Friday, August 29, 2008

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008


1. Infidelity: It could be argued that infidelity within marriages is a reaction by a spouse to the real breakdown of the marriage, and is not itself the cause. Either way, it is cited as the cause for nearly a third of US divorces and is therefore the most common reason for divorce. Some surveys have shown that adultery occurs in over half of failed marriages. Spouses may be unfaithful consistently during an affair, intermittently, or just once in a one night stand. Common explanations for unfaithfulness include resentment or anger (with the other spouse), sexual boredom, and many of the other causes of marital failure.

2. Communication breakdown: After having lived with a spouse for a number of years, it may become apparent that the couple becomes unable to communicate in a normal, meaningful fashion. Either spouse's inability to avoid exchanges which invariably result in conflict is representative of a communication breakdown in the marriage. In extreme cases, especially if accompanied by abusive tendencies or other symptoms of dysfunction, a growing inability to deal with any verbal exchanges without conflict could be indicative of a much more serious problem that requires the attention of a mental health professional. More often, however, growing differences between the spouses which may have their roots in other mentioned causes are to blame for communication breakdowns.

3. Physical, psychological, or emotional abuse: Where either spouse is frequently abusive towards children or each other, the other spouse has clear grounds for divorce. Physical abuse includes violence, fighting, manhandling, and physical bullying of an individual. Psychological and emotional abuse can be as seemingly innocuous as verbal insults, and can range to taunting, humiliation, intimidation, and consistent negative reinforcement.

4. Financial issues: One of the most common reasons for divorce is economic strain or collapse of the family. Every couple has to deal with money at some stage, and when there is not enough to go around, differences in temperament and priorities are brought to a head. Even if there is no debt incurred, disagreements over the allocation of money and resources within the marriage and the home can often be enough to end an already irritated relationship.

5. Sexual incompatibility: Biological research has shown that the average strength of the sex drive in men and women is most similar throughout life for couples aged about ten years apart. However, the majority of couples marry only a few years apart, and as such, once the couple approaches their 30s, the trend is for the strength of their respective sex drives to fall out of synchronization. If there are already marked differences of sexual taste and preferences, or any other problems in the bedroom, this incompatibility is further exacerbated.

6. Boredom: Biologically speaking, humans' preference is to pair for about seven years before changing mates. While well matched couples will, naturally, stay together for much longer than this, and possibly for life, most do not. Some couples will eventually grow distant, disinterested, and eventually bored with each other. Such divorces are often the least bitter of all, and often end amiably enough.

7. Religious and cultural strains: Couples of mixed ethnicity, religion, or from significantly different cultures may find themselves being pressured by the expectations of their spouse, or their spouse's culture to conform to the ideals of the other. This may include resentment at having to observe the dietary taboos of a culture, or more seriously, disputes over the spiritual development of any children. Most parents prefer that their children be the same religion as themselves, which immediately creates tension even in relatively happy multicultural marriages.

8. Child Rearing: Serious disputes over the appropriate upbringing of a child are often enough to provoke an application for a petition of divorce by a parent. Cases of neglect and abuse are especially pertinent here, however, simple disagreements over which choice of school to send the child, or incompetence in dealing with inappropriate behavior from children is also a common reason for divorce.

9. Addiction: An addiction is an acquired compulsion to repeatedly engage in an activity, to the point that it negatively affects other priorities. Addiction is therefore not a phenomenon limited to drugs alone. Anything you do compulsively that begins to encroach on your ability to function can probably be called an addiction. It is therefore possible to be addicted to food, gambling, drugs and alcohol, the Internet, games, and any of a host of other things. An addiction that can be shown to be causing harm is an acceptable reason for the granting of an at-fault divorce.

10. Differences in priorities and expectations: This is a fairly nebulous idea that describes situations where married couples have found marriage or their spouse to be so drastically different to how they expected at marriage that they wish the marriage to end. It can also describe marriages where one spouse undergoes a sudden change in life priorities. Deaths in the family, other marital strains, severe medical trauma, or mid-life crises are often the cause of such divorces.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

MARCUS BRUTUS WINCHESTER: The First Mayoral Interracial Marriage In Memphis!

Marcus B. Winchester, land developer and first mayor of Memphis, was born on May 28, 1796, at Cragfont, the eldest son of James Winchester and Susan Black. Winchester was educated in Baltimore but left school at age sixteen to serve at his father's side in the War of 1812.

