“I am a healthier person, a better person just being around Carey.” – Jason
I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to write up my conversation with Carey and Jason because it was simply amazing. After the interview I found myself at a loss for words. It was the feelings of love, inspiration, hope, security, friendship and gratefulness that overwhelmed me. Carey and Jason have been married for 16 years. They met at Wayne State University. They have two children, Nadia and Carson. I hope our conversation inspires you as much as I have been inspired. #jasonandcarey
Woo Forever: Did you have any idea what marriage was going to be like before you entered it?
Jason: My mom was divorced twice. I knew I didn’t want to get a divorce. I was scared but I thought to myself, this is it…it’s Carey forever.
Carey: It was transactional for me at the time. I was skeptical so I built a lot of walls. I had never stayed with a guy for more than nine months. Jason was the first guy to make it past Valentine’s Day.
Woo Forever: Love Is?
Jason: Hard work. Effort. Unselfishness. The ability to compromise to make sure we are solid.
Carey: Intense. Commitment. Persistence. It’s not a feeling; it’s something you do.
Woo Forever: What do you wish you’d known before getting married?
Jason: The amount of sacrifices you will make for your family. It’s unconditional love for me. Besides, I don’t have to worry about sending out Christmas cards; Carey takes care of it.
Carey: The level of security that is attained in a marriage is awesome. Jason’s always had my back. I can’t imagine being anyone with else. It’s like sinking into your own bed on your own pillow. It’s like macaroni and cheese!
Woo Forever: What is the greatest joy about being together?
Jason: Carey is always pushing me to be the best me. I want to meet her expectations. I want her to feel honored. It’s always going to be us, the kids will leave one day.
Carey: When we put our heads together it’s radicalizing. There’s so much joy to have someone to do big things with. We are adventurous. We’ve never been wedded to the status quo. Our kids give us great joy; they fill a different need.
“Marriage is not about being roommates.” – Carey
Woo Forever: What came as a surprise to you?
Both: We didn’t know what to expect.
Jason: It’s amazing how the relationship continues to grow. It shoots up from one level to the next and then it levels off and we stay there for a while and then it shoots up to another level.
Carey: It’s like this glacier, strong with a steady flow and slow intensity. The roots are strong which makes me feel secure.
Woo Forever: What advice would you give to those considering marriage?
Jason: To read your upcoming book. Support each other as you work at accomplishing your goals.
Carey: You need to grow up. Work on your own shit. Don’t make so many assumptions. You need to have conflict, non-violent conflict, so that you learn how to work it out. It’s important to me to trust that I can be an asshole and not have it held against me for the rest of my life.
Woo Forever: What have you learned since you got married?
Jason: She’s the toughest and strongest (emotionally and mentally) person I know.
Carey: I wanted to have kids.
Woo Forever: What lessons do you still have to learn?
Both: How to keep doing this and how to keep filling the well. We didn’t have our family to rely on so it made us rely on each other. We were able to form an intense bond.
Woo Forever: How do you get through the hard stuff?
Jason: Be honest with each other.
Carey: Be willing to be vulnerable. It’s like trying to build muscles, you have to work on it and know it’s there when you need to use it.
Woo Forever: Has it been hard to forgive?
Both: No. We don’t hold grudges; we try to find humor in the situation.
Woo Forever: How do you keep things exciting?
Both: We change things up. We are always working on something and have a need for lots of adventure. We also support each other’s goals and causes. We will never be a couple that has a routine. We don’t come home, cook and watch TV together for the rest of the night. And we like problem solving together.
Woo Forever: What do you love most about each other?
Jason: Carey’s self confidence; she’s grounded and centered. She let’s me be me. She knows who she is and I know who I am.
Carey: Jason is my rock. He’s the careful one; I would be the one to set something on fire. He brings safety and security so that I can do outlandish things.
Woo Forever: Jason what do you want Carey to always remember?
Jason: I got this.
Woo Forever: Carey what do you want Jason to always remember?
Carey: I never doubted him. He made it past Valentine’s Day. There was never a regret or hesitation.
Woo Forever: What do you want Nadia and Carson to always know?
Both: They always have a home base. They always have a place they can jump off, do really great things and come back if they need to.
Woo Forever: What’s been really easy?
Both: Dividing chores.
Woo Forever: What song or songs to you have for each other?
Jason: Darius Rucker has some songs about family that I love.
Carey: Songs from the Tony Rich Project and Jodeci.
Both: Our wedding song, Don’t Want to Close My Eyes by Aerosmith.
Woo Forever: What role does family and friends play?
Jason: Our Maryland friends have played a big role as family. They filled in the gap. It would be interesting to see how we fit in when we move back to Michigan. We will soon find out how we are going to navigate the extended family obligations.
Carey: Our family has played a good supporting role, even when we made decision that hurt them like moving away. I don’t always feel unconditional support from friends perhaps because we haven’t had it tested. Our friends haven’t been tested like our family has regarding their commitment to us. Now that we are going to be moving back home I want to teach our kids how to support family and not sacrifice themselves.
Woo Forever: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Both: In marriage you have to maintain your own individual identity; don’t give up on yourself. It’s a recipe for disaster if you think you have to act and become the same person. Be your own person and let’s celebrate that.
I am so honored to know and call Carey and Jason my friends. The support and love they share with each other spills over into the lives of their family and friends. We are better because of Carey and Jason. Thank you for loving and caring for us and allowing us to love and care for you back. With a full heart I wish you both lots more of the good stuff and really cool adventures for years to come. Love is Carey and Jason. Woo Forever.