Advice

Secrets Can Destroy Relationships

Black Couple in Bed

(Photo Credit: Essence)

Honesty is always the best policy to employ in all relationships.  If you desire for your relationship to have staying power, then you need to be completely truthful with your partner.  It’s vital for you to inform your partner about past and present phenomena that are important for him or her to know.  You have to place enough trust in the power of your relationship to handle frank discourses.  Your partner should be happy that you’re willing to disclose with him or her things that you could have kept secret.

One couple I know has some secrets that would certainly shatter the relationship if they surfaced.  The woman has slept with her partner’s “good friend.” The “good friend,” who is a secretive person himself, refuses to inform the guy that he has had sex with his girlfriend.  A relationship like this one is doomed to fail.

Unfortunately, some people are so desperate to be in and/or stay in relationships that they’re willing to live with lies.

It’s always best to inform your partner as early as possible about things you believe may potentially cause problems or challenges in your relationship. By addressing phenomena that can be problematic for the relationship early on, this can build strength in the relationship.  It can also determine if those are things that will permit the relationship to continue, which is essential to resolve before the relationship gets too serious.

While I’m not advocating for you to become a private investigator, I do contend that it’s crucial for you to do your own research on those you wish to involve yourself with and those you’re involved with. Yes, people can change.  You may not, however, be able to stand being in a relationship with a person if you know some of the things he or she has done in the past.  While we should not hold everything in a person’s past against him or her, one does need to make the most informed decision about entering into a relationship with an individual.  The most informed decision can only emerge when the proper research has been done on your potential or current partner.  For example, I know someone who is in a relationship with a woman who has slept with at least one guy who is highly sexually active and who engages frequently in risky sexual behavior, but she has not told her current partner about this.  She’s unfairly exposing her current partner to the risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

If you know the secrets that a family member’s partner or friend’s partner aren’t divulging, then I do want to prepare you for the possibility that he or she will not believe you.  He or she may attack you by saying, “You just want me,” “You’re just envious,” “You’re just a liar,” “You just want him,” “You just want her,” or etc.  If you feel the need to tell your family member or friend, just know that you’re doing the right thing.

Just remember, secrets always have a way of coming out.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

 Related Articles

Advertisements

Don’t Get Too Distracted by Others’ Goals

Although there’s nothing wrong with helping people to achieve their aspirations, never become so engrossed in their goals that you neglect your own.  Your goals are just as important as those you’re aiding others in accomplishing.  It’s critical for you to strike a healthy balance between working to attain your aspirations and working to assist others to achieve their goals.  When you have given considerable time to aiding others, you deserve to devote as much time as necessary to pursuing your dreams passionately.

Many of us who are committed to serving others become disappointed with ourselves when we dedicate time to focusing on our goals.  This has to stop!  Being a selfless person does not mean that you have to surrender living your dreams.  Never allow someone to make you feel like you have to devote all, much, or a majority of your time to him or her to be considered a selfless person.  Your record of service will evince you’re a selfless person.

Unfortunately, too many of the people who we sacrifice our goals for don’t appreciate what we have done for them.  They elect to criticize us for not being at the level of success they are at and/or for not having accomplished the things we have stated that we desire to do.  Of course, this represents the ultimate slap in the face.  We could have been accomplishing our goals while we were making their dreams come true.  Don’t dwell on how ungrateful these people have been to you.  Take some time to care for the wounds they’ve inflicted on you, and then get to work on executing your goals.

You also have to understand that when you’re working on achieving your goals, you’re positioning yourself to serve people more effectively.  Completing your goals, therefore, isn’t selfish—it’s a buttressing of your ability to perform charitable work.  When you’re in an improved social and economic position, you’re better able to aid others in moving up the social and economic ladder.

It’s essential for you to realize you cannot save the world; you can only do so much to help people.  With this reality in mind, think about how much time you invest in doing things for people.  Do you always do whatever someone wants you to do for him or her without refusing him or her?  If so, you’re bringing too much undue stress into your life.  Learn to say, “No”!  Really, it’s okay to refuse to do things for people, especially when you’ve always given to people and you’ve developed a distinguished track record of service.

Empower people to do things for themselves, so that you will not have to do every little thing for them.  You cripple people’s evolution when you allow them to depend on you for every little thing.  If you’ve been doing this, stop it today!  Let people learn to become independent.  You will discover that you will have more freedom to do the things you need to do, and they will have more liberty to live a life devoid of extreme dependence on you.

As T. I. and Rihanna say, “Just live your life.”

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Bye! You’re A Burden Anyway

Girl Bye

(Photo Credit: Meme Crunch)

Do you have people in your life who like to pout like they’re little kids when they don’t get their way?  Do these people try to make everything about them?  Have you ever thought about whether these people have any true value in your life?  It may be time for you to remove yourself from these people completely.  What kinds of benefits do you receive from being in relationships with people like this?  None.  To stay in relationships with people like this is to continue to remain just as foolish as they are.  Although it’s difficult to end certain relationships, there comes a time when you have to eliminate pointless relationships.

