Gaye and her husband Dan live with their two sons in central South Carolina, about midway between the ocean and the mountains. They will celebrate their 29th anniversary in November!
How did you first meet?
We lived and worked in the same city (actually, for the same university) for a couple of years, but never met. After I finished graduate school, I took a job in a coastal town about 3 hours away. A couple of months later, a friend called and invited me to have dinner with a group from her church that was staying at some beach condos not far from my apartment. I went to dinner with them and met Dan, who was part of my friend’s church group. We started dating right after that weekend and got married 14 months later!
What was your first date and what encouraged you to keep dating?
Because we met while living in different towns, our entire relationship took place long distance until we got married. After that first meeting at the beach, I went to the city where Dan lived and stayed with my friend for the weekend. He took me to dinner at a casual restaurant on Friday night and to a nice restaurant and a movie (I think it was Return of the Jedi, but I’m not 100% positive about that!) on Saturday night. After that, one of us made the drive to visit the other almost every weekend.
What was your best date ever and what made it so outstanding?
One of our best recent dates took place last summer, at the beach (we sort of have a beach theme going on in our marriage!). We rented bicycles and rode about 10 miles on a beautiful shaded trail that ends in a small coastal town that’s famous for its seafood restaurants. We stopped at the restaurant closest to the trail (because we were hungry!) and had a delicious seafood lunch on the patio. It was fun and relaxing and a bit unplanned, because stopping for lunch hadn’t been on our agenda when we set out that morning.
How do people describe you as a couple?
Calm, quiet, solid
What’s one of the biggest challenges you have faced as a couple and how has that challenge affected your marriage? How would you encourage other couples that may be facing this challenge?
Neither of us is a “natural” when it comes to emotional communication. Our natural tendency is not to talk about things that are difficult, painful or sensitive. But, obviously, not communicating about those kinds of things is bad for a marriage. So we have had to learn, and in a sense force ourselves, to talk about difficult things. I would encourage younger couples to learn that lesson early on – it will save you a lot of problems, misunderstandings and heart ache!
What is something you are most proud to have created together?
I guess the most obvious answer is our two sons, ages 26 and 20. They are fine young men, and we are very proud of them.
What are some marriage resources that have helped you build a better marriage?
Tell us about an “Aha!” moment that you have had in your marriage and how that has helped you become a better spouse.
Are we allowed to talk about sex?! For me, it was kind of an “aha” moment to realize that women’s sexual response is quite different from men’s, and the fact that a woman doesn’t approach sex in the same way as a man doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with her, or that she’s not a sexual person. It was also helpful for me to understand that a couple needs to make sure that both the husband’s and the wife’s sexual needs are understood and addressed. As a younger wife I sort of adopted the idea that sex was primarily about my husband, which is not a helpful or productive idea!
When you think about your future together, what are you most excited about?
Our younger son is in college, so we’re thinking about changes we might make in our jobs/careers once he’s out of college. We’re thinking about doing something different, maybe starting a business together. We’re also taking some initial steps toward creating a “micro farm” on our property.
What is your idea of the ideal date?
Something that involves both physical activity and food! I like to take a walk or a hike or a bike ride, and then go eat!
I would like to encourage the ladies to visit Gaye’s website, Calm.Healthy.Sexy. It is a place for married women who want to transform their hectic, hurried lives. If you want to feel calm and relaxed (most of the time!), eat well and strengthen your body, and feel sexy and enjoy a great sex life with your husband, then Calm.Healthy.Sexy (CHS) is for you.
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