Photographer, wife to my college sweetheart, mama of 3, sushi lover, ADVENTUROUS-HOMEBODY, and believer in unconditional love.

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7 Questions You Wanted Answered About my Marriage

Personal

A few months ago, I asked some of my friends on Facebook for some questions that they would like me to answer about marriage. So in honor of my 3 year wedding anniversary I answered the questions!
I hope I provide and help any of you with practical tips or perspective. Marriage is such a beautiful thing, but comes with challenges + some different challenges being in an interracial one. I’m all about embracing what you can’t change, but finding ways to resolve things that can be different.

  1. “How do you balance the time for the kids/hubby?”
    • I honestly don’t have a clear, cookie cutter answer, I mainly go with the flow on this one. All of our schedules are never consistent so when we all happen to be home, we make the most of it. We even will kind of encourage one another not to fall asleep, be on phone, or go in our room, so that we can just spend time together.
      • The most special, bonding moments with our son, have been late at night. So parents of teens, sometimes, just be available and embrace the time they want to spend with you, even if it means a little less sleep.
      • If we can sit down for a meal we will. I’m personally not ok with people eating in different rooms. So if we are all here, let’s sit, eat and talk.
      • Hubby and I try to do date nights, grab lunch, or just take a drive to get our daughter to sleep, or go for a walk. We just are intentional about making time together.
        • There seems to be this internal unction in us that tells us when we need to make time. But we have been making a more regular schedule to make things easier and gives you something to look forward to in your week.
        • At least once a year we are trying to get away, just the two of us for our anniversary. This past trip was super important to us!
          • And we are also trying to do at least one, “unplugged,” family vacation too.

 2. “What are some techniques you’ve applied in your household to manage the “small” things (cleaning, meals, laundry, etc)?”

  • Meals, I pretty much cook a few times a week and always cook more than what we are going to eat. I honestly cook the same things unless I’m feeling creative and want to try something new.
  • The best way to say time and money is to meal plan, then go grocery shopping at beginning of week and have whoever is out to pick up those random items you may need to buy more of throughout the week.
    • I also try to cook with whatever is in my cupboard before buying more things. Tip I found when learning more ways into getting out of debt. Just get creative!
    • As for laundry, I usually do it one day a week, but I do  2-3 loads, back-to-back. I just like getting things all done at once. I get in cleaning “modes.” And yes, I’m a wash, dry, fold, and put away, all in the same day type of person (haha).
    • Between my husband and I, there is an unspoken rule where we pick up the house by putting all the random things away and dishes cleaned, before we leave the house and before we go to sleep. I have simplified the house and made a place for everything, so picking up usually takes just 5-10 minutes.
      • This helps me go to bed in peace, as well as give everyone a fresh start to the day, and I’m not worried if I randomly invite someone back to my house after we are out.

3. “How often to you pray for one another?”

  • I wish I could say, “every night before bed,” but honestly we pray for each other usually when the person asks or when we feel the other person needs to be prayed over. I mean, we pray for each other in our private prayer time, of course, but praying together out loud tends to be more sporadic.
  • We always pray before we eat together as a family and hold hands.
    • It’s cute watching Hopey bow her head and close her eyes, because after a few seconds she peeks to look at us. Then she claps when we say, “Amen.”
    • We definitely are trying to make prayer time more of a rhythm, and do that together as a family in the morning before we all start our days. And if for some reason we all aren’t up at the same time, we make sure to pray with our son on the way to school.
      • We love spiritual disciplines, but we also love when prayer is organic + natural, because it is about a relationship.

4. “What is the most valuable lesson you have discovered about marriage that you did not know before?”

  • Jeremy said, “As a man, not every thing is your fault, but it is your responsibility.” Jeremy definitely instills the rule that we have to talk through everything until it is resolved, so we have family meetings for any negative circumstances that need to be talked through.
    • He truly is such a gift to our home, because whenever there are really tough situations, he always knows how to deescalate and bring peace to the home.
    • I personally realized how much my presence + mood can influence my home. My countenance dramatically makes a difference in how our home feels. So I do my best not to let any negative emotions or stressors that I am experiencing consume me and allow me to carry that around.
      • Your home should be the place of peace, comfort, growth, and love. Sometimes your kids need to learn to be sensitive to you when you are going through a hard time, but they also don’t need to get the backlash of what you may be going through, or given the worst of you. Some things are meant to only be talked about and/or expressed with your spouse.

5. “When you have a disagreement, how do you resolve it?”

  • We TALK. We talk until it is resolved and that we have come to an understanding.  Best advice in this, that Jeremy told me to mention is, “it’s important to seek to listen to understand them, rather than to be understood.”
    • I had a hard time in the beginning of our relationship because when I would get upset, especially hurt, I just wanted to shut down, retreat, and not talk. As time has gone on, I basically learned to force myself to talk and share my feeling, even when I didn’t want to. Obviously there is more trust and usually if he hurt me, it is unintentional.
    • Now, I love resolving issues and moving forward way more than I love staying upset, so I just usually express right then and there what is wrong.
    • Don’t let your pride and the desire to be “right,” dictate your happiness and the unity between your spouse.
      • The golden rule I tell every new couple is, “the first person to say sorry wins.” It doesn’t matter if I said one thing wrong, and Jeremy said 5 things, I still need to apologize for the one.
        • 9 times out of 10, as soon as you say sorry, they follow with their apology as well.
        • The ultimate goal in marriage is deeper intimacy, so whoever is trying to get there first is the winner in my eyes.

