Couple of the Week

26 Mar Relationships411_Twi

I recently began featuring inspiring couples on the Relationships-411 Facebook page in hopes of encouraging others who may be struggling or experiencing a low-point in their own marriage or relationship. My motivating reason for doing this is that I believe we can all learn from each other – no one person knows everything there is to know regarding successful relationship building – everything is not for everybody. Therefore, profiling couples from different backgrounds who are at varying stages of marriage gives a different perspective and flavor to marriage advice and best practices. Below is a re-cap of the couples who were profiled in March:

Sedgwick & Lykiska

Married July 13, 2014

Sedgwick-LykiskaAdvice to newly married couples: be certain your marriage is a move of God and not a move of emotions; marriage consists of 3 people: God, husband and wife – anyone else should be divorced; both spouses must be deeply rooted in Christ to have a successful marriage; and we tend to prepare for the engagement and wedding but fail to prepare for the marriage.

 

 

 

Steve-Karen_mainImage

 

Minister Steve & Karen

Married March 19, 1985

Steve and Karen, recenSteve-Karen_collagetly celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary. The couple has been together since they were Freshmen in high school. Their advice to couples: keep God first, work as a team in all matters, keep the communication flowing and keep the bedroom hot!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Pastor Mark & Twila

Married June 18, 1988

Mark-TwilaMark and Twila’s advice to other couples: find mature Godly couples to gleen from in good and difficult times; friends that have a marriage with evidence of spiritual fruit, not a perfect marriage, but a marriage that reflects the characteristics of our Father –  patience, love, peace, etc…

Sharing with those you trust and who genuinely care for you and your spouse is one of the greatest blessings to aide in building a strong and long lasting marriage.

“Without advice plans go wrong, but with many advisers they succeed.” Proverbs 15:22 GOD’S WORD® Translation

Blair and Breanna

Married July 5, 2014

Blair-Breanna Advice to other couples: always be accountable for the part that you play in the relationship, and support and assist one another in being the best you can be.

If you would like to be featured as one of our Couples of the Week, please email a photo of you, your spouse and 2-3 sentences with a statement of advice that you would give to another couple on how to make their marriage last, info@terrycato.com.          Blair-Breanna_FBimage

Sedgwick-Lykiska_FBimageMark-Twila_FBimageSteve-Karen_FBimage

5 Reasons Why I Hate Valentine’s Day

22 Feb valentines day pic

RAISE YOUR HAND IF YOU HATE VALENTINE’S DAY. Now that we are a little more than a week removed from Valentine’s Day – I must make a confession – I don’t particularly like, in fact, I hate Valentine’s Day. But, I like so many others, feel the pressure to participate in a forced day to show my love and appreciation for my loved ones!

ValentinesDay_ILoveYou2The sentiment of love and appreciation that is expressed on February 14 should be shown through-out the year. And me personally, I try to do just that – show my loved ones that I appreciate and love them randomly and authentically when I feel the unction to do so – and hate that I fall prey every year to the pressure to conform and participate in the highly commercial Valentine’s Day! I get it, not everyone is romantic, and not everyone will go the extra to express their feelings to their loved ones – so, we as a society need a designated day to do so. I’m not a modern day Scrooge, just a realist. I have my reasons for my strong disdain of V-Day. Continue reading

The Sad State of Relationships

31 Jan Ask Terry

WeddingBandsThe past several days have been interesting as it relates to relationships. I have been tagged to and asked for my opinion on the popular “fake boy/girlfriend app”, the 40-year old woman who married herself, and the text message relationship trend. Every time I hear about something different, outlandish or odd, I think, “well that’s about as far as it goes” then I hear about something else that pushes the envelope. I always say that everything is not for everybody and variety is nice. However, with the recent trends in relationships, I honestly don’t know where we as a society are going. Continue reading

A New Year, A New You …

1 Jan Career Woman_4

2015ImageA NEW YEAR, A NEW YOU. Out with the old and in with the new! The beginning of a new year is the time when most of us make resolutions to be better in the new year than we have been in the past. Some people promise to quit smoking, others assert that they will eat healthier and go to the gym more and my classic resolution is that I would commit to being on time.

