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Discussing Your Boundaries With Your Partner

Setting boundaries. Establishing healthy boundaries and a relationship allows both partners to feel comfortable and develop positive self-esteem. In order to establish boundaries, you need to be clear with your partner about who you are, what you want, your beliefs and values, and your limits. A lot of times, we tend to focus on adjusting to others, taking time away from focusing on ourselves. Setting boundaries for yourself that reflect who you are and who you ultimately want to be will only enhance setting boundaries with your partner in a relationship. 

Boundary setting is not just about guarding yourself physically, but also mentally. Setting boundaries means being able to communicate with others about how you would and would not like to be treated, and protecting values that are important to you. Boundary setting shows respect for yourself and healthy assertiveness to others. It is important for you to know and believe that you are worth defending. 

Boundary setting can be used across a spectrum of situations from refusing to answer questions that make you feel uncomfortable to avoiding life-threatening situations. Communication skills can make or break human relationships. Without knowing how to engage in healthy communication, you open yourself up to increased stress and for the challenges that can compromise your relationships with others. Quality communication relies heavily on listening skills. If you or the person you’re communicating with are not actively listening, there is no real understanding, no basis for growing together, no mutuality and no acceptance.

Communicating your thoughts with one another.

Be honest but respectful when sharing your thoughts and feelings with your partner. Remember it is totally normal and okay to need time to gather your thoughts and feelings but do not use this approach to avoid the tough conversations. 

The first step in boundary setting is to name your limits. 

You need to identify your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual limits —- not just in romantic relationships, but in all your interpersonal relationships. Your feelings and intuition can help guide these limits. Being self-aware helps you honor your values, feelings and yourself. You must be willing to name what your limits are in order to gain the respect that you deserve, from yourself first, but also from your partner, because we teach people how to treat us. And, if you are not naming your limits and expecting things to go a certain way, then you will not receive the things that you aspire to have out of your relationship. You must be able to put a name to what your limits are. 

When I started doing this, it changed each one of my relationships around for the better. It made me recognize that I have a voice and how I am capable of using it. You also have to teach everyone in your life how you want to be treated and this is what communicating your thoughts and wants looks like, all while setting your boundaries. You have to know what your boundaries are and then be able to verbalize them in order to receive them.

The next step is to be direct with others and develop a healthy habit of communication.

Assertiveness is often seen as a negative trait; however, being assertive means confidently and firmly telling others your boundaries and communicating with them what you expect, which is respect. Each of us deserve to be respected, unfortunately, people do to you what you allow them to do and every time you allow someone to cross your boundary, you are saying that you do not respect nor love yourself. Once you begin to enforce boundaries, you are now saying, I am important enough to ask for and receive the things that I want. You have to be able to communicate those things to your spouse as well. 

The third one is to give yourself permission.

Fear, guilt and self-doubt are big potential pitfalls. We might feel the other person‘s response if we set and enforce our boundaries. We might feel guilty about speaking up or saying NO to a family member. You may believe you should be able to cope with the situation or say yes because you are a good daughter, even though you feel drained or taken advantage of. 

Does this sound familiar? 

You may even wonder if you deserve to have boundaries in the first place. The answer here is yes! Boundaries are not just a sound of a healthy relationship, they are a sound of self respect. So give yourself the permission to set boundaries and work to preserve them. Again, this happens by communicating your thoughts with one another in all of your relationships. Give yourself permission to speak up; to ask for what you need; so you can gain the respect you deserve from others including your partner. By doing this you will feel honored, loved and appreciated as well as if you matter. 

I remember when I gave myself permission to start speaking up, to start asking for the very things I need in my own relationship. The feeling was awesome. To be able to speak freely and ask for the things I want and then to receive them, was a wonderful feeling. This can be in the form of receiving something tangible or intangible, such as respect. You too, can ask for the things that make you feel good about yourself and the relationship that you are in.

How is your communication with your partner? Have you established and kept your boundaries? How could a new way of communicating with your partner change the trajectory of your relationship?

Need help with boundary setting, communication and staying connected to your partner? Let’s talk during a free 30 minute coaching conversation. My mission is to decrease the divorce rate while simultaneously increasing the marriage rate one coaching conversation at a time. Are you ready to join the mission?

I look forward to speaking with you.

Marshaun Olaniyan 

Life & Relationship Strategist www.marshauno.com

Silencing Your Critical Inner Voice

What is your critical inner voice? Your critical invoice is defined as a well-integrated pattern of negative thoughts toward oneself and others that is at the root of an individual’s maladaptive behavior. It tends to foster inwardness, distress, self criticism, self denial and limitation, addiction, and a generalized retreat from one’s goal directed activity. What all of this means is that your critical inner voice is all of the negative thoughts you think about yourself and what was told to you that is now rooted in your behavior and how it is showing up.

Identifying What Your Critical Inner Voice is Telling You

Your critical inner voice reveals itself in those little every day thoughts that flit through your consciousness. They zing and are gone before you even are fully aware of them. These thoughts are part of a menacing internal dialogue and a harsh and judgemental way that you talk to yourself.

Though sometimes hard to pinpoint, the inner voice is often experienced as a running commentary that attacks and criticizes your actions and interactions in everyday life. Unfortunately, this destructive thought process influences you to make decisions that are against your best interest and to take actions that negatively impact your life. In order to challenge this internal enemy, you must be able to identify your critical inner voice. Once you have become aware of its negative guidance, you can make a conscious effort to not act on its destructive advice.

Your critical inner voice is not your conscience. It has a more degrading and punishing quality to it. It is a demeaning tone that tends to increase your feelings of self hatred towards yourself instead of motivating you to change undesirable actions in a constructive manner.

You must separate your critical inner voice from the thoughts and feelings that represent your own point of you. It is usually difficult to distinguish the two because they are experienced in the first person point of view. However, you can access this alien point of you by putting it in second person. To do this, take your self attacks from the first person (I statements) and put them into the second person (You statements). Doing this reveals the hostile nature of its internal enemy. It makes distinctions between the negative view of yourself and a more realistic view and makes you aware of other negative thoughts that you may not have been conscious of before. By doing the simple exercise you will be able to access the feelings that often underlie these self attacks, allowing you to have a more compassionate view of yourself.

