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.

 Jonathan and Tamar met at a summer teen conference in Germany. When Jonathan saw Tamar from afar, he turned to a friend and said, “I could marry a girl like that.” And he was only fifteen!

It took him two more summers of conferences to get up the courage to ask her to lunch, but from then on the two were an item. When they parted ways after the few weeks and returned to their respective countries, Ireland and Holland, they began writing each other letters. “I told her my email was broken because I wanted to write to her,” says Jonathan. But Tamar didn’t mind at all, “I got to know him in a whole different way.”

Two years later, the couple were married and started their life together in Holland, but they quickly found that their schedules left little time for them as a couple. Three years into their marriage, Tamar and Jonathan took advice from a mentor. “He pointed out that we needed to re-prioritize. He suggested we plan time not to do anything, just to be together,” says Tamar. That extra time together, focusing on each other, did just the trick. “We still do that, even now,” she says. Jonathan agrees with a laugh, “We find it quite easy to drop the kids off with the grandparents!”

As the couple has moved around the world, from Holland to India to Ireland, and added two children to their family, they’ve come up with a system for making family decisions that keeps them on the same page. Tamar explains, “We constantly seek out the peace. No decision gets made unless we both have peace about it.”

Jonathan beams as he says, “We forge peace together, we carve out time together, and we make sure we’re each other’s top priority.” It’s clear that ten years in, the still-smitten couple’s system is working.

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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