ADULTHOOD: The Fear of Not Meeting Expectations

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“Failure to Launch or Fear of Launch?”

 As an adult, do some of us self sabotage or are some just flat out lazy at it pertains to working hard in life. There are young men and women who are in their early 30’s still living at home with their parents. And no, I am not talking about because they fell on hard times and need a place to crash until they get on their feet. I am speaking of the people who have this failure to launch. But is it always the failure to launch, or the fear of launching.

First let’s observe the failure to launch. A topic that has actually been produced into a feature film starring Matthew McConaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker. Why do so many men and women almost self sabotage to keep from stepping into the real world. Well, in the movie, McConaughhey fiance died, which sent him on this spiral of not moving out of his parent’s house. In my opinion, people get comfortable in an environment where they don’t have to try too hard because they can’t handle the pressure that comes with succeeding.

That not wanting to grow up does not just relate to living at home. It also extends into people’s intimate relationships as well. A guy meets a female, but still lives at home with his parents at age 29 years old. The female excepts it at first, but wonders why he won’t move in with her. I tries everything in his power to not have to leave the comforts of his parent’s house. She winds-up leaving him for a more stable man with his own place. Well, why wouldn’t he just move in with her? He’s 29 years old; you would think a man almost 30 years old would move in with his girlfriend.

The reality is no, he just wants to live at home. Why, because at home no dishes to wash, mom makes his meals, mom washes his clothes. He does nothing much for himself. So responsibility becomes the reason for his inability to grow-up. Or is it his fear of launching. Maybe he has this fear that is engrained that is not based around laziness. More so it is a fear that if he launches, he will crash. Not everyone who shoots off the launch pad soars, some people crash.

But isn’t that part of life is crashing? Don’t every successful person have a low moment in their lives where they crash. Resilience; how well you bounce back is the key to overcoming these obstacles. You would think parents would instill these principles in their children. Or maybe they do, and children still carry fear. Now you go, “What 30 year old man is afraid to launch?” “By this age you know failure happens.” “You know the climb to what you want in life takes long hard work.” “So what is it really?”

To further what I said earlier about being comfortable, allowing someone else to take on the responsibility is comfortable, too comfortable. The only problem is that if that person shall get sick or die, you’re screwed. Now you’re forced to live in society that is unfamiliar to you because you never had to hunt for what’s yours. You don’t know real disappointment so you don’t have the ability to bounce back. In the end it’s detrimental and can lead to loss of relationships, friendships, job opportunities, personal issues (depression and loss of confidence), and parental shame. There will always be people with a fear or failure step into the world. Doesn’t have to be you, and can stop tomorrow if you’re willing to put in the work.

HOLLA, WE WANT PRENUP! WE WANT PRENUP!

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“I love you, but can you sign something for me?”

How do you go about bringing this up to a spouse? “So sweetie, you I know love and want to spend the rest of my life with you.” “But before we go any further do you mind looking over some paperwork with me?” She replies, “Sure what is it a marital license, the mortgage for our new home, the will..” Then you interject, “No, the prenup (cough)! She says, “Hmm?” You say, “The prenuptial agreement.” And with a exclamatory reply she goes, “Prenup, what the hell for!”

GULP! What is the right way to introduce this into a relationship? How in one breathe do you speak love, then the next ask for signed documentation? Documentation which will protect your assets in the case of divorce. Well first you have to ask yourself why is such a document necessary for starters. It’s necessary because of the high divorce rates, that’s why.

In the United States today, the divorce is close to 65% after only 5 years of marriage. I don’t know about you, but knowing you may have to split assets with someone you’ve only been with for 5 years seems kind of unfair. If you were married for 25 years, or 30 years, or 40 years, then yes, but 5. The reason I say 25 years or more is because at least there was a long term investment into the relationship. The 5 year plan seems like more of a business exchange than a marriage.

And that is where the prenuptial agreement comes into play. Marriage has become an in and out business today in America. Meet someone whose financially stable, get your 5 years in, and see ya later. But if you’re a man without any money, than a woman has no interest. Now if you are a man of means, this could be somewhat of concern. So is the way to protecting yourself not succeeding and striving in life. Because think about, you work all these years and someone comes and goes, “I’m not happy.”

