Tag Archives: Marriage

The Prisoner’s Wife by Asha Bandele

Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Price: $15.99
Purchase: Amazon | BN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Description

As a favor for a friend, a bright and talented young woman volunteered to read her poetry to a group of prisoners during a Black History Month program. It was an encounter that would alter her life forever, because it was there, in the prison, that she would meet Rashid, the man who was to become her friend, her confidant, her husband, her lover, her soul mate. At the time, Rashid was serving a sentence of twenty years to life for his part in a murder. The Prisoner’s Wife is a testimony, for wives and mothers, friends and families. It’s a tribute to anyone who has ever chosen, against the odds, to love.

 

***  Vlog Review: https://youtu.be/N4kqoD6gDmw ***

 

Review

I decided to read The Prisoner’s Wife after reviewing Writing My Wrongs by Shaka Senghor. Shaka listed it as one of his favorite books, and I can see why. Asha Bandele is a beautiful writer, who penned a powerful memoir like a poet that she is.

I must admit, it was not an easy read. She touches on topics which gave me pause and had me reflect on my own life. In some ways, she and I share similar pasts which is why I identified and was profoundly moved by her writing.

The Prisoner’s Wife is a love story, but not an ordinary one. It was about her personal journey of falling in love and marrying a man named Rashid, who was serving a life sentence for murder.

One of the things I learned from reading this memoir is when someone is incarcerated, not only are they doing time, but so are their loved ones, which is what happened to Asha. She spent the majority of her time alone, other than the letters, phone calls and occasional visits.

I commend her for writing the truth and not painting an unrealistic picture. She did not romanticize her experience, but was bold, brave and courageous. She exposes the truth, shows the difficulties, and obstacles related to loving someone in prison.

If you were ever curious about what it’s like to be married to someone serving time, I highly recommend The Prisoner’s Wife. 

Asha Bandele is an author and journalist. A former features editor for Essence magazine, Asha is the author of two collections of poems, the award-winning memoir The Prisoner’s Wife, and the novel Daughter. She lives in Brooklyn with her daughter.

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Don’t Go To Bed Angry: Stay Up and Fight by Deb & Ron DeArmond


Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Price: $14.99
Purchase: Amazon | CBD | BN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Description

We’ve all been there. He doesn’t understand what she’s really upset about. He thinks she blows things out of proportion. Neither of you can agree on the right course of action. In every marriage, there is conflict. And with every conflict, there is a choice for resolution. Will you ignore the issue until it seemingly goes away? Or will you work together to find peace?

In Don’t Go to Bed Angry, Deb and Ron DeArmond give you permission to fight. Marriage is worth fighting for. Conflict isn’t the problem, after all; the real issue is how we deal with the conflict. Combining a healthy dose of personal experience with relationship-affirming biblical wisdom, Deb and Ron demonstrate how communication through conflict can lead to greater insight and understanding of thoughts, feelings, and perspectives that can safeguard–and even strengthen–your relationship. Immensely practical features including worksheets, discussion questions, callouts, and prayers make this a definitive go-to resource to help you start fighting–together–for your marriage.

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Review

Wow! I have read books on marriage, and I have to say, this book takes the cake. There is so much to like about it. Seriously. You would think for a short book, it wouldn’t contain so much relevant information, but it does and then some.

The main premise of this book is how to communicate in a marriage and tools on how to resolve conflict effectively. I honestly wish this book existed before I married my husband thirteen years ago. I pretty much did everything this book advises against.

I have gotten into conversations with friends about how there isn’t a guidebook on what to do when you get married. Here you have two people coming together, from different worlds, upbringings, and communication styles. You know the saying, the “honeymoon is over?” Well, when you start living with your spouse, stuff starts coming up and if you don’t know how to fight fairly, or resolve conflict, you are going to find yourself in a very precarious situation. Don’t God To Bed Angry can help as it is a guidebook on how to do marriage successfully.

