Today’s featured Spouse Date couple is Dustin & Bethany Riechmann!
Dustin has been married for over 13 years to his best friend Bethany, and they are the proud parents to three very energetic kids under the age of nine. They live in Glen Carbon, Illinois, about 20 minutes east of St. Louis, Missouri.
How did you first meet?
We met in high school.
What was your first date and what encouraged you to keep dating?
Our first date story is one of much debate – I asked Bethany to go out on a date with me and she said she had other plans. While she still holds that she didn’t realize I was really asking her on a date, the evidence shows that she was clearly rejecting me.
Fortunately, I took an end around and got my best friend to ask her friend on a date. It worked, and our first date was a double-date with an exciting night of McDonald’s food and bowling. Such is the story of high school sweethearts.
What was your best date ever and what made it so outstanding?
It’s hard to pick out one date because what you value in a date changes so much with life changes. At this stage of life, we’re very happy to get an hour to ourselves after the kids are bed!
That said, our most memorable date has to be the evening I proposed to Bethany. Like many of our adventures, very little went according to plan – we got lost and were late for dinner, my romantic spot for “the ask” turned out to be dark and creepy, and I almost lost the ring – but she said YES and made it one of the best nights of my life.
How do people describe you as a couple?
I think people would describe us as very happy, funny and one of those couples that just fits perfectly together. They would probably say our marriage seems effortless, but looks can definitely be deceiving!
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?
There are many, but the one I will share is our financial struggle. Shortly after we found out we were pregnant with our first child, it hit us like a ton of bricks that we were $54,500 in debt with no money plan. It was disheartening, but I’m proud of how we responded.
We drew a line in the sand that day to take on no more debt, and we worked like crazy to get it paid off. That experience united us tightly in so many ways, and it’s set the path for us to enjoy more peace and less stress in our lifestyle to this day. I would encourage couples to get on the same page financially and view it as an opportunity to invest in your marriage.
What is something you are most proud to have created together?
Other than our children, that would have to be our marriage-education business Engaged Marriage. While I’m the primary writer and outside-facing leader of our company, Bethany plays a vital role behind-the-scenes as well. We have been blessed to help thousands of couples around the world through our site, books and marriage-boosting products.
What are some marriage resources that have helped you build a better marriage?
Again, being in the space, there are many, many great ones. I would say the basics for any couple would be some inexpensive books – The 5 Love Languages, The Total Money Makeover and (not so modestly) our easy read 15 Minute Marriage Makeover.
We are also huge advocates of investing in your relationship with a marriage retreat at least once a year. This lets you get out of the house for a night or two and truly focus on each other and your marriage.
Tell us about an “Aha!” moment that you have had in your marriage and how that has helped you become a better spouse.
One that I go back to all the time is the first time we read The 5 Love Languages. Bethany and I both had the wrong assumptions about the other’s love language – as is often the case, I thought she shared my own and vice-versa. Once we realized that wasn’t the case, it really helped us communicate more effectively and understand what works best to show affection to one another.
When you think about your future together, what are you most excited about?
I am excited about continuing our crazy journey as parents and seeing our kids hopefully learn something from us and make the world a better place for it. I’m also excited about the future of Engaged Marriage and continuing to do the work God has blessed us to do to help married couples enjoy their dream life together.
What is your idea of the ideal date?
My idea of an ideal date is something that is low-key and allows us to just be a couple together. I prefer to avoid anything too flashy that requires us to put on any kind of act to meet other’s expectations. Just the two of us in a comfortable setting is the best.
Dustin and Bethany are the couple behind the book 15-Minute Marriage Makeover and the creators of Engaged Marriage, a site devoted to helping other married couples live a life they love (especially) when they feel too busy to make it happen. Their passion is to provide practical tools that couples can use to keep their marriage fresh and fully “engaged” even when life gets hectic. Be sure to check out their great marriage resources.