I’m super excited about today’s Marriage Matters post! Steve and I have been buddies since high school. He and his wife inspire me immensely and in a few moments you’ll understand why.
Names Sheona Little, 32; Steve Little, 34
Professions (Sheona) physical education teacher; (Steve) math teacher
Wedding Date August 12, 2000
Ages of children Tyrece- 12, Tiara-10, Tamel-9
On the wedding versus the marriage:
It’s important for women to plan the first year of marriage with their partner. Some great questions to ask: How important is our wedding compared to the rest of our lives on a scale of 1-10? Should we start our marriage in debt? Who can we trust to help us to stay focused on the big picture, not just the snap shot of one day?
Women should also remember that less is more. People usually don’t remember the flower arrangements, or the plate they ate off of. People will remember if you and your spouse looked happy, they will remember the dancing, the conversation. They will remember seeing family and friends. They will barely remember your dress, but they will remember how you interacted with your new husband. True friends and family just want to see you in love and happy.
On being married with children:
I think the biggest change that happens when children come along is time. Children require lots of attention. Days can go by and you’ll realize you haven’t even had a conversation with your husband. You see each other at the kid’s games, school concerts, in the morning and during dinner, but you really haven’t seen each other. The children and their goals, dreams and issues now come first. Steve and I understand that raising children only last for a season in life. When the children leave we want to still have a connection. We try hard to make time for each other. We may do lunch dates or plan weekends to get away. The children come first, but our time alone is very important. Nothing has stayed the same since we became parents. This is a good thing; changes in life bring forth growth. We have learned to adapt and this has made our relationship stronger.
On marrying young:
I think at the time I was ready [to get married], but I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Marriage has a way of making a person expose themselves — good or bad — in a way you never thought you would. It is a journey. When I began my journey I thought I knew what type of wife and mother I would be. But life takes you through valleys, over mountains, around corners and in circles. I learned more about myself and my husband with each twist and turn. This is the beauty of the journey, never knowing what’s around those corners but being blessed to have someone to go through the adventure with you.
Her advice to newlyweds:
Leave all your expectations behind. Go into your marriage with hope, faith and love. You will never know all that life has in store for you or your husband. Just know that God has a plan. Remember love is not an emotion, it is a verb. Value each other, not material things. Keep negativity outside of your marriage. And always make time for intimacy, true intimacy is like having a glimpse of heaven.
On how he made the leap into marriage:
At first it was the curiosity of “Is any man in my family built to have a successful marriage?” I’ve always been a competitive person so I challenged myself to not only get married but to make it work by any means necessary. As I grew as a person, father and husband my love for her took over and she became my best friend. Sheona also helped bring me closer to the Lord. It was life changing to say the least.
On the difference between dating and marriage:
Once we became married we looked at ourselves as “one unit”. I don’t think I fully expressed myself when we were dating because I didn’t want to lose a good one. Once we were married, I opened up more and figured she has to deal with me forever now whether she likes it or not.
On how he and Sheona remain best friends:
I try to keep a lot of humor in our relationship and we try to always be there for one another. We attend events together, travel together and most importantly we raise our children together.
His words for cynics who think marriage is meaningless:
I could tell them I felt the same way at one time because of the high divorce rate in my family alone. Once I left my comfort zone and witnessed successful married couples, my entire perspective on marriage did a 180 degree turn. I didn’t want to go from woman to woman — these days you may not live past 45 if that’s your lifestyle. If a person has a good partner who is willing to grow with them mentally, spiritually and physically, don’t let them go! Marriage is like fine wine, it gets better in time.