He was captured with his father and others at the battle of River Raisin and sent to prison in Quebec.In October 1818 Winchester accompanied Andrew Jackson and Isaac Shelby to the signing of the Chickasaw Cession (Jackson Purchase) and traveled on to the Chickasaw Bluff to report on the land investment owned by his father, Jackson, and John Overton. Winchester and surveyor William Lawrence drew up a plan for a town which his father named Memphis.Marcus Winchester made his home in Memphis, where he served as agent for the proprietors and opened the first store.

He was one of the first five members of the Quarterly Court and was elected register in 1820. When Memphis was incorporated in 1826, Winchester became the first mayor. He operated a ferry and served as postmaster until 1849, although his loyalty to the Jacksonians came under question when he supported Davy Crockett for Congress.

About 1823 Winchester married Amarante Loiselle (called Mary) of New Orleans, and most historians agree that she was a woman of color. They had six daughters and two sons. Possibly because of his marriage and the hardening of racial lines, Winchester's career declined. He moved with his family to his farm three miles outside Memphis and was involved in a variety of lawsuits and financial difficulties.After his wife's death in 1840, Winchester married a nineteen-year-old widow, Lucy Lenore Ferguson McLean, in 1842.

He served as a delegate to a railroad convention in St. Louis in 1849 and was elected to the state legislature in 1851. Winchester died on November 2, 1856.

Perre Magness, MemphisSuggested Reading(s): Michelle Jarzombek, "Memphis-South Memphis Conflict, 1826-1850," Tennessee Historical Quarterly 41 (1982): 23-36.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Transcript: ABC's Bob Woodruff's Interview With John Edwards on "Nightline,"Aug. 8, 2008.

The following excerpts are from an interview by ABC News' Bob Woodruff of former Sen. John Edwards for ABC News "Nightline" on Aug. 8, 2008.

BOB WOODRUFF: Senator, before we start this I just want to make it clear to our audience that you asked me to come here, and asked me to come here to talk about the reports about your personal life. & Let me ask you the question, did you have an affair with Ms. Hunter?

JOHN EDWARDS: In 2006 2 years ago, I made a very serious mistake. A mistake that I am responsible for and no one else. In 2006 I told Elizabeth about the mistake, asked her for her forgiveness, asked God for his forgiveness. And we have kept this within our family since that time. All of my family knows about this and just to be absolutely clear, none of them are responsible for it. I am responsible for it. I alone am responsible for it. And it led to this most recent incident at the Beverly Hilton. I was at the Beverly Hilton. I was there for a very simple reason, because I was trying to keep this mistake that I had made from becoming public.

BOB WOODRUFF: Is this affair completely over?

JOHN EDWARDS: Oh yes, it's been over for a long time.

WOODRUFF: And, How long did it last and when exactly did it end?

JOHN EDWARDS: Well, here's the way I feel about this Bob. I think that my family is entitled to every detail. They've been told every detail. Elizabeth knows absolutely everything. I think beyond the basics, the fact that I made this mistake and I'm responsible for it and no one else. I think that's where it stops in terms of the public because I think everything else is within my family and those privacy boundaries ought to be respected.

WOODRUFF: I know this is a very difficult question, but were you in love with Rielle Hunter?

EDWARDS: I'm in love with one woman. I've been in love with one woman for 31 years. She is the finest human being I have ever known. And the fact that she is with me after this having happened is a testament to the kind of woman and the kind of human being she is. There is a deep and abiding love that exists between Elizabeth and myself. It's always been there, it in my judgment has never gone away.

WOODRUFF: Your wife, Elizabeth, is probably the most admired and beloved person in this country, she's had enormous sympathy because she's also gone through cancer, how could you have done this?

EDWARDS: Here's what, can I explain to you what happened? First of all it happened during a period after she was in remission from cancer, that's no excuse in any possible way for what happened. This is what happened. It's what happened with me and I think happens unfortunately more often sometimes with other people.& Ego. Self-focus, self-importance. Now, I was slapped down to the ground when my son Wade died in 1996, in April of 1996. But then after that I ran for the senate and I got elected to the Senate and here we go again, it's the same old thing again. Adulation, respect, admiration. Then I went from being a senator, a young senator to being considered for vice president, running for president, being a vice presidential candidate and becoming a national public figure. All of which fed a self-focus, an egotism, a narcissism that leads you to believe that you can do whatever you want. You're invincible. And there will be no consequences. And nothing, nothing could be further from the truth.

