Jessica and Meetch live in sunny (and smoggy) Los Angeles, right in between downtown and the Hollywood Hills. This past December 3rd, they celebrated our 10th year anniversary. Meetch is a freelance advertising copywriter and Jessica is an executive assistant in the Private Wealth division of a major bank. She’s also an actor, which is something she actively pursues outside of her day job — she has an agent and an awesome web series that she’s working on.
How did you first meet?
The first time that Jess and I met was actually through a local church organization in Florida. (We were just teenagers at the time.)
I’m originally from New York, but I lived in Florida for about three or four years. Jess is originally from Barcelona (hence her nickname “Barcelonan Beauty”) and her family moved to Orlando when she was about five years old.
I hated the humidity and flatness or Orlando, but the best thing that came of it was meeting my wife.
What was your first date? What encouraged you to keep dating?
We didn’t start dating for another five years or so. We were just casual friends at that point (she was actually engaged to someone else for while!) In 2001, I decided that I wanted to see what the West Coast was like so I drove out with a friend of mine and we staked our claim in California.A year or so later, Jessica came out to pursue her acting career. At that point, it was natural for us to start dating.
I took Jessica out to this restaurant in Santa Monica on the 3rd Street Promenade and we had a blast — we can’t remember the name but we can probably find it if our lives depended on it.
Deep down I was always crazy about her and our first date only fueled those feelings toward her. Apparently, she felt the same way.
What was your best date ever and what made it so outstanding?
Best date ever … Hmmm … Ok. This is a true story. A little long, but 100% true.
On our second anniversary, Jess and I decided to go back to the restaurant where we had the reception for our wedding. It was a nice Italian place called Farentelli’s in Orange County, off the Dana Point Harbor.
After dinner we decided to drive up to the top of the Dana Point cliffs, where there is this spectacular ocean view. It was so romantic and stunning that we decided NOT to wait to get intimate with each other until we drove home …
The moment had struck us, we embraced it, and didn’t hold back (if you know what I mean).
So there we are “sharing our love” for one another in the car and all of the sudden we see these bright shining lights glaring at us through the tinted, fogged up windows. We got busted … and the cops demanded that I exit the car immediately.
(They wanted to make sure everything was consensual and politely let us know we had to “get a hotel.”)
As I panicked, I grabbed the first piece of clothing that I could find … Jessica’s hoodie. And before I knew it, there I was, enduring an Orange County Department investigation, with nothing but my wife’s undersized hoodie on …
They let us go and Jess and I laughed all the way home …
That was our favorite date.
How do other people describe you as a couple?
A toned down version of ‘The Honeymooners.’
What’s one of the biggest challenges you have faced as a couple? How has that challenge affected your marriage? How would you encourage other couples that may be facing this challenge?
Both Jess and I agree that in our earlier years, money was one of the central issues, but learning how to make quality time for each other was even bigger. At one point I was working sixteen hours a day and it almost cost us our marriage.
Regarding money, I would suggest that couples have a structured financial meeting once a week; one that covers the fundamentals of personal finance –- things like basic budgeting, income, saving, and investing.
When it comes to making that quality time for each other, it’s all a matter of prioritizing. If you have to, schedule it. You’d be surprised what a daily ten-minute session of undistracted conversation with your spouse will accomplish.
Make your marriage a priority and protect it … like a junkyard dog protects his juicy steak bone.
Meetch, you have a website with a very interesting name: “husbandology“. Can you tell us a little bit about the “husbandology” concept and what your goals are with the website?
A couple of months of ago, I remember thinking to myself about all of the mistakes I’ve made over the years as a husband. My fears, inadequacies, and a host of other negatively charged emotions that I assumed were unique to my own mental makeup.
Turns out that some of my guy friends battled with the same things, but we never really talked about it because we were too occupied with saving face; it’s painful to be vulnerable and open for men. (Women in relationships seem to thrive on it.)
My greatest regret was placing my relationship on the back burner and letting those other “urgent” but less important aspects of life take over.
“Honing my craft,” as a husband wasn’t in my consciousness … it never even occurred to me to that being a competent and caring husband is a skill; one that constantly needs to be developed.
Married men need genuine, relatable, non-judgmental support in their roles in marriage. Deep down they want to be competent; they want to excel in their role.
That’s essentially what husband-ology.com is all about … learning what it takes to become a world-class husband.
School and society don’t offer that class.
When it comes to my goals with the site, right now I am focused on providing valuable and relevant content to subscribers and visitors through our free newsletter. I’m working on a couple of different paid product and newsletter ideas. But the main focus is getting the word out to husbands who are committed to their own personal development.
What are some marriage resources that have helped you build a better marriage?
Here’s a small list of working resources.
Why Marriages Succeed Or Fail – Dr. John Gottman (Anything from John and Julie if pure gold.)
To Be A Man – Robert A. Masters (Great read!)
Five Languages of Love (Jessica recommended)
The Love Dare (Very simple, but powerful underlying philosophy at play here.)
Tell us about an “Aha!” moment that you have had in your marriage and how that has helped you become a better spouse.
My “aha” moment happened about six years ago when we were having a bit of trouble in our relationship. I was overworked, irritable, and frustrated. Jessica was too. And we were at a crossroads.
I tried to imagine my life without her … and I couldn’t. That day I learned what true commitment was all about. It’s not romantic, but it’s real. And the idea of living my life without her scared the hell out of me.
When you think about your future together, what are you most excited about?
Being able to see her dreams and goals manifest. It’s all about that smile she gets on her face when she’s ecstatic about something. I want to be a part of that.
If you only had $5 to spend, Jessica, what would you want to do for a date? Meetch?
Jessica: I know Meetch well enough to know that when he finds something he likes, he sticks to it. In this case, I know for a fact that he loves cigars. I’ll occasionally smoke one with him. If I had $5 to spend, I’d head down to Meetch’s favorite cigar shop and buy us two cigars from the $2 bin. This would give us a good hour or so out on our patio for conversation and a good smoke that I know Meetch would appreciate.
Meetch: Jessica is a movie buff. With $5 to spend I would have to say I’d take her down to the $1.50 theatre in North Hollywood to watch her movie of choice. I’d still have $2 to spend.
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