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I’m so happy to present to all of you our April “Believe in Love” feature. If you’re wondering why these posts are entitled as they are, here is a little background for you. I spotlight these stories for a reason. Use them for inspiration and wisdom. Apply their insight to your life/situation.

Love is real. Love is possible. Love does exist.

This month’s “Believe in Love” couple is an example of what love is and I believe an illustration of a good marriage. They also happen to be Dyanna’s parents.

Douglas and Alieze Stallworth

Married 36 years

3 children, 1 grandchild

The ONE

We were the boy and girl next door. I knew he was the one for me a year after I met him. We dated for three years before we decided to get married.

After a Valentine’s Day dinner, he asked me to marry him, down on one knee in his apartment. He had asked my mother at the beginning of our relationship how she felt about him being older than me. She told him that it was fine.

We got married at the city courthouse and I never took off my leather jacket.

Our Marriage

Our marriage works because we have open and honest communication. There are no secrets between us. When disagreements arise, we talk things out. If it is not the same day, then it’s the next day.

There are times in the relationship when it’s not 50/50.  There are times when you have to be the source of strength for the other person.

When it comes to financial affairs, I am old fashioned. I still believe when possible that the man handles the major expenses in the household.  This is something that should be discussed before getting married. Money problems can end a marriage/relationship.

Lasting Friendship

My husband is my best friend. We keep our marriage going because we still go on dates.

Words of Wisdom for Young People Dating Today

I would tell younger people dating today, to always be yourself. Do not compromise or lower your standards. Don’t lose your identity in the process of trying to please someone else. The person who you are in a relationship with should make you feel good about yourself, and help you develop as a person.

Make sure that the list of things that you are looking for in another person is reasonable. Let the other person know what you want out of a relationship.  Make your expectations clear to the other person.  

For those who are getting married, my best advice is to remember the wedding day is only one day. Most people do not understand that being married takes work and patience.  Before you get married, talk about what you want to happen in the marriage. If you want to be a stay-at-home mother, let them know that. If you want your wife to work, make that clear.

Also, your best friend should not know anything that your spouse doesn’t know. There should be no secrets between the two of you. Always be honest and communicate. Keep the line of communications openDo not go into the marriage planning the divorce.

– G

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