WOODRUFF: So your assumption was that you'd just never be caught?

EDWARDS: It was a huge judgment, mistake in judgment. But yeah, I didn't think anyone would ever know about it. I didn't. And the important thing is, how could I ever get to the place, to that place and allow myself to let that happen?

WOODRUFF: And If you thought that you would not get caught, how did Elizabeth find out about this affair?

EDWARDS: I told her.

WOODRUFF: This was before there was public reporting on this?

EDWARDS: Oh it was way before. This was in 2006. I decided, it was clear to me very quickly after this happened that I had to tell her that I loved her, she was central to my life, she had to know it and it was painful for her. Hard and painful for her, but she responded exactly like the kind of woman she is. And then she forgave me and we went to work on it. I'm not saying she thought it was okay, I'm not saying that, but she did forgive me. Listen, she understands what I understand which is that I am imperfect and anybody, anybody watching this broadcast or who hears about this who wants to beat me up for this, they should have at it. The truth is you can't possibly beat me up more than I have already beaten myself up.

WOODRUFF: Why did you continue to deny it publicly and not tell the truth?

EDWARDS: Because I did not want the public to know what I had done. Fair and simple. And there's also a lot of these you know supermarket tabloid allegations are just lies, they're complete lies. But this, this mistake, is the truth.

WOODRUFF: When Elizabeth did find out about this, how has she coped? What was her reaction to that?

EDWARDS: She was mad, she was angry, I think furious would be a good way to describe it. She didn't understand. We both went through a process of trying to figure out how it happened, why it happened. But she was amazing, she's just an amazing person. Elizabeth and I have been married 31 years. The admiration she gets from the public is deserved and, but nobody can see -- Bob, you've been married a long time, nobody can see inside everybody's marriage. & This is not something Elizabeth did, this something I did. And I continue to love and admire her because she has just stood with me.

WOODRUFF: I need to ask about probably the most controversial allegation. Which is that a report has been published that the baby of Ms. Hunter is your baby. True?

EDWARDS: Not true. Published in a supermarket tabloid. That is absolutely not true.

WOODRUFF: Have you taken a paternity test?

EDWARDS: I have not, I would welcome participating in a paternity test. Be happy to participate in one. I know that it's not possible that this child could be mine because of the timing of events, so I know it's not possible. Happy to take a paternity test, and would love to see it happen.

WOODRUFF: Are you going to do that soon?

EDWARDS: I'm only one side -- I'm only one side of the test, but I'm happy to participate in one.
WOODRUFF: Has Miss Hunter said, she does not want to do this DNA test?

EDWARDS: I don't know what she has said.

WOODRUFF: People say they are in contact with her, have told us that you have met her out in California several times. True?

EDWARDS: I met her this last time when I was in California for the very purpose that you and I just spoke about.

WOODRUFF: And that picture is absolutely you and you are holding that baby.

EDWARDS: The picture in the tabloid. I have no idea what that picture is.
WOODRUFF: But you've seen it right?

EDWARDS: I did see it and I cannot make any sense out of that. When I went to this meeting you've already asked me about, uh, I was not wearing a t-shirt, I was wearing a long-sleeved shirt with the sleeves rolled up. I don't know who that picture -- I don't know if that picture is me, it could well be, it looks like me. I don't know who that baby is, I have no idea what that picture is.

WOODRUFF: But are you saying you don't remember holding that child of Miss Hunter?

EDWARDS: I'm saying you asked me about this photograph, I don't know anything about that photograph, I don't know who that baby is. I don't know if the picture has been altered, manufactured, if it's a picture of me taken some other time, holding another baby -- I have no idea. I was not at this meeting holding a child for my photograph to be taken I can tell you that.

WOODRUFF: You did say you did meet her at a hotel in California.

EDWARDS: She was there, Mr. McGovern was present, and that's where the meeting took place.

WOODRUFF: But you don't remember a baby being there?


WOODRUFF: There are reports that you have tried to cover up. They call it alleged hush money. That there was money paid to try, to cover up this affair. Was there?

