Category Archives: Advice for Families

If “MR RIGHT” does not show up on time?

This topic raises awareness of a newly-identified serious problem trending in social media and elsewhere about the younger generation and marriage. This blog post raises more questions than answers but sets the stage for discussion. Please take a few minutes to read it and give us your feedback if possible. Identifying and acknowledging the problem is halfway to the solution.

These days, many factors are militating against the institution of marriage. For the already-existing unions, Infidelity and Related Sins, (which I call I&RS), seem to be the number one problem threatening the stability of the family. The high and ever rising divorce rate is frustrating couples and discouraging young people from taking a leap of faith into the great institution called ‘ marriage’.

Now, a new concern has been brought to our attention: On a global level, a growing number of eligible women cannot find their soul mates these days and on time too. Most of them have worked very hard preparing themselves for a great married life. They are highly educated, hardworking, professional, sociable, responsible, attractive, kind, healthy, positive, and the list goes on. Still, only very few of them are lucky to get a marriage proposal. As they get older, some of the realistic ones have even lowered their standards and expectations about their future soul mates–still no luck!

By medical tradition and definition, an older mother is defined as a woman pregnant at age 35 or over. To make matters worse, medical professionals are warning young women about the danger of having babies after 35 years of age, pointing out health implications, which include: infertility, chronic illnesses, birth defects, and complications with pregnancy. Also depression and other emotional problems seem higher in this age group.

If  “Mr Right” does not show up, what will she do after age 35? This is a million dollar question for anyone and everyone who cares about this anxious group of young women.

Globally, as women’s emancipation increases, the incidence of this problem seems to rise also. Many women are now enjoying financial independence and freedom, but to my greatest dismay, this improvement seems to have created some sort of social isolation. Traditionally, men are used to being the providers, decision makers, and controllers of this institution of marriage. Most men are not prepared to see these roles change, though they need financial and other contributions of their wives.

In less-developed societies, women in this category face more challenges. As the economic status of women improves, that of men somehow diminishes, partially due to the high unemployment rate, limited opportunities, decreased ambition, and misplaced priorities associated with some men of the younger generation. All these may lead to role reversal. As these more industrious women take up more family burdens in addition to the burden of pregnancy and child care, some men tend to relinquish their own responsibilities and some even abandon their families for an easier and freer lifestyle. Many of them claim that some of those women are too smart, too bossy, too loud and bold, and disrespectful and self-centered, making marriage less attractive and more of a burden for some men already stuck in it. Therefore, many younger men have become reluctant to commit to any relationship, no matter how reasonable or financially stable their potential wives seem to be. This fear is real with most young men in every society and is causing this unwanted ripple effect felt mostly by single women.

In the western world, women have been boldly addressing the challenge. Many are getting married to men who are younger, less educated, and less financially stable than themselves. This is the reality of our modern society today.

On the other hand, in a traditional society like mine, (African), where expectations and requirements for marriage  are still dictated by culture, religion, and economic status, this challenge seems tougher. What choices does a woman in this age category have if Mr Right fails to show up as her biological clock keeps ticking non-stop? Can our society tolerate such women settling down with younger or less suitable men? Will culture and religion accept such women if they choose to have babies and raise family out of wedlock, even if the women are equal to the task economically and otherwise? These are serious questions that require honest and practical answers if the problem will be resolved.

These women who could be our daughters, sisters, neighbors, or friends and need our help as a society. What changes are we prepared to make in order to address or accommodate the needs of this growing category?

It is the time to encourage dialogue on this and other related issues and realities of our modern time. If we fail to adjust some of our cultural, religious, social, and economic expectations, we may be setting the stage for the young people to fail, rebel, or revolt against society. The male counterparts of these women do not have this time-sensitive pressure. Men can have babies at any age with women even much younger. Therefore, they are not in a hurry to start a family, especially when they see what some of their friends and relatives are going through in marriage.

This is my advice to all concerned: I understand that it is very hard to be the best one can with so many problems and challenges, but at the same time, our best characteristics are formed at difficult times. Therefore, as early as possible, the youth must be taught the importance of conscience, integrity, and discipline.
Our school curriculum should include courses on the development of relationship skills, to be taken as seriously as math and science. Developing and improving Emotional Intelligence (instead of focusing on IQ alone), should be the goal of every educational program.
Let us encourage our young men to be more hardworking, more honest with relationships, and willing to commit when possible. For our young women, humility, respect, and trust are vital qualities to cultivate for lasting relationships. Let us as  society realign our values to enable future couples honor marriage and guide the next generation with love and integrity. We should discourage all triggers of family dysfunction and make marriage more attractive, fulfilling, and rewarding. This is a call for action to all.
Please we welcome suggestions and solutions.