So what, my future should now be determined on if you’re happy or not. So if I am happy and you’re not, than I have to lose in life. So now you think to yourself, what’s the purpose in working hard in life. Why push if you’re not going to be able to reap the benefits of your labor? As a man, you work so that one day you can relax and enjoy the fruits of your hard work. But if you’re only working just to one day hand it all over why work at all. Divorce has become the reason to be a total loser.

Women say that it’s not fair, fine let’s flip it. As a woman, you make $100,000 a year, would you marry a $30,000 a year man. It’s hard to do so, why because even you know as a woman that is not a business smart decision. So if you’re not willing to give up anything you worked for, why are you so ready for us to do so? A woman goes, “You need to be at my level.” But how often do you go, “I need to be on his level.” It’s easy to talk love and marriage when you have a lot less to lose.

This is why when people who make a certain amount of income wed, they need to have these discussions. But asking your wife to sign a prenup when you are a construction worker, police officer, garbage truck driver, etc. can be tough. Her reply would be, “You don’t have anything to take.” “Why sign a prenup?” Well that’s where she’s wrong. These men in these job titles are the ones who need prenups the most. If you’re athlete with $50 million and your wife gets $20 – $25 million, then you’re still good. But if you make $35,000 and your wife gets $10,000 – $15,000, you could be in trouble financially.

Which brings me to the after affects of divorce. One of the leading indicators of poverty amongst men is divorce. Conversely the leading indicator of wealth amongst women is marriage. So now you can see why a prenuptial agreement conversation can be one of much debate. It’s still the come up of a woman in America, but the lose of wealth among men. Yet, marriage is not on the decline in this country.

Maybe marriage is still going strong, well getting married at least, because people want to believe. Everyone wants to believe those numbers will change with them. Everyone goes not my husband, not my wife. We have something special with each other. We have a bond that’s bigger than money. And that’s just it. We as humans know it can be a crap shoot, but want to believe that the person in our lives would never leave. Yet year after year, the divorce cases pile on the desk of attorneys.

It’s 65% today what, 80% in the future. No matter how you look at it, marriage is still a great union, but in today’s society we have no other option at times but to treat it as it is. A union whereas two people are pooling together finances to gauge how well this relationship will work. Which dwindles down to a business contract that is an investment into our future together.

SECRETS: How Much Do You Really Know About Your Spouse.

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“Are you hiding something?”

You meet someone, and you start dating. Before you know it, you’re moving in with this person. Eventually the topic of marriage comes up. But by this time, you should already know a lot about the person you’re planning on spending the rest of your life with; or not. My last post talked about people’s debt situation. But what about secrets someone is keeping. What about infidelity, hiding money, sicknesses, and/or internalized torment.

First let’s analyze infidelity in a relationship. Could your intimate relationship survive if you knew your significant other has cheated sometime during the relationship. Does it matter, even if the incident happened once? I think women are more apt to accept the cheating once than we are as men. You know what, on second thought, once, how about multiple times cheating. Yet there are still those women out there who say absolutely not. Not under any circumstance would she accept cheating.

Now, is that the worse secret one could keep from a marital partner. How about hiding money in a secret bank account or in the form of cash in a safe? How would you react to finding out this person had a secret stash? A rainy day stash just in case they needed to leave the relationship. This way they are financially set in the case you want to leave them hanging dry. It is kind of offsetting to find out someone has plan B.

You start to think in the back of your mind, “Am I not giving them enough?” “Maybe they’ve been planning on leaving me all along.” Dozens of questions go through your mind as to why someone would need an escape route out. But it’s not all about money or cheating. There have even been people that hide medical information from their spouse. This may be on par, if not worse than cheating. A sickness, especially something deadly could put the family in limbo.

You go to the doctor’s office and find out you’re having heart problems. Yet you never consult your spouse, but keep it to yourself. You die, and they never knew anything was wrong. Sounds quite selfish considering had that person have said something, preparations could have been made in the event of a tragedy. Then again, some things aren’t medical per say, but mental such as depression or stress.

The reason why I said medical per say is because depression and stress ( which can lead to depression) is not always a medical issue. Some people can work out their issues over time. But how comfortable are you to go to your spouse and say I’m depressed. It seems like a very uncomfortable experience. But shouldn’t you be able to go to your spouse and express yourself. Especially if you’re depressed. They should be the first person you talk to in these situations.