EDWARDS: Uh, this is what I can tell you. I've never paid a dime of money to any of the people that are involved. I've never asked anybody to pay a dime of money, never been told that any money's been paid. Nothing has been done at my request. So if the allegation is that somehow I participated in the payment of money -- that is a lie. An absolute lie, which is typical of these types of publications.

WOODRUFF: I do need to tell you though through ABC investigation there has been evidence, or we've been told that there, about $15,000 a month has been paid to Miss Hunter, so that she could actually live out in California. In fact that money was from Fred Baron, who was your national finance chair. Is that correct?

EDWARDS: I don't know. I told you just a moment ago, I know absolutely nothing about this.

WOODRUFF: You never even heard about that before?

EDWARDS: I've heard about it from reporters like you just in the last few days. It's the first I hear anything about it.

WOODRUFF: And Andrew Young has declared publicly that he is the father of the baby, of Miss Hunter.

EDWARDS: I'm aware of that.

WOODRUFF: Do you think that's true?

EDWARDS: I don't know.

WOODRUFF: So when you see this now and you see the reporting about it and you see the information about it, are you going to try to look into this? That this is somebody doing this to cover up what happened with your affair?

EDWARDS: If you're talking about Fred Baron, I do know Fred Baron. I also know that Fred Baron knows both of these people who are involved and has worked with them for years. So he has the relationship with them independent of me. So what he chose to do or not do, I can't explain, he'll have to explain. I don't know what he did or why he did it. And what his reasons for, were, for doing it. Is it possible that he wanted to help them because they were in a difficult time? Of course. Is it possible that he was worried that in fact something had happened with me, and he wanted to help? Of course that's possible. I think all these things are possible.

WOODRUFF: Do you think it's possible he was trying to protect you?

EDWARDS: Do I think it was possible he was trying to help me?


EDWARDS: Yeah, of course I think it's possible.

WOODRUFF: Do you think your political career is completely over?

EDWARDS: I'm not sure I had a political career for the future anyway. I'm not sure that politics was what I wanted to spend my life doing.

WOODRUFF: Will your marriage survive?

EDWARDS: Oh yeah. Oh yeah. I think our marriage will not only survive but be strong.

WOODRUFF: When you hired Ms. Hunter, that was back in 2006, the committee hired in July 2006, paid her $114,000 to make films for you. She did have a lot of experience. Uh was the affair going on when you hired her?

EDWARDS: No. No. And again, I always said this to you, I don't think I'm going to go through the details of this, I already did it with Elizabeth-- uh, she was hired to come in and produce films and that's the reason she was hired.

WOODRUFF: But this had nothing to do with the fact that you were having an affair with her?

EDWARDS: Same answer. Same answer -- no I did not.

WOODRUFF: So you hired her before it even started?

EDWARDS: That is correct.

WOODRUFF: In terms of the Beverly Hilton, did Elizabeth, your wife, know you were visiting the Beverly Hilton?


WOODRUFF: That was a secret?

EDWARDS: You mean did I tell her before I went?


EDWARDS: I did not.

WOODRUFF: Did she find out after the recourse?

EDWARDS: She found out the next morning; I called her and told her.

WOODRUFF: And in terms of this baby -- does Elizabeth think this is possibly your baby?

EDWARDS: No, of course not.

WOODRUFF: Is it only possible to prove it though with a DNA test?

EDWARDS: I'm not a scientist -- I don't know what the various methods of proving it are but that's certainly one way to prove it. I mean I know right now it's not possible and she does too.

WOODRUFF: When you do do that test or if you do that test, would you tell us the result of it?

EDWARDS: Sure, of course.

WOODRUFF: Did you want to control Ms. Hunter to some degree? In the sense that you didn't want her to reveal this relationship?

EDWARDS: I wanted her not to tell the public what had happened. Very simple. That's the reason I went.

Copyright © 2008 ABC News Internet Ventures


John made a terrible mistake in 2006. The fact that it is a mistake that many others have made before him did not make it any easier for me to hear when he told me what he had done. But he did tell me. And we began a long and painful process in 2006, a process oddly made somewhat easier with my diagnosis in March of 2007.

This was our private matter, and I frankly wanted it to be private because as painful as it was I did not want to have to play it out on a public stage as well. Because of a recent string of hurtful and absurd lies in a tabloid publication, because of a picture falsely suggesting that John was spending time with a child it wrongly alleged he had fathered outside our marriage, our private matter could no longer be wholly private.

