The Day We Met
We met for the first time on November 5, 1990, while passing in the hallway at our high school. We both had crushes on each other in high school but they weren’t at the same time so we never dated back then. Both of us graduated and moved on with our lives, both getting married, having children and having divorces. We reconnected July 5, 2009 over a phone conversation that started our path to marriage and the adventure of a step family.
Joining Our Families
We both entered into our new relationship with great expectations but learned early on that step families are hard. Bringing two families together seemed much harder than starting a new one. We both experienced infidelity in the marriages that preceded our marriage to each other, so we brought a lot of baggage and insecurity with us. We learned very quickly that an ex-spouse can create more trouble for you than you could ever create for yourself and that children don’t just walk into a new household and get along with a step parent or each other. Children can get new wounds within a step family and there are wounds to tend to when their other parent starts a new family with someone else. There are many circumstances that arise in a step family that are not present in a nuclear family and we just weren’t prepared for them.
Everything Crumbles From the Beginning
The first two years of our relationship were the hardest, really testing us and taking our relationship on a downward spiral quickly. We went through court custody battles, running a business together and learning how to relate to children that weren’t our own. Then as if that wasn’t enough, in 2011 we went through a flooded basement, a house fire which displaced our family for 3 months and a stolen car all within a 6 month period. Communication started to crumble and fighting turned into the norm. At times it seemed like court and the children were at the forefront of every fight and due to all of these factors our intimate life suffered. We were also struggling with the stress of running a barely making it by business together and having six people to provide for. Those were very stressful times in our life, but it was also the time we felt called to dig in and start learning about this thing called marriage. Our church offered premarital counseling, which we had done, and divorce care, but they didn’t have a group for people like us who wanted to learn how to be married to each other. That fall we led our first marriage group and started forward on a life long journey with God and marriages.
God Steps In And Gives Us A New Passion
God instilled in us a different kind of love for each other and a love for other hurting couples who needed a place to go. As we go through the process of coaching other couples in marriage, we only gain strength in our own marriage and our family unit. After about a year, we decided to turn our garage into a meeting space for our groups, providing a more confidential and comfortable space for couples to grow. We keep educating ourselves by reading books and getting accreditations, we are Focus On The Family marriage mentor certified and we are trained facilitators of the Prepare/Enrich program. Lisa is currently working towards ordination and God continues to equip us for the couples He brings our direction. Through all of this process, Loveseat Marriage was born. Our garage now houses 10 loveseats and we regularly have groups and two to two coaching sessions in our new location. We believe God has a purpose for marriages and a purpose in us learning from each other.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of sympathy and the God of every comfort, Who comforts us in every trouble, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of trouble or distress, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
II Corinthians 1:3-4
This verse encompasses our mission to share what we have learned and to help guide others through the rough spots that come along and learn skills to be successful in their marriages. We have a special heart for re-married families, we like to use the term “refurbished” because God can take a person, fix what is broken, and match them up with a mate that is equally yoked with them, just like He did with us. We also want to help people see that working on their marriage can be fun, can be cool and is necessary. Couples spend time and money on hobbies and interests they enjoy to enhance their lives, we want couples to see the value of also putting that same time and energy into their marriages. Many couples think they should only go to workshops or counseling when they have a problem instead of investing in and building continually on the most important earthly relationship they have. It is far easier to maintain a marriage than to fix it when something has been broken.