Each stage of life looks different and brings unique challenges to every couple. My hope is that you will be inspired by the stories of the women in this series. I hope that their experiences will help you find more ways to make your marriage relationship a priority throughout every stage of your own life.
I am REALLY excited about today's Wives to Watch interview with Deidre from Deidre Emme. When I had the idea for this series, Deidre was the first person who popped into my mind to interview for it. She and her husband, Adam, are a huge example to me of what a good marriage looks like, and I think it will be obvious to you why when you start reading her interview. These two are so involved in each other's lives, even though they live apart for most of the year because of Adam's baseball career. I love to see them share each other's accomplishments on social media. I am constantly striving to have a marriage more like theirs and to be the type of wife that Deidre is.
What does it mean to you to prioritize your marriage?
For me, it means to not only make my marriage a priority but to put the things in my marriage in an order that will help us have a successful relationship. For some people, it's going out on dates and for some people it's just spending time at home together. For me, to prioritize my marriage, it's figuring out what's going to work best for us and then figuring that out within our marriage. And then outside of our marriage, figuring out how to put my marriage above other things and other people. So, how can we make our marriage the most important thing or one of the most important things.
How have the different stages you've experienced in life affected how you prioritize your marriage?
Things have changed a lot, because obviously when you're first married you spend all of your time together and you want to do everything together and you kind of have the phases like the honeymoon phase. We went straight from the honeymoon phase to not living together all year because we hadn't even been married a full year when Adam got drafted. That's the stage that we're in right now and that's where we've been the last three, almost four years. And so for us, it's figuring out how to prioritize and make it work depending on what the season is. So it's not necessarily the stage of our life, but the seasons of our life. That's the better way to think about it for us because we have off season and baseball season.
During the off season, we prioritize by doing spending a lot of time together, doing a lot of fun things and a lot of exciting things and trying to take trips. We go on a ton of dates during the off season, that's something that has really affected how we plan our dates because we only have five months together out of a year. We want to make sure the time that we spend together is quality. I don't go out with my friends a lot when he's here because I'm with him.
During baseball season, we have to prioritize in a totally different way because it's basically like living two totally separate lives. He's doing baseball all the time and I work all the time and I don't want to be alone so I find a lot of things to do. We have to figure out how to prioritize our marriage without pausing our lives. I don't come home from work and sit around and wait for Adam to be done with baseball. I teach dance and I do those things, but as soon as he's available, I make sure I'm available. Before we popped on this chat, I made sure I called him and talked to him for a few minutes. We text a lot more and silly things like he likes to see what I'm wearing in the morning, so I take a picture of what I wear every morning to send to him because I know that's important to him because he likes to feel involved that way.
I know you guys made a goal this week to go on a date a week or 52 dates and you post them on IG. How are you guys doing that while you're apart?
It's almost impossible to make date night work while we are apart because he plays baseball literally every night. He has one off day a month, so when I'm free, he's playing baseball. If I'm not watching his game, then I'm out doing stuff. What we do is when we're together, like during the off season, we went on as many dates as we could. And then when I go there, instead of just going to a game and then hanging out with his teammates, we actually will go on a date, even if it's just to Applebee's or Jimmy John's, what ever is open. We make sure we go on dates when we're together, even though our time together is already special, we take it one step further by still dating each other.
Last season when I went to visit him, he took me to a really nice dinner one night because they had an earlier game in the day. We just make sure we go on dates when we are together, but when we're apart it's almost impossible. We Facetime every night, so we have these Facetime dates that are set in stone, but those don't count toward the 52 dates.
What are some rituals or traditions that you have together?
One thing that we do, no matter if it's baseball season or not is read our scriptures and say prayers together every night. Because in our marriage, the gospel is the most important thing. Without the gospel, we aren't who we are and we aren't the couple we are because we rely so heavily on our Heavenly Father and we rely heavily on the gospel and we rely heavily on that guidance to know what to do. For us, whether it's baseball season and we're saying prayer over Facetime or over the phone or if we're in person and reading and saying prayer together before we get in bed, we do that every night because that is so important to us. It really strengthens our marriage and the closer we are to our gospel and to Heavenly Father, the closer we are together because it grounds us. Another thing for church is that when we're together, we always try to go to the temple and things like that. Those are the spiritual aspects of our rituals.
Like I said earlier, we have the ritual of me taking pictures of my outfit every morning and sending it to him. We send a lot of selfies during the season because it's kind of funny and a good way to talk. He sends me a lot of dog videos, so we use a lot of technology as something that we consistently do so that we can communicate, show each other funny things and be a part of each other's lives even though we're not together.
Every Tuesday we make tacos, for Taco Tuesday, just some form of tacos. It's not always the same thing, we can do taco soup, taco salad, fish tacos or anything like that. For date nights, we switch back and forth for who plans it. That makes it more exciting that one person always planning it.
How have the obstacles and challenges that you've faced as a couple made you a stronger team?