Thank you,

Dr. Mother Love

Bill Cosby’s Alleged Rape Controversy

If I was asked about my reaction to the sexual abuse allegations against Bill Cosby, this is it: shock, anger, disbelief,  and confusion! As woman after woman has come forward to accuse him, I just ask myself whether it is real or made up and how can all these women make up similar stories against the same person? They are talking about everybody’s favorite actor and comedian; the TV icon of family values, the women’s doctor, the cook, the dad, the loving husband of attorney Claire Huxtable. What  is happening to this great role model?

Until these allegations surfaced, Bill Cosby was my idol of a family man, both in his TV role and in real life. I have always read about his stand for family values, his encouraging messages to young black men about responsibility, and his love and promotion of education and moral values. Are we really talking about the same man? I cannot even imagine that he can be implicated with anything to do with being rude to any woman, not to mention assault and rape. He is the last person I can associate with infidelity, and we are talking about the rapes of several women! Can all these women be telling lies? I wonder!

Why is he silent even when his integrity and legacy are at stake? Why would he have financially settled some earlier accusations if he was innocent? Why would he watch in silence as his sitcom and life shows were cancelled?Why did he resign from the chair of the board of directors of his Alma Mater because of unfounded allegations? It is sometimes true that the best answer to a fool is silence and as he maintained, according to his attorney that he would not dignify those lies by responding. He also was not going to take any legal action against those women, as they have nothing good to offer and nothing to lose by telling lies in public. Are all these women ‘gold diggers’ or paid to ruin this legend of a black man? Am I his only fan smelling this ‘rat’?

As this controversy heats up with more women coming out with similar accusations, the shock of his implication keeps generating mixed feelings, responses, and reactions. For now, they are only allegations until he is proven guilty. Some people tend to jump on the band wagon of unfounded rumors. Let us be careful and be fair to all concerned. This is the right thing to do.

On the other hand, I have seen so many prominent men, (politicians, clergy, heads of nations and corporations), involved in all kinds of embarrassing sexual affairs. If Bill Cosby is really guilty of these allegations, I can endure it because he is not the first role model to disappoint me or the public and may not be the last. We will deal with the shock and disappointment and move on.

I know that we are still in a man’s world and in most societies and most cases men get away with sexual abuses. Sometimes I wonder why some men who can afford to get all the sexual satisfaction they want legally and cordially get involved with rapes and run the risk of losing all they worked so hard for: family, fame, friends, funds , and faith! Any explanation of such poor and bizarre choices? Is it wickedness, weakness, selfishness, ignorance, confusion, helplessness, or lack of self-control or insight about the associated consequences? Are some external forces like drugs, alcohol, or societal pressures and demands implicated in this behavior? I know that ‘absolute power and wealth corrupt absolutely’.Is this the situation in Bill Cosby’s case?

Whatever the reasons, I feel sorry for the victims of sexual assault. I urge such victims anywhere to come out and speak up once they are sure it is the truth. It is necessary to expose the hypocrisy and cleanse the societies of this epidemic of sexual irresponsibility.

Sometimes, sexual assault cases make headline news because of high-profile figures involved. A sexual assault act happens every 12 minutes globally and the frequency is more in remote areas and societies where women and girls are helpless, hopeless, and voiceless. Most of these assaults are therefore never reported and the offenders continue to live in the communities and inflict more harm to unsuspecting victims.

But things are changing. Just as Ebola and HIV/AIDS have been attacked and to some extent controlled by global efforts, this sexual abuse problem will soon be dealt with, no matter where it is taking place. Globally, though slowly but steadily, women are being empowered to speak out, protect themselves, and get out of the economic conditions that expose them to abuse. That era of  silence is over. The future is bright for women and girls.

This is my message to all, especially to those men out there who have the heart and nerve to abuse women: any person, culture, religion, or society that does not protect the dignity of a human being is overdue for overhaul. Men should learn their lessons from these prominent abusers falling from grace to grass because of Infidelity and Related Sins, (what I call  I&RS). I will continue to raise this vital awareness about the deadly consequences of our gross societal sexual inhumanity until change is achieved.

Can you imagine these forms of abuse of innocent girls in some parts of the world: a ten year-old girl had a baby by C-section. Of course her female organs were not well developed yet for a natural delivery. She was still a baby herself but a man was responsible for this pregnancy!

An 11 year-old girl with Down Syndrome was raped by three men. She was yelling with pain and that was when people ran to rescue her and got the men arrested.

A 14 year-girl had no choice but to  figure out a way to poison her 54-year-old husband when she could no longer take the abuse. She was the fourth wife of a Muslim man. She was serving the family but also starving to death with her six-month-old baby, the eighth child of the family all living in a crowded three-bedroom house.

If we allow such heinous sex crimes to continue in any part of our global society, then we are part of the problem. This is not the legacy we we want to inspire generations to come. It is our responsibility to make things right.

In conclusion, as the saying goes, “as a man makes his bed, so will he lie on it”, especially in his golden years. If Bill Cosby made his bed with hypocrisy and public deceit, so will he lie on it, watching his legacy go up in flames.If he is innocent of these allegations, he should relax, continue to enjoy his golden age in peace and ignore his accusers and the media. For now, Bill Cosby still has my admiration and respect.

