By Kelly Carr
Celebrating 33 years of marriage last month, assistant editor Sheryl Overstreet and her husband, Ed, share their thoughts on wedded bliss.
What qualities have you developed to be a good husband and wife?
Ed: I had to learn how to compromise, how to share, and not be selfish. I had to learn to let Sheryl be Sheryl, trusting her decisions. I also had to feel secure in myself, especially when explaining the decisions I had made.
Sheryl: I had to learn to accept and trust the fact that Ed was in control of our major decisions. He was much better at looking “down the road.” I lived more for today.
How has marriage helped you grow spiritually?
Both: Marriage got us back to church. It changed our focus and our friends. We spent more time in the Word, understanding the rights and wrongs according to God, and it put us back on track. We understand our responsibilities better. Once again, God was the center of our lives.
How have you made each other better people?
Ed: Sheryl made me a more loving and outgoing person. Because of her I have learned to share easier and be more compassionate toward people. She has brought out the sensitive part of me. A good part of this has been done by her example of loving and caring.
Sheryl: Ed has taught me to think things through, not to be so impulsive. He’s taught me to be cautious but fair. We have each matured in different ways due to the other’s influence and life experiences. Ed’s eight years older than me, so he sees some things quite differently than I do. Ed was an only child, so I helped him understand the importance of siblings and nephews.
What advice would you tell newlyweds in order to stick it out for the long haul?
Both: It is tough, especially in the early years, but it is so worth it. After the honeymoon years we fought a lot over stupid things, things that really didn’t matter. We had to learn what was really important to us as individuals—generally that wasn’t the same, so we had to find a compromise that made both of us happy. We’ve had a lot of give and take. You learn it’s not all about the physical beauty but truly the person inside—the good, the bad, and the ugly!
What personal preferences did you put aside to compromise?
Ed: Sheryl put aside more personal preferences than me. She wanted a big house, children, and a puppy.
Sheryl: I did get a pet turtle.
What has surprised you most about your spouse?
Ed: I knew Sheryl was a sweet person, but I didn’t realize how loving and caring she is to everyone. She would do anything for anybody if they needed it. Sheryl improved my relationship with my parents; she showed us how to outwardly love each other. She made the last years with my mother a joy and not an obligation. I got to know my mother again, and she got to know me as an adult.
Sheryl: Ed likes to have a rough outside; he’s cautious, when in truth he is just a big kid. He loves to joke and tease with people. He loves to have fun and is very caring for other people. When he cares deeply for people, he tends to hurts easily. Because of Ed’s planning we are financially stable, and he keeps a watch on our future.
Both: Our marriage has had some ups and downs, but we can’t imagine our lives with anyone else.