4 Reasons I am Obsessed with Sheila and Nate

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Meet Sheila and Nate Duhon…The popular TV series, now airing on Lifetime, Married at First Sight brings people together to be married at…first sight.  When the two people–selected by a panel of relationship “experts”–meet, it is at the altar.  They say “I do,” and then begin the 8-month process of getting to know each other.  Sheila Downs and Nate are an African-American couple who were brought together by the experts.  Their relationship is an intriguing one….here’s why:

Admittedly, I am obsessed with this relationship.  As a relationship coach who works with countless premarital couples, the topic of conflict resolution is one that is discussed over and over.  Sheila and Nate intrigue me because they have no clue how to disagree with each other.

But…they are not alone.

As newlyweds–who do not know each other–they have not only the normal challenges of finding their marital rhythm, but also finding out about he person they have married.  When it comes to conflicts, these two have UGLY arguments, and it is their arguments that I am obsessed with.

 

Reason One:  They profess to love each other.  

It’s great to have love…but we have to keep the love when we disagree.  They don’t.  There have been a myriad of hyper-emotional outbursts, name calling, and statements that are hard to take back.  This is the case with many couples.  The love is real, and it’s true, but there is fear and baggage.  Fear and baggage is the weight that takes a disagreement into a full blown argument.  We don’t want to argue.  Because arguing isn’t healthy, and can be detrimental to our relationship.

Knock down drag out fights are evidence of greater internal issues…it just has to be said…and they need to be dealt with.

Sheila and Nate arguing on their honeymoon

Reason Two: She has already threatened divorce.

NO MA’AM!   They made it through this argument, but “divorce threats” are not easily forgotten.  However, when people are hurt and unable to deal or trust fully, they often threaten to leave.  We all have done this…myself included. #TrueStory

What is underneath this threat–sometimes–is the test to see if this person cares enough to fight for you or stay with you.  Still not a good reason to make the threat.  What is also underneath this threat is a desire to hurt your spouse because you have been hurt.  There is no greater threat to a marriage, THAN the threat of divorce.  Divorce means that I don’t want to share life, do life, or spent my life with you any longer.  That is painful…and if it’s not true, telling the person you are with, committed to and profess to love that you don’t want those things with them any longer is very damaging to any relationship.

So don’t do it…unless you mean it.  And if you mean it…it’s a conversation, not something you yell in the midst of a heated argument.

 

Reason Three: They are alone now.

Both the cameras and the experts are now gone.  This was a shock to me.  How could you leave people who have been married for months alone to deal with their issues, especially, one so major as the inability to handle conflict?  I have already come forth publicly to say that I will coach Sheila and Nate FOR FREE, if need be, because this is not something that they can fix on their own, and because I believe in their relationship.

 

While we do premarital coaching at The Relationship Firm, I am most proud of the couples who return for marital coaching.  The first year of marriage is challenging, and to do it alone (without an unbiased professional), is doable, but having help can make it so much easier.  With Sheila and Nate being on their own, I find myself being concerned about this relationship.  It has good bones, and limitless potential.  But, they have the type of fights that end marriages FAST!  And they need help with that…just like any other newlyweds.

Reason Four: Dear Newlyweds…It can work.

This relationship is not terminal…it is not toxic…it is healthy, I estimate, about 80% of the time, maybe more.  But the fights are toxic…terminal…and unhealthy 100% of the time.  That is the problem, and it isn’t even about them.

The way Sheila and Nate fight is alllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll about their histories.  Relationships that went amuck, unmet expectations, past hurts, and the like.  These have to be dealt with so that Sheila and Nate can deal with each other in an authentic space.  Every couple includes two people who have had experiences prior to this relationship.

It has to be said (and this is only my opinion), that sometimes the more you love someone the more afraid you can become.  You are afraid to lose what you’ve found, and it makes you hyper-sensitive to the issues that come up.  You reflect on the past, and those similarities make you think that you’re about to lose again.  That’s okay.  You are entitled to your feelings and your needs.  We just have to create a strategy where you deal with these issues in a way that keeps this relationship moving in the direction you want.  Otherwise, the fears and baggage continue to weigh down the relationship, and as you struggle through resolving these hurtful exchanges, it gets harder and harder to stay connected and enjoy the great times that your love wants to afford you.