So, for any of you who are thinking of getting married or are married, I highly, and I mean HIGHLY, recommend this book. It doesn’t matter how many years you have been married, or how many problems you have had, or even if you are at the brink of divorce, you need to get this book. The information contained in this book alone, if practiced and applied, can revolutionize and save your marriage. Guaranteed.

This is by far one of the best marriage books I have read in years. I give five stars, but if I could give it more, I would. I will be referring to this book and recommending it to everyone.

In conclusion, I want to thank authors, Deb and Ron DeArmond for sharing their lives by helping me and other married couples. I also want to thank Abingdon Press for publishing this gem of a book, and last but not least, my Litfuse Publicity Group family for sending me a complimentary copy of this book to review. Thank you, it truly blessed my life.

Deb DeArmond is an author, speaker, and coach with a focus on communication, relationships, and conflict resolution. Her writing explores marriage, parenting, in-law and extended family relationships. She is the author of “Related By Chance, Family By Choice” and “I Choose You Today: 31 Choices to Make Love Last.” Deb is the founder of Living-Write, where she coaches aspiring authors. She’s monthly columnist and feature writer for Lifeway’s “Mature Living” Magazine, and has published more than 120 articles online and in print publications. Ron DeArmond has a hungry heart for the Word, and has studied the Bible for 45+ years. Ron’s call to serve men is evident in his previous ministry positions with Christian Men’s Network under Dr. Edwin Lewis Cole and Faithful Men Ministry. Ron is currently the Associate Pastor of men’s ministry at Catch the Fire/ DFW and has ministered around the world. The DeArmonds live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

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Why Affairs Happen

You see it all around you, in commercials, advertisements, billboards, movies and books. Everyone is looking for love.

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We search here, there and everywhere for the “one”, the one who will complete us, and finish our sentences.

I am one of those people who searched for love her entire life, only to find myself in jacked up situations. Instead of finding love, I got a whole bunch of other stuff I didn’t want.

What is it that we long for? What is it that we want? This proverbial love we all desire, seems elusive and out of reach.

You would think that when you get married this tug or yearning would go away, but it doesn’t.

Why do you think romance novels do so well? Most of the readers are married women. This should tell you something.

You meet someone, you fall in love, you get married, you have children and then all of a sudden, you wake up to find… where did the love go?

I don’t know about you, but when I look back over the course of my life and the various relationships I’ve had, I see the same pattern repeat itself.

In the beginning, everything is fresh, new, and exciting. Slowly, but surely, the excitement dwindles down to nothing and you are left with the usual monotony.

This is when affairs happen. But, what people fail to realize is that affairs are never a solution, they only complicate matters, and destroy lives.

Think about it a minute… you are in a miserable marriage, you meet someone and connect with them, you start messing around to get what you think you need, only to find out that what you need doesn’t come packaged in a human being.

No, unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. There is no quick fix solution in filling the void and emptiness you feel.

I’m not religious, so I won’t ever preach to you, but I can tell you this… God is the only one who can get into the crevices of our hearts and give us the love we long for.  No human being will ever be able to do it because we are broken and imperfect.

In the short term, you may think you are getting your needs met or your desires fulfilled, but in time, the illusion lifts and you see the truth for what it is. Affairs become routine and monotonous too, so instead of having one problem, you’ll have two.

So if you are contemplating a quick fix to your misery, do yourself a favor and think twice before indulging.

Have you ever contemplated having an affair? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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What Is Love?

Yesterday I was having an impromptu discussion about love. It started out light and then morphed into something deeper.

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We went from discussing booty calls, to the value of women, not consisting of what’s between her legs. Which of course, I happen to agree with. But I am also aware of some realities. In that, I don’t see marriages lasting. Christian or otherwise.

I believe the cause of this is a number of factors. For one, people come into relationships with their baggage and issues. I mean, let’s face it, we all have issues. And if anyone tells you otherwise, they are lying.

How do these issues come about? The answer is childhood. Whether we choose to admit it or not, whatever we were exposed to as children is what we will mirror in our adult life.

