With all of our focus on how to make your wedding special, we thought it was important to highlight some ways to make your marriage awesome, too. Introducing “Snapshot of a Marriage,” a series from contributor Emily Westbrooks, who interviews couples on some of their secrets for a strong and successful marriage.

When DeAnne left the Georgetown bar where she first met Greg, she remembers telling a friend that she had just met the man she would marry. Little did DeAnne know, Greg was simultaneously telling a friend the very same thing!

After eighteen years of marriage, Greg and DeAnne are still on the same page and have learned a few lessons along the way.

When the couple was first married, DeAnne says she found it difficult to understand why Greg chose to work so much. “I realized pretty quickly that a man shows his deepest love through creating a life and making things stable for his family. It was difficult for me in the beginning to accept how much my husband worked but I soon realized that it was all for us and our family. I’m so grateful for how hard he worked in those early years because now he has so much more flexibility.”

Through the loss of DeAnne’s parents, the couple realized how much they both rely and depend on each other. When her parents passed away, DeAnne explains, “Greg just understood me and quietly stayed by my side and let me grieve. Through this process I learned that marriage is so much more than romance; it’s about having someone to hold you up when life knocks you down and you can’t do it for yourself.”

Greg and DeAnne leaned on one another through the adoption of their two children as well. “It is tremendously comforting knowing there is one person that you can share all of your excitement, fear, and vulnerability with and who will be by your side no matter how challenging the circumstances,” says Greg. DeAnne agrees, “In the end, the family we have created is so special and irreplaceable. This is something that we undertook as a team and I can’t imaging having gone through that process with anyone else. We learned that there is more than one way to make a family and the only necessary ingredient is love.”

SNAPSHOT SUBMISSIONS  Do you know a married couple whose relationship you admire? Or maybe you’re married and want to share your words of wisdom! We’re now accepting submissions from couples who have been married for ten years or longer. Email Emily at emily@fromchinavillage.com with your first names, how long you’ve been married, and a few sentences about why you’d like to be interviewed for our Snapshot of a Marriage series.
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With all of our focus on how to make your wedding special, we thought it was important to highlight some ways to make your marriage awesome, too. Introducing “Snapshot of a Marriage,” a series from contributor Emily Westbrooks, who interviews couples on some of their secrets for a strong and successful marriage.

The night he met Carolyn, Bob and a few of his friends had just returned from a skiing trip and decided to stop by a party in the neighborhood. When Bob arrived, Carolyn was sitting near the beer keg on the kitchen counter, and the two chatted throughout the night when Bob would go to refill his drink.

When the couple decided to get married, Carolyn’s father jokingly offered them $2,000 to elope! When it was obvious that Carolyn’s mother didn’t agree, the couple turned down the offer and continued planning their wedding. “In retrospect, it might have been a good deal for us, as we were shooed out of the wedding reception – a great party – by Carolyn’s mom, who reasoned that the guests couldn’t leave until we did.”

Bob explains that when they decided to get married, “Many of our friends were already married and were reporting to us from “the other side.” Both of us were weary of looking and the tension of dating, and we were happy that we had found each other. We both were raised in caring and loving families, and were overjoyed to join together for that lifestyle and to share the new adventure.”

Their new adventure soon involved raising their two children and Carolyn said it was a learning experience for them both. “While there were often times when we disagreed on an approach, through our frequent discussions, we presented one opinion to the children. It was through that experience that we learned the value of professional counseling. We are still in touch with the psychologist who helped us pull through.” And pull through, they did.

Bob and Carolyn spent their wedding night at the La Posada Santa Fe’s Motor Hotel (now La Posada de Santa Fe Resort & Spa), where they “were welcomed by the then (and still) gracious staff.” To celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary last year, Bob and Carolyn returned to the same Santa Fe hotel, and they brought along a copy of their original receipt. The hotel even honored the rate the couple paid on their wedding night – $10.30!

SNAPSHOT SUBMISSIONS  Do you know a married couple whose relationship you admire? Or maybe you’re married and want to share your words of wisdom! We’re now accepting submissions from couples who have been married for ten years or longer. Email Emily at emily@fromchinavillage.com with your first names, how long you’ve been married, and a few sentences about why you’d like to be interviewed for our Snapshot of a Marriage series.
6 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Snapshots

With all of our focus on how to make your wedding special, we thought it was important to highlight some ways to make your marriage awesome, too. Introducing “Snapshot of a Marriage,” a series from contributor Emily Westbrooks, who interviews couples on some of their secrets for a strong and successful marriage.

In the age before e-vites and Facebook invitations, Elisabeth was on the hunt for someone to help her design a paper Valentine’s Day invitation to a college party she was throwing. At a friend’s suggestion, Elisabeth enlisted Adam’s drawing skills and he produced the perfect invitation with cupids and hearts.

Despite meeting on such a romantic occasion, Elisabeth and Adam took their time with their courtship and dated for eight years before tying the knot. Adam explains that they “formed the foundation” of their marriage in those years of dating, which included a month hiking the Appalachian Trail, another month living with Adam’s parents while he recovered from knee surgery, and a year and a half spent on different continents.

