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 new series from contributor Emily Westbrooks, who interviews couples on some of their secrets for a strong and successful marriage.

One of the many lessons Pam and Larry have learned in their 36 years of marriage? “How differently we react and respond to most things,” says Pam. “I remember after the birth of our first baby, every young mom on our maternity floor received beautiful flowers. I too desired that my husband go out and purchase a dozen or so red roses for my bedside – after all I had just delivered him this beautiful brand new baby boy! Well, much to my dismay, he comes skipping into my room the next day with a house plant.”

Larry thought the houseplant was more practical than flowers, but Pam wasn’t looking for practical. Pam explains she learned a lot from that experience about the need to communicate. “Your partner cannot read your mind,” she says. Larry echoes this with another lesson he might have learned the hard way: “Never, I repeat never, buy her a kitchen appliance for an anniversary or birthday.”

Joking aside, Pam and Larry have worked hard to make their marriage work over the years. They instituted a weekly date night each Friday and found it helped them sustain their relationship while their kids were young. Pam explains, “It was our chance to reconnect as a couple without children or distractions.” They kept the date night so sacred that friends and family knew not to bother inviting them anywhere on a Friday evening!

Now that Larry and Pam work together producing weddings and events, they’ve had to learn new lessons. Larry says, “We were about ready to kill each other after about two years because we each wanted to be in charge and tell the other what to do. It was a very trying time in our relationship. We had to sit down and evaluate what our strengths were and let each of us put them to use in the business.”

Pam and Larry have scaled the steep learning curve of owning a business together. Pam sums it up, “We now allow each other to fulfill the side of our business where we shine. We don’t walk over each other but hand in hand, supporting each other all the way. It’s the most wonderful adventure we have been on.”

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.
4 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Snapshots
  1. Li Mei

    Aww… another lovely feature! Still loving this series to bits :)

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  2. Pam, Romancing the Stone Styling

    Thank-you Emily, I adore reading this post with all these awesome couples. Keep up the great work.. It is fun to think back to how far we have actually come!

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  3. Camille Lem

    I’ve only met this beautiful couple once, but I can say they are the perfect pick! He seemed so enchanted by her still, I honestly would’ve believed they were newlyweds! I’m so impressed they had this energy about their love and their relationship after 36 years. Definitely a couple to look up to

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  4. Kathryn

    I love the idea of this series. We put so much focus on the weddings that we forget the marriage itself is what’s most important. What an inspiring couple. They look even happier now than they did then! That’s the way it should be. Congrats on 36 years!

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