Episode 5: How to make your marriage work when you both are running on different speeds

Episode 5: Chris and Tina

Intro - Welcome to Real love stories, The podcast. A platform for couples to share their love stories and for singles to find hope. I am Kanu, the host and you are listening to episode #5. And in this episode I'm speaking with Chris and Tina. They are a couple from New Mexico, enjoy their love story.

Welcome Chris and Tina to episode # 5. Thanks for being a part of my podcast.

Tina -Awesome. Happy to be part of it.

Kanu- Awesome yeah. So to start off with, you know the podcast is about real love stories. So I kind of want to hear you guys share your love journey. When did it start and how did it start?

Tina - Well, we've been together as of right now, 24 years and two months, so we're heading to 25 years. We've been married 23.We had our twenty third wedding anniversary May 20th.

Chris - and we both survived so far.


Tina - So it's kind of a really neat story. do you want us to tell you how we met?


Kanu - Oh yeah, that'll be amazing.

Tina - OK. So almost 25 years ago. One of my friends, Debbie, kept telling me, Tina I want you to come over to this place called The Merrit house in Dundalk, Maryland, of all places, and she kept inviting me,  it was a place that did karaoke. they had some evenings where it was like all you can eat shrimp and pitcher beers or whatever. And she kept inviting me and she said, yeah there's this guy Chris that kind of leads up the karaoke, I think you should come, it’ll be a good time, and I kept telling her no no no no no. And then one evening I finally said you know what? yeah, I'll go. I drove over there and it was a 35 minute drive and we sat down and we were hanging out and I guess I just met you once we were there and walking  in.

Chris- Yeah I was already there.

Tina-Yeah. He was already there

Chris- Because I remember checking you out when you walked in.

Tina- Ha! You heard that right? So anyhow, to make a long story short. So he was singing and I looked at my friend Debbie and I said oh my god! I'm gonna marry that man. And he is going to sing to me at the wedding, at the ceremony. So that's what I said to my friend Debbie and the funny thing is, I just have to say this, she goes, ‘Well gosh, I guess I don't think he's cute anymore.’

Kanu- So she liked him?

Tina- Well I don’t know that she liked him. But she knew of him and she probably thought he was handsome or whatever. And she and I went to high school together. But anyhow, fast forward. he actually got up to leave. And this was later in the evening and she got up and chased him to the door and said ‘Why don't you come back and sit down with us.’ And he's like OK. And the funny thing is like I thought he was cute pretty much during the whole evening and vice versa. So he came and sat down right next to me, he kind of like pushed Debbie to the side. God bless her, she’s still a really great friend of mine. But anyway he sat down next to me and he asked me to slow dance and understand, we just met. so he asked me to slow dance. He took the cordless microphone and I can tell you the song he sang was “The Dance” by Garth Brooks and he sang to me while we slow danced. And I'm not kidding you, I pretty much knew it from that moment but it was pretty shielded. I'm going to try to get through this without getting emotional. It’s happy tears.

Chris- And I just thought it was cheesy. I'm like well she’s either going to think I’m a creeper or you know, this will work.

Tina- So he sang to me and it was the most amazing thing ever. So it's like we had this instant connection. And he shared with me immediately about his past and some things and I was just like , ”okay, that's coo”l. And Chris is six years older than I am. So I got married when we were 22. But anyhow, so I'm going to let him take over from here because this is the best part of the whole story.

Kanu-Oh I love it

Chris-The whole story is really it's all good parts but. So yeah you know her friend Debbie asked me to come sit with them and I kinda pushed Debbie out of away because I want to sit and talk to Tina. And we're talking and she says to me, I want you to sing at my wedding someday when I get married.  And I said, well only if I’m the groom.

Tina-He kissed me on the cheek, we exchanged numbers and we've been together ever since.

Kanu-Oh my gosh. I love that!  That’s so beautiful.

Tina- Yep. We've been together ever since, and I still remember to this day. That was the cool story of how we met. Everyone always likes to know and I will tell you,yes he sang at the ceremony at the wedding there wasn't a dry eye in the church. It was amazing and I felt like the song lasted forever and I remember I was crying, I'm always crying, and my nose is running and I'm like ‘is the song over yet?’ But he did sing to me and he has been singing to me ever since. And it's pretty, pretty amazing.