When they were first dating, Elisabeth joined Adam hiking, mountain biking and rock climbing, but after a while, it became apparent that Elisabeth wasn’t such a fan of hiking or mountain biking, and that she was actually deathly afraid of heights. Elisabeth explains that while she wasn’t the type to compromise to impress a boy, “I was so in love.” Now fifteen years into their marriage, Adam admits, “We hike together no longer.” Elisabeth says that she realized “I didn’t have to do his thing.” Now, when Adam takes his bike down a mountain, Elisabeth chooses to go out for a run instead. Adam advises newlyweds, “Respect your differences.” And sometimes those differences even extend to laundry baskets: “That way, we’re ruining our own laundry rather than the other person’s.”

Now the couple spends time enjoying the things they do together – cooking, eating, enjoying cups of coffee and raising their four-year-old daughter. Says Adam, “We’re strongest when we’re working together for a combined goal.”

(Side note: Elisabeth runs a company called 11stories where she interviews newlyweds and captures their story in a book.)

SNAPSHOT SUBMISSIONS  Do you know a married couple whose relationship you admire? Or maybe you’re married and want to share your words of wisdom! We’re now accepting submissions from couples who have been married for ten years or longer. Email Emily at emily@fromchinavillage.com with your first names, how long you’ve been married, and a few sentences about why you’d like to be interviewed for our Snapshot of a Marriage series.
6 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Snapshots

With all of our focus on how to make your wedding special, we thought it was time to highlight some ways to make your marriage awesome, too. Introducing “Snapshot of a Marriage,” a series from contributor Emily Westbrooks, who interviews couples on some of their secrets for a strong and successful marriage.

When Stacy and Rob decided to get married, they were met with some “discouraging words,” as they put it. Rob had finished college, but Stacy was three years younger and had decided not to finish. “My parents tried very hard to talk us out of it.” But despite her parents’ objections, Stacy and Rob were married and almost immediately packed their things and moved hundreds of miles away so Rob could start a new job.

Thirty-one years later, those discouraging words are only a distant memory. But that doesn’t mean Stacy and Rob didn’t learn a few lessons along the way. When they began their married life together, Stacy and Rob had very little money. So little that Stacy recalls pulling off of the highway on their drive to avoid a fifty-cent toll. Says Stacy, “Our first home didn’t have a television or even a couch at first. We had one car, so I would walk to the library and back.” Stacy hadn’t yet found work, and says she often felt stuck at home while Rob was out at work all day, like their balance was off. But she quickly learned, “You have to go out there and make that balance.”

Over the years, Stacy and Rob have learned how to adjust to the shifting balance in their relationship. In the 1980′s, Rob was laid off from his job and the couple decided to sell their house and car and pack up for graduate school. With two small children in tow, Rob and Stacy tried to adjust the balance. “We had decided early on that one parent would stay at home with the kids,” they say. That decision wasn’t always easy, but Stacy says they learned that “rather than try to fight your decision, you can make friends with your decision and figure out systems that work for you.” The couple decided Rob would be home every night for dinner and to bathe at least one of the kids, even if it meant he had to return to the library later.

Seven moves and thirty-one years later, the two are enjoying spending time with each other in the same place. They work out in the yard, go for long walks and take yoga classes together. Their advice to newlyweds? Rob suggests remembering this mantra: “Marriage is work and it’s teamwork – remember you’re on the same team.”

SNAPSHOT SUBMISSIONS  Do you know a married couple whose relationship you admire? Or maybe you’re married and want to share your words of wisdom! We’re now accepting submissions from couples who have been married for ten years or longer. Email Emily at emily@fromchinavillage.com with your first names, how long you’ve been married, and a few sentences about why you’d like to be interviewed for our Snapshot of a Marriage series.
5 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Snapshots

With all of our focus on how to make your wedding special, we thought it was time to highlight some ways to make your marriage awesome, too. Introducing “Snapshot of a Marriage,” a series from contributor Emily Westbrooks, who interviews couples on some of their secrets for a strong and successful marriage.

Mitzou had just graduated from high school in France when she spotted an advertisement for a secretary position at a nearby American Air Force base. Her parents weren’t too keen on the idea of her working there, but they agreed she could apply if she could make the 35 mile trip home every evening. Mitzou found a bus route that matched her hours, and applied for the job.

On her first day of work, she spotted Eddie. “The first thing I saw was this young American GI standing in the middle of the room. Our eyes met, and it was an instantaneous feeling for both of us! In French we call it coup de foudre which, word for word, means strike of lightning.”

After that strike of lightning, Eddie got up the nerve to ask Mitzou on a date, and they’ve been together ever since. While Eddie was in the Air Force, they were stationed in Turkey, Germany and France. After he retired, they traveled around the United States before settling in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.

What’s the key to their happy marriage? “I want Eddie to be happy and it works both ways,” Mitzou tells me. “I know it sounds a little bit mushy, but that is how we feel!” Eddie agrees, wholeheartedly. “I do feel exactly the same!”

Mitzou shares one of their tricks for surviving an argument: “No matter how angry we get, one of us will say I love you anyway and that makes us smile and hug each other.”

SNAPSHOT SUBMISSIONS  Do you know a married couple whose relationship you admire? Or maybe you’re married and want to share your words of wisdom! We’re now accepting submissions from couples who have been married for ten years or longer. Email Emily at emily@fromchinavillage.com with your first names, how long you’ve been married, and a few sentences about why you’d like to be interviewed for our Snapshot of a Marriage series.
3 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Snapshots