We were recently interviewed by a Student who is writing a paper on marriage. We thought that sharing this might help give some insight into our "WHY".
How did you meet each other?
Through a mutual friend from High School.
How long did you date before you became engaged?
About 3 years.
How long have you been married?
About 15 Years.
Is this your first marriage?
Do you have children? If so, what are their current ages?
We have 3 Children. 8, 3 & 1
What do you have in common? How are you different from each other?
In common - our passion for the arts. We differ in how we communicate for sure.
How do you deal with those differences?
By making a constant effort to understand and learn each other. Sometimes we'll go through much arguing and frustration until we finally come to realize that our communication gap is the problem, and that we are both intending
for the same ultimate purpose.
What do you do to keep the marriage fresh and interesting?
We give a strong effort to embrace change. We regularly have fairly deep discussions about the current state of
our household/family, relationship & careers - what we are happy with and what we think could improve.
We create and implement solutions and then weigh their effectiveness the next time we meet. Sounds much more systematic and diligent than it is in
real life, but essentially this is what we strive for and it keeps us moving forward, which is fresh and interesting to us.
Do you typically take family vacations on a regular basis? If so, what role do those vacations play in terms of marital happiness?
We have not taken vacations on a regular basis, although when we do we find that on our ride home we are vocalizing how important it is that we do take vacations on a regular basis. Another thing to work on. lol
Did both of you work throughout the marriage? What type of work do you do?
We have held jobs for other companies in the past, but for the past 10 years or so we have been working for ourselves (together). We are both artists, particularly with the mediums of music, film, photography and other visual arts. And so finding ways to be helpful to others using our talents and skills has been the endeavor.
How have you been able to balance work demands and family demands?
This takes a lot of figuring out. We do what we can, but we have found that the more we let go of the expectations of what the "traditional model" of a
schedule looks like, the better things flow. Don't beat yourself up. That's a big lesson. It's OK where you are at (or not at) right now, in this very moment.
We try to remind each other of this on a regular basis. Life is a gift. Enjoy it!
In terms of your parenting styles and parenting philosophies, how do you differ and how are you similar?
We do our best to act and work as a unit here, and so if there is any discrepancy in philosophy, it is sorted out quickly so that we are not sending mixed messages.
This is important.
How have you handled those differences in parenting styles?
We'll discuss, argue, fight. Whatever we have to do to get to a place of resolve so that we can move forward as a unit and be effective.
Regardless of the specific conflict, how do you typically work through conflicts that come up in your relationship?
Deep talks, sometimes arguments, sometimes shouting - all as a means of communicating of course LOL. Sometimes we really enjoy working through our conflicts, and other times it feels like we aren't gaining any ground. Totally normal. You learn that anger can quickly bring a potentially productive talk to a halt. "Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger" is the best advice i've heard. But we're only human and sometimes we get angry about the dumbest of things.
If you were giving advice to newlyweds, state 3 to 5 main suggestions you would give them to increase the likelihood that they will have a long, happy and compatible marriage?
1. Be patient. This is a long game. You have a TON of time to figure it out. In-fact "figuring it out" is a forever game. But also, sometimes you have to STOP trying to "figure things out" and just enjoy life and enjoy each other.
2. Nobody is perfect. Nobody ever will be. Therefore we shouldn't strive to be. Strive to be happy, not to be perfect. Or better yet, just BE happy.
3. Be respectful and be kind with your words. And if you're not, try again next time. There should always be a "next time" because this is a forever game. Using each other's full first names is a good start. For some reason it implies respect. This is one that we've started implementing recently.