February Influencer Spotlight

Marriage is hard work but and it is very easy for wives to become so committed to the preservation of the marriage that they lose themselves. I’ve been there and I’ve experienced extreme struggle in my marriage. My most recent blog post shared where I am in my journey to rebuild my marriage. As we moved along in our pursuit to reconcile, we pursued counseling and I have built a personal toolkit to help with my growth and development. For Wives Only became a part of this toolkit after tuning into a podcast that Faith Joyner was featured on. I’m excited to share this interview with Faith on the blog. Grab a pen and a piece of paper because she drops serious gems throughout!

 

Can you tell the readers a little bit about yourself and how you became passionate about counseling specifically Wives and Wives to be?

 

Well let me start out with who I am now! I love who I am as woman. I truly embrace self-love and self-compassion. I know who I am without the titles and accomplishments. I understand that without the titles and accomplishments I’m still a pretty dope woman. This of course took a while for me to understand. I’m a survivor of sexual trauma and suffered many years from PTSD, anxiety, and panic attacks. I had low self-esteem and thrived off of my titles and accomplishments. After taking time to invest in myself by seeking counseling and coaching, I’ve healed from the inside out and no longer pursue things that make me look all shiny on the outside but empty inside. I’m a genuinely happy woman and I protect my peace at all cost.

 

This June 1st, I’ll be married for 15 years! Love my Boo Thang! Jamahl and I met while both of us were stationed in Germany. We were in the Air Force. Both of us put in the work to maintain a happy, thriving, and peaceful marriage. Jamahl and I coach couples together as well. We love working together!

 

I’m a counselor, specializing in couples work and trauma recovery. I counsel individuals who are single and married. I also coach couples and individuals. I have a Master’s Degree in Marriage & Family Therapy. I’m currently pursuing my PhD in Trauma & Disaster Recovery. I love what I do!

 

I love my community of wives! When I started speaking engagements I started out speaking to couples together (I still do) but after those sessions, wives would come up to me to ask a question or make a comment about something I said and would look over their shoulders to see if their husbands were looking at us. At that moment I knew, we need a safe space for genuine personal growth and to discuss women’s issues and marital issues. This is when For Wives Only was birthed. I coach and help wives discover their Superpowers so they can naturally and consistently draw the love they need from their husbands. I provide the essential tools wives need to get their desires met at EVERY stage of marriage. Lastly, I help wives heal from past trauma that prevents them from experiencing, receiving, and giving the love they are worthy of in their lives.

 

I started following you after listening to a podcast that you were featured on in the Refreshed Moms Group with Deanna Mason. The podcast was entitled, “Communicating your self-care needs to your spouse.” You stressed the necessity of appropriate communication.

 

Do you find that you spend the majority of your time working with couples and/or wives on developing communication skills? Why, in your opinion, is it such a challenge?

Yes, this is what I spend the majority of my time working on with couples and wives. First, we (men and women) weren’t taught how to have healthy communication with each other. Second, it was not modeled before us. Thirdly, women have been conditioned (whether directly or indirectly) to accept, tolerate, and endure pain and toxicity in marriage. They believe that if they set boundaries that their husbands are going to fall into the arms of another woman. They believe that if they ask for what they need, they will be perceived as nagging. These are very harmful ideas that people subscribe to in their relationships. Lastly, people don’t have a communication issue they have a maturity issue. You have to be mature to articulate your feelings and thoughts in a respectful manner. You have to be mature to hear and not dismiss the thoughts and opinions of your spouse although you disagree. I’m definitely not advocating adhering to abusive, sexist, or racists thoughts or speech. However, couples get into huge arguments over political differences, cleaning preferences, or the facing position of toilet paper when that is not necessary.

Self-care. Why do you believe that women are so quick to neglect themselves? How is this harmful to a marriage?

Women are taught to be Superwomen. We are taught to have an infinite amount of resources to give to people including our husbands. If we don’t, then we’re unworthy, lazy, and stupid. I do not and will not ever subscribe to this way of thinking. At one time in my life, I did, and it burnt me out. It was a horrible experience. You cannot be at your best for others if you have not given yourself the best. What does the best mean for you? Rest, coffee/tea time alone, meditation, sitting in the car for a while before coming in the house from work, hanging out with your girlfriends more often, going on a vacation by yourself or with girlfriends, taking a long bath, eating the chocolate before your kids see it? Your self-care can be whatever you want it to be. Children cannot be an excuse to why you don’t make for yourself. I speak to several mothers who have looked back on their lives and realized that they had plenty of time to make for themselves. Neglecting yourself is harmful to your marriage because you will be pouring from an empty cup and from that empty cup you’ll pour out resentment, bitterness, unforgiveness, and frustration. You don’t have to pour for this empty cup when all you had to do was express your needs to your husband and follow through on your self-care plan.