What is a pointless relationship?  A pointless relationship is a relationship where one person never gets any benefits from the relationship and the other person obtains all of the benefits.  This type of relationship is unfair and unhealthy.

Being in a pointless relationship wastes your time, results in an undue amount of stress, and leaves you with a sense of emptiness and unhappiness.  You have the power to get yourself out of these types of relationships.  Once you sever ties with those who you’re in pointless relationships with, you will see just how great of a life you can live without them.

Although you may use the “friends” label with people in your life, are they really your friends?  Do they really encapsulate your ideas and ideals of what friends are supposed to be?  Do they give you more pain than pleasure?  If your “friends” are giving you more pain than pleasure, it’s time for you to acknowledge that they’re not friends—they’re burdens!

You must begin to value yourself in such way that allows you to eliminate those in your life who are simply a waste of your time.

When you talk with certain “friends,” do they always find a way to dominate the conversation and/or make the conversation all about them, never giving you a minute to get a word in edgewise?  It’s time for you to realize that these are selfish people.  In the conversations that you’re having with your “friends,” are those conversations mostly about the things they want you do for them?  Again, it’s time for you to admit that these people are selfish.

Selfish people are burdens and they always make the relationships they’re in pointless.

The funny thing is selfish people will often try to threaten not to be your friend any longer and/or stop communicating with you for a period of time and ignore you, as their attempt to punish you. When they do these things, you need to push them completely out of your life.  They’re the ones who really lose when they do these things; they’re the ones who are constantly dependent on you.

You have to take some responsibility for how you have allowed these selfish people to maintain relationships with you.  For whatever reason(s) you continue to stay in relationships with these people, you’re the one who has to break the chains linking you to them.

When selfish people in your life ignore you, stop communicating with you for a period of time, and/or threaten to stop being your friend, you should be happy because these burdens are being removed from your life.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Be Careful about the Enemies You Intentionally Choose

Fighting

(Photo Credit: therepublika.com)

Although it would be great to live in a world where we don’t have any enemies, the reality is we all have enemies.  Most people don’t choose their enemies.  Some people elect to make individuals their enemies.  If you intentionally work to develop an enemy, you better make sure you can completely handle that enemy.  This can be the person who ruins your life forever.  It’s quite foolish to actively seek a person to become your enemy.  Most people work tremendously hard to keep people from being their enemies and avoid those who are their enemies.  While it may sound strange for an individual to want someone to be his or her enemy, this happens more often than one may think. 

When this does happen, the person who desires for a specific individual to be his or her enemy thinks he or she really knows the targeted individual.  Once the person learns that you’re trying to start a feud with him or her, the individual will probably not employ tactics you anticipate.  The person will probably adopt a strategy or strategies to respond to your attacks that will surprise you.  Will you be ready for the surprises your newly desired enemy has for you? 

Don’t start a war that you cannot win!

People’s egos, arrogance, poor judgment, emotions, low self-esteem, unhappiness, and etc. often cause them to begin fights they cannot win.  This is why it’s vital to take a serious moment and deeply reflect on things before you make drastic errors.  A moment of irrationality can cause you a lifetime of pain.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Teenagers Need Curfews

Teenagers

If you want your teenagers to stay out of trouble, you must establish a curfew for them.  Teenagers will make many unwise choices when you let them choose when they are to return home.  When you give your children a curfew, it communicates to them you have quality standards you expect them to meet.  Too many parents allow their children to determine when they’re going to come home from a friend’s house.  How much sense does that make?  As a parent, it’s your job to resolve a curfew for your children—it’s not your children’s job.  Be clear about the time you expect your children to return home.

While it’s important to give your children some freedom, you shouldn’t grant them the liberty to decide their curfew.  Of course, there’s nothing wrong with hearing how children feel about a curfew.  Parents must, however, be the ones who ultimately create the curfew.

When you set a curfew for your children, this is a great opportunity for you to engender some guidelines for your children to follow when they’re not going to be at home.  Don’t just give your children a specific time they must come home without telling them other essential things they must do before, during, and after they leave home.  Make sure you know where your children are going when they leave home and who they are going to visit.  If possible, drive your children to their destination to enable you to survey the milieu in which they will be meeting their friends.  Warn them against inappropriate behavior and inform them about the consequences of inappropriate behavior.

You need to learn more about your children’s friends.  Meet with their parents to find out what type of people they are and discover their values.  You don’t want your children hanging out with the wrong type of people who may have imprudent values.

Too many children are dying because they lack structure and discipline.  Many parents across the nation have to do a better job of parenting.  It’s the hope of this piece to offer some suggestions for improving parenting.  We need to keep our children safe and establishing a curfew for them is a vital part of good parenting.