Finally, you must recognize what triggers your critical inner voice. When you find yourself slipping into a bad mood or becoming upset, think about what happened to change your mental state. The fact that you went from feeling optimistic or relaxed to feeling down or irritable, may be a sign that your voice has been activated. Think about what is triggering your critical inner voice. Try to separate your critical inner voice from the thoughts and feelings that represent your own point of you. These thoughts and feelings may have come from the point of your parents or guardians and what they instilled within you. These voices usually told you who you are, how to act and what to say. This is not necessarily a bad thing, just be aware of who’s voice is actually within your head.

Have you examined whose voice is in your head? Who instilled the negativity within your head? Whose voice do you usually hear that you have taken on as if it is your own voice that speaks negatively towards you? How are you relinquishing this negative critical inner voice?

To find out how to relinquish this critical inner voice, sign up for a free 30 minute coaching conversation.

My name is Marshaun Olaniyan. I am a Life & Relationship Strategist and I help Christian women that are married or in long-term relationships to stop feeling disconnected and unloved and shift you to feeling heard, understood and appreciated. My mission is to decrease the divorce rate while simultaneously increasing the marriage rate one coaching conversation at a time. I look forward to speaking with you if you are ready and you have stated enough is enough. Click the link to schedule your free 30 minute coaching conversation. 

Sincerely,

Marshaun Olaniyan 

Life & Relationship Strategist www.marshauno.com

Facing Your Fears

Fear and anxiety are like kidnappers that hold you captive, holding you back from the full, free life you could be living. The stranglehold on your life will typically get worse over time, if left unchecked.

Talking about what scares you is important for people to make rational statements about how they really are, how other people really are, and what is true about his or her social world. Talking about your fears often shrink them down to a size you can deal with. 

Here are a few things that will occur due to you deciding to open up and speak about your fears:

1.You overcome the challenge quicker and it gives you courage when you talk about what scares you. 

Your courage grows with each fear you face. Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles found that people could overcome their fears by labeling and talking about them rather than trying to ignore them. Also the words, positive or negative, have an effect on how much closer you get near facing the fear the next time around.

Have you ever noticed when you are scared of something, snakes, for example. If you hear the word snake it makes your body cringe. Now, think about your reaction if you were to get near the snake. The more you verbalize how you are going to be bitten by the snake the higher the likelihood that this will occur. However, there is a trainer there so you will be safe. It’s a protected environment or there is nothing to be afraid of. The closer you actually get to the snake, you will see that your fear and anxiety will decrease. Your body will begin to relax because you are finding the courage to verbalize your fears and even begin to face your fears all while moving closer to the snake. 

2.It shows up in other ways such as monitoring, you stop speaking up, you withdraw and often get angry.

When you stop talking about your fears, they can show up in the way of you monitoring or you stop speaking up. You may even decide that withdrawing is a better solution or just getting angry out of nowhere and for no reason at all. When this happens one or both people feel stuck. The more you feel stuck, the more disconnected and hopeless you feel about the relationship and about the other person.

Have you ever noticed that whenever you feel scared and you stop verbalizing it in your relationship you have a tendency to create a story that matches up? Your viewpoint makes the most sense in the story which best suits the way you are feeling because you did not express yourself. This happens when you do not verbalize the things that are bothering you. You start to internalize them. This is also when you create your story about what must be happening, whether it is true or not. For example, you start to think of reasons why he did not answer the phone. Your first thoughts may be, he must be out there cheating. Instead of you bringing up your fear, talking it out with your spouse, you allow this to fester and the next time he doesn’t answer the phone, the more you believe and confirm your story that he must be cheating. 

When you do this, you start to make this scenario bigger than it actually is and before you know it, because your mind has created the story and you have fixated on it for sometime, it becomes true to you. By the time you express yourself, it is an explosion cast in the form of yelling and screaming at your partner all because of your assumption of why he is not answering your call. This is all fear-based! There are usually no facts to back up this way of thinking. You must be willing to be vulnerable and speak up so these things will not build up and wear you down because if you continue to hold onto these things this will plague your relationship.

3. Fear helps you decide what’s real.

When you take the time to define your fears, you learn to separate fact from fiction. This is an important distinction. Some things you are afraid of will be valid, but many will be mental worst case scenarios that have simply spiraled further in your mind than they ever will or would in reality. Which was exactly the case in the previous example. So, do not do this to yourself. Do not allow your fears to creep in and stay there because you are too scared to talk about them. You have to face your fears. You have to speak about them with your spouse so they can have the opportunity to set the record straight regarding your fears and what you assumed was taking place versus what was actually occurring.

How is fear showing up in your relationship? How are you facing your fears? What conversations are you having with your spouse regarding facing your fears and he is or her fears as well?

I am Marshaun Olaniyan and my mission is to decrease the divorce rate while simultaneously increasing the marriage rate one coaching conversation at a time. If you need help with facing your fears or discovering who you are or showing up and being better within your relationship, please reach out. Let’s set up a free 30 minute coaching conversation so I can help you get from where you are today to where you want to be tomorrow and beyond. Click the link so we can help you on the road to becoming a part of the top 1% of couples that have extraordinary relationships.

All the best!

Marshaun Olaniyan

Life & Relationship Strategist

www.marshauno.com

3 Ways To Stop Being So Critical

We all get caught up in being critical of our relationship and even our partner’s from time to time, myself included. However, being overly critical constantly will be the demise of your relationship.

I remember a client of mine basically stating how her marriage almost fell apart due to her criticism of her husband. She made him feel as though he could do nothing right from sunrise to sunset. No one needs this type of treatment. Also how could she blame him for being a split hair from walking out the door and never returning?