Bottom line for Sheila and Nate, and anyone else who just got married (even not at first sight), is that there is help, and there is no shame in asking for it.  As newlyweds, you have to learn to navigate your life together.  It is a bumpy, winding, twisting, and sometimes even invisible road, but it is worth it…love is always worth it, because love never fails! (A little Biblical reference for you guys! Smile!)

Sheila and Nate…call The Relationship Firm…we can help.  We promise! #ShamelessPlug #ButASeriousOne

Ask Coach Steph: Was My Marriage a Mistake?

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Coach Steph,

Hi! I my name is (NAME WITHHELD) and I am afraid that I have a big problem.  I got married six months ago to a man that I love, and who I thought loved me.  But since the wedding, he has been different.  He’s just not interested in me.  We don’t talk and we don’t go out.  He just comes home and sits in the house.  I have asked what is wrong, and I get a “nothing.”  I don’t know what to do, and now I am wondering if my marriage was a mistake.  I am scared to ask him if he wants a divorce. It’s just been six months.

Help!

-A.K.

Dear A.K.,

I am sorry to hear about your problem.  Recently, I hosted a mediation for a couple in a similar situation, and I am happy to say that now they are doing much better–and planning to stay together.  In your situation, first of all, know that the problem may or may not be you.  Perhaps he is overwhelmed by the new role of husband, or perhaps something has happened financially that is making him distant from you, because he fears he cannot be the husband you want, or that he promised you he would be–men do not do well, when their role of provider is tampered with.

The truth of the matter is, that perhaps you should–CALM AND NICELY–ask him if he wants a divorce (if and only if that feels right).  Asking can remove your fears and stop you from carrying that burden.  Secondly, perhaps being asked such a direct question might coax him into revealing what is really going on with him.  You have to be prepared that he might say yes; however, that is more than likely not the case.

Now…If the divorce question doesn’t feel right–don’t do it, an alternative is to tell him that you’re here and promise to be understanding, whenever he wants to talk…this might also pave the way for him to reveal the issue, if he was afraid of your reaction.  You must keep the promise to be understanding, by the way, or you could cause more damage.

The early stages of a marriage can sometimes be the hardest.  The two of you are merging lives, and trying to build a life together.  This can be stressful, especially if you have been on your own for quite some time.  Consider that this transition is also going on within each of you.  As you move into the roles of husband and wife, understand that most people have no REAL clue what it means to be married.  This is why we offer pre-and post-marital visioning programs, so that couples can set their expectations together, and then live up to them in peaceful co-existence, versus just being married, and having no clue what that means to you individually or collectively.

Check out Allison Vesterfelt’s six tips after six months of marriage…here.

In conclusion, you cannot go on living like this.  I am sure that there is a fair amount of hurt in your heart at this time, and my prayer will be that you’re healed so you may go forward without pain–and the baggage that the pain brings.  Again, I caution you to ask about divorce only if it feels right, and if not don’t.  If you cannot get a meaningful answer from him, I recommend praying and then finding a coach or a counselor–if only for yourself.  Whatever has changed him is substantial, and saving a marriage is no easy feat.  But, continue to walk in love, and keep your household a place of peace, and keep smiling…very soon, this will pass–one way or another.

Keep me posted.

 

Aspen Wedding of Josh Altman

Celebrity Love Notes: Introducing Heather and Josh Altman

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Image result for josh altman marriageJosh Altman and Heather Bilyeu (the soon to be Mrs. Josh Altman) are one of the newest power couples in LA!  Both successful realtors, viewers see multi-million dollar real estate deals delivered each week by Josh and Heather on Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles (#MDLLA).  They have done a great job keeping business and “pleasure” separate, as Josh works for one agency and she with The Agency, owned by the amazingly attractive and successful husband, of Kyle Richards (of Real Housewives Beverly Hills fame)–Mauricio Umansky (www.TheAgencyRE.com).

