I wanted to interview a different, newly married woman who has been with her husband longer than I’ve been with mine in order to find out some tips and tricks she’s learned from married life, as well as to ask her some difficult questions about expectations she had or ways that marriage has changed her life. That’s where Mrs. Bennett comes in.
Shauna Bennett has been married to her husband Tim for two years. The two of them have a child named Jeremy who is three years old, so if you do the math you’ll realize the child came first. Getting married is a huge life step, but these two dealt with two major life changes in a matter of yeas by giving birth to a child and then getting married just a couple years later. I wanted to find out how married life has been for not only a young woman, but for a young mother, and Shauna was the perfect candidate. Shauna was enthusiastic and willing to give real answers, even to some of the tougher questions to answer, instead of acting like the married life is perfect for her.
As I settled in to Shauna and Tim’s cozy house to get ready for my interview Shauna and Tim ate a Friday night meal of Chinese food, and struggled to get their son to take a few bites. Shauna dealt with her son’s eating habits well, showing off a beautiful smile and a caring attitude. Tim also had an easy-going way about him, tossing me humorous answers every now and again, the two of them giggling together over their answers to my interview questions. The couple seemed comfortable, happy, two parents who don’t know all the answers to raising a child or how to succeed at a marriage, but are doing the best they know how to do. I realized I chose the right couple, so I opened up my orange notebook and began the questioning…
Q: What were you expecting about marriage before taking the leap?
Shauna: Nothing really. We already lived together, we have a child together, we already lived as a married couple, I thought it was just going to be a ceremony.
Q: What’s different about what you expected?
Shauna: It actually makes life more difficult.
Q: What is different about married life as opposed to just dating? Can you elaborate on marriage making life more difficult?
Shauna: It almost puts more pressure on you, you can’t just leave. It changed my name, but money changes and things actually change legally that you don’t expect to change. Things changed a lot when I just though we would be signing a piece of paper and having a ceremony.
Q: What sacrifices have you made from little ones to big ones?
Shauna: He always takes the last bite, (she laughs), so I’ve learned not to complain about that. Big sacrifices, we pool our money so I sacrifice a lot on my spending money, but most of it is little stuff though. He’s really good about on date night, I usually get to pick what we are doing, but it’s just minor sacrifices like him taking the last bite, he’s a blanket hog (she laughs), and he likes the windows down in the car but I like the a/c.
Q: What is it like working with someone else marriage-wise?
Shauna: I’ve become a less selfish person. I have to be less selfish in my thinking and I have to think about how what I do affects both him and me. Everything I do revolves around this family.
Q: What are some tips you have for soon to be married women?
Shauna: Remember to listen to each other. It’s very easy to forget that you’re supposed to be a unit especially early on in the marriage since it’s so new. Patience, because you are two different people and just because you’re married it doesn’t make you any more similar. And always, always, always keep your fights clean because you can’t take back the words that you say.
Q: What have you learned from marriage?
Shauna: Take your commitments seriously and realize that you’ve committed to love someone for the rest of your lives. And stay young, it’s o.k. to be homebodies but just because you get older doesn’t mean you have to get old. That’s when the love dies.
Next week: Shauna’s husband Tim gets an interview!