Back from hiatus! For those who don't know, Bryan and I just got married two weeks ago! It feels great to finally say we are ONE. We enjoyed answering the questions below and hope you get something out of it! We chose questions that allowed us to be open and honest in our responses. Our hope is to inspire and inform. As always, please leave any questions or comments below. Enjoy!
What is the biggest misconception out there about love and commitment in the media?
[Bryan]: The biggest misconception in the media is that finding the person that's meant for you = not having to work after you find that person. In other words, the media portrays a “happily ever after” love story, where marriage is the end-all-be-all. In fact, just the opposite is true. The work begins AFTER the wedding. We have to work to sustain what we have. Rarely does the media show the work.
[Shannon]: The biggest misconception in the media is that a happy marriage is impossible; that there is just no possible way that it can work. We are plagued with images of infidelity and miserable spouses, people shouting left and right “don’t do it!” It’s like, dude….where are the images of happy, healthy marriages? A satisfying committed relationship is today’s version of a unicorn.
You are a fly young Black couple (hey thanks!). Many people probably look at you and think #relationshipgoals. What is one part of your relationship that people do not see from the outside looking in?
[Bryan]: Discipline - being a disciplined partner to Shannon as well as doing what others say can't be done (i.e. staying faithful in a monogamous relationship). The common trust issues out there aren't issues we even contend with here - Shannon and I are beyond that. It’s important to note however, that we exercise discipline within ourselves too. Our discipline is more than honoring fidelity. It’s reminding ourselves of the bigger picture when we get into a fight. It’s knowing that the answer isn’t simply to end the relationship because we aren't cool at the moment. we put in a lot of work; we are tenacious.
[Shannon]: Great question. What people don’t see on the outside looking in is the amount of times we “die to self.” The number of times that we as individuals have to suck it up and keep moving, even when we don’t see eye to eye on an issue. The “die to self” concept is something that we learned in our marriage prep class and it completely changed my outlook on relationships.
My “self” wants to roll my eyes and give the silent treatment when Bryan does something I don’t like. As a wife, ain’t nobody got time for that!
Learning to mature and move beyond “ok, what does my flesh want to do in this moment?” to “ok, take a breather. Is it really that deep?” And if it is, maturely self-evaluating and communicating what’s going on with him. This is MUCH easier said than done but we’re working on it.
If you're comfortable, can you discuss a challenge that you've had and how you've managed to overcome it as a team?
[Both] Sure. One challenge we’ve had is the timing involved in our conflict resolution. This has been something we have struggled with because we each have our own way of dealing with conflict. Shannon prefers immediate resolution while Bryan prefers to take some alone time before he addresses the issue. In other words, we haven't seen eye-to-eye on how quickly to resolve things. This is a work in progress but we are working toward "fighting fair" and making sure that we watch what we say when trying to pull ourselves out of a conflict. Recently, we reached a compromise of giving ourselves 30 minutes to cool off after something goes down before we try to resolve it. So far, so good.
If you had a daughter and wanted to instill wisdom in her about love and commitment, what would you tell her? What would you tell your son?
[Shannon]: I would tell her that it's okay to evolve as a woman. Try to find a partner who is also ok with your evolution. Who you are now may be completely different than who you are in five years. If your partner is willing to move and grow with you, that’s a blessing.
[Bryan]: Have knowledge of self. Don't commit to anything you won't follow through on. Don't bite off more than you can chew. In relationships, external forces or social conditioning may start to tell you what you should be doing. Stick to what feels authentic to you. Never start anything that you don't believe in or that you won't follow through on.
Thank you for reading. Newlywed life is off to a great start. Please keep us in your prayers! We appreciate the love and support. - B & S
Until next time...