Name and occupation: Naomi — Graphic Designer, Musician, Wannabe Photographer
Partner’s name and occupation: Casey — Musician, Mail Clerk
Our wedding profile: Naomi & Casey’s punk rock Iowa wedding
Wedding date: November 1, 2008
Since we were married, we’ve been playing in rock ‘n’ roll bands, recording rock ‘n’ roll bands, taking lots of pictures, playing with our bulldog, Doodah, changing our hair color, getting tattoos, fixing motorcycles and liking each other a little bit more each year.
Looking back all these years later, what do you remember most about your wedding?
What we remember most about our wedding… I think what still stands out the most to me was the fact that it was exactly what we wanted. We’re not big on classic romance or traditions. I think we had a good balance of being able to have a wedding where our friends and family could attend and feel like they were a part of it, but also a wedding where Casey and I actually enjoyed ourselves and can look back at photos showing a wedding completely unique to us.
Did you re-purpose any wedding decor or attire?
I have my light up blue bouquet displayed in my kitchen, and Casey wears his wedding chuck taylors. His custom-made vest he wore for the wedding is something he wears often. I’m still thinking about chopping the bottom half of my wedding dress off and making it into “a little black dress,” but I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. I’ve actually had a few people ask to use some of our wedding accessories, but I just can’t part with them. …hey, maybe I’m sentimental after all. Shh…
What big challenges have you faced? What have you learned from them?
Right out of the gate we had a huge struggle. We were really involved in a church together leading worship. I ended up having a couple views that the youth pastor didn’t agree with, so he kicked us out of ministry at the church if I didn’t “change my views publicly.” It was really hard on us because Casey had been involved in the church for many many years. But we were stuck in a hard place. Do we change our personal convictions because someone tells us we have to and stay with a church/ministry that we feel close to? Or do we cling to our spouse and forget about the rest?
Well, we chose the latter and have been more blessed than we could have imagined being kicked out of ministry at that church. We’ve learned a lot more about who WE are instead of who the church building says we are. We’ve learned that THE most important thing is the other person in our marriage. Not anything else. Not a job, not a church, not a leader, nothing. Casey has dubbed me as being ferociously loyal. And he is, too. We’re each others’ biggest fans, and each others’ biggest protector.
When I decided to stop trying to live up to what a “real wife” should be, I started liking being married again. I like to view our relationship as just two really good friends that live together.
On a different level, one of MY PERSONAL challenges was throwing away what society tells me how a wife should behave, look like, and the things she should be responsible for. The more I got into the world of wives the more I wanted a divorce. I felt trapped and stuck in a role where I not only didn’t belong, I didn’t WANT to belong there. I broke down in front of Casey after a couple years (I know… years…) of my struggle of “not living up to the wife profile” and he just basically laughed at me. He told me that he didn’t marry me because he wanted the typical wife that society offers, he married me because he just wanted to keep me around forever. Just me. Me and my terrible cooking skills, my stubborn attitude, my bright blue/purple/pink/whatever-color-I pick-for-the-day hair, my obnoxious clothing styles, my bold personality… just me.
When I decided to stop trying to live up to what a “real wife” should be, I started liking being married again. I like to view our relationship as just two really good friends that live together. We don’t put the pressure of being soulmates on ourselves. We work to stay together. We work to stay in love. And that isn’t something that most people tell you before you get married. But we have a hell of a good time doing it.
How do you keep your romance alive?
Keeping the romance alive? Well, on an average definition, we’re not into “romance.” I would be a little upset if Casey brought me home roses or bought me a sparkly necklace for a gift. But one time he brought me home brass knuckles. I was pretty excited. He’ll bring me home a candy bar when I’m being a brat to him. He compliments me often. He gets me tattoos every year for my birthday. I’ll leave him little notes with funny drawings on them. I constantly post funny conversations we have on Facebook, I like to brag about him when I can. It helps that we’re interested in so many of the same things. We record music together, we play in bands together. We’re both part of each others’ major passions in life.
What advice do you have for newlyweds?
Number one: learn how to fight. We fight. We fight a lot. I’m a little spitfire that’s passionate about just about everything I love. Casey is even-keeled and laid back. So we clash a lot. I would get heated about something and he would just walk away or clam up and not say anything. I finally was able to tell him that when he doesn’t fight with me, it makes me feel like he’s not as passionate or caring about the issue or marriage as I am. I have more respect for him when he can put me in my place when I’m acting out of control. I don’t want a doormat. Fighting fair is hard. And I’m not the best at it. But we always have to ask ourselves, “are we fighting for US? are we fighting to make the marriage better? or are we fighting just to win?” And no name calling. Ever.
Casey has helped me calm down and not get so worked up about everything all the time. He’s taught me to compartmentalize work issues or friend issues so they don’t spill into the marriage and home life. I’m a much happier person now that Casey is in my life. Not just because I think he’s a cool guy, but because he balances me out so much. I’d be a wreck without him.
You know that saying, “don’t let the sun go down while you’re still angry?” Well, I think it’s bogus. Sometimes I just gotta sleep it off and work it out tomorrow when I’m well-rested and have a clear mind.
Another really helpful thing we’ve learned/are learning is to ditch the 50/50 thing. Don’t keep score. Each of you in the marriage should be putting forth 100% at all times, not 50% and the other 50%. That doesn’t work.
We know you love these posts — so do we. So let’s keep ’em going. Let us know which couples you’d like us to follow up with.