Kanu-Oh. So Chris are you a singer?

Chris-Yeah It never... Probably for all of about three months out one summer I would say that I did it full time lived on a bus. And played up and down the half of the East Coast.

Kanu- Oh fun!

Chris- It didn't really go anywhere but I've always, you know I've always done something musically and on the weekends so. Music has always been a passion of mine.  

Kanu- (to tina) So you mentioned that he sang that Garth Brooks song on the first day you met, is that the song that he sang to you on the day that you got married or was it a different song?

Tina-No, he sang I’ll Still Be Loving You.  And who is the band?

Chris-I always get confused as to who did the song it's a country band that did it and I can never get it straight who did the song but song called I'll Still Be Loving You.

Kanu-Okay okay maybe when I've post it on YouTube we can copy that link to that song. So you what a beautiful story. So okay, so what about the proposal?

Tina-So we met in May. And he proposed in August, three months later. So when someone says that they know that it's the right person. I absolutely know it. I remember that the first time he told me loved, when we were outside my uncle's house and I was something in the back of the car and I think he was playing with my hair, I've always had very long hair, and he said he liked my hair and it’s  so pretty. I love your hair and I love you too and I was like, oh!. He loves me, he said he loves me! Again, we met in May, he proposed in August and we were married a year later. and he proposed in Florida. We were at one of the...where we like I’m trying to remember, he wanted to give me, like he wanted to get on the stage and that didn't work out.

Chris-We were at SeaWorld. She loves dolphins and so I was begging the staff to let me get up, to have it staged so that I could get up for the dolphin show lol. I couldn’t pull it off, so I just had to pick a spot and propose to her. But yeah you know. People always talk about love at first sight and even us as a couple. If we're giving somebody advice we're talking to someone or somebodies wanting our advice with relationships. You know, I do tend to lean towards some caution with love at first sight, cause you can get caught up in the moment. you know? Our story definitely sounds like a love at first sight, You know throwing all logic to the wind and just going with the heart. But the truth of it is I mean if we really told the long story is that from day one I mean we really communicate with each other. We really engaged each other. We talked very deeply about things from the beginning. when Tina said that I told her about my past. I've been married before and I have two children. And  I just knew that when I got to the point when I was ready to date again that if I saw somebody/met somebody And I really liked them that I would just get all that out right away. You know I've got kids. You know I've got to pay child support I got to do this and that and all of these responsibilities and at that point I was in the Army kind of getting ready to get out of the military. And no I was going to be getting out and having to find a job and really start my life all over again so I just aired it out all upfront, you know in part that's either going to scare somebody off or you know you just kinda see what's going to happen. But that's the key to it. in all relationships,You know what makes a relationship really work is the condition of each individual.

Kanu- Absolutely

Chris-the person who is utterly and absolutely content to be by themselves, they're happy with themselves and they love themselves and are honest with themselves. You know that's the person that’s ready to be in a relationship. And so you know Tina was very confident in herself and happy with who she was. And I was confident in myself and was happy with who I was. And you know again having those honest talks and looking at each other you know where we were at that point. But you know really in talking to each other, Part of what made it click for us is just somehow we knew we could build a life together. You know back then we were making six/seven dollars an hour or whatever it was, we were starting with nothing. And we just  somehow knew, we wanted to build a life together.

Kanu-You know I like that, actually it leads me to a question I wanted to ask, is that How did you know that she was the right person to marry and how did you know that he was the right one to marry?

Tina-Well Chris just has a certain. I don't know if I'd call it energy or whatever about him, and i  just felt a connection. Immediately, I felt secure, i felt safe. I know that may sound funny, but I kind of had a ugly childhood and so I’m super, I guess guarded, you would say you know what I mean is smart like letting someone into my circle so to speak, or whatever. But I just, I've always felt, super, super secure with him and never, I never doubted his love and I just knew that he was super genuine I guess you could say. And you know. Yeah. Anyhow so I just I just knew it. I just I felt it was right. Prior to marrying Chris again I got married at 22. And it's funny to see kids you know I see kids, people that age now and I'm like wow I was that young when we got married. But anyhow I just, I just, I just knew it was. I just felt like it was right. I knew it was right because I had two boyfriends prior to that.  You know they were somewhat serious relationships but never ever really ever ever thought the word. Honestly, marriage. So anyhow.

