“Love is routine.” – Audrey
Audrey and Aaron! I met this couple 6 years ago. Their bond was the first thing that stuck out to me. Before I met Aaron, Audrey would talk about how much she adored him. I remember her saying, “He’s yummy.” I knew then that she was hooked. Their love is inspiring. They have been married for eight years with one daughter and another one on the way. I had a really good time talking with them. The best part was getting to see Delilah, their two year old daughter, over Skype. Please enjoy what they had to say about love and marriage.
Woo Forever: What does loving wholeheartedly mean to you?
Audrey: Loving wholeheartedly is loving unconditionally. You have to be able to envision a future with that person and be able to say what you think without your partner holding it against you. Loving wholeheartedly should be having fun.
Aaron: Loving the person for who they are, the good stuff and bad stuff, is loving wholeheartedly. It’s feeling safe being yourself while having the ability to truly have fun together.
Woo Forever: Did you have any idea of what marriage was going to be like?
Audrey: Both of our parents were “one and done,” so they were great examples of lifetime partnerships for us. We did live together before we were married, but it’s still different. Living together was more like having a sleepover with your best friend. In the morning, there was breakfast and you could spent the day together if you wanted, but if not, hey, that’s cool, too. Being married meant learning how to fight and stay together. Our families fought differently, so there was a big learning curve. We had to learn to be bilingual – with our families and with each other.
Aaron: Our parents were good examples of marriage for us. Living together was definitely a sleepover compared to the hardship that comes with maintaining a great marriage. It’s a lot of hard work, but we’ve learned to temper each other’s weaknesses and focus on our strengths. It got even harder when we decided we wanted to be parents!
Woo Forever: What’s been your greatest joy about being with each other?
“When you can feel safe being yourself.” – Audrey
Audrey: We got our frontal lobes together, so we’re both invested in helping the other become a better version of themselves. That’s not to say that Aaron tries to change me. He doesn’t, so I’m safe to be myself. He just encourages the things I’m best at and fills in the gaps. He’s my missing puzzle piece, my zen. Every day is an adventure, and I get to do it with Aaron, and that’s just the best. Plus, his dad-ding is on point!
Aaron: Audrey is my best friend. We are best friends. It’s the best being with your best friend all the time. She fills in my gaps, too. She’s the best mom to Delilah, and I can’t wait to see how she does with Delilah and Margot. Her patience is astounding.
Woo Forever: What came as a surprise to you?
Both: The friends we lost after we got married. It was crazy and sad. Our (now ex-) friends couldn’t figure out that being married meant spending time together alone, so they moved on from us. It was weird! People who attended our wedding stopped speaking to one or both of us. Although we lost single and dating friends, we ended up gaining quite a few married and engaged friends.
Woo Forever: What advice would you give to those considering marriage?
Audrey: Know the rules when there is an argument: No hitting, no name-calling, no keeping score, and no drudging up the past. Find intimacy without sex. Sex ebbs and flows, so make sure you’ve got more in common than what happens in your pants. Oh, and the division of labor is so important! Who’s going to pay the bills? Who’s going to clean? Who’s going to cook? Who’s doing laundry? Pray one of you loves to vacuum!
Aaron: Talk about your goals, dreams, money, kids, career, and anything else that’s a deal-breaker. Drive your life bus together! Make sure you are both going in the same direction.
Woo Forever: How do you get through the hard stuff?
Audrey: We are good at beating a dead horse. We talk about it until we’ve solved it or at least worked out how to manage the worst case scenario.
Aaron: Talk about it way too many times.
Woo Forever: What lessons have you learned?
Audrey: I think the biggest lesson I learned as a wife was the importance of kin-keeping, that unenviable task of making and keeping family by communication and tradition. We also learned how to manage seemingly huge tasks like buying houses, cars, water heaters, etc. I also learned that Aaron can’t cook and has no desire to do so.
Aaron: My biggest lesson was putting our kids first, whether that’s ahead of work, myself, or even each other. They are number one in our lives. What I want and Audrey wants comes second when it comes to them.
Woo Forever: What lessons do you still have to learn?
Audrey: I’m still learning how to speak his family’s language, but I’m definitely closer to bilingual than I ever was. Speaking Holmes came really easy to Aaron! I still struggle with managing money.
Aaron: My struggle is parenting. Because I work and my work-life balance is tough, occasionally, rules are established when I’m not home. So, parenting can pose a challenge, but I really feel like our kids should learn how to help the world and not just themselves. I became Catholic for myself and our kids, but it’s hard to let go of my protestantism. We’re working it in with our traditions! But I’m so glad my kids will have a worldwide community to rely on in times of need.
Woo Forever: How did you learn to trust each other?
Both: We are always honest even when it hurts.
Woo Forever: How do you keep it going?
Aaron: We try to find new things to do with each other. It’s about building new memories.
Audrey: Am I allowed to talk about his butt here? Because his butt helps.
“Mix it up, have new experiences.” – Aaron
Woo Forever: What do you love most about each other?
Audrey: His ability to be a great dad. He talked about parenting being his challenge, but I never see it. He does the second shift. Our daughter adores him, and I know this one will, too. It’s the best thing ever to see. He’s soft with her.
Aaron: She laughs with me, and we have a good time. She’s given up what she was doing in life to have my family. I didn’t have to change my life, she did. She’s awesome for doing that. I appreciate and love her more because of the sacrifice she was willing to make.
Woo Forever: What’s been really easy?
Audrey: Sex. This is the part where I talk about how great his butt is, right?
Aaron: Sleep. When you’re a parent of an infant or toddler, the easiest thing to do in the world is fall asleep.
Woo Forever: What do you want your partner to always remember?
Audrey: There’s nothing he could do to ever stop me from loving him. There’s nothing he could do to convince me that he’s not my person.
Aaron: I love her so much. I’m happy because of her.
Woo Forever: What do you want your daughters to always remember?
Both: We worked really hard to create a village full of experts and filled with love for them. There are people in this world that will love them no matter what. There are people who will love them just because like we’ve had people who love us just because.
Woo Forever: If you had to choose a song for your partner what would it be?
Both: Our wedding song was “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green and there are so many days that it totally fits.
Woo Forever: What role does friends and family play in your relationship?
Audrey: Kin-keeping is at the top of our list. Having a familial support system is monumental when you’re trying to create a new family unit. But even before that, those people are who you count on to support you through those first few years when you’re learning to fight, to communicate, and to love wholeheartedly.
Aaron: They are our support system, and we really recognize that it’s a two-way street. We have to and want to give as much, if not more, as we take.
Woo Forever: Final thoughts.
Audrey: Your spouse should raise you up and help you become a better version of yourself. They should help you hone your skills, encourage your strengths, and work on your weaknesses. Even though your faults are visible to the person you’re most intimate with, they help you make yourself better!
Aaron: No matter how little time you have to spend with each other, spend it together. We might only get an hour together each day, but it’s so important to reconnect and keep our fire burning.
Thank you, Audrey and Aaron, for sharing a piece of your story. I am happy our paths crossed. I appreciate the love that you share with each other, your families, and your friends. You both are some good-hearted people. May you continue to experience deep love for each other and those around you. Wishing you all the best life has to offer. Love is Kin Keeping. Woo Forever.