We need to feel loved, praised, honored and reprimanded from time to time in our relationship, however, not on a daily basis. How can one feel as though this is a healthy environment? How long would you feel loved and protected? I can assure you, not very long.

Below are my top 3 ways to stop being so critical and why it never helps the relationship build for the better.

1. Ask more questions and be intentional about getting to know your partner on a regular basis.

The first way to get rid of your critical behavior is to ask your spouse as many questions as possible so you can continue to get to know him on a deeper level. All of those quirks and idiosyncrasies and all those things that annoy you, can be solved or eliminated from annoying you by asking a ton of questions on a regular basis so you can continuously get to know who is sitting across from you and sleeping in the bed next to you.

Be very inquisitive. Ask a plethora of questions. Stop thinking when you have moved past dating and ventured into the relationship that asking questions and getting to know one another goes away. You have to continue to keep that connection going, maybe the things that you did like to do when you two first met, you hate them now. However, you only have this insight if you are constantly building the relationship, if you are constantly building the connection with your partner and going even deeper past the superficial questions like and asking more in dept questions such as:

What makes you, you?

Why do you act the way they act when you do not get your way?

Why do you react the way you react. “I was wondering why your first response is generally negative?”

Why they show up the way that they do. “Why are you always late even when you have ample time to get ready?”

Why are you such a critical person? “How come you criticize me so much?”

What was your environment like while growing up?

Did you often feel loved as a child?

Were you able to express your feelings freely?

There are a ton of things you can find out by simply asking thought provoking questions to your spouse and being willing to share your own vulnerabilities and the things that make you who you are, as well.

2. Become an admirer of your partner and show appreciation daily.

Become an admirer of your partner become their cheerleader 📣. Show appreciation as much as possible because this lets your partner know

You are still into him.

You actually care about who they are and their well-being.

In this case, you can be appreciative or show appreciation to him once per day such as stating, “Bye baby. Thank you so much for taking out the trash. I really appreciate it.” Or “Thank you so much for washing the dishes.” Another is “Thank you so much for taking care of children.” Whenever you can show appreciation to your spouse, he will absolutely soak it up, take it in and feel like you are trying to love him the way that he needs to be loved.

3. The final way you can break the cycle of being a critical person is to create time to emotionally connect with your partner. Create the time to connect emotionally with your spouse, whether you are doing it on a weekly basis, through setting up some time, whether it’s through a date or you saying “hey we are going meet Sunday at 3pm to talk about us and to check in with one another.” Be intentional about connecting. Also each day when you guys are laying in the bed or on the couch, when the house quiets down and the children have gone to bed, have an end of the day conversation just in general. This builds intimacy and you begin to stop being such a critical person. Your defenses wane and you begin to see your spouse’s heart once again.

Your Way is not the only way Sis! Stop being such a critical person because you are not helping your relationship. None of us have all the answers to everything. Have a bit more grace and mercy.

If you need more help in this area and you are ready to take the next step to creating the love life you’ve always wanted then download my ebook, Reignite Your Relationship by 7X now!

My mission is to decrease the divorce rate while simultaneously increasing the marriage rate one client at a time. Won’t you join me?

Click the link now!

All the best,

Marshaun Olaniyan

Life & Relationship Strategist

http://www.marshauno.com

What Does Thick and Thin Mean to You

According to Merrim-Webster.com, the definition of thick and thin is every difficulty and obstacle. That’s right! Every obstacle. Not some, not a few but ALL. Let’s take a deeper dive into what thick and thin actually means in your romantic relationship. A lot of people get into a relationship and are not ready for what thick and thin truly means. They are not ready to go through the downs. Everybody loves the ups but some of the same people are not ready to go through the downs. Everybody loves when the cash is flowing but nobody likes it when the cash flow comes to a screeching halt. Everybody loves when there are children running around, especially if this was part of your dream. Nobody loves the part if they are struggling to get pregnant, or if they had several miscarriages. Everybody loves when everything is flowing smoothly and nobody wants to experience the downs in the relationship. You see, the downs represent the thin parts of being in love and in a relationship. The thin equals the low moments in your relationship.

We all have peaks and valleys throughout life. The valley is the low part of the relationship. What does thick and thin actually mean? Thick and thin means being there for your partner when things aren’t going as you planned them out. Thick and thin means we’ve been trying to have this baby for five years and there are no signs of pregnancy nor a baby in sight. Maybe your thick and thin has more to do with the cash flow, not flowing. Do you just bail on the person you have been there with? Do you bail on the person because they’re not bringing as much income home as they once were? Is this now your time to give up on everything you’ve worked so hard to build? Do you walk away or do you decide to stay by your partner’s side?

Here’s the thing. Did you think about any of this before you said yes to the relationship? And did you take an even deeper dive and think about it even further before you said “I do” at the altar? See, these are the things that we need to think about before we jump into such serious situations. Marriage cannot be taken lightly.

How much are you going to cherish this person and cherish this relationship? Did your spouse get diagnosed with an unexpected life altering disease such as cancer? Do you leave them because they’ve been struggling with cancer for 1 year, 2 years or five years? If this is the case then what is the sickness and health line in your vows all about?

Have you been this thorough when thinking about your relationship? So, you want to get into that marriage but do you really want all the stuff that comes with being married or do you just like the idea? Then when times get hard while in the marriage, then you are ready to bail? Take some inventory today. Do you bail when times get tough?

Marriage is not for everybody. A lot of people want it. But are you truly ready for marriage through the thick and the thin? Have you healed from your past baggage or are you still carrying around those demons? Are you going to take that into your relationship?

Have you thought this deeply about what taking your marriage vows actually means? Have you sat down and had an in depth conversation with your spouse? What if you guys stop having sex for whatever reason. Maybe it is a medical reason or maybe it is stress. Do you walk away? Is it now your time to go out there and become a philanderer because you are no longer having sex with your spouse? Is that really your definition of thick and thin?

You want this fabulous relationship but you are not ready to go through the highs and lows.