Kanu-You met him and you thought I want him to sing at my wedding.

Tina-Yes. Yep! And he was going to be the groom.

Kanu-Awesome. So you've been married, you say 23 years total?

Tina-Correct. November the 20th 1995

Kanu-And I always ask this question to my couples, you know that are together- are there any annoyances that you each have that you deal with?

Tina- Of course!

Chris-Oh yeah. I mean we definitely get on each other's nerves. But at the end of the day you don't go back to why I knew she was the right one. It was that, you know our personalities are very different and she's actually the more strong willed person. You know, I think most people would look at us and think Tina's got the more dominant personality, Im the  more laid back personality. But the one thing, where we balanced off evenly is that Neither one of us had an ego. So even though our personalities are different they're neither one of us were very prideful,or you know? Neither one of us had to deal with an ego. and I think it's one of the most difficult things in a relationship is the ego causes us to inflate, exaggerate in things going into a relationship. Then then when things finally calmed down you realize it's a different person than what you start with. But We were pretty transparent upfront. But those, those differences in our personality type you know it just means that from time to time we’re going to drive each other a little bit crazy. you know, we operate at two different speeds and my speeds not fast enough for Tina.

Tina-Sometimes I like to call him my turtle...near my feet but don't tell him I said that. Chris- Yeah we definitely like the tortoise and the hare. Tina has two speeds 200 miles an hour and a sleep.

Tina-Yes that’s very true, very true

Chris- I kind of wind up slowly in the day, wind down slowly at night. so yeah,  when you're running into two different speeds and trying to parallel each other, You know that's going to cause friction and you know it just is the differences. you know in certain  places I’m the neat freak and she's not. you know, And that causes some frustrations/ But really in the end all that comes down to self awareness. Right? What is it that particular parts of the house. You know ridiculous about I want to look exactly the way it looked the day we moved in. Why am I hung up on that? Right?  Because really any time you're frustrated with somebody else, almost any time you're frustrated with somebody else you really can find the causes internally, you’re struggling with something and you're just projecting onto the other person. And so, you know for us it's a constant growing experience that we continue to mature and learn. You know getting on each other's nerves now, how we navigate through that has changed quite a bit. You know it's all part of life. You know it's just all part of life.  Have you ever heard the older we get the more mellow we get? You know it just gets easier.

Tina-You know that new song that just came out and I've never even seen it but says I don't want to fight tonight. Imma let you be right? I like that song. You know sometimes i let him be right.

Kanu-That’s what love is about right?

Chris- In a relationship the best two words for a guy to know are yes dear.

Kanu-How often do you use those?

Chris- I try. I try really hard.

Kanu- I love it, I love it.  So the flip side of that question I don't know if you wanted to add a little bit more about the annoyances, i know Chris talked about that a little. Tina Did you want to add to that a little?

Tina- nooo I think he pretty much… Yeah...I mean we have good days and bad days right. But at the end of the day, We love each other more than life itself.

Kanu-  I don't know why I'm getting teary eyed talking to you.. I'm getting embarrassed, like wiping my eyes.

Chris-Tina projects that emotion 

Tina-So yeah but but there's so much more good i should say. I mean, Of course we’ve had bad days right? And we just kind of love each other like ahhh.  But you have to make it work. I kind of tell everybody that, right? Have we had some really hard things happen in our life and in our marriage? Absolutely. Now i could tell you things and could go on and on. But that's not what We're here to do. But you have to want to make it work. You have to stay together, you have to stay strong. And I don't give up. Like so whatever it is now always said from the very beginning this is the first and only time I will ever get married. And and we're complete opposites and sometimes see people are like, oh my gosh, but it works, It's perfect. I will say that he's the anchor and I’m the hot air balloon and he just helps keep me grounded. and that the other thing like he just I don't know, he loves me so much, believes in me so much and he's always just been there to kinda help me push through at different times in my life when I was struggling which is pretty awesome and a lot of what I think spouses you know may not do that or see it that way, so That's a beautiful thing.