Yet on the other hand, personal torment can even be too great to tell a spouse. What if it’s not depression or stress, but gender identity. Imagine the upset if your spouse came to you opening up about their sexuality. Could you handle your husband or wife telling you they were gay or bisexual? I can see it now, “Hello dear, how has your day gone?” “Oh by they way I’m gay, can you pass the peas.” Or, “Sweetie, we need to talk.” “I think I’m bisexual.”

There is no real way to break the news to your spouse. Because any way you explain yourself is going to be the wrong way. So with all that has been said, can your relationship survive secrets. If so what secrets, and what is the severity of those secrets. In the end it all depends on the person and their threshold for what you are about to tell them.

I DEBT, I MEAN I DO! DO YOU TAKE THIS DEBT, UM BRIDE!

Image result for WEDDING CAKE TOPPERS“I now pronounce you man and debt. WHAT!”

First you propose, then she says I do. Next thing you know you’re planning for a wedding. Once the big day gets here, you and her are so nervous, you don’t think you’ll make it down the aisle. But the day is a success with an I do and some fun and dance with friends and family. Then, as you guys settle in for the night you think to yourself, ahh, marriage. This is going to be such a great life together; or so you think.

You’ll be surprised how many people get married and not look into the life of the person they are marrying. And this topic won’t be about infidelity or some other dark hidden secret. It’s about something people neglect to think about before saying I do. They don’t ask the question, “How much debt do you have?” Uh, what, what kind of question is that. Shouldn’t people be focused on more important aspects of marriage. Well, that is an important thing to focus on. Well, why is it so important?

When you get married you guys are not just one emotionally, but financially. That means any debts that person has accrued prior to marrying you is now yours. Let’s say for instance I want to marry a woman and she has the following: $10,000 credit card debt, $100,000 college loans, $500 overdraft bank account, $400 car payment behind by 3 months, and $1,000 in unpaid parking tickets. Now, I understand the college debt, which is the norm, especially in society today where a college education tends to run this amount.

Next, lets look at the $500 overdraft fee, which typically in society comes from using a debit card for more than you have in the bank. I have overdraft before 10 cents, $10, hell even $30. But $500 is some serious swiping of the card. I go fine, that can be an easy fix. She put up $250, I’ll help her with the other $250. Now on to the parking tickets, wow, $1,000. Where the hell is she parking that cost that much money. Not to mention if these fines are not paid, a boot will be placed on the car. Then that’s a cost for the boot and the tickets. So I have to pay that ASAP.

Ok, on to the car payments, sheesh, $1,200 unpaid. This has to get paid because we need our cars to get back and forth to work. So how will I do this, I know dip into my own personal savings. I know, I know, not a good idea, but it’s necessary. Wait a minute, what the hell is this bill! Unpaid car insurance as well, she didn’t tell me about this. God this woman is starting to get to me. Now that that’s out of the way, yikes, $10,000 in credit card debt.

What was she buying to rack up that much debt in credit cards. Jesus, SAKS Fifth, Bloomingdales, and MACY’S. We’re going to have to put her on some type of payment plan. Not to mention all the student loan debt that has to be worked out soon. And with all this said, “Is a person’s debt situation a deal breaker? Should you call off the engagement or accept it for what it is? Cause then again, you’re accepting this person for their flaws right? Some say wrong, you have to hold that person accountable as well. I mean God forbid you get sick or die, and they’re over your assets.

But see, I put that in the context of me and a woman. What about women with men. Is it a deal breaker to women if his debt is out of control? Or better yet, what if he has a child in which he is behind on child support? There are some places where the wife’s wages are extracted to pay for his inability to keep up with his child support payments. Can you imagine ladies, you work 40 hours a week, for every two weeks. You get ready to contribute your portion of the household expenses and you fall short. Why, because he’s not keeping up with his business. So the state goes, “Hey, you’re in one house, you’re under the same roof.” “You are him and he is you.” “We can’t get him, so how about the next best thing; his new wife.”