Here’s what you can do. If you are in a relationship, I want you to schedule this particular talk with your spouse. Sit down. Take out two sheets of paper. And you ask each other the question, “What does thick and thin mean to me?” “What does it mean to you?” Take a few moments to write down the answer. Then have the discussion.

If you are single. Sit down yourself, have a date with yourself and write down what thick and thin means to you. You have to know your own definition first before you can get the answer from somebody else because here’s the thing, if you do not have the answer yourself, then they are going to “blow the question off” until you start the conversation. So, if you are the one to go to the person and say “hey what does thick and thin mean to you?”, you need to have some answers yourself.

Here in the Marshaun O community, I am helping you to create a better relationship with yourself and your partner. Yes! You are creating the relationship that you are a part of with every action you take or do not take, with every conversation you have or do not have, with every hug you give or not. You have the power to determine your life experiences one moment at a time.

For more articles and tips of how to be better and to show up better in your love life visit www.marshauno.com/blog. To receive daily relationship advice in your email, signup for my email list when you visit my blog.

All the best,

Marshaun Olaniyan

Life & Relationship Strategist

www.MarshaunO.com

Best Marriage Advice Received

I wanted to come and share with you the best marriage advice I’ve seen, heard and experienced. I did a poll on my Facebook page and simply asked, what was the best marriage advice you have ever received? The results were 15 of the best answers I agree with. These 15 stood out to me, so I wanted to come here and share with you.

Alright let’s jump right into them:

Never do anything once you do not always want to do.

This one translates into the dating game. People say they lose interest or they feel that their spouse has changed after they get married. This is one of the reasons why. The things you were doing to get your spouse were not genuine, you were just trying to impress your future spouse. When your future spouse became your actual spouse, you did not think you had to continue to do those things anymore. That thing(s) you were doing to impress your spouse no longer seems relevant since the chase is over. It’s no wonder your spouse is complaining.

This one is very important. Do not wait for marriage on this one. Consider this while you are dating. Never do anything, not even once, that you do not want to continue to keep up with. This is one of the complaints that we hear from our spouses, our friends and our co-workers; “He does not do the things he did before when we were dating.” This was due to your representative being on that date and not your true authentic self.

Don’t ever tell your parents how awful your spouse is.

Do not tell your parents how awful your spouse is after an argument or go down the rabbit hole of what he does not do within your relationship. Period! When you are finished arguing over that thing or have gotten over the issue and you two are having fun again, your parents and other family members will still be holding on to that transgression. Your parents are there for you. They like your spouse and some tolerate your spouse. The point is, your parents will always be there for you. They want the best for you and if that means not being nice to your spouse due to what you’ve shared, then that is what will happen. They won’t forget your spouse’s mishap because they are not the ones who are emotionally attached to your spouse, you are. Avoid all that drama by keeping your business in your home.

Marriage is what you make it.

Literally, marriage is what you make of it! If you always think and focus on the negative, your marriage will be negative. If you always think of all of the things that he does not do that is what you are going to see. It is also what you are going to focus on. If you are always sad, always yelling, screaming, cussing, fussing and fighting with each other that is how you are going to see marriage and your spouse. On the flip side, if you are always positive and you two are sharing your lives together, constantly laughing and dating then you’re going to see your marriage as the best thing since sliced bread because marriage is what you make of it. Focusing on the positive can help you see your relationship as a blessing as well as the person you are creating your life with.

Don’t compare your union to anyone else’s.

Do not compare your union to anyone else’s relationship. Do not do it! Do not worry about how amazing you believe your friend’s husband is because you do not live with him. You may wonder about a friend’s girl who is always cooking and yours is not. Guess what? Maybe they are not having as much sex as you and your girl. Do not compare your union to your friends, co-workers or any of your family members because marriage is what you make it and you get to actively create the relationship you want. If you want a better marriage, then do something to make it better. Do the things you want to do in your marriage to make it the most memorable and satisfying relationship you have ever been a part of. Make your relationship so memorable that people are asking you questions about how you maintain such a healthy marriage. Become that person because you know deep down inside it took everything in you for a love affair to blossom into something this great.

It’s about give and take.

It is all about give and take. It really is. You are not going to win every battle. You are not going to win every conversation nor are you going to lose every battle or every conversation. It is about give and take; it is about compromise. It is about “Okay, this time you can have that but guess what, the next time, I’m going to choose where we go eat.” That is what give and take is all about. How often are you giving and taking in your relationship? Is everything about you and your way or do things become a problem when they do not go your way?

Choose your battles.

Choose your battles. This one is absolutely true. Everything that comes out of your spouse’s mouth does not need to be addressed in the sense that you complain about it or an argument is the result from their statement. In the beginning, you’re going to feel as though you need to say something but the more that you do not say anything, you are practicing and building that muscle of not responding. The more you do this the better your relationship will be. The deeper your connection due to you holding your tongue. Your spouse will still feel that they are able to come and just be themselves with you. This does not mean you are going to agree with everything your spouse says or does. It just lets your spouse know that you respect him enough for him to just be himself. The more you practice holding your tongue, the more power you actually have. Most people think that you become weak when you do not speak your mind. You do not have to speak your mind about everything, literally, choose your battles. I read something recently where it stated you should let all of the little things go. Then when you do have something important to address your spouse will actually hear you because you are not being a constant complainer. It will make a world of difference in your relationship.

Your spouse is not responsible for your happiness.

Your spouse is not responsible for your happiness. You are! So if you are letting your happiness be dependent on what your spouse does or does not do, then you are giving them too much power. When you give away your power like that you become miserable. Happiness is a choice. Your spouse can add to your happiness but they cannot make you a happy person or even a sad person. If you choose to let whatever they say get under your skin, that is a choice you are making. If you choose to let someone ruin your day, that is your choice. Your happiness is your happiness and you create it all by yourself. You are in  

charge. You are responsible for your own happiness. You and you alone.

Put your spouse first even if they are not in this mindset yet.