However, recently, Josh and his brother decided to open a new real estate venture, appropriately named “The Altman Brothers,” and much to Heather’s chagrin, Josh decided that for the sake of their relationship, she will not be involved.

Of course, she was disappointed…make that a little shy of furious.

Despite the 82% (I read somewhere) that agree with Heather, I am going on record that  I agree ONE MILLION PERCENT with Josh!

It takes a very special couple to work and to “play” together.  In a business like real estate, which is competitive (and can be cutthroat), working together could pose some challenges.  The challenges at work, then become the challenges at home, and it’s down hill from there.  Consider the challenges that Heather endured with Madison, if those same issues emerged between Heather and another agent at The Altman Brothers, businessman Josh, then morphs into super-protective fiancé or new husband  Josh Altman, and we have a problem…a big one.  I personally, hate to see Josh when he’s not calm, cool and collected, and I can only imagine how wrong that can go in real life.

Hopefully, Heather has seen the light (since this was taped many moons ago), and recognizes that being separate in their professional endeavors will allow them to have professional happenings to share during their quality times at home, but will also keep them from having their personal lives overrun by real estate.  As a couple, it is imperative that this time is used to get to know each other –even better than they do now.  This is the time for deep discussions about our future and our children, NOT to be distracted by some deal that went South the day before, nor to explore the quickest way to entice a buyer for a $20.2 million compound in the Hollywood Hills.

What anyone can learn from this situation, is that if you have a significant other who is actively taking responsibility for the success of the relationship, then that is a good thing…this is what Josh did.  I give Josh kudos for standing up for his relationship and saying that working together may create situations that may impact our ability to stay together.  I give Heather kudos for being upset at first, but accepting the reality and–even if she doesn’t mean it–showing solidarity with Altman’s decision.  Ultimately, this is what marriage is about–being teammates.  As such is the case, “Team Altman-Bilyeu” is on the right track.

Congrats!

#CoachStephHasSpoken


Update: Josh and Heather wed in 2016 after a three-year engagement.  Congrats!

4 Reasons Your Marriage (Might) Fail… (Twosday@TRF)

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If you’ve been paying attention, it seems that everyone is getting married…EVERYONE.  And, while there are still hot debates on who should and should not be able to enjoy nuptial bliss, this article is not about that.

Marriage is a very important union between two people.  While it has been reduced to something you “just do,” and then use a swift divorce to get out of it, it’s so much more than that.  And, perhaps this article will help you see that.  Well, enough with the small talk…let’s get to some reasons…

Reason one: You have NO CLUE who you married.  Now, this is more than likely your fault, sorry, it just has to be said.  This seems to be the biggest cause of marriage failures, because people insist on bucking the order of things.  As any six could tell you, “first comes love, THEN comes marriage, THEN the baby carriage.” But that’s not how we do things now.  Most people have baby carriages and then marriage, but love (or even like) is no where in the equation.  We’re marrying people we don’t know because we “mightaswell.”  As such is the case, the due diligence necessary to learn about a person is never done.  And, then you walk down the aisle and start a future with someone who is NOT who you think (or want) them to be.

Reason two: You really just wanted a wedding.  Ah! Such a beautiful event.  The dress, the food, the attention, the gifts–all for you.  It’s easy to see how this happens, and unfortunately, some people loved the wedding, but hate the marriage.  While this may seem silly to some, there are people who just wanted the experience of getting married, and now their marriage is either failing or has failed.  Five words: Don’t…let…this…be…you!

Reason three: You’ve taken marriage advice from married people.  I say it often, “just because you are married, doesn’t mean that you know how to be.”  Some married people will give you flawed advice.  EVERYTHING from take revenge on your spouse to just leave your spouse.  Here’s the problem: it’s not their marriage!  The tenets of your marriage (which my clients explore in marital visioning and pre-marital coaching), are not the tenets of someone else’s marriage.  Stop believing that because someone has been married for “X” more years than you have, that they have the secret to your success.  Married people should seek unbiased support when encountering marital challenges, not the advice of those who could cause more harm than good.  Am I saying that all married people give flawed advice…not at all.  But, I am saying, that you should scrutinized the advice you receive, and if there’s not a stitch of encouragement or support in their statements to you…RUN!