This is also the time of year where it seems like everyone is getting engaged – over the Christmas holiday through Valentine’s Day, the number of couples who become engaged seems to quadruple. For many who are single and desire to be married, this can be a difficult time. Continue reading

2014 in review …Thanks for being a part of it!

31 Dec

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,800 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

25 Dec Christmas Cheer

Christmas_haveYourselfAMerry“Have yourself a merry little Christmas.” For some people, this is easier said than done. The holidays can be a sad and depressing time for many. Reminiscing thoughts of deceased loved ones, empty nesters with no children at home, or just no close family to enjoy has caused many to dread the holidays. This is quite understandable, the holidays are not the same if you’re not spending them with the ones you love.

sad woman_red topA few tips to help you get through the season include: 1) hosting a game night with close friends who may be similarly situated, what better way to uplift each other than to spend time with others who understand your situation and you theirs; 2) do not turn down invites to join another family at their gathering, if you do not have family close enough to visit with or you just are not close with your own family, sometimes spending time with others and their family can help fill this void. We are social beings interacting with others in a positive way during the holidays is a great way to combat loneliness and 3) volunteer at a shelter or other non-profit that serve the homeless, sometimes we may feel down and out and all it takes is for us to see someone else a little worse off than we are to realize that we are truly blessed. Oftentimes, we simply need to stop, look around and appreciate what we do have instead of focusing on what we do not have.

Christmas image_redSo, have yourself a merry little Christmas and a HAPPY NEW YEAR.

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” Luke 2:14

 

Being Single is a Choice, Not a Lack of Options

26 Nov Love

GiveThanks_blogAs we approach the time of year where a lot of couples seem to get engaged and many singles tend to get depressed, I felt compelled to share on the topic of being single. Although I personally am not single, I’m approaching my 10 year wedding anniversary, I can however relate to perhaps every emotion a single adult has felt. From feeling utter disdain at this time of the year, to feeling jubilant at the carefreeness of life and options regarding holiday planning, to feeling indifferent regarding all the merriment.

 

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I can remember a time during my season of singleness where I had to remind myself that my state of being single was not because there were not options for me – that if I really wanted to be in a relationship by all means I could be. I was single by choice because I was preparing myself for something and someone great. When I made the decision to stop dating and begin preparing myself to be a wife and mother to some of my friends this seemed a bit radical. I often got (and still get) the question, “if you are not dating, how will you find a husband?” I responded by saying, “the Word of God says that He that findeth a wife, finds a good thing.” It is not my job to “find” a husband, when I am ready, my husband will find me! And sure enough, when I least expected, a man came along and noticed me.

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The man who would eventually become my husband noticed me volunteering in the youth and children’s ministry at my church. This in and of itself is a miracle, because those who have volunteered in children’s and youth ministries know that these ministry workers are typically the least visible people in the church. He asked me out, I accepted, and was quite surprised to learn that not only did he notice me, but had asked trusted friends and confidents about me before even asking me out.

Cover1Our entire courtship and subsequent engagement is truly a beautiful testimony of what God will do when we allow Him to be the Master of our fate. I detail my 7-year journey of being single, celibate and believing God for husband in the memoir, No Longer a Bridesmaid! In less than 175 pages, I share my personal story of preparing for my God-ordained mate. If you’re looking for an inspirational read this holiday season, I strongly recommend, No Longer a Bridesmaid!

 

GOD, Is There a Soul Mate for Me?!

25 Oct Married-couple

George ClooneyA few months ago, I read an article where George Clooney was quoted saying that he had not met the love of his life yet; and in a December 2013 People magazine article, Clooney stated that he had yet to find the true love of his life.

In response to Clooney’s statements regarding his love life, The Talk’s Everybody Talks segment posed a question, “does everyone have a soul mate?” I was privileged to have my response aired during the segment. In summary, my response was “yes, I absolutely believe that everyone has a soul mate” – not even 12 months later, who is married? You guessed right, George Clooney!

