I know we like to view ourselves as being supportive and an asset to our love partners, but is this perception a reflection of reality or just an aspiration? During my sessions, I typically find the later to be more accurate. Most people seem to believe they are doing a good job of being an asset to their mate, but come up short when their actions are put under the microscope. Here are a few questions you may want to ask yourself to determine how much of an asset you are.
1. Do you really understand your partners' lifestyle desires? Sure, he or she may talk to you about career goals, but what about lifestyle goals? Are you sure your wife wants to have more than one child, if any? Are you certain your husband doesn't mind taking any job which enables him to provide for the family? Write down what you believe your partners' lifestyle desires are and then go and ask them what they are? How accurate is your list when compared to the answers your partner provided? If more than thirty percent of your answers are wrong, you really need to look into what that means. Everything begins with knowing those desires. How can you be assisting your partner with reaching their lifestyle desires if you don't really know what they are?
2. Is the pursuit of your lifestyle desires causing your partner to lose out on his or her dreams? This is a tough question to answer, but it must be addressed. Far too often, the desires of one person inhibits their partners'. This behavior creates resentment, and it bears its ugly face years after vows of everlasting love were exchanged. It can be a relationship killer, and this seems to be occurring more frequently than ever before. The most successful relationships allow each person to realistically pursue and achieve the majority of his or her lifestyle desires. If you aren't spending at least one quarter of your time and money on the pursuit of achieving your partners' goals, a significant change needs to happen.
3. Do you believe your lifestyle dreams are more important than your partners'? This way of thinking is more common in relationships than many would expect. We live in a society that breeds selfishness, and it shows up in our relationships. People who think this way because they want to suppress the dreams of others. They've become convinced that fulfilling their lifestyle ambitions will satisfy the desires of others. We often assume everyone wants to be wealthy and have a beautiful family, but that can be far from the truth. Wealth can never fully quench a thirst for personal and social relevance. People like to be respected for their skills and money doesn't meet that desire. Your professional accolades cannot completely fulfill the lifestyle desires of your mate. If you truly believe your dreams are more important than your partners, it is time for a change in thinking. Successful relationships require high consideration for both partners' dreams.
Whenever there is a sporting event featuring a match-up between a Baltimore sports team and a Pittsburgh team, you can expect fireworks. This was ever so true Saturday, January 17th at St. Frances Academy gymnasium. The #3 ABA ranked Baltimore Hawks (10-1) were facing the North East Division leading # 12 ranked Steel City Yellow Jackets (8-3) for the second time this season, after losing to them 127-119 in early November. The stage was set for another hard fought battle and neither team disappointed.
The Hawks started this game with a new starting rotation of Terry Hosley (point guard), Lionel Perkins (shooting guard), Dashawn Bradshaw (forward), Juwand Rheubottom (power forward), and recently added center Brandon Davis. The first quarter belonged to the Yellow Jackets. The effective shooting of point guard Gilmore Cummings and strong down bottom play of forward Lawrence Baker lead to an early 12-3 lead. Though the Hawks did slow them down with their zone defensive, the offense was inconsistent. Terry Hosley kept the game within 10 with some effective shooting, but overall the Hawks seemed to be flat, and went into the second quarter down 37-29.
Coach Bowie brought in McCoy (guard), Ford (center), and Jones (guard) to begin the second quarter, hoping to jump start his offense, and was rewarded with an 8-2 run that brought the Hawks within 2 points of the lead. Though the Yellow Jackets were putting forth the effort to hold back the Hawks; their turnovers and ineffective defense led to them losing the lead (45-44) with four minutes left in the second. Hosley and Perkins finished the quarter strong combining for 11 points and 2 assist, and led the Hawks to a 58-53 lead at the half.
The first half of the third quarter was filled with a lot of back and forth short runs behind the three point shooting of Baker (Yellow Jackets) and Rheubottom (Hawks). Both players got hot around the same time and with a little under seven minutes left, the score read 68-65. Unfortunately, this close game got a little out of hand for the rest of the third quarter. Both the Yellow Jackets defense and perimeter shooting was nowhere to be found in the second half of the third quarter, which lead to a 92-79 Hawks lead at the close of the third. But, the Yellow Jackets weren't about to give up.