Put your spouse first, even if your spouse is not of that mindset. Ideally, both of you should be putting each other first because if you put your spouse first and your spouse is putting you first, you two cannot help but win. He is making sure you are happy and you are making sure he is happy. However, if your spouse has yet to put you first, you should still do it. I have said it and I will say it again, if you want your spouse to change, you have to change yourself first! We always look outside for the change we are seeking. You must first look inside and become the change you seek in your spouse. It will happen, just not overnight. After a while, your spouse will observe how you are showing up and this can do nothing but rub off onto your spouse. Just think about the people you surround yourself with the most. You pick up things from them. It does not matter if it is good or bad. Your spouse will do the exact same thing. So, if you want them to change in any way, you have to first do it yourself. You have to be the example.

Never consider divorce as an option.

Never consider divorce as an option if you choose a spouse you are growing with. This must be a spouse that God sent to you and you choose. At times ‘we’ choose our spouses without God and then wonder why the union is really really tough. There was no prayer asking if he is right for you, you are just going along with this person because there was no one else in sight or fear that no one else would come along for another few years. Marriage is sacred and too many people take this for granted.

Keep God first in your marriage.

Keep God as the head of your marriage at all times. The order is God, husband, wife, children then everyone else. If you are making all the decisions yourself, what happened to God? If you are leaving your spouse out of the decision making process, what happened to that level of respect and honor? To those of you who are still talking to your family members or best friend about serious matters before speaking to your spouse, you forgot the order. This is part of the reason why you are having so many issues in your relationship. You are supposed to cleave to your husband or your wife.

A lasting marriage has its seasons and cycles.

I love this one so much, and not many of us think about it. A lasting marriage has its seasons and cycles so do not leave when the winter comes. Every marriage has ebbs and flows. We have our summers and winters. That does not mean you leave during the winter. Do not just throw in the towel screaming I’m sick and tired. It’s not going the way I believe things should go. I’m unfulfilled. I’m unhappy. These are the times you have to weather the storm, get quiet and become a prayer warrior asking God for his guidance. Not every season of heartache will make sense to you but believe me God is behind the scene drumming up something spectacular. You only get to reap your rewards if you stay the course.

Extend grace to your spouse like Christ does for you.

Extend grace to your spouse like Christ does for you. If we did this more often your relationship would be much better because as much as we logically know that none of us are perfect, we still expect our spouse to be perfect and not make any mistakes. In 2 Corinthians 12:9 it states “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more  

gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” Allow your spouse to show his weaknesses to you in order to feel free with you and to receive God’s blessings.

It is not you versus me. It is you and me versus the problem.

When you two have gone through an argument or there is an issue that has not been resolved, remember, it is not you versus your spouse. It is you and your spouse versus the problem. If you both come together, then these issues that are lingering in your relationship can be resolved much faster. However, if you two are battling one another, you are not on the same team. Get on one accord with things in order to get things back in alignment and then figure out how to resolve the issue together so you can stop having the same conversation over and over again.

Marriage is giving 100/100, not 50/50.

Marriage is about each of you giving 100 percent of yourself. Marriage is about each of you giving 100/100, not 50/50. Both of you have to be 100% in, in order for the relationship to thrive or have that lasting power. If you are only given 50 percent this is an F in school work. You are not giving enough if you only give 50 percent out of 100. Let me just be all the way real with you, giving 100 percent, all of the time, is a hard thing to do. It is not impossible. It is a skill that must be worked on internationally. Your relationship will not thrive unless you go all the way in on it. Otherwise you feel overwhelmed and drained.

Do not let the sun set on your anger.

This one actually came from one of the elders. This one was repeated multiple times before I left it here because one of the elders have told this to me multiple times. I decided to leave it as the final tip, because a lot of us still do not do it, which is, do not allow the sun to set on your anger. Resolve the issue before you two go to bed. Sometimes this is not possible to do because you just need time to think so you can be clear about what you want to say instead of just saying the first thing that comes to your mind.

Bonus: Allow your spouse to be whom he is.

This one will save plenty of marriages, which is, allow your spouse to be who he is. This advice was given by a woman who has been married for over 35 years. She is supportive towards her husband and his need for travel. He will travel to places such as India or just places that she just does not want to go. She does not necessarily enjoy doing everything that he likes to do, but she does not hinder him. She doesn’t say, “Hey, stay here with me. I’m going to be lonely; I need you here. Don’t go.” She allows him to be who he needs to be. She finds they are both happier. He brings all of that happiness and joy back into their relationship. She allows him to be him, but he also allows her to be her. Allow your spouse to be who he is and you both will have a much better relationship.

We are the co-creators of our life. We have the power to choose what we want. Which one of the tips are you going to make sure you implement into your relationship?

Want more relationship advice delivered to your inbox? Sign up to receive my many tips and strategies to create your best relationship at www.marshauno.com. My mission is to decrease the divorce rate while simultaneously increasing the marriage rate one conversation at a time.

All the best,

Marshaun Olaniyan

Life & Relationship Strategist

What Is Your Vision for Your Relationship?

Have you ever sat down and thought about what your vision is going to be when it comes to your relationship? What will your future relationship be like? Have you taken inventory about where your relationship is currently? Have you thought about how you can change the current state of your love life? 

This is something to think about because this is a new year. So, what are you going to do differently this year and this decade in order to get different results in your love life? How many of you are working on your New Year’s goals, specifically towards your relationship? Have you given up because things have gotten a little rough and what you thought your love life would be by now is and looks utterly different from what you dreamed your life would be?

Know that you are not alone!

I was in your shoes not too long ago. I was the woman who had plenty of dates but no one seemed to want to move beyond this stage. Instead of allowing these men to move on OR me, myself moving on when I was not getting the title or treatment I deserved, I would try to find ways to convince him that he should see how much of a catch I am, would wake up and notice this and of course choose me as his own. Well. . . that never happened! When I decided to stop playing the victim and take back control of my life. That’s when things started to change.