I feel like Adam and I have always had a good relationship and we've always been able to talk about a lot. But you're kind of just at surface level until something goes wrong. If something goes wrong and someone buries down, you have to bury down and find them. I think that those sorts of things have made us a stronger team because when he's down, not only am I trying to lift him up but I first have to get down to his level and ask him to talk to me about it and tell me how I can support him. And same with him, when things are really hard for me, he has to do the same thing. I think our situation is very unique because we have to support each other from thousands of miles apart so it's not just talking face to face and being like, "Well, I can tell you're upset by your body language." you have to learn to communicate. You have to learn so much more about how to communicate. Being apart is a trial in itself, but it's also a blessing because we're getting this really cool experience. But that trial in itself has made Adam and I such a strong team because we have to communicate and we have to talk and we have to take that time to really figure things out together rather than just glazing over it.
When things are hard, even through the suckiest experiences, I feel like it gives me an opportunity. Even the hardest obstacles and trials that we face, I think that they're blessings more than anything because not only do they help our relationship but they really do push me to be a better wife. How can I support my husband better? How can I be this for him? How can I be a part of this? And how can I not just sit on the sideline and be like, "he'll figure it out"? I want to be a part of everything that he does and I don't want him to ever feel alone. For me, that is the coolest thing about obstacles. I really get to be a better wife and I get to learn about how I can be a better wife because of those obstacles.
Tell me about something that you guys hope to be able to do together in the future.
The obvious thing would be to have kids and have a family. I'm not old, but I'm not young and so that's something that's really important to me. I've always wanted to be a mom even though kids terrify me, I know that's my divine calling, to be a mother. That's something that's hopefully in the near future. Seeing how all of our brothers and sisters raise their kids has been really cool because it gives us a lot of opportunity to talk about "Oh, when we have kids, I like how this brother does this, I like how this sister does this" and kind of figure it out together. It's kind of fun to talk about our future family, even though it might not be for a few years because baseball does kind of dictate portions of our life. We could have a kid right now, but I don't want to raise a kid by myself. That wasn't the purpose of me getting married and having my wonderful husband, it was so we could have a family together.
For this next off season, we want to go on a trip. That's something we're looking forward to. We're hopefully going to go to Disneyworld with some of his teammates and their significant others, which will be really fun. Just to go on a real vacation because we haven't for a little bit. Last year we used all of our vacation time to go see family and things like that. So this year I'm hoping that we can use vacation time to go on a trip together.
Is there anything else that you would add about your marriage and situation specifically?
The one thing that I've really come to learn this year, and even last year, is I feel like people are being kind when they say things like, "I don't know how you do it. You're so strong and you're such a good wife." I appreciate that people say that, but at the end of the day, I'm doing this not because I'm trying to be a supportive wife, but because everything that Adam wants is something that I want to. And so when people ask me how I'm able to do that all year; it's not Adam's goal to make baseball, it's our goal to make baseball. Even the thought of him not making it or quitting because it's not going to work out, it's heartbreaking to me, even though it's only been a goal for me since we've met. It's been a goal for his whole life but because I love and support him so much, it's now just as much my goal. Every day I'm like, "How can I fix things? How can I support you being far away? What can I say or not say after a game to help you be in a good mood and prep you for the next game?" Because this goal isn't just his, it's ours together as a couple. I think that's the one thing I've really come to realize. Before it was like, "Oh yeah, Adam's always wanted to be a baseball player" but now it's like, "No, we want Adam to be a baseball player and we want him to get there." It's not just his thing. That's the one thing that any wife or any husband could take into their relationship. How can you make your spouse's passion your passion and how can you make it something that you want to support and you want to be your thing to?
It's not even just baseball. I direct Miss Idaho and Adam is all about it. He's always so excited to hear how the meetings went and after pageants when we're talking he'll say, "When our girls are that old, I want them to do that." He is a big supporter of me and my volunteer work in the Miss America organization because it's not just my thing now, it's his too and he understands and he appreciates and he wants those things for me. So even when we talk about if he makes the big leagues and we'd move to Arizona, we talk about how we could also stay in Idaho so that I could stay involved in my passions because he supports them just as much as I support his. I think that's something important for any spouse to realize, your dreams need to become their dreams and theirs need to become yours. That's the only way that you can truly be 100% supportive. Just saying "I support what they do" is not the same thing.
When Adam can tell I'm having a hard time, he's said "I'll just quit" and to me, I need to change my attitude because it's not fair for him to feel like he needs to give up on his dreams because of something I'm going through. That's when you realize "I need to be more supportive" and "this is my dream too" because the thought of him quitting is heartbreaking to me. I think if more people would make their spouse's priorities their priority, a lot more marriages would be happy and stay intact. For me, even blogging, Adam has made it his thing. When I tell him that I get to pick something from a company to review, he wants to be a part of me picking out my items because he thinks it's so cool what I do. For example, today I was working with a company to figure out what I wanted and I told him, "This company contacted me, I get to pick anything out from their website" and he told me to send him the options. I sent him four or five options and he told me which one was his favorite and that's the one that I'm getting. It's just so cool that he cares enough to look at women's clothes to help me pick for my blog post, it's very unique. And when he's here, he wants to help take the pictures and when he's not here, he wants to know who's taking the pictures and what outfits I'm taking pictures of. It's very romantic to me because he's never cared about fashion or anything, but because I care about it, he wants to know. He wants to learn for himself now too because he realizes how important it is to me, which is so cool!