by Eric Payne
During my recent 4-day weekend at Disney World for Disney’s Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence magazine, I was blessed with an unexpected treat. I got to work alongside Lamar and Ronnie Tyler, the founders of this site. We and several other bloggers were members of the New Media press corps invited to cover the event.
Prior to the weekend, Lamar and I have met on more than one occasion. Our business related chats have always been cordial, worthwhile, and informative. I’ve also met his better half, Ronnie, prior to Disney World but again our conversation was strictly business and lasted maybe a total of 10 minutes.
But over the course of the first Thursday to Sunday in March 2011 I was a witness to what I’ll call Tyler Magic. They were a 2-person wrecking machine, snagging interviews, writing posts, updating their social networks, consulting with one another, taking turns bringing each other food and beverages, taking the few free moments we were allotted to be playful with one another. They were supportive of one another in that way that makes you smile when watching your favorite team get busy on the field or court. And like any man worth his salt, Lamar carried all their equipment despite the Florida heat.
After about two days of this I thought to myself, These guys are the real deal! Behind the curtains of this site and beyond the growing number of documentaries under their belts, they are genuinely are living what they preach. When it was time to fly home, I left to two of them enriched not only by the amazing weekend that was the Dreamer’s Academy, but also by the oddity that was their cohesive and very “normal” relationship. I also picked up some other tips as well. Side Note: Lamar is a master at work on the Karaoke machine and can pull off a mean Luther!
After I returned home I continued to contemplate what was it that made them seem so “odd” to me. They were so easy-going, laid back and normal. I’m sure they disagree with one another behind closed doors, but I got a very strong feeling they spend more time solving problems then debating who caused them. It was as if they had somehow come together a long time ago as two individuals and made the conscious decision and effort to be functional rather than the opposite. What an amazing concept for married folk.
Halfway into the following week it hit me. They’re friends! How many of us in the married lane have lost sight of the friendships that existed prior to our marriages, or even had one at all? How many of us have simply fallen into the rut of making sure the kids are taken care of, the food is on the table, the bills are paid, and we are doing whatever it is we need to do to get to the next level in the workplace?
I didn’t ask, so I don’t know, but I’m sure working together on a business has helped to strengthen the Tylers’ relationship. They are united to achieve a mutually desired goal that they both believe in. Do you have to run a business with your spouse in order to be friends with them? I sure hope not. But I do believe that couples need to have something to work on together to maintain and in some instances, build, the friendship. This could be exercising together or creating a financial plan together to save to buy a home. There are an endless number of opportunities to work with that person who lives under the same roof as you.
Frankly speaking, watching the Tylers showed me that the friendship dynamic has taken a back seat in my own marriage. But I’m not looking across the fence at their yard wanting their green grass. I realize I need to take better care of my own yard so it will be as green as God intends for it to be. This is now one of my new goals to chase with my wife. If any of what you’re reading here seems familiar, then I encourage you to do the same.
Do you investing time, however sparse it may be, into cultivating the relationship with your spouse? Do you have common goals/dreams that you are actively working toward? For those of you who do, how do you make the “magic” work?
Eric has written the articles Investing In An Emotional Letdown and the now infamous, My Wife Is NOT My Friend (on Facebook). He keeps it truthful about being a man, dad and husband on his blog, Makes Me Wanna Holler.com and at the Makes Me Wanna Holler.com Facebook Experience. In his “spare time” Eric reviews autos, tech products and writes relationship articles for Atlanta-based J’Adore Magazine.