How long have you been married?
Eddie and Eleanor: We have been married 14 years.
How did you guys meet?
Eddie and Eleanor: At work – He was working in HR of the corporate office of a large grocery store chain and I had a temporary position in the Tax Department.
What were your first impressions of each other?
Eddie: It took me some time to really notice her, however, once I did, I was like, WOW! She looked awesome; she had a nice hairdo, sort of an asymmetrical cut, nice make up and especially the red lips. She dressed nice and was very shapely.
Eleanor: The very first time he walked past my desk with his head held high, I thought to myself “He’s stuck up, walking around with his nose in the air.” However, I soon learned that it was just the look and stride of a confident black male.
What made you want to get married?
Eddie: After we became friends, I saw the woman and mother she was as well as her devotion to her church and to God. As time went on, I even saw how her love and devotion to me grew and mine for her. She was the smart one. I think she knew we were meant to be together long before my light bulb went off. I remember the day in church, at an altar call that the Lord spoke to me and said she was my wife. I knew she was the woman that I had found like the Bible says.
Eleanor: I always wanted to be married. From a little girl, I knew marriage was in my future. However, like many, I tried to make relationships work, settling for less than the whole package God intended for me. When I met Eddie, we became friends first. I first loved him because he loved God and his family. He was faithful and committed to both. I knew we were made for each other.
How did you propose?
Eddie and Eleanor: Well, we had been a couple for some years. The proposal sort of came out of a discussion during a dinner date.
Eleanor: Although I knew we were meant to be husband and wife, I waited for him to be ready to pop the question. I never discussed marriage with him and he initiated the conversation that facilitated the planning of our wedding. He was surprised that I initially said I needed at least two years to plan our wedding. I later agreed to a date the following year.
Eddie: I gave her the ring on the day we were actually going to book the “Old Mansion” as our reception facility. And officially, I did do the down on one knee a few days later and asked her to be my wife.
How does your faith play into your marriage?
Eddie and Eleanor: Our marriage is built on our faith in God. Marriage is ordained of God and what God has joined together; no one or nothing can tear apart. We believe that with all our heart! So as life happens there will be some challenges but none are greater than the union we have in marriage through God.
Do you have any marriage survival tips?
Eddie and Eleanor: Trust God. Pray and pray some more. Communicate and never go to bed angry. Love unconditionally.
How do you keep the fire burning in your relationship?
Eddie and Eleanor: Always be willing to please each other. Keeping date nights – they are not an option. Make sure you always say you love each other, don’t assume it.
Is there anything you would do differently looking back on your marriage?
Eddie: I would not have waited as long as I did to marry her.
Eleanor: No, nothing comes to mind.
Why do you think African Americans have the lowest marriage rate, but the largest divorce rate?
Eddie and Eleanor: We think both have the same root cause – lack of commitment and unwilling to trust. Everyone is not meant to marry. However, many don’t marry because of a fear or unwillingness to commit to someone or trust them with their heart. For many, divorce as an easy way out because you are not committed and there is a lack of trust.
If you were giving advice to a couple who wanted to get married, what would you say?
Eddie and Eleanor: Be committed to each other no matter what curves life throws. Be each other’s friend and do as much as you can for each other. Honor your vows until death.
What does marriage mean to you?
Eddie and Eleanor: Marriage is the bond between man and woman, created and ordained of God. It is the vow to love and cherish forever, to be committed to each other for the rest of your life, to live life together as one.