A woman would kill a man if she worked the whole month to come home to nothing. So with that said, do you still accept the person’s debt and work with them. In my opinion it depends on why the debt exist. Some people are flat out fiscally irresponsible, which is something to take into consideration before marrying them. Others have racked up debt, that it starts to get away from them. Then it piles and piles, to where they are overwhelmed. They could use your help and over time regain their hold on the situation.

How do you gauge the situation? Is it on the basis of money? Is it not money, yet what the debt is connect to? Or is unacceptable period to have outstanding debts? Whatever the case may be, it’s something everyone should discuss, yet many skip over this aspect of, “I do.” I would strongly encourage you to do so before walking down the aisle. It could save you a lot time and money, as well as an insight into who you are spending the rest of your life with before you jump the broom.

Masculinity: Who Decides What A Man Is?

 

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“What are the rules really?”

All my life I have heard the words coming from people’s mouths about what it means to be a real man. But who decides what that is suppose to mean? Yes, if you are born in this world, the sex of a baby is determined, but what is masculinity really? I went far as to use the above image to pose the question. Well, what does the colors pink and blue have to do with manhood. We look at the color pink as a softer, gentler color. It represents being more passive and less aggressive. The color blue represents more of a dominant trait and more aggressive. Maybe this is why we use pink and blue when we have children: pink for the girls and blue for the boys.

But who decided that this must be of symbolism? Better yet, who is to say a color represents ones’ dominance? When a child is born, both are fragile, both are gentle, neither is aggressive. So why are we placing color limitations on our young so early in life. It’s how we can determine the place in which to put men and women. The place meaning, what is for the girls is for the girls; what is for the boys is for the boys. So let’s start here and work our way into masculinity, childhood into adulthood.

When I was a child, I was into the norm: toy trucks, action figurines, building blocks, wrestling dummies, and toy guns. My two older sisters were into Barbie dolls, makeup kits, doll playhouses, Easy Bake ovens, and clipping out the clothing in fashion magazines. Yet I remember owning male action figures, but needed and opposite female companion. There weren’t any, so what the hell I used my sisters dolls. Whoa now! That is a red flag for some parents, but to me, I just saw toys I wanted to play with at home. I thought to myself, “Wouldn’t it be nice if I took my GI Joe and dressed Barbie in his clothes.” “Man, can you imagine, Barbie and GI Joe saving the world.

So here I am I’m flying around beating up bad guys, or lack there of with Barbie and GI. Little did I know, had people have seen me, there would have been some scolding to my mother. “You let that boy play with dolls?” Now of course I knew her reaction would have been a frown and a middle finger. But to me, I wasn’t harboring homosexual feelings, I just wanted GI to have a female sidekick. The same for when I saw my sister and her Easy Bake oven. I thought, “Hey, I want some cookies and brownies.” “I wonder if she would let me use her oven.”

Yet again, another red flag to a parent, but not a child. Adults are thinking feminine characteristics, but I’m thinking chocolaty snacks. Well, why didn’t I feel any kind of way. It’s because our sexuality is a development, not something we are endowed with at birth. And here we are again, what is masculinity and how do we come to these logical explanations. Then again, could adults be on to something, with Barbie and Easy Bake. No because by the time I was midway elementary school my attention was focused on sports all the way. So focused on sports that I didn’t even have a girlfriend until I was almost out of high school.

Uh oh, red flag again, no girls until eighteen. That’s a problem for a boy, or isn’t it. While some people theorized, to me I grew up in a poor community. So many guys were having multiple kids by multiple women, I didn’t want the headache at such a young age. Not once did I go, “I’m not a real man” or “Am I gay,” because my definition of responsibility is a question of my masculinity. When I look in the mirror I see something I like, but not in another man. I have attraction in women. But it wasn’t until I became an adult I observed more about masculinity and gender views.

When you date, it’s more masculine to ask the woman out on a date. It’s more masculine to pay for the date. And it’s more masculine for you to initiate the sex. And if you are a man who don’t fall into these equations you’re not worthy of being called a man. But who set forth these boundaries and are they more limiting and hurtful than helpful. Does a man asking out a woman all the time mean a woman should remain alone until someone speaks to her first. Think about how lonely of an existence it is for her to be in this construct as well.

