Marriage Matters Monday: Desiree & Craig

Marriage Matters Presents: The Hodges!

I’ve always felt the following went without saying but here goes: The only people who truly know what’s going on in a marriage are the two in it. Period. Still, I get sheer joy from featuring those (seemingly) happy marriages of Black women who are rarely portrayed on the big and small screen, on the radio, in magazines and on the Web. As you’ve noticed with previous Marriage Matters couples, I purposely highlight folks that are  “young” yet have been married a decade or longer because they’ve passed the honeymoon stage of wedded bliss but can still relate to you nearlyweds and newlyweds.

The Hodges are yet another one of my fave couples though I must admit I’m biased because they’re also family. (Actually, I would like them even if we weren’t related.) Read on as they candidly share their journey of managing careers, school and marriage, being a blended family and the importance of date night.

Names Desiree Hodges, 36; Craig Hodges, 32
Professions (Desiree) research nurse; (Craig) finance professional
Wedding Date June 9, 2001
Ages of children Paige – 13, Camryn-8

DESIREE SAYS

Her advice for newlyweds
Continue to date each other. I love date night. Our kids ask us when we are going on a date so that they can help me pick out something to wear. Remember to have lives outside of each other. Marriage is not prison. I hear people say that marriage is hard work… In my opinion it shouldn’t be. If you find it becoming difficult, remember what led you down the aisle.

On moving multiple times because of Craig’s career
Moving to Delaware was a big adjustment because I have always been close to my family and I am from the country. Delaware, although small, seemed huge. It was a struggle with this last move because getting a job in healthcare administration was more difficult than expected. You adjust as a family to make things work. It is important to support one another and I think we do that well.

On balancing school, careers and home life
Craig and I have both completed graduate degree programs since we’ve been married. It was a struggle. Work life balance was the key — whoever wasn’t in school took care of the laundry, cooking, kid pick ups, etc. Again, you have to support one another and help each other reach your goals. We knew school was short term and it would only help advance us as a family.

On having parents in longterm marriages
I look at my mom and dad and they still genuinely love to be together. They have been married 41 years! Through sickness and health. They have a lot of responsibility taking care of my grandmothers but they remain solid. Craig and I are blessed to have parents that are still married.

CRAIG SAYS

On being a blended family
We’ve had our share of ups and downs. As a stepfather, I’ve tried not to overstep my bounds. However, all parties realize I’m the man of my house and will not tolerate certain behaviors or situations to disrupt life for my family. It is important to keep communication open, but you have to be careful in not being too open.  It is a delicate balance that takes some maneuvering.

On being married to his best friend
We get along great. Of course there will always be discussions (arguments is too strong of a word) over particular situations but that’s natural. No two people are going to agree all the time and we’re no different. I think the key is to respect each others views (doesn’t mean you have to agree) and keep communication open.

On marriage versus dating
I get to wake up daily next to the same woman. Some dudes may think that’s boring, however, I’m sure there are many nights when they’re at home alone. Not me! Additionally, when we do go out, we know what we like (e.g. movies, food, etc.) so there isn’t a sort of awkwardness in “discovering” what your date enjoys.

His advice for newlyweds
Enjoy quality time with your spouse. Try to participate in activities together. Learn to like — or at least tolerate — things your spouse likes. For example, Desi loves The Young & the Restless. She DVRs it everyday. I can’t stand the show, but sometimes I remain in the same room just because I know it means something to her for us to be around each other.

What do you think of The Hodges Marriage Matters advice? Sound off.

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    Comments

    1. Hey Desiree and Craig,

      A way- to- go! Sooooooooo proud of you two. I have enjoyed reading your story so much. Keep up the good work and may God continue to bless your union.

      Love ya.
      Oddie

    2. Sandra Tysor says:

      To Desi and Craig,

      We are so very proud of you and your accomplishments as individuals, a couple and a family! Keep up the good work. This is great advice for married couples, young and old!

      Love you very much,
      Sandra and Charlie

    3. I am so proud of my little sister! Their marriage is a model for me and I pray that at my 10 year anniversary, my marriage and family will be as strong as theirs.

      I am also proud to say that I am related to the creator of the BBB website. Keep up the great work with this site and all your other endeavors.

    4. Deja S. McIntyre says:

      You two continue to inspire me everyday. They are such a beautiful couple.
      I hope that God will continue to bless the two of you.
      Deja McIntyre

    5. Hi Desi & Craig
      I have really enjoyed reading your article on marriage!!! This is ver encouraging to a young single woman like myself!!!