–Dr. Mother Love

The Positive Family Front Network

Launching the Positive Family Front Network (PFFN)

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,

Welcome to my blog, Amaracares.com.

I am reforming my blog by launching it as a “positive front network”.

My goal is to provide a forum for positively addressing African Relationship Matters: Uprooting Realities, especially those bitter truths that people and society are silent about, yet they cause pain and make life unbearable for many especially the helpless and voiceless. If we find a positive and respectful way to expose and present negative situations with facts, I believe that we can go a long way to achieving better life for all and ensuring a promising future for the next generation. The number of negative, rude and inappropriate comments I see as I flip through Facebook, especially from our African bloggers often turns me off. Such tone of comments prevent the message from getting across to the intended audience.

Trending issues about relationships, family, marriage, human rights, injustices and abuses happening anywhere, will also be featured. If you visit this blog, you can be sure to get my honest opinion of every issue presented. I welcome feedback and suggestions. Remember that you can positively present a negative issue and be sure to achieve the desired result, which is to make things better and not to ridicule, disrespect or shame anybody or any situation. Constructive criticism does not attack or demean, insult or blame. It only speaks the truth in love, respectfully presenting facts and offering suggestions that may help in resolving the problem. Love does not destroy but builds. Therefore as I bring up sensitive issues with an open mind, my goal is to solve problems and not make things worse. Respect and human dignity are utmost in my  value system and I  know most of you  share these values too. In addition to being honest, open-minded and positive, I will keep the discussions on this blog completely secular and save  faith-related  issues for my other blog, www.doctormotherlove.com. This is because I do not want to turn off non-believers, atheists and people with various religious orientations. I am open to  discussions and feedback but any of these that require  touching bases with faith-matters will be moved to my DML blog. So feel free to visit that blog too.

My dream  is to reach all people with my message of truth about life, love, marriage and relationships, especially as they affect Africans globally. From mid-November, I will also re-launch my online Radio Talk Show. Here I will be discussing trending matters in areas of global human rights, domestic violence and sexual abuse, especially rape, which is now at its peak globally and making headline news everywhere, attracting attention and action. I have resolved to be part of this noble cause.

Feedback from my blog posts will also be discussed in the show as the need and relevance arises. Please enjoy these efforts as my little contribution to making this world a better place.

Next week  I will  discuss the Ebola Saga and its impact on people of African origin. This will be followed by the Horror of the Kidnapped Chibok School Girls in Nigera.

Like me on Facebook , follow me on Twitter and other social media outlets.

I will keep writing and speaking the truth in love because I really care.

Thank you for visiting this blog. I have some interesting gifts and bonuses coming soon for frequent visitors.

Enjoy every moment of life and remember Gary Kelley’s wise saying: “There is no better time than the present to be better than we were yesterday”—Gary Kelley.

Happy blogging!
Amara

Legalizing Poligamy in Kenya :Good or Bad News?

Legalizing Polygamy: Good or Bad News?

Uprooting and analyzing issues involved: Who is the ultimate victim?  You may be
amazed at my findings.  Read on.

Hello Everybody,
Welcome to my blog again.  In my last post, I promised to tell you more about my
proposed Positive Family Front.  I am sorry that I have to move this down the
line because of the urgency of the above topic.

The news of Kenya’s Legalization of Polygamy is going viral in the media and on
the internet and so I want to address the issue now that it is hot.  Please go
to this link to learn more about it: http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/01/world/africa/kenya-polygamy-law/

Then follow my insight or analysis of the issue and give me your ever-valued
feedback.  Let me start by defining the terms so that we clearly see the
implications of this law as well as its pros and cons.  Polygamy, according to a
standard dictionary, means: the practice or condition of having more than one
spouse at a time (compare with bigamy and monogamy).  This word polygamy came
from the Greek word poly-gamia.  So polygamy means the act of marrying or having
many spouses at the same time.  I went further to check the cultural dictionary.
Here, polygamy means the practice of having several wives or husbands at the
same time.  I also checked out these related words just to be certain of the
correct use of the words:

1) Polygyny: a) the practice or condition of having more than one wife at the
same time; b) (among male animals) the habit or system of having two or more
mates, either simultaneously or successively; c) (among social insects) the
condition of having two or more functioning queens in a colony; d) (in botany)
the state or condition of having many pistils or styles.

2) Polyandry: a) the practice or condition of having more than one husband at
the same time.

From the definitions of the above terms, I have a few concerns.

1) This law did not specify that only men can marry more than one wife.
Therefore, the wives can  equally legally have other men in their lives.

2) The law did not specify the conditions, requirements, and responsibilities
for all the parties involved.  In other words, the modus operandi was not
established.  This can lead to abuse of this law.  Anyone can decide to bring in
more spouses at will, even if it is not affordable financially or otherwise.  It
now becomes a matter of instinct to satisfy an immediate urge or emotional
demand.  Once that feeling is over, the situation cannot be reversed as the new
members have come to stay.This will create confusion and burden on the head of
the family and all others involved.

3) Now that the world is a global village and many people live outside of their
motherland and are raising their families there, this law is conflicting with
the cultures of the general modern society.

4) The details of the discussion that led to this decision of legalizing
polygamy have not been made available to the public or maybe there was no
deliberation at all.  To pass such a law that will seriously impact future
families without a public dialogue may be undemocratic.

5) Bringing back or keeping up with the old traditions without any consideration
of the implications and suitability to the modern needs of the society may cause
more harm than good.  These lawmakers might as well bring back the old tradition
of killing newborn twins and sending their mothers into exile as it was an
abomination to produce more than one baby at a time in those days.  There are
countless numbers of outdated traditions and practices that should as well be
brought back to fall in line with this decision.  What about slavery and the
“outcast” system?  Should those ones not be revisited and instated as well?

My message to the Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta and his Parliament is this: be
sure this law is for the good of your country.  Make sure that the people that
would take advantage of this law are equal to this task, financially and
otherwise.  Make sure that the outcome of this decision, that is, the children
produced in these extra unions, will be adequately cared for.  Be sure that you
are doing your best to address the health, well-being, and emotional and
psychological issues resulting from this practice of multiple sex partners which
are advocated by your law.

My caution to Kenyan men and others interested in this law : look before you
leap!  Many of you are struggling to make ends meet for your family of one wife
and children.  Adding more responsibilities – more mouths to feed and more wives
to deal with – may be too stressful for you in this short life.  You should
weigh the pros and cons before getting yourselves into this commitment.  This is
because if you bite more than you can chew, disaster and chaos may result and
your family may be torn apart.  Guess who the ultimate loser will be?  The man
who is the natural head of the family, the provider, the protector, the role
model, and the lover, who is usually cherished, respected, and appreciated.
With multiple wives and several children, are you sure that you can meet this
expectation given the current global economic situation?

In those days, the good old days, the demand for large families was somehow
justified because farming was the only occupation and more hands were needed on
the farms.  The more wives and children a man had, the more productive his
family would be.  There was cooperation in spite of built-in jealousies,
resentments, competitions, and scrambling for the scarce family resources.
These days, in most African countries, farming is no longer a popular
occupation.  Every available piece of land now is converted into building
estates and factories.  Mechanized agriculture has taken over the old farming
system.  Modern technology has changed people’s lifestyles and value systems.
Children hardly follow their parents to the farm (for the few families that
still have an interest in farming).  These days, in most societies, every child
must be in school by law and hired labor has replaced the family workforce.

Most women have becomed enlightened and may not want to share their husbands
with anybody.  In some cases where polygyny was tolerated, the first wife’s
consent and cooperation were always vital.  In Kenya (and possibly other
countries in the region), there was a clause that allowed the first wife to veto
her husband’s choice of additional spouses.  Male members of the Parliament have
successfully pushed to get rid of this clause.  With this law backing them up,
men are now free to introduce new spouses without limit or regard to the
existing members of the family.  Isn’t this a great decision?  How can those men
cope with the family now turned  into a battlefield?  Will this not bring more
confusion  poverty , lack of progress and dysfunction to the family unit?  What
is the new definition of family?  Is this a healthy way to build up a marriage
and family?  And how do you think the children caught in this battlefield will
fare?  Most children end up taking sides with their hurting mothers and leaving
their fathers to deal with the consequences of their decisions.  Usually in
their old age, such men end up abandoned, lonely, and miserable as they
helplessly watch their family members fight and sometimes kill one another over
the inheritance of this man’s hard earned meager resources.  The entire family
may be adversely impacted by the decision but the ultimate loser is the man that
made the decision.The law makers in Kenya’s parliament must make sure that these
ailing and lonely men are protected and provided for at the last stage of their
miserable situations created by the system.Instead of planning for a national
retirement insurance or policy for citizens who made it to the golden age ,as
many civilized countries do ,Kenyan president and his team are busy planning on
how to inflict more burden to the misguided and struggling masses.
When will African countries learn their bitter lessons that any society that has
no respect for women will never progress? For other countries that may follow
Kenya’s example,remember that we are in the 21st century.Do not take your people
back to the Stone Age .It will do no good to anybody!

Therefore, guys, assess the situation well before you embrace this new law.
Make sure you can handle the package that comes with your decision.  First of
all, embrace wisdom and value clarification to ensure that the outcome of this
decision is in line with your life goals.  The men in the Kenyan Parliament may
think that the law will favor their fellow men, without knowing that it may
bring doom to those men and their families.