Let’s take me for example. My earliest recollection was handing my parents each a piece of toilet paper. Tears were rolling down each of their faces. I must have been about 5 or 6 years old. I remember the longing of wanting to help them feel better.

Truth be told, all they did was fight, every day, for years. This was my introduction to relationships and marriage.

I remember sitting with my friends in high school. We were eating lunch and they were talking about how they wanted to get married and have children. I was the only one who didn’t want that. All I knew was that marriage equaled misery and unhappiness.

Since then, I’ve been in several romantic relationships and married twice. In retrospect, I think it would have been best for me not to get married at all.

Reason being, if you don’t work on your issues, you will either attract the wrong person or mess up a good one.

I can write a book on my relationships alone. The stuff I went through, would make your head spin. I don’t know how I’m standing today in my semi-right mind. But it must be the grace of God.

Yes, I’ve survived, but there are scars that tell the tale. You know the expression, “If I knew then, what I know now…” Well, I’m living this reality. If only I knew then, what I know now, I would have made different choices.

The damage of some choices are irreparable. As much as you would like for things to be different, or change what is, you can’t.

I’ve come to terms with the fact that based on my past and choices, I’m damaged. I am unable to truly love, and allow someone in. My trust level was destroyed years ago. I care and have compassion, but based on the damage I’ve experienced in my life, I’m incapable of truly loving anyone, except for my kids.

What are your thoughts on love, relationships and marriage? Has the affects of your childhood framed your relationships for good or bad?

 

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One Reason Why Marriages Fail

There seems to be an epidemic with failed marriages. It’s not only happening in secular circles, but also in Christian ones too.

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I’m not a marriage expert. I only share things based on my own personal observation and experience.

This famous expression holds true, Know Thyself.

One of the reasons why marriages fail is because people rush, instead of taking their time and getting to know themselves first.

If you don’t know who you are, how can you possibly select the right person to spend the rest of your life with?

We bought into the lie Hollywood sold us, falling for an illusion or fantasy of romance and marriage.

We want to be swept off our feet and saved by another person. So, we convince ourselves that when we finally meet someone, we will be happy and fulfilled.

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Only God can save us, not a person. People can’t give us what we don’t already have inside.

We are in such a rush to hook up with someone and get married that we wind up marrying the wrong person.

I understand that we don’t want to be alone. However, in our desperation, we rush and don’t take the time to analyze whether or not the person is right for us.

Feelings can be deceiving. Those warm and fuzzy feelings pass like gas.

God admonishes us to be patient and exercise wisdom in all things. Being desperate or rushing into anything, especially a marriage, is a huge mistake.

When we get caught up or obsessed in finding a partner, instead of learning who we are and what we want first, we can end up with the wrong person.

Rush, rush, rush… Hurry, hurry, hurry… leads to misery.

So many people are falling in and out of love these days, it’s mind boggling. However, I am realizing why that is, and it’s because people don’t know who they are.

When you don’t know who you are and what you want, your ability to choose the right person is hindered.

People don’t want to do the preliminary work necessary to be with someone or become the right person for their future partner.

We think “love” if the only thing we need. Don’t get me wrong, love is important. However, it’s not everything. There are other factors contingent upon sustaining a long term, healthy and fulfilling marriage.

It all comes down to knowing yourself. If you know and love yourself first, then you have a better chance of finding the right person to marry and not end up disappointed, disillusioned and ultimately, divorced.

Trust me, I’ve been at this for a while now. Do yourself a favor and readjust your focus. Instead of obsessing on marriage, get to know who you are and what you want first. You will save yourself a lot of grief, and hurt in the long run.

Have you taken the time necessary to get to know yourself or heal from your past, instead of focusing on finding someone and getting married?

 

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Never Say Never by Victoria Christopher Murray

Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Touchstone; Original edition (June 4, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1451695772
ISBN-13: 978-1451695779
Price: $15.00
Purchase: Amazon | BN

 

 

 

 

 

 

Description

In this emotionally charged and inspiring novel about a love triangle, secrets between best friends threaten to blow up friendships and a marriage and change lives forever.