Reason four: Communication has gone out the window.  Everyone knows that communication is required for any relationship to survive.  However, in a marriage, communication takes many different forms.  The communication that I am talking about, is the communication of needs and expectations.  During a marriage, people continue to evolve and to learn about themselves–this is good.  What is not good is when the other spouse is unaware.  Communicating needs and expectations is an ongoing process in a successful marriage, and when your spouse meets your needs and expectations, then celebrating them is in order.  In fact, communication and celebration go hand in hand in a marriage–don’t think otherwise.  Everyone needs a pat on the back (or lower, if that’s a need-smile).

In the end, these are just 4 of many reasons your marriage could fail, but it doesn’t have to.  We help marriages in crisis all the time with mediations and coaching, so reading this article could be a turning point in your marital relationship.  Remember, you avoid bad relationships (and marriages) when you get FIRM. www.TheRelationshipFirm.com

Celebrity Love Notes: What I Told Evelyn Lozada About Chad Ochocinco

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With the new season of Basketball Wives, we are now forced to relive the saga that is the short-lived marriage of Evelyn Lozada and Chad Ochocinco.

First things first…this relationship started off with a major handicap.  When you sleep someone on the first date (or very early in the dating process), you lose the ability to learn more about the person. Now you’re just looking for more sex–especially if the sex is good.

Secondly, Evelyn ignored some key signs that Chad wasn’t ready to be a husband.  In my honest professional opinion, Chad is a nice guy, and while I believe there is more to the “headbutt” story, the truth is that Chad wasn’t ready to be a husband.   Now, post-incident, she spends much of her on-camera time with therapists and getting her life “fixed” (you know what I mean). However, I humbly ask the question of why wasn’t this time spent pre-nuptials  with the both of them working to put this relationship on a viable path-if one existed?  Evelyn is a beautiful woman, however, wisdom is what is most needed when choosing a mate.  Take heed.

If Evelyn was my client, I would tell her that choosing a boyfriend and then deciding if that boyfriend can be a husband is a process.  And, in order to make that process work well, physical intimacy has to be left put of the equation, and the emphasis should be placed on getting to know each other and assessing how this person’s past has affected them.  There has to be a certain amount of diligence when learning about someone, and again, when sex is one facet of the relationship, learning about the other facets becomes a real challenge.

When someone you are interested in shares tales of tragic childhoods, deadbeat fathers, dead end relationships, and the like, you don’t have to disqualify them, but your antennae should go up and your new mission is to learn how these past occurrences affect them today.  Do they hate women because of something their mother did? Or is their definition of manhood based on the teachings of a “rolling stone” father? This is important! It’s even more important than how great they are in the sack, or how successful they are.  These are the hard questions that no one wants to ask.  But if you’re considering this person for the rest of your life, then that is nothing to take lightly.

What anyone can learn from this situation:  Just as I “told” Kris Humphries, there were signs before you walked down the aisle that this union may not have been for you, or may not have been ready to become the relationship that you want it to be.

Marriage is serious business.  We’re talking about two people, becoming one, and making a covenant with Divine power.  People have minimized it to a pre-nuptial agreement and something that a divorce can get you out of, but don’t be confused by the trite behavior displayed by popular culture.  And, don’t get trapped or caught in a situation that could’ve been avoided with diligent investigation and dedicated time spent communicating INSTEAD of consummating.

Now, if they decide to reconcile, there are major issues that should be dealt with…but I will address that in another article.

#CoachStephHasSpoken

Disclaimer: Just so it’s clearly stated, Coach Steph has not nor is currently working with Evelyn Lozada or Chad Ochocinco.  This article is simply a professional perspective on how the elements of this relationship can affect others, as well as what others can learn from this incident.