Kanu-Yeah absolutely. Absolutely. So I know you touched on this already but what are some qualities  you like about each other?

Chris-For Tina it's you know her courage. It's just tremendous.  You know she's fearless it's one of the first impressions that she made on me as I thought my goodness she's not afraid of anything or anybody. And that's a good thing. You know it wasn't that she was just trying to be tough but she,you know her upbringing and her life brought her to a point where she doesn't wrestle with a lot of the unfounded fears that a lot of people struggle with, so her courage is incredible. Her work ethic is one of the best that I have ever seen in my life. We worked together so that’s wonderful that we get to share our career. Yeah I mean she's you know utterly honest, completely transparent. She's got the most beautiful brown eyes in the world. Yeah, You know it just when I'm with her I can feed off her energy and her stick to it-ness. You know, she's just amazing. She's absolutely amazing. We win a local indoor football team and our coach Dominic Vermonte refers to her as the Fabulous one. So what do you like about me?

Tina- Everything.Everything,  I love his eyes. I love his sweet, gentle nature, his kindness, his heart. Here i go again!

Kanu-I know, i know and what's going on with me? I’m also in tears.

Chris- And I swear I don't have flashcards to read off of.

Tina- But Chris’s way about him. Everybody says that it's, it's, it's interesting. And I'm the lucky girl that gets to spend the rest of my life with someone that helps me get through everyday.

Chris- I have her completely fooled and it works.

Tina-Sometimes he does drive me crazy. We’ve already touched on that but for the most part it's pretty darn amazing. Yeah. So...

Kanu-That’s so beautiful. Yeah. It's bringing tears to my eyes. I'm watching you cry and I'm tearing up as well. That's beautiful. I think you know when you were talking about that you met and the proposal happened within three months I was actually having a conversation with my friend yesterday. A single friend, and I’m posting a bonus episode where just her and I are talking. One of the questions she asked me was, what do you think about you know proposals that happen pretty quickly? And I say to her and she was actually referring to more reality TV right. Like there's some TV shows about 90 day fiance or something like that. And I was thinking about that I was like no you know I want to get to know someone and I wanna say you know but then I'm like you know I'm in my 40s. It's like how long is it going to take me to know someone and you know, but when you know you know,  I love what you're saying about that,and you knew the moment you see each other. you can't really describe it, but you knew. You know I mean what are your thoughts about that? Anything you want to share with people that maybe, you know in that sort of predicament.

Chris- Well you know yeah I just from what I've seen I just think that when it when we're talking about you know how long does it take to get to know somebody and how soon is too soon. Love at first sight all those things, you know often what I see occur in relationships or people looking for relationships it's just that they are looking for somebody they're searching and the search becomes external. And even though they, they know that they should say things like well I'm not looking for somebody to complete me and I'm self aware and I'm content. I mean, only that person knows for sure. and so  the key to a relationship again you know going back to what I said when we first started talking. It's just that you know it has to do with one's level of self awareness and how self secure someone is, you know where they're at in their journey because really you know if you are, you know where you should be in your journey and you love yourself and you, you are at a point in your life where you are in flow. You know that you're doing what you should be doing the thing you're doing in life is who you are when you're in that place, Then the relationship really could be almost anybody. If there is at least close to being in the same point in time any two people can share a relationship If each individual is where they should be individually. And so the risk in the fast moving relationship is if these people are really not having a true level of self-awareness if they're looking in the mirror they're still lying to themselves that there  lies the risk. Because anything other than to self-sufficient people getting together it's probably going to go with some sort of a codependent relationship which leads to frustration and disappointment. So yeah, I mean you know two people could meet know in five minutes. But it just depends on where those two people are at themselves.

Kanu-Yeah. No that's beautifully said. Absolutely, yeah. So what advice would you have both to single people and me being one of them searching for love.

