A Love that Goes On – Verna & Calvin

Interviewed this couple over a year ago for an entirely different project that never launched. So here I am in 2017 FINALLY posting the interview. They have been married for over 20 years and have survived a host of obstacles thrown their way. They seem to be even more in love now than they were 20 years ago. I’d say it’s the good plus the bad that makes for one great love story.

Calvin and Verna – married 24 years and have 2 kids

 

How long did you date before you got married?

Calvin and Verna– 5 years

How did you know this person was “The One”?

Calvin – I didn’t but I will tell you that the very first time I saw her the very first thing out of my mouth was “She’s going to be my wife”. She wouldn’t even give me the time of day.

Verna – I didn’t but after he pursued me for a while I thought maybe he was a good guy. He was the first boyfriend that ever treated me the right way. He was the only guy that I dated that would listen. He’s a very good listener.

What’s the hardest thing about being married?

Calvin – I would say the struggle. We’ve struggled since we’ve been together. As you get older is hard to see your spouse going without normal things that you feel you should be able to provide for them. The hardest thing is seeing my wife sad, seeing her unhappy and knowing that I’m the one that supposed to make her happy and provide that happiness for her.

Verna – The hardest thing being married to me is remembering that being married is a two party thing. Remembering that you can’t make decisions by yourself. Remembering to always include the other person. It’s not a struggle but if you’re used to being independent then it’s hard to communicate “Oh I can’t do this, I need to discuss this with my husband or I can’t do this until we come to an agreement”. So for me it’s hard to remember that it’s not one sided, it two sided – thoughts, feelings, and different things like that.

What’s the best part about being married?

Verna – The best part to me about Calvin to me is he’s always calm. He’s what I call a Mr. Fix it but not in a physical way (insert laughter) because he does not fix things around the house. I saw Mr. Fix it because whatever the issue is, he wants to solve it no matter what. Even if it’s a situation you know you can’t fix, he’s going to try to fix it. He’s always wanting me to be happy. He’s always wanting me to be taken care of. Even if he’s mad he always puts me first. It could be times we’re not even talking and he’ll say “Do you want something to eat?”  [He’s] upset with me but still wants to make sure I have lunch or dinner or breakfast. He’s a very love and concerning person. It’s not just with me, but with people in general. He’s always been a people person and I love that about him because I’m not. I’ve always been anti-social and since been with him I’ve learned that I’m way more social than I used to be.

Calvin – Coming home. It’s coming home to Verna. Just like she said even if she’s upset with me I’ll ask, do you want me to run you a bath? You want me to bathe you? How are you feeling? Let me fix you something to eat. No one ever knew it but I hate being alone and just to see her at the end of a work day –smiling or not, she does it for me. I love when we are able to just sit together and hold each other I’m touchy-feely and I always want to be under here.

What do you love about each other?

Verna – His smile. To me he has the biggest brightest smile and like a light bulb it’s always on. When he smiles, even when I’m upset, his smile memorizes me. When he smiles it’s like OK, I’m melted, I’m butter.

Calvin – Everything. I love her funky attitude, I love it when she breaks down after she realizes she messed up. I love that she appears hard but she’s really a big ol’ baby. She MY big ol’ baby. She’s firm but she’s not mean. She’s so soft hearted and sometimes she makes me feel like I am the only person in the world. Sometimes when she touches me I just get goosebumps all over my body. I don’t’ care if it’s my head, my arms, my back I will get goosebumps all over me. I love her smile, her kiss, her shape but it’s everything about her. It would be her if it wasn’t everything.

How do you make the marriage work through the hard times?

Verna – I think for us is knowing that it won’t always be hard and to know that we are both behind each other. To pray and talk to God but just knowing that He is just by my side. Sometimes I’d think if he wasn’t around I wouldn’t make it through a lot things because he’s the one that keeps me calm and remind me of when we had good times. He’ll make me forget about where we are at the moment. His calmness, his demeanor, his efforts to even make me feel comfortable it what get through the hard times.

Calvin – I believe its communication. When we are able to communicate where we are, where we come from and where we are trying to go gets us through the hard times. We both have faith and both love God so if we communicate that it each other it will get us through. I was in a real dark place. I was in prison and I called home. I was having a rough time and wanted to fight and my wife quoted Philippians 4:8-9 whatever things are pure, whatever are of good report think on these. She said don’t think about the bad things but think about the good. I got that scripture and started reading and meditating on it and when I came home it was a practice that I use when I get down and think about what’s good. In communication we are strategizing on what we are going to do, planning and looking forward.

How do you keep the spark alive?

Calvin – do things differently. Saturday morning Starbucks dates and talk. Verna is good at this. She’ll plan to go to a hotel for the weekend or I’ll come home and she say were going to go somewhere and we end up at massage envy. It’s just different things we do and think about. Mostly her. She does the “sparking”, doing things different, and she keeps me excited. It’s not always about the physical but sometimes just being with her when no one else is around. Being together.

Verna – I think the older we get the more comfortable we become with each other. The older I get the more comfortable I am with myself, learning myself, and allow him to learn with me. SO things that I wouldn’t do earlier in my relationship, I am more willing to try now. Like he said when I schedule a weekend thing I try to keep in mind things he’d want to do. Also different surroundings will make you feel different and will want to do different things. The more we love each other the more we want to make each other happy. There is no limit to what you can do if you want to make each other happy if you’re both open.

Advice for newlyweds?

Verna – getting to know the person really well and being sure that you know the person. Give yourself enough time to know that it was you really want. When you go into a marriage you go into it to stay. If you can make it through the struggle then you really want to be married

Calvin – Pay attention to your spouse. Visible, body language, emotional signals. Put God first.

Dating advice (Calvin to young ladies and Verna to young men)

Calvin – look at where they come from and their families. You can a lot by where they’ve come from. Look at how he treats the ladies in his family, how he treats others, his demeanor and not just how he treats you. If you pay attention you can see the things they even trying to hide from you

Verna – watch the person and make sure they are actually paying attention to you. Make sure you are both on the same page. Make your intentions clear. Ask the major questions like do you want kids? Be upfront with what you want and what you are looking for. Pay attention to their background (past dating habit) and how they are brought up. Your past follows you and is within you so you have to pay attention to those things.

You both have mentioned your faith and God. How important is your faith.

Calvin – It is the most important. What you believe is what you do. We all believed this chair would hold us so we sat down. When you believe something it becomes a habit. The reality check is when everything else fails we come back to God. Our faith in God is our refuge. The scriptures come to life in our lives. We’ve seen it happen. When you practice the principles, you’ll see the results. Even though we have struggled, no matter what we have gone through the bible has never fallen out. God has always come though.

Verna – I agree our faith is very important. Having been a lot of hard times, and in our hard times when referencing back to God, things are falling part, and you realize God is real. Sometimes God will put you in a situation where you are used to going to this person or that friend and God will make it where no one else can help you but go to Him.

Last words/comments?

Verna – Being married is a job. Just like with any job there are ups and down. On your job you want to keep your job. If you want to get married look at it like a job. You want to be the best employee at your job. You should want to be the best wife, be husband. You should be willing to do whatever it takes to make your spouse happy. Marriage is a beautiful thing. Marriage is what you make it. You can make it happy or you can make it miserable. It’s up to you. Always be there for your spouse.

Calvin – plan, strategize, budget. Marriage is also a business. You can have a prosperous business or a failing business. You have to be wise early on and make good decisions with your finances. Invest – even if it’s in yourself. Always put something to the side. Even if it just a couple of dollars, put it to the side and don’t touch it. That way you’ll always have something to fall on.

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