So…Jimmy Put a Ring on it!

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Three words… MOR. TI. FIED!

 Along with millions of viewers, I watched as Jim Jones proposed to longtime, live-in “wifey” Chrissy Lampkin on their popular VH1 Show, “Love and Hip Hop.”

The proposal caused emotional reactions throughout the Twitterverse, and just may have inspired millions of single women to take control of their situations, so that they too, could get a nice piece of ice on that special finger.

I saw the tweets and facebook statuses that were so happy for her.  Some people were actually crying.   There’s only one problem…

Keep reading

I am “Keeping it Real With NeNe!”

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This last Celebrity Love Note is dedicated to NeNe Leakes.  The loud mouth “Housewife” whom Bravo saw fit to make famous continues to do her level best to make my good black woman stock plummet.  In the midst of it all, she is now going through a divorce, and so this love note is written in hopes that other newly divorced individuals do not make the mistakes that I believe she is on the verge of making, among others.

My take:
NeNe’s marriage was allegedly destroyed by fame.  Now, that doesn’t mean that her husband was perfect.  I actually believe that he is a clear demonstration of her father issues, and the need for control, but I digress.  This marriage may have stood a chance if the Real Housewives franchise hadn’t come a’calling, but it’s not the show, it’s the fame that NeNe has received courtesy of the show that is the start of the problems, in my opinion.

But fast-forward to the present.  NeNe and Greg are separated and my assumption is that divorce proceedings are going to be taking place.  Note: Taking place.  They are not divorced…yet.  While some would tell her things such as, “the best way to get over one man is to get undera new one,” this is farthest from the truth.  In fact, this isn’t the time to get over anything, it’s time for you to figure out your role in the breakup of this marriage (how many times have I said this this week).  And furthermore, this is not the time to date…anyone…for any amount of time.  Sorry, sweetie, but you are still married.

Now, I understand that you have dysfunction all around you.  Cynthia’s farce of a marriage is enough to make anyone think that if you do better than that, then you’ve done okay; however, don’t be fooled.  We all saw your tirade regarding the treatment that you’ve received in this marriage.  But, NeNe, I doubt severely that you know how to be a wife.  If you treated your husband even remotely as badly as you have treated some of your co-stars, and fellow Apprentices, I can say with all conviction that being married to you was no walk in the park (more like a walk over burning coals).  Besides the stripper-esque sexual prowess that you’ve bragged about, what else did you bring to the table besides a child and a need to get out of Athens, Georgia?  As such is the case, perhaps this marriage was doomed from the start–TV just expedited the inevitable.

If she were my client:
I’d need a Valium.  Ok, let’s be fair.  If NeNe Leakes came to me for relationship coaching.  I would take away her ego, and put a muzzle on her.  Not literally.  However, NeNe has to learn how to communicate like an adult woman, or she doesn’t have to worry about relationships–platonic or romantic.  I believe that she wants people to prove that they love her by walking through fire, and not getting burned.  That’s quite a fete, even for a Cirque du Soleil cast member, but I truly believe that is what she desires.  For those without fire-walker capabilities, there’s NeNe’s Worship Club.  These individuals exist to answer her beck and call and maintain her ego.  The President of the Worship Club? You guessed it, Cynthia Bailey.  We’ll see how that relationship works out in the coming weeks. Hmmmmm…

Now, the fire-walking mandate is just plain ridiculous.  No one can live up to those standards.  No one has lived up to those standards.

Until we (she and I) can push through these unrealistic relationship expectations, NeNe shouldn’t even think about dating.  She should keep her focus on acting dignified through the divorce, and being the parent that her children need.  Not being “rich;” not buying $9 million homes in Miami; not appeasing her fans with over-the-top theatrics, and not criticizing everyone in Atlanta, but crying “haters” every five minutes.

I need her to do better.

What we can all learn from this:
Separation is not divorced.  Getting divorced is not divorced. Let’s be clear.

