By Tiffany Williams-Jallow, Relationships360° Founder
Currently about half of U.S. couples are getting divorces and the number of couples filing papers to legally end their marriages is showing no signs of slowing down. Moreover, there seems to be no solution in sight for reversing this trend. The media appears to be more focused on how to win over a bachelor or bachelorette or how to get rid of an undesirable partner rather than how to maintain a fulfilling and long-lasting marriage.
One only need to turn on the tube to see the endless lineup of reality TV shows such as “My Fair Wedding” and “Hell Date” that glamorize weddings and dysfunctional dating relationships. Currently, there are no reality shows that focus on how to keep marriages in tact. The Oprah Winfrey Network’s, “Dr. Phil” show counsels married couples on the verge of divorce with advice from the host on how to resolve conflict in their relationships. However, the advice is specific to that couple and generally used to address whatever the show topic is for the day with no long-term help strategy.
Again, there seem to be no television programs that provide regular guidance on how to save fledgling marriages or prevent divorce. Shows like “Divorce Court” make the act of dismantling a marriage a comical event, but does not show the devastation it causes the parting spouses and their children once the split is legal. Today, I just learned while watching television and writing this post that the show will begin settling relationship disputes among couples who are shacking up. To read my opinion on this topic, check out my blog post, Cohabitation vs. Marriage , from April 4, 2010.
Popular magazines, such as Cosmopolitan and Essence are filled with gossip about celebrity marriages and their opinions about the subject, but lack information for everyday people on how to repair, build and maintain rewarding marriages. However, there are a number of best-selling books such as “The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate” by Gary Chapman that address how to effectively overcome marital turmoil, but many of these books have Judeo-Christian undertones and cater to people who belong to these religious groups rather than the public at large.
There have been a handful of movies in recent years that have dealt with the concept of marriage maintenance such as “Fireproof” (one of my all time favorites) and “Couples Retreat.” Both movies depict marriages that have lost their romantic spark that need to be re-ignited, as well as the outside threats of sexual temptation and infidelity. Likewise, Gail Crowder, women’s image consultant and founder of the Bringing Sexy Back Conference is helping married and engaged women to insulate their relationships from extra-marital affairs, and ultimately divorce, through fun, informative and uninhibited seminars that seek to demystify the notion that being “sexy” is ungodly. Donned in sexy costumes throughout the one and two-day events, Gail and her lineup of female speakers teach women how to feel secure in themselves while learning the art of being a mistress to their husbands. Costume Supercenter has an abundance of role playing getup, which can be ordered discreetly here.
After having Gail on the “Spicing Up Your Marriage” episode of Relationships360 on BlogTalkRadio in February, I recently had the privilege of attending one of the seminars in Baltimore, Maryland. As many of my fans and followers know, I am divorced and planning to get remarried in 2012. Thus, my goal and the goal of many of the women attending the conference was to unlock the answers to questions in an open and safe environment about taboo topics the mainstream media and contemporary church ignore such as achieving orgasm, the use of bedroom toys and how to dance sensually for your spouse while not feeling embarrassed, ashamed or like a stripper and without the fear of being judged. The Bringing Sexy Back Conference definitely lived up to these expectations and Gail and her female posse of speakers did a superb job at teaching women how to release a confident, sexy and virtuous woman to their husbands, all while balancing work and family life.
Some of the event highlights were the cooking session in which Lady Joy Brown, who is actually the wife of a pastor, in which women learned how to whip up aphrodisiac’s like the Nectar Spritzer and Mango Shrimp appetizer and the interactive lingerie lecture in which the speaker showed different styles of panties intended to cover certain pubic hair waxing patterns. However, my favorite part was the chair dance lesson and role playing exercise in which we broke up in groups and planned how to use a bag of dollar store items and a $15 budget to plan a romantic picnic for their mates.
The exercises, activities and lectures were fun and informative and seemed to really work to build confidence among the women for expressing their sexual sides to their mates as well as confidence, creativity and virtue in an effort to maintain their partners’ commitment to their marriages. Since maintaining quality relationships is also the goal of this blog and the Relationships360 radio show, I strongly encourage women who are married or engaged to attend one of Gail’s conferences. As a women’s image consultant, she first focuses on building a woman’s self-image and then works her way to helping them become more attractive to their spouses by improving their outer beauty and treatment of their men. Her next conference will take place on July 8, 2011 at the LaQuinta Inn and Suites in San Antonio, Texas and there’s talk of bringing one to New York City in 2012 as well as inviting the husbands and fiances to build off of the work she has done with women over the past couple of years. To register, visit http://www.bsbconference.com or http://bringingitbacktothemarriage.com..