What if you’re a guy who don’t have much money, you should never date? And if you want to date, should you break the law if you have to just to get the adulation of a woman? Time and time again we ask ourselves these questions because as a man you are constantly put in positions to question manhood. It could be something as simple as wearing a small article of clothing, to how you eat your food, the music you listen to, and even your world views. Where do these social norms come from and who decides what’s a man or not?

I am a firm believer that if at every turn you’re constantly trying to make sure your masculinity is good, then inevitably it’s not in check. But as a man, can you blame some guys. Everything we do is scrutinized in society regarding our masculinity. Maybe I don’t care much because I’m close to thirty years old. The older you get the less people’s opinions matter. In the end there are things that never will change. No matter how much time goes by, as a man we are just expected to act a certain way and do certain things. Luckily, the myths that question manhood and sexuality are rapidly being laid to rest. Laid to rest as nothing more than antiquated rhetoric than has actually hurt more than helped men.

I Do Means I Don’t, I Can’t, and I Won’t

Image result for wedding ring“The diminishing attraction of I do.”

Boy meets girl, girl says yes. Boy and girl start dating, boy and girl get really serious. Boy proposes, girl says yes, boy and girl get married. Boy says I do, girl says I do, boy and girl live happily ever after. This is the case for most people, or so most people think. Well I’m wondering how is this so, when the divorce rate in America has already surpassed 60%. We focus on the expectations of marriage, but what about the human element of marriage. Well, the human element; what is the human element?

When I say the human element, I mean is monogamy normal? Is it normal for someone to meet another person at a young age. They get married, stay together until the day they both or one past away. And even after the death of a spouse you’re sometimes expected to never marry again. It sounds like a great idea initially. I mean, you get to have a companion for the rest of your life. Whenever you’re sick there is someone there to care for you. You lose your job, there’s someone to aid in picking up the slack. Even a parent who can assist in the raising of a child so you’re doing the work alone.

What about more of the human aspects, the biological. Why when people say I do, it becomes I don’t, I can’t,  and I won’t? Why when marriage comes into play the consistency of the things you did before diminishes? I am not married, but from my basic understanding of the human species I have observed certain characteristics as to way relationships fall off. For starters, a reason as to why most fail is quite obvious, money.

When you meet in your 20’s it’s ok to have money woes. You live in a 400-500 square foot apartment. Hey, who cares, as long as you’re having a good time right. Wrong because with marriage comes even higher standards and expectations. That 400-500 square foot apartment must be upgraded to 2,000-3,000 square feet. That cute apartment in the city becomes a home in a suburb. That bicycle turns into a caravan or SUV. And that takeout becomes groceries each month. Why, well it’s because children typically come soon. Like that riddle, “First comes marriage, then comes a baby.”

Now you have yourself a home, with a mortgage payment. You have a child, car note, utilities, student loans, food, and medical bills. Then the problems start because the bills start stacking up. From the bills comes the arguments, then comes the sleeping in separate rooms. After that comes the separation, then divorce. Money just drains so much from you and compounds problems if you have money woes. But there are other issues such as attraction that ends marriages as well.

When you first meet someone you’re attracted, but marriage comes into play and attractions become second to the marriage. Like I said I am looking at the human element of what we are as people. Our human attractions toward someone comes from a desire. A desire to what the other person. Desire goes away because the thing that brought them together goes away. For instance, if I desire to buy a luxury vehicle, I’m attracted to having this car. Then once I buy the car the desire eventually goes away. People look at you at go wow, nice car, but to you it’s just a car. Desire leaves, why because you might need a paint job. Give your car a new look, so you look forward to driving the car.

Continuing a desire for something makes you want it. But the less desire conversely makes you not want it. Which brings me to the next reason marriages fail. You just know they’ll be there everyday, so hey why worry about missing out; they’ll be here tomorrow. In dating, you don’t know they’re going to be here tomorrow, savior the moment today. Taking for granted something is here today and tomorrow is something we all do. “Why call the person now, I’ll wait until they get home.” “Why keep myself looking good, I’m only with so and so.”

And there you have it, I’m not doing that, I can’t do that, I won’t do that. But in dating I’ll do it, I can, and I will. Human relationships diminish because we as people need to continue to desire something to continue to want it and work to keep it. What happens when Millennials turn 40 or 50 years of age? I just wonder what will come of my generation if it’s 60% today.