Chris- Stay single, stay single. Oh I’m sorry! (laughter*)

Kanu- I want to be able to have my own partner, I want to be able to cry about how we met.....

Chris-You know I mean really  My advice is to begin with yourself. You know somebody asked me once what's the best advice you ever received? and it's the advice or the information we get every time we're on an airplane. You know they go through this safety protocol and they always say in the event of the cabin losing pressure the oxygen masks will drop from the ceiling. And you should put the mask on yourself before you attempt to help somebody else because otherwise you just pass out. And that's probably one of the best pieces of advice that we can get in life. So that's my advice to somebody single or seeking a relationship is to really invest, you know invest in yourself invest in your self awareness. And there's some fantastic books out there. There's so much more available to people now than just 10 years ago right? I mean every few years it increases exponentially as to what's available for us to to read and to learn from. And so you know my advice to anybody would be stop the search for a bit back up a little bit and really work on yourself.

You fall in love with yourself because that's the best way you could ever present yourself to another person.

Kanu-Right, right. You know you’re very right about that and I kept hearing that from all the couples that I've talked to. Yes. Yeah. What about you?

Chris-She's taking care of our little 15 year old dog Sparky. He's down here looking at us wondering what's going on.

Kanu-You can lift him up and put him on camera.

Chris-He’s our little four legged child. Here comes Sparky.

Kanu-Everybody can see Sparky.

Chris-There he is.

Tina-this is our little rat terrier. He turned 15 on Sunday. He’s the center of our world.

Chris-He’s our little miracle dog. He’s had two bouts with immune disease, cancer, you name it and he just keeps going.

Tina-So I want to show you something. I grabbed this today before we started and I said look I had a prompt. so the other day i posted on Facebook. I see different things that show up, you know that are a sponsor in your news feed. And there was a really cool thing and I tagged chris and yesterday about, i want one of these. The other day he comes home and he's like close your eyes, so i close my eyes and he said open them. And he got this  for us. And it says you and me and we’re going to paint it. So I just it's things like moments like that. It melted my heart and there's just the little things. You know it's not the big things because neither of us are materialistic but I just tagged him and he didn't say anything about it and a few days later he's like look and I’m like it's like oh my gosh. So it's things like that too, that you know keep the spark there. But that meant the world to me and I'm going to put that in my office.

Tina-So that's my prop for this

Kanu-I love it, i love it! So he listened and you know you've got her what she wanted and she appreciates it. And that's  awesome.

Chris-I'm lucky because typically when she's Tagging stuff it's not you know, a five thousand dollar diamond ring or a Ferrari. You know it's cute little things

Kanu-I love it. I love it. Yeah. So any anything you want to say in closing? I just so appreciate that you were able to share your love story.

Tina-Well thank you so much for this and that's cool that Pat and Tina brought us in on this and we were actually excited I was like oh yeah that’s cool, lets do it! No not really. You know you have to. You have to want to make it work. And I'm sure as you know there aren't very many couples especially in our age that have been together as long as we have and that are still together and make it work. You know it's it's not easy. And everyday is not wonderful, you know. But you have to make it work and you have to find the right partner to spend your life with. And that's pretty much all I have. and I'm just glad that he's mine, that he's my person in my life, To the rest of my life with and he's spent a lot longer than anyone has. You know even my biological parents, so we talk about that often. So anyway but we, we have created an amazing life together and we're super blessed. And I wouldn't want to do it with anybody else.

Chris- Me neither

Kanu-That's beautiful you guys. I love this so much. I mean this is why I do what I'm doing is to share  love stories. I mean wow I'm crying listening to your story. Yeah. It inspires others . It inspires me to want to find that person who makes me cry when I'm talking about him.. you know? So before I start crying again I want to thank you so much for being a part of this. And I'm so grateful that you took the time to share your love story.

Chris and Tina-Oh thank you thanks for including us. thank you so much.

Kanu-Absolutely. Thanks for tuning into this week's episode. I hope you enjoyed it. Do you have a love story to share? Do you know a couple with a love story? Send me an e-mail at infoforrealloverealstories.com. And also follow me on instagram and facebook under real love,  real stories. Till next time.


Kanu Jacobsen