Do you feel it’s necessary to give teenagers curfews?  Why or why not?  What are some other things parents need to do to keep their children safe?

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Boredom Can Lead to Trouble

Bored

On Facebook and Twitter, I often read about how “bored” many people are.  With as many tasks I have to complete each day, I have a difficult time envisaging how any individual who is in middle school and beyond can experience boredom.  Why not read the numerous great books available?  Why not start a blog?  Why not invest more time into studying your core academic subjects, especially those that pose the greatest challenges?  When you feel like you’re bored, this is simply a sign you’re not devoting your time to enough important phenomena.  While you may not feel inclined to make lifestyle changes, I want to warn you that I’ve witnessed too many people get themselves into serious trouble by being “bored” too often.

The answer to being bored is not drinking so many alcoholic beverages you end up attempting to drive your car and then foolishly run into someone on the road and kill him or her.  This can cause you to end up incarceration and then you’re really going to know what boredom truly is.

Although you may live in a small town where there’s not many places to visit to offer you entertainment, you need to learn to gain satisfaction from appropriate things you can do with your time.  For those of you in middle or high school, I would encourage you to participate in as many extracurricular activities as you can.  Join as many clubs as you can.  If there are not clubs or organizations on your campus that interest you, see if there is a faculty member who would be willing to start a formal organization or club that interests you and others.  If you cannot get a faculty member to help you to start the type of organization or club you desire to be a member of, then partner with other students and form the club or organization.  You will find that there’s nothing wrong with having an informal club or organization.

Make the most of your time.  Life is too short for you to waste most of your time talking about you’re bored.  One of the best ways to terminate boredom is to find things you can do to help others.  Your life will be more rewarding when you give some of your time to helping others.  Many people are always bored because they are empty on the inside.  When you share some of your time assisting others, your life will have more meaning.

Allowing yourself to be bored can cause you to make poor choices; choices that may impact you for a long time or forever.  Be the master of your own behavior.  Don’t let your body control you—you control your body.

If you’re a college student and you find yourself bored, this means you’re wasting valuable time that you could be investing in increasing the prospect of you obtaining a job after you graduate or improving your chances to gain adequate funding for graduate school.  It may be useful for you to get a part-time job to occupy some of the time you believe needs to be filled, and this will enable you to make some needed money.

Don’t let your idle mind be your tragic flaw.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Research Who You’re Dating Before You Commit

Although you don’t want to have a complete fear of commitment, many people need to have a little more caution about who they choose to date.  Many people are just too happy to be intimately involved with someone or to have the appearance being intimately involved with someone that they neglect to do some of the basic research that can be quite helpful in discovering that their “special” woman or man is really not just “special” to them but to others as well.  If you do some asking around about the person you’re involved with, you just may find some valid things about him or her that he or she has not shared with you.  You may even be surprised with what those who hang around you all of the time can reveal to you about who you’re dating.

You have to have a willingness to listen to what people around you may have to say about the person you’re dating.  Of course, there will be many people out there that will simply hate on the person you’re dating, but you can eliminate those folks by asking them to give you proof to verify what they’re saying.  People who really have some knowledge about the person you’re dating can provide you with some proof of what they’re claiming.

In no way does this piece assert that you should become a private investigator or hire one to investigate the person you’re involved with.  This piece does, however, contend that you should ask that person serious questions and ask questions about the person to people who knew him or her before you did.  You just may be amazed at what you find out!

You can make yourself look like a fool when you go around acting and talking like you have the most special person in the world when that’s the same person who has slept with nearly everyone in town, or has slept with whorish people you know you don’t want to come behind.  You don’t have to turn into an interrogator, but it certainly is a wise decision to asking some probing questions before you truly commit yourself to a person.  A person who is truly committed to you will not mind you asking questions about their past and what he or she is doing right now.

If you discover that the person you’re dating has slept with one of your friends, do you really want to continue to be with that person?

Of course, everyone has a past and if you find out aspects about someone’s past that you don’t like, then that’s up to you how you judge that person for what he or she has done in the past.  For example, if you discover that the person you are dating has been really whorish in the past, you may resolve that this is not the person you want to stay committed to or desire to build anything further.  However, if you learn that someone has slept with your friend or associate since you’ve been together, then you need to reassess whether or not you should be with that person, especially if you’ve asked the person you’re dating if he or she has slept with that person before and the response was no.

Again, don’t go to extremes in your attempts to learn more about the person you’re dating, but do some basic research about your mate.  Start with basic questioning.  If you don’t have open and frank communication with your mate, then the relationship is going to end inevitably anyway.

Before you present the person you’re dating to the public as being so “special,” make sure he or she is not also someone else’s intimately “special” person too.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison