It was so fun to catch up with one of the first couples with whom we worked – Tony and Susan Williams! Eleven years later, we vividly remember working with them and having the best time. Their awesome attitude, their desire to learn, and their deep friendship with each other made them a pleasure to coach!
Tony and Susan started working with us in 2008 and continued working with us off and on until just before their 2009 wedding! Even though they were already super healthy when they walked through our doors, Susan said she wanted us to dig and uncover topics they had not thought to broach with each other. They met in the Liberty University Band in 2005, developed a friendship, began dating eight months later, and the rest is history!
Watch the interview to hear their awesome proposal story!
Tony and Susan are currently living in Columbus, Ohio with their three beautiful daughters and we enjoyed reconnecting with them. We hope their interview is an encouragement to you as you prepare for marriage!
Highlights from the interview:
- Become best friends!
- Twelve years later, they are still thankful they made the premarital counseling investment in their relationship.
- They had already done a thorough job getting to know each other and building a solid foundation but believed there was still more they needed to discuss.
- Both are of the opinion that marriage is a commitment for life. Because of their belief in covenantal marriage, they wanted to prepare as well as possible for such a mammoth decision.
- Learn to fight fair.
- They have chosen not to yell at each other in their arguments and have remained faithful to that commitment. (They have me beat!)
- They recommend giving your partner time to process.
- Instead of fighting, have “exercises in marital communication.” ~smile~
- Shared goals have been huge to their relationship.
- They made a giant move early in their marriage.
- If they had not agreed on (and been committed to) their shared mission, one or both might have walked away when the going got tough.
- Advice they still remember from our sessions:
- Susan – She remembers Eric telling her they were going to change over time. She did not believe it at the time, but it turned out to be true. We all change!
- Tony – Learning to fight fair made an impact on him – not only in his marriage but in his career and parenting.
- “Selfish pride has no place in a marriage.” – Tony
- Play the question game! Rules are as follows:
- Either person can say at any time, “Your question!” giving the other person a chance to ask any question. (If you are dating, keep the questions clean! No need to spark what is not ready to be sparked. [cf. Song of Solomon 2:7, 3:5 and 8:4])
- Each person must answer honestly.
- If you ask the question, you must be willing to answer the question.
- Be respectful of each other’s answers.
- A new question cannot be asked until the last question has been fully answered.
- If your partner is not prepared to answer, he or she can take some time to think before answering (anywhere from a few minutes to a few days).
- Every couple is different. “Be engaged as long as you need to be engaged. It’s not a race. Don’t run to the altar because you think it’s going to make everything all better. It’s not. Do the work. Put the effort in, and make sure this is the person you want to spend forever with.” – Susan
- Tony and Susan knew each was “the one” when… watch and see!