The pain of the long journey since 2006 was about to be renewed.

John has spoken in a long on-camera interview I hope you watch. Admitting one’s mistakes is a hard thing for anyone to do, and I am proud of the courage John showed by his honesty in the face of shame. The toll on our family of news helicopters over our house and reporters in our driveway is yet unknown.

But now the truth is out, and the repair work that began in 2006 will continue. I ask that the public, who expressed concern about the harm John’s conduct has done to us, think also about the real harm that the present voyeurism does and give me and my family the privacy we need at this time.
Elizabeth Edwards, August 8, 2008, on the "Daily Kos Blog"

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Facts About Domestic Violence: Are You A Victim?

Domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner.

Abuse is physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure or wound someone.

Domestic violence can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender. It can happen to couples who are married, living together or who are dating. Domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels.

CDC Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey

In households with incomes under $15,000 per year, 35.5% of women and 20.7% of men suffered violence from an intimate partner.

43% of women and 26% of men in multiracial non-Hispanic households suffered partner violence.

39% of women and 18.6% of men in American Indian/Alaska Native households suffered partner violence.

26.8% of women and 15.5% of men in white non-Hispanic households suffered partner violence.

29.2% of women and 23.3% of men in black non-Hispanic households suffered partner violence.

20.5% of women and 15.5% of men in Hispanic households suffered partner violence.

CDC Adverse Health Conditions and Health Risk Behaviors Associated with Intimate Partner Violence

Each year, IPV results in an estimated 1,200 deaths and 2 million injuries among women and nearly 600,000 injuries among men.

23.6% of women and 11.5% of men aged 18 years or more have a lifetime history of intimate partner violence victimization.

Highest percentage for women is adults aged 45-54 (31.2%)

Highest percentage for men is adults aged 25-34 (21.4%)

General Statistics
On the average, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends every day.

92% of women say that reducing domestic violence and sexual assault should be at the top of any formal efforts taken on behalf of women today.

1 out of 3 women around the world has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime.

1 in 5 female high school students reports being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner. Abused girls are significantly more likely to get involved in other risky behaviors. They are 4 to 6 times more likely to get pregnant and 8 to 9 times more likely to have tried to commit suicide.

1 in 3 teens report knowing a friend or peer who has been hit, punched, slapped, choked or physically hurt by his/her partner.

As many as 324,000 women each year experience intimate partner violence during their pregnancy.

Violence against women costs companies $72.8 million annually due to lost productivity.
Ninety-four percent of the offenders in murder-suicides were male.

Seventy-four percent of all murder-suicides involved an intimate partner(spouse, common-law spouse, ex-spouse, or boyfriend/girlfriend). Of these, 96 percent were females killed by their intimate partners.

Most murder-suicides with three or more victims involved a "family annihilator" -- a subcategory of intimate partner murder-suicide. Family annihilators are murderers who kill not only their wives/girlfriends and children, but often other family members as well, before killing themselves.

Seventy-five percent of murder-suicides occurred in the home.

The National Domestic Violence: Abusive Relationship Test

Embarrasses you with put-downs?
Looks at you or act in ways that scare you?
Controls what you do, who you see or talk to or where you go?
Stops you from seeing your friends or family members?
Takes your money or Social Security check, make you ask for money or refuse to give you money?
Makes all of the decisions?
Tells you that you’re a bad parent or threaten to take away or hurt your children?
Prevents you from working or attending school?
Acts like the abuse is no big deal, it’s your fault, or even deny doing it?
Destroys your property or threaten to kill your pets?
Intimidate you with guns, knives or other weapons?
Shoves you, slaps you, chokes you, or hits you?
Forces you to try and drop charges?
Threatens to commit suicide?
Threatens to kill you?
If you answered 'yes' to even one of these questions, you may be in an abusive relationship. For support and more information please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799 SAFE (7233) or at TTY 1-800-787-3224.
Memphis Area Domestic Violence-Related Charities
Sophia’s HouseAssociated Catholic Charities
(901) 728-4229, Angela at Sophia’s House (901) 722-4700, Associated Catholic Charities
A local charity whose goals include:
Providing emergency, long-term housing for victims and their children
Rehabilitating victims to prevent future abusive relationships
Counseling victims who also have drug or alcohol-related issues
(901) 323-2211 (901) 725-4277 Crisis Hotline
A local arm of the national YWCA whose goals include:
Empowering women and eliminating racism through Christian values
Providing services to thousands of local domestic violence victims (women, children) including counseling, food, court advocacy, and shelter
(212) 645-8329 (510) 841-4025
A national and global grass-roots effort whose goals include:
Educating the public to stop violence against women and girls
Raising awareness of and money for domestic violence programs
already in place with new and/or refurbished events
Teaching through testimonials and other media by Eve Ensler
from her global interviews with victims from different cultures