George Clooney wedding pic

In line with my response to the question they posed regarding does everyone have a soul mate, I have asserted before and will say again that true love has a way of finding you when you’re ready for it. If you’re like Clooney and think that you do not have a soul mate or that there is no one for you – when you least expect, true love will find you. I stand on my assertion that true love will find you when you’re ready for it.

Ray Rice: A Modern Day Witch Hunt

15 Sep NFL_Ray Rice

A few days ago, I posted a lengthy and emotionally laced blog post which was my view, a different perspective on the Ray Rice situation. One point that I made was the way in which law enforcement chose to handle the case. My main argument was that had Prosecutors thoroughly done their job, demonstrating a weighty stance on the matter, the trickle-down effect would have influenced how the Team and League chose to initially deal with the issue. TMZ has reported that several Prosecutors in the Atlantic City Prosecutor’s Office have stated that the Rice criminal case was handled “outrageously and shamefully” and decisions were made behind closed doors. I’m relieved to learn that the Prosecutor’s Office is being vocal – even under anonymity – about their mishandling of the case.

NFL-Ravens_Steve Biscotti

Ravens owner, Steve Biscotti stated in an interview that they should have done more to get the elevator video instead of giving up; and has apologized to Raven’s fans, season ticket holders and sponsors. Commissioner Roger Goodell – in full crisis mode – stated that right now they are embarrassed about their handling of the matter and hopes that in 5 years they will look back and realize they did the right thing. This is quite outrageous, the league has made a major decision that affects a man’s livelihood and career and you “hope” it was the right thing! Domestic violence advocates, politicians and many other parties anxious to boost their plat form are now coming for Goodell demanding that he resign. I’m just waiting for them to start demanding that Biscotti sell his interest in the team … wait for it!

NFL_RogerGoodell

The only good thing that has come of all this is that it has once again thrust not just domestic violence but violence against women to the forefront of people’s conscience. Prior to this incident, the NFL did not have a clear and defined standard with which they disciplined players for domestic violence charges. My hope is that going forward the precedent has been set – time will tell.

A Different Perspective on the Ray Rice Situation

10 Sep Ray Rice

I’ve tried to remain silent about this Ray Rice incident and how the NFL and law enforcement have chosen to handle it, until I finally let loose on my poor sister exclaiming that I was totally pissed off at the media and how they were crucifying this man and his wife in the court of public opinion. Before, I go on I must first yell that, I IN NO WAY CONDONE HOW RAY RICE TREATED HIS WIFE; and I have much empathy for victims of domestic abuse, as a child I witnessed domestic violence first hand, and can relate to the pain and dysfunction this causes. Rice was wrong for putting his hands on his wife and should be disciplined for it; initially, he was, the league suspended him for two games – law enforcement chose not to act.

My primary issue is that this incident based on the video evidence is a matter of law, an assault – why was he not charged with a crime? Did law enforcement even investigate the matter? Were they aware of or did they view the video footage of the incident inside of the elevator or did they make a decision based on what happened as the couple exited the elevator? The questions are endless, but one thing seems apparent is that law enforcement dropped the ball big time on this one or they in fact did an investigation and are not making the report public.

With that, my secondary issue is that the NFL and the team have been forced to handle a personal matter under the scrutiny of a hostile public. The initial punishment was a 2 game suspension – now that more details of the incident have surfaced, the team released him of his duties and the league has suspended him indefinitely. I understand that the team and the NFL both have an image to protect, and that image, quite honestly is the only reason they have acted at all. Domestic violence is nothing new as it relates to not only professional athletes, but society as a whole. How often does someone’s employer care if they are a perpetrator or even a victim of domestic violence? How many times has the NFL or any employer so harshly disciplined a perpetrator of domestic violence? It’s rare, and I can only think of a few times but the punishment and backlash was nothing like what is happening with Rice, because most issues of domestic violence are private and rarely become a public spectacle as has this Rice situation.

