The story of Bob and Liz’s courtship plays like a movie montage. You can just picture it overlaid with a romantic, lyrical song. They meet, become friends within a big group of people just out of college, and one by one, everyone else fades away until they are the only two left. Liz explains it matter-of-factly: “We could never quite shake the other person.”
Liz and Bob met when they were both working for a non-profit helping children living in poverty; Liz was a senior in college and Bob was a Vista volunteer in legal services. The two became friends and would hang out in big groups of people. When Liz graduated, the two ended up living around the corner from one another and found themselves spending more and more time together. They dated other people, but those relationships never stuck.
Eventually, their friendship evolved into a relationship, although neither of the two can remember an actual first date! And their relationship eventually evolved into a marriage – as Bob says, “It became obvious this was someone I could spend the rest of my life with.” Meanwhile, Liz was slightly more dubious. “Up until the day before we were married, I didn’t think I could do it,” Liz said, explaining that she was nervous about losing her aspirations of being a strong, independent, adventurous woman. She realized, though, that “Bob was a perfect boyfriend because he encouraged me to do those things. It was never a question that we loved each other.”
And so they tied the knot, and thirty years later are still at it. They were married in a low-key ceremony in a local church (a fiddler played jigs and reels for their walk back down the aisle!), followed by a reception in Liz’s parents’ backyard.
Liz says they weren’t given advice prior to their marriage, but rather learned by example. “The lessons we learned about marriage we learned in the households we grew up in.” Liz’s parents have been married 68 years, and Bob’s mother has been a widow longer than she was married. “She just never wanted to marry anyone else. She loved her husband.”
With their own kids, they tend to show by example rather than prescribing marriage advice, but they do have a little advice to share with newlyweds. Liz suggests, “Be very communicative and honest about where you’re coming from at all times.” To which Bob adds, “[It] means you don’t always hear the stuff you want to hear.” Hard conversations aside, Bob says he’s found marriage overall to be an easy task. “I’ve never felt like marriage was hard work.” And long may it be so!
“Snapshot of a Marriage” is a series from contributor Emily Westbrooks, who interviews couples on some of their secrets for a strong and successful marriage. 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! Click here to see previous Snapshots.
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