The Exchange Club Family Center
(901) 726-2200 24-hour hotline
A local organization whose goals include:
Educating the public to end family violence
Monitoring protective family visitations for families in recovery or crisis

CAAP, Cocaine and Alcohol Awareness Program
(901) 794-0915 (901) 272-2221 Domestic Violence Hotline
A local organization whose goals include:
Providing a variety of behavioral health services to a diverse client base
Providing a 24-hour crisis center and counseling services
Advocating victims’ rights

Sunday, August 3, 2008

10 Things Women Do That Drive Men Away!

Some women, without even knowing it, are driving the men who love them right out of their lives. For the most part, women aren't getting information about men straight from the source. They're asking other women, listening to so-called expert friends, and believing statistics.

While those sources may be helpful and provide some information, nothing is as accurate as asking men what they think and feel. This list of ten things women do that drive men away was compiled from informal interviews with real everyday men. None of these men are "experts" from academia. None of them are sociologists, psychologists, or relationship experts.

They're just regular guys: a computer technician, a personal fitness trainer, a mail courier, a college student, an entrepreneur, a corporate executive, a sanitation worker, a police officer, a mechanic, and an attorney. When I got the guys together, the first question I asked was, "What are some of the things women do that drive men away?" I asked them to be blunt and candid in their responses, but I made it clear that I wasn't looking for a list of mean-spirited complaints. Instead, I wanted to compile a list of ten things that men wished women knew a list that would bridge the gap between men and women.

I told them the purpose of this list was to improve communication, avoid misunderstanding, and expose any "taboo" issues that need to be brought into the open. In that spirit, we began our discussion. As I sat and talked with the guys, most of their answers kept coming back to the ten areas explained below.

1. Acting Sweet To Get A Man, Then Changing "I don't know why women act so sweet during dating and change completely when they know they've got you." --Alvin, computer technician She used to go to bed in a naughty “teddy” and didn't care about sweating the curls out of her head. Now she goes to bed with a head full of rollers and a face covered with Noxzema. When they were dating, she batted her eyes, spoke softly, and always looked sexy.

But now that she's got him, that all changed. The gently batting eyes and shy smiles have been replaced with frowns, pursed lips, and shrill tones. No more sexy clothes. Now she dresses like she doesn't care what she looks like, every day is a bad hair day, and she's fast losing the curves in her body and developing a pleasantly plump figure.

Of course, men can't expect women to be superwomen who are able to work, cook, clean, and make love with flawless precision. But a woman shouldn't start out playing the superwoman role at the beginning and then change. It's better to present herself as she is and get it all out in the open. When a woman changes her entire act after the relationship gets going, men feel as though they've been duped. Suddenly, he doesn't know what to believe anymore and feels he can't really trust the woman he thought he knew.

2. Not Giving Enough Space "She clings to me because she thinks that every minute I'm not with her I'm fooling around." --Lewis, personal fitness trainer

The "S" word must be used carefully. Some men intentionally abuse the term "I need my space" to ensure that they can have their cake and eat it too--fool around while not giving up what they already have. But not all men are that way. Most men simply just want some room to be by themselves. Men, just like women, need to feel that they aren't trapped or being held hostage in their lives.

From time to time, men want to get away and be alone or hang out with their friends.

But it's a strain on the relationship when women think that a man is being selfish, silly, or making up an excuse to go out and cheat just because he wants some space. The smart woman knows that a man needs his space and doesn't hold it against him. She's confident enough to know that each person needs his/her own space to maintain a healthy relationship. On the other hand, jealous and possessive women are well known for their deliberate attempts to prevent a man from having any sort of privacy. Those are the women who think letting a man out of their sight is a mistake.