Let us discuss this issue further in my next post, with the input from your
feedback.  My goal is to see that families flourish with better lives.  My
father and my upbringing trained me to love and respect people, especially men,
as you can see in my book, Letters To Men, coming out soon.  I hate to see good
family men end up badly.  This is why I am raising this awareness so that
unnecessary evils such as Infidelity and Related Sins (I&RS) can be prevented.
Achieving this goal will give the family the greatest joy and give the Greatest
Glory to God, the Creator of this oldest institution – the family.  Do you all
see my point?  Let me know your thoughts about this law and its implications.  I
am your friend DML, The Infidelity Doctor, fighting for the peace and harmony of
the family.

A Positive Family Front and Tears of Joy Network

Hello everybody,

This is Amara, your Doctor Mother Love, The Infidelity Doctor.

Today I’d like to call your attention to another vital issue: my proposal to form a positive front that will aim at stopping (by confrontation with truth and love), the vicious cycle of evils that occur in our families and societies. Let us address one evil at a time. This may or may not be a detour from my main topics of interest: sexual irresponsibility in relationships that cause dysfunction in families and societies globally.

Those who know me well can testify that I have dealt with many experiences in my life around this subject matter and have  survived all of them. Having been strengthened and empowered by these experiences, I am using the pain I sustained as a stepping stone to roar beyond expectations in order to help other people turn their sorrows into tears of joy.

My memoir, Letters to Men, will be coming out in the summer of 2015. I thank God for social media. It gives everybody the opportunity to share what has been bottled up in us but could not have been exposed (as an awareness process to end evil). Otherwise, we would have taken these life experiences to our graves like others before us. We have no excuse now to keep suffering and dying in silence. That era is over! But let me sound a warning note here: most good intentions in life are used and abused. So social media would not be an exception to this experience. A lot of garbage is out there on the Internet, but it does not take away the good that technology has provided us, especially for the voiceless in disadvantaged situations globally. Let us focus on the good and ignore (but be aware of) the bad.

I always pray daily to God: “Father, help me to form the habit of highlighting people’s virtues and diminishing their vices, no matter the pressure to the contrary.”

This blog is my outlet for all that has bothered me–all that I see destroying our great human society–that has been bottled up within me for over fifty years of my adult life. Thank God that I did not explode before this social media opportunity!  Luckily I am now in a society and in a mode of life where I can speak and act freely. I must make sure that I speak the truth in love without any fear or any intention to judge, insult, demean, or ridicule anyone, anything, or any culture. The truth is bitter but must be spoken, faced, and acted upon if a change must come. So all I bring up in my blog is the bitter truth as I see it. I may not be always right, but that is my opinion. Please communicate your points with an open mind, dignity, and respect for yourself and those reading your comments.

Back to today’s message. Recently I was researching for my book when I came across an open letter from Iyabo Obasanjo to her father. As I was writing one to my own dad of blessed memory (the content is very different from Iyabo’s but the concept is similar), I was impressed by the boldness and honesty she expressed. Please go and read her letter. After reading this letter, I started wondering whether we could use this example as a means of communicating to our parents and loved ones how we feel about them, good or bad. We may not make it open or publish it, but we can send it to the person it is meant for (if still alive) or use it as a healing therapy, or both. I have written some to my late father and others, and these letters will be published in my book. After I finished these letters, I felt better inside and outside. I was not expecting this result, but I am amazed and I love it. Maybe many people, young and old, can identify with this great experience.

I always love to use my pain as a means to bringing joy to others, which has occurred with my Tears of Joy (TOJ) Network. My goal is to form a Positive Family Front Network (PFF Network) as a platform for people to confront their offenders by speaking, writing, or somehow expressing and exposing their pain. This may result in dialogue leading to forgiveness and a reconciliation processes. In many cases, these offenders are ignorant of the pain they caused, as it was the only way they were raised: mostly in many cultures, harshness, selfishness, ego protection, greed, and more are the only ingredients for the survival of the fittest and crudest. That era is over and those crude cultures must go. This is why there is an urgent need to review all cultures so that we can put them in their proper categories: those to treasure, those to trash, and those to transform for better life for generations to come.

In my next blog post, I will outline the plan for my Positive Family Front Network. I may even contact Iyabo Obasanjo to join us in this Front. Join in the call to action.

Until then, have a wonderful Easter or Passover and Spring, as we look forward to a fantastic Summer of 2014.

This is Doctor Mother Love, The Infidelity Doctor.

P.S. Later, I read another article saying that Iyabo Obasanjo denied writing that letter to her father. In my humble opinion, the content of that open letter was too detailed and personal to be faked. Whatever the case may be, we will use that concept of communication creatively since that letter speaks for many of us. Solutions to our family and societal problems may be achieved in the process.

Battles Among Women in Families, Relationships, and Marriage

Hello Everyone,

For a long time I have been wondering if women are their worst enemies when it comes to relationships, marriage and family. My need to pose this question has become very strong since I started reflecting, reading and researching while writing my book, “Letters to Men,” which is coming out soon.

