The Millennial Wives Club had the opportunity to sit down and talk to Faith Joyner, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and wife behind For Wives Only. We wanted to highlight Faith because of her transparency on social media about being a wife and her professional expertise helping wives discover their Superpowers so that they can naturally and consistently draw the love they need from their husbands. I literally connected with her because she drops so many good gems that wives of all ages can relate to.
We talked giving your husband time to grow, finding balance in life’s demands, divorce being on the rise or decline, and more.
Check out her interview below!
MWC: Give us an overview of the evolution of Faith in regards to the woman you were and the woman you are today. What advice would you give to your younger self?
FAITH: Well let me start out with who I am now! I love who am 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. The advice I would give to my younger self is, “Trust your intuition chile!. That little small voice will speak great truths to you, young Faith. Trust your ability to make good decisions. We will all make bad decisions but learn from them and keep it moving. Don’t let your bad decisions paralyze the wonderful critical thinking skills you have.”
MWC: OMG I am OBSESSED with For Wives Only! How long have you been married? How did you and your husband meet? How did you know you were ready to be someone’s wife?
FAITH: Thank you so much! I truly appreciate your support. 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. Hmmmm…knowing when I was ready to be marred is a loooong story but I’ll give the short version. I had already been married and divorced. I continued to make ‘not so great’ decisions about the guys I was talking to and then one day I asked myself, “How’s this working out for you, Faith?”. It wasn’t. So I took a break from dating guys, focused on myself, focused on my spiritual growth, and then Jamahl came. I was ready. But I was ready because I was working on myself. I wasn’t waiting on a man to heal me or to save me. He could not fill the whole in my heart. Only me and my Higher Power (God) could do that. I also knew I was ready when I was putting in the work that it takes to have a healthy, thriving relationship. Even while dating, it takes work.
MWC: Tell us about your community “For Wives Only”. What inspired/motivated you to start it? What have you learned through the process?
FAITH: 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. 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. Honestly, I’ve learned that everyone isn’t ready for healing or they are not ready for the work that it takes to be healed. I’m a healer at heart, of course because I’m a counselor and coach, so that took a while for me to comprehend and be ok with as I’ve gone through the process building my community. However, I am surrounded by wives who love themselves, love their husbands, and are interested in authentic personal growth. It’s a beautiful thing to experience.
MWC: How do you find balance in life’s demands while taking care of everyone’s needs including your own?
FAITH: I don’t believe in balance but I definitely believe in harmony. Balance means that everyone and everything gets the same amount of attention at the same time. For my life, I cannot balance life’s demands. However, I can do a little here, and do a little there…it all adds up to harmonized life of taking care of myself FIRST and then taking care of others. This includes my husband. My husband is a 100% disabled veteran and I’m his only caretaker. It is a lot of work. There was a time when I lost myself in my marriage, being a caretaker, being a trauma therapist, working in ministry, and the list goes on. I experienced complete burn out and couldn’t help anyone for a while. That’s when I discovered that my life mattered. I am worthy. People will get whatever they need from me when I’m able to give it to them. Period. They will be alright. They can ask someone else. They will live. Life will go on! If anyone has a problem with me taking care of myself first, then that’s their problem, not mine. Oh well. Can you hear the complete lack of concern for what others think about me taking care of myself and setting boundaries in this interview? Lol! I will never burn myself out like that again. When I take care of myself first, I’m a better caretaker for my husband, I’m a better counselor to my clients, I’m a better coach to my For Wives Only (FWO) community, and so forth.
MWC: As you transitioned from Ms. to Mrs., what were some of the changes you had to make going from a single independent woman to a wife living with your husband? Was it overwhelming? How did you manage it all?
FAITH: Lol! This is a cute question. I’m a recovering workaholic so I had to slow down a lot when I married. For instance, I started school before I started dating Jamahl so of course when we married, I was still in school. I would come home, say what’s up, do my school work, and then go to bed. Jamahl didn’t mind me going to school but he also didn’t want to be neglected. So I came up with the plan to come home, talk and eat dinner with Jay, then do school work for 2 hours every night during weeknights. He LOVED that arrangement. He didn’t feel neglected and was also proud of me for pursuing my dreams and achieving my goals. Ending school just to be married was never going to be an option for me and he knew that going into the marriage. But I also needed to listen to his needs and be creative with how I harmonized my time. Jamahl has always been very supportive of me and my dreams. Since I’m productive, have my own business, need to network, etc., I always make sure I’m communicating with Jamahl. I’m always asking, “What do you need from me today?” “How would you like to spend quality time?” “How am I doing with the workaholism?” “Do you feel neglected? If so, how? If so, what can I do to show you I care and want to spend time with you?”. I’m a huge communicator so I’m well aware of his needs and he’s well aware of mine. I’m truly grateful to have a husband that doesn’t require me to choose between him or my dreams. Even if he did, he would have to learn and understand that it would be both but I would definitely put him first. Putting him first does not mean that I will neglect myself and not pursue my dreams and goals. It means that I will make sure he’s not neglected while I’m doing so. I have a good man. I chose well.
