Reaching across Generations, an Interview with Sandra

I’m sitting here in my virtual living room with Sandra, of one of my favorite blogs Add Humor and Faith…mix well. I absolutely love her stories, especially the ones about her and her Hubby. And I actually wanted to have her over (virtually) for Valentine’s Day, to talk about love and marriage. But because of things happening on my end, I couldn’t pull it together. But I’m happy she’s able to spend some time with us today.

Hi, Sandy.

Hi, Tim!

As I understand it, you and Hubby will be married 45 years this coming June—the day, in fact, just before I turn “only 42.” A city girl and a country boy. And you’ve been in love with him since you were 15. How did you and Hubby first meet?

On New Year’s Eve when I was 15, I was staying overnight with my friend, Robyn. Her boyfriend, Wayne, called from a party he was at to tell her that he would like to stop over for a little while at midnight to see in the new year with her. But, she explained that I was there. No problem. He said he had a friend that he had wanted me to meet anyway, and that friend just happened to be right there at the party too! Okay, Robyn told him they could both stop over for just a little while.

When Wayne hung up the phone, he definitely had a problem. He didn’t really have a friend in mind to introduce me to, so he needed to find somebody quick! He looked around the room and his eyes landed on his friend Jim (probably one of the taller guys in the room, so he stood out). So he went over and gave Jim a “sales pitch” about Robyn’s friend—no surprise that Wayne then spent his entire adult life as a car salesman!—and convinced Jim to come with him to meet Robyn’s friend. The rest is history. Jim and I went together, off and on, for the rest of high school and married a year after I graduated. So, I’ve always given Wayne credit for picking my husband for me!

You once wrote that you got married at 19 years old “for all the normal teenage reasons.” Young people now think that’s too young to get married, and that their marriage will be more likely to fail unless they wait. Do you think your marriage was ever in danger because you got married so young?

That is such a good question. But when I think about it, I guess I would say that if anything getting married young helped rather than endangered our marriage.

First of all, because we were so young, we didn’t bring a lot of baggage from other relationships to the marriage. I think it specifically strengthened our bond that we had neither had premarital sex with each other or anyone else. But on the other hand, I also think it was a plus that we had both dated some other people at different times when we were not dating each other. I think the experience we gained from dating others helped us know more about how to make our own relationship better.

Also, we decided going into the marriage that we would wait awhile to have children. So for the two years we were married before we became parents we did a lot of growing up and also a lot of bonding just as a couple, before children were thrown into the mix. I feel like those two years of “just us” allowed us time to “learn” how to be married and to be grown ups.

Who taught you how to make a marriage work?

We both had happily married parents. Our parents had taught us all our lives, by their actions and words, what made a successful marriage work.

What one best piece of advice can you give young married couples, just starting out?

Always speak respectfully and kindly of your spouse. Put his best foot forward for him!

When a group of women are together, invariably there will be one or two who make little remarks about their husbands’ shortcomings. Most of the time, these are women I know well enough to know that they love their husbands. I don’t think they even realize that they are making their husbands look bad to their friends.

My theory is: If I only share my husband’s best qualities when I am talking to others, doesn’t that makes me look “brilliant” for having chosen him? On the other hand, if I talk badly about my spouse and make him look bad to others, aren’t I really saying, “How dumb was I to marry that idiot!”?

Also, I do believe that people in general tend to live up to what is said about them. I know myself, that if I hear my husband tell someone how well I do something, you can bet that that is something that I’m going to do my best to be good at!

Throughout our marriage I have many times told people, “I have been president of Jimmy’s fan club since I was 15 years old.”

There’s also a little self-talk involved in this. If you are constantly looking for his good points, it just makes it that much easier to love him!

Wow. Even I am thinking that’s profound. Thanks so much for sharing with us, Sandra.

Be sure to check out Sandra’s blog Add Humor and Faith…mix well and read some of the stories of her experiences.

Till next time…