What else we can learn?  Our mouths can kill every relationship that we have.  There is no way that anyone can convince me that NeNe hasn’t unleashed hers on her soon to be ex-husband.  But beyond that, we should all learn that we should pay very close attention to the behaviors of the people in our lives, before we become involved with them. 

Men: If the woman you’re involved with has no problem telling people off, guess what, you are not immune to receiving the same treatment (please share this with Lamar Odom about his beloved Khloe).  If that’s not an attractive proposition, then don’t get involved.  If you want to test the theory, then let the first time she emasculates you with profane or insulting words be the last time.  This is not something that gets better.

Women: Being the girl who will tell everyone off is amusing, but it’s not attractive.  A real man will not be attracted to your ability to cuss everyone out at the drop of a dime.  I realize that you are a strong woman and want to let people know that you don’t put up with anything, but consider working on how you deliver such messages, and only “go there” when the situation truly calls for it. If you are around people who always seem to push you to that point, then get some new people in your life, and leave this dysfunction behind.

In the end, we have to respect each other–words and all.  Otherwise, we are all doomed to walk the path that NeNe is walking right now. And even in the cutest Louboutins, its not a journey that anyone wants to take.

Plonk!

Celebrity Love Note No.3: Oh Jenny!

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So..today I am speaking “to” good ol’ Jenny from the Block…check it out!

My Take:
This whole marriage concept is totally out of hand.  It seems as if Jennifer Lopez uses marriage to her advantage.  The first mistake is using it to her advantage.

 I don’t know if many of you know this, but a marriage is supposed to produce something positive in the world.  Not just children, but actually greatness.  Sum of you two, should be greater than your parts.  So, to use it to your advantage, is not the correct use of the institution.

 It is very irresponsible to continue to enter into a union that doesn’t last.  At some point, you have to admit that it’s not all about them.  You have some definitive fault in why these marriages aren’t working and going the distance.  Are you choosing the wrong men?  Is marriage just something you do? Do you love weddings?  What is the problem because clearly, there is one.

 Now that’s not to say that the individuals Jennifer marries are perfect.  But, really did the Latino busboy (AKA Hubby Number One) stand a chance?  That poor man was thrust from plastic runners to red carpets with a short period of time to adapt to the change, and when Jennifer’s career took off, eventually the marriage was left in the dust.

Some would say there is a pattern here.

If she were my client:
We would have to look very closely at these relationships before they were marriages, and explore why she thought this guy was husband material.  After discovering that answer, I am pretty sure that we need to explore her expectations for a husband, and if they are realistic.  We’ve all heard the stories of J-Lo’s outrageous performance riders, and perks for her entourage, it is possible that she asks outlandish things of her mate?  Does she think it’s over if he misses a 10 p.m. curfew?  Or if he doesn’t draw her bath at 81.3 degrees exactly?  Of course, I am over exaggerating (at least I hope that I am), but if anything remotely similar exists then we need to nip these things in the bud.

I also want to explore her vision for a marital relationship.  What are her beliefs about marriage founded upon?  What role does she play in bringing the vision to pass?  I will be whipping out all kinds of tools on Jenny from the Block…from Relationship Wheels to my beloved SWOT Analysis, I am going to work her until I get to the bottom of this nonsense.

 What we can learn from all of this:
Marriage is not something to be taken lightly.  Additionally, it is not something to be taken at all if we are not with someone we can see going old with.  One of my favorite tweets reads, “people are not getting divorced because marriage doesn’t work; they are getting divorced because they never should’ve gotten married.” 

Don’t be yet another person who engages in this new concept of marriage: the hobby.  You have to realize that marriage goes back to the Garden of Eden.  And if Adam can get over Eve talking to that snake and bringing him some bad fruit (with some pretty serious consequences), then we should be able to create marriages that last and overcome the challenges that two people inevitable will face when they say, “I do.”

Then again, maybe you adore Jennifer and see no problem with her getting married and getting divorced.

THIS JUST IN: I just read that it’s speculated that Marc Anthony and Jennifer’s divorce is over the educational plan for their twins—translation: what school the twins should go to?