MWC: What advice do you have for Millennial Single women who are patiently waiting to be found by Mr. Right?
FAITH: Well, I hope you’re getting out and experiencing life because he won’t be able to find you while you’re in the house! Lol! Live your life, ma’am! Travel, take up a class, hang out with your friends, date guys to know what you like and don’t like, go to counseling, get a coaching session, do what makes you happy. Once you’re truly content with yourself, Mr. Right will be there waiting on you girl! I’ve talked to so many wives who have the same experience I did. At some point before our husbands came into our lives we decided that we didn’t need a man to rescue us and just started living. And then, all of sudden, the man of our dreams appeared. You can have that too.
MWC: On your social media you shared how you had to give your husband time to grow and learn how to be a husband at his own pace. Sis, how?! What advice do you have for millennial wives out there who are struggling with this? How and when do you know if it’s just a lost cause?
FAITH: First, it’s a lost cause if you’re experiencing the 3 A’s (Affairs, Abuse, Addiction). If you have a husband who is repeatedly cheating on you and doesn’t want to stop and he’s putting you in harm’s way emotionally and sexually…if you have a husband who’s addicted to substances and doesn’t want to stop and is putting you in harm’s way emotionally and sexually…if you have a husband who is emotionally, verbally, physically or sexually abusive…please get the help and support you need to get out of that marriage. Also, if your husband is extremely emotionally neglectful (he doesn’t listen, he doesn’t talk to you, he doesn’t have sex with you, when a concern is brought up he doesn’t care to fix it, everything is on his terms if he does anything for you, he omits to do anything that brings emotional well-being), please seek support you need to get out of that marriage. Anything other than the 3 A’s and extreme neglect, you can work through it.
Ok, so how do you let your husband grow at his own pace? Well, he’s not a little boy. He’s not your son. He doesn’t have to jump when you tell him too. If you know about true growth then you know it’s only possible when we actually want to grow and when we have a safe space to do so. If you are always talking about how awful your husband is, it doesn’t make him want to grow. It makes him want to distance himself from you. It makes him defensive. He doesn’t listen because he’s thinking of a response. It doesn’t give him a safe space to think about what he needs to do to be better for himself and for you.
There was one time when I was so annoyed about something and I wanted to say something to Jamahl about it and my intuition said, “Stop! Don’t say anything to him!” It was so hard but I didn’t. 2 weeks later, Jamahl came to me as sincere as he could be and discussed how he wanted to change in that area and asked for my help! That’s what you call progress. That’s what you call maturity. I didn’t weigh my husband down with all of MY fears, MY agitations, MY worries. And by not doing that, he was able to make a decision for himself and it was great! Now I know some of you are saying, “2 whole weeks!!!” Listen, 2 weeks of annoyance is better than 2 years, 12 years, 20 years of strife and bitterness because I want my way all the time. As a matter of fact, because I’m not always thinking about how to change my husband, the 2 weeks wasn’t actually annoying for me. I just put the thought down and moved on with my life. Remember, I protect my peace at all cost. Even involving situations with my husband.
Give him time to grow just like he’s giving you time to grow. It’s interesting because when couples come to see me, wives believe that it’s always their husbands. “He’s not doing this, he’s not doing that, he’s immature in this area”, etc. But when I speak to the husbands, they have the same concerns. It’s not just him. It’s both of you. I speak to the couple together and then apart, the things that these husbands struggle with in their marriage is just as concerning as what the wives struggle with. It’s not fair to want him to change when you want him to change. That’s not reality. That’s not life and it’s definitely not how you operate your own life. You change when you want to change, right? I guarantee that if I were to observe you and your husband interact with each other for 1 week I can come up with things the both of you need to work on. Please get rid of the arrogance that you’re the only one doing the work in your marriage. Just because your husband doesn’t do it how you do it doesn’t mean he’s not putting in work. As you can tell, I can write about this topic for days! I talk about this a lot in my marriage books and podcast episodes. You can order them and listen to the episodes for more advice.
MWC: How do you motivate yourself daily?
FAITH: That’s a hard question for me to answer because I’m naturally wired to be motivated. I have goals that I want to achieve and I know the only way to reach them is to put in the work. I’m not just talking about being an entrepreneur. I put in the work daily to continue being the best version of myself emotionally and spiritually.
MWC: Do you think divorce is on a rise or a decline today? Why or why not?
FAITH: 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. I also believe that people don’t trust their intuition and don’t believe the red flags that they see in their partners prior to marriage. They think it’s going to magically change when they get married or they think they have the power to change their partner. It doesn’t work like that. So when they get married and it doesn’t change and it gets worse than it was when they were dating, they decide to get a divorce.
MWC: Anyone you want to thank for helping you through your marriage?
FAITH: Oh yes! I have wonderful friends who are my sounding board when I’ve been hurt or agitated in my marriage. They did not judge me and provided wise sound advice. Love them to pieces!