Thanks for being one of my featured couples. I love how yall are with each other. Yall have so much fun and you can just feel the love between the two of you. Definitely marriage goals for us single folks!
LM: Really? That’s so cool.
What attracted you to each other?
TD: We were both young and hungry for more in life.
LM: What is love to you or how would you define it?
TD: Love is timeless, endurance, patience, understanding and forgiving.
LM: Yassss!!! I love that!!! I think people lose sight that love encompasses all these things.
When you were dating, how did you know you were in love with each other?
TD: We couldn’t stay away from each other longer than a day (it was a bit sickening to our parents haha)
LM: How did you know that your spouse was the one?
YD: I knew early.. as a matter of fact, I told him he was my future husband and he said on the inside it scared him (told ya!)
LM: Right!! I think we try to put a time limit on things because of what others say or society. But I also agree that if it’s not moving toward something then it probably never will.
How long did you date before getting engaged?
YD: A little over a year and a half
LM: What is dating with a purpose? Is that a necessity for a relationship?
YD: Dating should be the process of getting to know someone beyond the exterior, to see if there is a true connection.
LM: I so agree!!! I feel like some couples now just date to be dating. They have no end goal even if it’s just to be good friends.
Sex. How important is that during the dating phase? Engagement period? After marriage?
YD: Intimacy can be far beyond sex. Cuddling, discussing dreams, fears, beliefs, and religion etc can be very intimate.. especially for private people. Physically speaking, once you’ve connected emotionally, spiritually, mentally.. wouldn’t you want to make sure the physical connection is just as awesome!?
LM: Yes indeed!! Although it may not be the basis, it’s very important. I so agree with the connection part.
Co-habitation. What are your thoughts on that?
YD: We tried to “not shack” before marriage, however, we were still together and therefore wasted a lot of money, being more concerned with how “it looked” to our families etc. Two people can live together and not sleep together. Just as two people can not live together and still sleep together. Do what sits well in your spirit.. not what seems right to other people.
LM: Yolanda, you just said a mouthful. That’s why I love you. You tell it like it is!! People are so concerned with what other people have to say about their business. I truly don’t care what others think.
So let’s switch up.
Yolanda, how does Lamont support you in your business ventures?
YD: He always encourages me. I can’t think of anything I’ve ever wanted to do that he has ever tried to talk me out of!
LM: Now that is awesome!!! I love that!
Lamont, how proud of her are you? What goes through your mind when you see her doing her thing?
LD: I’m extremely proud of her. As I’ve watched her blossom into her fitness training and how much joy she gets from doing it, it brings me joy. It makes me happy to know she is happy.
LM: Aww. That’s so sweet. Ya’ll are truly amazing as a couple.
Yolanda, how proud of Lamont are you?
YD: I’m so proud of the man he has become. We “grew up together” as a young lady and man.. and he has been such an awesome example to our daughters of what to look for in a man.. and his work with his fraternity for community service.
LM: Yes that is so important. Your daughters are so beautiful and seem well rounded. Community service is very important. As a member of the Divine 9 myself, that is one of the main things they push for us.
Let’s go deeper.
What role does religion or spirituality play in your marriage?
YD: We both believe in God and the power of prayer. We pray together.. and in hard times sometimes one of us has to carry the other. Trials can test your faith at times..so it’s important to have your partner to back you up when you’re the weaker link.
LM: Would it matter if you had different beliefs and if so how?
YD: I’m not sure.. but I can’t imagine a household not being divided if your beliefs are divided.
LM: Me either sis. But I see many couples and have even planned their weddings where the beliefs are so different and they think they can change or convert the spouse after marriage. That’s just not realistic.
Family is very important. Is getting along with his/her family a must?
YD: It’s not a must.. because when you marry YOUR union IS the family.. however, it’s much easier if you all get along.. especially during gatherings and holidays-)
LM: Yes indeed. Everyone getting along just makes things so much better.
How do you deal with the differences in each other’s families?
YD: We respect each other’s families and deal with them according to their personalities. Our families actually knew each other before we met, so we are fortunate to have both sides of the family at our gatherings.
LM: That’s awesome. I think it makes the bonder stronger when both families not only get along but have a relationship outside of the married couple.
What if your wife makes more money? Does that have any effect on the marriage? How so?
YD: We don’t know😂
LM: Lol. Yall are funny. You know I have to play devil’s advocate.
Is dating your spouse required in marriage?
YD: It’s necessary. Both should be responsible for remembering why they love the other one. Sometimes “life” can get in the way of being romantic etc.. so a nice surprise date or planned date is important!
LM: How do you resolve differences?
YD: Communicate regardless. Express how we feel.. try not to go to bed angry and no sleeping on the couch either. Say I love you through it all. Apologize and acknowledge when you’re wrong
LM: All of that!!! When you set a standard like that, I feel your marriage will be so much better.
Children. Do they change the marriage? How so?
YD: Yes! They become a huge part of the marriage (responsibilities, care, time etc )
LM: Money. Can it ruin a marriage?
YD: (Perhaps the love of money and misuse of money) Some couples keep their finances separate especially if their spending habits differ.. others share everything.. which requires a significant amount of trust.. if that is abused or taken for granted then absolutely.
LM: Who handles the money? Do you think it should be a collaborative effort or one person in charge of that?
TD: We both do in different ways.. we both have financial strengths and weaknesses.
LM: What things should you consider about your intended spouse’s finances before engagement or marriage? Or should you even care?
YD: When we got married we had no money to know! We grew together.
LM: I think that may be best sometimes. That means you both work hard to obtain things. Love it!!
What do you do for fun?
YD: We love to eat drink and be merry (even when it’s not the holidays)
LM: Do you think you would still be married this long?
LM: You know a lot of couples say that.
What do you think is the most challenging part of being married? The least challenging?
YD: The rough times/ arguments when you want to throw in the towel.. but you know what you signed up for-). Working together as a team
LM: What has been the greatest obstacle you’ve faced?
TD: Being broke.
LM: What annoys you most about each other?
TD: We’re not going to answer that because …. Lol
LM: Haha. I’m not playing devil’s advocate anymore!!
What’s the one thing that makes you glad you married each other?
TD: We’ve always had each other’s backs even at the worst of times.. just like we said we would!
LM: Any advice for singles looking for love or engaged couples?
YD: Make sure you two get married for “you” .. always put your spouse first. Never let anyone inside your marriage. Define your boundaries of your marriage with one another and make your boundaries clear also to your friends and family
LM: That’s why I love ya’ll!!! Thanks for being a great example of marriage for us all. I truly enjoyed interviewing you two. Thank you.