“One of the greatest benefits of being married is to love and be loved.” – Ed
We first learn about love and relationships through our family members. I don’t remember my life without my uncle Ed and Aunt Tracy (my mom’s sister), who happen to be my Godparents. I was in their wedding and even lived with them for a period of time in my early 20s. Their relationship also shaped my thoughts about love. The one thing I noticed most about them was that they were always out on a date. After almost 33 years of marriage they are still dating, seriously. Ed and Tracy have found their passion of being premarital counselors. They believe it is a way for them to give back and use it as their ministry. Ed and Tracy have two sons EJ and Mitchell. I hope you enjoy this interview. #Ilovemyfamilysomuch
Woo Forever- What do you wish you’d known about marriage before you entered it?
Tracy- I didn’t know what to expect. More premarital counseling would have been helpful. It would have been good to know about things we should think about in the future and what to plan for.
Ed- We’ve been doing a lot of marriage counseling and working with marriage groups. When we got married we didn’t get a lot of insight. Our counseling session was about 15 minutes and wasn’t useful information. It would have been nice to get more insight and advice.
Woo Forever- We all say marriage takes work. In your own words, how would you explain it?
Tracy- It’s not an eight-hour job, it’s 24/7 even when you are not around them. The decisions you make, you have to consider your spouse, and it is not just you. You don’t punch a clock, nor do you get a wage for it. You have to put time into making it better because if you don’t it could go in the wrong direction.
Ed- If you are entering a marriage thinking it’s going to be all peaches and cream and everything is going to be lovey-dovey 24/7, you are in for a big let down. It takes two people working. There’s a lot of work to be done and work to be done in the future.
Woo Forever- What’s been the greatest joy about being with each other?
Tracy- Seeing how we have flourished from the time we met to where we are today. It’s been such a joyful ride.
Ed- The reciprocity you get when being with your spouse. The love you give to the person and to see it returned. The love overflows. To see her respond to the love that you give, to me is the greatest and a blessing.
Woo Forever- What came as a surprise to you?
Tracy- The real me that I didn’t think was there. Learning about me was a surprise, so much selfishness and spoiled behavior. I would say that’s not me!
Ed- We were young when we got married. The example I saw in my household was dysfunctional. So I was glad that I was able to have a different relationship with Tracy than what I grew up knowing. Our relationship worked better than what I saw from my parents.
Woo Forever- Did you have an idea of what happily ever after would look like for you?
Tracy- No, but I do remember that Ed had these goals that he wrote out. He wrote down where he wanted to be at certain ages in his life. It actually worked. I don’t know if he looked at it as happily ever after. I never really thought about. I knew I just wanted to be married and have kids.
Ed- It’s been beyond my expectations. Like Tracy said, I had goals and things that I had mapped out. What I’ve experienced has been beyond my wildest dreams. We love and enjoy our time together. I’m still excited about the future.
“You have to be open for when things change.” – Tracy
What do you want it to look like in the future?
Tracy- It will be us against the world. We will grow closer. Our sons will be married and out of the house. I’d like for us to travel and see the world.
Ed- I pray it will continue to grow stronger with time and will continue to make steps forward. I hope we have the ability to deal with whatever life may bring.
Woo Forever- What advice would you give engaged or newlyweds?
Tracy- Any relationship romantic or not, there are always going to be problems. There’s comfort in the reassurance that your spouse is in your corner. When things do come up put yourself in the other person’s shoes and try to see it from their perspective. You can be more understanding.
Ed- We’ve taken on this mission to be a blessing to those who are engaged or those who want premarital counseling. Our goal is to give back because when we got married we didn’t have that type of support. We try to give them as much insight as we can about what they are about to embark on. It’s our passion. We’ve been blessed so we want to be a blessing to others.
“Work is involved, put your hard hat on.”- Ed
Woo Forever- What lessons have you learned since being together?
Tracy- He is not my enemy! He has my best interest at heart. It’s not 50/50. It’s not always my way.
Ed- The longer you are in the relationship the more you see what’s required to keep it going. Compromise is not a bad word. This is a work in progress from beginning to end.
Both– Submitting to each other is not a bad thing.
Woo Forever- What do you think you still have to learn?
Tracy- It’s a continual learning process. You are always learning something new.
Ed- To make adjustments in time. People change; at one point in time you may understand what your spouse likes and doesn’t like. As time goes on they may change what they like and don’t like. So you have to be willing and able to make adjustments because the change is coming.
Woo Forever- How do you get through the hard stuff?
Tracy- God and prayer. Also, not just focusing on myself but the other person. Putting myself in the other person’s shoes and the willingness to be there for each other. Knowing that through the hard times we are not going to leave each other. We are going to stick it out not matter what. Ed said from day one, divorce is not going to be an option for us. Whatever problems we have we are going to work it out. When he said that I felt secure.
