• Shakina Cooley

“The Secret Sauce”


Me: What would you say is the “glue” that holds your marriage together? Your “secret sauce”?

”We have a genuine respect for one another. In the 9 years I’ve known him, there has never been a time when I had to question his loyalty to me or our kids. Most people who know my husband say he is just a good guy.” -Anonymous, married 8 years

“I would say for us, first and foremost, commitment-to God-He is the very center of our lives and marriage… we pray for and with one another. Our commitment to our marriage and vows, from that day, divorce was not an option. We will work together to find a solution to any issue, which brings me to the next ingredient of our “sauce”. Communication (this one we really had to work on, so it wasn’t easy or overnight success, but we got it now). We talk often and about everything, the good, bad, whatever it is, we talk because holding it in makes it worse every time. And finally, laughter. We seriously laugh A LOT. He is my best friend for sure.” Bianca James, married 11 years

“Our shared love of God. We both love and admire how the other person loves God. Communication- we talk about EVERYTHING. We laugh and talk, we do not argue. We try to peacefully solve our issues.” Luvenia Smothers, married 26 years

“Prayer. I would definitely have to say that prayer is the key to my marriage. Prayer about any and everything.” -Anonymous, married 13 years

“Humor. We try to laugh and always remember why we’re friends first.” -Anonymous, married 5.5 years

Me: What would you say has been the biggest lesson/harshest reality you’ve learned about marriage?

“I would ask him to change certain and he would, but when he would ask me to change something, I would hesitate or wouldn’t do it because I didn’t feel it was a problem. I had to realize that if he was willing to change, I have to be too.” -Anonymous, married 8 years

“Do not let outsiders into your marriage. No friends, family, coworkers, nobody. It’s you and him. Do NOT tell people your business.” Luvenia Smothers, married 26 years

“Communication is key!! Talk about everything…even the more difficult conversations like finances for example, it is an absolute must! Not communicating leads to resentment or lack of trust or a number of other issues that can be preventable just by communicating in my opinion!!! But equally as important in communicating is listening. Actively listen to your spouse… their needs, wants, values, dreams and goals. Be present. Push each other to go after dreams and be the best version of ourselves. Always be willing to learn and grow individually and collectively…respect, encourage, and accept the growth of your spouse. We were in college when we began dating so we are definitely not the same now as we were then. Lastly, no one is perfect…no marriage is perfect…but we are perfect for each other! Love unconditionally, date often, surround yourself with other healthy couples to gain wisdom for longevity but ultimately do what works for your relationship” Bianca James, married 11 years

“Sharing myself with someone else. It’s not ‘me’, ‘my’, ‘mine’, it’s now ‘ours’. I can’t just think about my wants and needs anymore. I have to consider what he wants, what he needs.” -Anonymous, married 13 years

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