Even now, when things are not going as planned in my marriage I do not throw in the towel because things are not moving as fast as I would like, I get quiet and still myself so I can hear the guidance of The Lord. When I feel stuck and it seems I cannot get my husband to hear me, I seek solace so I can gain the knowledge, lesson or next step I’m waiting for before I make my next move.

Have you taken the time to give your situation to God; to give your problems to God or are you constantly trying to handle the situation all by yourself? You see, anytime we as humans get involved in solving our own problems without seeking guidance, we have a tendency to make them worse, not better. We have a tendency to make them worse because we are trying to get our spouse’s to do what we want him to do versus what God is working on him or her about.

So, how much inventory have you taken?

What are you doing wrong?

What could you do better?

How do you want to show up?

Are you constantly sabotaging your relationship because you fear it will not last? Because you fear your relationship will not go the distance, you are subconsciously and constantly finding ways to sabotage your relationship. You regularly find things to complain about or are constantly picking arguments about anything and everything, because in the back of your mind, you already have this idea that this relationship is not going to work out anyways. You may not be aware but what you are actually doing is bringing your thoughts into fruition. The very thing you are fearing, a breakup, is the very thing that you are helping come true.

What is your vision for this relationship? What is your vision for yourself? How do you want to show up, happy, sad, angry, frustrated or miserable?

The more you try to control the situation, the worse, your relationship will be. You have to give up control and only work on yourself because you only have control over you. Here’s the thing. Once you decide to start doing things differently, your relationship will look a lot different. It will be a lot better. It will be less toxic. It will be a lot healthier. The decision is all yours. The thoughts you have about your relationship currently, can be better if you decide that enough is enough and you make the decision that you will do everything in your power to show up a much better person and be intentional in your speech and actions.

What will 2021 look like for you in your love life?

Need help? Check out my digital course The 6 Secrets To Finding Yourself and Attracting Your Soulmate. This course is for you if you:

Are tired of dating unemotionally available men

Have jumped from relationship to relationship

Hardly ever get asked to be his girlfriend

Desire to be married in the near future

Sounds like you, then click the link.

All the best,

Marshaun Olaniyan

Life & Relationship Strategist

http://www.marshauno.com

7 Ways to Evaluate Your Intimate Relationship

What does evaluating your relationship mean?

Why do we need to evaluate our relationships in the first place?

What are some specifics to look for when you look deeper into your relationship?

Being able to evaluate your partner as well as your relationship will give you a blueprint of the areas you and your partner need to work on as well as what you both are doing great currently. Evaluating your relationship will create the space to become more conscious and aware of how you are showing up as well as how your partner is showing up.

Let us look into the 7 ways to evaluate your relationship:

Playing together.

Ask yourself how often do you and your spouse have fun together? How much play time is involved? How much belly laughter can be heard in your relationship? Laughing together is a really, really great sign that you guys are in a healthy relationship. Another thing is to make sure when your guys are doing something together, whether it is an outing or whether it is doing something around the house, make sure it is something you both love. Now, this is not always going to be the case every time, however, you want it to be the majority of the time. Making sure you guys play together more often ensures that the relationship is light hearted and you both feel closer to one another.

Sharing dreams.

The second thing is how often are you two sharing your dreams? How often are you guys allowing each other into one another’s deepest inner thoughts? Sharing your dreams is very important. Also, when you share your dreams, do you get the sense that you can share it freely, without judgment? How often can you share your thoughts with your partner without any type of fear? Do not hold back what kind of dreams you want to share. I want you to share the dreams you totally want to venture into whether it is a place you want to travel to, or whether it is something sexual, share the things you are learning when you read books or listen to via podcasts or in music.

Trust

The third one is trust. We all know trust is one of the foundational pieces we must have in our relationships. If you do not have trust, you need to work on cultivating trust and rebuilding that foundation. Can you speak without feeling embarrassed or your partner making a joke about you or the thing you are speaking about? How often are you taken seriously in your relationship? Trust is the core of having a healthy relationship. Trust also is an area where our listening skills come into play. This is where they are the most important because you want your partner to be able to hear what you are saying, not just hear what they want to hear, or what they think you should be saying.

Working as a team

How often are you two working as a team? Do you both usually work alone or are you guys finding yourselves working together more often than not as a team to solve life’s problems? Do you find yourself figuring out life’s issues alone or together? It is better to work together as a team. You will only go so far in life when you are constantly doing things on your own. You can reach your dreams, goals and aspirations a lot faster with you and your spouse working as a team versus always separating things. You must be able to rely on your spouse without feeling concerned that he or she will renege on their part of the commitment?

Successful debaters

Are you guys successful debaters? Debating comes from the argument phase that ebbs and flows in everyone’s relationship. So, how successful are you two at arguing? How successful are you at debating? Do you find yourself mostly yelling, screaming, fussing and fighting or do you two sit down and have adult conversations where you say what you need to say and he or she says what they need to say? Do you two come to an agreement and say, “You know what I don’t agree with what you are saying, but we do not have to fuss and fight about it, we can move on.” Or say “You know what, I’d never looked at it quite like that. Thank you for bringing that to my attention.” This is what an adult conversation looks like. Neither of you have to be rude, mean or nasty. Also, the couples who can disagree with compassion, respect and support of one another, are more likely to find solutions versus going round and round and round in a circle, never getting to any solutions while remaining frustrated.

Parenting the child in your partner.

We have a tendency to parent the inner child within our partner. And then our partner’s have a tendency to parent the inner child within us as well. This can be quite disturbing being your spouse’s parent in the moment. Whatever they need help with, maybe you need to guide them a certain way or tell them to do a task a specific way. This is what our parents did with us, right? So symbolically, you are parenting the inner child within your partner. This can be the most difficult time in the relationship because none of us want to be parented to. We think that once we grow up, we leave the house and we stop answering to anybody. So, this is one of the hardest areas that many, many couples, a lot of my clients, even some of my friends and family members struggle with. None of us want to be told what to do, not realizing this is where the gems are coming from. If we learn to stop taking things so personally and really hear what our partner’s are trying to say, listen for the value, listen for the gems that are inside of what he or she is saying to you, then you can have a much better relationship overall.

