomes very selective. Most men I know are the same way. Ladies, on the other hand, will carry on three conversations at once, while doing 3 things at once…all seemingly getting her full attention!  See the way my ears and brain are set up, I will NEVER be that skilled…nor do I care to be.

Ladies, for your own sake, stop getting frustrated with men because you think we are ignoring you. The truth is that we really, really just don’t hear you.  We have tuned you out not by choice, but by nature!  If you’ve been talking to us for 3 minutes and we finally ask, “huh?” please don’t take it personal…blame our heads not our hearts!

7)  We fix things differently…

When situations arise, men typically want to get an answer and a solution to the problem. Women, on the other hand, want to discuss what caused the problem, how the problem makes them feel, and then the litany of options to fix the problem. Men fix…. it’s what we do so don’t be angry when we don’t want to discuss how all of it made you feel. (Teachable moment…fellas sometimes don’t fix, just listen!)

8) We talk about things differently…

When men tell a story it’s usually in the STAR format: Situation, task, action, result. Ladies sometimes want to give you the details to everything. What she was wearing, what the weather was, what were the 100 steps leading up to the event, her range of emotions during the event, how she felt afterward. As a bonus you’ll also get to hear how her friends feel about what happened. GEESH!!!

9)  We ‘sex’ differently…

Yeah, in general, as men once we see you and our equipment is stimulated we are ready to go! Ladies often times need a little more mental and emotional stimulation as well as foreplay before getting down to business. Hell, men can be mad at you all day but if you come out the bathroom naked it is still on and poppin’! When ladies are mad the first thing they say is “don’t touch me!” HA!

Many of our frustrations with each other as men and women are really just misunderstood differences. But it’s these differences that make us so great for one another.  And when we learn how to compromise and learn how to leverage each other’s differences…that’s how we become unstoppable as a team! And that’s the secret to an amazing relationship.

BMWK Fam – Help us add to this list by commenting below. What are some other ways that men and women are just different?

About the author

Troy Spry wrote 225 articles on this blog.

Troy Spry a Certified Life, Dating, and Relationship Coach and the one and only "Reality Expert", resides in Charlotte, NC. He created his blog, Xklusive Thoughts, with the intent of putting out a very realistic perspective and using it as a vehicle for inspiration! He hopes to challenge people to think differently and inspire people to do and be better in relationships and in life!


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