Becoming One: Dave & Mariah

by Andrea Cooley

In October when we were writing about capturing the spark in your marriage, we asked other bloggers to share insights into what made their marriages work. Those posts were some of our favorites, so we thought we’d bring it back on a semi-regular basis.

Today, I’m so excited to have my dear friend Mariah share about her marriage! She is an amazing woman of faith, who I have had the privilege of praying and serving and watching episodes of Glee with for the last few years. She and her husband Dave are an awesome team. Among other things, they are super-talented photographers/videographers. Looking at their work almost makes me want to get married again just so they could take the photos!

Enough of my blabbing! Here’s Mariah:
When did you get married?
September 20, 2009

How long did you date before getting married?
Now this is a tricky question. The answer is close to 3 or 4 years. It was in April 2005 when I set my heart on marrying Dave while we were friends. It wasn’t until December of that year that we began to discuss a relationship before I moved out of state for six months. We both only intended to date with the anticipation of marriage, so it was a weighty decision, mostly on his part because I had already decided. During this time out of state, we texted messaged and wrote each other letters. He even sent me dried, pressed flowers in the mail at least once. I think seeing the movie Stranger than Fiction was our first official date-date by ourselves which was in the theaters in November of 2006 (according to Wikipedia).

What was one of your biggest challenges the first few months of marriage?
For the first month we were living in Dave’s tiny, bachelor pad of an apartment. It was a pit, and I knew we were moving soon so I didn’t bother fixing it. We squished into his twin-size bed for a while, and then I took to sleeping on the couch. Eventually we pushed the couch into the bedroom. I also remember being gravely aware that when we would have an argument I couldn’t just go home as I may or may not have done while we were dating. Oh, and then there were the crutches.

What was something you wish you’d known before the wedding?
I wanted to spend more time talking about finances before we got married, but we were busy and didn’t. I kind of freaked out for a while when I considered Dave and I having joint bank accounts. I have always balanced my checkbook to the penny, and Dave has probably never recorded a transaction ever. I talked to my dad about this one evening expecting him to harmonize with me in griping about people who don’t balance their checkbooks. Instead, he told me that if I didn’t trust Dave enough to share a checking account, we shouldn’t be getting married, and I really needed to hear that. Our finances is an area that once married, we slowly learned our roles in. If I want the checkbook balanced, 1.) I need to do it, and 2.) I need to remind Dave oh, so kindly to save his receipts for me.

What have you learned since you’ve been married?
We are slowly learning to better communicate with one another. A big part of this is me learning to be quiet and let Dave talk. I can hold a conversation by myself, no, actually just me alone. So it’s no wonder that I can easily talk a lot when people are around to. I also usually know what Dave is going to say, I can say it faster and possibly communicate it better. But that is terrible! I’m learning to slow down and celebrate this awesome guy I married by letting him have a voice, his voice, in public and in private. And so many times I am surprised at just how brilliant and understanding he is when I give him the chance to be.

All of that is to say, I’m learning to better serve him and love him.

What’s the best part about being married?
Marriage is awesome. I always had this angst and longing for something, and soon after we were married, I realized I felt a new level of satisfaction, peace, and rest (I also finished college three weeks before our wedding date so that may have had something to do with it!). Truly, I love getting to spend so much time with the one person I want to spend so much time with! He knows me best and knows how to encourage me. Dave is also great at encouraging me to DO things. So when there is a project I am uncertain of, it is nice to have that little kick to get going and make sure I finish.

*Want to be part of our series? Send us an email and we’d love to hear your story!

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Andrea Cooley

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