Tag Archives: Love

The Power of Gratitude in Relationships

18 Oct

A four-year research study found that gratitude contributes to a mutual process of relationship maintenance, in which each partner’s maintenance behaviors, perceptions of responsiveness, and feelings of gratitude feed back on and influence the other partner’s behaviors, perceptions, and feelings.  In other words when a spouse felt gratitude towards the other, and they expressed that gratitude in some external way, this outward expression produced and influenced the other spouse’s feelings and behaviors of gratitude.  This process between the two spouses was like a continuous feedback loop because gratitude motivates partners to engage in relationship maintenance.

Feeling gratitude without expressing it, is like wrapping a present and not giving it.

After reading this article, I started thinking about my relationship with my husband.  I examined my acts of gratitude and relationship maintenance.  I believe I am consistent and sincere when I express how much I appreciate him and everything he does for me.  I am conscious of my behavior simply because my husband constantly shows me gratitude and I want to do the same to him.  Actually he is good at showing everyone (who deserves it) gratitude.  Anyone that knows him will attest to that. Based on this research, I’m sure that I conscientiously show him gratitude in many ways, because it is a natural response to his gratuitous behavior towards me.

So, the next time someone does something nice for you, don’t forget express your gratitude…it’s as easy as saying Thank You!

Back to Blogging

8 Aug

When blogging began to feel like a job, meaning I began to stress about finding subjects talk about, comments counts, and track backs, I decided to ‘quit’.  During my blogging hiatus there have been several events that have occurred, that have altered the course of this newlywed’s life, such as: selling our house, the death of my father-n-law, and our decision to become debt-free by year-end. These events, culminated with other, others have opened me up to many different experiences, for which I will forever be thankful.

Life as Mrs. Williams has been wonderful!  We celebrated our one year anniversary on May 28th, and it was (for lack of a better word) awesome!  My husband is the best! He continuously inspires me to be the best wife I can be.  He encourages my latest obsessions and passions with genuine interest and enthusiasm.

I want to thank the many people who reached out to me via email and or Facebook to make sure all was well in my life.  I really appreciate your thoughtfulness and kind words.  How cool it is for people you have never met to show care and concern?  Wow! has the world changed…for the better.

I’m looking forward to blogging about my latest adventures, projects, and passions, so stay tuned….

Biking Bliss: Taking Time Out Together

20 Jul
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It’s strange how sometimes the simplest things mean the most to you.  On Saturday Dr. B and I slept late then lounged in bed until about noon.  Then we went on an hour-long bike ride through our surrounding neighborhoods.  We took a slower pace than usual, which gave us the opportunity to take in our surrounding, enjoy the scenery, and talk.  I had the wonderful time with my husband!   Which…um…seems a little odd because we bike together all the time.   It’s nothing new or special, we’ve been biking since we first met.  But, it was just ‘something’ about this particular ride, that made me feel so much more closer to Dr. B.  Maybe it was the opportunity to talk and share as we rode along?

There are a few lessons learned from Saturday, such as perhaps Dr. B and I aren’t taking the time to have meaningful conversations throughout the week.  And when I mean meaningful I’m speaking in terms of conversations that don;t include work, money, or other people’s problems.   Life comes at you fast, so it’s important to engage in meaningful conversations, and recreational activities as a couple.  I believe it’s especially important for newlyweds to make the most of the early years, as you are setting the foundation for many years to come.  Once that time is gone…it’s gone!

On Bethenny Getting Married (yes, I do watch this show), Bethenny talks to new husband about being nervous about missing out on their “newly wed” years because she already expecting.  Here’s a short clip:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

I did a little research on working out together and came across this a great article on ‘Life Mojo’ about working out together.  The author lists the benefits of working out together as a couple.  Here is an excerpt from the article:

“When we exercise the brain releases chemicals which stir up feelings of happiness, thus reducing stress and tension. These chemicals also increase arousal and libido. Studies show that partners who enjoy exercising together report having better sexual relations with each other thus deepening their bond.”

How important is for couple, especially newlyweds, to spend recreation time together?  What about the husbands that spend Saturday morning playing golf, is that justified if the wife doesn’t enjoy golf?  I’m curious to hear your opinions….

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Marriage: Can it be taught, is love enough to sustain it, and does money really matter?

8 Jul

For obvious reasons I pray this is my first and last marriage.  I’m no expert and I’m learning what it means to be married on a

"I have found the one whom my soul loves"

daily basis, by putting one foot in front of the other.  So, last week when my fellow blogger Tiffany discussed the Washington Post article, “The Marriage Myth: Why do so many couples divorce? Maybe they just don’t know how to be married” I was all ears. It’s a great article that discusses the ideal that couples can be taught how to be married, which I firmly believe to true.  For me the article brought about an epiphany.  In the big scheme of things I don’t know anything about being married, but I’m willing to learn as much as I can.  In fact, I’m on the lookout for a great couples workshop(let me know it you know of any in Florida). I would like to learn how to communicate better, and solve conflicts better as a couple.  Not to say we have a problem, not at all, but knowledge is power.

Since reading that article, I’ve been proactively searching the web for articles, advice, etc for newlyweds.  One such website I found was About.com‘s Newlywed blog written by Francesca Di Meglio.  Today Francesca focused on the topic that love is the only good motivation for marriage.  She discusses a quote from the film Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.  Here is the quote:

Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being in love which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.