Would your inner child want your spouse as their parent?

This is basically the opposite of the previous one. Your partner is parenting your inner child. Now, ask yourself this question because your spouse is definitely going to parent your inner child as well. The question you really want to answer is, would your inner child want your spouse as their parent? Your response can run the gamut from being totally satisfied in the relationship to filling deeply unsatisfied. We often take offense to these things and they increase over time. If you do not watch what you are saying or continue to be intentional about the things you are doing, it is crucial that your parental behaviors do not rewound you as they did when you were a small child.

Once you evaluate these areas in your relationship, ask yourself some tough questions and answer them,  

then you can get a better understanding of what you and your spouse need to work on. But specifically, you because you only have control over you.

I created a free relationship resource library just for this season. Because a lot of times we have questions, we might not have somebody to answer them. We don’t know where to go and look. The link is bit.ly/relationshiplibrary. Download your free resource today.

All the best,

Marshaun Olaniyan

Life & Relationship Strategist

www.marshauno.com

How to Stay Attracted and Attractive to Your Spouse

Staying attractive to my husband can be a task at times with me juggling so many hats. However, I make it a point to get out my pjs, I have been in all day and put on some clothes that I would leave to house in. This keeps me intentional. This lets him know that I do care about my appearance and the way that he sees me. When I look good I feel good. When I feel good I show up differently than I would if I stayed in my pajamas all day long. Another thing I do with intention, is I continuously keep my mind sharp with information that will help me to be a better wife, mother and person overall. I am striving to be the best version of myself daily.

How do you stay attracted and attractive to your spouse?

Here are several ways to stay attracted to your partner.

Practice self-care

The first way to stay attracted and attractive to your partner is to practice self-care. I know this one sounds counterintuitive because you are giving to yourself, so how does practicing self-care translate to you staying attractive to your spouse? By giving to yourself you are giving to your spouse as a byproduct. You are taking care of the most important person in the relationship, which is yourself. And so, if you do not take care of you first, you cannot take care of anybody else. And that also goes into the attraction point. If you’re not taking care of yourself with your self-care routine to rejuvenate yourself then after a while you will be working from an empty cup. Giving from an empty well will lead to frustration and the feeling of being taken for granted.

My self-care routine consists of massages, taking baths, getting pedicures and just being rubbed on, being off to myself in order to think, even creating videos is a part of my self-care. I am able to freely speak about the things that I really love to talk about, be open and be able to express myself. So, think about some ways you can take care of yourself.

Here is how self-care plays a part in your relationship. Once you go back and speak with your partner about the things you have been doing, you begin to speak passionately and with confidence. This has a tendency to make you very, very sexy and attractive to your spouse. So, you must take care of yourself. That includes the food that you eat, the way that your body looks, your finances, your emotional, your spiritual, your physical, all of it together is your entire life and how everything plays out. So, you must take care of yourself. You are the most important person in your relationship. Pouring into yourself allows you the space to pour into someone else. You cannot do this from an empty cup. You need to be able to pour into somebody else from the overflow.

Give yourself room to miss one another

The second thing is to give yourself room to miss one another. So many couples like to stay up under each other. And then they wonder “Wow, this is getting kind of boring.” I’m not saying to never do this but I am saying give yourself a chance to have some breathing room and to miss one another. Maybe you really want to go to watch a movie at the theater and your spouse does not want to go. It could be something as simple as this. Go by yourself. When you return, you can discuss the movie with your spouse or you can watch another movie or you guys can just converse or decide not to do any of the things mentioned. Give yourself permission to say, “you know what, I actually miss him.” Giving each

other the space to be missed allows you both to remember why you fell for one another, stop taking each other for granted and deepen your connection.

This time away does not include your working hours. You must find other ways to be separated from your partner in your free time. You want to keep the curiosity alive and the longing to be near one another again. This only happens when you are out doing the things that interest you, such as your hobbies. My hobby includes going for simple walks around the block or going to the local park to escape. I love walking around the park or simply listening to the innocent children laugh and play. These times remind me of how much simpler life was when I was a child. While I am out I allow my mind to just wonder and give me the downloads it wants me to take in.

Write sweet and playful notes

Number three is to write notes and set them in places where you know he or she is going to find that sweet little note. It could be something super simple, like, have a great day. I can’t wait to see you later on or it was so special being with you last night with a winky face or here is your special coffee. Commit to making them feel special with simple little notes. Your partner will often think “I chose a great person to share this life journey with.” It is the little things that mean so much. Allowing your partner to think about you when there is something nice that has happened to him gives him the space to enjoy being your spouse. This is how you stay attracted and attractive to your partner.

Be appreciative

The final tip to stay attracted and attractive to your spouse is to be appreciative. There is nothing more sexier in the world than hearing your partner say “thank you” for the simplest things you have done for him or for her. This does not have to be something that they did in the moment. It could be something that he or she just does that makes you think “wow, that really makes me feel special”. For instance, when they play with your hair or when you hear him tell you he loves your butt. Or that really made me feel special when you held the door for me. Showing your appreciation will remind your partner why they feel special to have chosen you and want to give you more. It is also easier to love an appreciative person. You feel better about yourself. You fall deeper in love with your partner and you are happier overall.

Taking the time to be intentional with how you are showing up in your relationship is the key to creating the relationship you crave. Staying attracted and remaining attractive to your partner is all about your actions and your mindset. The more you lean into showing your partner the best version of yourself the more your partner will lean into being a better person himself.

If you need any more tips on how to stay attracted and attractive, but you just do not know where to begin do not hesitate to reach out to me. We definitely can get you on the road to creating a spectacular more romantic relationship with your spouse. Reach out to me either via email at marshaun@marshaunolaniyan.com or you can sign up for a FREE Coaching Session.

All the best,

Marshaun Olaniyan

Life & Relationship Strategist

www.marshauno.com

When Should You Believe Your Spouse Will Actually Change?