Ed- Prayer is key for us. We are limited in our ability sometimes. When the hard times come there is only so much we can do so we reach to a higher power that we believe can help us through the hard stuff.
Woo Forever- How do you keep things exciting?
Tracy- I try to dress attractive for him. I think of stuff Ed would like and do that. We may decide on any given day to not go straight home and do something like go to the movies, have dinner, hang at the park…We try to change it up. Friday is our date night but other nights are at play as well.
Ed- We mix it up. We are spontaneous. We like changing it up by not going to the same places. That keeps it exciting. I don’t like it to be dull. It’s about variety, with the same person, of course.
Woo Forever- What do you love most about your partner?
Tracy- That he loves God. He makes me feel good about myself. He’s there for me. He’s into me. His personality, caring ways, and his light brown eyes. I think he’s sexy and keeps it sexy.
Ed- I was always attracted to Tracy’s smile. I love that she’s loving, caring, hardworking, which I stand back at times and say wow. She has a lot of tenacity. She loves me beyond myself. To be loved by her has shown me a love I never knew before. To be loved by the wife of my youth, the mother of my two sons, that’s special to me.
Woo Forever- What have you found most challenging?
Tracy- In life we prepare for our careers, we go to school and get a degree but it doesn’t prepare you for being a wife, mother, father or husband. So the challenge is becoming those things, doing it to the best of your ability and that it’s pleasing to God.
Ed- Over the time we’ve been together, to constantly be a base. To step back from being selfish, which can come out. Making sure I’ve considered my partner, I check myself constantly. It’s not about me, it’s about us.
Woo Forever- What’s been really easy?
Tracy- Ed’s been easy to love. He’s been easy to be a friend to.
Ed- I feel the same way, Tracy’s been easy to love. It hasn’t been a hard thing, thank God. You know it could have been.
Woo Forever- How do you have fun?
Both- We love to laugh with each other and at each other. We play golf. We like to challenge each other when playing games.
“Love is God and people.” – Ed and Tracy
Woo Forever- If you had to choose a song for your partner what would it be?
Both- We Can Make It Together by The Voice Supreme
Ed wrote a song to Tracy called ‘Love’ and is now revamping with their song EJ.
Woo Forever- What role does friends and family play in your relationship?
Tracy- We try not to let those outside of our immediate family get in between us and cause problems. We know where to draw the line when it comes to that. We have opened up our homes and want them to feel welcomed and loved. Everybody wants to be respected and loved, that’s something we want to give other people. We try to be a good influence to our family and friends.
Ed- Family relationships and friendships require work as well. The challenges comes when the relationship changes, with your family and friends. Having to adjust to the change of being close at one time and having that change for one reason or the other. We always want to be an example to our family and friends. Our home hedges swing on love.
Woo Forever- What would you want EJ and Mitchell to know and/or remember?
Tracy- That we love God, each other and them; not only in words but actually lived it, showed it and they received it. That we did the best we could.
Ed- I hope they see the good example that we set of loving one another. That they see and feel the love. We want to leave a legacy of love.
Woo Forever- Open-ended. What do you want to share?
Both- Learn to communicate; it’s not overrated. It’s not said enough and not done enough. It’s key. Talk about things you don’t like and you do like.
Learn to be vulnerable, open, and honest with each other without judgment about how you feel or what you say. Try to be transparent. It’s hard finding people you can confide in.
Learn how to have some type of conflict resolution. You are not going to agree on everything so learn how to fight fair. A lot of times people leave a relationship because they haven’t learned how to fight fair.
Sex/making love is a very important part of the marriage. It shouldn’t die down. It doesn’t have to be stale or dull. You can satisfy your partner’s needs and fantasies. At times there may be challenges in the bedroom. It could be physical but always be willing to not give up. Learn to comprise. Try to keep that desire and know there are other ways to be intimate.
When things don’t seems to be going right, remember to go back to those things that brought you both together when you were dating. Remember, you used to look for ways to please each other.
Don’t take your partner for granted. Remind yourself that you want the best for this person and you are going to love them unconditionally regardless.
Speak words of affirmation.
Be affectionate to one another, even in front of people. People need to see that these days.
Ed, Tracy, EJ and Mitchell are apart of my foundation. What we leave for the generations behind us is so important. My prayer is that their legacy of love carries on for generations to come. Because Ed and Tracy have been actively working together on their marriage and it’s working gives hope that we can all experience true unconditional love. I am proud of the couple they are; the way they love each other and their sons. Thank you Ed and Tracy. Love is sweet. I will love you both and the boys forever.