Wow! This quote touched my heart in so many ways.  I love Dr. B so profoundly that at times I cannot even articulate how I feel. I’m so entwined(as the quote states) with my husband that it is inconceivable that we should ever be apart. But, then I wonder is that enough?  Is our love big enough and strong enough to endure the test of time?  When were no longer feeling “in love” is love enough?  No, I don’t think that love by itself is enough.  I believe that love can use a little help.  Help in the form of marriage workshops, books, counseling, etc that teach us how to be, and how to stay married.

To throw another twist at you, there is the debate about money.  In this blog post, “Cash and Coupling: why marrying for money isn’t a bad idea” the author, Jessica Wakeman, voices her opinion about the role money plays in the success or failure of marriage.  Jessica believes that it is important to take into account the ability of your husband to support a family financially.  Jessica states:

Take me, for instance. I’m afraid I’m going to get tarred and feathered as a “bad feminist” for admitting this, but yeah, I do want to marry someone who can financially support both me and our kids.

Some will argue that a woman who thinks that way is a gold digger(see the comments section on Jessica’s post!), I  personally don’t see what’s wrong with her line of thinking.  Instinctively women are wired to seek mates that can support, and provide for a family.   It’s a basic instinct that has been traced back to the caveman.  So, why is it a much debated topic among women?  Is it not possible to find spouse who you love, and has the financial means to support a family?  Is that such a far-fetched idea?  I think not.  I love the fairy tale love story, I really do.  My own story is not far from it.  But I’m a realist.  I know and understand that it takes money to pay a mortgage, it takes money to pay a car note, it takes money to raise children.  Money does matter.  Not having money can cause conflict in a marriage.  Can one mitigate the possibility of conflict caused by money, yes, by seeking a mate that will be a good provider.  But,” good provider” is defined by the woman who is seeking one.

Luckily were live in a day and age where we have the freedom of choice.  Whether your 18 and you chose to marry a starving artist, or you forty and you marry a starving artist.  It’s your choice, your decision, your life.  You define what is enough to sustain your marriage, be it love, money, actively working it at, etc.

My choice is all three. I believe that for me they all play a role in the success of my marriage.  There are many other factors that play a role in a successful, long-term marriage and I would love to hear you views.

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The 2010 Team Williams Starting Lineup

22 Jun

The 1992 Dream Team couldn't old a match to the 2010 Team Williams

Initially I was going to write about our wedding reception that took place on Saturday.  It was wonderful, eventful, and an all out fun day!  Then I got to thinking about what made it so wonderful, eventful and fun – the help we received from our family and friends. For me it was reminiscent of a great basketball team, namely the 1992 Olympic Dream Team starring MJ.  The day consisted of what I like to think of as the “2010 Team Williams starting lineup” tackling projects and tasks with assists, three pointers, dunks and fade away jumpers.  I seriously doubt the Dream Team could have held it’s own against Team Williams on Saturday, they were in rare form. So, without further ado…  here is The 2010 Team Williams Starting Lineup for Saturday June 19, 2010:

At  point guard for Team Williams was our neighbor Chris….You see our backyard is not fenced in and butts up against our Chris’ farm.   Chris was kind and agreed to allow our guests to use his driveway, and park in the back of his property.  On Saturday we were setting up and decorating the tents when Chris rode out on his riding mower.  He asked if we would like for him to mow a bigger patch of field than what Dr. B had originally mowed.  I couldn’t believe it  – how kind is that? I didn’t know people neighbors still did that, wow!  Then, to add butter cream frosting to the cupcake –  he asked would we like to borrow his tent.  Seriously.  How nice is that, especially coming from someone Dr. B and I have only talked to twice?  Chris’ gestures was the first of many that occurred on Saturday.  Not your ordinary everyday, run of the mill “hold the door open for you” gestures.  More like the  ‘I will do anything you need just tell me’ gestures.  The ones that make you say,  “I need to do better by others” – those kinds.

Next up was George our athletic power forward.  George had never even seen, much less cleaned a fish with it’s head on.  But, there he was Saturday morning standing beside my mom in the kitchen cleaning fish for the reception.  You would have thought his father was the Morton fisherman.   I’m mean George was like the super, duper ninja friend on steroids.  He was all over the place and back again helping where ever he was needed – in the kitchen, outside – everywhere!

Starting at shooting guard for Team Williams was no other than my baby brother Bobby Hakeem Jamal.  He was like my shadow.  Where I went, he went.  When I needed something all I had to do was mumble, and he would jet off to get it. My brother and I got into a great rhythm on Saturday.  One in which I would start formulating an idea in my head, and somehow,  he just knew what the heck I was talking about.  It was great working side by side with my baby brother.

Lindsay and Bryan – surprised everyone in their positions as small forwards.  I seriously need to give a big Natasha the Newlywed hug to those two.  Poor kids, I worked them like they were in a Nicaraguan Chinese sweatshop.  If you could have seen them in action. They were arranging place setting, hanging signs, setting chairs, and hauling tents.  And, they didn’t even complain to my face.  No, seriously, they were great!  I gained a whole new level of respect for those two fifteen-year-olds.

Last but not least was the center, and the Team Williams franchise player, my mom.   She was the one person who I didn’t want to to lift a finger, but somehow she found a way to be indispensible.  She was directing and orchestrating the entire time behind, and sometimes much to my chagrin in front of the scenes.  She was…super mom!  Gotta love her 🙂

So there you have it….  The  2010  Team Williams starting lineup for Saturday June 19th.   There were many, many more people that helped make our reception a huge success on Saturday – you know who you are, Thank You!  We couldn’t have made it without you!

Dear readers can you recall a time that you were your family and friends came together line an NBA All-Star team and helped you out?  Were you left standing there scratching your head amazed and in awe?  Please tell…the floor is yours.

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