In as much as I have tons of evidence to show how women have made positive impacts on womens’ issues, evidence to the contrary is overwhelming. I will give a few typical examples and ask you for comments.
With modern technology, the world has become a global village. Any event in one place reaches all corners of the globe instantly. Any time I tend to blame certain behaviors on culture, I almost always stand corrected that people create culture and hold on to the values that favor them; they pick and choose  what becomes the norm. This is called ‘selective entitlement.’

In the Dark Ages, most cultures were harsh, primitive, and inhuman, reflecting the wicked and selfish tendencies of human nature. Wars, oppression, suppression, aggression, slavery, banishment, brutality and a host of other inhuman acts enhanced survival of the fittest. It was natural to eliminate the weak so that the strong could thrive and pass on the survival traits suitable for a harsh environment. Those behaviors became cultural norms and the victims were brainwashed and conditioned to justify and defend the acts against them. This picture continues till now in some situations.

Women’s behavior towards other women is one example. Most older women who were subjected to harsh and second-class treatment in their younger years and have become used to mistreatment, tend to resist and discourage any attempts by younger women to fight for their rights, especially in the families they marry into. Some mothers-in-law are the worst offenders in  this aspect. They make it impossible for their daughters-in-law to have much say in the family. If the husband happens to be loving and caring towards his wife, you see how critical his mother and sisters will be until he toughens up against the wife, probably, just as his father treated his mother, which unfortunately was normal in the culture. If this young wife protests, she is termed bad and unfit for the family. If  this young woman does not have a male child, then her position in the family is highly threatened, as the women in the family will see that another woman is brought in to produce the needed male child.

This phenomenon is common in many families, though people remain silent about it. Only husbands with strong character, (unlike the men in “Everybody Loves Raymond”), can resist  such pressures from their beloved mothers and  sisters. On the other and, young wives may come into the family with selfish tendencies but there is always a more civilized way to handle it. Women are not supposed to pose a threat to their fellow women in the family. In most cases, jealousy is always implicated.

Another example where women ruin their fellow women’s marriage is in the case of infidelity. When a married man flirts, he usually does so with women who know that he is married even if he denies it. In some cases the women know who the wife is and may even be friendly with her too, yet they are willing to step in and cause confusion. Some of them are ready to move into the home of their rivals at the slightest sign of a couple’s dispute or temporary separation. Are such women so desperate that their consciences (if they have any), cannot tell them to keep off and give peace a second chance, no matter the reasons and pressures involved? Are such women not true enemies of women and family? I am not ignoring the role of the men caught in such betrayals but my focus here is on women for now.

From my experience and exposure, I can comfortably say that the most threat to family stability these days is pressure on men, especially from the women in their lives: their wives, mistresses, mothers, sisters and other related women. Unless those wives play their cards well and ‘worship’ some of these women in the family, their peace of mind is not guaranteed. If the wives are blessed with wise and successful children, especially sons, then their interests may be protected if these wives survive to see the children grow up. Such is the harsh reality facing most women in many cultures. Is this not a cause for concern? I think it is imperative to appeal to all women to look out for their fellow women and be fair and careful in dealing with such sensitive issues such as marriage and family. As the older women learn to give couples their space, the young wives must do their best to treat their in-laws well, especially the females, as they treat their own parents and siblings. Remember the old saying: “what is good for the goose is good for the gander.”

Relationships must be fair and reciprocal to be enjoyable and lasting as it takes two to tango. I know a typical family that has four daughters who are professionals and married. Their paternal family is happy and ready to call upon these daughters for financial help at any time but resist any attempt by their equally professional wives to extend to their own paternal families. We should try to avoid such double standards that epitomize selfishness and cause division and discord in families. This is a major problem challenging peace in many families these days and we will  be addressing it more later. Women are  working harder and  bringing  home handsome paychecks. They must be encouraged to equally take care of their parents and relatives, otherwise the cash flow may stop or change directions. No woman can afford to ignore her own family because she is married. Who brought her into the world and raised her? This is common sense!

In conclusion, I must re- emphasize that in most cases of Infidelity and Related Sins, (I&RS), women outside the nuclear family are almost always implicated. Since some men have the tendency to make poor choices when it comes to intimate relationships, I call on women to take control and look out for the interest of their fellow women as they compete for the men’s love and purse strings.

We, as women would not like to see our daughters treated badly in their marital families. Therefore, we must protect other women’s daughters who come into our families. Most mothers believe that no woman is good enough for their sons, even when he does not have much to offer except that he is ‘the man’. Now that girls are doing better than boys in many areas of life, we mothers and  grandmothers must find a way to prepare our sons (and daughters) for the changing  gender roles in families and society. All hands must be on deck for future families to be guaranteed hope, peace and harmony.This is a task for all of us.

