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.)