When should you believe your partner is going to change, especially when you have been asking for change and have not seen much movement? Is there change but at a very slow pace and a much slower pace than you want?

What things should you look for in order to say, things are getting better? Again your partner may be moving much slower than you would like for them to move, but they are getting better. When do you decide, I’m going to stay around since I know that if I stick this out our relationship will thrive.

I’m sure many of you reading this have been through a defining moment in your relationship before. It can be a hard decision to stay when there is little to no movement with your partner’s progress. It can be even harder to leave because your thoughts of feeling and even looking like a failure can take over. You may think about what your friends and family would think. Even more importantly there are those thoughts of your time being wasted. So, what do you do?

Here are five things to look for and think about in order to make an informed decision to stick around in your relationship a little while longer or not. Also, remember you are not alone. It does not matter what the issue and/or concern is. You are not alone! Each and every one of us have seen our relationships ebb and flow. Every relationship has great times, then bad times. Every couple has peaks and valleys. So, you must understand that even when you think you are alone and going through everything alone, you are not.

My name is Marshaun Olaniyan. I am your favorite life and relationship strategist. And I help women who are married or in long term relationships to stop feeling disconnected and unloved and shift them to feeling heard, understood and appreciated. One of my purposes in life is to help decrease the divorce rate while simultaneously increasing the marriage rate.

He/She is involved in a proven process of change

The very first thing to look for is his or her involvement in a proven process. The process has to be in alignment with some form of change. In this case, is your partner in some type of coaching program? Are they going to some type of therapy? Are they talking to a preacher, a pastor, a mentor or a trusted elder? Is he or she actually implementing the advice into your relationship?

What you are looking for is involvement in a process that is going to help change their behavior in order to be a better spouse. This also helps you to be a better spouse which leads to you guys creating a healthy, romantic relationship together, so it does not feel one sided.

There is a monitoring system in place for checkins.

The second thing you are looking for is a monitoring system to be in place for check-ins. What this actually means is a way to hold your partner accountable. You can ask questions such as, “Hey, did you go and talk to the therapist?” Or, “Hey, did you actually make you doctor’s appointment?”, or ask “How are things going?” Maybe there is something that is happening internally with him or with her that he or she is not comfortable sharing with you as of yet. This is okay. What you are looking for during the check-ins is for him or her not to be agitated or irritated by you asking probing questions. When you are

checking in, you do not want to press and prod for information. You want to allow your partner the space to share if he or she wants to, not because it is mandatory. This ensures your partner feels as though they still have a sense of privacy until they are ready to share whatever it is that is happening with him or her.

Look at it like this. For example, your school age kids have to do homework. Your child did not do his homework unless you ask them about it, right? Then you have to go a little bit deeper and ask, “let me see the homework.”

This is the check-ins system mentioned above, even with your children. Your partner will be no different, especially if you are thinking this may be your last straw. Checking in holds your partner accountable to do what they said they were going to do in order to shift your relationship around. So, you can get back to falling in love, having a lot more sex and enjoying the relationship with one another. Also so neither party is experiencing unrequited love.

He/She is involved in self-sustaining motivation

The third thing you want to look for is self-sustaining motivation. You do not want to be the only party that is hoping, wishing and praying or nagging them in order to go to therapy or coaching. You do not want to feel like you have to nag them, they must want to improve. Observe his or her behavior. How many books have they read on relationships? Is he or she willing to admit what they are doing is not working? Look for progress in the form of your partner getting coaching or therapy, reading books, attending seminars and conferences or listening to podcasts. Look for new exposure and experiences he or she has tried to implement into the relationship. Again, you should not have to always push, prod and poke your partner. He or she must be doing these things on their own as well. You cannot keep up the motivation for him or for her. He or she has to do that for themselves. Now, you might start it, you might give them the motivation to start doing these things, but you cannot sustain their motivation to be better in the relationship, to show up better in the relationship or to be better off where both of you are enjoying the relationship. Your partner has to want this for him or herself.

He/She needs to admit they need change

The fourth thing is, they have to admit, at some point, that they need this change. He or she must admit this change is needed more than ever because it is destroying everything they have built, everything they have ever wanted and dreamed about, all the things they have attained and it is affecting every area of their life. He or she must admit they need to change and then do something about it. Just talking about it is not enough. It is the actions that have to follow behind their words. The action is the part that elevates you to the next level. When you are scared to have those tough conversations due to some form of lack in the relationship, such as, you missing attention and affection. In order to receive what you crave is by speaking up about your truth. You will never receive your wants or needs by remaining silent. You also have to remember, this is your love language, not your spouse’s love language, necessarily.

Again, he or she must admit and even own the fact that they have an issue or problem that they cannot solve on their own. And, they have to want to be better and search for ways to become a better partner and person overall.

Have a support system

The fifth thing is they need a support system. And that support system is you. Ask yourself if you are supporting your spouse. Or are you being his or her parent? Are you supporting your spouse or are you always poking, prodding and nagging? Are you being a great support system where he or she can lean on you with everything, so at some point they feel super comfortable enough to open up to you and allow you into their inner world, so you guys can grow together, so the distance you currently feel can go away? This is going to take practice. It is not going to happen overnight.

In closing, if you are not built to be the support system, if you are not built for this to take some time, in order for you to see and experience the fullness of joy, the fullness and possibility of happiness between the two of you, then you probably should walk away. This is just me being real because relationships are a journey. They are a marathon. They are not a sprint. Your relationship did not get this way overnight. Your partner changed gradually over time, so it will take some time for him or her to replace old habits and old behaviors with new ones.

Order my book, Understanding Your Spouse Deeper. This guided journal gives you and your partner an opportunity to experience and see the real person deep inside. There are 120 thought provoking questions to answer and discuss with one another. Move past surface level conversations and into learning who one another truly is. This journal brings about better communication and a deeper love for each other. Buy yours today!

All the best,

Marshaun Olaniyan

Life & Relationship Strategist

www.marshauno.com