Snapshot of a Marriage | Adam & Paulina, Married 13 Years

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. 

Just a few months after Adam and Paulina met, Adam was deployed to Bosnia. When he returned, they married, moved from Florida to Maine, and Adam started law school. Five years later he was deployed again to Iraq for a year, where he was just missed by a suicide bomber. And where he did miss the birth of his first child.

“When Adam returned from Iraq, we decided to go to couples counseling because we were having a hard time communicating – it was the best decision we ever made,” Paulina told me.

Now after adding four more children to the family (making up the Fab Five, as they call their gang), Adam and Paulina still carve out time for each other. No kids, phones, television or other distractions. Whether it’s occasional short trips, date nights or simply a few minutes in the morning or evening to talk, it’s an important part of their relationship. “The kids have learned to respect that time as ours,” says Paulina, “because we have made each other a priority.”

And advice for newly-weds? Paulina shared, “Love is a choice. All the thoughtful, sweet, selfless things that you do and receive while dating and during the honeymoon stage are not a given. You both chose to be that way and you have to continue to choose to do those things.”

Photo by Lauren Bodwell.


  • Amelia says:

    What a wonderful feature, and a great concept! Thank you for the powerful and happy reminder of what is really magical about a wedding–it makes a marriage and family that continue on and grow in “real life” after the wedding!

  • I LOVE this series! Thank you guys so much for sharing. I’ll be celebrating 1 year of marriage next week, and advice from lovely couples like this is always appreciated.

  • Love that you’re doing these snapshots. It’s super inspiring! My husband and I got married 5 years ago; it’s good to hear real couples’ stories beyond the big day. Thanks!

  • Love this idea. It is so important. I love their advice, and it is especially true (and hard to do and remember to do) after you have kids. Thanks for sharing and for this new feature!

  • thanks for sharing this Kathryn. I hope there will be more stories like this to come. because weddings are not just the one day!

  • I said it on the last post and I’ll say it again, I love this series! It gets me excited for all the years ahead with my husband

  • ALEIDA says:

    Although I have not yet gotten married, I do believe this is true. I’m so happy for Paulina and Adam. Seeing them with their children is lovely.

  • Love really is a choice and it’s great that she chose to focus on that in her words about marriage. It looks like this family is going strong! It’s so fun to read about couples long after they exchanged their vows to see who they’ve grown in their lives and in their marriage.

  • Completely agree, both on the choices to be loving and caring and the need to make time for each other. The reason why many couples become tired in their relationship is because things are taken for granted and there stops existing the proactivity that was present in the early stages. If we all recall the effort we put in when we were dating, we will realize it wasn’t an automatic thing. So, as we spend time together as a married couple, we will need to equally seek to make time and space just for the two of us and our relationship.

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