Hey Wedlock Gisters!!
Hope you checked out and enjoyed Joy’s version <—- of their journey yesterday! As promised, if you loved and related to Joy’s answers, wait till you read John’s!! We definitely could feel the love and respect that they both share through John and Joy’s thorough responses; their openness and honesty about both the ‘ups’, ‘downs’ and everything ‘in between’ of marriage is truly admirable and shows how comfortable they are with one another! Even though they did not set out to offer relationship advice, we believe that by generously sharing their journey, they have inadvertently done just that!! Our hope is that their story and that of other Wedlock Gisters will help strengthen other couples as they navigate through their marriage journey as well!
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Enjoy John’s Wedlock Gist below:
How did you meet and how long have you been married?
We met online in 2007. I had recently started dating again after getting out of a long-term relationship and had done some online dating but was done with it. A friend of mine kept hounding me to try one more time. I finally did and Joy was the woman I met. Lucky me. Funny thing is that the ad I answered was one Joy didn’t even know existed. Her sister had put it up and was screening all of the people who responded to it. Guess I said some good stuff, lol.
What makes your relationship special?
The fact that we can finish each other’s sentences. It means that we really do know each other well and we understand what the other person is thinking and usually, why they think the way they do. I have seen a lot of couples that aren’t able to do this and the strain it can put on their relationships, so I’m glad that we are able to read each other so well. It allows us to meet each other’s needs effectively.
What has pleasantly surprised you about marriage (your relationship)?
Our ability to communicate as effectively as we do. Joy is not much of a talker and she likes to keep things inside until she has had time to think them through (sometimes over thinking) and then talk about it. That can mean that there are times that she holds something and we end up not talking about it until weeks after it happened and I am caught off guard. However, Joy has gotten much better at not doing that and at being able to talk about things when they happen. And, in turn, I have gotten better about letting her keep things in when she needs to and being ready to talk about them whenever she is.
If you knew what you know now about marriage (your relationship), what piece of advice would have given yourself before you took the plunge?
Take some time to understand what it means to get married. There are going to be things you have to give up, some of which you may have been doing your whole life. There will be other things you don’t have to give up, but you may not get to do them as often. It is important to take the time to really understand what that means and make sure you are ok with it. Also, it helps to deal with that change if you realize that you will be gaining new experiences and routines that you could not have gained without marriage and that most of them are going to be great experiences that you get to share with someone you really love.
Any differences that you both had to adjust to in your relationship (e.g. cultural, religious, background etc.)?
Holidays are pretty interesting. We just don’t celebrate them the same way. Our traditions (things we each did with our families before getting married) are different so we have had to learn how to incorporate different pieces of them together, while also infusing some of our own. Making our own family traditions has definitely helped with that process. But I think it is tough for Joy sometimes to be with my family on Thanksgiving and see that our feast is more of a traditional American one (with turkey, stuffing, etc) as opposed to the Nigerian one that has pretty much every food you can think of. We’ve also had to adjust to not being with our families for every holiday. We have come to a good compromise, but again, it also helps that we do our own “family” things as well.
What is it that keeps you and your spouse together?
As corny as it may sound, I think it is because we really do compliment and complete each other. Where I am not necessarily a good time manager, Joy is. Where I am not as good with a budget and finances, Joy is. Where I am not always the most care taking type of person with Jordan (I prefer to play with her and so forth) Joy is. And the list goes on and on and I think there are plenty of things she could tell you that she is not, that I am. So it works.
What are you willing to share about your relationship that might help other couples in their journey?
Communication and trust are key. Joy and I don’t always agree on things and those disagreements can lead to periods of what our Pastor likes to call, “intense fellowship” but at the end of the day, you each need to be able to clearly articulate your thoughts and feelings to the other person without fear that they will become angry or make fun of you or tease you in any way. The way you feel is the way you feel and there is nothing wrong with that. That is where the trust comes in. You also have to trust that just because you disagree about something, that doesn’t mean your partner is going to do something stupid in response.
Share interesting aspects of your union (e.g. story, pictures, video etc.) that will make us smile, laugh, think, cry or feel inspired and come up higher in our lives) etc.
Watching Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune together every night. This would be a real treat for anyone who could watch us when we do it. Joy will shout out random answers in Jeopardy and then be nowhere near correct and say she could get money because she had a letter right or something like that. Or she will run an entire category with wrong answers and pat herself on the back for nailing the category. Wheel of Fortune is even better because her answers are even more off. We have so much fun laughing at the absurdity of the answers we each give and teasing each other about them, and about the contestants themselves, that it really is a nice way to wind down at the end of the day. We crack ourselves up
What is your cultural/ethnic background and does it play a part in marriage?
I am white and American (best country on the planet, period.) and Joy is black and Nigerian. Both of our cultures and backgrounds play a big part in our marriage because we each want to learn about the other’s culture and we want to incorporate aspects of both into our marriage. Especially because we want Jordan to see all of where she comes from and be able to embrace the fact that she is part of so much.
Have a little fun when completing this sentence in your own words: “Marriage is…………..”
Full of good days and bad. But our good days way outweigh our bad days and even on a bad day, I am glad to have Joy to share all of it with.
Out of the following categories, which one do you most closely identify with? : Newlyweds, The Journey, Empty Nesters
Many thanks to Joy, John and Jordan for sharing their beautiful family and journey with us! Their marriage reminds us of a quote from Jennifer Smith that says, “Marriage is a mosaic you build with your spouse. Millions of tiny moments that create your love story”.
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