Steel City started the fourth quarter with a 2-3 zone defense that slowed down the offensive efficiency of the Hawks. This adjustment combined with a hot streak by Steel City’s guards Nick Novak and Gilmore Cummings brought the game within five points with about five minutes left in the game. After a fast break dunk by forward Jason Hood (Yellow Jackets), Coach Bowie immediately called timeout to get his team back on track. Whatever he said to his players during that timeout worked because the Hawks came out on fire. Richard Ford (center) took over the game. Ford was hustling on both sides of the court. In two minutes he was responsible for almost every offensive and defensive rebound and added another eight points on offense. His play along with a strong finished by Hosley carried the Hawks to a 117-103 lead with two minutes left in the game. This run took all the fight out of the Yellow Jackets, and the Hawks went on to win the game with a final score of 123-115.
The Hawks are now (11-1), and seem to be coming on strong as they ready themselves for the playoffs. They are determined to make sure the city of Baltimore is well represented in the ABA, and the fans are just happy to see professional basketball being played in Baltimore. At this point, it is too early to say how popular this team will become in Baltimore City, but based on this game, they are going in the right direction. After a three game road trip to play the North Carolina Coyotes, Philadelphia Spirit, and Fayetteville Flight, the Hawks will return home to face Fayetteville again at St. Frances Academy Gymnasium (Feb 7th). If you’re looking for an entertaining night filled with good Baltimore basketball, make sure to be there.
The real relationship deal breaker
When we think about our long term lifestyle goals; companionship typically holds some value. In fact, it is most likely true that most of us desire companionship more than anything else. Unfortunately, many of us don’t understand how to truly pursue this desire. If we did, the U.S. divorce rate would be much lower. The question we should all be asking ourselves is; what’s causing this increase of failed long term relationships? After doing a lot of research and meditation about this issue, I've come to one conclusion, but it may not be what you’re expecting.
After getting pass the typical reasons divorcees give for ending their marriages; like infidelity, boredom (irreconcilable differences), financial hardship, and physical abuse, the root cause of many of these breakups began to surface. It came down to one factor; a lack of faith in being able to achieve individual lifestyle goals while staying in the relationship.
When we view our significant others as an obstacle or barrier to lifestyle goal achievement; it is very difficult for our relationships to progress. There are few feelings in life that are worse than the belief that we won’t be able to live the lifestyle we envisioned before adulthood. It’s the adult version of being told there is no Santa Claus. The idea that it will be impossible to follow your faith, purchase a big home, have children, travel the world, or even enjoy companionship due to choosing the wrong lover is truly gut wrenching. But, is this perspective always accurate?
While speaking with many divorcees, it was often revealed that their outlook wasn’t as accurate as they first thought. Those that were recently divorce often held on to the belief that their former spouse hindered their ability to pursue a reasonable lifestyle, but those that were further removed usually had a different perspective. They no longer focused on their ex’s contributions to the divorce, but instead revealed their own mistakes. Not being able to accurately access their relationship while still being a part of it was the most common one.
After hearing this, I began to think about my own marriage and if I had the same problem. It didn’t take much time for me to see how I too have been an occasional victim of my own inaccurate assessments. Rather than sulk in this reality, I shifted my focus towards the root cause of these occurrences, and the truth revealed itself. The fear of losing control over the ability to achieve individual lifestyle goals outweighed everything else.
Does a difference in ideas about financial matters always harm the ability to achieve individual lifestyle goals? What about infidelity or a lack of romance? For many the answer is yes, but in reality they are not always mutually exclusive. If someone commits adultery, are they incapable of fulfilling their partner’s lifestyle desire of a long lasting faithful marriage? Is it impossible for someone that is bad with money to help their spouse become homeowners or achieve financial freedom? All people are capable of overcoming mistakes and can grow to become more compatible. When the choice is made to abandon the marriage; the ability to believe in change has been lost. This lack in belief in change is the difference between the long lasting marriages from previous generations and today. The fear of someone else not being capable of contributing to the achievement of these goals has become too much to overcome. This is the real relationship deal breaker; but should it be?
SHOULD YOU REQUIRE A CREDIT REPORT BEFORE GETTING MARRIED?
