Hello and Happy Wednesday! Today’s blog post I interviewed some family members about their marriage. I asked them questions about their journey and they didn’t disappoint!
Let me introduce you to David, Ali and Adeline O’Reilly. They live in Minnesota and are going to celebrate their 6th wedding anniversary in July. Their little girl, Adeline, just celebrated her first birthday too!
Every so often I will interview a different married couple on what they have learned and how they have grown in their marriage. The first one I did on my parents and you can read about it Here.
I chose David and Ali because it is evident they have a growing love for Jesus Christ and it shows through their marriage and what they strive for. They have gone through struggles just as every couple goes through. They have really learned how to communicate and love each other to keep their marriage going.
Most of their answers to the questions I was like, “Oh my word, that was Brendan and me.” So I feel and understand their responses at a deep level.
A little background on The O’Reilly’s..
David and Ali both grew up in the Twin Cities. They originally met at their church’s youth group at the age of 16. They said they went to youth group for very different reasons: Ali went because it was her favorite place to be, David went because his parents made him go.
Ali says that “We were in very different places spiritually. David didn’t consider himself a believer at the time. We didn’t really like each other, actually!”
They both ended up at the same college, Bethel University, a few years later. David became a believer through a ministry called Campus Outreach.
Ali – “He changed pretty drastically and started asking me out on dates our sophomore year. It was quite shocking!”
They had been friends for 3 years and Ali didn’t know what to think. After “Lots of dates and even saying ‘no’ to David when he asked me to be his girlfriend, I finally came to my senses and said I would be his girlfriend. Best decision ever!”
Ali also noted that when she said no to David asking her to be his girlfriend it was “on his birthday, nonetheless- brutal!” Ouch!
It’s okay Ali, I remember saying in front of a a few people that I didn’t “like anyone at the time.” Brendan was in the room and he definitely heard me and I definitely knew he liked me.. Things turned out okay 🙂
David and Ali finished out college while attending the Campus Outreach ministry and were mentored by a married couple. They got married shortly after college and the rest is history!
So without further a dew, here is David and Ali’s interview! I hope you guys enjoy it!
- What is one of the best things about being married?
Doing life with your best friend! Having someone to make big decisions with and laugh with.
2. What is one of the hardest things?
For David- the fact that Ali doesn’t load the dishwasher right. But seriously, living together reveals your sin and preferences and it is easy to get in dumb fights.
3. What things have both of you learned about yourselves, individually, since being married?
Ali – I have a tendency to make things much bigger in my head than they need to be. I am emotional by nature, and I love that David balances me out and helps me think through things more rationally. I am so grateful for the ways he has helped me grow in that area.
David – I have learned that I am not the best communicator but Ali has helped me learn to communicate my emotions better. Exhibit A – it took me a very long time to write this.
4. What is one thing that surprised you after being married?
To be honest, how fun it is! I think we went into marriage very sobered to the fact that marriage is a lot of work. And while that is totally true, we have truly enjoyed marriage and found it to be life-giving.
5. Did either of you have any expectations before you got married that were not met or maybe unrealized?
It’s a little tough to remember- it will be 6 years this summer! But I don’t think so, we had a lot of counsel in our lives that helped us know the reality of two sinners getting married.
6. What has God shown you through your marriage?
He’s shown us that we cannot rely on one another for happiness (though we struggle with this!) but that we need to lean on him and he will always meet our needs and give us joy.
7. How has having a little one impacted your relationship?
Prioritizing date night is so hard! We love spending time with our daughter so much, so often that falls to the wayside when it shouldn’t. Then all of a sudden it catches up with us and we realize we’re feeling distant from one another.
8. What do you remember about your wedding day?
We both remember the overwhelming feeling of love from our friends and family. David remembers when I walked down the aisle and the tears we both had. Ali remembers how stunning the reception was and the feeling of seeing 8 months of work come to fruition, and the speeches (they were amazing!). The dance was also SO fun.
–I was there, it was gorgeous and so fun!
9. How do you guys handle arguments? How do you resolve them?
When we were dating we were what you would call a “high frequency, low intensity” conflict couple. Meaning, we fought a LOT but they were little fights.
We got really good at asking for forgiveness quickly and making sure people in our community knew what was going on with us. That “built our muscles”, so to speak, for marriage. Now we have “low frequency, high intensity”, meaning we fight very little but they tend to be big fights. As much as possible we try not to allow the sun to go down on our anger.
Ultimately, we know our marriage is a forever commitment so there is no option to let bitterness and resentment grow. Because Christ forgave us, we can forgive each other. Sometimes it isn’t pretty and we need to get our community involved, but we always know we are for one another- we are on the same team.
10. Tell us about some of your favorite memories together.
We did a lot of bed and breakfasts when we were first married and have a lot of sweet memories from those. We didn’t have much money, but it was so fun to explore and make memories with each other.
Meeting Adeline will forever be etched into our brains. It was the best moment of our married life! It’s crazy to meet a person that is half of each of us.
11. What is your favorite characteristic about each other?
David – Ali has a big heart. She cares deeply about others who are in need and has so much grace for me. This makes me feel very loved and safe in our marriage.
Ali – I always joke that David is like Peter Pan – he will never grow up. And I mean that in the very best way. He keeps laughter, joy, and adventure in our home and it makes life so fun! He’s so mature but never takes himself too seriously.
12. What is one piece of advice you guys have for other couples?
Marriage isn’t about us! Ultimately, nowhere in the Bible does God mandate that we get married, but he does say “make disciples”. We made a family mission statement a few years ago and it set the tone for our marriage and our parenting.
It is easy to become obsessed with being happy in your marriage, and the reality is, we were made for the worship of God – not each other. When marriage becomes about reaching the lost for Christ and helping believers love Him more deeply, suddenly your spouse becomes your battle partner and you are holding hands on mission instead of focusing on “us”. We really desire our marriage to be a picture of the Gospel.
Oh man, wow! David and Ali, those were some great answers! I told you guys why I wanted to interview them and I think you all can see why.
They have such a strong marriage that is growing. Adeline you are so lucky to have such loving parents! One thing I really love about their marriage is the community around them. How when they are having a difficult time they have others to look to, to help guide them and lift them up.
I hope these answers encourage you and your partner today. I know it encourages me!
As always, thanks for reading.
~Erin, The Short Wife
1 Corinthians 16:13-14 “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.”