Today’s Spouse Dates’ Featured couple is Steve and Jean Williams! They have been married for 35 years. They have three grown children who are married and three grandchildren. They live in the Greater St. Louis area where Jean is an executive assistant at a bank, and Steve is a professional counselor. You can connect more with Steve at his blog, Marriage and Family Minutes, or on Twitter.
How did you first meet? What was your first date? What encouraged you to keep dating?
We met quite by accident. Steve was on his first paid vacation and decided to hop on his motorcycle and ride from NW Iowa to St. Louis. He didn’t call ahead to some very distant relatives just showed up in the parking lot of their last known address. Jean came home from work that day rather go to the mall which was her norm after work. She saw a wind blown, sun burned guy waiting in the parking lot. They struck up a conversation and the rest is history.
What was your best date ever and what made it so outstanding?
Over the years we have had so many awesome dates it is really hard to pick just one. One in particular, Jean won a B&B weekend at a woman’s conference. She arranged everything and stole Steve from work. We went to lunch, (Steve was still shifting his mind from work mode) then went on a swimming/hiking date, then to the B&B. Lots of fun.
How do other people describe you as a couple?
Tough one…we’re old enough…that people call us cute.
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?
Our biggest challenges was when were involved in a car accident in 1986. Steve was airlifted to the Mayo Clinic. Jean went by road ambulance. We lost a son in the accident (Austin). Losing a child is one of the worst things a couple can go through. It is very important that they don’t blame each other and they lean on each other for comfort and strength. Some couples struggle with overcoming that kind of circumstance. Our advice would be to seek professional help. We lost a 14 month old child in a car accident. That was by far the hardest thing for us. But it actually drew us closer.
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.
We went to a Five Love Language conference with Gary Chapman. During the intermission, we listed in order our Love Languages and discovered that Jean was trying to make Steve her’s, and Steve was trying to make Jean his. We just laughed and learned to accept each other for who we are. We also read and enjoyed “For Women Only” and “For Men Only” learned a lot about how men and women think.
When you think about your future together, what are you most excited about?
We are excited about watching our grandchildren grow and future grandchildren to come. We have started planning different vacations. There are so many places to see. The best part will be doing it together.
What is your idea of the ideal date?
We really like the beach. But that is a vacation…Spending a week just the two of us on the beach was amazing. We like to get dressed up, go out for a nice dinner, listen to some live music, then go home and be together. We also like home dates, grill the entire meal, kick back and listen to some music, or watch a movie and relax.