Marriage Matters – Zenobia & George

35 Years & Counting! Triple B Presents Zenobia and George

Couple: Zenobia & George
Wedding Date: March 18, 1978
Wedding Location: Mt. Herman AME Zion Church; Goldston, North Carolina
Children: Cassandra, 40-something; Kaia, 32; George “Preston” Jr., 25

ZENOBIA SAYS

Free to Be Me
My biggest misconception about marriage was assuming that I had to change into a “Stepford Wife.” I was determined to prove that I was going to remain my own person after marriage. This created some struggles that I really did not need to fight. I think had we discussed this issue honestly in the beginning we would have arrived at our current understanding earlier.

We Cry Together (Yet Differently)
Our most significant challenge after marriage related to the period of time that we experienced multiple miscarriages. I did not understand that we were grieving differently – what it looked like to me was that he did not honor the depth of loss I felt and that he was too anxious to forget them and get on with his life. We talked to our pastor who helped us walk through that valley together. Once we were past that period we decided to adopt and the rest is a wonderful history!

Look How Far We’ve Come
The marriage I am enjoying now is not the one I started out with in 1978 – there has been growth. I’ve learned to recognize marriage as a covenant therefore I put God first and I pray about everything. I’ve learned that “what’s right” is more important than “who’s right.”

Zenobia’s favorite wedding reception memory: Having our friends and relatives, on both sides, from several states together in the same room at the same time is my fondest reception memory. I don’t think that has happened since we were married.

*BONUS: Zenobia’s advice for the Triple B audience considering marriage – Be willing to do whatever it takes to make your marriage work. “What might make one home might destroy another one!”

Three and a half decades and counting...Zenobia & George keep the bliss going! (George shares kissing helps.)

GEORGE SAYS

I’m Focused, Man!
My major marriage concern was how much I would change my current lifestyle and focus. I was on a mission to complete my PhD and did not want too many distractions.   

What I Need From You is Understanding
The first challenge we conquered together as a married couple was after the loss of our first little girl. The keys were prayer, faith and communication. I had to learn to be more understanding and less logical. We had no family close by so we depended on each other.

Me Becomes We
Your children are your greatest joy and greatest pain in the rear. You are now totally responsible for someone else. No more dreams of a two-seater sports car, no more me first…And all they want is your love. They force you to build a bond on unconditional love for the entire family.

George’s favorite wedding ceremony memory: My fondest wedding memory was that we had to do everything ourselves. This included making our programs, finding a place to have them copied and doing it all with very limited funds.

*BONUS: George’s advice for the Triple B audience considering marriageMarriage is not the wedding. It should not take five years to pay for your wedding. The two major problems in marriage are sex and money, too much or too little of either cause problems.

Zenobia and George's two youngest children: Kaia & George "Preston" Jr. are all smiles!

Share your thoughts on Zenobia and George’s interview below! Read previous Marriage Matters features here.

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    Comments

    1. This is soooo encouraging. Thank you for this. The power of commitment and dedication are evident in their story.

    2. Bravo to Zenobia and George for being brave enough to share their story! Too many people act like the only thing that can tear a married couple apart is cheating but that’s actually rarely the reason for divorce. Issues like infertility are very REAL and very painful. This article will encourage other couples. It is also nice to see a couple in another season of their marriage. The other couples featured this week were great too but reading about a couple that has adult children is def a welcoming addition. Thanks BBB!

    3. SpikesDtr says:

      I too salute this couple. Thirty-five years is a long time! The ability to work through issues is necessary and commendable. In my book, adoption is one of the finest acts of humanity. To open your heart, home and life to other human beings is very gracious. May blessings rain upon your family!

    4. Mr George…I am digging that suit, no jive!
      How cool that you two did it yourselves before ‘DIY’ was considered a thing. I’m glad to know that no matter how good things are at the start, they can always get even better when both parties are in it to win it.

    5. Hi Cousins:

      It is indeed quite refreshing to read your honest appraisal of your years together. I have always treasured all of your thoughts and opinions and considered both of you as two of my most favored people and relatives. It is always a complete delight to be in your midst–so much fun–I have fond memories of course of growing up with Zenobia, and then later after her marriage to George. I can recall joyous times on the home front in North Carolina as well as in other parts of the United States. So glad you have always been near by. Will be looking forward to your return from Africa and to hear all about your time there.