I recommend the following resources:
The book, “I am Nujood : age 10 and Divorced”, by Nujood  Ali and Delphine Minoui. It is also available as eBook  from  Random House.
The article, “Today’s Family: Proclamation  Still a Clarion Call,”
From the  official website  of  Church  of  Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints.
A Commentary by some Elders.

Thank you and happy reading. As we celebrate Valentine’s Day today, please keep my advice in mind!
-Dr. Mother Love

Listen to my Interview on Writing and Editing Today’s Blog Talk Radio Show

Hi everyone,

Today I was featured on Writing and Editing Today’s Blog Talk Radio Show, where I spoke about my upcoming book, Letters to Men: a Clarion Call for Damage Control, my websites, www.AmaraCares.com, www.AmaraCares.org, and www.DoctorMotherLove.com, and my role in Donna Kozik’s 2011-2012 best-selling book, Gratitude Journal.

To listen to the interview, please click here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/writingandeditingtoday/2014/02/02/gina-akao-interviews-dr-mother-love-on-families-and-relationships.

Enjoy!

Dr. Mother Love

The Case for Marriage and Family

Marriage is a good thing and family is a blessing. That is how it was intended to be from the beginning. But what has changed this concept? Why do some people see marriage as a burden rather than a blessing? Why am I making this an issue now? Do we not have enough information, advice, tips, and insight? If all these resources are not making a difference, why bother? These are legitimate concerns and questions, to which I have helpful responses.

We started a brand New Year and many of us included giving more time and attention to ourselves, our relationships, and our families in our new year’s resolutions. So I want to make sure that we are still on track. I emphasize my resolve and support for preserving and protecting these vital aspects of our lives. Any sacrifice, energy, time, and resources that we put into these two entities are an excellent investment, whether the returns are obvious or not. This may sound funny, unreasonable, or in specific cases hypocritical, given current trends.

Recently, I asked myself this question: What is the most important thing in one’s life? A recent study showed about 85% of the responses mentioned ‘family,’ followed by ‘God,’ then ‘relationships.’ Family starts with a relationship and this develops into family. When a relationship is strengthened and sealed by marriage, and both parties unconditionally commit to this vow, a solid foundation is set. The good news is that most people enter into marriage with great intentions. These intentions are to be kept alive and fresh by combined efforts at being able to stay connected and engaged with each other at all times. Rather than becoming defensive and hurtful when problems arise, some married couples “pepper their disputes with flashes of affection, intense interest, and mutual respect,” according to Gottman, a marriage expert. He describes ‘marital masters,’ as “folks who are so good at handling conflict that they make marital squabbles look like fun.” Having a sense of humor diffuses the tension and at the same time gives the intended message that must be received with love, gratitude, and a resolve to improve the next time. Therefore, those who feel negatively about marriage and family should not be discouraged. There is help and hope.

No two marriages or families are alike. Each is unique and should be handled as such. If we bear all these facts in mind at all times and keep hearing them over and over in different forms and from different sources, we may become more aware and focus on them all year long. This is why we are reminded of them now and we must keep our focus on marriage and family strong and steady until it becomes second nature. Then and only then can we see the need to protect our marriages and families from all attacks, known and unknown, from within and from without, not giving any room for our selfish tendencies to creep in and cause havoc.

Remember that the greatest demonstration of love is capping your wings so that others can fly. At last you will realize that you really did fly to your greatest heights. What is good is worth being preserved. Marriage and family are good and must be protected and preserved as much as possible. Protect them fearlessly, faithfully, and frequently, but not at the risk of your own life and sanity. Be fair to all concerned including yourself. Be in constant touch with your conscience and you will surely enjoy enduring peace and fulfillment.

Good luck!
–Dr. Mother Love

My New Year’s Message

Hello everybody,

Are we not lucky to usher in another brand New Year, 2014? We should be very grateful for this because many people worldwide, unfortunately, did not have the opportunity to see this year. Our hearts and prayers go out to them and their families. This is one of the reasons why we should take our New Year’s Resolutions seriously, as this could be anybody’s last one, but we pray for many more to come.

This time, let us commit more than ever before to these resolutions until they become our second nature. Let us embrace them with a healthy and realistic, stress-free, positive front and refuse to give excuses for not keeping up with them as the year goes on. Remember that what you value most relects what appears highest on your list. What you choose to embrace or let go tells much about you and your unique situation. Most people resolve to invest money, time, and energy on what they value most: self, God, family, career, hobbies, charity, health, and the list goes on. Every year I ask myself the same simple question with no satisfactory answer: “How comfortable are you doing what you have to do even if you do not like it?” I always rationalize as many do, that, most of my actions are part of my moral obligations as a spouse, parent, member of my family, organization, community, and society at large.

Even with these, I must have my priorities, which include taking care of myself: setting aside personal time alone for meditation and reflection in addition to doing other things I love to do. As the saying goes, “be willing to make room for the decorative crown on your cake by getting rid of the crumbs and believing that you deserve the cake”. You are human, so make room for failures and give yourself some credit, some break, some permission to relax and smell the roses, being thankful for the good, the bad, and the ugly that came your way last year. Your positive front will enable you to use all your stumbling blocks as stepping stones for a mighty, wise and calculated leap into some positive arena leading to your vision, mission and goal.