    6. Walter W. Hatcher says:

      Congratulations to Craig and Desi, you are truly an inspiration to us all. yall keep that LOVE LITE burning, and may GOD continue to bless you real good. Elsie and I love.
      Walter and Elsie Hatcher
      Pittsboro,NC

    7. Zenobia Hatcher-Wilson says:

      Hi Desi, Craig and Bridgette,
      Just wanted to put in my 2 cents worth. I thoroughly enjoyed this piece and was nodding my head in agreement as I went along! Best wished and continued joy. I am a true fan/believer in marriage and I treat it as a covenent established by God. Til death do you part. Hope to see everyone soon.

      Love, Zenobia

    8. Davian (Dee) Long says:

      Hey Desi & Craig,
      It was great reading your story, I hope to one day find my best friend and soul mate as you have. Thanks for that very good advice!

    9. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this article. Craig and I are high school classmates (SHS ’96) and it such a joy to see that he and his family are doing well and in love. I agree with all that each of you spoke about. You MUST remember why you got married and “like” each other genuinely because these things will take you a LONG way.

      Congrats!!!

    10. To those who are reading this and do not know Desi and Craig they actually practice what they preach and they seem to make it easy !!!!!

      Congrats to both of you !!!!!

    11. Winford says:

      Dr. Phil who ?!?

      Keep up the good work, you three!! Keep making the whole family proud!

    12. Kimberly Bell says:

      Desi and Craig,
      I enjoyed reading the article and hearing your words and thoughts on marriage. You guys are a model couple! Wishing you many years of martial bliss!!!

    13. Really inspiration especially since I went to college with Craig. Using this as an example for my upcoming nuptials and life with my best friend Warren Lewis.

    14. Janice Guthrie says:

      I am so happy to read your comments as they are those of a very mature and intelligent and loving couple. I pray that you will continue to live your lives accordingly to ensure continued happiness and wedded bliss. I love you both and of course your two little adorable ones. Stay safe.

    15. Shay Pope says:

      Well said Desi and Craig. I to hope to be where you two are some day. I envy your relationship. Just being around you two is a blessing. Congrats on your 10yr anniversary. I wish you many many more.

      Love you guys,
      Shay

    16. Angela Henderson says:

      Dez & Craig,
      Congrats on 10 years! An awesome testimony of genuine love mat God continue to bless you both!
      Bridgette, you keep up the good work as well! It’s a much needed resouce!

    17. Two of the best couples to know. What a story to share and I have really enjoyed reading it. Keep up the good work. Love you.

    18. Hildred Williams says:

      Desi and Craig
      Congratulations on 10 yrs. of marriage. I hope you will always be as happy together as you are at this moment. May God continue to bless you and your family.

      We love you dearly
      Ross and Hildred

    19. Irma Hayes says:

      We have not met but I’m inspired by your article. Congratulations! May God continue to bless your union.

    20. Sharon Cheek Wellman says:

      Desi and Craig,

      Thanks for share your prespective on what it takes to have a good marriage today. Congratulations on your 10 years of great family unity! May God’s love continue to shine through both of you.

    21. Heather says:

      Very nice! Reading this put a smile on my face. Thanks for sharing such inspiring stories, Bridgette.

    22. Gwen Hodges says:

      Craig and Desi,
      There is nothing like finding your soulmate yet being an individual at the same time. Your foundation is strong and you are so blessed.
      Love
      Colonel and Mom

    23. DeLois Guthrie says:

      Desi and Craig
      Congradulation!
      What a wonderful testimony.I hope this will be an encouragement to other couples
      that are married and those that intend to marry.May God continue to Bless and Keep you and your family.
      And To You,Brirgett:
      It’s such a joy to read some positive news about our black populations and especially when it concerns family members,so in all that you do may God may Blessing continue to flow upon you.

    24. Dana Franklin-Holden says:

      I completely agree with their suggestions! My husband and I will be celebrating our 10th year wedding anniversary on September 15, 2011. We have definitely taken our marriage vows seriously; and have experienced good times and bad in our marriage. My husband is an over-the-road truck driver, which means we have to work harder at our marriage. But, I am ecstatic to say, that we are still happily married, still date and look forward to seeing each other as often as possible. Even my 8 year old son tells people that his parents go on dates!!!

    25. Thank you all for the kind words and support!

    26. Love it! So glad to see and read about other couples who are married and enjoying it!

      Many blessings to both of you!!

    27. Tanisha Asbery says:

      Awwww!!! What a beautiful photo! May God continue to bless your union, Desi and Craig! Black love rocks!!!!

      Love,

      Tanisha

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