I have known Southern K(elle) since I was 23. We first met when we worked together in advertising. She was so different than me that at first I didn't know if I liked her. In fact, she always remembers that I notoriously told her we wouldn't have been friends in high school, which I stand by. That's the beauty of adulthood, that we can be friends now. Anyway, then, one day, it hit me like a ton of bricks: duh, she's awesome! We both left that company to pursue a different career and ironically the same different career! I've watched her get married, make a life with her husband, and most recently, become a mother. Truth be told, Southern K(elle) is one of *my* marriage role models. She and her husband are one of the best couples (and some of the kindest, smartest people) I know! I'm so happy she agreed to share her views on marriage role models with us! Enjoy!
1. Marty Created Alias? Southern K(elle) (She's from the south and her name starts w/K. Plus, she's totally demure and sweet. Just like a southern belle!)
2. What is your marital status? (If you are married, please tell me how long you've been married.)
I am married--it will be seven years soon.
3. Growing up, what was your view of marriage?
Growing up, I think I viewed marriage as the "norm". Most of my friends' parents were married, and my parents were married--happily so, almost to a ridiculous degree. I assumed that I would meet someone and have a relationship like my parents' marriage--best friends who are playful and supportive, but who also know how to fight fairly and make up and apologize when needed. I also assumed that I would marry someone who would do their share of the work around the house, and with whatever kids we would have one day.
4. Do you feel like you have strong role models for marriage in your life?
Yes. I think my parents have a strong marriage, as did Joe's. The funny part is that both couples functioned very differently--my parents do EVERYTHING together, and Joe's parents had a few things they did together and a few "couple" friends, but mostly had very separately defined groups of friends, responsibilities, and hobbies and activities. Joe and I fall somewhere in between. We both love to spend time together and try new things together, but we have some separate interests and friends. If we spent as much time together as my parents do, we would probably strangle each other. I think that's how it works, though. There's no one right way to be married, you just have to do what works for you. What all three marriages have in common (my parents', his parents', and ours) is respect for each other, support, and a desire to make the other person feel appreciated.
4a. If yes, how do you feel like they affect your marriage?
Again, I think Joe and I have found the middle ground between how our parents' marriages function. We were both raised with the luxury of believing that marriage was forever, no matter what. It makes saying "I do" really intimidating when you know it will be forever, but I also think it allows you to be yourself more, to hold opinions that are different than your spouse, and to go through difficult periods together, when your mentality is that divorce is not an option. I realize that having two sets of parents who have stayed married puts us in the minority, so I am grateful to have them both as role models.
4b. If no, is/was this a concern for you? Do you wish you had better marriage role models?
5. Do you think having positive marriage role models is important to a successful marriage? Why or why not?
I would have to assume it is. Again, I consider it a luxury that Joe and I both have parents who stayed married. I probably took it for granted when I was younger, but I realize now that a lot of the ways we treat each other and make decisions, and the way we have handled the new development of having Tess, are most likely from what we learned from our parents. I probably sought out someone who treated me the way my dad treated my mom, and he probably sought out someone who treated him the same way his mom treated his dad. Except with a way dirtier mind :)
Thank you so much for agreeing to share with us!
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(Photo by Theresa Scarbrough)