You’re a few steps away from walking down the aisle with that special someone but remain worried about what could go wrong. The biggest of all your concerns is the potential financial ramifications of divorce or choosing a financially irresponsible spouse. While your future spouse has told you about his or her good financial management skills and excellent credit history, you still need more convincing before getting married. What do you do next?
Some relationship counselors would advise you to examine the source of your doubts. This advice is typically given to make sure all insecurities related to financial matters have not been caused by someone other than your significant other. Most people carry some of their parents or close family member marital problems into their own marriage; so it is good to ensure these issues are not creating false perceptions. Nevertheless, the fact that these unwarranted insecurities may exist shouldn't always discredit the request or need for financial transparency. The reason is simple; all people lie about their personal financial matters.
If I had to count the number of times people have lied to me about their financial matters during counseling sessions, the final number would be in the hundreds of thousands. It didn't matter if I had their credit report, banking statements, and credit card bills directly in front of me; people would consistently be dishonest about their finances. I've even found myself being a little misleading to those with the proper credit review authority about my finances. On some level, we all are a bit uncomfortable with someone else knowing everything about our money. This reality is the reason credit reporting agencies exist. The reports they create separate our lies from truth, but should someone other than a loan officer or hiring manager have the right to request them?
Based on some of my recent surveys, people are becoming more open to exchanging credit reports before marriage, but the majority still feels it is not necessary. Approximately 60 percent of all survey participants believed a credit report request is an invasion of privacy or a sign of distrust. While these results have improved year over year, it seems most people feel no need to exchange or request a personal credit report before getting married.
What’s your take on credit report request? Are you for it or against it? Use the survey and comments section below to voice your opinion.
Top 10 people that will never return the money you loaned them
1. Your children (Reason: they think you owe them for not being wealthy)
2. Spouse (Reason: they think you owe them for saying “I Do”)
3. Sibling (Reason: they never let go of childhood debts and favors)
4. Mother/Father (Reasons: they feel you owe them for raising you)
5. Cousin (Reason: see siblings)
6. College friend (Reason: they are desperate and broke too)
7. Best friend (Reason: they can blackmail you at any time)
8. In-Laws (Reason: Your spouse will kill you if you harm them)
9. Aunt/Uncle (Reason: They are always your superior in their eyes)
10. Your child’s mother/father (Reason: They can always claim it was for the child/children)
Top 5 people that will payback the money
1. Co-workers (Reason: they don’t want news of their lack of repayment to reach the supervisor, and you know when they get paid)
2. Grandparents (Reason: they feel the worse for not giving the money back)
3. Church members (Reason: God and judgment)
4. Neighbors (Reason: you live to close to be ignored)
5. Baby Sitter (Reason: they don’t want to work for free)
The top 8 most expensive lies
1. Any lie that you tell yourself. Not accepting reality could cost you your life. Time is precious; so don't waste it by lying to yourself.
2. “Not Guilty” No lie is more expensive than a guilty person’s innocent plea. Between the lawyer fees and possible jail time, this lie can literally knock years off of your life.
3. “No, I’m not seeing anyone else.” This lie often leads to an expensive divorce or an expensive apology gift. Both will put a dent in your income and savings.
4. “Yes, this is your child.” It is very inexpensive to obtain a paternity test, which makes this lie is easy to detect. In the end, this lie could lead to a loss of financial and emotional support. It could also get you kicked out the house.
5. “No, that’s not my child.” This lie leads to child support payments and some love lost from your child.
6. “I paid my taxes.” (See Wesley Snipes, Chris Tucker, Nickolas Cage, Lauren Hill, Dionne Warwick, Manny Pacquaio, Mike Tyson, etc.)
7. “I did all you asked me to.” When told to your employer, this lie could put you in the unemployment line.
8. “I wasn’t speeding.” Telling this lie to an officer will typical result in receiving a ticket.
What are some of the most expensive lies you've told?
How much money are you worth?
A well-known billionaire approaches you as you’re about to walk into your workplace. She asks you one question, “How much are you worth in dollars?” She then tells you that she will write you a check that matches your worth, but with one stipulation. You have to convince her that the dollar amount you stated is legitimate, and it must be done within five minutes. There’s also something else you need to think about. You are late for work and risking your job by talking to this billionaire. If you stay and can’t convince her of your worth, you could lose your job and leave with nothing. However, if you successfully convince her of your worth, there will be no need to ever go into work again.