When Miriam’s fireman husband, Chauncey, dies while rescuing students from a school fire, Miriam feels like her life is over. How is she going to raise her three children all by herself? How will she survive without the love of her life? Luckily, Miriam’s sister-friend Emily and Emily’s husband, Jamal, are there to comfort her. Jamal and Chauncey grew up together and were best friends; Jamal and Emily know they will do all they can to support Miriam through her grief.

Jamal steps in and helps Miriam with the funeral arrangements and with her children, plus he gives her hope that she has a future. But all the time that they spend together—grieving, sharing, and reminiscing—brings the two closer in ways they never planned. . . .

Review

There is one word to describe Never Say Never, scandalous.

Victoria Christopher Murray does it again by this cleverly written novel.

Never Say Never is heart wrenching on many levels. I had trouble reading this book because it was so realistic and emotionally challenging.

Victoria Christopher Murray is a masterful writer and storyteller, she lures you in at page one.

I do not want to get into the specifics of Never Say Never, because I do not want to spoil it for you.

But if you want to go on the ride of your life, I highly recommend reading Never Say Never. You won’t be able to put this book down.

Personal Disclaimer: For mature audiences only.

Victoria Christopher Murray is the author of ten Essence bestselling novels, including Too Little, Too Late and Lady Jasmine. Her most recent novel, Destiny’s Divas, was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work (Fiction). Winner of the African American Literary Award for Fiction and Author of the Year, she splits her name between Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Happily Ever After

This is the scenario, you have this picture in your mind of what marriage is supposed to be like or some ideology of what you imagine it to be.

Frankly, Hollywood has done us a disservice with their unrealistic and irrational portrayals of pie in the sky and happily ever after.

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The truth is marriage is hard work. It doesn’t come ready made like Cool Whip. Quite the contrary.

I’m sure you heard the first year is the hardest. Believe me, it is.

Two galaxies crashing together under one roof with all their quirks, baggage and what not.

Excuse me, but that ain’t easy.

Single people look at married couples with envy (or vice versa). Meanwhile, what they see is only a snap shot. A glimpse in time.

I feel like telling them to come on over when I’m having an intense fellowship session. I wonder if they’d envy me then?

They have no idea what takes place behind closed doors. Just because they’re smooching and smiling at the moment, doesn’t mean that’s the whole story.

People walk around pretending they have a perfect marriage. God forbid they should keep it real.

If you would have asked me back in the day if I loved being married, I would have looked at you like you were crazy.

For the record, no, I did not like, enjoy or think marriage was the greatest thing on earth. Quite the contrary, I wanted to run from it. It was too hard, hurt too much and it was not what I had signed up for.

The marriage is bliss thing is simply not true, so please don’t buy into the lie.

I can tell you this, I am not at the place I was before, where I simply hated being married with a passion. Where I wanted to be single again and do whatever the heck I wanted.

I had dreams, places to go and people to see. Marriage was cramping my style.

But like everything in life, you have to work at marriage. The word “work” is like the bubonic plague in our microwave society.

We want easy and quick. We don’t like to work or wait. We want everything yesterday.

The minute something doesn’t go our way, we want to run, hide, escape or… cheat.

Yes, I’ve done that too (in the past and not on my husband)… and let me tell you, cheating doesn’t solve your problems, it just adds to them. Instead of having one headache, you have two.

In the beginning, everything is great. It seems like a dream come true. You found your soul mate. Someone who completes your sentences. You feel alive, you feel beautiful, you feel like someone finally understands you… until… the bubble bursts, the nightmare begins and then… the jokes on you.

I know marriage is hard and it hurts, and you want it to give up or get out. You want the ideal situation. I understand all of this.

But marriage isn’t ‘presto magico’. Both parties have to work at it.

My suggestion for anyone at the brink of giving up, is to pray, ask for the Lord’s help and go to marriage counseling. Seriously, don’t underestimate counseling.

I’m thankful I hung in there and didn’t give up, because I can finally say… today is a new day.

Can you relate to this? Are you struggling in your marriage?

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