In relationship matters, remember that when compatibility is ignited by chemistry, it is vital to keep the flame alive with healthy communication skills and a life style that ensures trust, integrity, love, and service. Be in touch with your conscience at all times and do not ignore that soft inner voice that warns you about potential consequences of poor and selfish choices. Always aim at putting the interest and comfort of others first and be fair to all concerned, including yourself, and you will enjoy the comfort individualized from inside out. I encourage you to embrace this experience and you will be amazed.

This year, resolve to nurture the interest and curiosity of the younger generation by modeling integrity in your marriage and relationships so that the future of family life will take flight and thrive forever. I wholeheartedly appeal to everyone, especially leaders and heads of families, as well as the bread winners, to guard their integrity and self discipline so that this year, the demons of Infidelity and Related Sins (I&RS), cannot find their way into the family to cause confusion and dysfunction.

I must admit that my new year’s resolutions hardly last for more than one month. Therefore, this year I decided to keep it simple, since one of my greatest weaknesses is procrastination. I always postpone things and never get back to complete them. This year, my resolution is to postpone this procrastination, whenever it comes up. Hopefully, this will help me get things done this year. I wish you all good luck and success with your own New Year’s Resolutions.

Happy New Year to all of you.
–Dr Mother Love.

Infidelity and Family Leadership, Part 2.

This is a continuation of our discussion on infidelity and family leadership.

Here is a brief recap:

The family unit is the foundation of every society and must be protected from
within and without. A close look at family dynamics reveals that protection from
within is most vital and that the heads or leaders of this vulnerable unit need
the wisdom to make healthy choices. Obviously Infidelity and Related Sins are
not part of these choices. Therefore, family leaders guilty of these bad behaviors
lie a foundation for disaster. Such heads of the family lack morals and
integrity among other desirable leadership qualities and they should not expect
or demand respect or loyalty from family members no matter their status in
society or the culture they cling onto.

The era for getting away with such practices is over. The focus was on men who are more likely to violate this trust and cause undue hardship to innocent members of the family and society at large.

Today my focus will be on women who have now become major bread winners and family heads globally. How are they handling their new roles especially in the face of the current epidemic of Infidelity and Related Sins (I & RS)? Are they also partly the cause of this crippling family dysfunction? Let us look at some facts and figures: The popular trend worldwide about family leadership is that women are taking an upper hand as breadwinners for various reasons, including their increasing acceptance and participation in the job market as a result of proven track records in every aspect of life, especially their positive role in the family.

On the other hand, how much are they contributing to family dysfunction in the area of
infidelity and related sins (I & RS)?

In this article I will only identify the existence of female infidelity in different societies and in subsequent articles I will delve into some of the reasons for these bad behaviors by both men and women.

So, just as it is evident that men are most likely to be unfaithful, how true is this of women? While there are no hard statistics on female infidelity, most experts believe that this bad behavior is on the rise especially among women who are successful in their careers and have a degree of financial independence. On the other hand, poverty can drive women into promiscuity and we will talk about these factors later. Lately in the media, there are constant stories of cheating husbands and the deadly resulting consequences, but there is also a bigger story on the rising number of unfaithful females especially, for women under 25 and older than 60. For male infidelity, it is estimated that over 50% of men will cheat in their lifetime and this has been a steady fact, but it is even more unfortunate and most troubling that female cheating is on the rise and may one day catch up with men.

Some researchers believe that what is rising is not the rate of female infidelity but the awareness of it. In the past, infidelity has remained a very hidden behavior for women, (compared with men) mostly due to fear of consequences if discovered. Such punishments include: beating, mutilation, ostracizing, and killing by brutal means, from strangulation to stoning. In some developing parts of the world, women who commit adultery are
forced to wear scarlet letters or decried in the public town square. In such communities, a separated or divorced woman is a social misfit. Growing up in such an environment, I remember witnessing how hostile and insecure most wives were if they saw such women talking to or socializing with their husbands during parties or social gatherings. They regard such as scandalous and did all they could to discourage that, including direct verbal confrontation with the women. While not necessarily considered admirable, female infidelity is not widely condemned in the western world. As more women engage in infidelity, the question is: does this kind of “equal opportunity” really benefit women and those they love? In my experience, families most caught in this confusion are ‘African families in the Diaspora’ (African families living outside their motherland). The conflict of culture and double standards about sexual freedom are tearing families apart. The cost of “bad behavior” by heads of families is becoming unbearable financially and otherwise.

I will be exposing some bitter realities people and society are “silent” about in my subsequent blog articles. Don’t forget to follow my blog so you won’t miss them. I welcome comments, feedback and insights.

Thank you,
Dr. Mother Love

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