Julie and Wendell Claver Julie, a 28-year-old realtor, and Wendell, a 30-year-old day trader, met while studying at the University of Michigan. Today, they’re still learning—about marriage. Since their wedding in Spain in March 2004, they’ve been busy learning the marriage ropes. INTERVIEWED BY SARA WILSON
Julie and Wendell Claver
WENDELL Marriage has taught me…
(1) That we usually spend more time with friends who are more compatible with both of us.
(2) When shopping for clothes, to ask for my wife’s opinion if I’m not sure I like it.
(3) About commitment. The same issues will continue to arise. You must be willing to work on compromises to resolve them and know that you’ll be faced with new problems in the future.
(4) To be humble and willing to put your spouse before yourself—even when this requires you to do things you would otherwise prefer not to do.
(5) The importance of learning to deal with cultural differences stemming from different backgrounds (Chinese vs. Spanish)
(6) The importance of learning to deal with regional differences (U.S. and Minnesota vs. Miami and Spain) in regards to dress, homes and food.
(7) That there are male-female differences. Each gender enjoys watching different shows and doing different activities.
(8) That it’s important to make an effort to take an active role or interest in each other’s activities.
(9) That doing activities—working out, cooking, playing team sports—together is very enjoyable.
(10) To give compliments and affection daily.
JULIE Marriage has taught me . . .
(1) That my husband doesn’t like rush hour. . . I’m much more sensitive to what pedestrians and drivers are feeling or thinking in reaction to my husband’s driving actions.
(2) To have a sense of humor and that I shouldn’t take life too seriously.
(3) That we complement each other with our roles, strengths and weaknesses. We’re not equals and shouldn’t expect that we should act as equals.
(4) To choose my battles. Marriage is about give and take.
(5) That spending time with other women allows us to connect over things that my husband may not understand or appreciate at the same level.
(6) How my husband likes his food prepared, and what he likes and dislikes. And to prepare dinner before my husband gets very hungry.
(7) That actions may not be perceived as loving, though the act may be done with love. For example, my husband may make a critical comment thinking that I will appreciate his honesty, but instead, I interpret it as harsh.
(8) That communication ALL the time is necessary to help reduce conflict. My husband cannot read my mind.
(9) That my husband enjoys shopping, possibly more than I do.
(10) Sometimes when my husband is watching television, I despise it because I think we can use that time as quality time. However, I’ve learned to allow my husband his time to do what he enjoys doing and find a way to use the time for my own personal time or to sit with him and enjoy just being with him.