6. What are your biggest challenges and how do you overcome them?

  • This past year of having two kids, for the first time, at the same time, was the most difficult so far.
    • Between my son adjusting and helping him work through the changes in his life (which was mentally and emotionally exhausting), my daughter physically draining me (due to lack of sleep and being completely breast fed), and Jeremy juggling the weight of working his 4 jobs; we had some tough times.
    • But never giving up, open communication, thinking the best of one another, and A LOT of prayer got us through.
    • I think the biggest current challenge is finding a work/life balance. Especially since both of our jobs are a lot of self management, it is difficult to create schedules and carve out times that are designated for each thing.
      • We are realizing the importance of systems, structure, and being protective of your schedule. We are currently working on this because I think in each season you need to adjust and make changes to dictate how your lifestyle is at that point in time.
      • I heard that there is no such thing  as “work/life balance” when you have a family, but regardless, I believe my family can do better + create systems to help us reach the goals we want to accomplish.

7. Part 1 “What are some challenges you have dealt with being an interracial couple?” 

  • (sigh) I wish there weren’t any challenges, but unfortunately that isn’t the world we live in. Grateful it isn’t illegal anymore to have an interracial marriage, but there are still challenges that come and people who are not ok with it.
    • I remember early on when we were dating, as we were coming out of a grocery store and I walked around the other side of the car after I passed this old, white lady, and she told Jeremy that he was “infecting a white woman.”  She said this as if he had some disease, just because he has some extra Melanin than me. He didn’t tell me till we drove off, but she is lucky I didn’t hear her say that, I’ll say that much! 😉 But we honestly just prayed for her, because it’s unfortunate she would even have those types of feelings in her heart.
    • There definitely has been racial tension in relationships and people not understanding another person’s experience. I think it’s hard for people to understand that people of different races have different experiences, and just because we may have been taught that isn’t how the world is, doesn’t mean that is true.  So that lack of understanding has caused division.
    • Overall the toughest part at first was realizing and talking through our different experiences, and which dictated how we saw the world and some issues differently. I think the biggest thing that helped us through those tough conversations was a lot of listening, putting yourself in the other person’s shoes, and lots of grace.
      • The one beautiful thing we have come to realize in our relationship is that because of him being a black male, there is an oppression that he experiences, that I cannot understand unless I engage with him about that. Also, as a woman, I have experiences of oppression due to my gender, that he cannot understand unless I talk with him through those things.
        • So the beauty is, we both listen to one another through the lens of how we would want the other person to listen us, and with an empathetic posture.

7. Part 2 “What advice would you give other young interracial couples moving forward ?”

  • I would have to say, don’t give up. Yes, it is difficult and you won’t have the same struggles as someone who marries someone of the same cultural + ethnic background, but if you love the person it is worth it.
    • The good thing is, love, compatibility and the direction you both want to go in, has nothing to do with the color of your skin.
    • Embrace each other’s culture. Each of you bring so much beauty and diversity to the table, instead of trying to make the other assimilate to your way of living, thinking, or doing, try embracing theirs.
      • I’m a firm believer that there are beautiful things in every culture, but that there are also some not so good things, and to work through which things you will decide to keep.
        • For example, say in my culture, my family is conflict avoidant, so we don’t confront issues head on, and deal with them by having tough conversations. That may have been what I was taught, but that doesn’t mean that is the healthy way to do things, so I need to now unlearn that and learn how to work through issues, without avoiding them.
        • On the other side, my spouse should understand it is hard for me to have those tough conversations and give me grace, as well as extra encouragement in moments when I would be working through that.
        • You both need to be headed in the same direction, to wherever that looks like for each couple.
          • My hubby and I honestly rarely fight, which I think is because of our great communication, respect, and having a lot of things in common. We see situations very similar, but ultimately we both want God to direct our life, so whatever that looks like, we are down.  I think that is super important to figure out what your goals are and where you both want to go as individuals, as a couple, and as a family (if you decide to have one.) Those are huge components when you are trying to determine if that person is meant to be your spouse for the long haul.
          • Marriage is about developing deep intimacy and unity, and doing whatever it takes to get there. If you aren’t up for the challenge, regardless of the obstacles, than I would try to determine that before the wedding day.

Well y’all, I hope this helps you in any way!!! My marriage by no means is perfect. We are still growing and learning, but we definitely have great communication + deep friendship. We create time to self-reflect and express to one another areas where we need to grow. HUMILITY in marriage is key, as well as a soft heart. I always say, “It’s not what you say, but HOW you say it.”

So please, I would LOVE  if you could comment with any thoughts, feedback, or more questions you may have. I appreciate you taking the time to read this, and pray that my answers were at least somewhat helpful! 😘

Much joy,

Charity HOPE

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  1. Larissa says:

    Thank you for sharing this. Definitely encouraging.

  2. Crystal says:

    I have been married for seven years now and I loved your honesty and real ness in this post. Thank you for sharing and opening up your marriage for others to see. This will truly help my husband and I redefine our marriage and what it looks like. Blessings to you and your family.

  3. Jasmine says:

    Love this!

  4. Cheri Williams says:

    Great job, Char! Very informative and helpful. I love you both and appreciate the wonderful example of Christ and His unconditional love you demonstrate daily . Lots of love and respect, Mom

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