 

You have a VERY unique way of turning the tables on us as women and wives. From my personal experience with you’re work, I have found that when looking at your advice/tips they cause ME to adjust my thinking and my approach to my marriage. Do you hear this often? Do you feel that this sets you apart from others in the counseling profession?

When I read this I immediately laughed out loud! Yes! I hear this a lot from women and wives. However, I never heard the phrase, “…turning the tables on us…”, that’s a good one! Thank you so much. I truly appreciate your support. Well, I know the amount of work I had to do on myself in my marriage. It wasn’t always Jamahl’s fault, although that’s what I wanted to believe. One of my greatest accomplishments in my marriage was working on myself. One day, I looked at all the stuff that I was doing to him. How it was affecting him. How I could have said it differently. How I could have acknowledged that at least he tried. I study my husband. I notice how he looks and responds when I’ve mishandled his heart. This was very hard for me to come to terms with because I had thought for so many years, “But I’m trying and he’s not trying hard enough!”. I had to deal with my own issues and then when I worked those out, I was able to see my husband in a more sober way. I’m always working on myself so that is a lifetime journey. However, I’ve become better at self-evaluation before evaluating him. Also, I work with couples. I see it all the time when women think they’re right and they don’t have anything to work on. Unless you’re experiencing the 3 A’s (Abuse, Affairs, Addiction), both parties have contributed to the issues of the marriage. People don’t realize this but marriage counseling is about focusing on yourself first. But because people don’t attend marriage counseling they don’t know this. I think what sets me apart from others is my willingness to be transparent about what I’ve experienced in real life. I speak from an authentic place because I actually live this life every day.

You are also an accomplished author and your most recent work, A Wife’s Superpower, is a collaborative effort. How did the idea for the book come about? Why is this so important for wives to know and understand? 

Whew, that’s a long story! I will say this, I wanted to encourage the black community that healthy marriages do exists and they can be included in the healthy marriage population. Having a healthy marriage doesn’t mean we don’t go through issues…we do! However, we know how to deal with our issues in a productive way that will bring positive results and energy. Having wifely superpowers means that we possess specific strengths and skills that inspires our husbands to love us the way that we need to be loved. This isn’t manipulation but our husbands are naturally drawn to us to fulfill our needs. Having superpowers also doesn’t mean that we have to be superwomen because we are not!

Marriage is hard with but it is also rewarding. What would you say to encourage wives to continue cultivating their marriage in a society where divorce has become commonplace? 

I love being married. If I had to start all over I would always choose Jamahl. Marriage is rewarding but only as rewarding as you allow your soul to be. Cultivate your marriage by working on yourself first. Continue to work on yourself. It’s a lifelong work but so empowering each step of the way and you’ll get better at it at each step. When you feel good and believe positive things about yourself it shows in how you treat people including your husband. This also means setting boundaries and not accepting destructive or hurtful behavior(s) from your husband. Yes, you love him but you should love yourself more. You also have to be a safe space for your husband to tell the truth about how you treat him. There are studies that show that divorce has been on the decline since the 1980’s. However, there are other studies that show divorce is on the rise. I’m in the process of doing my own research while I’m in my PhD program to find out the truth. So, to be honest, I don’t know if it’s on the rise or decline. You all will find out my research answers in 2020. I do know this, people now have the understanding that they can leave an abusive marriage. They understand they can leave a marriage from a partner with a substance abuse problem or gambling problem. They realize that not everyone has to choose to remain in a relationship where their partners continue to cheat on them. The myth is that people are divorcing over petty reasons but that’s not reality. People cover their ex-spouses. They don’t expose why they divorced but I have the privilege of helping these people and I’ve seen more reasonable divorces than unreasonable. Not saying unreasonable divorces don’t exist because they do but they are less common than people, especially in the religious community, would want you to believe.

How does a community such as For Wives Only play a role in developing a healthy marriage? 

I offer real solutions and people see real results in their lives and relationships when they apply my tips and advice. I teach wives how to pass down a legacy of emotional wellness and healing to their generations. Yes, generational wealth and finances are important but money means nothing when you’re not emotionally whole. The For Wives Only community is a powerful force because women set the tone in relationships. I help women discover their tones (Superpowers) and how to properly use them to influence love, peace, and happiness.

 

How and where they can follow you and how they can access your services and merchandise?

I would love to have you as a member! Click on https://fwomembership.mn.co to join today! It’s an online membership specializing in wife empowerment webinars, personal development videos, virtual chats and more! I provide live webinars and give practical and expert advice once a month on topics that really matter in marriage. This year we’ve discussed “How to Expand Your Sex Menu” and “How to Stand Up to Your Husband Without Putting Him Down”. Follow me on Instagram @forwivesonly and @forwivestobe (my new singles platform). Lastly, feel free to check out my website www.faithjoynercounseling.com for more information about me.