Don't be the Dead Battery in Your Relationship


I have really been working hard to make sure I am doing all the things I tell others to do. Part of that is sticking to my goal of cleaning the living room nightly. Something about heading out the door in the morning and passing the mess bothers me (it must just be me because the kids don't seem to be in any hurry to pick up after themselves).

Anyway, I was cleaning my living room for the hundredth time this particular day and I heard the familiar noise of a talking toy dying.  Unless you are a parent or have children's battery powered toys in your home you may not recognize the noise. When a toy is dying the voice is fake scary deep and it drags on like it is being chopped and screwed.

Before I get to the point I just want to ask why is it when a battery powered toy is dying the toy talks/makes noise when no one is playing with it. Like it is randomly calling out for help. How is this even happening? Ok back to the point.

As a parent, I can hear a dying toy a mile away. I immediately thought to myself “where are my batteries”.  I went to the battery bag (I am a parent, and there is a bag for everything) I only found one in the size I needed. Since children have some sort of innate alarm that goes off when you are moving or otherwise bothering the toy they have not looked at in months my son comes running in the room. Of course, since I am holding his toy it is now the best things ever and he wants it. As I looked into my son’s beautiful brown eyes I knew what I had to do.

I only changed one of the batteries. I knew when I put the good battery in the toy with the dying battery it wouldn’t last. I really only wanted it to last until he lost interest again, or until I could get to the store for more batteries. No, I couldn't go right then I was cleaning remember. The day went on and I eventually forgot and like clockwork two days later there is the toy sounding like a bad remix again. I knew when I forced the good battery to do all the work the toy would not last.

Now, why would I tell you this story? To set the stage for what is next because the whole post couldn't be about batteries right? As a relationship expert, I see the world and most activities in relationships. Simple things like the battery incident made me think of my clients and some of the relationship issues they are experiencing.

They are having these issues because one if not both of them is the dead battery. In a relationship, you need two whole, happy, healthy people for it to work.  If not the relationship is doomed. Sorry, I aint sorry. If one person is the dying battery the other person ends up doing all the work, and eventually they become drained or sick. Now you have two “dead” people in a dysfunctional “relationship”. Life is hard enough and we all have our issues. The stress of carrying our load, and adding a second load with no help is just too much work.`

What is a “dead” battery in terms of relationships? It is a person who is not pulling their weight for whatever reason. This person has not addressed their own issues, whatever the issues may be. This can be financially, emotionally, spiritually, and even physically. To be clear I am not saying a person on a journey is “dead”, as being on the journey indicates life. We all have to grow, and we should allow our loved ones the space to do the same.

I am talking about the people who are deep in their issue and not looking for a way out. For example, a person who may have had a bad relationship in the past and is not making any effort to heal and are also bringing their old baggage into their relationship would be considered a “dead” person.

Think about your last relationship, why did it end? Were one of you giving your all and the other not so much? Who was the dead battery in that relationship, if there was one? Who was not carrying their weight? Who was not growing in the relationship?

Life is about change and growth. When you refuse to grow you die. Do you want your 10-year-old acting as a 5-year-old? Hopefully, the answer is no. You want them to grow, learn and expand their thinking. The same applies to you. When I told you the story of the dying toy it was easy to identify the issue. The dead battery drained the new battery. Why is so hard for people to look at their lives with the same simplicity? If you are not in a good space mentally how do you expect to sustain a relationship? Grow, learn and do not attach yourself to dead batteries. Most importantly don't be the dead battery.

Have you ever had to end a relationship because it was too draining?

Finance and Romance- 5 Budget Friendly Date Ideas


Money. When you see this word what do you immediately think about? Does your mind go to the lack thereof  or are you blessed and you think about the surplus you have? I am willing to bet majority of people think about what they are missing. The unfortunate reality is folks are really living check to check. However what is even sadder is we never think about what we really have. For those of us blessed enough to be in a marriage we are super rich even if it is not financially.

We are blessed to have someone in the fight with us. Even if we are living under a bridge as a married couple you are not in the cold alone. Of course I do not want you living under a bridge I am simply getting my point across. You are not alone so you are not poor. Come one we have all seen the sappy movie where the rich person is grumpy because he or she does not have friends. Or they say something like all the money and fame in the world means nothing without the one you love. It is true. Think about when you have a bad day at work then you see your spouse and they give you a hug, pat on the but, handshake, or whatever you two do. Suddenly things are not as bad right?

So how did you answer the money question did you think about what you did not have or is money not a big issue for you? Now think about how you let money affect your marriage. Don’t be ashamed I have been there too, Money was tight and so was I (all pun intended). I had a nasty attitude, and honestly looking back I am not sure how my husband put up with me. I did not mean to have an attitude I was stressed.

If I am being honest I was pissed. Pissed because there was a struggle and we both worked full time jobs. Which if you are reading is not my husband’s fault but like most people we hurt the ones closest to us when we are hurt. This, however, is a rant for a different post. Anyway I was allowing our finances to affect our romances and this is a HUGE mistake. Remember the vow says richer or poorer.

Think about when you argue with your husband about the sock he left on the bathroom floor. Are you really mad about the sock or are you mad about the pending light bill because you do not see the money in the checking account. Money can put so much stress on a marriage. It can be hard to keep the romance alive.

Speaking of romance remember when it was fresh and new? Remember when you got butterflies in your stomach, obsessed over what you would wear? The romance was alive and well during this time. Neither of you thought about the money you spent on your courtship. When money is flowing and bills are paid it is so easy to say I love you. It is even easier to take some of that money and go somewhere nice. Or what about when the money is flowing and we say money's not everything. Which is true but please be honest with yourself money is a tool. A mandatory tool we use daily to meet our needs.

If we are not careful we can allow the lack of money and other things to overshadow what we actually do have. We get so caught up on what is missing we never see what is there. Then we let this same mentality creep into our marriage. We start looking at the struggle as if it is our spouses fault. We will assume for the sake of this post it is not their fault and situations just aligned and created the perfect financial storm. This is not the time to throw stones, call names, and pull apart. It is actually the time to pull closer. It may seem hard but it is in this moment you need to start dating again.

I know what you are thinking. We just talked about financial hardship and you want me to date. Well the answer is yes. Just because you may be on financial hard times does not mean your romance should be on hard times. Despite whatever your bank account says it is imperative to keep the romance alive. Ensuring your romantic life is doing well can often help you take your mind of the finances. What I am not saying is blow all your money on one dinner. I am saying consider some budget friendly options like the following:

  1. Indoor Picnic- this is my favorite!!! So you already have groceries in your house whip up something good and lay it all out for him on the floor with a blanket. Now if you have children wait until they go to sleep. If you have some extra money splurge on a cheap bottle of wine.  Once you pour it in the glass it all taste the same, and he will appreciate the thought.

  2. I am not a complete fan of the term but Netflix and Chill.- Too make it fun, watch something you have never seen before, and even if you have on comfy pajamas, do NOT I repeat do NOT have you hair tied up. This is a date remember no sleep scarves allowed. Also try to sit up. If you two lay down you may end up asleep. Now if you lay down and other things happen then I say it’s a winning situation.

  3. Walk in the park. You and your honey can go out enjoy the weather, and really reconnect. You two can talk and laugh like you used to before life happened and things got so serious.

  4. Ice cream dates are super cheap as well. You two can share a cup and instead of saying it is because of money use this time to sit close and feed one another and simply reconnect.

  5. Free concert in the park. - Depending on where you live there may be some free events in the part you two can go on. Look in your local paper or online because who is still reading the paper, and find out what your city has to offer in the entertainment department.