They keep choke holds on their men and eventually drive them away. But if a woman can't give the man a little space, either the relationship isn't solid or she has some personal problems she needs to deal with. If it's because she can't trust him out of her sight, she doesn't need that man anyway.

3. Wanting Too Many Things "I'm just a working man. I can't afford a two-story house in the suburbs, a Lexus, a Range Rover, a bunch of credit cards, and kids too." --Jesse, mail courier
Some black men say black women are unrealistic in their expectations and want too much. Of course, wanting a good hardworking man who respects women isn't asking too much. What happens when it goes far beyond that?

For some women, having a good man just isn't enough. They also want a Lexus, a two-story home in the suburbs, and a string of credit cards. When they don't have these things, they moan and complain as though life is terrible. If the man dares to say something about how he's happy with things as they are, he'll be accused of being complacent, lazy, and lacking ambition. It's fine to have goals and want some luxuries. But counting the blessings you already have never hurts either.

4. Not Saying What She Means "Women expect you to read their minds like a psychic." --Jamal, college student Men aren't very good mind readers. In fact, we often have difficulty just figuring out what women mean with the words they speak. I think women are far more sophisticated communicators than men; they seem to be more adept at the subtleties of gestures, facial expressions, and body language. Therefore, men and women almost always suffer from communication breakdowns in relationships.

Unfortunately, some women do not express themselves honestly and openly. It seems that they are more apt to use voice inflections and body language to communicate what they mean, even when the actual words they are saying convey the opposite.

Take this situation, for example: "No, I don't mind if you go out with your friends instead of taking me to a movie tonight," a woman says, tapping her foot and looking away with her arms folded. Although her mouth is saying quite literally, "No, I don't mind," her body is saying she does mind. Women expect the men in their lives to read their nonverbal cues. Some men fail to read the nonverbal cues of the women in their lives. When this happens, an argument is almost always the result, because the woman feels that she communicated her feelings to the man and he ignored her.

For example, I'll use the scenario from the previous paragraph. When that man comes home from his night out with the guys, his wife is going to be angry at him. She'll probably snap at him when she talks, slam doors, or even yell at him. "What's the problem?" he'll ask. "You know what the problem is!" But he really may not know what the problem is, because she never came out and said what she meant in words.

She expected him to read the nonverbal cues and he totally missed them. As a result, the woman believes that the man is just being callous and self-centered. Likewise, the man is upset too; he thinks she's nagging him for no reason. Both of them will go to bed angry.

5. The Three B's Of Sex "I'm going to be straight about it: sex is important to me." --Gene, entrepreneur Perhaps it would be nice if sex didn't play such a major role in relationships. But for most people, sex is a big part of a relationship. And for men, it's probably more important than it should be. The sexual aggravations of men boil down to the three B's: bad, boring, and the bedroom battle.

Bad sex: Sex is a learned skill. It's similar to driving a car. Basically, anyone can do it. Some are good at it. And others are experts. But everyone has an idea of what they consider good and bad sex. Common complaints among men are: lack of enthusiasm, lack of rhythm, no creativity, and poor technique. If a person in a relationship is dissatisfied or experiencing sexual dysfunction, it's something that should be openly and honestly discussed. The reasons for sexual dysfunction can be psychological, physiological, ethical, and religious, or a host of other things. If the problems seem insurmountable, the advice of a pastor or therapist may be necessary.

Boring sex: Boring sex isn't necessarily the same thing as bad sex. But it is far from good. Boring sex is always doing it in the same place, at the same time, and in the same old position. It's when the sex gets to the point that it feels like more of a duty than a desire. Boring sex is when you're going through all the motions but there's no spice or passion involved.
Bedroom Battles: Using sex as a weapon doesn't do anything but make a man angry. It can be subtle things such as not being open to touching and cuddling. Or it can be more strategic. It can be the refusal to do certain things in bed. The most brutal form of bedroom battle is outright refusal.

Of course, a man can't expect a woman who is angry at him to make mad, passionate love to him. That's where communication comes into play. It's far better to talk and resolve the differences than to play games of will because any real man will be very insulted by such behavior. Then he may become vengeful and the whole thing turns into a cold war of revenge. Bedroom Battles can lead to deep resentment and some men will use it as an excuse to cheat on their wives or girlfriends.