Ray McDonald

Right now, the San Francisco 49ers are dealing with defensive tackle Ray McDonald’s domestic violence incident waiting to see how law enforcement is going to handle his matter. Being that law enforcement has an active investigation happening, I applaud the team for not giving in to public opinion that has been exacerbated by the mishandling of Rice’s situation by making a rushed disciplinary decision concerning McDonald. http://www.mercurynews.com/49ers/ci_26497579/49ers-jed-york-ray-mcdonald-is-not-ray

Another high profile domestic violence case in San Francisco involved Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi; who was charged with domestic violence battery, child endangerment, and dissuading a witness after a New Year’s Eve altercation with his wife. He pleaded guilty to one count of misdemeanor false imprisonment; and was suspended from his position pendDomestic Violence_ross-mirkarimiing an ethics investigation. After months of in-fighting, Mirkarimi was re-instated to his position and has since moved on with his life. http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Ross-Mirkarimi-shunned-by-many-political-insiders-4880455.php

A few other highly public domestic violence matters that come to mind include: former Arizona Diamondbacks player, Bobby Chouinard who was charged with felony aggravated assault after being arrested for pointing a gun to his wife’s head on Christmas night. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/dbacks-chouinard-arrested/ There didn’t appear to be much backlash from the public in Chouinard’s matter, but he was released fromDomesticViolence_BobbyChouinard the team not long after the incident; former Phoenix Suns guard, Jason Kidd, accused of slapping his then wife in the mouth during a dispute was arrested and pleaded guilty to domestic abuse. Kidd attended anger management and counseling but was still traded shortly after the incident. Jerry Colangelo, CEO/Managing Partner of the Phoenix Suns and Arizona Diamondbacks during the time of these incidents had a zero tolerance policy when it came to players exhibiting bad behavior. This in no way is an exhaustive list – and not meant to be – of domestic violence issues concerning professional athletes, merely a few of the ones that I recall being public hot buttons. DomesticViolence_JasonKidd

My third issue is the court of public opinion where there are people – mainly women saying that his wife is stupid for staying with him and still marrying him after how he treated her and are happy that the Ravens released him and the NFL suspended him indefinitely. This really angered me because my thought is this – why are these women judging his wife so harshly when they do not fully know the details of this relationship or why she chose to stay with this man; all they know is what the media is telling us and what they saw months ago in video footage of what happened as they exited the elevator and more recently, what actually transpired while they were in the elevatoDomesticViolence_RayRiceandWife2r – with no audio, and one vantage point. We can all point the finger and play the blame game from now until dooms day, but the real issue here is domestic abuse and how it is viewed and handled in society. There are many women (and men) who have fallen victim to domestic violence – they suffer in silence because quite often no one knows, not even those closest to them. The issue of domestic violence is a complicated one, because no one really knows why an abuse victim will often choose to stay with the perpetrator. Could this be why these women are so happy about the back lash and punishment of Ray Rice because in their psychological reasoning, the punishment coming down on Rice is in fact the punishment that should befall all domestic violence perpetrators; and more importantly their own abuser?! Is this secretly why so many women are ecstatic about how the team and NFL have handled him? Do they somehow see themselves in this unfortunate story? Or maybe they’re comparing notes and their story ended differently and they were left feeling slighted?

Regardless, I DO NOT agree that he should have lost his job and surely not be suspended indefinitely from the NFL because there have been many professional athletes (and others) before, there currently are, and perhaps will continue to be those who feel they can resolve their issue with physical violence. This precedent sends the message that key decision makers will cave under pressure and make brash decisions to calm the public. This might temporarily make people happy, but does it get to the root of the problem – men and women who have an issue resolving conflict without resorting to physical violence. Instead, the league should have mandated counseling and anger management for the couple. Teaching them to maturely resolve their conflict will do more for the cause of domestic violence and their future legacy than the team and league washing their hands of the problem. DomesticViolence_RayRiceandWife

I am being vocal and expressing a minority viewpoint about a sensitive issue that I myself can relate to being that I was a child who witnessed domestic violence; and know first-hand the trauma and anxiety it causes in children. Like always, I am marching to my own beat on this issue and am not afraid to stand alone, but I must put my observations – a slightly different perspective out there.

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