One misconception was that we were a new couple. At the time of filming, we had been together for 11 years. Now we’ve been married nearly six years and together for 14 years. Much of what we discussed on the show were hurdles we overcame early on in our relationship but that were pivotal to our maturation as a couple.
Another misconception was that we do not get along and likely fight often; this is far from the truth. While we may not always laugh at each other’s jokes or prefer each other’s communication styles, we are not verbally abusive to one another. The reality is we show each other a lot of love. We rarely argue, and when we do, we make-up quickly.
Though the boundaries of our communication may look different from other couples, we prefer to keep the peace. And, we do so by keeping three things in mind.
First, we extend each other grace.
No one is perfect. Akadius may tell jokes that I don’t find funny. But I do things that he doesn’t like too. Ultimately, we have chosen each other – faults and all. And by extending each other grace, we understand that nothing we do is malicious and recognize our own flaws and imperfections.
Next, we keep the big picture in mind.
When reflecting on our day, week, month, etc., we do not want to waste time and energy being upset about something trivial like who didn’t load the dishwasher. In the moment, we may be upset, but in the grand scheme of things, we are busy with our demanding careers and personal lives – adding trivial arguments only creates avoidable stress. We want to be sources of love and support for each other, not sources of stress. It is through that “big picture” lens that we evaluate the overall importance of an issue in our day to day lives. Often, what we were arguing over isn’t that serious, and we are able to move on more quickly by recognizing that.
Finally, we choose joy.
We want to be happy. We want to enjoy our time with each other. So we choose joy. We try not to give the best parts of ourselves to our co-workers and friends and have nothing left to give each other. We want our time together to be enjoyable. So instead of choosing to spend time arguing over small things, we choose to move past disagreements and spend that time cuddling on the couch or spending time doing other things we enjoy. Happiness is a choice, and we try to choose joy!
A foundation of these truths and choices is what keeps our relationship strong. We are thick as thieves. We are best friends and lovers. We are confidants and partners and truly are inseparable. And now, through the Black Love Docuseries, we have a funny, honest, televised reminder of just how colorful our relationship can be.