    6. Bridgette Bridgette says:

      @Everyone – Thank you for showing Zenobia and George so much support. I adore this couple. They just happen to be my aunt and uncle. ;-) They’ve inspired me in countless ways so it was a blessing to share their story on Triple B.

      @Ronda – I don’t see how anyone could NOT dig that tuxedo! ;-)

    7. Aww! Such an awesome and inspirational love story. I thoroughly enjoyed the advice from Mother Zee and Dr. George!! Very lovely couple. I have much love and respect for both of them.

    8. Oddie Bartlett says:

      What a week, what a week! I have had such a good time reading the stories of the different couples which have all been very inspirational. But, this one today is especially special to me because this is my beloved sister and brother-in-law (you can forget the in-law stuff he’s my brother). Zee and George not only talk the talk, they also walk the walk. Only God know the love and support this couple has given others, sharing and caring for others is what this couple does best. Zee I remember so well the day you were born and how happy I was to have a sister. I know at times it didn’t seem like it because I was so bossy (please forgive me) but, you have always been very special to me.Although you have accomplished a lot thus far, you haven’t seen nothing yet, the best is yet to come. I love you both and can’t wait until June!

    9. Wow! This is a great article and a great couple! It’s very inspiring to hear a marriage story from a couple that has lasted this long. I enjoyed reading about how they dealt with marriage concerns and were able to grow together as a couple. Their story gives me hope for having a marriage as wonderful and as blessed as there’s. I feel privileged to be able to glean from them in the future! Kudos to you guys!

    10. Love this post…I think I will keep reading even after I get married on Aug. 10…You should check out my parents’ wedding pic…See my post here – http://www.afterthealtarcall.com/2013/04/07/the-wedding-industry-heist-aka-maybe-i-should-go-in-the-wedding-planning-business/

      And I think I will have to make my invitations too because everything associated with weddings is so costly nowadays…but let me get off my discount diva soap box:)

    11. Benaya Bartlett says:

      WOW! Great Auntie and Great Uncle (great in multiple ways),
      This is really nice! (Thirty-five years already) I love the dress Aunt Zee and Uncle George sharp suit! I am so very, very proud for two reasons. One you haven’t killed each other yet (after so long) and Two you’ve managed to keep it together through thick and thin. Speaking of thin Aunt Zee…… (need I go on) I love you with all my heart and I wish you many, many, many, many, many more wedding anniversaries.

    12. Bridgette Bridgette says:

      It feels soooo good to read these comments!

    13. Absolutely beautiful! How blessed to hear from such an inspiring couple. Thank you so much for sharing with us :)

    14. Rev. Willard I. Neal Jr. says:

      What an awesome God we serve to have two people who give each other so much and yet give God their all. Thank you for sharing so much with others about your marriage, it will point the rest of us in the right direction. We need to see more of this rather than the reality shows that depict Blacks and marriage in such a negative way. May God continue to bless this union for another thirty-five years.
      Rev. Willard I. Neal Jr.

    15. What a beautiful and inspirational couple! I firmly believe that marriage is the cornerstone for better communities. We can all learn from this couple. This is what we should aspire to be like instead of all the other negative crap regarding marriages on tv.

    16. Ja'Net Lipford says:

      It was so refreshing reading this story. Not because the couple happens to be my Aunt and Uncle, but because they truly led by example. The love that they have for each other, and others, is remarkable. Great article Bridgette!!! Love you guys.

    17. ShaQuana Newsom says:

      I just found your website. I was going through the posts and saw the picture of Ms. Zenobia. Imagine my surprise. I was a student worker for Ms. Zenobia in the mid-90s at Carolina. She always talked about her husband and her children. She was a great role-model and always told us how we could do anything we wanted to in life.

    18. Bridgette Bridgette says:

      @ShaQuana – I’m so glad to found Triple B and left a comment on this post! I so enjoy when this type of thing happens. We’re all so much more connected then we realize. My Aunt Zee has been a great role model to many. Many thanks for stopping by and sharing.

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