The New Wifestyle Profiles | Christina
hooray! it’s time for another wifestyle profile! today i am so happy to introduce you to christina, she is a newlywed and has a unique take on marriage after watching her own parents’ marriage evolve but i’ll let her tell her own story.
let’s show her some love and she has some thought provoking questions at the end of her post so answer away!
Greetings, fellow wifestylers! My name is Christina and I recently launched Christina’s Best Life. My blog is a great creative outlet for me, and it encourages me to discover how to live my “best” life. Currently, that means a lot of posts about delicious food I’ve tried and creative outfits I’ve worn in my current home—Nashville. I hope that my blog helps inspire other women to explore the experiences that define their “best life.”
In Sickness and in Health
My mom was 42 when I was born. My dad was 46. As a child, I developed an awareness that my parents were older than most of my friend’s parents. I’ll never forget the day my dad picked me up at my middle school and a classmate practically shouted, “Is that your grandpa?” With some embarrassment I responded, “No, he’s my dad.”
Certain aspects of my dad’s health were discussed openly around me. For example, I knew what arthritis was and that my dad took medicine for it. And in 2000, at the age of 58, my dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. For over a decade I watched my dad go from playing Frisbee with me in our driveway every chance he had – to using a walker, then a wheelchair. He passed away in 2011, a few months before I graduated college.
While my dad’s physical and mental health declined, my mom’s love for both my dad and I only got stronger. She took all of the stress of my dad’s worsening health upon herself so that I could stay fully immersed in earning my undergraduate degree. More importantly, without hesitation she helped lovingly guide my dad’s steps both literally and figuratively as his disease continued to weaken his mind and body.
I share this information with you because my parents’ marriage and my relationship with them had a tremendous impact on how I came to understand what a marriage “looks like.” For example, numerous people (friends included) have commented on how my husband, Jesse, and I must be having sex aaaall the time because that’s what newlyweds do. But, quite frankly, we don’t. Not because I’m not interested but because I saw how strong a marriage could be without the pleasures of physical intimacy.
Ultimately, I saw how aging changes the dynamics of a marriage and how it tests both partners’ love and patience for one another. But I also witnessed the beauty of a lifelong commitment to one person and how essential support is in a marriage.
Our Love Story
I was a Mount Union preview guide in the summer of 2008 and Jesse was in my group. My first impression was that he was cute but clearly disinterested in my enthusiasm about Mount Union and my Zooey Deschanel-like quirkiness.
Once school started in the fall, I saw Jesse around campus and we sat together at various organizational meetings. Then flash forward to my junior year…after realizing we shared a love of alternative and indie rock, we decide to co-host a radio show, “Monday Night Varieties.” While the music played, we would talk about topics ranging from academics to religion. I considered him my best friend. I could come to the show dressed in sweat pants two sizes too big for me and no make-up. And because we were both in relationships at the time, there was no pressure for us to be anything but ourselves around one another.
Our dynamic changed my senior year. We started spending more time together outside of the radio station. He would come over to my place and watch movies, and we would grab meals together in the cafeteria. On December 4th, I invited Jesse to my sorority’s semi-formal. After the event, we hung out at my place and talked for hours. He told me what was in his heart and admitted that I was the first person he felt he truly loved.
What is my “Wifestyle”?
Jesse and I were in a long-distance relationship until moving in together last summer, just a few weeks before he began his first year of law school at Vanderbilt in Nashville. Living together has elevated my understanding of the intricacies of our relationship, and I have a much better understanding of what aspects of our relationships are the most challenging.
Basic housework has become our primary point of contention. On days when Jesse’s in class all day and I’m at work, neither of us care to do the dishes or clean our cat Mahogany’s litter box when we get home. After numerous arguments I finally figured out a system that I thought would appeal to my lawyer-to-be: I created a simple contract on some cat stationary that states who is responsible for the dishes each day, and we both signed and dated our agreement. Sometimes the biggest problems in a relationship can be solved with simple solutions.
In general, my “wifestyle” consists of maintaining as much of my independence as possible, particularly when it comes to tangible things like money. This has actually been one of the easier aspects of our relationship, mainly because we don’t have a lot of common interests. Our common interests are simply sharing our lives together and talking through current events and life’s deeper unanswered questions.
My Final Thoughts about Love
Trust and communication are the pillars of a lasting love and marriage. But instead of talking about those I want to discuss the importance of being with someone who inspires you to become the best version of yourself. Jesse is a truly selfless person with so many beautiful qualities. His actions and beliefs make me aspire to be a more accepting, patient, and thoughtful person. And his positive energy and seemingly unending support encourage me to explore my potential in all aspects of my life.
It is also essential to remember that you are two different people with different wants, needs, and aspirations. No matter how big or small, compromise is a vital part of a healthy relationship. For example, early in our relationship Jesse made it clear that going to a top law school was his priority after graduating from Mount Union. I knew this meant moving out of Ohio, hours away from comforts of my hometown. After numerous fights (and many tears, on my part) I realized I was selfishly trying to hold him back from something so crucial to his well-being. I also realized that the only way our relationship was going to move forward is if I was willing to make some concessions.
I don’t regret my decision to get married. Even when circumstances challenge our relationship, knowing that Jesse’s love and support will forever be a constant in my life is enough to make me want to try my hardest to make our relationship work every day that I’m alive.
- What examples of “in sickness and in health” have you observed?
- How important is it in your relationship that you and your partner have significant common interests?
- What is an example of how your partner has encouraged and supported you recently?