What are some things you do consistently to keep your marriage healthy and intact after all of these years?
Carlton: We always made sure we went away on vacation every year. Now we go on vacation just the two of us but it used to always be with the kids.
Joyce: We started out as friends. What helps us keep sight of who we are is that we have that separate relationship — we are still friends. We can laugh and joke with each other and everything doesn’t have to be in the context of husband and wife, but as friends too. As long as the friendship is there, I don’t see how a relationship can deteriorate. But what has worked for us is just maintaining that basic part [of friendship].
We have a separate ‘Joyce & Butch’ relationship from Mommy & Daddy. We’ll be mommy and daddy forever, but that is not who we started out being. For a lot of people, when all they have in common is their children, it can lead to big trouble.
What are some of the things you had to learn to accept in each other?
Joyce: He’s always moving, always has something going on, always has to be productive, and I’m the exact opposite. He’s a day person and I’m a night person. It just took time to get that to a middle ground. My strengths are his weaknesses, his strengths are my weaknesses. When he needed to get up early in the morning when the kids were younger (and had been up like they had taken some no-dose), he’s the one that heard them and took care of them because I was still sleeping.
Carlton: It helps in certain cases where you’re strong in one area and she’s strong in another area. I think it’s a bit boring if you’re both into all of the same things. We have our separate likes and our dislikes. I think we just balance each other out.
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