6. Constantly Talking About Other Men "She's always talking about this guy at her job and it really pisses me off." --Shawn, corporate executive Men don't like to hear women constantly talking about other men. It's not necessarily an ego thing. It's just that each man wants to feel special and important to the woman in his life. Women don't have to cradle us like babies. Nor do they need to be patronizing.

But a woman would be wise to realize that the ego of a man can be fragile. Black men in particular are constantly attempting to gain and maintain the basic elements of American manhood: the ability to provide, protect, and be masters of our own destinies.

Not talking excessively to your husband or boyfriend about how great you think other men are is one small thing that can go a long way toward healing the beleaguered black male ego.

7. Being A Drama Queen "She calls my pager all day when I'm at work. Then when I call her back, she just starts whining about some little thing that could've waited until later." --Art, sanitation worker Drama queens are always whining, pestering, or nagging about something.

With them, nothing can ever be right. They pull all kinds of little tricks to get and control a man's attention. If he's watching television, she wants him to get up and put out the trash. When he has time off from work, she tries to plan each hour for him. If it's bill-paying time, she's crying about her car note being late.

Another technique used by the drama queen is to play damsel in distress to get a man's attention. In this role the drama queen says "save me." Initially, it may make a man feel good to be the chivalrous knight in shining armor coming to the rescue. But too much distress can drive even the most loyal knight to ride off into the sunset.

8. Being Hard And Cold "I work the graveyard shift so I don't have to be at home with my wife." --Derek, police officer That response was from a man who had been married less than one year and was already engaged in a cold war with his wife.

Most of the time, she was openly disrespectful to him as a human being, not just as a man. Other times she was cold and aloof, barely acknowledging that he was in the room. Believe it or not, men have feelings too. Hard and cold behavior is enough to drive anyone away.

Again, we aren't asking to be cradled like babies. But every man wants home to be a safe refuge from the cold-hearted world. However, when the world at home is colder than the work world, there is no solace.

9. Cheating "They call us dogs, but women are out there fooling around just as much." --Barry, auto mechanic. Some women will maintain that when a woman is cheating it's always the fault of a man. That simply isn't true. Women are human beings and are therefore just as subject to dishonesty and deceit as any man.

Cheating takes two forms. First, there's the obvious form, which is having affairs. But the second way of cheating is mental. It's the subtle art of getting over on him. She may not be fooling around with another man but she may be cheating by fooling around with the checkbook balance. Her body may be faithful, but she may be cheating by playing manipulative games to keep him within her control.

Such games rob a man of his energy and creativity and prevent him from realizing his full potential. The truth is that cheating doesn't have to be just about affairs or lovers. Cheating is deception of any kind.

10. Engaging In A Power Struggle "I can't stand it when a woman always wants to prove to me that she's smart, tough, and independent." --Lawrence, attorney It really irritates men when women they're involved with are constantly trying to upstage them.

This is especially bothersome for those men who aren't trying to compete with their mates. This behavior takes many forms. Some women who engage in power struggles with their mates do it through career competition: who can make the most money or get the most prestige?

For some the competition is based upon education level: who has the most advanced degree from the most prestigious school? Another form of engaging in a power struggle is competing in disagreements: who gets the last word in? In addition to those power struggles, the men I spoke with mentioned four other ways some women engage in a power struggle: (1) Making sure they look smarter than a man by intentionally upstaging him in public. (2) Disagreeing for the sake of disagreement. (3) Unnecessary rudeness. (4) Being condescending or cutting down what a man says when he states his personal thoughts and opinions. The guys I spent the evening talking with agreed that they weren't intimidated by women who made more money, drove more expensive cars, or had more education than they did.

Their issue was with women who want to flaunt those things in order to be the superior person in a relationship. They all agreed that such behavior was a complete turnoff. No matter what form the power struggle comes in, it's an energy drain for a man who isn't interested in competing with his mate.

Engaging in a power struggle is a quick way to drive a man away. I know this list is going to make the tempers of some women flare. But remember, this isn't a list of complaints. It's information intended to give women insight into what men are thinking; it's a bridge across the communication gap.

Without straight and candid communication, we can't solve the issues that threaten to end so many relationships. Use these ten issues as a starting point for a dialogue with your husband, the man in your life, or a male friend. Such a discussion will give you even better insight than reading this list. And that's the one-on-one communication needed not only to save relationships but to make them better.