 Seriously? 

 Well, perhaps the fourth time is the charm.

 Good luck, chica!

How I Know Jimmy Loves Chrissy

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Watching “Love and Hip Hop” last night, was a pretty taxing experience.  I admit that I only became interested in the show after I saw last season’s heartfelt proposal by Chrissy Lampkin to long-time beau, rapper Jim Jones—with ring and all.

 My Take:
First of all, I have been where Chrissy is.  She feels that she has to make somethings happen in her relationship, and because she wants marriage, she felt that it was okay to propose.  The truth is that if after 6 years this man is okay with sleeping with you, and sharing a life with you day in and day out, but has YET to explore sharing his last name with you, take that as a sign.

Chrissy is a strong woman, and beautiful one at that.  I am not saying that she should leave him, but I am saying that she should love herself more than she apparently does.  There is nothing like being in love with a man who doesn’t reciprocate the level of emotion that you have for him.  Do I doubt that Jim loves Chrissy? Nope.  Do I doubt that he’s ready (or willing) to be a husband? Well…  The proof is in the relationship.  Jim doesn’t want to be a husband, at least right now.  These two are in different places in this relationship, and that means that actions have to be taken–by both of them.

Need more proof? The proof in the proposal…that she made.

Tsk-tsk.

And as if it wasn’t enough that she proposed.  Jim looked at her tear-stained face and replied, “I got you.”  Well, that’s the problem, isn’t?  You have her, and are fairly convinced that she isn’t going anywhere, so why bother legitimizing this relationship?  Now, Chrissy believes that they are engaged, and she continues to push this agenda into Season 2, perhaps believing that is she keeps saying it (or asking about it) that it will become a reality.

Really, Chrissy?

But, this I do know: Jim love Chrissy.  He does.  Jim loves Chrissy enough to be with her the last 6 years, call her his woman, enjoy all the perks of her being a live-in “wifey” but not enough to make her Mrs. Jones?

That’s not enough love for me, and I wish it wasn’t for her.  But it happens.

Chrissy should realize that it doesn’t take a grown man 6 years to decide what he wants.  If he wanted to marry you…he would’ve asked YOU.

Probably adding to this sitch is the fact that Jim’s (or Jimmy’s) mother, isn’t exactly Chrissy’s biggest fan, and that’s putting it mildly.

If she were my client:
I would have to get to the bottom of why she wants to marry this man so badly, that she would propose to him.  Is this about the 6 years they’ve spent together, or is this about building a future together?  I spent 10 years in a relationship, and I relate to having all the years together and wanting them to culminate in something meaningful.

Additionally, we would have to explore what she’s prepared to do if he doesn’t step up to the plate and become her husband.

We’re not issuing ultimatums, but we are defining what she needs and wants for herself.  As much as Chrissy loves Jim, she shouldn’t have to settle for a relationship that isn’t fulfilling her.  I don’t want her to go another 6 years and perhaps 2-3 children later, and realize that she’s made a grave mistake.

What can all learn from this:
There is no reason why a woman should have to propose to a man.  I am sorry to burst your feminist bubble, but after everything we go through to love and to honor the special man in our life, to now add proposing to the list, just seems unfair.

It is a privilege to share a life with someone, and if you don’t think the privilege of sharing of life with you merits him asking for it, then that says something more.

Additionally, we have to be prepared to take drastic steps when we’ve created a situation that is difficult to get out of. If Chrissy didn’t live with Jim, it would be easier for her to exit this relationship.  And, I would’ve done just that after my proposal was met with, “I got you.”

The ultimate lesson: You cannot make anyone be what they don’t want to be.  It’s clear that Jimmy doesn’t want to be a husband, and if you think you’re unfulfilled now, just imagine what will happen if he takes on the role without being prepared to do so.

Take the hint, Chrissy…you deserve more, and if he won’t give it to you…then you have be prepared to do something different.

I wish you the best!

Oh yea…don’t replace that engagement right you bought, and he lost. (Just my 2 cents!)